¹ 2 - 2005
On Spatial Relations on Earth’s Surface and Their Impact upon the Course of Historical Development of Mankind. (Foreword by D.N.Zamyatin)
In this issue, we offer fragments of a lecture “On Spatial Relations on Earth’s Surface and Their Impact upon the Course of Historical Development of Mankind” (1850) by Karl Ritter, a great German geographer, who made in geography a methodological revolution. Ritter’s works proved to be, in a way, a “bridge” between Hegel’s “Philosophy of History” and classical geopolitics as it formed in late 19th to early 20th centuries, and the German geographer himself may be regarded as “precursor” of geopolitics. According to Ritter, earth’s surface is possessed of an exceptional wealth of different spatial relations; these relations are apt to realize themselves in politics; space, or expanse, as it were, deposits in itself certain types of policies possible within it. Geopolitics grasped in Ritter’s meaning may be defined as geometrical levelling of extensional historical processes; it is, in a way, “internal geography” of earth’s surface interpreted and understood as potential multitude of possible spatial relations. The text is published after the Russian edition bibliographically described below in Latin transliteration: Magazin zemlevedenija i puteshestvij. Geograficheskij sbornik, izdavaemyj N.Frolovym. T. 2: Vozzrenija na prirodu Aleksandra Gumbol’dta i Idei o sravnitel’nom zemlevedenii Karla Rittera. M., 1853.