By W. Woodruff

ISBN-10: 0333971639

ISBN-13: 9780333971635

By means of investigating the foremost adjustments of global heritage prior to now years, this ebook offers the required worldwide standpoint to appreciate the geopolitical and geoeconomic alterations dealing with us this day. now we have reached a very important transitional degree in international historical past during which the realm will not be formed via the one photograph of western modernism, yet more and more through a dead ringer for all cultures and civilizations. the necessity to take a global view--which this e-book provides--has turn into acute.

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Extra info for A Concise History of the Modern World: 1500 to the Present: A Guide to World Affairs, Fourth Edition

Example text

Henceforth the Chinese were concerned with enemies in the interior of Asia and political rivalries at court. China remained closed until it was forced open by the West in the nineteenth century. By then China had lost its ascendancy. The domination of the mandarin class, and the Confucian world view that assumed the superiority of the East, had kept China largely ignorant of the changes going on in western industrial and scientific thought. The Chinese elite were so convinced of their superiority that they felt no need to know what inferior people were doing.

Helping to shape their reactions to western intrusion was the Shinto religion, which appealed to Japan’s emerging sense of national identity and uniqueness as a divinely begotten race. Shinto demanded reverence for ancestors, for the emperor and for the past. Although overshadowed by Buddhism in earlier centuries, it has always managed to coexist with it. Shinto was a national religion long before it was proclaimed as such in 1871. Equally important was bushido, the Japanese warrior code of moral principles, which stressed filial piety, benevolence, loyalty to one’s lord unto death, personal courage, conscious choice of where one’s duty lay, self-discipline, endurance, kindness and honesty.

Elizabeth I of England gave it no peace. English ‘pirates’ preyed on Spanish possessions and Spanish treasure interminably. 1540–96) sacked Spain’s American colonies and seized a Spanish treasure ship in the mid-Pacific. The booty brought back by Drake in the Golden Hind is said to have been ‘the fountain and origin of British foreign investment’. In 1584 John Hawkins (1532–95) – another ‘pirate’ – pillaged the Spanish Main. The last shred of pretence was cast aside in 1585 when England sent an army of 6,000 men to fight against Spain in the Spanish Netherlands, where revolt had broken out in the 1560s.

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