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This is a beautiful example of A. J. Johnson and R. Browning's 1861 map of France, Holland (the Netherlands) and Belgium. The map is divided into two separate maps within the same border. The left hand map focuses on France subdivided according to its various departments. An inset map on the lower left corner details Corsica.
The French Department system was established on March 4th, 1790 by the National Constituent Assembly to replace the provinces with what the Assembly deemed a more rational structure. They were designed to deliberately break up France's historical regions in an attempt to erase cultural differences and build a more homogeneous nation. Initially there were 83 departments but by 1800 that number increased to roughly 130 (only to be reduced again to 86 following the collapse of the French empire). Many of the departments that were created in 1790 remain the administrative districts to this day.
The right hand map covers both Holland and Belgium from Friesland to Luin xembourg. Inset city plans in the upper left quadrant detail Amsterdam and Brussels. In 1830, the Belgian Revolution led to the secession of Belgium from the United Kingdom of Netherlands and it's subsequently consolidation as the independent Kingdom of Belgium. Though Belgium had successfully attained self-rule, the Netherlands refused to recognize the new country until the 1839 Treaty of London.
Various towns, cities, railways, rivers and several other topographical features are noted with relief shown by hachure. It features the strapwork style border common to Johnson's atlas work from 1860 to 1863. Published by A. J. Johnson and Browning as plate nos. 69 and 70 in the 1861 edition of Johnson's New Illustrated Family Atlas. This is the last edition of the Johnson Atlas to bear the 'Johnson and Browning' imprint. Subsequent editions reflect Ward's 1862 acquisition Ross C. Browning's shares in the firm.
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