Geography 200
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150 Years Ago, Sochi Was the Site of a Horrific Ethnic Cleansing

150 Years Ago, Sochi Was the Site of a Horrific Ethnic Cleansing | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
Czar Alexander II may have freed the serfs, but his war against the stateless people of the Caucasus cannot be ignored

 

The czar’s approval of this rapid expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Circassians to the Ottoman Empire resulted in an ethnic cleansing through disease and drowning as overcrowded ferries crossed the Black Sea. The Ottomans were unprepared for the influx of refugees, and the absence of adequate shelter caused even more deaths from exposure. Those Circassians who attempted to remain in the Russian Empire and fight for their land were massacred. Sochi’s “Red Hill,” where the skiing and snowboarding events will take place during these Olympic Games, was the site of the Circassian last stand, where the Imperial Russian armies celebrated their “victory” over the local defenders.


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

It is interesting to learn the history of a place that most American’s didn’t know existed until the Olympics.  It is always helpful to have things placed in a historic perspective.  The historic background makes understanding modern day events easier

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Jess Deady's curator insight, April 30, 2014 8:33 PM

This is basically like a mini Holocaust. When do people think its okay to do something like this? It boggles my mind how things like this can actually go on in the world still with todays technologies and armed forces. 

Bob Beaven's curator insight, March 5, 2015 2:27 PM

This article shows the great deal of overlap between Geography and History.  Today, when people think of Sochi, they will remember the Olympic games, and the epic hockey battle between the USA and the Russian Federation.  Yet, as this article discusses, Sochi was once the sight of a military battle, and a massacre.  The Russian Empire under Alexander II wanted to expand its borders to be well defined and would wage war against the Circassians who lived in the region.  When they would not go to the Ottoman Empire, and fought the Russians, the army and the Czar were prepared to fight them.  As a result, on Red Hill, the native people had a last stand against the Russian Army and were massacred.  Yet, the southern region of Russia near the middleast, to this day, is not secure.  The history of this region has guaranteed that the people living in these regions of the country would come to loathe Russia.  In fact, this area in the form of Chechnya, has exported the hatred and Islamic fervor of the region, to the United States in the Boston Marathon Bombings of 2013.  History and Geography are not neat boxes that are separate from each other, they are always influencing one another in all actuality. 

Calem Cauley's curator insight, April 7, 2016 10:16 AM
I didn't know how ruthless this leader was. At the little lest threat the czar would fight them and demolish them. 
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Chicago on the Eve of the Great Fire

Chicago on the Eve of the Great Fire | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
This 1868 pocket map of Chicago shows the city in full-blown expansion, a mere 3 years before the infamous blaze

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This map is cool.  It lets you compare the old map to the new map by moving a lens around the satellite map.  It is a great interactive tool to compare old and new and allows the viewer to see how much the geography of the city has changed in the last 150 years or so.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, August 28, 2013 12:35 PM

This interactive map with a 'spyglass' feature.  Chicago is displaced during a economic boom period as the U.S. was expanding westward.  Where where the railroads located then?  Why have some of them vanished today?  Notice anything curious about the coastline along Lake Michigan?  Follow this link to see similar interactives of other major U.S. cities.


Tags: Chicago, historical

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, January 25, 2014 11:07 AM

An interesting map which shows the difference between present day Chicago and 1868 Chicago. It illustrates what a dramatic transformation the city has undergone in the last 150 years. The trains and their tracks, which were such an important part of 1800's travel and logistics, were all removed and replaced with roads for automobiles. Lake Michigan was filled in approximately 1000 feet to expand the city to the east. Where Soldier Field now sits, was once roughly 150 feet into Lake Michigan. To the west, the 1868 map shows large squares of undeveloped city which is today subdivided into entire neighborhoods. Yet, while there are a lot of differences, it's surprising how much is still the same. Much of the developed part of 1868 Chicago has the same layout as today. The buildings may have changed, but the locations of buildings and streets are the same as they were then, a likely product of inertia since it would take more effort to restructure the city than renovate it.

A. Perry Homes's curator insight, July 24, 2014 10:09 PM

This map is truly revealing of how far Chicago has progressed!

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Out of Africa – Did the Colonial Powers ever Really Leave?

Out of Africa – Did the Colonial Powers ever Really Leave? | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
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.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This infographic was very interesting.  By using color coding it highlights the areas of influence the colonel powers still maintain over their old possessions.  This map is helpful in understanding how this affects the politics of theses regions today.

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Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 4:04 PM

Colony powers are still located within Africa. Just because Africa is technically independent doesn't mean that British Colonial power isn't still in place.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, September 11, 2014 2:11 PM

unit 4

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, March 26, 2015 11:08 AM

This article reminds us all of the growth-stunt that colonialism in Africa brought to the continent.  It is not surprising to see that most African countries still depend heavily on their old colonial masters for survival.  People who may casually follow African politics might think that colonialism started with the Berlin Conference and ended in 1990 or so, but one could argue that it hasn't ended due to the urgent dependency African countries still have on their old colonizers.  Africa might be the most beautiful continent in the world but has the worst story of any in the world.

