North Americans on both sides of the U.S. – Canada border are commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812 in 2012-15. But while Canadians remember the war as a formative national event, Americans remember it (if at all) as a comparatively minor event in their history, easily overshadowed by the memory of the Civil War, whose sesquicentennial is also currently being commemorated.
The struggle of peoples worldwide for independence from colonial domination was one of the most important geopolitical events of the twentieth century, though the history of decolonization did not, of course, start in 1900. It may be traced at least as far back as the American revolutions of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and might include the nineteenth-century nationalist movem
This series examined recent trends in the study of the mapmaking by the ancient cultures ringing the ancient Mediterranean Sea. The series was organized for the Smith Center by Dr. Richard Talbert (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill), and included seven papers on topics ranging from urban to cosmological mapping.
The expansion of early modern states into global empires had ramifications for almost every aspect of the history of modern cartography. Topographic mapping played an important practical and symbolic role in the attempts to extend European power over newly established dependencies.
Although historians of Cartography often consider the term “commercial cartography” to denote maps of a lesser quality, the commercial motive has been central to the making of maps for centuries. Whether conducted at the behest of governments, scientific organizations, private citizens, or other interests, mapmaking has always been a business as well as an art.
Most people think of maps as simple representations of space, not of time, history, or myth. Yet some Mesoamerican maps relate the myths and legendary histories of the communities that made them, battle plans from all eras narrate the tactics and fortunes of combatants in space and time, and historical atlases chart the expansion and contraction of nations and empires.
One of the most prevalent perceptions of maps is that they are supposed to show us where a place is, and aide us in getting from one location to another. Yet the historical relationship between the traveler and his map has received very little scholarly examination. The lectures given at “Maps on the Move” begin a study of the needs and motivations of mapping for&