38

States Borders First off, most Canadian or American states' borders are not particularly straight. Even when they are supposed to be straight, there are often nooks and crannies. But indeed there's a tendency to use simple straight borders when creating a territorial entity from scratch, especially on the basis of longitude and latitudes. We see this in ...


30

As CsBalazsHungary correctly points out, this was a legacy of Germany's roots as the Holy Roman Empire. As is well known, the Empire remained highly decentralised and fragmented pretty much right up till its demise. Due to the feudalistic nature of the land holding, centuries of inheritances, sales/purchases, and swaps led to extremely irregular borders ...


29

Natural borders such as bodies of water prevailed where there were PEOPLE living around them. For instance, much of the eastern end of the U.S. Canadian border was defined by the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River. On the Maine-Canadian border, it was defined by forests used by Maine (or Canadian) loggers. In such instances, "strong fences make good ...


22

This is a good question that must come to many people's minds when they see the two very similarly sized (Taiwan only slightly larger) islands. The similarities are a even more numerous than the visual. They were both long at the margins of power in Chinese empires, had significant minorities who vigorously defended their autonomy (in Hainan it was the Li)...


18

That is Avignon, part of the papal states. In 1791 the French annexed it. The map below shows the extent of the papal states in 1700:


15

King Narmer is credited with unifying Ancient Egypt. The Upper Kingdom (South) conquered the Lower Kingdom (North)


14

I would argue that the modern idea of defining a countries as a contiguous territory with well-defined borders, was not dominant during the Middle Ages. Before the modern era, in Europe at least, a monarch's territory was more like a list of places, e.g. I own this county, that city, that village, and so on. We can corroborate by looking at recent treaties ...


13

The maximum extent of de facto Nationalist control in China was achieved around 1946. This is after the Second Sino-Japanese War ended, and before the Second Chinese Civil War began in earnest. At this point, the Nationalist Government had recovered all of its pre-war territories (at the height of the Nanking Decade), and made several major additions ...


10

Yes. The Kushites of the upper (more inland, or southern) Nile valley. The Kushites certainly did their time as Egyptian vassals themselves. However, sometime around 727 BCE they invaded Egypt, starting an 80 year period where they ruled the country as the 25th Dynasty. Maximum extent of Kush in 700 BC. While not as extreme as this, it was also fairly ...


10

The Muslim Arabs conquered the Persian (Sasanian) empire and the largest part of the Byzantine empire. The Romans conquered Gaul, and later Britain.


9

I'll try and address your questions separately. Source is mostly personal experience; I used to live in the city-state of Bremen, as well as in the capital of former Prussia, Berlin. You also didn't mention which time period you are talking about; some things have changed dramatically over the centuries. Some things also were different in different parts of ...


8

Here's a zoomed-in screenshot of a map I made using Harvard's Geospatial Library. As you can see in the left, the layer I chose was "Germany State Boundaries, 1914." The little exclave in the bottom center of the screen is Achberg. If you zoom in a little more, it is labeled, but I chose to stay a little further out so you could see the other exclaves. It's ...


8

There is something called "demographic transition": birth rates take some time to adequate to reduced mortality rate. For one generation at least, people keep reproducing as if mortality was still high, and population booms. Yes, it happened in Europe, in the late 19th century - which helps to explain the enormous European emigration to the "New World". It ...


8

Ok, this is an answer to the literal question, not the spirit of the question: The largest place named after an animal is the Tadpole Galaxy as it has a volume in the millions of cubic light years and appears to be the only named galaxy named after an animal.


8

The Counter Reformation in Europe culminated in the murderous, no-holds-barred, Thirty Years War. That war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, and ushered in a period of religious tolerance in Europe that, exclusive of Ireland, lasted for over three hundred years into the 20th Century. Note that the Treaty of Westphalia also occurred ...


