, Volume 77, Issue 6, pp 723–725 | Cite as


  • Paul ClavalEmail author

The creation of by the IGU of an Indigenous Peoples’ Knowledges and Rights Commission is a major breaking point in the history of Geography. From the Renaissance and for four centuries, our discipline developed mainly as a Western venture. Thanks to the Great Discoveries and the quality of the cartographic techniques which resulted from the rediscovery of Ptolemæus’ works, its achievements were remarkable. It served as a tool for the imperial expansion of Western countries—Spain, Portugal, and then the Netherlands, France and Britain. But it had other dimensions.

The success of cartography and geography stemmed from the curiosity Western peoples had for foreign countries and cultures—but this curiosity was ambiguous and explained a good part of the forms taken by Western imperialism. It testified from a real intellectual openness to the others, and at the same time, classified them into lower categories. The history started with the discovery of America: were the savages who peopled...


Indigenous People Western Civilization Sexual Permissiveness Western Thinker Imperial Expansion 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.EaubonneFrance

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