World Hist annual Ed V2

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  • Edition: 6th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1999-09-08
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Higher Education

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This informative anthology provides convenient, inexpensive access to a wide range of current, carefully selected articles from some of the most respected magazines, newspapers, and journals published today. Within the pages of this volume are interesting well-illustrated articles by historians, educators, researchers, and writers, providing an effective and useful perspective on world history from 1500 to the present.

Table of Contents

UNIT 1. The World and the West, 1500-1900

1. That Fateful Moment When Two Civilizations Came Face to Face, Charles L. Mee Jr., Smithsonian, October 1992.

In Hernán Cortés's campaign against the Aztecs, 1519-1521, he was aided by superior Spanish weaponry, Indian allies, and various diseases, especially smallpox. The end result was the destruction of Aztec civilization with its accumulated art, skill, and knowledge.

2. Sir Francis Drake Is Still Capable of Kicking Up a Fuss, Simon Winchester, Smithsonian, January 1997.

With the tacit approval and backing of Queen Elizabeth I, Francis Drake of England plundered Spanish ships and completed a circumnavigation of the globe. He helped defeat the Spanish Armada and is remembered by the Spanish as "the Dragon." His life marks a pivotal point in the rise of England to world prominence.

3. The Potato Connection, Alfred W. Crosby, Civilization, January/February 1995.

Although the New World offered an opportunity for conquest and conversion to Christianity, the acquisition of new food crops, especially corn and white potatoes, had the greatest global impact. Foods from the Western Hemisphere spread worldwide and are a part of a "Columbian Exchange" that continues today.

4. The Canton War, Robert W. Drexler, American History, April 1997.

American Revolutionary War veteran Samuel Shaw found himself defending the British traders in Canton in 1784 during the first U.S. effort to open commerce with China. The accidental death of a Chinese fisherman during a gun salute resulted in the execution by strangulation of a British gunner. Shaw offered support to the British to no avail in this early clash over human rights.

5. The Macartney Embassy to China, 1792-94, Paul Gillingham, History Today, November 1993.

In an attempt to open trade and diplomatic relations, Lord George Macartney traveled to China, presented gifts of English manufacture, and requested trading permission. His mission was a failure due to arrogance on both sides, but members of his expedition published best-selling books about the adventure and exposed the basic weakness of the Imperial Kingdom.

6. Coffee, Tea, or Opium?, Samuel M. Wilson, Natural History, November 1993.

The transport of opium to China gave the British merchants a favorable trade balance for the purchase of tea and other Chinese goods. Threatened with the moral destruction of their people, the Chinese government tried to stop the drug trade, but superior British warships enforced the trade and won five ports and Hong Kong for British control.

7. After Centuries of Japanese Isolation, a Fateful Meeting of East and West, James Fallows, Smithsonian, July 1994.

The arrival of Matthew Perry as the head of a U.S. naval squadron in 1853 forced Japan out of two centuries of isolation. Although the outside intrusion was unwelcomed, the Japanese suffered no defeat and in the next half-century successfully melded their culture with Western technology to become the most powerful nation in the Far East.

8. Mutiny on the Amistad, Donald Dale Jackson, Smithsonian, December 1997.

In 1839 blacks taken to Cuba from Africa and sold as slaves revolted and took over the ship Amistad. Lost, they landed at Long Island and were arrested by the U.S. Navy. A sensational trial followed that boosted the cause of abolition, touched the heart of Americans, and gave the captured blacks their freedom.

UNIT 2. The Ferment of the West, 1500-1900

9. Jefferson's Secret Life, Barbra Murray and Brian Duffy, U.S. News & World Report, November 9, 1998.

Even in his own time there were rumors that Thomas Jefferson was the father of children by Sally Hemings, the slave half-sister of his late wife, Martha. DNA testing now reveals a match between Jefferson and at least one son of Hemings. This contributes to questions of race relations in the early American South.

10. The First Feminist, Shirley Tomkievicz, Horizon, Spring 1972.

She did not hate men, nor did she deny the traditional roles of women as wives and mothers. However, in the late eighteenth century, Mary Wollstonecraft pursued a successful writing career and argued that the female had as good a mind as the male.

