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Strange Maps Posts

Cartographic curiosities

Strange Maps

27 - The Republic of Indian Stream (1832-1835)

Missing
over 7 years ago

The territorial history of the US seems pretty straightforward: 13 British colonies on the eastern seaboard secede at the end of the eighteenth century, then follow their ‘Manifest Destiny’ westward, eventually encompassing 50 states by the middle of the twentieth century. There are, however ...

Strange Maps

26 - Flash Gordon's planet Mongo

Missing
over 7 years ago

Much of the action in the comic strip (and later movies) starring Flash Gordon take place on the fictional planet Mongo. This planet is divided in several realms, such as: Arboria: a forest principality, governed by prince Barin. Frigia: a frozen kingdom, ruled over by queen Fria, cousin to ...

Strange Maps

25 - Suur Suomi

Missing
over 7 years ago

Finland gained independence from Russia right after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. A civil war ensued, along the lines of the post-revolution conflict in Russia itself: ‘Reds’ against ‘Whites’. The conservative ‘White’ forces won out, thanks in part to support of the Germans. An outgrowth of ...

Strange Maps

24 - Europe's north-south divides

Missing
over 7 years ago

This map is yet another dissection of Europe, this time focussing on the north-south divides in the continent. Some of the boundaries here were already present in one or both of the earlier maps, especially the religious (Protestant-Catholic) and linguistic (Germanic-Romance) divides. Three ...

Strange Maps

23 - Beyond the pale

Missing
over 7 years ago

Beyond the pale is an English expression for anything beyond the limits of the law or of accepted morality. The aforementioned ‘pale’, far from being a symbolic separator, at one time was a very real barrier: it separated the area of Ireland under English control from the (larger) part of the ...

Strange Maps

22 - Europe: core and peripheries

Missing
over 7 years ago

Post #12 shows a map identifying three core areas of Europe with transition zones in between. This map here has a different approach to European cultural diversity. On the one hand, it posits a contiguous cultural core – roughly correspondent, coincidentally with Charlemagne’s empire (plus a ...

Strange Maps

19 - A Europe of 'little states'

Missing
over 7 years ago

One  last map by Leopold Kohr, also an addendum to his book ‘The Breakdown of Nations’ (1957). Kohr probably realised that dividing Europe into rectangular, US-style states would clash with the ‘tribal’ makeup of the Old Continent’s culturally diverse peoples. So he modified that idea to propose a ...

Strange Maps

17 - the United States of Greater Austria

Missing
over 7 years ago

Franz Ferdinand‘s assassination at Sarajevo in 1914 triggered the First World War. The Austro-Hungarian Archduke and crown prince is known mainly for this (and for the Scottish band named after him), but here’s another interesting piece of info about him: A group of scholars surrounding him came ...

Strange Maps

16 - Europe fits in Brazil

Missing
over 7 years ago

At 8.511.965 km², Brazil is the 5th largest country on earth, the larger ones being Russia, Canada, the US and China (in that order). The country conjures up mostly images of leasurely beach life, or crime-ridden slums. However, Brazil is slowly emerging as an industrial giant and might soon have ...

Strange Maps

14 - What will happen after Belgium?

Missing
over 7 years ago

Belgium sits astride one of the main cultural fault lines of Europe, consisting roughly of a northern half that speaks Dutch and is oriented towards the ‘anglosphere’ and a southern half that speaks French and is oriented towards the ‘francophonie’. Ever since the federalisation of the country from ...

Strange Maps

13 - The retreat of Cornish

Missing
over 7 years ago

Cornwall is the southwesternmost county of England. As with other ‘extremities’ of the British Isles, it was one of the refuges of the original (partially romanized) Celtic inhabitants, fleeing before the invading Anglo-Saxons. Actually, when it was independent (during a period in the early Middle ...