*----Table of Contents
*----For ggr codes, hop to Geography Glossary
0. Useful maps (EG=navigable internet maps)
1. Some Map Theory, Especially for Historians
  1a. Metropols and Peripheries
  1b. Moving-Map History of World Colonialism
  1c. A Peculiar SAC usage = AfroAsia
2. Geographic Table for Russian Eurasia
3. Demographic Page
4. Website and other useful Maps
5. General Websites
6. Bibliography of Atlases
7. The 89 Regions of Post-Soviet Russia
8. Russia/America: Frontiers and Imperial Peripheries
Find geographical acronyms and codes in Geography Glossary| MORE =
F/ecx/ for Environmental topics
F/EUA/ for Eurasia

0. INTRODUCTION = Useful maps
[E] = Eurasian outline map [EUA]
[R] = Standard map of "Russia/USSR/Russia",
w/ topography & political/locational labels

Snow and ice in the global northern hemisphere [ecx]

Google Maps Eugene OR
Google Maps Eurasia [EUA]
GoogleEarth Russia

Enter these navigable internet maps in your web-browsing program's BOOKMARKS window,
create a permanent "tab" featuring this webpage "Geography", thus placing these electronic maps at your fingertips
Become fluent in your use of them (it takes practice)
They allow you to zoom in or out
They allow you to move around the world, even beyond the initial opening frame
They allow you to select "satellite images" of topography or conventional flat maps littered over with place-names

Some Map Theory, Especially for Historians

Speaking of "place-names" and the way they "litter" the face of the good earth on most maps, we need to be careful about how we name certain areas. Mountains have names, rivers have names, the great pools of water (lakes, seas, oceans) have names. These names can vary among the world's many different languages, but they tend to be distinct & reasonably stable over time. Cities are like that too.

Larger territories, EG= "nation-states", "empires", and vaguely prescriptive "geo-regions" [EG="The West" or "The Mideast" or "AfroAsia" or "Europe"], bear many different names over time.

On most maps, territorial nation-state borders are privileged to wrap topography in something like webs. Prominent lines are drawn to encompass areas that are frequently even colored differently [EG], as if the nation-state were as eternal and distinct in shape and location as mountains and seas, or as a piece of tile in an elaborate mosaic floor. The problem is, over time nation-states aren't at all like tile over a stable platform. [On the philosophical question of drawing lines on MAPS [E-TXT]

For example, trace the map history of that geo-political unit called "Poland" [EG=The yellow and orange plots on these four historical maps of Poland]. Poland expands and contracts and moves all over the map of northeastern "Europe" more like a tasty cracker floating in a bowl of soup greedily stirred by neighboring powers than like a firmly laid tile floor.

Nation-states are misleadingly abbreviated in colloquial usage as "nations". Technically, "nation" is not a geographic term. It is a demographic term. Demography is the study of populations. Demography can sometimes locate on maps identifiable varieties of peoples characterized by shared ethnicity and cultural traits like language and other forms of traditional behavior. A big part of those people called "Poles" have over the centuries lived just outside the borders of the territorial units called "Poland". Much history follows from the fact that Poles often didn't like this situation.

And remember that most nation-states (the geo-political term) are comprised of many different nations (culturally or ethnically differentiated peoples, a demographic term). In modern historical times, Russia has been an empire, later a republic within the USSR, and now a distinct nation-state, the Russian Federation. Russia the nation-state has generally put its borders around several score different ethnic nations, of which Russians, as a percentage of the over-all population, fluctuate around 50% [EG].

Russia is the largest nation-state on the face of the globe, and it forces us to re-think the geophysical feature we call the "continent" of Europe. Consider this long road trip = 2016jy09: "German team drives VW Touareg 15,000km from Magadan [ID] to Lisbon [ID] in record 154 hours" [that's 8,830 miles, twice as far as from Anchorage to Miami] [E-TXT of www.rt.com article]

USA is a nation-state with borders around 50 "states" and around many different ethnic nations [EG]

Think also about "Germany" [Deutschland]. There was no nation-state Deutschland until 1871. Germans lived and still live in many different European places not within the nation-state Deutschland. Notice how the colored space representing language groups spills over the faint dash-lines or webbing indicating nation-state borders on this map.

Thus we have to be alert to the fluid nature of borders, and especially of "frontiers". Most of known history has had people abutting and overlapping one another along frontiers rather than borders.

