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20

The Prime Meridian we use now was the one the British chose, since it went through Greenwich Observatory near London. France had their own where Paris was 0 degrees, the US had one. When the situation of each nation having its own longitude got too annoying, they picked one. England's won out because of 2 factors: 1) England was the largest power at the ...


20

The pre WWII border between Poland and Germany was defined in the Treaty of Versailles, more specifically Part II, Article 27, point 7: From the point defined above to a point to be fixed on the ground about 2 kilometres east of Lorzendorf: the frontier as it will be fixed in accordance with Article 88 of the present Treaty; thence in a northerly ...


18

To some extent, the answer depends on your definitions of "abundant" and "major city." Generally, the supply of water needs merely be adequate to support a population, not "abundant," so I would argue that the situation you describe is rather common, with perhaps hundreds of important cities present and past thriving despite their distance from a major ...


17

As fate would have it, the first known globe of the Earth was created in 1492, the same year as Columbus' voyage. As such, it is also the only known globe to depict the area between Western Europe and East Asia prior to the discovery of the New World. None of the earlier flat maps I could find made any kind of legitimate effort at depicting this area. The ...


13

The book "Longitude" discusses this, and says the international standardization of the prime meridian arose mainly due to the publication of practical astronomical tables which used the Greenwich meridian. As ships started using these tables for navigation (as opposed to dead reckoning), they naturally switched to using the Greenwich meridian if they hadn't ...


13

During the early stages of the Turkish War of Independence, Kemal commanded two army corps: One in Ankara and one in Erzurum. At first Erzurum was Kemal's base of operations, but on 27 December, 1919 he moved his Representative Committee to Ankara to be closer to Istanbul. Ankara also had a railway and being roughly at the center of Turkey made more sense ...


11

I think the Carpathian Ruthenia area (the little triangle on the "end" of Czechoslovakia after the end of WW1) gives us five bona fide separate national entities and more if pseudo-states (such as your Fiume) and other periods of loose or brief control are allowed. up to 1918 Austria-Hungary 1918 Hungary 1918 West Ukraine 1918-1939 ...


11

Your question assumes that some kind of a formal decision was made and that most countries explicitly agree that there is an official demarcation. As this boundary is mostly cartographical, no country has ever, to the best of my knowledge, made an issue out of this location. It's been the practice to just use whatever demarcation that other cartographers ...


9

Some colonies, including Virginia, claimed all land to their west. Other states, including Pennsylvania, had defined western boundaries: Ever since the proprietary grant to William Penn in 1681, the border between Virginia and Pennsylvania had depended upon defining the eastern edge of Pennsylvania. Once that eastern edge of Pennsylvania was ...


8

City where I live, Bangalore (in southern India) would be an example. It has a population of about 8.5 million (which is slightly more than that of New York city), so it definitely can be considered a major city. It is not built on the shores of any significant water body. It has been around since at least 1537, if not earlier. I am guessing that there ...


8

The Japanese surrendered formally on Okinawa on September 7th, 1945 at the Tenth Army Headquarters. There is relatively little concrete detail about exactly where the 10th Army was headquartered at the time but given that their initial landing was near Yomitan and their current headquarters is in the vicinity, I'd expect them to be one in the same. The GPS ...


7

There are a number of streets in the UK, and I'm sure that there are in other countries too, that are named after literary characters. For example the town of South Woodham Ferrers, in Essex has a number of streets named after characters from Lord of the Rings. E.g. Arwen Grove Elronds Rest Galadriel Spring Gandalf's Ride Meriadoc ...


7

Unfortunately I don't have a resource that would have lat/long for the Polish borders pre-wwii, but I did find a detailed map that shows multiple towns that could help map to their present day locations. It's for Poland and the Baltics, but it does seem to have decent detail along the Polish/German border. Let me know if this helps at all.


6

Well one way to answer would be to just show you some Roman maps. While they are not a perfect as modern maps, I would say that, for Europe at least, they are not bad. Remember that until recent times It was not possible to gauge longitude accurately. So for example, on this map copied in the 15th century from Ptolemy's 150AD work, you can see allot of east ...


5

"Europe" can mean different things depending on context. To geologists, there is no such thing as a distinct European land-mass since it is inseparable from Asia (hence Eurasia). Politically, Europe might mean the member states of the EU or the EEC. In sporting terms, Israel and Kazakhstan are in Europe. According to Turkey, country is entirely in Europe, ...


