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Rise and Fall of the Ottoman Empire

Rise and Fall of the Ottoman Empire | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it

"Animated GIF map chronicling the rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire." 


Tags: empire, devolution, Middle East, borders, historical, map.


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Jared Medeiros's curator insight, March 29, 3:54 PM

A cool interactive that shows the landscape of the rise and fall of a powerful empire.  The Ottoman Empire had itself a decent run lasting more than 500 years, which is longer than The U.S. has been around.  Interesting to see the sprawl of the Empire and to see how certain areas were obtained and lost multiple times.  It looks like the European colonization of African countries really regressed the Empires power hold there.

Claudia Patricia Parra's curator insight, April 3, 9:48 AM

añada su visión ...

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, April 7, 9:08 PM

It was amazing to see the start of the Ottoman empire and the rise over a couple of hundred years.  Then you see the green recede and its amazing it shrinks down to nothing.  All you have left is Turkey.  Once a prosperous empire, it no longer exists.  

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Scottish Independence: New flag for UK?

Scottish Independence: New flag for UK? | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
Members of the Flag Institute have created designs for what the Union Flag could look like in the event of independence

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, September 13, 2014 4:58 PM

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.

Jason Schneider's curator insight, February 12, 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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Fragile States Index

Fragile States Index | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it

"Weak and failing states pose a challenge to the international community. In today’s world, with its highly globalized economy, information systems and interlaced security, pressures on one fragile state can have serious repercussions not only for that state and its people, but also for its neighbors and other states halfway across the globe.  The Fragile States Index (FSI), produced by The Fund for Peace, is a critical tool in highlighting not only the normal pressures that all states experience, but also in identifying when those pressures are pushing a state towards the brink of failure."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, August 27, 2014 3:31 PM

How can political stability and security be measured?  What constitutes effective governance?  The Fragile States Index (formerly known as the Failed States Index) is a statistical ranking designed to measure the effective political institutions across the globe.  There are  12 social, economic, and political/military categories that are a part of the overall rankings and various indicators are parts of the metrics that are a part of this index are:

SOCIAL

•Demographic Pressures 

•Refugees/IDPs

•Group Grievance

•Human Flight and Brain Drain

ECONOMIC

•Uneven Economic Development

•Poverty and Economic Decline

POLITICAL/MILITARY

•State Legitimacy

•Human Rights and Rule of Law

•Public Services

•Security Apparatus

•Factionalized Elites

•External Intervention


Tags: political, statisticsdevelopment, territoriality, sovereignty, conflict, political, devolution, war.

Melissa Marshall's curator insight, August 28, 2014 12:57 AM

How can political stability and security be measured? The Fragile States Index is a statistical ranking designed to measure the effective political institutions across the globe.

MsPerry's curator insight, September 1, 2014 9:49 AM

APHG-Unit 4

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40 Maps That Explain The Middle East

40 Maps That Explain The Middle East | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
These maps are crucial for understanding the region's history, its present, and some of the most important stories there today.

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Javier Antonio Bellina's curator insight, February 9, 9:26 AM

Seth Dixon - the teacher that sent this article at the first place - assess a very sound comment about the use of maps as tools of comprehenssion of the real world. I love maps, but can t avoid to be worried about what he is saying, so I recommend a thougthful reading of his statements.

(Seth Dixon - el profesor que envió este artículo en primer lugar - hace un profundo comentario acerca del empleo de mapas como herramietas de comprensión del mundo real. Yo amo los mapas, pero no puedo evitar preocuparme por lo que (Dixon) señala, así que recomiendo una reflexiva lectura de sus planteamientos.)  

David Lizotte's curator insight, March 11, 4:44 PM

This was an excellent portrayal of the middle east. The using of maps accompanied by side paragraphs explains the long history which is necessary to know if one is to understand its current status. When learning about different realms and regions (that existed throughout history) I always find it on a map. In order to truly understand a certain empire, one must know its geographical setting and its significance. It helps me better understand the region. These maps, specifically the ones that are changing through the domains reign, are extremely helpful in better comprehending the misunderstood middle eastern region. This website also creates more thought. If a particular map captivates the reader they can do more research on the topic. However, the "slides" do stand alone portraying much knowledge to a wide variety of specific elements that are still ongoing. The grouping of the slides by region/conflict/country was also an excellent strategy. It shows organization which in turn develops an easier learning process. 