11. A Woman Writ Large in Our History and Hearts, Robert Wernick, Smithsonian, December 1996.

She wrote novels, smoked cigars, wore men's clothing, had a string of love affairs, and adopted a man's name. Living in France, George Sand set an example of freedom for women to pursue a profession as well as to care for a household.

12. Declaring an Open Season on the Wisdom of the Ages, Robert Wernick, Smithsonian, May 1997.

There may have been as many as 300 men and one anonymous woman who contributed to the writing of the Encyclopedie, a mid-eighteenth-century compendium of human knowledge. The French editors, Jean d'Alembert and Denis Diderot, insisted that observation of fact took precedence over accumulated assumptions. It was an endorsement of the Enlightenment and what came to be known as the scientific method.

13. A World Transformed, Keith Michael Baker, The Wilson Quarterly, Summer 1989.

Ideas about nationalism, liberalism, conservatism, socialism, democracy, and human rights all relate to the French Revolution. Although linked to the American Revolution, the revolt of 1789 in France was much more radical.

14. The Strange Case of the Surgeon of Crowthorne, Simon Winchester, Smithsonian, September 1998.

The Oxford English Dictionary is the final authority for English words, their meaning, and their origin. James Murray compiled the first edition in the late nineteenth century and his work was aided by a mysterious volunteer worker, Dr. W. C. Minor. When the two finally met, Murray was surprised to find that Minor, a convicted murderer, was an inmate in an asylum for the criminally insane.

UNIT 3. The Industrial and Scientific Revolutions

15. Eyes Wide Open, Richard Powers, New York Times Magazine, April 18, 1999.

An obscure Arab in the tenth century resolved a question that had bothered thinkers for 800 years--did light travel from the eye to an object or was it the reverse? Ibn al-Haytham invited people to observe the sun, and realized from the results that light traveled into the eye. His emphasis upon direct observation later became a foundation stone for the development of the scientific method in Europe.

16. For a While, the Luddites Had a Smashing Success, Bruce Watson, Smithsonian, April 1993.

Despite possible long-term benefits from the industrial revolution, in 1811 textile workers in the English Midlands took the name of Luddites and destroyed the machines that they thought were taking away their livelihood. The protest was eventually suppressed by troops, but the name Luddite lingers in the language to describe a person who resists technological change.

17. ... --… .-. .. .--. (SOS, RIP), The Economist, January 23, 1999.

In its time the telegraph was known as an "instantaneous highway of thought." Information could be transmitted over a wire, instantly, with the use of Morse code. Now, with the use of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System based upon satellites, the code is no longer needed for international communications. It is the end of a communications era.

18. Birds, Bicycles & Biplanes, U.S. News & World Report, August 17-24, 1998.

With insight, experience with bicycles, experimentation, and curiosity, Americans Wilbur and Orville Wright constructed and flew the first airplane in 1903. Others soon copied and improved upon their invention, but they had started a transportation revolution that carried human beings to the Moon before the end of the century.

19. Father of the Computer Age, I. Bernard Cohen, American Heritage of Invention & Technology, Spring 1999.

Mark I, put together by Howard H. Aiken, was 51 feet long, 3 feet deep, and 8 feet high. It was one of the earliest computers and in 1944-1945 it ran almost continuously to perform calculations about magnetic fields, radar, and atomic implosions. Aiken became important for emphasizing the importance of computers and establishing the first graduate program in computer science.

20. "Dr. X's" Instant Images, U.S. News & World Report, August 17/August 24, 1998.

Philo T. Farnsworth, a farmboy from Idaho, envisioned a successful way to project pictures and in 1927 transmitted the first electronic television image. He shortly ran into competition with RCA and lost the race when his patents expired after World War II.

21. Greetings from Mars, Sharon Begley, Newsweek, July 14, 1997.

The Pathfinder, a small, six-wheeled dune buggy, became the first explorer of another planet in 1997. This extraordinary mission to Mars, 119 million miles away, pointed the way to quicker and cheaper space explorations.

