Relation Between Political Science and Geography are described below:
There is a close intimacy between Political Science and Geography. “Geo” means earth and “graphy” means description and the description of the earth is known as geography.
It is the science of “the earth’s surface, form, physical features, natural and political divisions, climate, production, population.”
It deals with the climate, insularity, the character of the soil, the mountains, plains, rivers and outlets upon the sea and topography. This goes without saying that the geographical conditions in particular and physical environment in general impress upon the character and national life of the country. Not only this they impress upon the national policies and the structure and functions of the governments in a large measure.
A political investigator studies Geography with a view to knowing the influence of the geographical conditions and the physical environment on Political Science. Geo-politics gives him useful information regarding the study of the origin and growth of political institutions. The historical survey of the political institutions of a country is closely linked with the nature of the soil, mountains, plains, livers and insularity.
The influence of Geographical conditions on the political institutions of a country has always been emphasised by various political writers right from Aristotle to the present. After Aristotle, Bodin, Rousseau and Buckle supported this view.
In recent years Bluntschli, Treitschke, Ritter, Ratzel, Reclus, Mckinder, Huntington and others have discussed and emphasised the influence of physical or geological factors upon individual character and upon political institutions and governmental policies.”Keltie, Ripley, Geddess, Semple, and James Russell Smith have also exaggerated the in recent political geographers have also done so.”
No doubt they have greatly exaggerated the influence of the climate, food and soil upon the individual and national character, yet they are not without defenders. For example, it is generally admitted that the mountainous and landlocked character of Switzerland has influenced the political institutions of that country to a great extent.
In his book “Nature and America”, Professor Shaler has emphasised the importance of the British Channel in the history of England. He says that “the independent political development of England for the last thousand years has been in large part due to the measure of protection afforded by the British Channel.”
Philip the ruler of Spain, Napoleon, the ruler of France, and the Hitler, dictator of Germany, could not conquer England only because of British Channel. Likewise, the German writers have asserted threat it was the geographical position of Germany, situated as it was in the centre of Europe without having natural boundaries on, several of its frontiers that made it necessary to have a strong military power.
“This position”, says Professor Hintze of the University of Berlin, “is the decisive factor in our political geography, “nor would “it is difficult to trace much of our peculiar political character to the same source”. And he adds: “our historic-political destiny lies in our geographical position.
Professor Seligman goes to the extent of saying that “the so-called Anglo-Saxon individualism is largely the product of climatic conditions. The whole theory of individualism,” he believes, “was a natural result of the economic and at bottom, of the climatic conditions of a new environment.”
In modern times considerable attention has been paid by a number of writers to the influence of geographical factors on political institutions. There researches and writings have contributed to give “political geography”, a name — “Geopolitics”. Geo-politics is regarded as a standing among the sciences.
Geo-politics deals with “the application of political and economic geography to the external problems of states, notably problems of national power, frontiers and possibilities for expansion.” Since territory is an essential feature of a state, geo-political factors naturally influence political activities and national politics.