What is an Antecedent Boundary?

What makes Antecedent Boundaries different from Relic Boundaries? Is the Border between the US and Canada an Antecedent Boundary? Does the USA have Antecedent Boundaries?
what is an antecedent boundary
Photo by Robert Linder on Unsplash

In geography, a boundary is a natural or man-made division between two areas of land or water. Boundaries are often used to describe the extent of geographical areas in maps and diagrams. An antecedent boundary is the most common type of boundary in the United States due to its emphasis on native rights. An example of antecedent boundary is not unique to one region or country, but they are more likely to occur in areas that were settled first by indigenous people and later colonized by Europeans in the 16th century. Let’s start this article and learn some more about these boundaries.

1. What is an Antecedent Boundary?

An antecedent boundary is a political boundary that pre-dates a natural or cultural feature. An antecedent boundary is created before a country is formed and these are natural boundaries. Antecedent boundaries are created when two or more countries have overlapping ownership of land, rivers, and seas.

In some cases, the people of a state may have an informal preference for an antecedent boundary because it allows them to retain certain aspects of their cultural identity. (See How many countries share a border with Germany?)

2. What are the Antecedent Boundaries of AP Human Geography?

An antecedent boundary is the original borders of a country. In other words, it’s the border that existed before any changes were made to it and in many cases, it’s also the name of a current region or country. Antecedent boundaries in AP Geography are important because they help us understand how states evolved over time and why some people live where they do today. It tells us what our ancestors did when creating their borders. Must read What is a Subsequent Boundary in AP Human Geography?

3. What is an Example of Antecedent Boundary?

An example of antecedent boundary is the Missouri river in North Dakota, defining the boundary between the state’s Native American reservations and its non-reservations areas. (See What body of Water connects Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean?)

4. What is the Difference Between an Antecedent and Relic Boundary?

relic boundary
Image by Markus Spiske from Pixabay

An antecedent boundary is a boundary that was formed before the current political boundaries were established. A relic boundary is a boundary that was formed after the current political boundaries were established. Antecedent boundaries are usually natural boundaries and not political boundaries, unlike relic boundaries.

5. What is the Difference Between Geometric Boundaries and Antecedent Boundaries?

A geometric boundary is a political boundary on a clear and neat geometric shape. An antecedent boundary is a boundary created before the settlement of people in that area. The difference between geometric boundaries and antecedent boundaries is that geometric boundaries are straight, while antecedent boundaries are curved and irregular. Geometric boundaries are man-made, whereas antecedent boundaries are natural. 

6. Does the USA Have Antecedent Boundaries?

Yes, the USA has antecedent boundaries with Canada, Mexico, and the Pacific Ocean. The Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico are also part of the USA’s antecedent boundaries. (See Which Settlers migrated to the Backcountry and Why?)

7. What Type of Boundary is the US and Canada?

What is an antecedent boundary? 2
Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash

The boundary between the US and Canada is the longest international border and terrestrial boundary. The US and Canada boundary is an example of an antecedent boundary that helped to ensure that there were fewer disputes between two modern nations. (See What is a superimposed boundary?)

8. What is the Border Between Canada and US Called?

The border between Canada and the United States is called the 49th parallel. It runs from the Atlantic to the Pacific and is considered one of the longest undefended borders. It is also called the northern border. (See Why some immigrants leave Canada?)

9. Is the 49th Parallel an Antecedent Boundary?

Yes, the 49th parallel is an antecedent boundary. The 49th parallel is the boundary between the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan in the north and the US states of Idaho, Minnesota, North Dakota, Washington, and Montana in the south. The border is the world’s longest undefended border, established in the 1846 Oregon Treaty. (See How the States got their Shapes?)

10. What Type of Boundary is the 49th Parallel?

The 49th parallel can be both an antecedent boundary and a geometric boundary. It is a boundary created to separate two nations the US and Canada by establishing a Treaty. It took centuries of arguing, and outright wars to settle the matter between the two nations. (See What were the Causes and Effects of the War of 1812?)

11. Is North and South Korea a Subsequent Boundary?

What is an antecedent boundary? 3
Photo by Barbara Zandoval on Unsplash

Yes, North and South Korea are subsequent boundaries. These two countries have different cultures due to a long time of separation that they have endured. These cultural differences have become so strong that the two countries have even been argued to be two completely different regions. It is a popular example of a political boundary in AP of human geography. Also, check out what is the importance of demography?

12. Is the Berlin Wall a Consequent Boundary?

The Berlin Wall was a physical boundary built in 1961 to separate East and West Berlin. It was a result of the Cold War, which pitted the US, Soviet Union, and their allies against each other. Therefore, this boundary is considered as an example of a subsequent boundary, established in the middle of a city, after the two groups – the capitalists and communists – who already resided there. (See Why did they built the Brooklyn Bridge?)

In human geography, the term antecedent boundary is used to describe a political boundary created before settlement on either side. Generally, antecedent boundaries are created between colonizers as a means of political negotiation to avoid conflicts with one another. An antecedent boundary can be useful to know when studying human geography because they help show relationships between countries or regions across periods in history. 

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