Carey and Lea American Atlas
Figure 1: Geographical, Statistical, and Historical Map of America
The Geographical, Statistical, and Historical map of America presented here (fig. 1), which comes from The Complete Historical, Chronological, and Geographical American Atlas published in 1822, was made to be part of a guide to the history of North and South America and the West Indies to the year 1822. Being published at a key moment in the political history of Latin America, this map creates a “geo-body” and a “we-self” for the Latin American countries. That is because in 1821, the US had recognized the independence of Spanish America, starting with Colombia, after it had acquired Florida from the Spanish Monarchy earlier that year. Only one year later, President James Monroe issued his Doctrine, which essentially staked out “the Western Hemisphere” as American, and this Atlas was the first to portray it as such. The Carey and Lea atlas therefore not only attempts to portray the national scientific superiority of the US through cartography, it does so to show its dominance in the region as opposed to the Spanish Empire’s as well as the increasing power of the US in the hemisphere.
This map belongs to the first American Atlas that followed Le Sage’s plan of having explanatory text surrounding the maps. Below the map we find information about the political divisions of North and South America followed by a summarized history of their discovery and first settlements by Europeans. Le Sage brought history and geography together on his maps because he thought that was the best way to educate people and he wanted his maps to do that. On the left and right sides of the map there are statistical and physical geography information about the vast lakes, bays, and rivers, the chains of stupendous mountains, and the variety of the soils and products of North and South America, among other things. The topographical features are shown on the map. At the bottom of the map we...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document