THE CENTRAL FOCUS of political geography is best understood from the point of view of the twin concepts of territory and territoriality. Neither of these can be understood apart from each other. In order to talk of territory, 1 must talk of territoriality and vice versa. The word has possible roots in the Latin terratorium meaning “earth,” and terrere, meaning “to frighten.” As such, we can think of territorium as signifying a space from which people are warned off. References to territory as an administrative term occurred in the 15th century when it was used to refer to the land of a ruler and to the political hinterland of cities. By the 17th century, usage expanded to include regions with undefined boundaries. This usage continued into the American experience with the conception of nonself- governing territories under the control of a central government. What joins all of these uses is the sense of territories as spaces that are categorized, mapped, and controlled. Using this perspective as a foundation, it is possible to define territory as a general term describing areas of land or sea over which states or other political entities claim to exercise some form of control. There are many definitions of the concept of territory. Seen from the eyes of a city planner, a territory is an area that is subject to zoning in the planning process. From a political angle, it is that extension of land that forms a political district or belongs to an institutional organization (city, parish, province, region, nation, state). In each case, the reply to the question must consider a number of geophysical factors that impose clear limits to its dimensions. Islands, peninsulas, the lack of water creating a desert area, huge rivers, tall mountains, etc., play important roles in both dividing and defining areas. In other cases, history gives a meaning to a territory without the existence of visible borders. In other situations, institutional divisions may be critical in establishing limits to an area even if done so artificially. And in others still, economic factors (central market, single-crop economies, raw materials), social factors (a specific community organization), political factors (1 capital city, location of administrative centers) and cultural factors (a different language, own customs) may have been at work individually or collectively in establishing the limits to territories. Generally speaking, it is the combination of several or all of these factors that bestows a certain personality on a territory and differentiates it from its neighbors; it becomes a place. Although a territory can thus be defined and demarked as a place, it is important to remember that territories can and do change. First, a territory is not a fixed data point and is constantly undergoing changes, including changes that take place with its boundaries. Second, because its inhabitants use it, they give it a specific personality that evolves over time and is reflected historically. And third, although there are common features that are identifiable throughout, they generally become blurred the farther they are away from the core. The term territorial, on the other hand, is of more recent development and implies a much stronger behavioral connection between control and space. Territorial behavior, or territoriality, requires territory to be definitively bounded and exclusive. It is this understanding of territoriality as a strategic undertaking that parallels the emphasis on exclusive and monopolistic control over territory in conventional understandings of state sovereignty. From this perspective, we can define territoriality as an attempt by an individual or group to influence or establish control over a clearly demarcated territory.