The initial map educates many people of how what is modern day Iraq used to be an Oasis. However, over time, due to over farming and soil erosion the landscape changed to dry/desert territory. 

The maps displaying the rise of Islam and its transitioning into the Ottoman Empire give a great perspective as to the amount of land it covered. The Islamic world thrived and was very advanced in there culture in regards to medicine and arithmetic. The shear size of the empires should increase ones respect of the Islamic theatre. What many people are not aware of is how the Ottoman Empire was knocking on the door of the Holy Roman Empire during the sixteenth century. This was quite an advancement of territory crossing through much of eastern Europe ending as far west as Vienna. A lot of what is Eastern Europe today was part of the Ottoman Empire, including Greece. 

Another excellent map that contributes to the better understanding of western involvement can be seen in the carving up of the Ottoman Empire post WWI. Colonialism was very much present throughout less developed regions so the carving up of the middle east was not an exotic concept to the victorious west. Territories/countries were created and ethnic groups dominated one another. Its certainly true a western presence has contributed to prior and existing issues throughout the middle East.

 

Lora Tortolani's curator insight, March 15, 8:47 PM

It is interesting to see the same trends over and over again.  These maps are a great tool to show the history of the area, as well as the history of religion and political views.  I appreciate the information provided since the Middle East has undergone the most transitions (going all the way back to Mesopotamia) and its history can be confusing. 

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Iraq's Current Devolution

"A radical fringe Islamic group names ISIS is fighting to establish a extremist Islamic state in Iraq and Syria...and beyond. They control eastern Syria, western Iraq, just took control of Iraq's 2nd largest city of Mosul and are advancing on the capital Baghdad.  In this podcast, the professor John Boyer outlines just a few of the contributing factors to why this significant event is taking place, the geographic/historic background of the state, and the consequences for the future of the region."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, June 18, 2014 8:41 AM

If you haven't yet discovered John Boyer, a.k.a. the Plaid Avenger,  I recommend exploring his site.  He has numerous resources for world regional geography and current global affairs.  His colorful persona is highly entertaining for college age-students as his class attracts over 3,000 students each semester (you can decide for yourself whether that personality works for you and your classroom).  This particular 'plaidcast' discussion focuses on Iraq's current devolution and possible total collapse. 


Tags: SyriaIraq, MiddleEast, conflict, political, geopoliticsborders, colonialism, devolution.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, June 23, 2014 12:27 PM

unit 4

Michael Mazo's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:04 PM

Iraq's position in regards to the militant groups has steadily affected the countries global and economic status in more ways than one. As these militant groups such as ISIS continue to grow then so will their territory and intensity of self-less acts. Not only are these groups a disease to the world but they affect the way our global economy works. ISIS controls oil fields and vast amounts of land in Iraq, Syria and other middle-eastern countries. In my opinion, America's decision to fire airstrikes onto these militant groups could be both good and bad. Good because it will decrease the amount of ISIS members but bad because it could be an incentive for ISIS to cause further damage and chaos in reference to revenge. At this pace, ISIS and other such groups will gain claimed territory in which will come at the cost of innocent lives of women and children. They must be stopped before issues get worse.

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Quebec Voters Say 'Non' to Separatists

Quebec Voters Say 'Non' to Separatists | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it

"Quebec voters gave a resounding no to the prospects of holding a third referendum on independence from Canada, handing the main separatist party in the French-speaking province one of its worst electoral defeats ever."  

 

Quebec, which is 80 percent French-speaking, has plenty of autonomy already. The province of 8.1 million sets its own income tax, has its own immigration policy favoring French speakers, and has legislation prioritizing French over English.  But many Quebecois have long dreamed of an independent Quebec, as they at times haven't felt respected and have worried about the survival of their language in English-speaking North America.

 

Tags: Canada, political, devolution.


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Alec Castagno's curator insight, September 23, 2014 11:14 AM

What started as an election focused on the Parti Quebecois "values", containing a questionable effort to outlaw Muslim head wear and other religious symbols, ended up turning to a matter of independence for province. Possibly riding on the coattails of the recent Scottish vote, the PQ ended up losing the election and their hold on the position of Premier. Quebec already enjoys a good amount of independence, and the election seems to show that for now its good enough for the people of Quebec. 

