Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Decline and Fall of Assorted Empires

A visualization of four European empires over the course of the 19th and 20th Centuries:



The bubbles respresent "the evolution of the top 4 maritime empires of the XIX and XX centuries by [areal] extent"; hence Britain's loss of Canada looks like a more significant bursting of the imperial bubble than its loss of India, even though India is obviously a far more important place than Canada.

Via Andrew Sullivan and 3quarksdaily.

10 comments:

lemur said...

Why doesn't Pakistan become independent until ~1957, while India does in 1949? Also, why do they show Cuba becoming independent of Spain so early?

Roy said...

And why at the end are Spain and Portugal left so large - what are they defining as their "empires"? The Canaries, Azores and Madeira? I don't think they count as dependencies.

Chachy said...

lemur - Pakistan was a Dominion until 1956 - de facto independent, and 1947 would probably be a better date for marking its severing from British imperial rule. As for Cuba: good question.

Roy - the circles seem to include the homelands. Which is almost all that's left of any of them by the 21st century.

Richard said...

Wow, didn't realize Angola and Mozambique were so large. Meanwhile, the big red blob kept expanding up until WWI.

Gus Snarp said...

That is the coolest visualization I've ever seen.

Piper2012 said...

"Britain's loss of Canada looks like a more significant bursting of the imperial bubble than its loss of India, even though India is obviously a far more important place than Canada."

Congratulations for completely contradicting yourself within a single sentence.

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