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Thread: Wizarding Geography

  1. #11
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    That raises an interesting question. The French do seem to have a strong national unity, but would the wizarding French accept Muggle-aquired colonies to because they share their language and culture (especially since the colonies themselves considere themselves to be French)? Do you think Quebec would factor into this too? Because from what I have read, the goul of Quebec seems to be to become an independent nation in their own write, and not just another part of France?

    And do you think the wizarding French would recognize all the same province borders as the Muggles do? Which provinces would be part of other countries and part of which ones? What are the opnions on Corsica? And about Nice, I assumed it was just a city, but is there a whole region of Nice as well?

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    I don't know if this actually answers any questions, and if it doesn't, I'm really sorry

    I don't think that you could consider Quebec a French colony, per se, as Quebec is part of Canada, and really doesn't have much connection to France. I think it has a closer connection to England really, as the Queen of England is technically still Canada's head.

    I think that country borders would be the same, but maybe they wouldn't care about provinces so much. For me, wizarding world isn't an alternate universe from ours, so I don't really understand why the countries would be different.

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  3. #13
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    The thing about Quebec is that they were originally settled by the French and only became part of Canada after, what is called in the States at least, the French-Indian War.

    It's also one of the things that annoyed the British-Americans, because they were expecting to take some of that land for themselves.

    Quebec without the French-Indian War could have remained a French colony.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AidaLuthien
    Hehehe... revanche! Revanche for Garabaldi!
    But Revanche is a French word! FIFTH COLUMNIST!

    Quote Originally Posted by AidaLuthien
    *kinda sorta really wants a border war between wizarding France and Germany. REVANCHE!!
    YES.

    Quote Originally Posted by AidaLuthien
    I'm much more interested in France's overseas departments These areas - French Guyana, Martinique - etc, would these be part of wizarding France? Would they never have been colonized? If they are part of wizarding France, would they also have representation in the mainland government like their Muggle counterparts?
    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    That raises an interesting question. The French do seem to have a strong national unity, but would the wizarding French accept Muggle-aquired colonies to because they share their language and culture (especially since the colonies themselves considere themselves to be French)? Do you think Quebec would factor into this too? Because from what I have read, the goul of Quebec seems to be to become an independent nation in their own write, and not just another part of France?

    And do you think the wizarding French would recognize all the same province borders as the Muggles do? Which provinces would be part of other countries and part of which ones? What are the opnions on Corsica? And about Nice, I assumed it was just a city, but is there a whole region of Nice as well?
    Unless French Guyana and those islands in the Caribbean and Polynesia attracted some numbers of French settlers, I don't see why French wizards would consider them their territory. Even if there were French wizards in these places, they might be self-governing or part of larger polities in the area. It seems awfully inconvenient to be governed from someplace so far away, in which news probably takes several weeks to get to you at owl speed.

    Even Quebec, which has a substantial French population (and possibly a corresponding French wizard populace), would probably be self-governing, if only due to the logistics of trying to govern it from France.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maple_and_PheonixFeather
    I don't think that you could consider Quebec a French colony, per se, as Quebec is part of Canada, and really doesn't have much connection to France. I think it has a closer connection to England really, as the Queen of England is technically still Canada's head.
    As AidaLuthien said, Quebec was originally colonised by the French, and it was part of "New France" up to its conquest by the British in 1763 at the end of the Seven Years War (aka the French and Indian War).

    Today, the official language of Quebec Province is French, and the majority of the population speak it as their first language. And no, they don't feel that close a connection to England or Queen Elizabeth II, since they vote on whether to secede from Canada or not every few years.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maple_and_PheonixFeather
    I think that country borders would be the same, but maybe they wouldn't care about provinces so much. For me, wizarding world isn't an alternate universe from ours, so I don't really understand why the countries would be different.
    I think the opposite. We know from the books that the wizarding world is very, very secluded, and maintains an absolute minimum of contact with the Muggle world. Then why should wizards care how Muggles draw the map in accordance with their wars and entanglements?

