European Union

Watch: 10 Centuries In 5 Minutes

10cent History buffs will love this video "time lapse" of Europe and the endless border changes on that continent over the past 1,000 years.

Go back through time, AFTER THE JUMP.

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  1. Brilliant. I hope they show it also to students in US. I might be wrong but in Europe people think in US schools they only study US and state history.
    Russian Empire and the Imperial Romanov family/dynasty dominated more than half of the entire continent to Feb/Mar 1917.
    (I looked it without the music.)

    Posted by: Matt26 | Nov 14, 2010 4:36:53 PM

  2. Andy, you've shown interest in the iamamiwhoami project. The latest videos are part of a campaign preparing for a online concert tomorrow starting at 6pm EST. has more info.

    Just sharing. *_*

    Posted by: Anon | Nov 14, 2010 5:00:03 PM

  3. Really shows what a dramatic anomaly the Third Reich was.

    Posted by: BobN | Nov 14, 2010 5:02:33 PM

  4. @Matt26: I consider myself a fairly intelligent person, but even I didn't know that half of England was at one time occupied by the Dutch.

    Posted by: Rodney Wollam | Nov 14, 2010 5:43:42 PM

  5. @Rodney Wollam - my point was it is a brilliant retrospective. Worth to show people. I am glad you know now. (I didn't either.)

    Posted by: Matt26 | Nov 14, 2010 6:13:24 PM

  6. Blunt prevented WW3? Yeah, right. NATO is a joke, why is so much money wasted on it? Bring all U.S. troops home from Europe and the UK. The war ended 65 years ago. And the Brits and French have nukes. The Euros are more than capable of defending themselves.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Nov 14, 2010 6:14:42 PM

  7. A timeline would help make sense of this - you have no perspective on how long these empires lasted, or when the changes took place.

    Posted by: steve | Nov 14, 2010 6:32:40 PM

  8. @Steve: I completely agree. I really enjoyed this (had no idea that Hungary and Lithuania were so enormous in centuries past), but it would have been really helpful and easy to add a year counter in a corner, to provide more perspective. Still very interesting.

    As for the Dutch, they had massive holdings all over the world for centuries. Just ask the Indonesians, who they treated like crap.

    Posted by: Paul R | Nov 14, 2010 7:01:54 PM

  9. It's 1000 years over 5 minutes and change. So, I'm guessing it would be just short of 200 years per minute.

    Posted by: anonymous | Nov 14, 2010 7:06:59 PM

  10. @SteveR: I knew the European nations- led by the Dutch- were colonizing the hell out of the world's oceans, but England (England!) is a bit of a surprise.

    Posted by: Rodney Wollam | Nov 14, 2010 7:12:09 PM

  11. Very cool way to visualize geo-political history, but I agree it needs a year-by-year timeline to put it in perspective.

    If you're a history buff, I highly recommend living without electricity for a month like I did after Hurricane Wilma a few years ago. It really makes you appreciate how the world worked without modern conveniences & communications.

    Posted by: JONNY NYNY2FLFL | Nov 14, 2010 7:33:46 PM

  12. James II was deposed by Parliament in 1688 and the throne of England, Scotland, and Ireland offered to William III of the Netherlands. Several regions of England and Scotland, and pretty much all of Ireland, immediately rose up in rebellion against the new Dutch ruler. And that's probably what is depicted here.

    The Dutch had, at one time or another, ruled Indonesia, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, parts of India, South Africa, Suriname, several islands off the coast of Venezuela, and New York State, And they pretty much treated all the natives like crap. In fairness to them though, what European power was kind and gentle to the people they subjugated?

    Posted by: John | Nov 14, 2010 7:51:05 PM

  13. @Rodney Wollam, The Glorious Revolution that brought in William of Orange and his co-monarch Mary II:

    Posted by: naughtylola | Nov 14, 2010 7:54:27 PM

  14. The Dutch didn't actually "occupy" England. Judging by the time that the color of the British Isles changes, I'm guessing it is in reference to the Glorious Revolution in which William and Mary (who was the daughter of the current king, James II) took the throne and the following conflicts to solidify their rule against Catholic uprisings. William governed a handful of provinces in the Dutch Republic, which is why they changed the colors to match.

    Queen Anne succeeded William, who outlived Mary, and the Acts of Union were passed during her reign, hence the next color and name change.

    Posted by: Oddy | Nov 14, 2010 7:56:32 PM

  15. Love this but wish it came with year labels or maybe decade labels.

    Posted by: Cranston | Nov 14, 2010 9:15:24 PM

  16. really great to see so many readers with interest in european hx

    Posted by: r | Nov 15, 2010 3:22:34 AM

  17. Saying that England was part of The Netherlands makes no sense. Yes, William III was from The Netherlands, but then why isn't England shown as part of Scotland when James VI of Scotland becomes king of England, or part of Hannover when the Georges were kings of England? There was very limited Dutch influence under William and Mary -- the whole point of the Glorious Revolution was to show the de facto supremacy of the British parliament over the non-British sovereign.

    Posted by: PeteS | Nov 15, 2010 4:12:47 AM

  18. Faboulous!
    It is funny to see how Spain has been mostly the same (except for some interruptions) for the most of the past centuries.

    Posted by: Habibi | Nov 15, 2010 5:56:32 AM

  19. almost every one of those boundry changes represents a war, and that is why the more enlightened of us in Europe support the European Union. Keep the nation states as they are now within a framework of peace and stability. the continued peace of Europe is the best memorial to all of the soldiers, including American and British comonwealth who died in the wars of the last century.

    Posted by: arch | Nov 15, 2010 6:42:50 AM

  20. Arch: exactly! The better music choice would have been Pink Floyd's Us and Them.

    Posted by: Christopher | Nov 15, 2010 10:57:28 AM

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