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With Halloween right around the corner, the Salem Witch trials loom large in the collective American psyche. While many emphasize the supernatural and the scandalous, this Maps 101 podcast (based on the article written by Julie Dixon and yours truly) gives the geographic and historic context to understand the tragedy of the 1692 witch trials.
Tags: seasonal, historical, colonialism.
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The outbreak of the Salem Witch Trials really are really something that produces many questions. Perhaps the most obvious question is why did these trials happen all of a sudden? A community largely based off of agriculture produces an atmosphere of superstition. This can be seen in the events that led up to the Salem witch trials. With the land barely producing enough to sustain the town, people look for a scapegoat to blame. Neighbors turned on neighbors in order to obtain more land claiming that each other were witches. It is interesting to see that in a time of crisis one can a helping hand is not always the popular choice; as seen in the Salem Witch Trials the opposite extreme is taken place.
The Pentagon has upset patriots by labeling the body of water between Korea and Japan in an exhibition depicting various battles fought during the 1950-53 Korean War as "Sea of Japan" rather than "East Sea."
Earlier this week I posted on whether a group of islands off the coast of Argentina should be called the Falkland Islands or Las Malvinas. There is some geopolitical significance to which name you ascribe to particular places. Does it matter if I call the sea to the east of the Korean Peninsula the "East Sea" and if someone else refers to this same body of water west of Japan the "Sea of Japan?" For many years the Sea of Japan has been the defacto name internationally and South Korean officials have lobbied (quite successfully) to bolster the legitimacy of the name within the media, publishers and cartographers and other governments. Last summer, a worker in the South Korean government's Ministry of Foreign Affairs requested that I share some resources that state South Korea's position(see also this 10 minute video), showing their commitment to this rebranding effort. Also see this GeoCurrents article on the subject in 2012, after South Korea's failed attempt to get international recognition.
Questions to Ponder: What other places have multiple names? What are the political overtones to the name distinctions? What are other tricky places on the map where distinct groups would label/draw things differently? Is the map an 'unbiased' source of information?
Tags: language, toponyms, South Korea, historical, colonialism, cartography.
I agree with Peter Kim and others that are fighting to have the name changed to the East Sea. The term "Sea of Japan" was used in colonial times of South Korea. Now that those times are long gone, it I can understand why South Korea would want to get rid of anything related to that time period. This actually reminds of something that I'm going over in my colonial history class; the Pueblo Revolt (1680). During this time Indians revolted against the Spanish colonizers oppressing them and taking away their traditions, forcibly converting them to Christianity. During their revolt the Indians destroyed many of the Spanish institutions, especially those related to religion. They destroyed churches and even defaced the statues of the saints, and returned to their traditional practices.
This article also reminded of Sri Lanka changing the its colonial name on Government institutions from Ceylon to Sri Lanka. This happened not to long ago. The Island's colonial name (Ceylon) was dropped when they became their own country in 1972. However, the name Ceylon remained on many of the Government institutions (e.g. Bank of Ceylon or Ceylon Fisheries Corporation). However, in 2010 the name was dropped for good.
An infographic of the etymology and cultural origins of the names that made the United States of America.
I would dispute the accuracy of some of the alleged linguistic origins of the state names, so take this with a grain of salt (still it's a clever concept for an inforgraphic and shows some interesting patterns). As with all long infographics on this site, you can "scroll down" on the image by putting the cursor in the top right-hand corner of the image and sliding on the translucent bar.
Tags: language, USA, infographic, toponyms, historical, colonialism.
The Names Behind The States | @scoopit via @APHumanGeog http://sco.lt/...
Of all the changes announced by the 2011 census, one of the most startling is the rapid change in the ethnic composition of London's population.
The fact the immigrants moving to the UK have flocked to London is not surprising (View a map of the census data). Immigration isn't the only component to this situation. White Britons are also leaving London in large number, prompting some to refer to this as "White Flight." Today, white Britons are no longer the majority population within London (but still the largest ethnic group). Some feel that this story has gone underreported and deserves more analysis. What elements of human geography should an observer of this situation use in their analysis?