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Africa Map Collection

Africa Map Collection | Geography 200 | Scoop.it

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

It is always informative to look at old maps.  They show how the cartographers saw the world and how the passage of the map makers revealed the passage of settlements in this case of colonel Europeans.

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Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 16, 2014 11:58 PM

This is a fun collection of maps because you can see how the European view of Africa has changed over time. These maps contain nonexistent land marks such as the Mountains of Kong, these are here because cartographers made their maps based off incorrect information and then passed this information on to others who repeated their mistakes. African was known as the dark continent not only because of European racism but because of the lack of knowledge on behalf of the Europeans. 

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 18, 2014 11:19 AM

While most people perceive Africa as a country rather than a continent, European cartographers were even more oblivious to the make up of the continent. How is it possible that a mountain can directly across the continent. This also raises the question, how was conquering the continent possible if this mountain sat at the frontier of the continent? Wouldn't the natives know where to escape when European settlers came to conquer their land?

Luis Cabral's curator insight, March 8, 2016 12:02 AM

This fabulous collection of African maps from 1535-1897 represents an historical geographic vision of both Africa and colonial visions of an imagined Africa.  I chose this particular map to display because it beautifully highlights the Mountains of Kong.  For generations, European cartographers erroneously believed that this long mountain range extended north of the West African coast and across the continent.  Currently this map collection is at Plymouth State, NH, but much of it is archive online here. 


Tags: Africa, cartography, colonialism, map.

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Mixing Past And Present In Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea, once home to cannibals, still has an exotic aura. The local tourist economy caters to those notions, and visitors may see a hybrid of the traditional and the modern.

 

This story is an intriguing blend--we see traditional cultures engaging in the global economy. They have created two villages: a traditional one designed for tourism filled with emblems of their folk cultures, and another one where people work, live eat and play with various markers of outside cultural and technological influence.

 

"Tourists are taking pictures. They don't want to take pictures of those who are in Western clothes.  People who are in Western clothes are not allowed to get close to people who are dressed up in the local dressings."

 

Questions to Ponder: Which village do you see as the more "authentic" one? How can culture also be a commodity?

 

Tags: folk culture, tourism, indigenous, culture, economic, rural, historical, unit 3 culture, Oceania.


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This pod cast shows the dichotomy of old and new.  The villagers earn a living being a living museum of their past culture.  But to do that they need to keep all modern influences away from the tourist village which leads to them living in a separate village nearby. 

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Kendra King's curator insight, May 3, 2015 1:40 AM

The title of this article seemed to be a little bit of a misnomer given how the geographic forces impact Papua New Guinea. Part of the population caters to the tourist desire to see the "exotic." However, this Papaua New Guinea is in the past. While the rest of the population lives in the present where the citizens live without the tourist dictating how they live.   

 

Given the impact of the forces, the split makes figuring out which Papa New Guinea is actually the most "authentic" is tricky. There are elements of Papa New Guinea in each place. The perfect way to obtain authenticity is blending them as the title suggest, but that is not that case. Under the circumstances, I think the village in which tourist are not present are the most "authentic." It is because of the tourist that the past village exits and while some members of the population like that this helps preserve their past culture, Papa New Guinea has clearly started to move on.  It reminds me of the Plymouth plantation field trips in which the tourist view america during the times of the pilgrims. Clearly, America has moved on, but continues to honor their roots. Due to this idea of moving on, I think the other village that shows the present is more authentic because it is a closer measure of what the village realistically acts like without interference from the outside world.  


While, I realize Papa New Guinea is more than the past, a fair amount of the world doesn't. As a few tourist mentioned, they were eager to hear about cannibalism despite the practice stopping years ago. Yet, from an outsiders perspective, they don't see this other Papa New Guinea and because the country plays into this idea of a village stuck in the past, it gives the world the wrong impression. As such, I wonder how how much catering to the rest of the world holds Papa New Guinea back economically. Being perceived as less developed won't generate lenders and living up to that expectation curbs other modern economic sectors. So it seems the overall affect might actually be more detrimental then helpful from an economic stance.   

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, May 4, 2015 12:38 PM

I believe these indigenous people found a way to survive.  They were smart!  Globalization and tourism were gonna happen with or without them.  Now they found away to keep on existing.  Authentic?  How do they live their lives now, thats authentic.  The past history is just that, the past.  Its a commodity because they've found a way to exploit their culture to benefit them.  