    For example, the Treaty of Trianon in 1920 stripped Hungary of 72% of its territory and 64% of its population, as punishment for fighting on the losing side of World War One. I doubt Hungarian wizards would follow the Muggle lead and eviscerate themselves, so the wizarding nation of Hungary would probably extend into modern-day Muggle Romania, Slovakia, and other neighbors.

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  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim the Enchanter
    I think the opposite. We know from the books that the wizarding world is very, very secluded, and maintains an absolute minimum of contact with the Muggle world. Then why should wizards care how Muggles draw the map in accordance with their wars and entanglements?

    Don't forget, though, that the wizarding community is rather small too. That needs to factor in somehow. Maybe they wouldn't bother finding their own borders, but just follow those of the Muggles, because it's easier to follow an already established system?

    And then there are reasons before and after the Statute of Secrecy for why wizards would follow the Muggle lead. They aren't entirely isolated. There are ties with the Muggle governments, some wizards are married to Muggleborns or even Muggles, so there are family ties - and there always have been.

    We know that countries like England and Ireland share certain aspects of their government (at least the Quidditch department) - probably because Ireland is such a small country and won't have a lot of wizards in there, so it would be a waste for them to have their own Quidditch league/department.
    But they are still separate countries. And as has already been mentioned before, we only ever hear of countries that we know from our world. And before anyone starts saying that JKR just didn't think it through - perhaps she did, and since it's her world, I think we should accept that there might not be that many differences.

    Colonies for example - why wouldn't wizards want to have a say in those too? Who says that some place like Quebec wasn't originally a mostly-wizarding project, or that the Muggle government (we know that even after the Statute of Secrecy, they do work together at least in Britain) agreed to let a wizard representative come along when they founded colonies?
    When Jamestown was founded, the Statute of Secrecy wasn't even in place yet, so wizards would have come along with Muggles openly and looked for a new life in America. So why would they have entirely different borders? I know that there were great wars, and small struggles, and lots of things that influenced the borders and the governments - but WHY wouldn't those have affected the wizards? I'm not sure that (secrecy or not) the wizards would have been that isolated that they wouldn't have been interested in or affected by conflicts at all.

    During any war, wizards must have been just as scared for the lives of their children and loved ones as the Muggles were. Most wizards will have had an opinion on the issue. They might have neighbours or cousins that are Squibs or Muggles and are involved in the Muggle world. Why would they just not care at all and do their own thing in the small communities?


    We know that in HP, there are only a handful of 'mostly wizarding dwellings' like Ottery St Catchpole, Godric's Hollow and Hogsmeade. The other wizards live among Muggles. How would it not influence them when there's a war going on...

    And even then - would they REALLY care who owns Elsaß-Lothringen? I always thought the wizards were a rather peaceful kind (there don't seem to be any magical weapons - they only fight by wands, and that's no comparison to the kind of war machinery 'Muggles' have), so would it really matter to them? Probably five bilingual wizards live in Alsace Lorraine, and they couldn't care less who owns it.

    There aren't that many wizards. Who would they fight?


    I'm sorry, I know I've been repetitive and even slightly off topic, but I wanted to stress this point. I know that mapmaking is fun, and I know that I won't convince you to change your mind about this point (it's not like I'm even attempting to do that), but I just wanted to state my opinion after having watched those discussions for a while now.


    I quickly went to a chapter of Quidditch Through the Ages (Spread of Quidditch through the World or something like that), and looked at two excerpts from GoF. Here's a list of countries I found that might interest you mapmakers (I also listed the two American states they mentioned). There are probably plenty more countries named in the various corners of canon, but this is what I found in the first book I looked.

    Britain
    Ireland
    Norway
    France
    Transylvania
    Flanders
    Bulgaria
    Germany
    Luxembourg
    Portugal
    Poland
    Australia
    New Zealand
    Uganda
    Togo
    Ethiopia
    Tanzania
    Canada
    (Texas
    Massachusetts)
    Argentina
    Brazil
    Peru
    India
    Pakistan
    Bangladesh
    Iran
    Mongolia
    Japan
    Lithuania


    Wales
    Scotland
    Egypt


    The lexicon, in addition to those, lists:

    China
    Burkina Faso (This is in CoS9):
    ". . . I remember something very similar happening in Ouagadogou," said Lockhart, "a series of attacks, the full story's in my
    autobiography, I was able to provide the townsfolk with various amulets, which cleared the matter up at once ...
    - Burkina Faso itself isn't mentioned here, so Ouagadogou might be located within different boundaries for the wizards.