Tags: ethnicity, London, migration, census, urban.
The most surprising piece of information in this article is that white Britons are leaving London because of the minorities that are moving in. As of 2013 only 59.9% of London was white, meaning that the miniorities are taking over Ethnic part of London much faster then first anticipated.
This map might appear to be completely trivial and it probably is. Still, there are interesting historical and colonial patterns that can be seen in this technological culture region map.
Questions to Ponder: Will there one day be a single format? When? What are barrier to that happening? What does this tell us about the extent of globalization?
You can map ANYTHING!!!
This map is interesting because it shows where the former British Empire had its influences , especially in British-Africa territories. The only four countries that use the light blue are all in the southern hemisphere as the article points out, and the American model can be largely seen in the western hemisphere, However, there is the American model in Saudi Arabia. It seems that the rest of the world uses the light green or the dark green models.
Find out how the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Native Americans celebrated the first Thanksgiving together at Plymouth Plantation.
Thanksgiving is right around the corner and this is a great resource with videos, primary documents, virtual field trips and lesson plans for all grades, K-12. Students can see aspects of lifestyles, housing types and economic activies of both the Pilgrims and the Wampanoags. For more resources about the Mayflower and the historically re-enacted village, see the Plimoth Plantation website.
Tags: K12, seasonal, historical, colonialism, virtual tours.
Rising numbers of people of Indian origin born in the West are moving to the country their parents left decades ago in search of opportunity and a cultural connection, reports the BBC's Rajini Vaidyanathan.
Since 2005, the Indian government has been encouraging people of Indian descent and former Indian nationals to return to India. For many Indians living in the UK, there are more and better economic opportunities for them within India. Migrants have many reasons for moving (including cultural factors), but the primary pull factor is most certainly India's ascendant importance in the global economy and rising IT industries.
Tags: India, South Asia, migration, immigration, Europe, colonialism, unit 2 population.
There is a rising number of Indian origin born in the west that are moving back to India. One reason would be India's economy is growing faster then the US and England's. India has many more opportunities for new wealth and it is attracting the young entrepreneurs as well. Another reason they are moving back is for cultural connection that they are not recieving where they are now. Many have said that they are looked at as different and not accepted and that is why they want to go back to India, so that they feel that acceptance.
Below street level in Mexico City, archaeologists have found a jumble of bones dating to the 1480s.
In the 1970s, construction workers unearthed numerous archaeological finds as the subway was being constructed. The Mexican government decided to clear the several block of old colonial buildings to reveal the Templo Mayor, the ancient Aztec religious center. Not coincidentally, the Spaniards built their religious center in the same place. During the colonial era, the indigenous residents who spoke Spanish in Mexico City still referred to this portion of the city as la pirámide. Today more finds such as this one are continuing to help us piece together the past of this immensely rich, multi-layered place filled with symbolic value.
Tags: Mexico, LatinAmerica, historical, images, National Geographic, colonialism, place and culture.
This is so interesting! When you think about Mexico today we often think only about the drugs and wars and mass poverty that has consumed much of it. To think abou the true history of Meixco from the Aztecs that we are still unearthing today and learning from is amazing. Things like this helps us learn so much more about the past and tie things together.
I think it's always awesome when something like this is discovered about the ancient Aztecs or Mayans. It portrays to us a picture of a complex society and culture much like the European society during that time. Their cities were massive, with a population of over 100,000 at one time (greater than the city of London or any other European city). I especially liked the picture of the artists recreation of the Aztec city. It's no wonder why the Spaniards were in awe when they came upon the city of the Aztecs. It was interesting to look at the religious sacrifcing aspect of the society. It was this aspect that the Spaniards and other colonizers used to justify their killing of them. Pagan sacrifices were seen as most unholy and barbaric. However, it is forgotten that the Spanish were doing the same thing during the Spanish Inquisition. So, perhaps the only thing that separated these two societies was techonolgy rather than cultures.