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 14, 2014 6:32 PM

The politics of Quebec are interesting to say the least. Originally founded by the French in the 17th century and then later conquered by the English in the late 18th century Canada is a nation with a mix if influences. While much of Canada today is something of a standard English colony Quebec has desperately hung on to it's French roots. In Quebec City their are laws ensuring that all store signs are in French, even making sure the font is large enough. In spite of their dogged interest in preserving their culture they've voted against spiting from the body of Canada repeatedly. This is largely because even the more die hard French Canadians know their small territory is unable to economically survive on its own.

Bob Beaven's curator insight, January 29, 2:57 PM

This article is interesting to me, due to the fact that part of my family is French Canadian.  I have always found it interesting how the Quebecois have tried to become their own country but could never quite pull it off.  In fact, I had a teacher in high school who was from the Canadian Mid-West and disliked French Canadians, however he said that although the French community is different from the rest of Canada, he believed that separation was not going to happen.  This article shows that the Parti Quebecois will, for the time being, have to regroup and "clean the salt from their wounds" from this defeat.  For now, it appears Quebec is not going anywhere.

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Little England: What's Left If Scotland Leaves?

Little England: What's Left If Scotland Leaves? | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | 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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Security Still A Major Concern In Sochi

ESPN Video: Jeremy Schaap details the threats to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

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Jessica Rieman's curator insight, February 18, 2014 2:14 PM

Security is a major concern in Sochi! There have been suicide bombers and many other forms of bomb threats. The athletes are under MAX security and in my opinion need to be because they are in danger because of the way their society is over there and the current issues they have been dealing or not dealing with.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 18, 2014 2:57 PM

The Olympics being held in Sochi, Russia concern many across the globe. Located very close to neighboring terrorists, Olympic athletes question whether it is safe to go or not. ESPN discusses the concerns, threats and  increase of security at the games this year. 

Jess Deady's curator insight, April 30, 2014 8:29 PM

The Olympic games only come around every four years. From a spectators point of view, these games are a worldwide phenomenon. Millions of people will be watching them from home and in attendance in Sochi. Threats against HUGE events like these need to be taken seriously. Whether or not they are realistic, with so many lives in potential danger Russia needs to take the threats seriously.

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Take This State And Shove It: The New Secession Movement

Take This State And Shove It: The New Secession Movement | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
Residents of rural areas feel shut out of their states' politics, so why not create their own?

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Heather Ramsey's curator insight, November 18, 2013 2:25 PM

On election day this year, several Colorado counties voted on whether to secede from Colorado and create a new state. Many of the counties voted in favor of the idea. (See the link below for more info on the Colorado secession movement.) This is not the first time groups of Americans have considered (and voted on) breaking away from their state. When political issues come up and decisions are made by the government and/or the people, some get their way and others do not. The article explains one way that some people have decided to take action when they do not feel their interests are being served.

 

BONUS for my students:

1) What steps do you think should be taken before people consider seceding from their state?  

2) What are some possible pros and cons of breaking away from a state to create a new one?  

3) Hypothetically speaking, what would it take for you to want to create a new state?

 

Here is the link to the article about Colorado's secession movement:

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/colorado-rural-voters-approve-secession-idea-20850962

Victoria McNamara's curator insight, December 11, 2013 11:43 PM

Some states urban and rural areas have had differences and beliefs when it comes to politics. For example Virginia and West Virginia have had their differences and this is what has caused them to seperate. If every state did this there would be too much craziness because im sure each state would have a different belief and nobody would agree on anything. 

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, February 1, 2014 7:57 PM

This article is about segments of California, Colorado, and Oregon wanting to separate and become their own states so their voices can be heard in Congress.

 

If, hypothetically, new states were formed out of existing ones this kind of gerrymandering would likely only lead to even more new states. It might even lead to a secession arms race to gain more Democrat and Republican seats in the Senate. With so many new states, it could lead to increased division, with no Democrat or Republican wanting to set foot in an opposition’s state. In the long run though, political affiliations do eventually change and we would have a precedent analogous to attempting to take the ball home when the other kids don't want to play the same game as you, which is not how a democratic republic works.

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Flag wars

Flag wars | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it

"Mr Füzes had voiced support for the Székler people, a group of ethnic Hungarians who live in Transylvania, after two Romanian counties banned the display of the Székler flag (pictured above with men in hussar uniform) on public buildings. Zsolt Nemeth, Hungary’s state secretary for foreign affairs, described the ban as an act of “symbolic aggression” and called for local councils in Hungary to show solidarity by flying the Székler flag from town halls. The Hungarian government then raised the Székler flag above Parliament, further enraging Bucharest..."