    Greece
    Greenland
    Hungary
    Liechtenstein (This is in OOTP31):
    He looked ahead for a question he could definitely answer and his eyes alighted upon number ten.
    Describe the circumstances that led to the Formation of the International Confederation of Wizards and explain why the warlocks of Liechtenstein refused to join.
    Romania (Obviously - Charlie works here)
    Spain
    Sweden (this is in OOTP38):
    "Daddy sold it to them," said Luna vaguely, turning a page of The Quibbler. "He got a very good price for it too, so we're going to go on an expedition to Sweden this summer and see if we can catch a Crumple-Horned Snorkack."
    Turkey (this is in GoF30):
    "We'd just like to congratulate Mr. Bagman on his splendid performance for England in the Quidditch match against Turkey last Saturday," the witch said breathlessly.
    Ukraine


    EDIT:

    And some more countries/areas/seas from Fantastic Beasts:


    Borneo
    Greece
    Mauritius
    China
    Fiji
    Papua New Guinea
    North Sea
    Russia
    Indian Ocean
    Burkina Faso
    Atlantic Ocean
    Pacific Ocean
    Mediterranean Sea
    Congo/Zaire
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  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim the Enchanter
    But Revanche is a French word! FIFTH COLUMNIST!
    And just what are you going to do about it, if I am a Fifth Columnist??

    To Karaley:

    It's certainly true that the number of wizards probably precludes border wars, even if they actually cared about borders.

    On the other hand, writing wars is significantly more fun than not, and it might as well be over disputed border regions in the Muggle world. It makes it a lot funnier for us history majors, anyway. It's Alsace and Lorraine! Again!! That's the big one to me, anyway, given my idiot French friend from Lorraine.

    I also think that JK didn't really think about the history of Africa when she mentioned those countries... Uganda, really? What on earth happened there to actually create another country called Uganda in apparently the same spot?

    As for Poland... kill Poland and divide it up again!
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  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by AidaLuthien
    On the other hand, writing wars is significantly more fun than not, and it might as well be over disputed border regions in the Muggle world. It makes it a lot funnier for us history majors, anyway. It's Alsace and Lorraine! Again!! That's the big one to me, anyway, given my idiot French friend from Lorraine.

    Hm. Well, first of all, I'm a 'history major' as well, and I do think that the wizarding history and history of wizarding politics etc. could be a very exciting topic to write about - and to research; because I think when you're writing FanFiction, it's one of the most important things to stick as close to the provided canon as possible. That means, if I were going to write anything about other countries than Britain, I would try to find out which ones exactly were mentioned in canon.

    Considering the number of countries that JKR names directly, I think we have to assume that she imagined wizards to live within Muggle borders. And as I already said, just saying 'she didn't think that through' or something like that won't do. She did list countries, and rather a lot of them. They are the same as in the Muggle world. If we are fanfiction writers, we have to accept that. If you're going to write an AU story, it doesn't matter at all, of course.


    And about the subject of border wars in general - this thread was, if I'm not mistaken, started with maps and things like that in mind, not with the question of how we could come up with wizard wars.

    To be honest, I think if I were looking for a fight between wizards, I would have them fight for a Muggle cause/parallel to a Muggle war. I can't imagine a group of wizards just beginning to fight other wizards in another country because they want more territory... What would they even want it for? You agree with me that the small size of the wizarding population, possibly their generally peaceful nature, and their magical means make border wars somewhat nonsensical. Do you have any arguments pro border wars between wizards?


    And as for Alsace-Lorraine - it's close to where I live, and I've been numerous times. I don't think anyone cares at all anymore, though I'm sure you're aware of that. When you're there, it's hard to tell which nationality the people actually belong to.


