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Archive: 2020 (6 Posts)

In 1896 Russia obtained from China an eighty-year concession to construct and operate the Chinese Eastern Railway Company.  The railway became an all-out Russian colonial enterprise in Manchuria, with capital, personnel, and railway management all under the control of the chief proponent of the enterprise, Sergei Witte, Russian Minister of Finance.   This Russian map was published in 1901 by its Ministry of Finance, and shows both the Chinese Eastern Railway and the South Manchurian Railway.  The inset in the lower right corner depicts the Kwantung (Liaodung) Peninsula, and the lines to Port Arthur and Dalian.

A Place for Drying Fish Nets

Posted by: Mike Klein

By the 1890s the eyes of the western imperial powers were turning eastwards, especially towards Manchuria. Why had Manchuria become such a hot property? As any real estate agent will say, it’s “location, location, and location.” For Russia, its imperial gaze followed the ambitions of Tsar Nicholas II and Finance Minister Sergei Witte, who wanted …

This map of Birobidzhan accompanied Professor Boris L. Bruk's 1929 report titled Birobidzhan s geograficheskoi kartoi raiona i 7 fotografiiami, and is the earliest printed map of the region.

Go East, Young Jew, Go East

Posted by: Mike Klein

(The title of this post is a satirical  improvisation on a quote attributed to Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune,  when expressing his views towards the westward expansion of the United States.) Somewhere between China’s Heilongjiang Province (Manchuria) and the Russian Far East, nestled in a southern crook of Siberia’s Amur River, lies …

These ten maps on a single sheet, published in 1918 by the Italian-American News Bureau, call attention to the significance of the port of Fiume to many Italians, besides the hero of our story.  Geography and Map Division.  Italy – Fiume – 1918 – Italian American New Bureau

A Fascist Dystopia with Style on the Adriatic

Posted by: Mike Klein

The Croatian seaport of Rijeka commands a stunning view of Kvarner Bay (Golfo del Carnaro), nestled in an arm of the northern Adriatic between the Istrian Peninsula and the Croatian littoral.  Over the centuries its outstanding deep water port has attracted Celts, Greeks, Romans, Franks, Goths, Venetians, Byzantines, Hapsburgs, and Italians, most of whom have contested …

French printed map of the upper Nile region

When Pride Mattered

Posted by: Mike Klein

The small sun baked village of Kodok receives little attention these days.  Lying on the west bank of the Upper Nile River in the world’s newest state, South Sudan, its population has swelled within the last few years due to an increase in refugees fleeing genocide and poverty in Sudan.  Save for a few dusty …