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Sir Halford John Mackinder

Mackinder, Sir Halford John (hălˈfərd, məkĭnˈdər) [key], 1861–1947, English geopolitician. Educated at Oxford (1887–1905), he led in the revival of British geographical learning. He established geography as an academic subject, teaching at the universities of Reading and London, and was (1903–8) director of the London School of Economics. He was a member of Parliament (1909–22) and later held various imperial posts. In Democratic Ideals and Reality (1904), Mackinder propounded the view of Eurasia as the geographical pivot and "heartland" of history. The theory received little attention in Great Britain and the United States before World War II, but the idea of the heartland as a natural seat of power was adopted in Germany, notably by Karl Haushofer, and was used to support Nazi geopolitics.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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