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 8:47 PM

This podcast talks about two different areas of the same area. One section living in the past and one living in the present. I believe that the section that is living in the past is more authentic. This is a group of people who have had to learn their way of life. The present would have had to learn to adapt to new ways in life and this new way would be truly authentic to their religion.

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The Real Pirates of the Caribbean

The Real Pirates of the Caribbean | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
Explore the travels and exploits of five real pirates of the Caribbean. Click through the tabs to track the adventures of each pirate overlaid on Spanish ports and pirate strongholds in the area. Zoom into the map to see additional detail.
Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

I liked this site; it gives a good interactive map of the area showing the paths that the pirates took.  It could be a good teaching tool for a classroom learning about the era of the Caribbean pirates and also teaching kids the geography of the area in a way that would be fun for them.

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Jared Medeiros's curator insight, February 11, 2015 10:00 PM

This pirate excursion map is so cool and gives a great look at the travels of different pirates.  As we get farther away from these time periods, it seems like the idea of these Caribbean pirates are fictional.  To hear true historical events about these individual pirates is very interesting.  I would  love to take a time machine back to Port Royal during these times to experience that madness.

Brian Wilk's curator insight, March 28, 2015 9:34 AM

Imagine the horror a native of the Caribbean must have felt when white men came into their scenic lands and pillaged their villages and plundered their treasuries? Blackbeard otherwise known as Edward Teach, would light slow burning cannon fuses and place them in his beard to create an aura about him as he fought and raided these port of call. Calico Jack Rackham, a great pirate name if there ever was one, was best known for having  a pair of female pirates aboard. Instantly becomes one of my heroes! Then you have William Parker who was actually an opportunist backed by England who plundered Spanish treasures throughout Central America. Here is my favorite pirate joke; what is a pirate's favorite letter? "R" you say? No, it's the letter "C", pirates love the sea....

Dr. Helen Teague's curator insight, September 14, 2015 9:28 AM

very interesting interactive map

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Stalin’s Ethnic Deportations—and the Gerrymandered Ethnic Map

Stalin’s Ethnic Deportations—and the Gerrymandered Ethnic Map | Geography 200 | Scoop.it

"An earlier GeoCurrents post on Chechnya mentioned that the Chechens were deported from their homeland in the North Caucasus to Central Asia in February 1944.  However, the Chechen nation was not the only one to suffer such a fate under Stalin’s regime."


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This article describes the practice of Lenin and Stalin of Russifacation.  This policy led to many ethnic minorities with in the Soviet Union being deported from their home soil to the interior of Russia.  The aim was to place ethnic Russian in boarder areas and to bring the ‘undesirable’ ethnicity into the interior to become Russian or sent to the gulags to die.  The effects of this mass relocation of ethnicity is still being felt today.  The rising conflict in Ukraine is a direct result from these policies as the country is split between ethnic Ukraine and the decedents of the ethnic Russians move there to secure the ports to the Black Sea.

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Alec Castagno's curator insight, December 12, 2014 1:43 PM

The Soviet Union forced vast amounts of people and ethnic groups out of their historical homelands to settle new areas during the early and mid 20th century. Many of those forced into resettlement died, and today some consider it a genocide or crime against humanity. As ethnic groups were moved out, ethnic Russians were moved in to take their places, and explains why many places outside of Russia (Ukraine) have populations that still maintain strong Russian identities. It also explains why places like Chechnya have such a long history of insurgency and extremism against Russian authority and power.

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, November 25, 2015 2:37 PM

This graph represents the areas where many of the Chechnes had been displaced to in the era of Stalins regime. Many of these people were displaced from their homes and forced to move. Many of them either had to leave family behind of they were forced to move together and had no initial home to live in.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 1:51 PM

i see this as history retelling itself. for some reason throughout history terrible men think that their race is better than another, this is not true and if a person wants to think this that is their prerogative, but some men think it to such an extent that they seek to eliminate the entire other people. nothing good can come of this and it turns into mass conflict every time. it destroys countries and breeds hate on all sides.

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Japan's Geographic Challenge

Stratfor examines Japan's primary geographic challenge of sustaining its large population with little arable land and few natural resources. For more analysi...

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This short video did a great job in explaining why Japan became expansionist in the decades leading up to WW II.  The mountainous nature of the islands and lack of arable land challenges Japan to provide food for its people.  To understand Japan you must understand her geography, this helps to understand why a country acted the way it did in the past and can be a predictor of future actions. 

