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

By William Woodruff

This e-book investigates the key adjustments in international heritage and global financial system prior to now years and explains to what quantity global forces were answerable for shaping either prior and current. Its underlying subject is the fight for strength within which, because the 16th century, the West has prevailed. some of the difficulties of the modern international - together with terrorism - are the legacy of the interval of Western domination. until eventually the increase of the West, and its incomparable impression on each department of human task, the centre of the area has been in Asia. by way of the 19th century global energy was once firmly within the arms of the West. America's later upward push to global prestige used to be triggered by means of the 2 global wars. the main sought after of the Western countries, the USA is now blamed for all of the excesses of an prior colonial age.

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Underpinning all European efforts from the seventeenth century onward was Europe's overwhelming military and naval power. 50 The exceptional progress made by Europeans in the science and technology of navigation, weapons, and military organization ensured their superiority. Among the many other elements helping to explain the rise of the West is that of geography. The West was divided physically as well as politically. It was one thing for the Mongols to sweep across the Russian and Polish plains, and another thing for them to pierce the more varied western terrain.

Militarily, Russia may still be considered a superpower; economically, the Soviet Union is at a considerable disadvantage. Legend holds that Russia was founded by the Rus (Scandinavian Vikings) at Kiev in the Ukraine in the ninth century. 70 (Official Russian history holds that the first kingdom was founded by the Slavs). Kievan Russian pagan state was forcibly converted to Christianity. Thenceforth, until the sacking of Russia by the Mongols in the thirteenth century, the infant Russian state continued to extend its power and foster its relations with Byzantium.

Stalin's paranoid attitude to foreigners was also the product of Russia's age-old isolation. While, from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century, millions of western Europeans were free to emigrate to America, most Russians remained isolated, bound and hobbled by a rigid serfdom. The Russian serf knew freedom from his master only for two weeks each year. From 1593 onward even this right was revoked. After 1648 a runaway serf had no rights whatsoever. All that was expected of a Russian serĀ£80 was that he should work and obey; servility and conformity were enforced.

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