    It does depend on when your story is set, of course. I can imagine something going on a couple of centuries ago, perhaps.
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  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karaley Dargen
    Don't forget, though, that the wizarding community is rather small too. That needs to factor in somehow. Maybe they wouldn't bother finding their own borders, but just follow those of the Muggles, because it's easier to follow an already established system?
    Why would wizards (who, at best, regard Muggles with benign indifference) say, "Well, creating our own government is too much work, so let's use Muggle borders. Muggles say everyone on that side of the border is French..."


    When Jamestown was founded, the Statute of Secrecy wasn't even in place yet, so wizards would have come along with Muggles openly and looked for a new life in America.
    I don't think that follows at all. The fact that an International Statute of Secrecy was not yet in place implies that international cooperation among wizards was probably still nascent. Looking at early American history and who colonized the New World, I think it's very unlikely that wizards were living openly among Muggles.


    Considering the number of countries that JKR names directly, I think we have to assume that she imagined wizards to live within Muggle borders. And as I already said, just saying 'she didn't think that through' or something like that won't do. She did list countries, and rather a lot of them. They are the same as in the Muggle world. If we are fanfiction writers, we have to accept that. If you're going to write an AU story, it doesn't matter at all, of course.
    Actually, I think she almost certainly didn't think it through. A list of Quidditch teams is hardly canon about wizarding governments. Why are states on the same level as countries? Is the complicated arrangement of Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and England under the United Kingdom reflected exactly in the wizarding world? Would purebloods, Death Eaters, even, care about Muggle-established boundaries? Rowling never even mentions the United States by name in the books -- "American" witches, yes, but there's no evidence that American witches and wizards consider themselves part of the U.S. Did Hawaiian wizards suddenly consider themselves Americans when Hawaii became a U.S. territory? A state? When China became communist, did all the Chinese wizards, too?

    The inconsistencies and holes in logic just pile up. I think it's reasonable to think that many wizards do more or less identify as their surrounding country, but I think it's utterly unlikely that the entire wizarding world just defaults to local Muggle political divisions, and completely wrong that fan fiction writers have to assume that to be the case or they aren't following canon.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inverarity
    Why would wizards (who, at best, regard Muggles with benign indifference) say, "Well, creating our own government is too much work, so let's use Muggle borders. Muggles say everyone on that side of the border is French..."
    No, obviously not. Because wizards in that world didn't just suddenly pop out of the ground. They have always been around and lived alongside Muggles. It's a process, it's not like they made that decision one day. The question, I think, isn't "Why would they follow Muggle borders", but rather "Why would they bother not to?".

    I'm not even sure we can call them "Muggle borders" in that context. As I have already mentioned repeatedly, I'm fairly sure that wizards would participate in any greater conflict around them because it does affect them too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inverarity
    I don't think that follows at all. The fact that an International Statute of Secrecy was not yet in place implies that international cooperation among wizards was probably still nascent. Looking at early American history and who colonized the New World, I think it's very unlikely that wizards were living openly among Muggles.
    Ah, yes, I stand corrected here on the "lived openly among Muggles" point. Quidditch Through the Ages says this:
    Quote Originally Posted by QTtA8
    Quidditch reached the North American continent in the early seventeenth
    century, although it was slow to take hold there owing to the great intensity of anti–wizarding feeling unfortunately exported from Europe at the same time.
    The great caution exercised by wizard settlers, many of whom had hoped to find less prejudice in the New World, tended to restrict the growth of the game in its early days.
    To me, this means that they did get there looking to live openly among them, but it didn't work out, and they probably founded their own colonies or lived in secret among the Muggles that didn't know yet what they were. That still means they would have had to accept the Muggle borders though - if only as places to avoid.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inverarity
    Actually, I think she almost certainly didn't think it through. A list of Quidditch teams is hardly canon about wizarding governments.
    I never said that it revealed anything about the governments to us (Although it does say: "The Ministries of Magic in countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran and Mongolia") – that's not what I claimed, and it's not what I was looking for either. It has become a bit of a fashion around here to make maps of possible wizarding worlds, and I was merely listing countries that we know exist for wizards. Obviously she didn't come up with an individual government system for all of those (why should she have, anyway?) but I think she did think the geographical part through, and decided that wizards and Muggles would live in the same countries.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inverarity
    Why are states on the same level as countries?
    Because I put them there for anyone who's going to make a 'Map of North America' next. Those are the two states I could find. I'm sorry I didn't rank them in proper order, I thought putting them in brackets would make clear that I don't consider them countries.

