Lattitude and geographical expansion.

Fantasus

Ad Honorem
Jan 2012
2,381
Northern part of European lowland
What could the relation if any be between the expansion of peoples, empires and lattitude? Some northern peoples, from what I know about as the "eskimo-aleut" groups are spread over vast northern territories, from eastern parts of Siberia over Northern North America to Greenland. An Empire like the Russian expanded to one of the biggest ever. Both in general at high lattitudes, relatively closer to the North Pole than others. This makes less hours of night darkness, more of light for campaigns as well as other voyages and expeditions. Then also the freezing of water in wintertime may have helped groups of voyagers and explorers as well soldiers passing water. Rivers, lakes and even small parts of the Seas. So, could lattitudes have been more important than many of us think about?
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,478
Dispargum
In the Northern Hemisphere people can see the North Star, which aids navigation. The Southern Hemisphere has no navigational equivalent. Navigation leads to exchanges of ideas and knowledge which stimulates creativity and technological progress.



Most of the Earth's land surface is in the Northern Hemisphere. More land - more people - more brains working - more technological progress. Then add that South America and possibly Australia were peopled relatively late and still had small populations when those regions were discovered by Europeans. Again, fewer people means fewer brains at work which means less technological progress.
 
Oct 2014
1,259
California
The Southern Cross points down to the South. So important a navigation tool, it appears on the flags of many nations in the Southern Hemisphere...







 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,478
Dispargum
Finding north or south isn't the issue. It's finding latitude that matters. Yes, it's possible to find latitude via the Southern Cross, but it's more difficult and less precise than using the North Star.


I don't know if anyone navigated using the Southern Cross without previous knowledge of how to navigate using the North Star. Navigating via the Southern Cross is not as intuitive as via the North Star. There are accounts of Polynesians navigating via the stars but they lived near the equator and could use some northern stars as well as some southern stars. Point being that the farther south one lives, the more difficult celestial navigation becomes.
 
Last edited:
Oct 2014
1,259
California
Finding north or south isn't the issue. It's finding latitude that matters. Yes, it's possible to find latitude via the Southern Cross, but it's more difficult and less precise than using the North Star.


I don't know if anyone navigated using the Southern Cross without previous knowledge of how to navigate using the North Star. Navigating via the Southern Cross is not as intuitive as via the North Star. There are accounts of Polynesians navigating via the stars but they lived near the equator and could use some northern stars as well as some southern stars. Point being that the farther south one lives, the more difficult celestial navigation becomes.
Indeed! I do remember living in Darwin, Australia (in 1970) and my dad spotting the Big Dipper one night (low on the horizon)! The Big Dipper locates the North Star (Polaris) easily... which is on the end of the handle of the Little Dipper.
 

Frank81

Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
5,088
Canary Islands-Spain
What could the relation if any be between the expansion of peoples, empires and lattitude? Some northern peoples, from what I know about as the "eskimo-aleut" groups are spread over vast northern territories, from eastern parts of Siberia over Northern North America to Greenland. An Empire like the Russian expanded to one of the biggest ever. Both in general at high lattitudes, relatively closer to the North Pole than others. This makes less hours of night darkness, more of light for campaigns as well as other voyages and expeditions. Then also the freezing of water in wintertime may have helped groups of voyagers and explorers as well soldiers passing water. Rivers, lakes and even small parts of the Seas. So, could lattitudes have been more important than many of us think about?
Latitude help in a way so same climate area (similar conditions for production and transport) expand through large swaps of territory. This help to understand the large (and elongated) empires of Eurasia.

In the case of Russia, this northern state can be partly explained by the latitude: born at a southern latitude, where more intensive production was possible, and then expanded to northern areas where equivalent competitive civilization was not possible. To a lesser degree, this is true as well for Canada: its centre was the Great Lakes area, then expanding north. However, in this case a naval expansion by northern shore took place (Hudson's company).

The introduction of the naval factor altered the traditional dominance of horizontal-latitudinal expansion. Both, the Spanish and the British empires, could develop vertical, non latitudinal empires.
 

Fantasus

Ad Honorem
Jan 2012
2,381
Northern part of European lowland
Latitude help in a way so same climate area (similar conditions for production and transport) expand through large swaps of territory. This help to understand the large (and elongated) empires of Eurasia.

In the case of Russia, this northern state can be partly explained by the latitude: born at a southern latitude, where more intensive production was possible, and then expanded to northern areas where equivalent competitive civilization was not possible. To a lesser degree, this is true as well for Canada: its centre was the Great Lakes area, then expanding north. However, in this case a naval expansion by northern shore took place (Hudson's company).

The introduction of the naval factor altered the traditional dominance of horizontal-latitudinal expansion. Both, the Spanish and the British empires, could develop vertical, non latitudinal empires.
I don´t think Imperial Russia originated at a southern latitude. Moscow of the later empire of the Tsars is located like Scotland, Denmark. While there was earlier Russian principalities more to the South there were others North of Moscow, like Novgorod. Though So many ninvaders ultimately failed, we should also notice they often started a very fast advance deeply into the land. Probably partly because of lack of natural hindrances when weather conditions are good. Then it may also have helped the many hours in summertime where there is daylight to see. Armies, as well as smaller groups of travellers would probably like to travel the light hours, and rest in the dark night.
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
I don´t think Imperial Russia originated at a southern latitude. Moscow of the later empire of the Tsars is located like Scotland, Denmark. While there was earlier Russian principalities more to the South there were others North of Moscow, like Novgorod. Though So many ninvaders ultimately failed, we should also notice they often started a very fast advance deeply into the land. Probably partly because of lack of natural hindrances when weather conditions are good. Then it may also have helped the many hours in summertime where there is daylight to see. Armies, as well as smaller groups of travellers would probably like to travel the light hours, and rest in the dark night.
The origin of Russia was more like Kiev, which is further south than Moscow. The center of the Russian world in the early middle ages was Kiev, not Moscow. It was only in the later midddle ages that the center of the Russian world shifted to Moscow.
 

Fantasus

Ad Honorem
Jan 2012
2,381
Northern part of European lowland
The origin of Russia was more like Kiev, which is further south than Moscow. The center of the Russian world in the early middle ages was Kiev, not Moscow. It was only in the later midddle ages that the center of the Russian world shifted to Moscow.
Moscow came later, but there was older centres of the North. Like Novgorod.