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

By William Woodruff

This booklet investigates the key alterations in global background and global economic system prior to now years and explains to what volume global forces were accountable for shaping either previous and current. Its underlying topic 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. till the increase of the West, and its incomparable influence on each department of human job, the centre of the area has been in Asia. by means of the 19th century international energy used to be firmly within the fingers of the West. America's later upward thrust to global prestige used to be brought on through the 2 global wars. the main famous of the Western countries, the U.S. is now blamed for all of the excesses of an past colonial age.

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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. In the last quarter of the seventeenth century money was so plentiful in the Netherlands that the interest rate in Amsterdam was below that in London.

European textiles, spirits, manufactures, iron bars, pots 48 A Concise History of the Modern World and pans, trinkets, glass beads, fish, cutlery and muskets were then exchanged for African slaves, ivory and gold. The eighteenthcentury world economy is inconceivable without slavery. Yet, until the mid-eighteenth century, except for the ravages of the Atlantic slave trade, the West's influence upon Africa was slight. In 1800 European interests were concentrated in a number of tiny outposts on the West Mrican coast.

In power politics, France proved a worthy successor to Spain. In the mid-fifteenth century it had driven the English from the continent of Europe. On and off, from the 1290s until the 1450s, for 150 years, England had fought France for parts of northern Europe, including Flanders, at that time Europe's industrial centre. But for Joan of Arc's triumph over the English at the battle of Orleans in 1429, France might have become a vassal of England. In the 1490s the French under Charles VIII (b. 1470, reigned 1483-98) had attacked Spanish forces in Italy.

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