Architecture of Continents Notes
Architecture of Continents Notes PS 324
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Date Created: 09/30/14
EUROPEAN POLITICS The Architecture of Continents 0 The original continental distinction was created by ancient Greek mariners I Europe and Asia came first I Africa was next 0 Not all Greeks considered themselves to be European I European northerner or non Greek 0 Roman also adopted the Greeks system but only used it to help divide up their empire 0 Medieval and Renaissance Constructions I Included religious and Greek believes Noah gave his three sons each a section of the world 0 Shem Asia 0 Ham Africa 0 Iapheth Europe I Changed the separation of Asia and Europe from the Nile River to the Black Sea I The term Europe was sometimes used to refer to the emerging civilization in the largely Frankish lands of Latin Christendom which were occasionally contrasted with an increasingly fabulous Asia to the eastquot I During this time Africa was dismissed as inferior They thought it was too small and just a desert I T O maps of the world at this time re ects the theological theory at the time The T like figure showing the water bodies that separated the continents I It was in this period that the continental scheme became the authoritative frame of reference for sorting out the differences among various human societies I During this time many of the religions at the time where continuously pushing each others borders to gain new territory forcing the Christians to retreat in Asia Minor Christians headed to the southeast and the northeast of Europe I By the 15th century many Western Christians where calling themselves Europeans At the same time Turkish conquest and the separation between the West and East Christians helped create the divide between Europe and Asia even stronger 0 Old Worlds New Continents I Once the Europeans found the Americas they realized the trifold continental system doesn39t work I Many geographers at the time did not acknowledge the existence of the Americas Example La Division du monde that was created by a French geographer ignored the Americas and made a map only containing Europe Asia and Africa Once people acknowledge the Americas as a continent they also thought that it was inferior like Africa 17th century At this time in history Africa Asia and Europe were envisioned to be interconnected world islands The Orbis Terrarum World Islands in Latin Over the nest several centuries the fundamental relationship between the world39s major landmasses was increasingly seen as one of separation not contiguity Though mapping improved dramatically during this period the concept of global division hardened and didn39t allow conceptual deterioration 0 New Divisions Geographers realized that maps should be a more of division of people instead of the cosmic plan The Red Sea and the Gulf and Isthmus of Suez as the African Asian border Realized in the 16th century One theory during the 16th century was to divide Europe and Asia with the Don Volga Kama and Ob Rivers In the 18th century a Swedish military officer Philipp ohann von Strahlenberg proposed that the Europe Asia divide be the Ural Mountains Very popular with Russian intellectuals who favored Peter the Greats westernization Only approved by everybody after French geographer M Malte Brun approved the divide o 19 century Some people still argue about the true divide to this day 0 The Continuing Career of the Continental Scheme The word Continent is a fairly modern term for the divide of the land masses Continent emphasizes to contiguous nature of the land in question Originally only the larger land masses Europe Asia and Africa were considered a part of a continent but gradually geographers started to accept islands and smaller land masses Example By 1752 Emanuel Bowen was able to state categorically A continent is a larger space of dry land comprehending many countries all joined together without any separation of water Thus Europe Asia and Africa is one great continent as America is another I Some geographers argued that Europe was just an extension of Asia German geographers Alexander von Humboldt and Oskar Peschel Russian Slavophiles I The fourfold scheme of how the geography of the world was the main version people accepted in the 1800s I Basically the world map is based on one perception of the world at that time I During this time period many geographers and thinkers believed that each continent is completely separate because of the heritage and culture of its people Example Carl Ritter Each continent is like itself aloneeach one was so planned and formed as to have its own special function in the progress of human culture 0 Also came up with the theory of Europeans White people Asians Yellow people Africans Black people and Americans Red people I Still a perception that we have today I By the 19th century everyone had accepted what the continental system was o Into the Twentieth Century I Geographers had a lot of issues how to categorize SE Asia Australia and the islands of the Pacific 18th century The world was mainly divided into VIZ Europe Asia Africa and America I Middle of the 19th century Oceania was considered continent This included the Pacific islands like Australia NZ etc I America was separated in North and South America using the natural laws to consider land to be a continent Became common in after WW2 I Antarctica became a continent even though it did not have human life I Seven continent theory gained acceptance in the US Some people still say that there are only 5 continents but for the most part everyone else accepts the 7 continent theory o The modern Continental Scheme and Its Exceptions I The Irrelevance of Continents Basically not one form of life is completely restricted to one continent o IE owers animals and humans Continents do not follow the tectonic plates o India is apart of the Indo Australian plate instead of Asia 0 If we were to use the tectonic plates as guidelines to decide what the continents divide are certain islands would be considered continents and some continents would be joined together I IE Europe and North America 0 The gist is that the rules of being a continent are hypocritical because some islands that should be considered a continent because they have their own tectonic plate while other continent share tectonic plates with other continents are still continents I Many consider tectonic plates to be the divide between continents and use it to justify certain ones I The European Anomaly Oscar Halecki in 1950 argues that Europe is nothing but a peninsula of Asia Many consider Europe and Asia to be the same continent because it doesn39t not have an obvious divide between them The Encyclopedia Britannica argues that they should be considered separate continents because of the different cultures and heritages of the people Europe and Asia does not follow the main criteria to both be considered continents 0 Some argue that these two could be divided more into sub continents I Based on cultures But with this logic Asia would be divided up even more because the cultures are vastly different 0 IE Thailand to Saudi Arabia Europeans see this as the part of the Asian continents charm instead of a aw in their classifications o ean acque Rousseau argued that Europe was so special because it made various nations a real society while others merely blended together under one name A lot of these divisions between continents and sub continents are not really based on cultural or geographic divides but political divides I Continental Reorientations in the Popular Imagination IEIHTQQLHIETTGA A map of The Seven Continents and Their Displacement in the Popular Imagination Today many people do not consider certain parts of continents to be apart of that said continent 0 Example Israel and Pakistan are apart of Asia Many people today couldn39t give the exact area of where the divide between continents are o This information has become almost irrelevant The Roots of Geographical Determinism o Continents and Regions I Environmental geographical determinism is the belief that social and cultural differences between human groups can ultimately be traced to differences in their physical environments Basically it helped feed the whole Eugenic frenzy o Europe and Metageographical Determinism I Europe has been pictured as an area of environmental possibilism because of its moderate climate and diverse landscape I Asia and Africa has been viewed as an area with climatic rigor and physiographic uniformity People have been subject to iron physical laws I The idea that Europe alone escaped geographical determination continues to this day I The reason why so many people accept these notions is because we don39t know much about the global environment We turn a blind eye to everything that doesn39t specifically pertain to us This entire article highlights the human need to categorize every little thing and how people do not want to be proved wrong The world and definitions are forever changing about what it means to be a part of a society and our social identities
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