By W. Woodruff

ISBN-10: 0230554660

ISBN-13: 9780230554665

ISBN-10: 0333971639

ISBN-13: 9780333971635

By investigating the main alterations of global background in the past years, this publication presents the mandatory international viewpoint to appreciate the geopolitical and geoeconomic adjustments dealing with us this day. we now have reached a very important transitional degree in international historical past during which the area will not be formed through the one photograph of western modernism, yet more and more by means of identical to all cultures and civilizations. the necessity to take an international view - which this e-book offers - has develop into acute.

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Extra info for A Concise History of the Modern World: 1500 to the Present A Guide to World Affairs

Sample text

France and Britain were nations in the 1400s. The United States (US) was a nation in the 1700s. Germany did not become a unified nation until the second half of the nineteenth century. Not until the reigns of Friedrich I (1657–1713), crowned Prussia’s first monarch in 1701, Friedrich Wilhelm I (b. 1688, reigned 1713–40) and Friedrich II, the Great (b. 1712, reigned 1740–86) did Prussia’s power grow. Indeed, until the beginning of the eighteenth century, Brandenburg-Prussia was outstripped in wealth and numbers by Bavaria.

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 appealing to England for help against Spain they knew how to emphasize English interests. They realized that when England attacked Spain – as Elizabeth I did openly in 1587 – it would not be striking a blow for its fellow Protestant ‘rebels’, but for England. Elizabeth came to their aid because she reasoned – as English leaders have reasoned ever since – that if there were to be war, it should be fought on foreign soil. The Dutch were as realistic about trade as they were about politics. The sole purpose of the Dutch East Indies Company (founded in 1602, and which soon became the largest trading company in Europe) was not to explore the world, or save it for Christianity as Portugal and Spain had tried to do, but to increase its share of the newly found eastern commerce.

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A Concise History of the Modern World: 1500 to the Present A Guide to World Affairs by W. Woodruff


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