Why are there limits

What are limits? © sdu

There are many different types of boundaries. There are geographical and cultural boundaries between countries, cities and parts of the country. And there are social, linguistic and ethnic boundaries within societies.

What are limits? This is a simple question that is difficult to answer. Boundaries define an area and they demarcate one area from another. The German-Danish border thus identifies what is Danish and what is German territory. Without a doubt, it is the state borders that are primarily thought of when the word "border" is used, but this does not cover the term. Borders also go all over the place within the individual countries, but also within the individual people.

The German philosopher Emmanuel Kant (1724-1804) played a key role in shaping the theoretical and humanistic definition of a limit. He made a number of philosophical reflections on boundaries, between human experiences and ideas, between reason and religion, and morals and ethics. His empirical and moral philosophy was decisive for the development of the humanistic sciences. Other important interfaces in individual humans are the questions about the boundary between life and death, humans and animals and between different religions - e.g. Christianity and Islam.

Geographical boundaries are more obvious than the philosophical mental boundaries. Historically, the borders have often followed natural areas. These can be rivers, mountains, forests, swamps, deserts, fairways and the like. It should be noted here that rivers, lakes and other fairways are now considered "natural" borders, while it used to be the other way around. They were something that made people bond because they were easier to transport over water than over land. On the other hand, forests and mountains were important borders, because the passages were often difficult and dangerous.

There is also a connection between cultural and geographical boundaries in a landscape. The Königsau and the Eider serve as examples. Although both rivers were transport routes, they also demarcated areas from one another. The Königsau divided Schleswig and North Jutland and the Eider divided Schleswig and Holstein.

In the past, local boundaries between villages were of great importance. Until the 19th century, many villages lived an almost independent life and the world of the population went up to the city limits. Of course there were connections to the neighboring villages and the next big city, but the contacts were few and rare. There were also few close contacts regionally. Up until the 19th century there was almost no marriage over the Elbe or the Eider. It was also not possible for Funen to marry Jutes or people from Schleswig to marry people from North Jutland.

Internally in society there were also a number of social boundaries. There were differences between the classes - peasants, burghers, nobility and clergy. These differences played an important role for centuries and marriages between people of different classes were rare. In the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, during the national conflicts in the German-Danish border region, the interests of the estates gained importance in the relationship. During industrialization in the second half of the 19th century, workers in the Schleswig cities were more concerned with the class than with the national conflicts.

Language borders have always been of great importance for the delimitation of the areas. But there is no question of static limits. In the German-Danish border region, the languages ​​traditionally were Danish, German and Frisian. In addition, Low Danish and Low German, as an overlapping language in the border area. In the 18th century, the German-Danish language border supposedly ran on a line between Schleswig and Husum, while Frisian was spoken on the islands and on the west coast. At the end of the 19th century, the language border was roughly at the level of today's state border and the Frisian language area had almost disappeared.

Religious borders are characteristic of many areas, but in the region of Schleswig-Holstein and southern Denmark they had almost no meaning. The population was predominantly Protestant and there were few Catholics, Jews or Muslims. Accordingly, there were only a few ethnic borders in the region, as most of them were of Germanic descent. Religious and ethnic boundaries are clearer today than they were then, as many immigrant groups have settled in the area.

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