We do better to rivet our most fixed geographical knowledge to high points (mountains and high plateaus), low points (seas and oceans), the waters between the high and low points (rivers, lakes, reservoirs, canals), and the semi-permanent clusters of peoples in cities. Cities, most notably the great metropol centers, are reasonably stable in name

[CF= Geographic Table below]

For a fresh look at the meaning of maps, check this website =
The Map as Cultural Assumption
Here is a suggestive article about hand-drawn maps [2006mr-ap:VIA:37 =TXT]

Metropols and Peripheries

Throughout most known history, the geographic center of state power has been in great ruling cities. These big cities may be called "Metropols" (aka Metropoles or "Cores" )

Here is a table of world's largest cities over the centuries [E-TXT]
Watch this moving-map video as the world's cities appear over a 6,000-year period| The Guardian [VIDEO]

In the epoch historians call "modern" (IE=since trans-oceanic transport became practicable ca. 1600), urban-centered command-and-control power has been regularly projected beyond metropol outskirts, beyond borders of sovereign nation-state authority into wider geo-regions of the world. Here is a hop that gives the long-duration background to this modern historical trend. And at the same time the hop reminds us that urban-centered command-and-control power since that same time has also been exercised with new vigor within sovereign nation-state borders.

Metropols project their sovereign power outward toward what may be called "Peripheries", toward geo-regions that can be either close to or far away from these urban power centers, either within or beyond nation-state borders.

The geographic terms "metropol" and "periphery" used here are derived from "World System" theory [ID].

Among world-system theories, SAC places unusual emphasis on three aspects of the question, (1) the distinction between "Imperialism and "Colonialism", (2) the distinction between metropol-periphery relations within domestic political borders and those beyond nation-state borders [*2016:| Etkind,Aleksandr|_Внутренняя колонизация: имперский опыт России], (3) the importance of "asymmetric war" in both international and domestic projection of metropol power.

As for point #1, the two terms "imperialism" and "colonialism" are often conflated. In recent times, historians have used the term "Settler Colonialism" to de-link or at least bring some distinction of terms in the study of imperialism and colonialism.

Settler Colonial studies encourage transnational comparative understanding, a "focused world history" of a distinct form of imperialist domination, a particular sort of metropol projection into the periphery. Serious study began with *1989|>Wolfe,Patrick|_Settler Colonialism and the Transformation of Anthropology

The most important set of questions about "settler colonialism" raised in SAC are in connection with USA and Russian frontier and imperialist expansion into contiguous peripheries [TXT]

Here in SAC, as we explore the geographical realm of historical experience [ID], let's try to make a simple and far-from-absolute de-linkage of "imperialism" from "colonialism" = Imperialism means projection outward of central state power in pursuit of advantage to that central state power.

Imperialism can take the form of state-sponsored colonial settlement beyond sovereign state borders. But colonialism can be the result of more spontaneous movement of migrant peoples beyond original state borders into other territories, in pursuit of advantage to the colonists themselves. Both of these forms cause problems, as in the case of 19th-c Euro-Americans' movement into and seizure of Native-American lands in the 19th century, or "illegal aliens" crossing the border into El Norte in the 21st. Still, the historian has to see that most instances of colonial imperialism has involved some form of metropol sponsorship, encouragement or supportive tolerance.

This is so even in our more recent period of "transnational corporations". Most globalized economic enterprises are very thoroughly integrated with state power. In this regard there are differences between, say, the 19th-century Russian America Company [ID] and 21st-century Halliburton [ID]. But does this difference suggest a new era of imperialism in our time, or simply a re-emergence of early-modern 16th-century mercantilist imperialism [ID tempts you beneficially to take several hypertext hops on the key morpheme "mercantil"].

As for point #2, World System theory works as well for domestic political conflict (revolution) as it does for interstate conflict (war). SAC presumes that war and revolution are nearly indistinguishable. One is "international war" and the other is "domestic war" [EG].

As for point #3, wars and revolutions grow out of international and/or domestic imbalances of power between nation-states and/or social groups. For now, just let me suggest that the 19th-century concept of "balance of power" as a regulator of interstate relations and the 18th-century concepts of "checks and balances" [ID] and "sovereignty" [ID] as regulators of domestic political relationships both work to prevent development of "asymmetric warfare" abroad and at home.

