Mapping Early Modern Great Britain
Wenceslaus Hollar was born in Prague, Bohemia, on 23 July 1607. Originally, he was supposed to enter into a government or legal career decided that the arts were his dream. Hollar left Prague in 1627 because the emperor of that time wanted everyone in Bohemia to covert to Catholicism. This move led Hollar all over Europe until he finally reached England (Harding). Hollar thought when we made it to England that he had escaped the bloodshed back home but would only find himself in the middle of it again in England (Barber).
The map has historical value because it compares the English civil war and the Bohemia war; the latter war would play an important role in the Thirty Year's War (Barber). Hollar used this map comparing the two wars to show his frustration over the two conflicts and the bloodshed (Barber).
At the bottom of the map is a key to scenes and events that took place throughout each war. Letters match locations on each map to show where the events took place. The battle going on in the middle and lower part of the island is labeled with with the letter L and if you go to L in the key it reads “The lions third roare, prooving fatall, drew such woes, as rarely former ages knew” (Hollar).
This map is by Matthaeus Seutter, a world-renowned map maker of the 1700’s. Born in Germany, he moved to Nuremberg where he worked as an apprentice engraver and mapmaker under J.B Homann. By 1732, Seutter was honored by Emperor Charles VI of Germany by receiving the title of “Imperial Geographer”.
The map is a depiction of the eastern part of was is now the United States. In this map, there are many images showing the trade routes in the southern United States, which was mostly owned by France at this time.
When King Louis XIV died, France was left in a deep financial deficit. Because King Louis XV was five years of age at the time, the leaders of France listened to Scottish economist, John Law, to help them out of their financial difficulties. Law first created a central bank with a monopoly on national finance, something France did not have at the time. He also created a state commerce company where people could trade through. This was known as the Mississippi Company. As Law lied about the realities of the Mississippi Company and its value to the people, he also had more paper money printed than there was gold. As initially people went from rags to riches, they eventually realized the reality of their situation, and how many had lost everything (Bonney, ODNB).
In the map you can see a Cartouche (left) where many images of the Mississippi Bubble are prevalent. At the top, there is a statue of a goddess waving "fortune favors the bold" in Latin. Notes being poured into the river while cherubs cut the other notes in half, as well as cherubs issuing stocks of the company to the humans eager for them. Lastly, there are images of the investors jumping from heights, or impaling themselves as they commit suicide, something many Parisians did as their stocks plummeted to nothing (Seutter).
- Justin White