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David Ricci's comment, April 30, 2013 9:47 AM
Japan clearly has their job cut out for them due to the geography of the country. Thier land has very limited airable land making agriculture extremely hard to maintain. The mountainous terrain also makes travel much harder for these people. Because of this their population like stated in the video has been pushed to hotspots like the yamato region. Japan has developed their culture solely based on how disconnected they are from the rest of the world. Japan is a chain of many islands so they have to import alot of their goods. This means having good trade partners, always making new trade partners, and avoiding conflict. This didnt work so well looking back at world war II. Unfortunately they must either become more self sufficient like chris said, or they have to stay on the good sides of alot of other countries.
Kevin Cournoyer's comment, May 1, 2013 12:51 AM
Unlike other larger, more geographically diverse countries, Japan is faced with the problem of a general lack of farmable land and natural resources. The fact that the country is itself an island does not make things any easier for it in an economic sense. The way the country is divided up also makes for a difficult political situation, as mountain ranges create division, and therefore, political disunity.
The proximity of the Korean peninsula and China to Japan is also important to examine. Whenever Japan wishes to acquire natural resources and other economically beneficial materials, Korea is the conduit through which Japan tends to invade the mainland, usually China. Because of this, we can see how Japan’s geographic location may cause strained relationships with its neighbors, both politically and economically. Alienating two of its closest neighbors would clearly be a disastrous move for Japan, but it may be seen as necessary due to its unfortunate geographic location.
Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, November 27, 2013 5:31 PM

It would make sense to me that for a place like Japan to sustain itself successfully, it would have to have some help from other areas with more resources.  Again with the concept- people don't choose to be born, or where they are born... To be born in Japan is as unchosen by that person as it would be in any other country.  I don't think people should have to pay for resources that they do not have available, especially because they are on an island/island chain that simply doesn't have what they need.  I am really repulsed by the bartering system because of absolute indication of beyond excessive surplus and profit and greed and all that garbage that humanity reeks of.  Yeah some people are happy, but we could be completely unburdened of all negativity if we banded together to rid the world of negativity itself.  I know that Japan would be happy to receive everything that they need for no cost, but I also know that many people would be willing to work, and more willing to work, if they didn't have expenses to pay for... it would really be serving their life's purpose as a component of humankind if they worked to help others, rather than to pay their monthly rent.  I don't have a clue how I would go about organizing a movement to transform this idea into a reality, but I'll work on that.  In the mean time, I would advise supranationalism for Japan, and hope that with the alliance of other countries, they can band together and make deals that work for the greater good of their country, population, and the world.

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Iconic Landscapes

Iconic Landscapes | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
Time lapse video compilation Civilization: Part I - Europe by professional photographer Dominic Boudreault. Shot in England, France, Spain and Italy.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

I found this very stirring.  To see the old and new buildings side by side makes one think about what came before and how the past influences the future.

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Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 9, 2013 12:06 PM

An amazing view of some of the cities of Europe.  As a person who loves history to see these modern cities built around the old civiliztions of Europe is amazing.  For me it is Rome.  To see the runis of the Roman Forum and the Colosseum in the modern Rome is just amazing.  Even more amazing is how some of the buildings built by the Romans are still standing, and in use, when modern techniques do not seem to last long at all.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 27, 2014 5:11 PM

Europe is such a beautiful place where its landscapes, architecture, and waterways have shaped its future. This video shows the beauty of the towns and how everything in is has remembrances of the past. This video is a definite must see!

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, March 29, 2014 6:03 PM

This video of iconic landscapes displays beautiful and historic architecture throughout Europe. This video allows the viewer to see these great areas of Europe. I have a great deal of respect for those who built things such as the Colosseum in Rome years ago, as it is amazing that some of these historic buildings are still standing today. 

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Mass Sacrifice Found Near Aztec Temple

Mass Sacrifice Found Near Aztec Temple | Geography 200 | Scoop.it

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.


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This article talks about not only the recent archeological find but the relevance of it.  Also included in this article are links to other relevant articles and a cool picture of the past superimposed over the modern day site.

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Hector Alonzo's curator insight, October 26, 2014 10:00 PM

While the Aztec' civilization has been gone for a very long time, there are still traces of it resurfacing today. With the uncovering of the bones, it shows that the Aztec temple was very much in the heart of Mexico City has still has more secrets to uncover

Bob Beaven's curator insight, February 5, 2015 2:39 PM

This article shows just how varied the cultural landscape of Mexico is.  Unlike the Native populations in the US, the Aztecs had a large, flourishing civilization that was described by the first conquistadors "to match the glory of any major city in Europe."  When the Spanish eventually conquered the Aztec Civilization, they built right on top of the ruins of the old Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan.  The way that Mexico City is layered right on top of the old Aztec city, means that many human remains and ancient buildings are buried right below the modern city.  This is what makes Mexico City different than any city in the United States or Canada, the cities in these two countries were not built over massive cities that pre-dated them.

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, February 11, 2015 10:07 PM

This seems to be quite a large sacrifice that was discovered. And while it may be just that, it seems more like a mass execution, possibly performed by the Spanish when they battled with the Aztecs and put at the foot near the Aztec temple to send a message that their God could not save them.  If it is a sacrifice, its a pretty large one.