|World map, 1900|
As July 8, 2011 came to an end, a new independent nation was born: the Republic of South Sudan. The republic seceded from Sudan, which was the first nation to recognize the new nation.
|World map, 1940|
|World map, 1990|
By the time I got married, the map had changed. Africa in particular was in a state of constant flux. It seemed new nations were springing up constantly. It made my brain tired trying to keep up. And as I read about the newly formed Republic of South Sudan, I realized why keeping up with the change in the map is only the tip of a very large iceberg. Because the carving of a new nation from another raises many other questions:
- What historical events led to the change?
- Is this a peaceful transition, or will more armed conflict develop in our world?
- What sort of government will the new nation have?
- How will other nations respond?
- Will there be friendly relations between our countries?
- What are the ramifications of this event to the rest of the world?
Or, to quote Kenneth C. Davis in his 1992 book, "Don't Know Much About Geography":
Geography is the mother lode of sciences. It's the hub of a circle from which other sciences and studies radiate: meteorology and climatology, ecology, geology, oceanography, demographics, cartography, agricultural studies, economics, political science. At some level, all these can be related back to geographic factors. It is obvious that a solid understanding of geography is a vital, basic ingredient for a rounded, full understanding of the world and the universe.