Professionalizing Geography

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Andrew Singer
History of Geography
Dr. Sechrist
Professionalizing Geography
Geography is field of study that has come a long way in history. It not as old as some of the other studies that were developed so many years ago but it has certain grown into professionalized discipline. Geography was very general in the beginning but as it grew disciplines then became available at the University of Berlin. All this and much more has contributed to becoming the recognized profession it is today. There were several figures and there careers that really helped get geography professionalized. This included Paul Vidal de la Blache (Vidal), William Morris Davis, Halford Mackinder and Friedrich Ratzel. They have had big contributions to geography that can be compared and contrasted. In order to see how their lives and careers compare we must take a look at them individually.

The first man we can look at in Vidal. Vidal is claimed to be the founder father of the modern geography of France (Human 181). He became to be a well known figure and his ideas of geography were beginning to become adopted by followers. Vidal had been appointed to the Chair of Geography at the Sorbonne, Paris in 1898 when it was first established. One could say Vidal was Humanistic Geographer and had education in ancient history and classical literature. He also has had some experience with Ancient Greek Geographical writings. He was also a graduate of École normale supérieure where he would receive a doctrine degree in 1866.

Vidal was a man who set a standard in French teachings of Geography. He wanted to help make improvements of the teacher’s knowledge and make other resources available to their students. Vidal also contributed many works over his years such as 17 books, 107 articles and 240 reports and reviews (Wiki). He had written a famous elementary book for geography but is his two best know works are probably the Tableau de la Geographie de la France written in 1903 and Principles of...
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