7

Because the House of Austria became Counts of Tyrol, and later acquired Vorarlberg. When feudalism gave way to modern states, these territories fused into Austria as we know it today. The thing is, borders are the way they are because of history. You cannot infer geopolitical divisions from only geography, and then act astonished that reality isn't ...


7

The only place you really have the large straight-line International border is West of the Great Lakes (up until Vancouver)1. Probably the most succinct reason it was made that way, rather than at natural boundaries like everywhere else, was that neither side actually had any citizens settled in that area yet. Originally (post-Louisiana Purchase), the USA ...


6

The list can be found in the original Latin on page 68 of this edition of the Ystoria Mongolarum, about 1/3 of the way down the page. On Page 269 (through 295) are C. Raymond Beazley's Notes on Hakluyt's Version of Vincent of Beauvis' Abridgement of Carpini, discussing the text. On Page 278 at the top we have a discussion of India magna (noting that ...


6

HISTORICAL (NAMED) ANIMALS Alexander the Great, in addition to naming numerous cities after himself, also named cities after his horse, Bucephalus, (example: Alexandria Bucephalous and Phalia), and one city after his dog, Peritas. This is also cited by John Kistler: Just as Alexander’s horse Bucephalus would have cities names in his honor, so Peritas had ...


5

In the case of Prussia, there is a rather original institution that was created specifically to handle (a small part) of its “inheritance”: the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. Legally, it's a foundation created by a federal law, with funding from the federal state and the federated states. Beyond that, property would not seem to be especially ...


4

This is Comtat Venaissin. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comtat_Venaissin for further information. If you understand French, you'll find https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comtat_Venaissin more complete.


4

One answer has been the control of tropical diseases such as malaria. In 2014, for instance, there were "only" 438,000 deaths worldwide, despite something like 214 million cases, mostly in Africa, Latin America, and South Asia. This means that the death rate is relatively low compared to the "debilitation" rates, resulting in lost productivity and other ...


4

It has been divided between Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Saudi Arabia and Iraq had in fact reached an agreement on partitioning the Saudi-Iraqi Neutral Zone in 1981. This was ratified as a general border treaty in 1983. This created the de factor border depicted in the above map, as dashed lines. Notice it cuts through the Neutral Zone at the centre. Tentative ...


4

The shape of borders reflects the history and commerce at the time. In the eastern US, borders are often formed by geographic features because transportation at the time was very relevant - and transportation largely depended on waterways. For instance, the northern border of Indiana is straight - but it's about 10 miles further north than it would be as an ...


4

From the Ottoman POV, though, the area was Rumelia; the name derived from Rûm (Roman) in reference to the Eastern Roman Empire, also known as Byzantine Empire, which had previously controlled the area.


4

The Austro-Prussian invasion of Denmark in 1864 during the Second Schleswig War: The war ended on 30 October 1864, with the Treaty of Vienna and Denmark's cession of the Duchies of Schleswig (except for the island of Ærø, which remained Danish), Holstein and Saxe-Lauenburg to Prussia and Austria. Before and during the South African Wars (1879–1915) the ...


3

If we're talking about the Kuomintang, then what's known as the Nanking Decade was when they held maximum power. In the very early republic Yuan Shikai controlled more territory, but not for long as his inability to stop the exploitation of China by foreign powers and his general conservatism made him very unpopular. Source: China in war and revolution, by ...


3

The first known treaty determining the borders was concluded in 2100 BC in Mesopotamia between Lagash and Umma, the first known treaty in Europe was concluded in 493 BC between Rome and Latin League, the first known treaty in Europe that deals with borders was Peace of Callas in 450 BC. That said, it is quite safe to assume that nearly every treaty ever ...


3

Given that you require a historical backdrop (your comments) and the year is 1478, I believe you can get more historical info by focusing on the last years of King Matthias Corvinus (a decent map there, Wikipedia). Also, find below an actual map and some basic info of Ottoman expansion in Europe during this period, from The Cambridge History of Turkey. ...


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