March 25, 2013

How did this happen?



A river, a country: It's The Gambia, today's "History of" country.
In medieval times the area was dominated by the trans-Saharan trade. The reign of the Mali Empire, most renowned for the Mandinka ruler Mansa Kankan Musa, brought world wide recognition to the region due to its enormous wealth, scholarship, and civility....

As time went on the area began to suffer from continuous Moroccan and Portuguese invasion and looting. By the end of the 16th century, as the raids continued, the empire collapsed and was conquered and claimed by Portugal....

During the late 17th and throughout the 18th century, Great Britain and France constantly struggled for political and commercial supremacy in the regions of the Senegal and Gambia Rivers....

An 1889 agreement with France established the present boundaries, and the Gambia became a British Crown Colony, divided for administrative purposes into the colony (city of Banjul and the surrounding area) and the protectorate (remainder of the territory).

18 comments:

traditionalguy said...

That looks like Egypt.

A river runs through it.

Mark said...

Because humans as political animals are pricks? My best guess.

Dante said...

Some misguided soul wanted to design a better condom.

Rob said...

Its national motto is "Go with the flow." Its national anthem is "Old Man River."

edutcher said...

Most places end up on the map because they were at the junction of 2 or more rivers, or where the river met the sea.

And again, it's where the slave trade began.

ironrailsironweights said...

The reign of the Mali Empire, most renowned for the Mandinka ruler Mansa Kankan Musa, brought world wide recognition to the region due to its enormous wealth, scholarship, and civility....

A more obvious attempt at political correctness is hard to imagine.
As for snow, there of course isn't any.

Peter

30yearProf said...

We've spent the Christmas Holidays there twice. It is a warm, safe, English speaking country with nice beachs, good hotels and gourmet restaurants. Two weeks (for two)from London, including airfare, can be done for under $3000.

It's secret destination the Brits are hiding from Americans. I'm sure that we'll go back again.

30yearProf said...

We've spent the Christmas Holidays there twice. It is a warm, safe, English speaking country with nice beachs, good hotels and gourmet restaurants. Two weeks (for two)from London, including airfare, can be done for under $3000.

It's secret destination the Brits are hiding from Americans. I'm sure that we'll go back again.

madAsHell said...

....and Bill Gates wants to build a better condom.

John Lynch said...

Senegambia didn't work out.

Craig said...

The entry quoted claims the Gambia became a crown colony in 1889, yet if you pull up the wiki entry for crown colony it's not on the list. Fiji didn't make the list either, though it was also a crown colony. The Commonwealth has to be selective to keep from being confused with the UN.

Craig said...

The litmus test for a crown colony. The steering wheel is on the right and the tires are on the left hand side of the road.

AlanKH said...

At first I thought it was a Congressional district, but then I noticed how symmetrical the borders are.

FleetUSA said...

Why is it called the "North Atlantic Ocean" on the map? It isn't very far from the Equator.

Balfegor said...

I thought you were going to bring up the story with the British cannons (that the border looks like that because that's how far the cannons could fire from the river) but I guess that's just a modern myth. Oh well.

Lezer said...

"Wonderful are the effects of climate. The Moorish females will become mothers at the age of twelve, and they are frequently affianced at the age of six; their beauty is coeval with their maturity, which is very short lived, for at the age of twenty, a European would consider them as superannuated. It is mostly caprice that regulates the choice of a wife, and the same caprice will as peremporily repudiate her.
We cannot refuse the praise of hospitality to these wandering children of the desert; it is a virtue which they exercise promiscuously towards strangers, without distinction of rich or poor, the Christian only excepted, who is, ipso facto, a kind of outlaw among these people."

G. Mollien, Travels in Africa, to the sources of the Senegal and Gambia, in 1818. Translated from the French, London 1820, p. 5.

Mitch H. said...

Clearly not a petrotyranny, but at least they're not nearly as impoverished as the inland postcolonial states. The virtues of having a port can't be over-stated in Africa. It can be the difference between mere poverty and "on the razor's edge of starvation".

And "why Gambia"? What other reason, in Africa, but the vagaries of 19th Century colonial geopolitics? The Gambia River belonged to the British, the Senegal belonged to the French, and it was never important enough to trade either one to each other in any of the relevant treaty negotiations.

Kirby Olson said...

There aren't many doctors in the country. The lifespan is rather brief due to various diseases including malaria. But they have pretty stamps.