Monarchs, Ministers, and Maps: The Emergence of Cartography as a Tool of Government in Early Modern Europe

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David Buisseret
University of Chicago Press, Dec 15, 1992 - History - 189 pages
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These diverse essays investigate political factors behind the rapid development of cartography in Renaissance Europe and its impact on emerging European nations. By 1500 a few rulers had already discovered that better knowledge of their lands would strengthen their control over them; by 1550, the cartographer's art had become an important instrument for bringing territories under the control of centralized government. Throughout the following century increasing governmental reliance on maps demanded greater accuracy and more sophisticated techniques. This volume, a detailed survey of the political uses of cartography between 1400 and 1700 in Europe, answers these questions: When did monarchs and ministers begin to perceive that maps could be useful in government? For what purposes were maps commissioned? How accurate and useful were they? How did cartographic knowledge strengthen the hand of government? By focusing on particular places and periods in early modern Europe, the chapters offer new insights into the growth of cartography as a science, the impetus behind these developments - often rulers attempting to expand their power - and the role of mapmaking in European history. The essay on Poland reveals that cartographic progress came only under the impetus of powerful rulers; another explores the French monarchy's role in the burst of scientific cartography that marked the opening of the "splendid century". Additional chapters discuss the profound influence of cartographic ideas on the English aristocracy during the sixteenth century, the relation of progress in mapmaking to imperialistic goals of the Spanish and Austrian Habsburgs, and the supposed primacy of Italian mapmakingfollowing the Renaissance. Contributors to this volume are Peter Barber, David Buisseret, John Marino, Michael J. Mikos, Geoffrey Parker, and James Vann. These essays were originally presented as the Kenneth Nebenzahl, Jr., Lectures in the History of Cartography at the Newberry Library.
 

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Contents

Monarchs Ministers and Maps in France
99
The Spanish
124
Administrative Mapping in
153
Pageantry Defense
168
Monarchs Ministers
183
Peter Barber
199
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About the author (1992)

Now retired, DAVID BUISSERET directed the Smith Center for the History of Cartography at the Newberry Library in Chicago and was also Garrett Professor of History at the University of Texas at Arlington.

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