The Geography Behind History

Front Cover
W. W. Norton & Company, 1965 - History - 203 pages
4 Reviews
In studying the inescapable physical setting of history, writes the author, the geographer examines one of the strands from which history itself is woven. To illuminate the vital relationship between history and geographical conditions, W. Gordon East draws examples from ancient times to the mid-twentieth century. He demonstrates that when we look at the physical conditions under which an event occurs, we find that "the particular characteristics of this setting serve not only to localise but also to influence part at least of the action." Topographical position, climate, distribution of water and minerals, the placement of routes and towns, and ease or difficulty of movement between districts and countries are among the factors which the historian must take into account.

Professor East's topics include the role of geography in international politics, the contribution of the geographer to the study of ancient civilizations, and the use of old maps as historical documents.
  

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User Review  - vpfluke - LibraryThing

This little book on geography is a recent discovery at a nearby library. It's a very good introduction as to how the physcial environment shapes mankind's place in it and history. It is well illustrated with maps, and the text is always engaging. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kencf0618 - LibraryThing

I'm a fool for books with maps. Not to put too fine a point on it, I'm a fool for books about maps and geography because they're about models of reality. The black-and-white maps herein are marvels of ... Read full review

Contents

Geography as an Historical Document
1
century B C
11
Old Maps as Historical Documents
15
Coverage of the counties of England by largescale topogra phic maps in the 18th century
17
The distribution of arable land in Berkshire c 1761 based on John Rocques survey
20
The distribution of woodland heath and commons in Berkshire c 1761 based on John Rocques survey
21
The parish of Coleshill Berkshire after John Rocque
22
Enclosed land in two Lanarkshire parishes c 1808 based on William Forrests map
24
17thcentury roads
70
limits of Palaeozoic rocks and Roman roads
71
Towns
74
The port of Hull c a d 1830
78
The site of London
79
Roman London in its geographical setting
80
Liverpool in a d 1795
81
The town and port of Whitby Yorks in a d 1740
82

Land use in Wiltshire drawn from Thomas Daviss map 1794 and with slight modifications 1813
25
Geographical Position
26
The World in a d 1570 according to Ortelius
27
Areas reached by a weeks travel from New York
28
Britain attached to the Continent c 7500 B C
29
between Britain and the Far East
30
The northern front of the Old and New Worlds
32
Areas of culture in Europe c 25002000 B C
33
The Roman walls and the AngloScottish boundary
34
The kingdom of Canute a d 1014103 5
36
The kingdom of Henry II at its maximum extent
37
The position of Crete Troy and the Cyclades Islands
39
Climate and History
42
Europe in the Great Ice Age
45
A generalised vegetation map of the Old World
46
Storm tracks past and present
47
Medieval sailing routes to Greenland
53
Routes
56
London as a route focus in Roman times
62
London as a route focus in the 14th century
63
London as a route focus in the 17th century
64
The distribution of loess in Europe
65
Zones of access into prehistoric Europe
67
The Moravian Gate and its approaches
69
The site of Massilia Marseilles in ancient times
83
Dunstable Verulamium and St Albans
84
Dorchester and Maiden Castle
85
The Humber Lake during the last Ice Age
86
The site of York
87
The distribution of Roman towns in the North Italian Plain
89
The position of Llangollen Wrexham and Oswestry
90
Manchester and Salford c A d 1650
91
The most populous area of southern Britain c a d 1400
92
The former site of Ravenser Odd
94
The Wantsum Channel
95
Coventry as a route focus in the 17th century
96
Frontiers and Boundaries
98
The division of the Carolingian Empire by the Treaty of Verdun in a d 843
99
The limits of Roman Gaul and 9thcentury France
101
Habitat and Economy
115
The Dawn of Civilisation
128
The Dawn of Civilisation in the Americas
144
Europe and China
163
International Politics
180
Reading List
197
Index
201
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About the author (1965)

W. Gordon East was professor of geography at Brikbeck College, University of London.

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