Two cartoons capture the shared international and domestic political significance of this idea =
Cartoon #1 and cartoon #2

Moving-Map history of World Colonialism [imperialism],
Color-coding identifies the most important waxing and waning imperialist "nation-states" and their colonial peripheries,
seven at first, growing by 1885 to thirteen
Even before you open the moving MAP, here is some help from SAC to get a better grasp of
the map's eleven time periods and the
several metropols (not all "European") and
their many peripheries =

Period #01 *1492 [ SAC#1 | SAC#2 | SAC#3 ] Metropols = England, France, Spain, Portugal, Russia, Ottoman Empire (Turks), Denmark
Period #02 *1550 [ SAC#1 | SAC#2 ]
Period #03 *1660 [ SAC (3 hops on "New World" LOOP) ]
Period #04 *1754 [ SAC (2 entries) ] Metropols = add Netherlands to the list of expansive nations
Period #05 *1822 [ SAC#1 | SAC#2 (2 entries) | SAC#3 | SAC#4 | SAC#5 (long "Great Game" LOOP) ] Metropols = add USA
Period #06 *1885 [ SAC#1 ("Iran" LOOP) | SAC#2 | SAC#3 | SAC#5 ] Metropols = add Belgium, Italy, Germany and Japan
Period #07 *1914 [ SAC#1 | SAC#2 | SAC#3 |SAC#4 | SAC#5 | SAC#6]
Period #08 *1938 [ SAC#1 | SAC#2 | SAC#3 | SAC#4 (2 entries) | SAC#5 (6 hops on the "AfroAsia" LOOP to 45se13) | ]
Period #09 *1959 [ SAC]
Period #10 *1974 [ SAC]
Period #11 *2008 [ SAC]

The map moves automatically through those eleven time periods
The full half-millennium cycle takes only one minute
It is therefore very difficult to "take it all in"
I recommend you pause and ponder the video at each of the eleven time periods
Choose one of the areas, either metropol or periphery, and run through the eleven periods with concentration on your choice

Here is the moving MAP of World Colonialism [imperialism]

Into the 21st century, the conduct of imperial or nation-state diplomatic affairs was and still is frequently identified as the relationship between great ruling cities. When Great Britain (an empire) negotiated with Hitler Germany (also an empire, a Reich), it was frequently described as London negotiating with Berlin. The two metropols, these two centers of executive political authority (government), were negotiating their relationship with one another. At the center of attention were perceived overlapping "national interests" of these metropols, competition and conflict in claimed or desired peripheries.

The peripheries of that north German metropol Berlin expanded dramatically in WW2, and the peripheries of London shrank. SAC editor is in possession of an envelope stamped in 1939 from "Wien, Deutschland" [Vienna, Germany]. The Austrian metropol, Vienna, once the capital of the Holy Roman Empire, became a periphery of the north German metropol, Berlin. Vienna and Berlin have always been where they are, but a German empire was created in 1871 and centered in Berlin, then expanded tragically in WW2 [MAP], was greatly reduced and broken into four parts after 1945 [ID], consolidated quickly as two nation-states [ID], and in 1989, as the Soviet empire disintegrated, Germany reunited as one [ID]. Briefly marvel at these shifting maps of the British Empire.

With all the larger place-name instability, the Rhine and Danube rivers [ecx] just kept flowing along out of the Alps highlands. The Rhine flows into North Sea marshes where the Netherlanders live (wrongly but inalterably called "the Dutch" by English-speakers). The Danube flows through Austria [Ostreich or Eastern-empire] and into the Black Sea. The Danube River flows through diverse lands called "the Balkans" (a mountain chain that runs along the right bank of the big river). These are the lands of peoples whose histories were so often the histories of folks who live at the periphery of foreign great power metropols. EG=LOOP on "Yugoslavia" -- just a few hops will do -- to get a sense of how the metropols Vienna, Istanbul, Saint-Petersburg [Russia], and other powerful but remote metropols (EG=London and Paris) vied with one another for advantage there.

By the way, the word "Dutch" is an English corruption and misapplication of the German word for "German" [Deutsch]. The "Pennsylvania Dutch" are not from Nederland or Holland but from north central European German-speaking territories. "Yugoslavia" is simply the Slavic way of saying "the land where South Slavic peoples live", but then in recent decades we learn that the borders of Yugoslavia were drawn around many other sorts of people, some of them not Slavs at all [EG].

We can feel very confident of geo-political terms like Mediterranean Sea, Damascus, Tigris and Euphrates, Volga, Mississippi, Hindu Kush [MAP-center-right]. But we must remain provisional in our use of terms that identify and try to distinguish large, shifting, indistinct and overlapping geo-regions =