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In stunning decision, Britain votes to leave the E.U.

In stunning decision, Britain votes to leave the E.U. | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The country opted to become the first ever to leave the 28-member bloc in a result that will send economic and political shockwaves across the globe.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The foundations of the European Union have their historical roots in World War II.  To ensure that European countries stop attacking each other, they knit their economies together and cooperated more on political and economic policies.   

The UK has narrowly voted to leave the European Union (52%-48%).  The Brexit (Britain + Exit) was expected to be close, but shows discontent with London.  The ‘Remain’ campaign dominated in London, Scotland and Northern Ireland while the ‘Leave’ campaign found its strength across England and Wales (see maps). 

The fallout of this vote is big and far-reaching.  The first global reaction was financial panic as numerous stock exchanges plummeted.  UK Prime Minister David Cameron will resign.  Already Spain is calling for joint control of Gibraltar (which they’ve wanted anyway) and using this as an opportunity to advance a Spanish agenda.  Many in Scotland chose to stay in the UK in part because they wanted Scotland to remain in the EU.  Another referendum on Scottish Independence feels eminent at this point.       

Still confused?  Here are answers to 9 frequently asked questions about the Brexit as well as a good overview from on the economic issues from the Economist.

   

Tags: Europe, supranationalism, economic, political.

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How New Countries Gain Independence

"Secession movements seem to be everywhere: from the Kurds in Iraq, to pro-Russian Ukrainian separatists, to Scotland's aim to break up the UK. How does secession actually happen? Let's look back to South Sudan's successful secession effort to see exactly how new countries gain independence."

Seth Dixon's insight:

What does it take to actually secede from a country?  This video takes the example of South Sudan to highlight the necessary requirements to successfully secede and then gain full independence. 


Tags: South Sudanpolitical, sovereignty, Africastates, unit 4 political.

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Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, October 14, 2014 4:27 AM

How New Countries Gain Independence

Norka McAlister's curator insight, February 23, 2015 7:06 PM

For a region to be able to succeed as an independent country, it must fulfill a series of requirements. In the case of Catalonia, Spain, it is far from what citizens in that area want to pursue, even when Catalonia is one of the richer regions in Spain. There are many factors that inhibit Catalonia from achieving its status as an independent country such as economic, political and cultural issues. With Spain’s current economy, it would be almost impossible for Catalonia to support itself as its own nation. In addition, if Catalonia gains its independence from Spain, it would not be able to be a part of the United Nations (UN). Language would prove as another obstacle for Catalonia as their combination of French and Spanish is not the official dialect of the region. Cultural assimilation would be difficult as Catalonians would have to transition and adapt Spain’s vascos and gallegos to a version of their own. However, centripetal forces in Catalonian citizens unify them as strong communicators within their region in order for them to promote and retain their distinct cultural identity.

As the video emphasizes how to gain independence; Catalonia does not qualify to achieve independence as it fails to meet some of the characteristics such as an “established group, marginalization, [and] economic stability.” However, as Spain’s economy begins to weaken, Catalonian citizens can take this opportunity to work towards their goal as being an independent entity from Spain

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Scottish Independence

"Scotland is about to vote on whether to secede from the UK. There are solid arguments on both sides."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Admittedly, this video is filled with stereotypes, bad words and a strong political bias all delivered in John Oliver's trademark style--it's also filled with incorrect statements which I hope most people can recognize as humor, but it captures college students' attention.  If, however, you are looking for a more insightful piece, I recommend Jeffrey Sach's article titled "The Price of Scottish Independence," or this summary of the 9 issues that would confront an independent Scotland.  Independence in Europe today doesn't mean what it used to, and this vote will be fascinating regardless of the outcome.    


Tags: devolution, supranationalism, politicalEurope, UK.

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Edelin Espino's curator insight, December 5, 2014 12:21 PM

I support Scotland independence! Mother England should understand the current Scotland need more freedom of speech and decisions. This a good example of a peacefully claim of independence, instead of the bloody war (remember England?). The video... Is too funny to take it seriously. 

