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From Geographical Expression to German Empire

  • Richard Scully
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Part of the Britain and the World book series (BAW)

Abstract

When considering how the British viewed and depicted Germany in the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, it seems appropriate to begin with an examination of their image of the land itself: the shape of its coast-line, extent of its borders, the position of its cities and rivers. Cartography allowed the Britons of the period to gain an immediate picture of the essential physical nature of any state — not merely Germany — by imagining its appearance on the page. And just as other visual sources can further inform the historian as to the prevailing attitudes of Britons towards Germany and the Germans, it is possible also to read maps in this way. Keith Robbins among others has acknowledged that ‘every map has a message, implicit or explicit’, and that as in the writing of a history or novel, in the science of cartography there is just as much ‘need to tell a story’2 The quotation at the head of this section exemplifies well the starting-point from which many Britons approached an understanding of their German cousins; although as we shall see, it presents a somewhat simplistic interpretation of the available cartographic evidence for dramatic, literary effect.

Keywords

German State Political Division Ionian Island Prevailing Attitude Central European State 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Note

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Copyright information

© Richard Scully 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Scully
    • 1
  1. 1.University of New EnglandAustralia

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