5

Interwar borders of Poland can be found on wikipedia: The map in canadiancreed's answer is a map of Poland between Brest-Litovsk and Versalles treaties in 1918 (treaties ending WWI) and treaty of Riga in 1920 (treaty after the war between Soviet Russia nad Poland). Poles managed to defeat soviets in 1920 (see Warsaw battle, or miracle at Vistula), and ...


5

Lviv: Austria-Hungary (until 1918) Western Ukrainian National Republic Poland (1918-1939) USSR (1939-1941) Reichskommissariat Ukraine (1941-1944) Poland (1944-1946) USSR (1946-1991) Ukraine (1991-now) This does not qualify as the most number of different countries, but probably qualifies as the most number of changes in national flag.


5

I would argue against the premise. Which Switzerland is undeniably a mountainous region it still obeys the general rule of being on one side of a mountain. This map is a physical clue to what is going on, Switzerland is actually based around the Swiss Plateau, not around the alps. If we reach back into history just before Switzerland came together into ...


4

Wikipedia seems to be saying that that entire area up to the Euphrates is considered part of Syria (or "Greater Syria" if you prefer). You are correct that the English name for this particular desert (and only that desert), is "The Syrian Desert". Historically anywhere that is mostly uninhabited is going to have fairly vague political boundaries. If there's ...


3

Reading between the lines of various online sources (mostly Wikipedia articles, unfortunately) it appears that Italian-American internees did not have dedicated camps, but instead were housed with German-American and Japanese-American internees as convenient. It also appears that, due to the vigorous lobbying by the Italian Labour movement (and undoubtedly ...


3

In Poland, where I live, there are also many streets that are named after fictional characters. Usually, this practice dates for about 30 years. The Winnie-the-Pooh St. in Warsaw (Ulica Kubusia Puchatka) dates 1950s. I can't find the source now, but I read that it was the first street in Poland to be named after a fictional character. There are now lots ...


3

The satrapy system meant that many large regions of the empire were given autonomy - as long as they accepted the current Achaemenid king as their overlord complete with tribute and soldiers. And each satrap would be in charge of his own vast region. For the more remote areas of the empire, i.e. Central Asia (not the same as the Middle East) that were ...


3

Originally it was called "Virginia." :) In all seriousness, the Chesapeake Bay was the original focal point of the colony of Virginia, moreso than the land. As such, the name "Eastern Shore" (still the term I and other locals use) was the more common term. Even places like Assateague and Chincoteague - completely on the Atlantic and thus having water to ...


3

There are several antecedents you may want to take in consideration to approach an aswer for this question here: Queretero as such was re-founded on 1537 by the local Otomi leader "Conin" who was baptised by the spanish church and named afterwards "Fernando de Tapia". Using his friendship with the spanish caciques, he managed to secure the location for the ...


2

You have to remember that these major cities weren't major cities when they were first built. Jerusalem was a small town for most of its existence, and had sufficient water for its population. Consider a couple of modern-day examples without much (if any) local fresh water source. Los Angeles started as a sleepy farming community, with enough water from ...


2

That appears to be the survey of LA drawn out by Lieutenant Edward Ord in 1849. If so, then the Fort Street in the grid-like area in the upper left area of the map later became Broadway street. Hill Street, the next over from Fort Street on the survey, is still the next street NW from Broadway today. As for where on Broadway that is, I'd say its almost ...


2

According to Wikipedia, this division was first put forward in the 18th century by Philip Johan von Strahlenberg. It's best if I just quote the passage in full: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasia#History_of_the_Europe_and_Asia_division In ancient times, the Greeks classified Europe (derived from the mythological Phoenician princess Europa) and Asia ...


2

In order to understand the pre-war Polish-German boundary, it is worth noting that six (or five and a half) provinces were taken from Germany and given to Poland after the war. These provinces included Silesia, Opole, Lower Silesia, and Lubuscz in the west. That is, their EASTERN boundaries had formed the German-Polish boundary before the war (as part of ...


2

I came across a passage from Colin McEvedy that went into this somewhat. There is, of course, a conflict of interest between continental and littoral peoples but this does not become overt until the continental communities become organized into a centralized state. It is only then that the national aspirations are formulated and that there is a drive for ...


1

The choice of the Greenwich Meridian (for the 0 degree longitude) was arrived at during a time when Britain was the primary naval power and London was the "center" of the world. It is fortunate at the 180 degree line (relative to the Greenwich Meridian) mostly ran through the Pacific Ocean. That made it convenient to have much the international date line ...



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