Louis Mazza's curator insight, February 27, 2015 7:34 AM

Scotland is vying for its independence from the United Kingdom, becoming free from London and its own Country. Here john Oliver analyzes the issue and provides a decent background history while stabbing lots of jokes and puns into his commentary. So basically England and Scotland got into an arranged marriage as Oliver phrased it, forming the United Kingdom some 300 years ago. Oliver goes on to say Scotland got the bad end of the philosophical relationship, setting up reasons for Scotland ambition to possibly leave. For the last 2 ½ years there has been a campaign for this independence, where Scotts feel they can better run the country they live in. Scotland is a liberal country ran by the conservative country England. These are the reasons that set up this split.   

Edgar Manasseh Jr.'s curator insight, March 7, 2015 9:27 PM

This video is hilarious and John Oliver pokes fun at the Scottish, the little brother trying to lobby themselves for independence. Great video to watch hilarious, and also informative at the same time.

 

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Scotland's Decision

Scotland's Decision | Geography Education | Scoop.it
From Catalonia to Kurdistan, nationalist and separatist movements in Europe and beyond are watching the Scottish independence referendum closely.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This issue reverberates on many different scales.  As the video embedded in this article demonstrates,  Scotland's choice on September 18th would obviously impact the local region as some seek to use Scottish history as a rationale to reshape the current political and cultural identity of the region.  Some of the votes are already in and Scottish independence would not only have the potential to reshape the UK and EU, but it could also add some fervor to the various other separatist movements around the world, such as Catalonia.  


Tags: devolutionhistorical, supranationalism, political, states, sovereignty, autonomy, Europe, unit 4 political.

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Nancy Watson's curator insight, September 14, 2014 11:36 AM

Scotland, the site of nationalist and separatist movements, is one to watch as they vote. What the ramifications would be are yet to be seen

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 5, 2015 3:01 PM

It is interesting to see how globalization does as much to bring us together as it does to rip us apart. The exchange of ideas, goods, and people has hugely impacted the lives of everyday citizens and the nations that they call home, where divisions among people are felt more keenly as the competition in today's global economy grows stronger. Catalonia, the region that has done much to keep the economy of the Spanish nation afloat, and Catalans are eager to shed the "dead weight" they feel they are carrying; the Basque region has long since demanded its independence, and we have already seen the fracturing of the Balkans. In some instances, perhaps separation is for the best. However, I feel like these movements are the result of knee-jerk reactions to the current economic climate and deep, underlying hatreds that have no place in the current world order. Spain has been one nation for hundreds of years, as has the United Kingdom; to suddenly dissolve these unions in the name of century-long feuds seems not only unnecessary, but almost child-like. There is enough hatred in the world- why let us continue to divide amongst ourselves when history has shown that people in these regions can coexist and can consistently pull through these difficult periods. It is one thing to be proud of being Scottish- it is another to ignore the economic and political realities of what Scottish independence would bring for its people for the sake of this nationalist sentiment. I, for one, was relieved to see Scotland vote to remain a member of the UK. Separatist movements across the continent have been quieted, if only for another few years.

Raymond Dolloff's curator insight, December 15, 2015 1:16 AM

The Scottish vote for independence would have broken up a modern United Kingdom. Many Scottish folks feel that it is time to separate from a parent country where there are many other countries that are involved. Becoming independent is not an easy task. There has to be a vote and a strong position for those separatists to succeed in getting a victorious vote.

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No union, no pound, British official warns Scots backing independence

No union, no pound, British official warns Scots backing independence | Geography Education | Scoop.it
LONDON – Escalating the fight against secession, the British government warned Thursday that Scotland would lose the right to continue using the pound as its currency if voters there say yes to a historic referendum on independence this fall.


Osborne’s stark warning, delivered in a speech in Edinburgh, the Scottish capital, represented a new willingness by unionists to take a hard line in persuading Scottish voters to shun independence in a September plebiscite. A thumbs-up would end Scotland’s 307-year-old marriage to England and Wales and cause the biggest political shakeup in the British Isles since Ireland split from the British crown nearly a century ago.


Sturgeon predicted that “what the Treasury says now in the heat of the campaign would be very different to what they say after a democratic vote for independence, when common sense would trump the campaign rhetoric.”

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is an intriguing strategic move by the UK as Scotland considers  independence.  Some have argued that this move will backfire and push more Scottish voters into the "yes" camp.  In related news, the BBC reports that EU officials say that an independent Scotland would have a hard time joining the European Union.  


