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

By William Woodruff

This booklet investigates the most important alterations in international heritage and international economic climate prior to now years and explains to what volume global forces were liable for shaping either earlier and current. Its underlying topic is the fight for strength within which, because the 16th century, the West has prevailed. the various 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 realm has been in Asia. by means of the 19th century international energy was once firmly within the palms of the West. America's later upward thrust to international prestige was once caused through the 2 global wars. the main favorite of the Western countries, the U.S. is now blamed for all of the excesses of an previous colonial age.

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At the subsequent peace meetings in Paris in 1814-1815, Russia spoke as the leading power on the continent, Britain as the greatest world power of the time. If Britain made unusual concessions to the French in 1815 (despite its defeat, France was the third greatest power of the time), it was not because they liked the French, but because they feared the Russians. To weaken France was to strengthen Russia. The British had no desire to replace Napoleon with the Czar. By the mid-nineteenth century growing suspicion by Britain and France of Russia had resulted in the outbreak The Expansion of the Russian Empire 51 of hostilities between them in the Crimean War of 185:>-1856.

Treaties with China would eventually extend Russia's southeastern frontier to Vladivostok. In 1707 the Kamchatka Peninsula, north of Japan, was annexed. By 1741 Russian traders had crossed the Bering Straits into Alaska. Only in 1812, by which time they had reached the vicinity of present-day San Francisco, did their eastern march finally come to a halt. With the sale of Alaska to the United States in 1867, the Russians withdrew from North America. Central to the story of Russia's past is the influence of endemic warfare (which Russia's vast accessible plain, three quarters of it less than 1,800 feet above sea level, has encouraged).

European ideas are also being assailed. Throughout the Muslim world the secular rationality which sprang from the Renaissance and the French Revolution, is today being challenged by religious fundamentalism. Irrational forces based on faith rather than reason are growing. Men speak ~ ~~ :;S:l;l ~~ ..... J llliii! German ~ Dutch f\\\\1\\\\\\~ Russian ~French ~British ~ ::t ~ ~ ~ ~ ]..... ~ ~ ~ 44 A Concise History of the Modern World of ",the tyranny of reason". But then reason is peculiarly characteristic of the Western intellectual tradition.

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