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Conor McCloskey's comment, April 30, 2013 10:26 AM
The past is the past. Or is it? The past seems to mean more to the people of Hungary and Romania these days. The Treaty of Trianon of 1920 sectioned the region of Transylvania from Romania to Hungary. For the ethnic Hungarians living in Transylvania, this posed quite the issue. For many people around the world, the homeland does not always match up with geopolitical boundaries of the country that they live in. While this identity crisis causes conflict for many groups of people all over the world, in Hungary the fight to regain greater-Hungary continues today.
This article also poses interesting questions of voting and citizenship. The Hungarian government granted citizenship beyond its borders, and jurisdiction, to ethnic Hungarians in Romania. What does this say about those Hungarians in Romania? Does it bring Hungary any closer to regaining the borders of the once Greater Hungary? Regardless of the questions of citizenship, such public and federal efforts to expand their borders and regain their ethnic population and homeland is doing more then turning heads. Look to this region for future conflict because the failure of geopolitical nations to represent ethnic homelands rarely ends peacefully.
John Peterson's comment, April 30, 2013 10:37 AM
This article helps to illustrate tensions that can be caused by seemingly simple acts within a society that is home to two conflicting groups. While flags do not have any actual influence or power in society, they are a source of emotion, and pride in ones nation and heritage. Because of the emotion that is tied with flags, it can be a very tense situation when the use of these flags is banned, or if these flags are taken down or destroyed. It is amazing how something so simple as a flag can bring about so much anger, and be the source of such bad blood and violence between different nations or ethnic groups. In the example given, there has been conflict for years, which was recently fueled even more over the use of a flag. While the act of displaying a flag is simply a display of loyalty, the actions of the Romanian government against this practice shows how although it is not a violent act, it can lead to very hostile actions and interactions.
Zakary Pereira's comment, April 30, 2013 4:12 PM
This article got me thinking. The tensions between Hungary and Romania seem trivial to me. The Romanians are the right ones in my opinion and the act of displaying the Székler flag about the Hungarian Parliament was plainly a theoretical middle finger to Romania. The more than a million Hungarians living in present day Romania relates to our unit on culture and nations/states. There is a Hungarian nation of people in Romania that the Hungarian government has now granted rights to, again purposely antagonizing Romania, and Romania is rightfully concerned of their dual-loyalty. Overall, the situation is taken way out of proportion by Hungary and what former piece of an empire wants that flag flown in their country. In Ireland do you see the Union Jack… that’d be a no.
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Belgians divided by language barrier

Failure by Belgium's political parties to form a government since elections in June have prompted fears of a split in the tiny European country. Al Jazeera's...

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, February 12, 2013 10:35 AM

This 2007 video is dated, but many of the same issues are still seen today.  This video briefly lays out the cultural context for the political divisions between the French-speaking Walloons and the Dutch-speaking Flemish populations of Belgium.  For a longer video on the topic, see this half hour video.


Tags: language, culture, Belgium, unit 4 political, Europe, devolution, unit 3 culture.  

BTC's comment, February 12, 2013 10:46 AM
Interesting, but the reality is much more complex....
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The Italians who want to be Austrian

The Italians who want to be Austrian | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
It is Italy's richest province, and has been part of the country for almost 100 years - but some in South Tyrol just do not feel fully Italian.

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Scarpaci Human Geography's curator insight, December 14, 2012 11:13 AM

Questions to Ponder: How to political borders reveal and conceal "the truth" about places on either side of the line?  What elements are a part of a regions heritage?  Can regions have multiple, overlapping heritages?  How does devolution impact the whole country?

Allison Anthony's curator insight, December 14, 2012 1:46 PM

Take note Kate and Johnny!!