As morbid as this is, I love learning about the Aztec culture and the fact that they discovered so many bones here makes me infinitely more curious about what is buried under the rest of the city and how well it may be preserved.
Browse the timeline of war and conflict across the globe.
This database of global wars and conflicts is searchable through space and time. You can drag and click both the map and timeline to locate particular battles and wars, and then read more information about that conflict. This resource would be a great one to show students and let them explore to find what they see as interesting. This site is brimming with potential.
The story behind the the International Date Line.
Not too long ago (Jan. 2012), the arbitrary International Date Line (roughly opposite the Prime Meridian) was moved to better accommodate the regional networks and economic geography of the area straddling the line. American Samoa, although politically aligned with the United States, was functionally more integrated on the Asian side of the Pacific Rim when it came to their trade partners and their tourism base. Dynamic economic networks, political allegiances and cultural commonalities create a beautifully complex situation near this 'border.'
It made sense for American Samoa to ask for the move even though it is US territory. It is more closely linked with the economies of the China, Japan, Australia, New Zeland and South Korea. For them to all be on the same day just makes sense. You can coordinate things better if everyone is on the same day, financial markets and be in line when the trading day starts and ends. Seems to me to make sense that they are on the same day as their main economic partners.
This line clearly needs to be redrawn. It just does not make sense that it could be monday in one area and tuesday 50 miles directly south of it. While the new dateline does not necessarily have to be perfectly straight, it should at least not go directly horizontal as it does now. Whoever lies on the line must deal with whatever place they have been placed in, and not complain.
My class examined this and we agree that it makes sense that American Samoa would want to be those they do business with like Asia, Australia and New Zealand. ALthough American Samoa is a US territory, it definately does more business with the countries who are nearby and therefore they should be pushed to the other side of the dateline.
The weird, violent history of the Indo-Pakistani border.
Geography rarely makes sense without the added lens of history. This fantastic article chonicles the history of the geopolitical conflict between India and Pakistan, centering on the disputed Kashmir region. This border is tied into colonial, cultural, political and religious layers of identity. As one of the great unresolved issues of the colonial era, this standoff may loom large as India becomes increasingly significant on the global scale.
This article chonicles the history of the conflict between India and Pakistan, focusing on the disputed Kashmir region. The violence over the border is spurred by religion and political issues. But with India increasingly becoming bigger in a global scale what does that mean for this conflict with Pakistani?
Colonialism rears its ugly head again, this time not in Africa but in India/Pakistan..but with the same result. Borders drawn arbitrarily did not work in Africa, nor did it work in India. It just casues the people there to try and work out and fix problems that the former colonial rulers casued. They tried here to do it so that there was a land for the Muslim population to have a nation on the subcontinent and not subject to Hindu majority rule. However Britain never looked at what would happen with a area that had a Hindu leader with a Muslim population. He wanted to be independant, but the Muslim population wanted to go to Pakistan, so he went to India for help...sound confusing..it is..much like the Northern Ireland/UK/Republic of Ireland debate..there is no easy answer and it looks like we have to try to fix colonialism's problems again.
Like a detective at a crime scene, chief language inspector Antons Kursitis scans the lobby of a hotel in downtown Riga. He spots a brochure that lists hotel services in Russian only, a flagrant violation of Latvia's language laws.
"Protecting the Latvian language — that is, safeguarding its supremacy over Russian — has been a priority here since the Soviet occupation ended two decades ago. Those efforts face their biggest test yet on Saturday, in a referendum on whether to make Russian the country's second official language." What historical, political and demographic factors shape this cultural issue of language? Why is language often seen as so crucial to cultural identity?
