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The main theme of this part is the collapse and partial restoration of the liberal, capitalist, and imperial orders that allowed Europeans to dominate most of the world. For Europeans, the nineteenth century was a time of unprecedented prosperity and power. Their mastery of the new industrial technologies had given them direct control of over half of the world’s peoples and huge influence over the rest. The great global linkages created by the European empires drew in commodities and labor from all over the world to create the products that went out to consumers everywhere. The USA, too, enjoyed its Gilded Age of wealth and empire, and Japan was rising quickly to join the elite club of great powers. It seemed that this machinery of expanding production and power could continue indefinitely. Many predicted, in the words of the historian Arnold Toynbee, the coming of an age of universal peace, wealth, and justice, an “earthly paradise.”
It was not to be. The Great War which broke out in 1914 destroyed the international imperial order, devastating all the European societies far beyond anyone’s expectations. Worse was to come. The brief, precarious stability of the 1920s fell apart in the 1930s under the impact of a savage world depression and the rise of a new, vicious mass movement: fascism. The world plunged into a new global war even more destructive than the first.
The first textbook to present world history via social history, drawing on social science methods and research. This interdisciplinary, comprehensive, and comparative textbook is authored by distinguished scholars and experienced teachers, and offers expert scholarship on global history that is ideal for undergraduate students. Volume 2 takes us from the early modern period to speculation about the world in 2050, visiting diverse civilizations, nation-states, ecologies, and people along the journey through time and place. The book pays particular attention to the ways in which ordinary people lived through the great changes of their times, and how everyday experience connects to great political events and the commercial exchanges of an interconnected world. With 75 maps, 65 illustrations, timelines, boxes, and primary source extracts, the book enables students to use historical material and social science methodologies to analyze the events of the past, present, and future.
The lawyer Nelson Mandela (1918–2013) spent twenty-five years in jail for organizing against the South African apartheid regime, but in 1994 he was elected president of South Africa. The young Mandela was an activist against the racist policies of the white regime; only later in life did he endorse non-violent political action. In his inauguration speech, he called for the “healing of wounds” and an end to the “pernicious ideology and practice of racism and racial oppression.” His Korean counterpart, Kim Dae-jung (1925–2009), also spent time in jail under military rule, but as prime minister pursued policies of democratization and reconciliation with his colonial rulers, the Japanese. Both won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Other anti-imperial leaders took different paths. Mao Zedong (1893–1976) and Kim Il-sung (1912–94) strongly endorsed violent struggle, isolating their countries from the world. Ho Chi Minh (1890–1969) and his Viet Minh nationalists successfully fought off both the French and the Americans during a thirtyyear struggle. The bloody contest between Palestinians and Israelis continues today, despite intensive efforts at mediation. The struggle to rid the world of imperial domination has led to many unpredicted outcomes, and it is not yet over.
We conclude with a discussion of two critical issues: global terrorism and global warming. Both of them threaten to harm huge numbers of people, and both have roots far back in the human past. The greatest recent terrorist threat, that of al-Qaeda, derives directly from the imperial domination of the Middle East in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, but al-Qaeda's supporters find their inspiration in the founding of Islam in the seventh century. Yet only the globalization of the late twentieth century made al-Qaeda's actions possible.
Global warming is a more subtle, but equally dangerous trend which, if nothing is done to avert it, will bring catastrophe to hundreds of millions of vulnerable people. It is a direct result of global industrialization since the nineteenth century. Scientists have carefully documented the warming of the planet over the past century, but the nations of the world have so far only taken very small steps to address this vital threat to human existence.
On September 11, 2001, members of the terrorist group al-Qaeda hijacked four transcontinental airliners taking off from Boston’s Logan airport. They crashed two of them into the two World Trade Center towers in New York City (see Figure 1). The explosion of the gasoline in the airplanes incinerated the twin towers and their occupants. The third plane crashed into the Pentagon. Passengers on the fourth plane, probably intended for the White House, brought it down in a field in Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 people died in these attacks. The boldness of the al-Qaeda attacks stunned and horrified the world. Never before had so many civilians been killed by a deliberate attack on American soil. President George W. Bush vowed to make a War on Terror the theme of his administration.
Between 1850 and 1914 both commerce and coercion expanded on a more global scale than ever before in human history. The technologies of the Second Industrial Revolution and the advance of the consolidated state powered this expansion. The Second Industrial Revolution was a North Atlantic revolution. The new centrality of Canada and the USA in the industrial order and the beginnings of industrial development in Japan were already laying the ground for a further shift toward the Pacific. Its technologies made possible the imperialist conquests characteristic of the era. At the same time, the model of the consolidated state that had emerged in the Age of Revolution spread throughout Europe and North America and then around the world. Existing states increasingly sought to unify and homogenize their national territories, while national minorities resisting such assimilation advocated the establishment of their own unified, homogeneous independent states. One important response to the expansion of industry and centralized state power was global popular protest. Worldwide protest evolved new forms and these innovative tactics showed similarities from Hankou to Chicago; in one guise or another, social spread throughout most of the world.
Between 1850 and 1914, in Western and Central Europe, North America, and Japan, a Second Industrial Revolution occurred whose impact on the daily life of men and women around the world was greater than that of the First Industrial Revolution. This revolution produced the large factory, the great corporation, and the factory worker, transforming steel production, machine construction, chemicals, and rubber. The Second Industrial Revolution depended heavily on fossil fuels, on coal and oil, and the geography of production and distribution were heavily affected by access to these resources.