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, November 30, 2014 8:14 PM

Being an eighth Tyrolean, I remember my great uncles and other family members complaining about this at every family reunion. Newer generations in my family would refer to themselves as Italian, and the arguments would ensue. That being said, it is no surprise that those living in what was once Tyrol have faced conflict. Historically, peoples with languages, cultural heritages, or religions that differ from the rest of a country usually hold grievances. During the time of Mussolini, Italians were encouraged to move to the northern reaches and Italian was forcibly taught in the school systems. Italy's past of forcing the Austrian speaking Tyroleans to assimilate into a more Italian culture may remain, but fortunately, they have worked to preserve their culture. The bilingual nature of this region allows for the people to thrive in business and tourism. Unfortunately, this autonomous state is facing dark times as Italy's financial crisis puts pressure on South Tyrol by increasing taxes. Many see this as a continuation of Italian oppression on a not so Italian demographic. 

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The mystery of the Basques

The ancient Basque culture has survived against the odds.

 

The Basques are an intriguing cultural group to study in part because of their linguistic distinctness is Europe (Basque is a non-Indo-European language) but also because they strive for greater political autonomy within Spain.  This video could be used when teach about folk cultures, language, devolution, heritage as well as within a regional context. 


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Kmcordeiro670's comment, February 2, 2012 5:15 PM
The CNT remains one of the organized labor organizations in Spain which adheres to the autonomy of Basque as declared in the Second Spanish Republic and the Revolutionary Republic. Thank for posting this and helping revive this wonderful culture. If globalization has contracted space parallel to time, can we through our actions and struggle revive what time may have lost through our new form of connectedness?
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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."


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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, 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, 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 | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
From Catalonia to Kurdistan, nationalist and separatist movements in Europe and beyond are watching the Scottish independence referendum closely.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, September 11, 2014 2:50 PM

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.

Barbara Goebel's curator insight, September 13, 2014 12:00 PM

Compare and contrast Scotland's bid for independence with events leading to American independence. How does a culture decide to change its political geography?

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

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Mosul Dam key win for Islamic State

Mosul Dam key win for Islamic State | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it

"Islamic State's capture of the Mosul dam gives it control over the water and electricity supply in northern Iraq."


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Nancy Watson's curator insight, August 17, 2014 8:28 PM

Geography plays an important part in the success or failure of a state. This gives the insurgents an advantage.

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, October 30, 2014 10:00 PM

This is interesting, ISIS is not only using brute force as a scare tactic, but are also taking hold of natural resources as well.  In taking over the dam ISIS has control of not only a majority of Iraq's water supply but their power supply as well.  They are also threatening employees with loss of pay to do what they want.  Closing off some parts of the dam is preventing water to get to people who are in need.  If the dam was to get backed up too much it could have immediate failure creating a devastating flood wiping out areas of agriculture having the potential for mass civilian casualties.  ISIS is not just taking over everything that they can, but have a method to what they are doing.

Kendra King's curator insight, April 27, 8:14 PM

As the director of the Brookings Institution's Doha Centre in Qatar said, "There's a method in their madness. By gaining control of the area ISIS can flood and destroy homes within the region. Furthermore, they can disrupt the flow of electricity and how the land is irrigated. All of this could cause a great deal of damage to the society. In this light the dam is a pretty important part of Iraq. The fact that ISIS Manipulated he land to their benefit it highly intelligent.  


However, if the dam was in the hand of the United States, the area still isn't completely safe. people would perceive it to be because ISIS would no longer be threatening to use it as an immediate weapon. However, the author noticed that the dam needs constant maintenance and is built on unstable soil. Both of which can cause flooding. In fact, the "worst case scenario" would cause far more damage than ISIS has with the dam. 


Clearly, purposefully using the resources of an area to damage a population is more chilling the a poorly made structure because malice involved. However even in the hands of the United States, the dam shows just how dangerous manipulating nature can be on a local population. 

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Would Turkey accept a Kurdish state?

Would Turkey accept a Kurdish state? | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
As the likelihood of an independent Kurdish state on Turkey’s eastern border grows, Ankara is losing its historical resistance to the idea.

 

Developments in Iraq have left Turkey facing the prospect of an independent Kurdish state on its eastern border. Such an idea would have been abhorrent for Turkey a mere decade ago for fear that its existence would incite separation among its own restive Kurds. The standard Turkish narrative at the time was that an independent Kurdistan was a Western project aimed at destroying Turkey, an age-old ambition. Even the 2003 US invasion of Iraq was viewed in this context by many. The picture is no longer so black and white.

  

Tags: Iraq, Turkey, MiddleEast, conflict, political, borders, devolution.