The Latvian voters have spoken: in a massive voter turn-out, they struck down the referendum that sought to make Russian an official language. "Latvia is the only place throughout the world where Latvian is spoken, so we have to protect it," said Martins Dzerve, 37, in Riga, Latvia's capital. "But Russian is everywhere." For more on the vote, see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17083397
How Facebook connections mirror old empires EIGHT years ago Facebook launched as an online social network connecting a small college community from a dorm room at Harvard University.
These graphics show how in a post-colonial world, former colonies are still socially intertwined in a cultural network that mirrors the empires of yesteryear. Why are these modern social networks so similar to imperial patterns? What economic explanations are there for these patterns? What is the cultural impact?
"This Geography News Network Article podcast is an historical description of Christopher Columbus's role in discovering the Americas."
Scholars Online Videos feature top scholars answering a specific question in his or her field of expertise. These brief and informative videos are designed to supplement the Choices Program curricula.
In this Scholar's Online video, Jennifer Fluri briefly answers this question: How has Afghanistan's geography affected its history? This video nicely shows how contested international disputes have geographic dimensions to them. The very borders of Afghanistan were created out of geopolitical maneuverings.
Tags: Afghanistan, borders, political, culture, Central Asia, historical, colonialism.
about The Middle East and frontiers: a short video to better understand this country's history.
If you take a look back at history, the only people to ever sucessfully conquer Afghanistan were the Mongols. The rugged, mountainous terrain made this plac hard to live in and hard to control. The Mongols were a very mobile people and were able to control the area by aslo being very tolerant of the natives. Eventually it bacame hard to notice the difference between a Mongol and a native Afghan, they assimilated the Mongols.
Africa may have achieved independence, but the old colonial ties are still important as France’s decision to send troops to Mali to fight Islamist extremists shows.
This is a very intriguing infographic (download high-resolution image here). How are old colonial patterns a thing of the past? How do old colonial patterns continue to affect the African continent?
Tags: Africa, states, language, infographic, historical, colonialism.
In the literall sense these colonial powers are no more. All theses countries have theire own form of indepenece and many have o officall ties to their mother countries. But what theses mother countries did to many of their colonies was cut them down at the knees where ther would need to continually rely on the mother for help or face damnation. These mother countries make alot of the commercial decsions for their previous colonial states and with that they hold the power to affect the whole nation.
January 19, 2013—The West African nation of Mali is making headlines after a wave of French military actions on Islamic extremist groups now controlling the northern part of the country. National Geographic Senior Writer Peter Gwin has...
This 6-minute video clip is a good way to help students understand the ethnic and geopolitical context of the Mali conflict. What impact did the superimposed borders of colonialism have in creating the conflict?
Tags: Mali, Africa, borders, political, conflict, war, colonialism, National Geographic.
La crisi propera no es deixa fer prou atenció als canvis geopolítics a l' Africa.
This classic Geography in the News by Neal Lineback has been re-released on his Lineback World View site. This is an excellent lesson for K-12 educators to prepare their students to understand the historic and geographic context of Thanksgiving.
Britain has invaded all but 22 countries in the world in its long and colourful history, new research has found.
This is a great map to show the historical impact of colonialism on the world map. The map is based on the work in the new book All the Countries We've Ever Invaded: And the Few We Never Got Round To.
Tags: book reviews, colonialism, war, historical, UK.
The British have done this in reality, in the physical world, in space and time... but perhaps the Chinese have done this in our minds! Everything our country trades for has parts made in China. We simply can't live without these things that may be invented in the US, and designed in the US, but assembled in China.... China has a name for itself, and they're playing a game of Monopoly. They have hotels on Board walk and Park place, and they're eating us alive... I've conferred with politicians, who say that they're on the verge of turning their hidden empire into a physical one, and going from simple monetary domination to war. They outnumber the US, and have better technology, and evidently more skill and products. Not much to say about that, but if they learn from the mistakes of the British, the Chinese could really create a truly elite empire that could outlast any other in human history... But really, if they include American/Chinese cuisine in their menu, I'm sold at General Tao's chicken... Go China!
