Social Studies - 2018-19

WG.18 a - Political Divisions

The student will apply social science skills to analyze how forces of conflict and cooperation affect the division and control of Earth’s surface by 

a) explaining and evaluating reasons for the creation of different political divisions;

(moved from WG.10)

Adopted: 2015


Theme: Conflict & Cooperation

How do political divisions affect the way we live and interact?

How do political divisions unite and divide us?

The world is divided into many political regimes
Local, national, and regional governments control aspects of life within the boundaries of the unit


Political divisions or jurisdictions are regions of Earth’s surface over which groups of people establish social, economic, and political control. 

Political divisions may generate conflict. 

Political divisions may generate cooperation. 


Examples of political divisions 

  • Neighborhoods 
  • Election districts 
  • School districts 
  • Regional districts (e.g., waste disposal, conservation districts, planning districts, zip code zones) 
  • Cities 
  • Counties 
  • States 

Reasons for political divisions

  • Desire for government closer to home 
  • Need to solve local problems 
  • Need to administer resources more efficiently 

Reasons for conflict 

  • Boundary disputes
  • Cultural differences 
  • Economic differences
  • Competition for scarce resources 

Reasons for cooperation 

  • Natural disasters
  • Economic advantages (attract new businesses)
  • Cultural similarities, ethnic neighborhoods
  • Addressing regional issues (e.g., waste management, magnet schools, transportation)


Updated: Jun 13, 2018