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Venice wants out of Italy

Venice wants out of Italy | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
VENICE, Italy – Venice, renowned for incomparable Gothic architecture and placid canals plied by gondolas that make it one of the most recognizable cities in the world, may have had enough of Italy.

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David Lizotte's curator insight, February 20, 12:48 PM

The Italian North, historically speaking was graced by the Industrial Revolution whereas the agricultural south never truly was. This is one of the reasons as to why Southern Italy has no money, there is simply no Industry. 

Throughout the 1800's Northern Italian States developed industry, going along with the rest of Western Europe. Being closer to the west certainly influenced this need of an industrial sector. Northern Italian provinces were also at once ruled by Napoleon, "The Kingdom of Italy" (1805-1814) thus having a share of western influence. In any case the Industrial Revolution reached Northern Italy. The production of war based machinery was developing throughout Europe, in case of another "Napoleon" like person. This created jobs, thus a fluctuation of money. This never reached the agrarian south. 

Southern Italy is not the only area to go untouched by Industry. Eastern Europe was very slow at developing and producing and it can be argued it still is. For example, look at Greece. It has very little industry and a horrid economy to complement it. Due to no industry/no money the North has to take care of the South with its taxes. Citizens of Northern Italy are getting tired of it and want to succeed. 

I understand why they want to succeed. But then what would happen with Southern Italy. It would just remain a tourist attraction with farmers scattered throughout the country side. It sounds nice but it probably isn't These people already have a low standard of living, Northern Italy succeeding would determine an even lower standard. 

A positive aspect of this article is that no one wants to bear arms over the issue. Its a peaceful movement, although there was a homemade tank made from a bulldozer, but still, its peaceful.  Could violence occur if not grow? Perhaps... if the economic loss is great enough to promote such an outcome. 

This article truly does pinpoint the fact that Italy is very much a divided country. The North claims they are a different people, a different identity. Perhaps its not just economic reasons but cultural aspects as well that generate the want of succession. In either case, both the economic and cultural reasonings are products of the Industrial Revolution gracing the North. 

Joshua Mason's curator insight, March 16, 3:03 PM

Nobody wants to feel like they're not in control and Venice is no different. Large money making cities or regions often try to break off from their states or countries. New York City has talked about becoming its own state (And with a population of 8.406 million as of 2013, it's bigger than some states) before defending that its taxes aren't going to it and that Albany isn't meeting its demands. Venice is in the same boat (dare I say gondola) and simply wants to have a little more autonomy like way back. Secession is a bold move to make and judging from the article, it seems as if it's not wanted by all and maybe just a little more interest in the region will be taken by the government. Sometimes making bold claims is all that's needed to get what you want.

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, April 6, 9:58 PM

Venice is to Italy as Italy is to Venice.  I imagine it will stay this way forever.  I think if there are wealthy people who want to see the split happen then it will.  But just because a group want a movement started, it won't happen.  I imagine Venice will see a few more concessions in the future if this problem persists.  

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Don't Give Up on a United Ukraine

Don't Give Up on a United Ukraine | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it

The current Ukrainian conflict is typically viewed in stark East-West terms: a pro-Russian East versus a pro-European West, with the threat of Ukraine splitting down the middle.

 

Ukraine’s divisions are indeed pronounced and the forging of a coherent national identity has remained very much a work in progress since independence.

 

Nonetheless, far from pointing to its unraveling, polling indicates that support for the Ukrainian state has been on the rise over the past decade – even in the Russian-speaking East and South. This is true despite the often polarizing and dysfunctional policies of successive Ukrainian leaders.


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, February 19, 2014 8:16 AM

As the violence between police and protesters escalate (hundreds of riot police descended on the main square and the protestors set Independence Square ablaze), it is easy to see the country's irreconcilable differences.  The United States and the EU advocated for a peaceful resolution, but this crackdown comes on the heels of Russia buying $2 billion of Ukrainian government bonds and securing their financial future.  This other article is a reminder that while there are divisions, it's not inevitable that the centrifugal forces will pull the country apart.  


Tag: Ukraine, political, conflict, devolution.

Amy Marques's curator insight, April 24, 2014 11:04 AM

This article shows the effects of imperialism and the effect it had on surrounding nations. When the USSR took over new lands and eventually became the Soviet Union, thousands of people were displaced from their homelands which is what happened in Ukraine. It makes sense why there is a population in Ukraine who is United and wants to remain Pro-Ukraine, but that means siding with west values. And there is a strong Pro-Russian population who wouldn't mind being apart of the east, the values and ideas placed by Russia.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 2, 2014 5:45 PM

Ukraine has been a country of interest for many supporters in the past decade. Even though its division amongst it is very Russian vs. European, there are definitely some ways to help their national identity work for the better.

