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By William Woodruff

This ebook investigates the foremost adjustments in international historical past and international economic system prior to now years and explains to what quantity global forces were liable 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 international - together with terrorism - are the legacy of the interval of Western domination. till the increase of the West, and its incomparable influence on each department of human task, the centre of the realm has been in Asia. by way of the 19th century international energy was once firmly within the arms of the West. America's later upward push to global prestige used to be caused by means of the 2 international wars. the main renowned of the Western international locations, the U.S. is now blamed for all of the excesses of an previous colonial age.

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By the mid-seventeenth century they had replaced the Portuguese carrying trade in the Indian Ocean. In the sixteenth century the horrendous enslaving of Africans by the Christian West began to take its incalculable toll. The expansion of the African slave trade by Europeans, Arabs and Africans (some of whom enslaved their own people) was of epochal importance to Africa and the world. The Europeans had not introduced slavery to Africa; what they did was to vastly increase its scope. By 1700 the slave trade exceeded the trade in gold and ivory.

The only time they mixed Calvinism and commerce, as they did in their West Indies Company, they did poorly. Nor did they have any disinclination towards money-making as some of the Iberians had had. On the contrary, like Florence and Venice before them, emphasizing the necessary unity of business and politics, the voice of the merchant was heard wherever policy was made. Because they were commercially oriented, they were quick to use the financial talents possessed by the Portuguese Jews who had fled the Spanish 34 A Concise History of the Modern World Inquisition.

When France declared war on Prussia in 1870, most rulers expected French troops to be in Berlin within a few weeks. Instead France was thoroughly beaten. It was Prussia's victory over France in 1871 which caused other European states, especially Austria, to ally themselves with it. The myth of German-Austrian dualism died, the idea of a Greater Germany was born. On 18 January 1871 at Versailles, Wilhelm I (1797-1888) was declared emperor of all the Germans; the existing balance of power within Europe was changed.

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