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

By William Woodruff

This publication investigates the foremost adjustments in global background and global economic climate in past times years and explains to what quantity international forces were accountable for shaping either previous and current. Its underlying subject matter is the fight for strength within which, because the 16th century, the West has prevailed. a few 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 effect on each department of human task, the centre of the area has been in Asia. via the 19th century global energy was once firmly within the palms of the West. America's later upward push to international prestige used to be caused by means of the 2 international wars. the main fashionable of the Western international locations, the united states is now blamed for the entire excesses of an past colonial age.

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In October 1853, encouraged by Britain and France, Turkey (after Britain, Russia, and France perhaps the fourth great power) declared war on Russia. A month later Russia sank the Turkish fleet and took control of the Black Sea. To prevent Russia from subduing Turkey and seizing the Dardanelles (Turkish Straits) which gave it access to the Mediterranean, and which had been closed to Russian warships since the international Straits Convention of 1841, British and French warships were sent into the Black Sea.

The Impact of Western Man 41 One of the outcomes of the world-wide diffusion of Westem science and technology was a vast increase in international commerce. From the early decades of the nineteenth century, a world economy emerged focused upon western Europe (in particular upon the leading trading nation of the time, Britain). The great traders of the modern age were Europeans. It is they who accepted an all-purpose money and an all-powerful market, without which it is difficult to explain Europe's ascendancy.

It was a process in which the claim of one European power was always being challenged by that of another. No sooner had Spain and Portugal divided the world between them (the one following a western or south-western route that would result in Spain's discovery of the Americas, the other a south-eastern route that would result in Portugal obtaining a sea passage to southern Asia) than their claims were contested. With the destruction of Spanish sea power by the British in 1588, Spain forfeited its leading position.

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