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Historical Maps at the Beaton Institute Essay


The map that I have chosen for analysis was created by Johannes de Laet who was one of the most famous geographers working in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The discussed map is one of his most famous works, it was created in 1633. The map is called “Nova Francia et Regiones Adiacentes”.

The discussed map is likely to have been created for the specific social group. At first, it is likely to have been designed for literate and educated people who could read maps. What is more, the creator was a merchant, and I suppose that one of the purposes of the discussed map was to help the other traders to become familiar with the depicted land as there were plenty of natural resources that could be sold in other places. To continue, the depicted place could present certain interest for the well-off section of the society as there was a fertile ground allowing growing a lot of agricultural plants. Richer people must have been interested in the land because there was a huge fish stock.

The discussed map is believed to be the first one depicting Prince Edward Island. It is unique because it is one of the first maps showing Lake Champlain which is situated near the borders of Canada and the United States. The map presents quite an accurate depiction of the most prominent objects and the configuration of the terrain. It is mainly focused on geographical properties; it includes a lot of hills and forested areas. The land is surrounded by water, and rocky beaches are shown as well.

I believe that there are specific elements in the map that demonstrate its primary purpose. If the map was initially created for the people who wanted to reclaim the land, it is quite obvious that these details could help them to make a choice and decide where to go to reach their goals. Furthermore, it could be very helpful for sailors as all the geographical denominations are included and certain elements of submarine relief are also presented. Due to that, it would help travelers to arrive at their destination.

I believe that there are no elements in the map that would suggest certain inequalities between the representatives of different social groups living in the depicted territory. Instead, the map focuses on the properties of nature. The only thing connected to this map that can be regarded as a manifestation of inequality between social groups is the situation with literacy. Common people were not supposed to be able to read and write. The map contains a lot of geographical names, and this is why it could not be read by the majority of people.

Despite a great number of details that are shown in the discussed map, many details are absent. To be more precise, there are no villages and towns depicted in the map. In that period, the land was undeveloped, and there were no large objects connected to human activity. As for the worldviews of the creator and its audience, the work is likely to be the result of ambitious people’s willingness to reclaim new territories. Furthermore, maps can serve as the means of exercising power as they are closely interconnected with the political situation in any territory.

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IvyPanda. (2020, August 27). Historical Maps at the Beaton Institute. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/historical-maps-at-the-beaton-institute/

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"Historical Maps at the Beaton Institute." IvyPanda, 27 Aug. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/historical-maps-at-the-beaton-institute/.

1. IvyPanda. "Historical Maps at the Beaton Institute." August 27, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/historical-maps-at-the-beaton-institute/.


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IvyPanda. "Historical Maps at the Beaton Institute." August 27, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/historical-maps-at-the-beaton-institute/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Historical Maps at the Beaton Institute." August 27, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/historical-maps-at-the-beaton-institute/.

References

IvyPanda. (2020) 'Historical Maps at the Beaton Institute'. 27 August.

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