UNIT 4. The Twentieth Century to 1950

22. On the Turn--Japan, 1900, Richard Perren, History Today, June 1992.

Following the visit by Commodore Matthew Perry's flotilla in 1853 and the Meiji Restoration in 1868, Japan rapidly westernized. By 1900 the transformation was so great that there was no turning back in time. The Japanese victory in 1904-1905 over Russia demonstrated Japan's success in becoming a great power of the world.

23. Daughter of the Desert, Janet Wallach, Smithsonian, April 1998.

Well-educated, restless, wealthy, and outspoken, Gertrude Bell developed a wanderlust for the desert country of the Middle East. She became an expert on the archaeological sites and the culture of the peoples. She was consulted about the post-World War I settlement of the Middle East and was known as the "uncrowned queen of Iraq."

24. Home at Last, Bill Powell and Owen Matthews, Newsweek, July 20, 1998.

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, as the new leader of the Soviet Union, ordered the murder of Nicholas II and his family in 1918. In 1991 the skeletons were exhumed and subjected to DNA testing for identification. The whole family, including Anastasia, along with various servants, had been killed. The remains were reburied at the Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg as a gesture of national healing.

25. The Maginot Line, Rudloph Chelminski, Smithsonian, June 1997.

Having been invaded by Germany twice in 50 years, the French built a series of defensive bunkers called the Maginot Line. It was just being completed when war broke out once more in 1939. The line held admirably, but German flanking movements forced the French government to surrender in 6 weeks. The Maginot Line was turned over to the Germans.

26. Exposing the Rape of Nanking, Iris Chang, Newsweek, December 1, 1997.

After taking Shanghai in 1937, the Japanese forces moved against Nanking where widespread atrocities occurred--260,000 to 350,000 Chinese murdered; 20,000 to 80,000 Chinese women raped and tortured. The death toll was greater than that of the atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but it has remained an obscure event because of cultural and political reasons.

27. The Father Figure: Dwight Eisenhower, U.S. News & World Report, March 16, 1998.

Dwight Eisenhower's early years as a soldier did not predict his great success in World War II. A little-known 50-year-old colonel in 1941, he rose rapidly to supreme commander in Europe because of his talent for grand strategy, interpersonal skills, and optimism. Everyone liked "Ike."

28. Judgment at Nuremberg, Robert Shnayerson, Smithsonian, October 1996.

Following the end of World War II, German leaders were brought to trial at Nuremberg to answer to "crimes against peace." Ten were hanged and one committed suicide. The trial upheld the rule of law and resisted the temptation to force mass guilt and executions on the German people.

29. Yankee Go Home, and Take Me with You!, Edwin Kiester Jr. and Sally Valente Kiester, Smithsonian, May 1999.

Taken over as a colony as a result of the Spanish-American War in 1898, the people of the Philippines continued to agitate for independence. This was gradually attained and finally completed in 1946. The last U.S. military bases closed in 1992, but America left behind a legacy of education, law, democracy, culture, and language.

UNIT 5. The Era of the Cold War, 1950-1990

30. The Plan and the Man, Evan Thomas, Newsweek, June 2, 1997.

In 1947 George C. Marshall, the American secretary of state, announced the "Marshall Plan" in a speech at Harvard. The plan provided $13.3 billion in aid to the ravaged countries of Europe to help them recover from World War II and to hold off the spread of communism. The British foreign minister called it a "lifeline to a sinking man."

31. Out of Thin Air, Michael D. Haydock, American Heritage of Invention & Technology, Fall 1998.

Tensions between the Soviet Union and the West resulted in the closing of land access to West Berlin in 1948. The U.S. and Britain responded with an airlift of supplies to keep the city in operation. The bad publicity for the Soviets and the success of the flights brought the crisis to a close after eleven months.

32. Heating Up the Cold War, T. A. Heppenheimer, American Heritage of Invention & Technology, Fall 1992.

Nuclear submarines, ballistic missiles, and the H-bomb, developed in the 1950s, became the important military technologies of the cold war. New models made them ever more efficient, yet they were never used in battle between the superpowers. Although missiles became space launchers, and atomic energy found limited use for electricity production, such technology had only a modest impact on humankind.