Tags: devolutionpolitical, states, sovereignty, autonomy, Europe, unit 4 political, currency, economic.
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Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 9:40 AM

The countries of Britain want their independence. Scotland uses the pound just like England and Wales but its being threatened that the government might take away that right to use that monetary system. 

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Little England: What's Left If Scotland Leaves?

Little England: What's Left If Scotland Leaves? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
What is more likely to happen first: Greece will leave the eurozone, or Scotland will leave the UK?


Although there is currently only about 30% of Scotland that would support independence, this is something that will be gaining importance.  The United Kingdom is a complex political entity, with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland connected with England.  The "divorce referendum" will be help on October 2014 to see if Scotland wishes to dissolve this union and many of the political and economic events throughout Europe will be seen through this prism, especially the Euro Zone crisis in southern European countries (e.g.-Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal).  The possibility that this might happen are small, but as the article stated, "not zero." 


Tags: devolution, supranationalism, political, states, sovereignty, autonomy, Europe, unit 4 political.

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Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, October 12, 2013 7:27 PM

Good for Scotland... as anyone that has watched Braveheart knows, all they need is Mel Gibson to fight for their independence, and they will surely win!  I know some people that play the bagpies, and I like the Scottish music better than much English music.  I don't know much about the UK, so I have little to guide me in favor or against Scotland declaring independence, but aw heck, why not...  The US declared independence, and it seemed to work out for them until... whenever...? forever? it depends on what you use as criteria to look at it...  But live and let live, let people do what they want, the only advice to that is not to let people harm others.  That way, true peace can be achieved.  Harmony, instead of harm.  So I would advocate for Scotland to wear women's clothing with turtle shells in their crotches and dance to celebrate their independence if that's what they want, as long as there are no epic battle sequences that precede or follow their dancing.  Don't be an elitist, open your eyes, the governments own your brothers and their lives... We must work to change this.

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, October 23, 2014 8:42 PM

I had the pleasure of actually meeting a couple from Scotland who was in favor of Scotland's independence. I asked them what they thought would happen to their relationship with England and the rest of the European union.  The woman told me that they were uncertain of what would happen exactly but it would still be worth the shot, that she was willing to risk it to just be Scotland, and the UK because she identified with Scotland.

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Devolution: A Beginner's Guide

Devolution: A Beginner's Guide | Geography Education | Scoop.it
What is devolution and how has it changed how Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are governed?

 

This article with videos, charts and images was designed as a primer for UK voters for the 2010 election to understand who devolution in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland were reshaping the political landscape in the United Kingdom.  It is general enough that even though it is outdated as a news story, it serves as a concrete example from geography students to understand the processes and reasons for a decentralization of political power.

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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 8, 2014 11:44 AM

The parliament in London is shifting more power to Scotland and other areas in what is called devolution.  This reflects a push for more independence of countries in the UK that are not England. In order to keep the UK together concessions must be made, this devolution is the British Parliament's efforts to keep the UK intact.

Miles Gibson's curator insight, February 11, 2015 9:30 AM

Unit 4 political geography 

This picture explains how devolution works and provides a specific example with the breaking down of power of the imperialist England and it's control into an equally represented United Kingdom. This is an example of devolution at it's best.

This picture relates to unit 4 because it shows how devolution, which is a major part of unit 4, works. It explains it's parts and gives specific geographic examples as in the U.K. this overall relates to unit 4.

Matthew Connealy's curator insight, March 22, 2015 4:04 PM

Devolution is the transfer of powers from a central government to more regional power, in this case, the UK. The UK devolved its powers to England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. These countries have had independent parliaments since 1997. Some "reserved powers" have not been devolved from the UK such as foreign affairs, military defense, international and  economic policies. This change of power has stirred questions on public spending and tax policies, and is still a debate and event to keep your eye on.

 

I feel that devolution has many benefits that outweigh the negative consequences such as money spending. Countries can function in a more independent manner and govern themselves within their defined boundaries in a more efficient way. This topic and article gives greater insight to our political unit and provides great insight for each country's respective parliament.

