Sir Halford Mackinder's The Geographical Pivot Of History

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Introduction In 1932, William James Durant, an American historian, in his famous book The Story of Civilization said: No victory of arms, or tyranny of alien finance, can long suppress a nation so rich in resources and vitality. The invader will lose funds or patience before the loins of China will lose virility; within a century China will have absorbed and civilized her conquerors, and will have learned all the technique of what transiently bears the name of modern industry; roads and communications will give her unity, economy and thrift will give her funds, and a strong government will give her order and peace (Durant, 1935). While delivering his ‘The Geographical Pivot of History’ speech to the Royal Geographical Society a few decades earlier, Sir Halford Mackinder, the eminent British geographer, ended his famous article with a disturbing reference to…show more content…
What Mackinder called in 1904 the ‘Pivot area’; he subsequently called the ‘Heartland’ by 1919. The ‘heart’ of Mackinder's theory is contained in a famous and concise dictum: Who rules Eastern Europe commands the Heartland: Who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island: Who rules the World-Island commands the World. Almost a century has passed since Mackinder’s theory was presented - global geopolitical trends have been emerging and changing due to technological, political, economic and security factors. Those geopolitical realities have shifted world’s attention to the Indo-Pacific theatre where China has become one of the most powerful states in the world economically as well as militarily. Looking in these developments from Mackinder’s point of view, the rise of China has suggested that ‘geographical pivot of history’ has shifted farther to the

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