    JKR lists them when she talks about the spread of Quidditch in America:
    Quote Originally Posted by QTtA8
    The rival charms of Quodpot notwithstanding, Quidditch is gaining popularity in the United States. Two teams have recently broken through at international level: the Sweetwater All–Stars from Texas, who gained a well–deserved win over the Quiberon Quafflepunchers in 1993 after a thrilling five–day match; and the Fitchburg Finches from Massachusetts, who have now won the US League seven times and whose Seeker, Maximus Brankovitch III, has captained America at the last two World Cups.
    Quote Originally Posted by Inverarity
    Did Hawaiian wizards suddenly consider themselves Americans when Hawaii became a U.S. territory?
    I don't know - did Hawaiians in general suddenly consider themselves American? This has nothing to do with whether they are wizards or not. It's a completely different question (and conflict) of national identity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inverarity
    When China became communist, did all the Chinese wizards, too?
    I don't know, are all the people living in China now communist?
    And this is actually a very interesting question, because (pureblood) wizards would not be as affected by the propaganda etc. - but what has it got to do with the question/discussion whether China has the same borders for wizards as it has for Muggles? Or whether wizards call Hawaii Hawaii?


    I know that those are all very interesting things to think about - culture and politics in different countries - but my point still stands (and has nothing to do with that!). The evidence we find in canon suggests very heavily that the countries wizards accept are more or less the same as for Muggles.
    I'm not even saying that there can't be small differences, but if you're making a map that should reflect canon as much as possible, I think you can get your Atlas.

    If you're looking for something really interesting to write about, while not going into AU territory, I'd jump at the possibilities that the mention of Flanders offers (which should be at least somewhat interesting from a current POV too).
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  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aida
    I also think that JK didn't really think about the history of Africa when she mentioned those countries... Uganda, really? What on earth happened there to actually create another country called Uganda in apparently the same spot?
    JK said it was an emerging country in the sport of Quidditch. She made no reference to how long it had been around and when it was created. I can't work out the logic of your argument here at all.
    The protectorate was formed in 1914, (I think) and gained independence from GB in 1962. I think her mentioning it shows she believes the magical world follows the same structure as the Muggle world. Uganda in the sixties and seventies was very much a political hot potato in this country because we took in a large influx of Ugandan Asians escaping persecution. JKR would know this. Perhaps she mentioned Uganda at random, but the fact is, she would know it's a newer country. She cannot have been brought up in UK in the sixties and seventies without being aware of the situation.

    Mind you, there's also a satirical magazine joke that's made it's way into the UK consciousness, about Ugandan relations being a cover for an extra-marital affair, so perhaps she was referencing that. (No, I doubt it as well, but everything is there if you look really hard)

    As for Poland... kill Poland and divide it up again
    Mmm, you history majors really do have a strange sense of humour.


    Basically, I can't work out why wizards would have vastly different borders to Muggle world. I'm not saying they'd have to adhere to them with passport control, visas and the like, but it's pretty clear that they have differing nationalities and languages. Why would they speak the same Muggle languages if they didn't adhere to the borders of the countries? Why weren't they all speaking Esperanto or some other made up polyglottal language?

    Borders make countries make nationalities make languages make jingoistic pride and borders again. They're pretty much inseparable. The wizarding world is not above that. We see their national pride (or lack of it) in their National Quidditch team after all. We also see Fleur's essential 'Frenchness' being far more irritating (well, to us Brits anyway) than her being a Veela.



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