World War II left Eurasia in ruins, and two huge continental superpowers, the USA and the USSR, dominating the world. Of the two, the USA had by far the bigger economy and superior military force. The wartime alliance of the two powers did not last long: Within two years, they had begun a bitter global conflict, the Cold War. Because both sides had nuclear weapons, this war threatened to exterminate humanity itself. Fortunately, the conflict quickly stabilized in Europe, dividing it into two spheres of influence, and both powers stepped back from nuclear confrontation over Cuba. But in the rest of the world, local upheavals threatened to draw in the superpowers, making each civil war and rebellion in the Third World a test of the superpowers’ “credibility.”
The two most destructive wars took place in Korea and Vietnam. In neither one did either superpower gain total victory. Korea remains a divided nation, and in Vietnam revolutionary nationalists successfully expelled French colonialists, their Vietnamese collaborators, and their American supporters. The Soviet Union, emboldened by American defeat, moved into Afghanistan, but faced its own Vietnam there. By 1980, the superpowers no longer seemed to dominate the world.
Despite the superpower confrontation, the postwar world economy grew at an unprecedented rate for thirty years.
In 1682, the boyars of Russia chose the vigorous 10-year-old boy Peter as their new tsar, with his mother Natalia as regent. Unfortunately, Peter's accession was immediately challenged by relatives of his older half-sister Sophia. A mob of dissatisfied musketeers broke into the Kremlin square, slaughtered the top boyars, murdered Peter's brother, but swore loyalty to the new tsar. Peter and his mother, still fearing for their lives, fled the capital. For the rest of his life, Peter hated Moscow, the Kremlin, and all it represented: intrigue, violence, superstition, and anarchy. He resolved to build an orderly state that insisted on honest service from all its subjects. As a youngster growing up in the suburbs of Moscow, he played with foreigners who taught him how to train his own soldiers. He learned to build his own ships. When he grew up, Peter forced the Russian people into the world of Western European states. But Russia also expanded to the borders of China, where it met the equally dynamic Kangxi emperor. The Kangxi emperor also came to the throne as a young man, challenged his elder relatives, and made China both strong and actively engaged with Western European powers. By 1700, these two vigorous rulers had made their states the dominant powers of Eurasia.
Lu Xun (1881–1936), China’s most famous modern writer, was born in the small market town of Shaoxing, near Shanghai. In 1901 he went to Japan, intending to become a doctor. In his medical school class, he saw a slide of apathetic Chinese bystanders watching the execution of a Chinese man by Japanese soldiers during the Russo-Japanese war of 1905. Shocked by their passivity, he concluded that China’s most deadly disease afflicted the spirit, not the body. He returned to China, resolving to become a writer to rouse his people from their deadly slumber. In “Call to Arms,” his first short story collection, he described with great sympathy and insight the foibles of ordinary Chinese folk following time-honored customs, nearly oblivious of the worldwide crisis that surrounded them. In “Diary of a Madman,” whose title is borrowed from the Russian writer Nikolai Gogol, the writer suddenly realizes that the basic principle of China’s classic civilization is “eat people.” Ah Q, Lu Xun’s most famous character, blithely walks to his own execution without ever knowing why he joined the cause of revolutionary nationalism. Lu Xun and his colleagues particularly stressed the need to free women from the straitjacket of traditional morality so that they could participate actively in making the new nation. Lu Xun organized the League of Left Wing Writers to mobilize Chinese writers in the service of revolutionary nationalism. Lu Xun’s mood constantly oscillated between high hopes and black despair. He died in 1936, hoping for China’s national unification based on radical social revolution, defying his own repressive government and the imminent threat of Japanese invasion.
In 1712, the Manchu official Tulisen left Beijing for the shores of the lower Volga River, in Russia, to visit a Mongolian khan. It was a distance of over 3,000 miles, and it took him nearly three years to get there and back. The emperor of China had sent him to explore Russian territory and look for an alliance against other Mongolian rivals. He was not invited to see the tsar (the ruler of all Russia), but he wrote a detailed account of the topography, ethnography, and history of all the regions he had crossed.
Seven years later, John Bell, a Scotsman in the service of the Russian tsar, set out from St. Petersburg for Beijing, covering much the same route as Tulisen in the opposite direction. He, too, reported accurately on the region’s geography, politics, and history, gathering scientific knowledge and military intelligence at the same time. Others followed them, like Ivan Unkovski, a Russian officer, who visited the Mongolian khan in Zungharia in 1722, and the French Jesuit Gerbillon, who accompanied the Chinese emperor on his military campaigns in the middle of the century. At the end of the century, the Englishman George Lord Macartney arrived by sea in Beijing in 1793 to negotiate the opening of formal trade relations between Britain and China.
The life of Ana Maria Ribeiro di Garibaldi illustrates for us the changing nature of national identities in the mid nineteenth century. Born into a family of fishermen in 1817 in Morinhos, a small town on the coast of Brazil, she married another village fisherman named Manuel in 1835. It was apparently not a happy marriage. Only four years later, a rebel ship showed up off the shore of Morinhos. The captain caught sight of her and rowed to shore, saying “You will be mine.” She got in the rowboat and went off with him for the rest of her life.
The captain was Giuseppe Garibaldi, a failed revolutionary who had been involved in a revolt in Piedmont (what is now northwestern Italy). Sentenced to death, he fled, arriving in South America in 1836. He became a mercenary for a small state, Rio Grande del Sul, which was trying to secede from Brazil. So it was that he was captaining the Rio Pardo schooner when it stopped off Morinhos in 1839. During the following year, the Brazilian navy closed in on him, and he left the service of the rebel state, which seemed increasingly doomed.
He and Anita then drove a herd of cattle to Montevideo and tried to enter civilian life without much success. They probably married in 1842. She maintained that Manuel had died, but many have cast doubt on this claim. She was in any case accepted as Garibaldi’s wife, and she bore him several children. Three lived.