8. The Sudan* x The United States
*before South Sudan officially became an independent state on July 9, 2011
9. The Democratic Republic of Congo x The United States
13. Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos x The United States
18. The U.S. vs The World
19. Maps are just all wrong. Here’s how the world map should look according to “The West Wing”:
Ah, the politics of map design.
The Gall-Peters Projection world map
While originally created by James Gall in 1885, the Gall-Peters Projection came into public consciousness in 1967 when Arno Peters championed it as a more accurate representation of the size of countries. It was considered controversial for calling into question the way the “third-world” is represented.
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In today’s world it is not the size of your landmass that determines a country’s relative importance it is the size and strength of your economy, combined with your country’s ability to both utilize and protect its human and material resources. Tiny Japan was an economic powerhouse, second only to the US until its asset bubble burst in the second half of the 1980s, and even now it has the world’s 3rd largest national economy and is the world’s largest creditor nation. There are many factors in determining a country or region’s importance to the rest of the world and landmass size is way down on the list, diminishing the relevance of this map exercise.
No, nothing wrong with that at all. Except the snarky subtitle of this article would seem to indicate that the author was trying to make the political point that given it’s relative size the US is “basically an overcompensating, attention-seeking brat”, as though we were some kind of aggregate Napoleon upset that we are not literally the biggest kid on the block. That’s ridiculous. Landmass size has nothing to do with a country or continent’s influence and/or power, except perhaps in the context of larger size increasing the likelihood of the presence of a wider variety of natural resources and arable land.
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