Boston Public Library
Exhibitions

Map 18

Maclure & Co., Imperial Federation, Map of the World Showing the Extent of the British Empire in 1886, London, Supplement to The Graphic, July 24, 1886
Maclure & Co. Imperial Federation, Map of the World Showing the Extent of the British Empire in 1886, London, Supplement to The Graphic, July 24, 1886
Published for a British weekly illustrated newspaper, everything about the design of this elaborately decorated world map glorifies the late-19th-century British Empire. It used a Mercator projection centered on the Greenwich Prime Meridian, placing Great Britain just above the map’s central focal point.

All of the British colonies spreading out to the east and the west were highlighted with red, while other geographical areas were left blank, virtually without place names. The words “Freedom, Fraternity, Federation,” suggesting a peaceful co-existence within the British Empire, were prominently placed along the map’s top margin, but the remainder of the map’s illustrations loudly proclaim “colonialism.”

 

BACK NEXT