When African states gained independence, the continent's new leaders agreed to respect the old colonial borders to avoid endless wars.
This interactive map shows the major conflicts on the African continent where the combatants have geopolitical aspirations to separate from the state and create a new, autonomous state. Click on the red arrows and you can read about the warring factions and the current situation in that region.
Tags: political, governance, Africa, unit 4 political, war, conflict, states, colonialism.
Fascinating interactive map looking at the separatist movements in Africa.
It seems as though African countries are actually trying to go back to their pre-colonial boundaries. The agreement they made to respect the old colonial borders to avoid war has never been effective.
TED Talks A clay cylinder covered in Akkadian cuneiform script, damaged and broken, the Cyrus Cylinder is a powerful symbol of religious tolerance and multi-culturalism.
At first glance this TED Talk appears to be more about ancient history, archaeology and biblical studies that anything modern. Yet as Neil MacGregor, the Director of the British Museum continues his discussion of the Cyrus Cylinder (A clay cylinder covered in Akkadian cuneiform script), it becomes clear that this historical artifact is vital in understanding how modern states conceive of their heritage, cultural legacy and role within the Middle East today (such as Israel, Iraq, Iran and even the U.K.). As such the Cyrus Cylinder is a powerful symbol of religious tolerance and multi-culturalism and plays a role in shaping Middle Eastern cultural and political institutions.
Neil MacGregor, the Director of the British Museum, explains Middle Eastern history using the Cyrus Cylinder. His first point in this TED talk is especially interesting because he explains that people age and perish and objects do the same, but objects such as this cylinder survive and are able to tell important stories of history for a much longer time than people normally can.
"The AFRITERRA Foundation is a non-profit Cartographic Library and Archive assembling and preserving the original rare maps of Africa in a definitive place for education and interpretation. This unique cartographic galleries links art, technology, and history." The Afriterra Foundation connects people to the land, history, heritage and legacy of Africa.
Discover the number of countries participating in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. Find out which countries are not participating in the Olympic Games and learn which non-countries are participating as well.
204 countries are participating in the Olympics? There aren't even 204 countries in the world! This article looks at the political geography of international recognition. One interesting case not discussed in the article is that of Taiwan. Taiwan is participating, but marched under a non-Taiwanese flag under the name Chinese Taipei because the IOC wanted the mainland Chinese to return to the games. Also, South Sudan, Kosovo and the Vatican are not participating (although pondering them competing, especially the Vatican, is something that deeply amuses me). Another intriguing thought: how many of the participants were former British colonies? There are more classroom resources based on the Olympics from the GA.
This is a tremendous resources for understanding the historical geography of the Ancient Roman Empire and the transportation network. Using ORBIS you can simulate travel logistics in the pre-modern era. The differences between the fastest, cheapest and shortest routes between any two given locations can be very telling about the geographic factors impacting transportation.
This chilling documentary outlines the historical genocide of Tutsi people predominantly by Hutu's in Rwanda during 1994. So often, students who have always lived within a society with effective political institutions are unable to see how such atrocities could even happen. This video lays the groundwork for understanding the disintegration of political institution within Rwanda, reasons the international community underestimated the threat, why the UN in 1994 (after Somalia) was not prepared to use forceful action and why westerners fled. In this state of lawlessness, the cultural tensions and colonial legacy lead to horrific killings. This genocide has no one reason, but a complex set of geographic contexts. This would be a powerful video to show students. WARNING: considering the content, there are necessarily depictions of death. To learn more about the documentary, see: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/ghosts/
while watching this video i was reminded of the very good film Hotel Rwanda, starring Don Cheadle. The only difference is while Hotel Rwanda is based on a ture story, this is a real life look at what was hapening in this area. It was sad to see hwat was happening and all I could wonder was why no one decided to hel pthem.