March 1, 2024

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Ian Morris – Geography is Destiny

“Geography is destiny,” says Ian Morris, a Stanford historian and paleontologist, referring to the millennia-old history of his homeland. The Briton comes from Stroke-on-Trent in the Midlands, where the majority of the population voted to leave the European Union in 2016. The long-term scholar, who puts historical studies on the present like a piece of metal, sees Brexit in particular as the “last step”. In a game that lasted 8000 years. Even the ancient Britons were as ambivalent about the Roman Empire as modern Britons are about the European Union. Morris believes it is necessary to delve into the past to understand Britain’s present, in particular the causes and consequences of the Brexit referendum, and the country’s current future options.

It is clear that economic history from the Stone Age to the present day attracts more and more authors who are diligent in their search for knowledge. Israeli economist Oded Galor has just published his book The Journey of Humanity on the interaction of socio-economic factors such as population diversity and geography (FAZ from April 19, 2022). The last two forces seem to have a special long-term effect. Geography, in particular, is of great importance as certain advanced standards, institutions, and developments appear. This is also shown by the course of history in the case of Great Britain. Ian Morris’ book deals first and foremost with the British Empire’s changing relationship with Europe and the world. His book begins at the end of the Ice Age, when the sea separated the British Isles from the European continent and made them a target for invaders such as the Romans, Vikings, Normans, and sometimes immigrants. It also follows the early days of the United Kingdom, the struggle for the Atlantic and the rise of the Pacific.

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