Posts Tagged ‘Europe’
Lilian Lancaster was 15 when she drew a collection of 12 anthropomorphic maps of European countries to amuse her ailing younger brother. They were published in 1868 as Geographical Fun, with notes and an introduction by “Aleph” (the pseudonym of William Harvey, a City Press journalist, antiquarian, and family friend).
* George Santayana
As we peruse personifications, we might note that, while folks in the U.S. are celebrating the signing, on this date in 1776, of the Declaration of Independence of the U.S. from Great Britain, it is also a day to spare a memorial thought for two of the drafters and signers of that document, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson (respectively also, of course, the second and third Presidents of the United States); both died on this date 1826.
Changeable Europe: a (largely, if not entirely accurate; still, informative) animated/timelapse look at how drastically European borders have evolved over the last 1000 years.
(Click the Vimeo logo in the player above, or here, for a larger version.)
* Psalms 74:17
As we doubt whether good fences make good neighbors, we might wish a crafty Happy Birthday to Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli; he was born on this date in 1469. Machiavelli wrote comedies, poetry, and some of the best-known personal correspondence in Italian; but he is best remembered as a Man of Affairs, first as a servant of the Florentine Republic in a time during which Medici influence was on the wane. His most famous work, The Prince— first published as a pamphlet in 1513– was written mid-career to gain favor with the Medici, who were at that point regaining dominance in Florence. The essay on the exercise of power (inspired by Cesare Borgia) not only failed to win over the Medici, it alienated Machiavelli from the Florentine public; he never again played an important role in government. Indeed, when the Florentine Republic was established in 1527, Machiavelli was effectively ostracized.
But published in book form posthumously (in 1532), The Prince began its steady growth in influence. And of course today, Machiavelli is considered one of the fathers of modern political theory.
Designer Yanko Tsvetkov is a man of many projects. The maps above are an excerpt (from an excerpt) from his recent book Atlas of Prejudice, Volume 2. See all 20 of his painfully-funny dissections of Europe here; then browse through more of his wonderful work.
As we stuff our backpacks, we might recall that it was on this date in 1963 that Josip Broz Tito was named President-for Life of the newly re-named Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The Yugoslav state had been during World War II; it was a socialist state, a federation made up of six socialist republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia,Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia. (Serbia included two autonomous provinces: Vojvodina and Kosovo). Tito had served as Prime Minister of the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia from it’s formation; he had become the first President of Yugoslavia when that office was created in 1953.
Initially aligned with Stalin and the East, Yugoslavia declared itself non-aligned in 1948. It refused to participate in the Warsaw Pact, pursuing instead it’s own brand of market socialism, sometimes informally called “Titoism.” Steady increases in economic and political freedoms helped Yugoslavia’s economy grow, and made the country far more humane than other Socialist/Communist regimes. At the same time, in devolving more power/autonomy to the regions– originally separate countries– that made up Yugoslavia, it sewed the seeds of the Balkan conflict that began to kindle on Tito’s death in 1980.