The Transformation of the World: A Global History of the Nineteenth Century (America in the World)
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A monumental history of the nineteenth century, The Transformation of the World offers a panoramic and multifaceted portrait of a world in transition. Jürgen Osterhammel, an eminent scholar who has been called the Braudel of the nineteenth century, moves beyond conventional Eurocentric and chronological accounts of the era, presenting instead a truly global history of breathtaking scope and towering erudition. He examines the powerful and complex forces that drove global change during the "long nineteenth century," taking readers from New York to New Delhi, from the Latin American revolutions to the Taiping Rebellion, from the perils and promise of Europe's transatlantic labor markets to the hardships endured by nomadic, tribal peoples across the planet. Osterhammel describes a world increasingly networked by the telegraph, the steamship, and the railways. He explores the changing relationship between human beings and nature, looks at the importance of cities, explains the role slavery and its abolition played in the emergence of new nations, challenges the widely held belief that the nineteenth century witnessed the triumph of the nation-state, and much more.
This is the highly anticipated English edition of the spectacularly successful and critically acclaimed German book, which is also being translated into Chinese, Polish, Russian, and French. Indispensable for any historian, The Transformation of the World sheds important new light on this momentous epoch, showing how the nineteenth century paved the way for the global catastrophes of the twentieth century, yet how it also gave rise to pacifism, liberalism, the trade union, and a host of other crucial developments.
of the states, simplified the rules of succession (but rarely intruded in it), laid ideological emphasis on the leading role of the Malay ruler in a multicultural society more and more dominated by Chinese economically, and eventually, on a much greater scale than in India, opened up the administration to princes from the sultan’s family. Monarchy was therefore strengthened rather than weakened in Malaya during the colonial period—and yet, in the transition to independence in 1957, there was no
careful not to be drawn into a debate about the periodization of world history. What interested him were not so much the great transformations in technology, trade or worldviews as the functioning of societies and intersocietal networks within a given time frame. Braudel’s panoramic vision has found surprisingly few imitators. Recent discussions on the applicability of the term “early modern age” have tended to focus on particular regions. In the cases of Russia, China, Japan, the Ottoman
on the categorization of knowledge, especially its curricular organization. When the leading minds of the post-1915 New Culture Movement began to feel that the narrow, static quality of this term did not reflect the novelty of the modern concept of science, they actually turned for a while to the rough phonetic imitation saiyinsi. This post-Confucian neologism, devoid of the semantic baggage of centuries past, was supposed to convey the idea of a moral awakening from the slumber of sterile
decades after the Civil War was an economic giant but a military dwarf. Russia industrialized and had a huge army, but it is questionable how deeply its state penetrated society before 1917, especially in the countryside. In fact, only Germany, Japan, and France remain as models of a modern nation-state in every conceivable dimension. Britain, with its modest territorial army and relatively nonbureaucratic local government, was as much a case on its own as the United States. Nevertheless, the
to the German-Danish war. And Norway, which the Swedes had taken from the Danes in 1814, strove for statehood that it finally achieved in 1905. Finland—which, though linguistically separate from the other three countries, has Swedish as a second language—has existed as an independent state only since 1917. A Scandinavian self-image became widespread in the region only after the Second World War. Today the four countries refer to themselves collectively as “Nordic,” whereas observers from outside