24 February 2019   Leave a comment

British Prime Minister Teresa May has set 12 March as the day the British Parliament will vote on her deal with the European Union for Brexit. That is only 17 days before the deadline of 29 March for the British departure from the Union. The situation remains quite murky because negotiations between May and the Union are still ongoing, with the status of the British relationship with Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland still the unresolved matter. Some in Britain believe that the delay is a tactic to give the Members of Parliament little freedom in avoiding a no-deal Brexit, an outcome that all sides believe to be catastrophic for the British economy. The EU is considering a three-month extension on the deal, as well as a longer 21-month delay. It does appear, however, that May is interested in thinking about a delay at this point, believing that threatening a catastrophe is her best bargaining chip. We will see if Parliament calls her bluff.

Grad student Martin Jan Månsson has created an extraordinary map of trade routes throughout Eurasia in the 11th and 12th centuries. I cannot even imagine how much work was involved in the creation of the map but it is also hard to calculate how much information the map conveys. The map is reproduced below, but there is an interactive map which is much more useful which can be accessed here. The map is testimony to how important trade was to all these various regions and how dedicated and committed those involved were to making trade possible. Jason Kottke describes the meaning of the map:

“The saying is that “all roads lead to Rome” but as this map shows, that assertion belongs to an earlier era. In the 12th century, it was more accurate to say that all roads lead to Constantinople or Cairo or Baghdad or Hanzhong…or perhaps even “all roads lead to everywhere”. It’s not quite globalization, but many of the world’s peoples were well on their way to connecting with everyone else.”

Posted February 24, 2019 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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