Some borders—such as a state’s internal administrative border, or inter-state borders within the Schengen Area—are often open and completely unguarded. Borders may even foster the setting up of buffer zones. A difference has also been established in academic scholarship between switzerland. National Geographic Traveller PDF and frontier, the latter denoting a state of mind rather than state boundaries.
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This section does not cite any sources. The purpose of the Great Wall of China was to stop people and militaries from crossing the northern border of China. Today it is a relic border. Some borders require presentation of legal paperwork like passports and visas, or other identity documents, for persons to cross borders. Moving goods across a border often requires the payment of excise tax, often collected by customs officials.
In places where smuggling, migration, and infiltration are a problem, many countries fortify borders with fences and barriers, and institute formal border control procedures. These can extend inland, as in the United States where the U. In addition, a border may be a de facto military ceasefire line. Political borders are imposed on the world through human agency. That means that although a political border may follow a river or mountain range, such a feature does not automatically define the political border, even though it may be a major physical barrier to crossing. Political borders are often classified by whether or not they follow conspicuous physical features on the earth.
The southwestern end of the Alps separates the two countries. Natural borders are geographical features that present natural obstacles to communication and transport. Existing political borders are often a formalization of such historical, natural obstacles. Oceans: oceans create very costly natural borders. Very few countries span more than one continent. Only very large and resource-rich states are able to sustain the costs of governance across oceans for longer periods of time.
Rivers: some political borders have been formalized along natural borders formed by rivers. Lakes: larger lakes create natural borders. Forests: denser jungles or forests can create strong natural borders. One example of a natural forest border is the Amazon rainforest, separating Brazil and Bolivia from Peru, Colombia, Venezuela and Guyana. Mountain ranges: research on borders suggests that mountains have especially strong effects as natural borders.