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Geography: A History
Origins of modern Geography <ul><li>Origins of modern geography can be dated back to western Europe in the 16 th  century....
‘ Scientific Revolution ’   <ul><li>Foundations of modern science established during 17 th  century.  </li></ul><ul><li>Na...
Geography as exploration <ul><li>Geography as navigation transformed into Geography as exploration.  </li></ul><ul><li>Sci...
Enlightenment Geography <ul><li>Alexander von Humboldt : Prussian, explorer and author </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ideas shaped ...
Emergence of Societies <ul><li>1778 Association for Promoting the Discovery of the Interior Parts of Africa.  </li></ul><u...
Emergence of the RGS <ul><li>Royal Geographical Society became the focal point of world exploration.  </li></ul><ul><ul><l...
Success of the RGS <ul><li>RGS exploited a national passion for heroism in exotic places that was enthusiastically promote...
The time of imperialism <ul><li>An age of European military and commercial colonization of the Americas, Asia and Africa. ...
Geography enters universities <ul><li>Chair of geography established in UCL in 1833 </li></ul><ul><li>First full time post...
Natural Selection? <ul><li>University geography sought to explain human and natural features of the world, but also to jus...
Alternative views <ul><li>Environmental and moral improvement were the justification for intervention from the Western Wor...
Crisis of the 20 th  Century <ul><li>Unexplored and unclaimed  ‘ blank ’  spaces on the world map were rapidly diminishing...
Global Conflict <ul><li>WWI: first truly global conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Mackinder: war had erupted from the territorial...
 
Post-war Geography <ul><li>First schools of geography established during the war: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Liverpool (1917), ...
The Interwar Years <ul><li>Interwar years: evolved into a popular discipline.  </li></ul><ul><li>Sub-disciplines arose.  <...
Emergence of spatial science <ul><li>Nationalistic geographers </li></ul><ul><li>WWII end of geopolitical movements of Ita...
 
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Geography: A History

A brief history of the development of geography as an academic subject.

