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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Geography, U.K. and U.S.

I've never had a particularly good sense of the size of England.

If you too have had this problem and you are more familiar with the states of the U.S., here are some comparisons you can use:

Or, if you prefer, you can imagine the British Isles as Louisiana poised below South Carolina, flanked by New Jersey to its west and a second South Carolina floating above it to the northwest (but this one with Connecticut on its northeast coast), all of which fit inside the borders of Michigan.

Update (to appease the pedants): It seems my reference to "Ireland" wasn't as clear as it could have been. So here's another try.
I'm not going to worry about why the total square miles don't add up exactly.

  • At 10/28/2008 03:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote…

    Except that not all of Ireland is part of the United Kingdom. Subtract one South Carolina.

    Don't mean to be a pedant, but. Well.

    As you were.


  • At 10/28/2008 03:26:00 PM, Blogger Simplicius wrote…

    I tried to capture that by "Ireland alone," by which I meant the entire island. So let me try again:

    Republic of Ireland: 27,133 sq mi
    Northern Ireland: 5,543 sq mi
    The island of Ireland: 31,521


  • At 10/28/2008 03:37:00 PM, Blogger Simplicius wrote…

    The totals for the United Kingdom include Northern Ireland but not the Republic of Ireland (so no subtraction of South Carolina necessary).

    If we were to lump together all of the British Isles, the total square miles would be roughly the size of New Mexico.


  • At 10/29/2008 07:14:00 PM, Blogger Pamphilia wrote…

    Ah, but how many Canadian provinces could you fit in the British Isles?

    This reminds me of when I was in middle school and we were all taught that France was the size of Texas.


  • At 10/30/2008 05:57:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote…

    This geographical comparison is not really helpful in assessing the influence of the British Isles (including Eire)on the history of the world. England and, post-1707, Britain was the most dynamic, free society for almost two centuries. Intellectually, it has been even more significant with its great universities and thinkers exercising an influence significantly greater than that of the United States.


  • At 10/30/2008 11:53:00 AM, Blogger Hieronimo wrote…

    ummm... rule britannia?


  • At 10/30/2008 01:01:00 PM, Blogger Simplicius wrote…

    The only Canadian provinces small enough to fit inside the British Isles are Nova Scotia (21,345 sq mi) and Prince Edward Island (2,194 sq mi). Newfoundland and Labrador are just a bit bigger (156,435 sq mi).

    And, you're right, France (260k) is about the same size as Texas (269k). I didn't realize France as so much bigger than other European countries; it's much larger than Spain (195k), Sweden (174k), Norway (149k), Germany (137k), Poland (121k), Italy (116k), and Liechtenstein (62 sq mi).


  • At 10/30/2008 05:32:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote…

    You have only to look at the distribution of 'post-British' states - e.g. in the cases of Australia, Canada, the Caribbean members of the Commonwealth, Eire, New Zealand and the U.S.A. - to see the extent of the English and British impact on world history. In that sense, Britannia does still 'rul'..


  • At 10/30/2008 11:47:00 PM, Blogger Simplicius wrote…

    ummm...rule colonialism?

    You know what else geographical size is not helpful in assessing? Geology. And batting averages.


  • At 10/30/2008 11:55:00 PM, Blogger Simplicius wrote…

    I love the "dick fingers" around "post-British."


  • At 10/31/2008 12:00:00 AM, Blogger Hieronimo wrote…

    Geographical size tells us absolutely nothing about the relative dessert preference for pie versus cake!

    Ergo, your post is nullified, Simplicius.


  • At 10/31/2008 12:04:00 AM, Blogger Simplicius wrote…

    Pie eaters f*cking piss me off.


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