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Why England’s women’s soccer team won’t be playing at the 2016 Olympics

Why England’s women’s soccer team won’t be playing at the 2016 Olympics | Geography Education | Scoop.it
At the heart of the debate over whether Britain will field any soccer teams at the Olympics are questions about British identity, and which of Britons’ multiple identities gets priority.

The four constituent nations of the United Kingdom compete as individual teams in soccer tournaments such as the World Cup and the European Championship. But in the Olympics, the athletes must compete under the single banner of “Team GB.”

FIFA, the world governing body of soccer, said that Britain would need to submit a bid for the Olympics with the support of all four of the national soccer associations, but Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are against the idea. They think it would damage their prospects of retaining nation status within FIFA and their ability to compete as individual nations in other international tournaments.


Tags: UK, sport, political, identity, autonomy.

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Beautiful Physical Landscapes

"#TheRidge is the brand new film from Danny Macaskill... For the first time in one of his films Danny climbs aboard a mountain bike and returns to his native home of the Isle of Skye in Scotland to take on a death-defying ride along the notorious Cuillin Ridgeline."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I loved Danny Macaskill's earlier video in Scotland's cultural landscapes, and this extreme sports clip is infused with gorgeous physical landscapes.  


Tag: Scotland, sport, landscape.

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Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, October 6, 2014 5:37 AM

Beautiful Physical Landscapes

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, October 19, 2014 7:37 PM

Engage boys with Landforms and Landscapes - intro video!

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Scottish Independence: New flag for UK?

Scottish Independence: New flag for UK? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Members of the Flag Institute have created designs for what the Union Flag could look like in the event of independence
Seth Dixon's insight:

I've already posted various links this week on Scottish independence and what it might mean, but I think these two are also worth considering.  Flags are the great icons of state identity, and a UK without Scotland might reconsider it iconography.  This links to an article from the Telegraph and a photogallery with 12 'candidate flags' for a UK that does not include Scotland.  Why might some resist the idea of creating a new national symbol?


Tags: devolutionhistorical, political, states, sovereignty, autonomy, Europe, unit 4 political, UK.

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Jason Schneider's curator insight, February 12, 2015 6:03 PM

The UK flag is known for representing a union between England and Scotland. It's known as the "Union Jack." The white on the UK flag represents peace peace and honesty and the blue represents loyalty and truth. It's a shame that those two colors have to change to Black and Yellow which I don't know what those colors would represent. If you put a Scottish flag with a UK flag, you won't find any yellow or black so I believe that Scotland is trying to exclude England and Scotland's alike colors such as blue and white and try to create a stronger equal union with England.

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Why Paris doesn't want a Scottish Yes

Why Paris doesn't want a Scottish Yes | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Nothing unites different nations quite like mutual enemies. But the 'Auld Alliance' between Scotland and France - both historic rivals of England - doesn't mean that the French government favours Scottish independence. Far from it."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Historically, France has supported greater autonomy or independence as a way to limit English political power and influence.  However in the era of the E.U. and greater regional integration, modern geopolitics makes this old alliance untenable as some in Scotland are seeking independence from the United Kingdom.  

 

Tags: devolutionhistorical, supranationalism, political, states, sovereignty, autonomy, Europe, unit 4 political, geopolitics.

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Kevin Barker's curator insight, August 19, 2014 8:59 AM

I was surprised to listen to the affection that Scotland and France have towards each other but I wasn't surprised to hear France's concerns about the further division of countries within the EU.  What is it about the independence of Scotland that causes the French government to be concerned?

MsPerry's curator insight, August 25, 2014 3:30 PM

APHG-Unit 4

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, October 14, 2014 1:50 PM

Even though in past years France and Scotland have been friendly and wanted the best for each other, Scottish independence is not on the list of things to do for France.  They have good blood together, sharing foods, music and alcohol at festivals there is no need to worry about any hatred happening even if the French does not back Scotland's independence.  While some think that France would think that areas like Brittany and Corsica would want independence from France that is not the reason.  To keep checks and balances in place a strong United Kingdom is needed to keep Germany in line.  With the independence of Scotland, the UK gets a little bit weaker and France is not okay with that.

