Mrs. Watson's Class
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London Should Secede From the United Kingdom

London Should Secede From the United Kingdom | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Beyond the stunning act that has become Britain’s vote to leave the European Union lies a deeper message: Democracy is not destiny, but devolution. Ceaseless entropy — the second law of thermodynamics — applies to politics as well. The more countries democratize, the more local populations seek greater self-rule.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, June 29, 2016 9:17 AM

In his book Connectography by Parag Khanna, he argues that connectivity and networks are more important today.  Using those ideas, Khanna discusses London's options after the recent Brexit vote in this op-ed (this additional article explores the demographic divide on the Brexit vote, especially how many British Millennials feel that their future has been snatched from them).      

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Catalan leader to step up independence push as 80% vote to split from Spain

Catalan leader to step up independence push as 80% vote to split from Spain | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Artur Mas says symbolic poll is a ‘lesson in democracy’ and calls for a binding referendum on independence
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More revolutionary action or actual separation?
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Scotland votes "no" on independence, will remain in the UK

Scotland votes "no" on independence, will remain in the UK | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
The results of the Scottish independence referendum are in, and the answer is a resounding "no."
The referendum asked only a single question: Should Scotland become an independent country?...
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Political Unit. A no vote still results in devolutionary rights offered by the UK.

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Mosul Dam key win for Islamic State

Mosul Dam key win for Islamic State | Mrs. Watson's Class | 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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Geography plays an important part in the success or failure of a state. This gives the insurgents an advantage.

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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, 2015 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. 

Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 4, 2015 5:21 PM

This will have an enormous impact on drought for drinking, agriculture purposes or even the opposite.  This strategy could be used to flood the lands ruining agriculture.

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This one map helps explain Ukraine’s protests

This one map helps explain Ukraine’s protests | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
This map illustrates the country's deep division – and why the protests might not be what you think.
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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 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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10 Countries That May Not Survive The Next 20 Years - YouTube

10 Countries That May Not Survive The Next 20 Years - The future is uncertain, some countries may not survive another two decades. Join us on our speculative...
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Interesting look at states that have the potential to break up or gain more sovern 

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These 8 places in Europe could be the next to try for independence

These 8 places in Europe could be the next to try for independence | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
And that's just scratching the surface.
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More devolutionary forces may result from these efforts to gain independence. Scotland voted NO, but who will be the first to vote YES?

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Scotland's Decision

Scotland's Decision | Mrs. Watson's Class | 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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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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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?

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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40 Maps That Explain The Middle East

40 Maps That Explain The Middle East | Mrs. Watson's Class | 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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Both History and Geography explained in these maps

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Lora Tortolani's curator insight, March 15, 2015 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. 

Alex Vielman's curator insight, November 23, 2015 3:17 PM

Maps like the ones posted in this article, really helps people to understand and break down deeply of understanding the entire region as a whole. Visualization is very important in geography when trying to understand the region people are talking about. this region as goes down to the Mesopotamia Era. It is important to know, how the culture was in this area to how it differentiated during the Ottoman Empire. During the first couple of maps, we can begin to see the division of the entire region. As you go on, we begin to notice the divisions between people, religion, language between states and in-states. There is so much information to know about the Middle East region and it may be even harder to understand due to the tons of changes and separations, but it is important to understand these divisions like the Sunni's and the Shi'ites in order to fully explain the development and the current situations that are occurring in this region as we speak. 

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 7, 2015 5:18 PM

These 40 maps are a very interesting way of showing how people have traveled around and moved about the Earth from the time of the fertile crescent era to the people of today. It shows us the paths that people have taken to move to a new location. How they used the Meditteranean Sea to move from one side to the other. It also shows how the Tigris and Euphrates came together to form a smaller area of the Persian gulf. This led to smalled economic growth because now there is less land for imports and exports.

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Take This State And Shove It: The New Secession Movement

Take This State And Shove It: The New Secession Movement | Mrs. Watson's Class | 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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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, 2015 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.