33. Sub-Saharan Africa: So Little Done, So Much to Do, Tony Thomas, The Economist, September 7, 1996.

In a series of brief articles, The Economist reviews the results of foreign aid, the growth of democracy, agriculture, and disease in Africa below the Sahara. Africa, an enigma to the West, has much to despair of amid glimmers of hope.

34. India: The Imprint of Empire, Roderick MacFarquhar, The New York Review of Books, October 23, 1997.

In the half-century following the end of World War II, the colonial empires of the British, French, Dutch, Portuguese, and Belgians largely disappeared. The United States left the Philippines, the tsarist empire ended, and the USSR fell apart. The return of Hong Kong to China marks the end of the cycle. Democracy has taken root in India, but what happens in Hong Kong will depend upon what happens in China.

35. The End of the Cold War: A Russian View, Vladimir Batyuk, History Today, April 1999.

The arms reduction treaties of the 1980s prepared the way for Mikhail Gorbachev's policies of "perestroika" and "glasnost." The new policies marked a change of attitude from looking upon the West as an enemy to one of seeing the West as a potential partner in solving international problems. Moscow did not intervene in the "velvet revolutions" in Eastern and Central Europe. The Berlin Wall came down, Gorbachev acceded to German unification, and the cold war came to an end.

UNIT 6. Global Problems, Global Interdependence

36. Bombs, Gas and Microbes: The Desperate Efforts to Block the Road to Doomsday, The Economist, June 6, 1998.

It has become increasingly easy to assemble atomic bombs, poison gases, and deadly germs that might be used in warfare. The spread of these technologies seems impossible to stop, and the best protection for the world is to persuade countries to give up the quest for mass destruction for their own benefit.

37. Human Rights and Diplomacy: The Bloodhounds of History, The Economist, April 12, 1997.

Napoleon's armies spread the idea of liberty, equality, and fraternity, but after their defeat conservative statesmen emphasized a balance of power to maintain peace. Thus, two opinions emerged, one concerned with human rights, the other with order. These opinions continue to influence international politics today.

38. Exporting Misery, The Economist, April 17, 1999.

There are 12 million refugees and 18 million internally displaced people in the world. The latest group are the Kosovars. Solutions for their well-being, which include safe havens, camps, and resettlement, tend to reward the force that drove them out. Return to their homes, the most expensive option, depends upon the outcome of the conflict.

39. The Price Tag on Freedom, Marcus Mabry, Newsweek, May 3, 1999.

The intractable civil war in the Sudan has brought a return of slavery as Muslim Arabs have raided villages of black Christians and others. A human rights group, Christian Solidarity International, uses money to purchase the freedom of the captives.

40. AIDS in the Third World: A Global Disaster, The Economist, January 2, 1999.

AIDS is now in fourth place among the world's great killers, and it has not yet reached its peak. In the most affected places of Africa--Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe--between 20 percent and 25 percent of the people aged 15-49 are infected. There have been some successes of prevention in Thailand, Uganda, and Senegal, but India and China are likely to have trouble.

41. Kosovo's Conflicts, Robert Bideleux, History Today, November 1998.

The Serbs claim the province of Kosovo as the "cradle of the Serb nation," but 90 percent of the 2 million inhabitants, the Kosovars, claim to have descended from ancient Dardanians. Ottoman rule for 600 years provided an Islamic influence and the Kosovars gradually embraced the religion. Their tortured history took many turns, and in 1998 the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) launched a guerrilla attack to gain independence from Serbia.

42. The Millennial Itch: An End and a Beginning, The Economist, January 4, 1997.

People have long been fascinated with the passage of a 1,000-year period. Ancient Mayans, Romans, and Chinese were concerned with great time periods, and, particularly, millennarian Christians have predicted momentous changes. Sociologists of religion have labeled the rising anxiety for the year 2000 as premillennial tension (PMT).

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