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Why Sochi?

Why Sochi? | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
Why would Vladimir Putin want to host the Olympics in an underdeveloped place where terrorists lurk nearby? The answer is not as complicated as it may seem.

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Jessica Rieman's curator insight, February 18, 2014 1:46 PM

It comes at not shock that Russia has had it's share of bad rulers that exzibit totalitarianistic views. Russia has always been in a state of massacre or some time of bad war torn conflict happeening. Russia is also the type of place where you can drive in each way 45 minutes and be able to either swim in the black sea or ski on the snowy trails. I think this is one of the reasons why the winter olympics are hosted here.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 18, 2014 2:52 PM

There are many reasons as to why the Olympics this year are held in Sochi, Russia i. Although it is an underdeveloped, terrorist driven area, it holds much potential and Vladimir Putin has reasons to why it is the perfect place.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 1, 2014 12:59 AM

This article explains why Putin wanted the Winter Olympic games to be in Sochi. The Olympics have historically been used as a way for a nation to showcase progress or power, and the case is no different here. By hosting the games in Sochi, Putin was drawing attention to his successful crushing of the Chechen rebels and Russia's reinvestment into the area. Through the games, Putin is trying to make an international statement about the security and progress in this war-torn area. Still, there are a number of Chechen rebel cells and Circassian protesters in the area with a grudge against Russia.

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A short, recent history of Congo

Mapping the war in Congo: mineral wealth, militias and an epic march

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Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 5, 2014 3:04 PM

A very comprehensive coverage of the past 20 years. I did not realize just how much Rwanda influenced the major problems in the Congo. Having the capital city of Kinshasa so geographically far away from its "trouble border" is probably making it more difficult to control.

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, March 31, 4:10 PM

This video is tough to follow at times due to the amount of information that is given in less than five minutes, but it gives a brief and thorough account of the dynamics that have taken place in the Rwanda/Congo region.  This genocide is a very popular one in historical scholarship but I have not had an opportunity to spend any time researching it.  This video definitely provided me with a strong understanding of what happened.  It also shows how countries can support certain individuals or entities that, many times, ends up backfiring on them.

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, April 9, 2:39 PM

This is another sad story.  There is fast wealth in this area.  More than enough to get this economy off the ground and be a booming source of wealth for the countries.  Ever since the British, Belgiums, and foreigners created conflict in the area there has been so much unrest. They need to get out of their own ways and elect someone who won't steal millions.  They could get back to the golden days, but not until they have some peace which would then lead to prosperity.  

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A 250-mile show of support for Catalonia independence

A 250-mile show of support for Catalonia independence | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
More than 1 million flag-draped and face-painted Catalans held hands and formed a 250-mile human chain across the northeastern Spanish region Wednesday in a demonstration of their desires for independence.

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Alec Castagno's curator insight, December 5, 2014 2:38 PM

As Spain's economic problems continue, support for independence in Catalonia grows. One major driving factor in the calls for independence is the huge imbalance between what the region pays in taxes and what they receive in federal services and benefits. The article states that roughly half of the region supports independence, but the vast majority want to at least vote on the issue and continue the discussion further. As in Quebec and Scotland, Catalonia shows that no matter how successful and developed a country becomes, there will always be centrifugal forces within the country creating tensions.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 14, 2014 7:40 PM

While the early 20th century saw the rise of nationalism leading to the destruction of empires and birth of nations based upon culture not all cultures achieved this. An example of this today is in Catalonia within Spain. The people of Catalonia wish to separate themselves from the rest of Spain and become an individual free nation. Unfortunately for them Spain has no intentions of letting them go and few within the UN are siding against Spain.

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 18, 2014 1:18 PM

There are a lot of unknown countries in the world, for instance Catalonia. A country that is independently located in Spain, Catalonia is one that is rarely heard of. With recent countries wanting to claim independence from their larger states, its looks like Catalonia wants a piece of the pie. Though coming to a place of self-governance is a mile stone, it also comes at a high sticker prize. They not only have to develop national recognition by other states in the world union, they have to be able to produce commodity that is able to compete on a global level. These countries wanting to claim independence have a long way to go.

