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 Europe's changing borders

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nordmann
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PostSubject: Europe's changing borders   Thu 17 May 2012, 15:42

This has apparently gone viral ...

Ireland's greenness is a bit confusing. For much of the millennium it corresponds to accepted historical fact. Then suddenly for a brief moment it takes over the whole of what is just about to become Great Britain. Other than that the rest seems right.

Or is it?




Last edited by nordmann on Thu 17 May 2012, 22:57; edited 2 times in total
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Vizzer
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PostSubject: Re: Europe's changing borders   Thu 17 May 2012, 22:29

Fascinating montage nordmann.

It reminds me a lot of Colin McEvedy's 'Atlas of Medieval History' (1961). That was a soft-back tabloid book the pages of which could be flicked cartoon-like to achieve pretty much the same effect as above.

The Ireland-ruling-Scotland-and-England bit could be a reference to 1689-90 when James II sought to rule the three kingdoms from Dublin.
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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: Europe's changing borders   Thu 17 May 2012, 22:35

I've just noticed that there's a tiny time counter in the top left hand corner and your suggestion pretty much concurs with that Viz.
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Europe's changing borders   Fri 18 May 2012, 08:52

I'm a bit surprised that you, Nordmann, haven't noticed that Norway never seems to get independence from Sweden, even as later as the year 2005.

EDIT : And the mediaeval independent Kingdom of Mallorca which included the province of Roussillon on the Mainland, never seems to appear not even briefly. Addmittedly the king of Mallorca was supposed to be a vassal of the King of Aragon, but in 1276 James II of Mallorca broke with Peter III of Aragon and even went so far as to side with the French King during the Aragonese Crusade against the King of Aragon (who was actually his brother). Inevitably Peter III's successor, James II of Aragon in 1286 reconquered the state and absorbed it into the kingdom of Aragon.


Last edited by Meles meles on Fri 18 May 2012, 09:18; edited 1 time in total
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Europe's changing borders   Fri 18 May 2012, 08:55

It's hypnotic. I like the music, too.

All those wars; all those treaties; all those people's lives.

Wonder what a future map will show?
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Europe's changing borders   Fri 18 May 2012, 09:32

MM - quite right. Norway appears as Sweden's west coast right up to the death. The Ireland phenomenon, if it is meant to represent James II, extends his reign up to 1703.

I reckon it's been designed by a Swedish Jacobite (or in light of Mallorca someone maybe with a blind spot when it comes to all kings called James II)
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PostSubject: Re: Europe's changing borders   Fri 18 May 2012, 12:10

The one thing that really strikes me is that in 1000-1100, contrary to what one might think, Europe is a continent made up mostly of just a few big states, and is dominated by a huge Holy Roman Empire comprising nearly all modern Germany, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, and the Czech Republic plus large parts of Italy and France. But by 1600 (at which time many other nation-states of Europe eg Britain, France, Spain, Hungary, Poland, Russia have largely established themselves within their modern borders) the Holy Roman Empire, that once great block of stable unity, has dissolved into a mess of teeny-tiny republics, principalities, and petty kingdoms... (the breakup starts much earlier, mid 13th century, with the creation of Italian city-states) ... and it remains that way until Italian and German Unification in the 19th century. After about 1600, as the years and centuries roll by, the heart of Europe remains a twitching, flickering, seething mass of petty states and changing loyalties. It is fascinating to watch.
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PostSubject: Re: Europe's changing borders   Fri 18 May 2012, 13:38

It is also interesting because the timeline unfolds at a constant rate. The consequence of this is that "major historic events" can sometimes be seen for what they really were within the great sweep of history.... mere flashes in the pan.

I got briefly distracted about 1812 and nearly missed Napoleon's "liberation" of the German States and Poland, and his "conquest" of Russia, all over and done in just over a second! Similarly the Third German Reich's pan-european expansion for leibestraum occurs as a brief flaring of German colours, but after a few seconds of activity Europe settles down again within it's established territories.


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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Europe's changing borders   Fri 18 May 2012, 14:16

Both the Hungarian uprising and the Czechoslovakian spring register as blips too. I can see Norwegians getting very upset about this.
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PostSubject: Re: Europe's changing borders   Fri 18 May 2012, 18:56

What an extrordinary record - and what a muddle the centre of Europe seemed to be for so long. I wish I had had this before I opted for the unification of Italy as an A level option. I would have not tried. How on earth did I pass reasonably well? Sure never quite grasped the scened that's for certain. The poplr rise of Germany and its sudden shrinking was interesting viewing. Must Look att this again - and doubtless again.

Thank you nordmann. Of course we are all pretty certain that you exist.
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PostSubject: Re: Europe's changing borders   Fri 18 May 2012, 20:25

The story of Poland-Lithuania (and especially Lithuania!) is astonishing.

At the beginning of the fourteenth century Lithuania was a small Baltic country (as today) and surrounded by hostile and aggressive neighbours, such as the Golden Horde Mongols, Poland, the Teutonic Knights and Muscovy. One would have ranked Lithuania as among the weakest states in the region and one would have been forgiven for not putting much money on Vilnius at that time.

And yet following the accession of Grand-Duke Olgerd in the 1340s the map reveals an almighty eruption of Lithuania as a power. So confident was Olgerd in the future that following yet another stunning victory over the Mongols in 1362 he gave voice to his ballsy ambition:

"All of Russia must be Lithuanian!" he declared.

Well, he didn't quite achieve that but Lithuania remained a giant state stretching from the Baltic to the Black Sea for two hundred years and (later) in union with Poland remained so for another two hundred years.
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PostSubject: Re: Europe's changing borders   Sat 19 May 2012, 05:24

Aye, Viz, I was also fascinated by the back and forth and spread and shrink of borders in that area.

It really makes a nonsense of the 'Who are we" trails - and 'ethnic turn outs'

All strident nationalists should have a good look at the map - several times a week.

I want one on the wall! There ought be a mammoth one in Brussels too - just to remind people of the past and the transcience....... do we reckon that current borders are writ in stone? Was the EU developed to weaken their meaning? Mmm - perhaps, yes, well, fine but heavy booted money makes a louder noise than pussyfooting peace. I ramble again. Sorry.
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PostSubject: Re: Europe's changing borders   Sat 19 May 2012, 05:40

I thought the same after viewing the map P. Rather makes a mockery of so called modern "national identities" and the insecurities of those with a nationalistic bent.

I'll be thinking of this map (along with many snorts of derision) when viewing the feverish flag waving at the upcoming Olympics.
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PostSubject: Re: Europe's changing borders   Sat 19 May 2012, 09:13

Looks like the video has been copyrighted by the owners:

http://www.historicalatlas.com/

That's a pity because the music used by the 'pirates' on YouTube was just great.

Anyway - going back to the 'James II' phenomenon then it seems that we've been looking at it from the wrong angle. Although Ireland was generally depicted on that map with the colour green - so too were the Netherlands. Therefore the 'greening' of England, Scotland and Ireland from 1688-1702 doesn't refer to James II at all but instead refers to his nemesis William of Orange-Nassau.

Why do we sometimes avoid the most obvious explanations and seek convoluted ones instead? Human nature - who need it.

It just goes to show the power of images and imagery over the written word. In the mind's eye Green = Ireland and Orange = Holland. We get seriously thrown, therefore, when someone decides that Green = Holland. It might have helped matters had the map-makers used orange instead.
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