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Geography: A History

  1. 1. Geography: A History
  2. 2. Origins of modern Geography <ul><li>Origins of modern geography can be dated back to western Europe in the 16 th century. </li></ul><ul><li>Expansion of European power. </li></ul><ul><li>By 1600 the Atlantic trading system had establish links between Europe and the ‘ New World ’ . </li></ul><ul><li>Increased range of European travel and trade transformed European perceptions of the world. </li></ul><ul><li>European universities began to offer specialized courses in geography. </li></ul>
  3. 3. ‘ Scientific Revolution ’ <ul><li>Foundations of modern science established during 17 th century. </li></ul><ul><li>Navigational skills that merely facilitated scientific discovery. </li></ul><ul><li>Discussions of the relative merits of different societies, cultures and civilizations around the world. </li></ul><ul><li>18 th century – era of European enlightenment. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Geography as exploration <ul><li>Geography as navigation transformed into Geography as exploration. </li></ul><ul><li>Scientific exploration as an objective </li></ul><ul><li>New navigational and cartographical techniques. </li></ul><ul><li>1769 James Cook voyage a turning point in the development of modern geography. </li></ul><ul><li>Exploration reflected imperial objectives </li></ul>
  5. 5. Enlightenment Geography <ul><li>Alexander von Humboldt : Prussian, explorer and author </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ideas shaped by late 18 th century European romanticism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Notable travels in South America </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sought a systematic science of geography </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Carl Ritter : German, writer, explorer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unfinished 19 volume Erdkunde published in mid 19 th C </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Objective to create a generalized world geography </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Emergence of Societies <ul><li>1778 Association for Promoting the Discovery of the Interior Parts of Africa. </li></ul><ul><li>Pioneering expeditions by Mungo Park, Hugh Clapperton and Alexander Gordon Laing </li></ul><ul><li>French Revolution: halt the Enlightenment geographical enquiry but provided purpose for the further development of cartography and land survey. </li></ul><ul><li>First geographical societies emerge: Paris (1821), Berlin (1828), London (1830) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Emergence of the RGS <ul><li>Royal Geographical Society became the focal point of world exploration. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1850: nearly 800 fellows </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1870: 2,400 fellows </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Number of prominent scientists joined: including Charles Darwin. </li></ul><ul><li>Dominant figure: Sir Roderick Murchison </li></ul><ul><li>Published general advice through its Hints to Travellers plus it boasts one of the largest private map collections in the world. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Success of the RGS <ul><li>RGS exploited a national passion for heroism in exotic places that was enthusiastically promoted by the British press. </li></ul><ul><li>The explorer was the ideal masculine hero of Victorian society. </li></ul><ul><li>Extensive exploration of Africa – many of the major explorers: Burton, Speke, Livingstone, Stanley – were influenced by the RGS. </li></ul><ul><li>New challenges posed by exploration into Asia, the polar ice caps, and in particular the Himalayas. </li></ul><ul><li>Geographical societies across Europe expanded rapidly. </li></ul>
  9. 9. The time of imperialism <ul><li>An age of European military and commercial colonization of the Americas, Asia and Africa. </li></ul><ul><li>After the Franco-Prussian war (1870) aggressive colonial expansion </li></ul><ul><li>‘ The Scramble for Africa ’ </li></ul><ul><li>RGS remained the largest and wealthiest geographical society in the world. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Geography enters universities <ul><li>Chair of geography established in UCL in 1833 </li></ul><ul><li>First full time post in a British university not until 1887 in Oxford University: Halford Mackinder. </li></ul><ul><li>The RGS and GA worked hard to promote the study of geography. </li></ul><ul><li>Sir Harry Johnstone argued that geography should become a compulsory school subject. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ it was only through detailed geographical description, complete with authoritative and regularly updated topographical and thematic maps, that a region could be know, understood and therefore fully possessed by those in authority ’ (Heffernan, 1996:520). </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Natural Selection? <ul><li>University geography sought to explain human and natural features of the world, but also to justify the existence of European empires. </li></ul><ul><li>Friedrich Ratzel (and others) insisted that the principles of ‘ natural selection ’ applied equally to the natural, social and political realms. </li></ul><ul><li>Imperial ‘ race ’ of Europe </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental determinism and scientific racism </li></ul>
  12. 12. Alternative views <ul><li>Environmental and moral improvement were the justification for intervention from the Western World. </li></ul><ul><li>However, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Petr Kropotkin & Elisee Reclus argued that geography suggested ways of developing a new harmony of human societies with the natural world. </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Crisis of the 20 th Century <ul><li>Unexplored and unclaimed ‘ blank ’ spaces on the world map were rapidly diminishing. </li></ul><ul><li>Mackinder talked of the emergence of 20 th C world order dominated by land based empires bound together by railways. </li></ul><ul><li>Eurasian landmass: the geographical pivot of history = whoever had control would have power over limitless resources and would dominate world affairs. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Global Conflict <ul><li>WWI: first truly global conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Mackinder: war had erupted from the territorial struggle he had foreseen. </li></ul><ul><li>Leading geographers involved in redrawing the political map after WWI. </li></ul><ul><li>Isiah Bowman adviser to US President Woodrow Wilson during peace negotiations. </li></ul><ul><li>Several French geographers advised the French government during peace conferences and the RGS was involved in aiding the Naval and War Office Intelligence services. </li></ul>
  15. 16. Post-war Geography <ul><li>First schools of geography established during the war: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Liverpool (1917), LSE and Aberystwyth (1918), UCL and Cambridge (1918), Manchester (1923) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Expansion of the discipline eroded the control of the RGS on the geographical agenda. </li></ul><ul><li>Geographers keen to establish the subject as scientifically rigorous. </li></ul><ul><li>Institute of British Geographers established in 1933 </li></ul>
  16. 17. The Interwar Years <ul><li>Interwar years: evolved into a popular discipline. </li></ul><ul><li>Sub-disciplines arose. </li></ul><ul><li>Physical and human geography should be brought together in the analysis of specific regions. </li></ul><ul><li>The region became the building block of Geography. </li></ul><ul><li>School of cultural geography established at Berkeley with the idea that historical and geographical particularism and the unique qualities of diverse regions should be explored. </li></ul>
  17. 18. Emergence of spatial science <ul><li>Nationalistic geographers </li></ul><ul><li>WWII end of geopolitical movements of Italy and Germany. </li></ul><ul><li>1960s and 1970s – stress on quantitative geographical enquiry. </li></ul><ul><li>New and more rigorously scientific regional science developed during the post war years. </li></ul>

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