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Eastern and Western Europe divided over gay marriage, homosexuality

Eastern and Western Europe divided over gay marriage, homosexuality | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Recent developments in Croatia and Scotland highlight a stark divide between Eastern and Western Europe on the topic of same-sex marriage.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Regions are fluid constructs that we use to think about places.  The region that we think of today as "Latin America" would not have been a discrete region 600 years ago since historical events have shaped the geographic evolution of the attributes of the region and the borders of world regions will continue to be redrawn.  Some have recently argued that since the end of the Cold War, the monikers Eastern and Western Europe are less meaningful in an economic context.   This map shows this old division can still be seen in this cultural/political context.  Some have argued that Russia's recent move against gay rights is a geopolitical strategy to differentiate themselves from the West. 


TagsEurope, regions.

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Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 16, 2014 6:14 PM

Of course everyone has their different views on gay marriage. It is always a topic that gets a lot of discussion and debate. This map highlights a divide between Eastern and Western Europe on the issue of same-sex marriage. In Western Europe, many nations have made same-sex marriage legal. However, other nations are opposing to such actions. According to this map, the darkest blue represents the highest percentage of people in each country who agree with same-sex marriage. As the shades of blue get lighter, this represents less and less people who believe in same-sex marriage. According to a survey taken in May of 2013, Spain, Belgium, Germany, and The Netherlands were in strong agreement for gay marriage. Relatively few people in Poland and Hungary were supportive of same-sex marriage. The cross-continental divide has led to talk about whether the Netherlands might grant asylum to gay and lesbian Russians seeking to escape that country’s anti-homosexual “propaganda” law. This was a measure passed this past June by a 436-0 vote in the Russian parliament.

Jason Schneider's curator insight, February 12, 2015 6:19 PM

It makes sense that the western side of Europe agree that homosexuals should have their rights because I believe that since most of the eastern part the United States passed the laws of same-sex marriage, it was able to spread overseas directly towards Europe. However, homosexual rights agreement have yet to spread throughout the eastern side of Europe. According to rt.com, 85% of Russia's population are against homosexuality. So with that being said, homosexuality freedom is agreed mostly in the United States/Atlantic Ocean/Western Europe range.

Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 6, 2015 9:55 AM

This map shows the different degrees of acceptance of homosexuality among European countries. Just by looking at the map, you can see that there is a clear divide between Western and Eastern European thoughts on homosexuality. Western European countries seem to be much more accepting and tolerant of homosexuality than their Eastern counterparts. 

 

This speaks to two major factors that divide Europe in general: religion and politics. Many of the countries that have low tolerance for homosexuality are former parts of the USSR. Having been formerly aligned with the strict and intolerant ideologies of Communism, it is not surprising that these countries would not accept homosexuality or support gay marriage. Though the West is certainly not a paragon of tolerance itself, it can at least be seen as more tolerant relative to the former Soviet Socialist Republics. Therefore, it is not a stretch to imagine that they may be more accepting of homosexuality than those former members of the USSR. Eastern Europe is also an area largely dominated by Orthodox Christianity, a stricter form of Christianity than what one would find in the Protestant denominations of the West. Some Western European countries also have large atheist populations. This is not to say that atheists are automatically more accepting, but to assume some correlation between tolerance and a rejection of moral governance by religion would not be unreasonable. So though this map shows only how different countries stand on the acceptance of homosexuality, it can also be used to show the religious and political divides that exist within Europe. 

 

 

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Silly placenames: welcome to Dull, twinned with Boring

Silly placenames: welcome to Dull, twinned with Boring | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Yes, there really are villages called Dull and Boring. But if you lived in one of them, would you see the joke?

 

In the greatest toponym pairing of all time, Dull (Scotland) is now the sister city to Boring (Oregon).  That's a match made in Yawnsville.  And yes, there are more scandalous toponyms also discussed in the article. 

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Video: "Way Back Home"

"Way Back Home is the incredible new riding clip from Danny MacAskill, it follows him on a journey from Edinburgh back to his hometown Dunvegan, in the Isle of Skye"

Seth Dixon's insight:

This extreme sports clip is infused with gorgeous physical landscapes and marvelously quaint, iconic cultural landscapes (and I love the music).  This is one of my favorite videos, and in my based-paced geography videos collection.  


Tag: Scotland, sport, landscape.

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