For the final thread of the week, let's go someplace warmer -- Hawai'i! -- & look at 3 different maps, made for 3 different purposes.

Each map is telling the United States a story about Hawai'i. But the stories are very different, even if the geography is (kinda) the same. 1/16
The first map, from 1876, was the product of a trigonometrical survey conduced by the Kingdom of Hawai'i.

The map shows the Kingdom's sovereignty & modernity in the face of growing US encroachment, & the Kingdom displayed it at the 1876 World's Fair in Philadelphia. 2/16
The second map was made in 1893 for the Republic of Hawai'i while its leaders were in Washington DC, trying to convince the US Congress to add Hawai'i as a territory.

This quickly-made map was meant to show Hawaiians as barbaric, & the the islands as natural US possession. 3/16
The third map was made by Dole in 1937, as the Territory of Hawai'i was first petitioning Congress for statehood.

The map shows the islands as strategically valuable, a natural part of the US, and an nonthreatening tourist paradise. 4/16
To see how these maps make these arguments, let's look at how they position the islands in the world.

Both the 1876 & 1893 maps give coordinates from a Greenwich meridian. But the 1893 map also uses a Washington DC meridian -- a requirement for maps of US possessions. 5/16
All 3 maps provide a small inset, showing the islands place in the globe. In 1876 we see Hawai'i as the heart of a full Pacific world. The US isn't labeled, but the islands are, & the map gives mostly local distances.

To borrow from Epeli Hauʻofa, this is a sea of islands. 6/16
The other two maps give us empty Pacific spaces, highlighting Hawai'i's strategic importance. The island appear like the one central point in the ocean. A valuable gateway & guard post.

The distances here are all to places beyond the world of the Pacific islands. 7/16
The maps' portrayal of the Hawaiians tells a story, too. They don't appear on the 1876 map, but it makes an argument about them regardless. This map means to show the achievements of the Hawaians; to argue for them as a modern people, peers of the Europeans & Americans. 8/16
The 1893 map leans hard into Hawaiian barbarism. The map includes a short essay (quickly spliced together from multiple sources) describing the Hawaiians as lazy heathen cannibals & baby killers.

The sort of people who can only be saved by intervention by a civilized power. 9/16
The 1937 map, by contrast, goes out of its way to show the Hawaiians are a harmless cultural relic. Confronted with opposition in Congress to the idea of adding a majority-minority state, the Dole map highlights the Hawaiians as a tourist attraction for US visitors. 10/16
Congress was also concerned by growing tensions w/ Japan, & worried about the loyalty of Japanese-Hawaiians. The Dole map handles this by not showing any Japanese presence in the islands. There is one Chinese laborer, but no figures suggesting disloyalty. 11/16
There's quite a lot more on each of these maps but this should serve to make the point. Each is trying to position Hawai'i and its peoples in a particular way in the US and world imagination. And we can see that in the choices that the mapmakers made. 12/16
Maps are always the product of choices, & are always arguments for how to think about the world. What I love about studying maps as a historical methodology is that the same basic toolkit that helps unlock Matthew Paris's maps also opens doors to modern American mapping. 13/16
This is a slow way of doing history. Noting a map's curious details is the 1st step. You also have to build the knowledge to put the map into context. It's slow.

But it has taken me from eels, to early English politics, to US colonialism. 14/16
If you would like to read more about these maps, I've written article that you can find here:…
Or you can message me at @greenleejw & I'm happy to share. 15/16
This brings me to the end of the thread for the day, & the week! I'll pull together a master thread shortly, w/ the week's content in one place.

I've enjoyed my time at the helm of this account. Thanks to @sasanianshah for inviting me, and to you all for following along!


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More from @Tweetistorian

16 Oct
Maps are great fun. And they tell us a lot about the cultures & people who created them.

Yesterday I talked about how studying #maps led me to eel history. Today I'm taking a close look at a different map: this representation of Britain by Matthew Paris, from about 1250. 1/15
Paris was a chronicler & artist at the Benedictine monastery of St. Albans, just north of London. He drew several maps of England, which he put in his chronicles. The map we're looking at, called the Claudius map, was the most detailed.

