Where Does Border Security Come From?

Border security is a modern concern which involves biosecurity, terrorism, crime and immigration issues. However, the origins of border security can be traced back to thousands of years ago, when tribes and armies battled for territory, resulting in the nation-state and security that comes with keeping people in a country safe.

Borders, Biosecurity and Smugglers

Even tribes from thousands of years ago administered their own forms of border security when people from other communities came through their territory. This was in the way of a warning or an all-out attack, depending on relations between the tribes. Diplomacy is more formal today, but there are still many conflicts happening all over the world, which require constant patrols of borders.

Modern control of biosecurity issues also had its roots in interactions between foreign powers. For example, many kings and queens would often check their water for poison or were killed because of the spread of disease by other feudal authorities. This forced feudal armies to check for instances of infection and disease which could cripple their power.

Smugglers have also been around for thousands of years, and there are many examples of ships and horses and their riders being checked for smuggling, as many people tried to avoid paying taxes or contributions for the product they sold. They were also checked for contraband, which could threaten the power of an empire. For example, the Romans tried to ban symbols of Christianity, and people were subject to all kinds of punishments for practising their religion.

Borders have undoubtedly always played a role in the lives of people. Even without maps, it is possible that communities acted against others coming into their territory or punished foreign people who could threaten the dominant power at the time. These threats in the form of infections, smuggling and invasions contributed to the need for border security.