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Number of countries over time


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7 replies to this topic

#1
wjfox

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After watching this video in the off-topic forum, it got me thinking...

I wonder if there's a graph showing the number of countries over time?

I've looked, and only been able to find graphs back to 1800 or so. I'd be really interested to find one that goes back a lot further, i.e. 1500, the Dark Ages, or even ancient times.

I was thinking, I could then use this graph on FutureTimeline - see if there's a trend, and extrapolate into the future. It would be really interesting to see if, for example, the number of countries would ever reach zero and when this would happen.

3000 AD? 10,000 AD? Who knows?

I'd be really, really grateful if anyone could shed light on this. :)

#2
tornado64

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At the moment it seems like the number is rising... I don't think you can extrapolate something like that, there are times the number is growing (more countrys/regions becoming independent) and times where the number is falling (rise of empires, political union). Humanity as a whole isn't ready for a world government or something like that. It's interesting how it turns out if we finally start colonizing other planets. Will there be nations? Hopefully not. I once thought that the European Union could become a state by itself and this could become a model for other regions (ASEAN, African Union etc.), bu now I think even the EU has a long way to go and right now their heading in the wrong direction.

#3
wjfox

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By the time we're colonising space in earnest, I suspect we'll have achieved post-scarcity, and the human race will be far more homogenous in culture, so national borders on Mars for example will be largely irrelevant. Regarding the number of countries, I managed to find this section on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia...._states_by_year I'm going to go through all those pages and see if I can produce some kind of graph, if nothing else for sheer curiosity. I think you're probably right and there won't be much of a trend/consistency, but it will be interesting to see.
  • Italian Ufo likes this

#4
SG-1

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Neat idea, yeah I have always thought that once we colonize another planet there would probably be no/minimum "violent" interactions like war or other forms of tyranny. The early colonists wouldn't have a need for war anyway, maybe when choosing to live on another planet is free, undesirable people would end up on them. I doubt there were many countries in early history since communication was bad, then there were all those empires that took over huge portions of the world. I think we are living in the golden age of countries, there aren't any empires and the entire world is dotted with national boarders. In the future I think we will go to a sort of empire/UN hybrid. Then eventually we will be untied under one world government. That seems inevitable to me, I just hope it happens by the end of the century, though if I were to place a date on it I would say some time in the 22nd century.

Mark your calendars

Never Yield


#5
Cody930

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Neat idea, yeah I have always thought that once we colonize another planet there would probably be no/minimum "violent" interactions like war or other forms of tyranny.

The early colonists wouldn't have a need for war anyway, maybe when choosing to live on another planet is free, undesirable people would end up on them.

I doubt there were many countries in early history since communication was bad, then there were all those empires that took over huge portions of the world. I think we are living in the golden age of countries, there aren't any empires and the entire world is dotted with national boarders. In the future I think we will go to a sort of empire/UN hybrid. Then eventually we will be untied under one world government. That seems inevitable to me, I just hope it happens by the end of the century, though if I were to place a date on it I would say some time in the 22nd century.


One world government and New World Orderz! *tin foil hat*

But in seriousness I definitely agree with you. I've always imagined the world just slowly morphing into larger and larger entities then eventually morphing into a one world system once we start going well beyond our old days on Earth. I feel the one world government is a must before getting very deep into our ventures into space. Otherwise it can turn into a giant cluster fuck of annoyances and who gets what.

This person made a nice map showing different supranational unions morphing into actual nations. I see something along these lines happening eventually. http://ynot1989.devi...sance-273061604

Also, since I'm such a visual person, I dug relentlessly to find maps showing historical borders. I finally did find a forum who made these maps for certain years (500 BC to today): http://www.alternate...ead.php?t=62554

Edited by Cody930, 03 December 2012 - 04:33 AM.

"Since we first emerged, a few million years ago in East Africa, we have meandered our way around the planet. There are now people on every continent and the remotest islands, from pole to pole, from Mount Everest to the Dead Sea, on the ocean bottoms and even, occasionally, in residence 200 miles up - humans, like the gods of old, living in the sky."


#6
Logically Irrational

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I imagine that it would be difficult to count the number of independent states in the ancient to early medieval periods. A lot of the relationships between city states for example are hard to discern. Some could be fully independent, military partners, or merged in a number of ways. A lot of "states" back then were really just poorly defined "cultures" of peoples living in a geographic area and sharing similar practices. The end of large empires is also an issue. It's hard to identify what was independent and what was loyal in the last century of the Roman Empire.

Of course, it would still give a general idea.

Assuming that the singularity happens at some point, I wonder if that would automatically result in a world government, regardless of how many independent states there are at the time. It's interesting to think about. The exponential lead-up to it won't occur in the majority of countries. Hyper-intelligent computers aren't going to pop up everywhere and start influencing every government and organization at the same time. The singularity is supposed to be this great rupture in human history, so I wonder how it will work when it arrives at different times in different countries. Will the advanced cultures just wait and let the others catch up, or will a superstate emerge immediately somehow?

Some people are already speculating on a time frame for a world government though:

http://www.ft.com/cm...l#axzz2E0ZJvwGD

it could be done. The transport and communications revolutions have shrunk the world so that, as Geoffrey Blainey, an eminent Australian historian, has written: “For the first time in human history, world government of some sort is now possible.” Mr Blainey foresees an attempt to form a world government at some point in the next two centuries, which is an unusually long time horizon for the average newspaper column.


Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

#7
Cody930

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Possible but because you have certain countries still playing by 20th century politics like Russia, it hinders it. The world just got more interconnected and dynamic.

Looking at maps of the Holy Roman Empire hurts my head. :p

Posted Image

"Since we first emerged, a few million years ago in East Africa, we have meandered our way around the planet. There are now people on every continent and the remotest islands, from pole to pole, from Mount Everest to the Dead Sea, on the ocean bottoms and even, occasionally, in residence 200 miles up - humans, like the gods of old, living in the sky."


#8
Italian Ufo

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I think once we colonized Mars, they will create an entire "nation planet". It will be multi-cultural just like Canada, Australia, US. I always imagined it like this.




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