Here is Paris's self-portrait. 2/15
The Claudius map is hard to read, but I've created an interactive annotated version at the website below.

You can click on any of the labels & get the modern translation, a transcription, & picture of the location linked to its Wikipedia page. 3/15…
Read 15 tweets
15 Oct
Today's thread about eels & maps. But what do eels have to do with #maps?

Well...I didn't mean to study historical eels at all. But I fell into the study of historical eels by asking questions of a set of maps.

And in this thread I'm going to tell that story. 1/15 Image
I was looking at maps of #London from before & after the Great Fire in 1666. I was curious about how competing visions of the city played out.

One of the maps I was looking at was this city-view map, by John Norden, from 1600. And something on the map caught my eye. 2/15 Image
On the Thames, near Queenhythe, were a pair of ships labeled "The eell Schipes."

This is peculiar to me for 2 reasons:

1: Eels? Really?
2: With 1 other exception, everything on the map w/ a label is fixed & immovable; buildings & neighborhoods that can't sail away. 3/15 Image
Read 15 tweets
5 Oct
1/6 Continuing from the question of urban planning and how it enables or blocks mobility for most people living in the city. How do postcolonial cities deal with this heavy colonial legacy? Unfortunately, some make it even worse. Cf. what happens right now in Nairobi:
2/6 In accordance with a major restructuring plan for Nairobi, an expressway is being built in order to deal with constant jams in the city. Critics say it will exacerbate the still existing East-West divide, especially in terms of the greenery:
3/6 In many countries, urban expansion in the years after independence followed the existing masterplans. In the late 1960s, several ambitious plans were drawn up, for example by a French Urban Planning Mission to Kinshasa.
Read 6 tweets
5 Oct
1/12 In order to analyse the role public transport plays for urban life, we need to be aware of the limitations placed upon it by the built environment - road networks, urban layouts etc. In this regard, African cities have to contend with a heavy legacy: colonial urban planning.
2/12 The colonial period, especially in Africa, is associated with a massive process of urbanisation (though some precolonial cities actually shrank and even disappeared as trade networks changed and states were conquered in colonial wars). Freund, Bill: The African City. A History, New York 2007
3/12 Colonial cities were often planned as if they were built on a "tabula rasa" - although most actually incorporated preexisting towns and settlements. Colonial urban planners could more or less directly transpose their ideas of colonial society onto the urban layout.
Read 12 tweets
5 Oct
1/4 Hi everybody, I'm @rob_heinze. This week will be all about the history of public transport infrastructure. The point I'll be trying to make is that looking at cities from the perspective of mobility opens up important questions about what is often called "right to the city":
2/4 Who gets to move about a city and how? How are road networks built and for whom? What modes of transport (walking, bikes, cars, public transport) are possible in which parts of the city? Which mobility is required and which is enabled by the way the city is planned?
3/4 Another important set of questions is how public transport is (or, as we will see, isn't) regulated: is it organised as parastatal, public private partnership, as a competitive licensing system, or as informal transport, i.e. a lot of small, unlicensed operators?
Read 4 tweets
2 Oct
1/9 The centerpiece of Islamist thought is one idea: only God is sovereign. This implies that only divine law is legitimate. Failure to submit to this conception of God is unbelief. Without South Asian input, this idea wouldn’t have been so successful in the Middle East & beyond.
2/9 The crucial figure is Abul A'la #Maududi. A journalist & politician with early religious inclinations, his career transcended British India & Pakistan. None other than the Egyptian Muslim Brother Yusuf al-Qaradawi led his funeral prayers in Lahore’s Gaddafi stadium in 1979.
3/9 Maududi made the establishment of divine sovereignty (#hakimiyya) his signature demand. But he also envisioned a strong state to uphold it: he called this “the #caliphate of man”. This dialectics between divine & popular sovereignty was here to stay in Islamist thought.
Read 9 tweets

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