China’s Neo-Imperialism in Africa: Perception or Reality?
Hobson hated all of this and his book, Imperialism, an indictment of imperialism and imperialists, is a compelling read. He understood the terrible consequences of European conquest overseas like no one before. He described how jingoism and support for empire inveigled its way into popular culture at home via the media and populist politicians.
- Diamonds and confederation.
- Balancing Acts.
- German imperialism and partition;
It remains a signature text, and influenced Lenin, the philosopher Karl Kautsky, the political economist Joseph Schumpeter and other classics of the anticolonial canon. He was later tipped for a peerage. However, his antisemitism is inseparable from his attack on imperialism.
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Sent out to cover the Boer war for this newspaper when it was known as the Manchester Guardian, Hobson let rip his racism. Reporting on his visits to Pretoria and Johannesburg towards the end of , he mocked Judaism, described the control of the gambling and liquor industries by Jews, and their behind-the-scenes influence over the warmongering newspapers. Our world map is wildly misleading. It's all down to the European cartographer Geert de Kremer, better known as Mercator, and his 16th century map projection -- a common template for world maps today -- which distorts the size of countries.
Now, schools in Boston are taking a stand against the tradition by introducing the lesser-known Peters projection from the s also called Gall-Peters projection in classrooms, to teach children the real size of the continents.
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The move is part of a wider initiative to remove bias within education. The initiative will see students comparing different maps. The Peters projection maps areas in their actual sizes relative to each other, but in doing so distorts their shapes. Though a convenient way to chart the world, Mercator's map distorts proportions, making some landmasses larger that they are in reality.
The Mercator projection was made for navigating the seas -- drawing the meridians and parallels as straight lines that cross at right angles helped sailors to navigate some of the their first treacherous voyages around the world.
What's the real size of Africa? How Western states used maps to downplay size of continent
Mercator initially made globes. Later transferring his map from a three-dimensional curved surface to a flat sheet of paper was problematic. Taking the equator as the logical map center left big, confusing gaps near the poles. Mercator's solution was to stretch out the northern and southern extremities of the globe to fill those gaps, producing an elegant and usable map.
European Imperialism In Africa. -
While a revolutionary tool for captains and explorers, the projection distorts the relative size of the continents, to the advantage of the West. On the Mercator map, Africa -- sitting on the equator, reasonably undistorted -- is left looking much smaller than it really is.
The distortion is largest near the poles: Greenland, which looks about the same size as the whole of Africa on the Mercator, is a classic example.
In truth, it is no bigger than the Democratic Republic of Congo. That European and North American countries are enlarged is no accident. This system provided more space for Western cartographers to mark towns, cities, roads etc in their part of the world, Kraak says. There was, of course, much to map in Africa, too, but that mattered less to the cartographers up north, he adds.