Traditions And Encounters- A Global Perspective On The Past

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Traditions and Encounters- A Global Perspective on the Past

1. Cecil John Rhodes DCL (5 July 1853 - 26 March 1902) was an English-born businessman, mining magnate, and politician in South Africa. He was the founder of the diamond company De Beers, which today markets 40% of the world's rough diamonds and at one time marketed 90%. An ardent believer in colonialism and imperialism, (Jerry H. Bentley and Herbert F. Ziegler, 2000, 76-78) he was the founder of the state of Rhodesia, which was named after him. After independence, Rhodesia separated into the nations of Northern and Southern Rhodesia, later renamed Zambia and Zimbabwe, respectively. South Africa's Rhodes University is named after him. He set up the provisions of the Rhodes scholarship, which is funded by his estate. Soon after he became Prime Minister, his misfortunes began. The Anglo-Portuguese convention in 1891 ended his hope of Portuguese imperialism ending on the continent and then when Germany received a strip of land closing off Britain from the north, his dreams of "painting the map red" dissipated. Then the charter company began experiencing financial difficulties. Another headache for Cecil Rhodes was Princess Radziwill. Radziwill wrote letters in Rhodes' name, hassled him consistently, and engaged in other such activities in an attempt to promote her ideas for the empire. Eventually, she was sent to prison, but not before bringing scandal to Rhodes' name. Finally, in 1895, Rhodes resigned his premiership due to the failed military attempt on Transversal by Jameson, a Rhodes appointee. (Jerry H. Bentley and Herbert F. Ziegler, 2000, 76-78)

2. Suez Canal

The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 created the first salt-water passage between the Mediterranean and Red seas. Although the Red Sea is about 1.2 m (3.9 ft) higher than the eastern Mediterranean, the current between the Mediterranean and the middle of the canal at the Bitter Lakes flows north in winter and south in summer. The current south of the Bitter Lakes is tidal, varying with the height of tide at Suez. The Bitter Lakes, which were hypersaline natural lakes, blocked the migration of Red Sea species into the Mediterranean for many decades, but as the salinity of the lakes gradually equalised with that of the Red Sea, the barrier to migration was removed, and plants and animals from the Red Sea have begun to colonise the eastern Mediterranean. The Red Sea is generally saltier and more nutrient-poor than the Atlantic, so the Red Sea species have advantages over Atlantic species in the salty and nutrient-poor eastern Mediterranean. Accordingly, most Red Sea species invade the Mediterranean biota, and only few do the opposite. This migratory phenomenon is called Lessepsian migration (after Ferdinand de Lesseps) or Erythrean invasion. The construction of the Aswan High Dam across the River Nile in the 1960s reduced the inflow of freshwater and nutrient-rich silt from the Nile into the eastern Mediterranean, making conditions there even more like the Red Sea, worsening the impact of the invasive species. (Jerry H. Bentley and Herbert F. Ziegler, 2000, ...
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