To define the idea of a superimposed border After a population has established itself, a superimposed border is drawn or developed. This form of barrier disregards established cultural norms; it is imposed on individuals. Consider the colonization of Africa by the Europeans. They created a network of trade routes that had the effect of establishing a superimposed border between their trading networks and those of other nations. This border ran from Portugal to Nigeria, crossing through eight different countries.
An example of a superimposed border in modern times would be the Berlin Wall. The Soviet Union constructed this wall to prevent people from leaving their country and joining the West, but since the fall of communism in Europe, the wall has been discarded and has become a symbol of division between Germany and Poland.
Another example could be the U.S. border with Mexico. Since World War II, the United States has built a network of roads and fences to control who enters the country illegally. However, since 2001, when President Bush signed into law the Patriot Act, the federal government has had the authority to create a superimposed border. Currently, there are plans to build a large fence along part of the border with Mexico. This will not only be a physical barrier but also a surveillance system designed to detect illegal activity such as smuggling organizations trying to bring drugs into the United States.
The geometric border between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, Uganda and Kenya, and other limits placed on Africa by Europeans during the colonial era are instances of superimposed boundaries. These borders were often drawn by European administrators and often do not follow natural divisions between countries. They were designed to separate territories ruled by different governments or organized under different laws for ethnic or other reasons.
Outside forces impose imposed limits on people, such as when European powers split Africa. Another example is Native Americans' experience in the United States. They found themselves surrounded by whites who wanted their land.
Within countries, different interests groups may fight each other for limited resources, resulting in divided loyalties. For example, African Americans once fought a brutal civil war over slavery and discrimination. Today they face another division between blacks and whites.
People can be divided along many other lines, such as gender or class. Women have always been discriminated against in most societies, so they often have less power than men do. This affects their ability to unite against a common enemy.
Class divisions also exist within countries. The rich tend to get richer while the poor stay poor. This means that the people at the top of society will usually have more money than enough food to eat. The poor will usually have enough food but not much else.
It can be hard for them to get together and fight off an attack from someone like a robber who lives near them. However, if the poor group together they can be very strong - for example, when slaves united they were able to defeat their masters in America.
Where boundary lines intersect with cultural barriers, further borders form. Consider the state of Utah. When it comes to religious structures and traditions, the concentration of Mormons in Utah forms a cultural border. Although the state has no official religion, most people think of themselves as American first and Mormon second. The same can be said for many other states that have large populations of conservative Christians - Arizona, Idaho, South Dakota, and Wyoming are a few examples.
Cultural borders can also form between two different cultures within the same country. In Canada, French and English Canadians often identify as separate nations even though they live together in one country. The culture of Quebec is very different from that of Ontario or British Columbia because it has its own language, government, and religion.
Finally, geographical borders can form cultural borders if the communities on each side of them see themselves as distinct groups. This is particularly true in divided countries like Spain or India. On the Basque Country in Spain, residents speak Euskera instead of Spanish and follow their own customs. In India, Hindus and Muslims view each other with suspicion and rarely interact beyond business matters.
These are just some examples of how cultural borders can arise. What about you?