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Top 10 Countries That Disappeared In The 20th Century

Top 10 Countries That Disappeared In The 20th Century | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
New nations seem to pop up with alarming regularity. At the start of the 20th century, there were only a few dozen independent sovereign states on the planet; today, there are nearly 200!

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Al Picozzi's curator insight, July 2, 2013 11:38 AM

Amazing to see many of the countries and empires that are no longer around.  Also with the dissoution of many of the empires it lead's to many of the issues that were are dealiing with today.  Splitting the Austro-Hugaraian Empire after WWI along ethnic lines didn't really work and helped to lead to WWII.  The Germans in the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia fro example.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sudetendeutsche_gebiete.svg

 for the area of German population.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 27, 2014 5:01 PM

10 countries that have become nonexistent in the 20th century include Tibet, East Germany and Yugoslavia. These countries have died off because of ethic, religious and cultural falls that were quickly taken over by bigger and more powerful countries.

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, October 23, 2014 9:13 PM

Essentially this article boils down to the issues of religion, ethnicity and nationalism.  People who are diverse and have different ideas generally cannot all live together under one rule and agree on everything, hence nations split and new ones form to cater to their own beliefs and similarities.

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Northern Ireland flag riots 'threatening jobs'

Northern Ireland flag riots 'threatening jobs' | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
The riots linked to flag protests in Northern Ireland are causing "significant damage" to the economy, the secretary of state warns.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, January 11, 2013 2:01 PM

Flags are tangible symbols of communal identity and political power.  If the meaning behind these identities are unresolved, the symbols of these identities in public spaces becomes all the more there is contentious.  Currently, the Union Jack is a lightning rod for controversy in Northern Ireland and the riots stemming from this are harming the local economy. 


Tags: Ireland, political, conflict, devolution, autonomy, economic, Europe, unit 4 political.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 3, 2014 11:39 AM

This article shows that no matter how small the world is becoming nationalism is still present and will cause issues between different factions and supporters of different national identities.  The issue over what flag will be flown in a country can spark outrage and anger not by people against the flag but the people for it as they feel it should be flown all the time as opposed to a limited amount of days in the year.

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More than a club: FC Barcelona and Catalonia's road to independence

As Catalonia goes to the polls, Sid Lowe looks at one of the region's great cultural sporting icons and its role in Catalan identity...

 

Sports and cultural identity of a region are often intertwined. As Catalonia is poised to break from Spain, this video shows how the local teams (especially FC Barcelona) are at the center of political identity and part of the very fabric of the political movement that is pushing for independence.  For more, see this recent GITN.

 

Tags: sport, Spain, Europe, devolution, autonomy.


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, September 12, 2013 12:54 PM

Sports and cultural identity of a region are often intertwined. As Catalonia is poised to break from Spain, this video shows how the local teams (especially FC Barcelona) are at the center of political identity and part of the very fabric of the political movement that is pushing for independence.  For more, see this recent Geography in the News article.


Tags: sport, Spain, Europe, devolution, autonomy.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, October 30, 2014 9:10 PM

As a soccer fan and a fan of FC Barcelona, Whenever I watch FC Barcelona play against Real Madrid, the commentators always describe both clubs as a symbol of independence and the symbol of political identity. Both teams are embodiments of the struggle that Spain and Catalonia are going through.

Bob Beaven's curator insight, February 19, 3:01 PM

As a soccer fan (although of CR7 in La Liga), I know that Barca has the saying "Mes que un club" which means more than a club in the Catalan language.  FCB's colors, in fact, represent the colors of Barcelona, which is the major force in the region of Catalonia.  The club allows the ethnic people to express pride in their heritage, and allowed them in the Franco era, a freedom of expression that was not otherwise granted to them.  However, as the video discusses, FCB cannot be the main force for the region's independence, that will have to come from the people pressing the people to the Spanish Government.  However, FCB represents for the Catalans a pride in having their own unique culture, and being a unique people different than ethnic Spaniards.  Barca being more than a club is far different from the BPL team of Manchester United or the La Liga club of Real Madrid.  While these clubs may represent regions within the countries, they do not represent regions who are different than the status quo.  Followers of Man U are not very different than the Southern English (they are not their own people).  I think it is highly interesting how sports teams can mean so much to certain regions.