A Concise History of the Modern World: 1500 to the Present by William Woodruff

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By William Woodruff

This ebook investigates the main alterations in global historical past and global economic climate up to now years and explains to what volume global forces were answerable for shaping either previous and current. Its underlying subject is the fight for strength within which, because the 16th century, the West has prevailed. a number of the difficulties of the modern global - together with terrorism - are the legacy of the interval of Western domination. till the increase of the West, and its incomparable impression on each department of human task, the centre of the realm has been in Asia. through the 19th century global energy used to be firmly within the fingers of the West. America's later upward thrust to global prestige used to be triggered through the 2 global wars. the main widespread of the Western countries, the united states is now blamed for all of the excesses of an past colonial age.

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Enjoying great power status more by the courtesy of the other powers than through its martial skills ('Italy has such poor teeth and such a large appetite,' said Bismarck) Italy would remain disenchanted. Too shrewd to challenge the British Empire, throughout the 1870s and 1880s Bismarck worked to isolate or neutralize British actions. On a world front, Germany gained confidence from its intervention, along with Russia and France, in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-5. On this occasion it was Germany not Britain that played the role of arbiter.

In 1800 European interests were concentrated in a number of tiny outposts on the West Mrican coast. As the nineteenth century progressed, some of these outposts changed hands: the Iberians, the Danes, the Dutch and the Swedes retiring or ceasing to extend their hold on the continent; the British, the French and the Germans gradually expanding their influence from their coastal stations to the interior. Even when the nineteenth century opened - except for European explorers who defined the source and course of Africa's great river systems3 - European intrusion had not gone beyond the periphery of the continent.

Not liberty but the guillotine became the symbol of France. The French Revolution also spawned the concept of total war. The idea expressed in the Convention's Decree of 23 August 1793 that JaIl Frenchmen are permanently required for service in the armies', marked the beginning of a nation in arms. As in the Europe: 1500-1914 37 religious wars of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, a note of fanaticism entered international relations. New political creeds replaced the old religious creeds.

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