Natural borders for various countries

Apr 2017
1,119
U.S.A.
#12
Southern Slovakia was given to Czechoslovakia for communications purposes. As for Transylvania, the border there could have been a little fairer, but the problem was that the Szekely Hungarians were a demographic island located in the middle of Romania. Thus, bringing them into Hungary would have also resulted in a lot of Romanians being put into Hungary (as was the case in 1940 in real life). The best that you could hope for would be an extremely narrow corridor (much, much narrower than in real life) connecting Szekely Land to the rest of Hungary. As for the Banat, perhaps the borders there could have been fairer to Hungary as well--though I'm presuming that the logic there was to give the Yugoslav capital of Belgrade a defensible frontier.
By that logic they should have let Germany keep the corridor to Prussia. It was all about punishing the defeated and rewarding their allies. They just dressed it up with grand talk about fairness and equality.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
16,969
SoCal
#13
By that logic they should have let Germany keep the corridor to Prussia. It was all about punishing the defeated and rewarding their allies. They just dressed it up with grand talk about fairness and equality.
The Polish Corridor as a whole actually was majority Polish, if I recall correctly. The only part of it that Germany could perhaps have been entitled to is that strip south of the Corridor and north of Posen Province:



Of course, it would have also probably been fairer had Danzig gone to Germany--perhaps after being a free state for a certain time period so that Poland would have had enough time to build its own port at Gdynia.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
16,969
SoCal
#14
The interesting thing is that, with the exception of the land strip mentioned above, the Polish Corridor appears to have consistently voted for the Polish Party in Imperial German Reichstag elections. For instance, here's a map of the 1912 Reichstag elections:

 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
16,969
SoCal
#15
Also, if you're talking about communication purposes, couldn't there be telegrams and travel by sea between East Prussia and the rest of Germany?
 
Apr 2017
1,119
U.S.A.
#16
The allies gave southern Slovakia to Czechoslovakia for "communication purposes," despite it being Hungarian majority. I said by that logic the polish majority corridor to East Prussia should have been given to Germany. Czechoslovakia could still get to eastern Slovakia without the south, as Germany could still get to east Prussia without a land connection. I was pointing out the hypocrisy of the WW1 territorial cessations. There are numerous examples of this, Upper Silesia was about 50/50 German/Polish, the allies decided to hold a plebiscite to determine its status, being confident it would vote Polish. Instead it voted by a clear majority to remain German (many Poles preferred Germany for economic reasons), the allies then just gave it to Poland so the new Poland would be "economically viable." Similar circumstances with Danzig, it was overwhelmingly German but given to Poland so they would have a large port (it was supposed to be a free city administered by Poland but they later broke this). Northern Schleswig was given to Denmark despite them not even being in the war (although it was Danish majority). South Tyrol was given to Italy despite the northern half being mostly German. Istria was given to Italy despite being mostly Croatian. Eupen and Malmedy were given to Belgium despite being german majority for "defensive reasons." Turkey was almost partitioned between the allies if it wasn't for Mustafa Kemal's refusal to submit. My point was much of their reasoning was false, it was simply about punishing the defeated and rewarding the allies.
 
Likes: Futurist

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
2,954
Las Vegas, NV USA
#17
Spain should be mentioned with its border on the Pyrenees. If one considers the existence of Iberia when Spain and Portugal were united (1580-1640), there are only the mountains and the sea as boundaries.
 
Likes: Futurist
Mar 2019
6
cucumber
#19
Pre-WWI Hungary was actually only about half Hungarian. The rest were Slovaks, Ruthenians, Romanians, Croats, Germans, and Jews. Pre-WWI Hungary had excellent borders from a strategic/security perspective, but it was full of minorities--which explains the Hungarian government's Magyarization policy.

Here is an ethnic/linguistic map of Hungary in 1880:


Why don't you use a more detailed modern early 20th century map, which depict sparsely populated areas, like high mountains and swamps, and which depict the ethnicity of larger cities .




Here is the plan about ethnic borders made by Romanian Aurel Popovicy for Franz Ferdinand's request.



First: Itself that a country is multiethnic is not a reason to dismember it. It is only reason for hard-core nationalist thinkers.

Second: There were no democratic referendums to legitimate such decisions. The referendum would be a very huge risk for Romania Czechoslovakia or Yugoislavia to expand their territories.

Third: The Entente (And France) did not care about any ethnic justice, just short-sighted geopolitical geso-strategic interest. (Which proved to be false, if you see the political events of WW2.)
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
16,969
SoCal
#20
It didn't quite achieve them, but the Roman Empire of the 10th and 11th centuries very nearly reached its ideal natural borders from the perspective of the reduced Roman state of the 8th to mid-10th century. The Empire pushed to the Danube and secured the Branicevo-Nis corridor in Serbia, protecting it from the north; it secured the dependent status of the Dalmatian cities, Venice, and certain nearer Serbian principalities, protecting it from the north-west; it secured hegemony over Southern Italy, protecting it from the west; it reconquered Crete and reinforced its control over Cyprus, protecting it from the south; it conquered Cilicia, northern Syria (particularly the coast), and much of upper Mesopotamia, protecting it from the south-east; it conquered and bought (through princes bequeathing their realms to Rome in exchange for lands and titles) the better part of Armenia, protecting it from the east; and it secured control over Cherson and a few other outposts on the northern Black Sea, protecting it from the north and north-east. The only objectives remaining to the Roman government were to reconquer Sicily, a rich island of strategic importance with a large Roman population, and secure Tripoli in Syria, giving them full control over the Cypriot seaboard; it made a good attempt at the former, retaking half the island in the 1030's before being pushed back because of the leading general's rebellion after being replaced, and unsuccessfully besieged the latter a few times before a routinely renewed peace signed with the Fatimids in 1000 made the question moot. It's one of the great ironies of history that this apparently highly advantageous state of affairs barely lasted a few decades in its most complete form before beginning to collapse from immense unforeseen pressures on all sides, most notably from the Pechenegs, Turks, and Normans, the last two especially being extremely different from (and much more dangerous than) the traditional enemies faced by the Romans in Italy, the Balkans, and Anatolia.

The Roman Empire in 886 (maps my own, made in Google Earth):



The Roman Empire in 1045:



What these don't show, particularly in the latter (except in Venice), is a ring of client-states, protectorates, and associated principalities around the edges of proper imperial administration, particularly in the central Balkans, Southern Italy, Sardinia, Armenia, and the Kerch Strait, serving as friendly fortified outposts and relays for the projection of Roman soft power. As shown here, the Roman state in 886 encompassed 744,000 square kilometers of land, about the same as the HRE of 1000 AD, and 1,180,000 square kilometers in 1045, only slightly less than the Carolingian Empire in 810. The population of the former would have been around 9-10 million people, and the latter about 18-22 milllion, going by the estimates of Angeliki Laiou, centered on a Constantinople with a population of 150-200 and 300-400 thousand people respectively.
Agreed about the Byzantine Empire. It's too bad that it couldn't keep those borders for long, though--with the Seljuk victory at the Battle of Manzikert permanently kicking the Byzantines out of the interior of Anatolia.
 

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