In the twentieth century, we witnessed a number of conflicts that shaped the history of the world. World War One, for example, devastated many European nations, while World War II involved a greater area. Both the Pacific and Chinese continents were affected by the conflict, and large portions of Europe and Asia were turned into theaters of war. In addition, six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust.
The French Revolution sparked a yearning for democracy and national self-determination. By the end of the 18th century, large multinational states dominated central Europe and the Balkans, with numerous nationalities calling for independence. Germany and Italy were split into many small states. These conflicts shaped the political history of the western world. However, the industrial revolution provided an entirely different perspective on human dignity.
In this textbook, the author attempts to give a balanced account of major events that occurred in the Western world during the last 10,000 years. As such, it is not a perfect account; it will not satisfy many readers. But, the author has included a detailed introduction that makes explicit the background and framework of the Western world. Moreover, this textbook is released as an Open Education Resource (OER), so that many others can use and modify it.
The West was also influenced by the migration of non-Western people. In fact, there were many cities that grew up with communities of people of other ethnicities. These new peoples were often met with hostility and suspicion, and it took years before they were fully assimilated into the new societies.
The concept of the West dates back to the Greco-Roman civilizations. In fact, the word “West” is derived from the Latin word “occidens,” which means west, rise, or sunset. The word “western” was also associated with certain historical periods, including the Renaissance, Reformation, and World Wars.
The first generation of historians of Western Civilization developed the core history curriculum for high schools. The textbook outlined in the book follows the basic contours of this period of history, beginning with the ancient Greeks, moving on through the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the rise of European power. The authors also provide examples of significant events that shaped the course of Western civilization.
The history of the West reflects a rich blend of cultures and eras. It has been influenced by Greek and Roman developments, and the development of Christianity in the Middle East has shaped the course of human history. As a result, Christianity is a pillar of medieval and modern Western civilization. It also has shaped the art and music of the West, and is an important source of culture.
Students can choose to specialize in different topics within the major. For example, students may choose to specialize in Latin America or non-Western world history, or focus on the history of women and sexuality. These courses explore the social construction of gender, including the origins of capitalism, industrialism, and colonialism. They may also study family, legal, and constitutional history, as well as environmental issues.