Saturday, December 25, 2010

non-christmasy question

were the oughts (2000-2009) the first decade in modern history when the map of the world did not change?

i can't think of any borders changing, countries gaining independence, or anything like that during that particular ten year period. it occurs to me that a world map published in 2000 would look pretty much the same as a world map published in 2010. the only difference that i can think of between those two maps would be the burmese capital changing from rangoon to naypyidaw in 2005. that's a pretty small difference. surely there's something else i am missing?

it's also significant because the two-thousand-zeros followed a pretty eventful decade of the 1990s, when germany and yemen reunified, 22 new countries popped out of the former soviet union and former yugoslavia, eritrea split off from ethiopia, zaire turned back into the congo, and hong kong and macau reverted back to china. there probably is more, that's just stuff that is occurring to me now.

...ok, i thought about it more and i guess you can make the case for independent kosovo and east timor happening during the oughts. but kosovo already had de facto independence in 1999 when it went under UN administration, it just didn't formally declare until 9 years later. similarly the referendum in which the east timorese voted for independence happened in 1999, it just didn't go into effect until 2002. for both those cases, the coming change would have been evident to any mapmaker working in 2000. so i'm not sure if they should count.