Whether you’re studying the ancient world or simply curious about the history of our own modern states, you may be surprised to know that there’s more to it than meets the eye. In this book, a renowned historian illuminates the ancient world and explains how classical states shaped modern Western nations. Ultimately, you’ll be able to appreciate Western history in a whole new way. Here’s how.
Western world history is complex and violent, and the last century was marked by two world wars and the rise and fall of totalitarian states. While many countries suffered the same fate as the ancient world, the Western world was the most afflicted. And yet, despite the suffering that it’s caused, it’s still the dominant world. Let’s take a look at some of the key moments in its history. Hopefully, you’ll find these events informative and inspiring.
The first continents were discovered by European nations. In the years following, these countries settled in the rest of the world. This process is known as colonialism. Many countries have imposed their own form of colonialism. The twentieth century brings greater currency to the concept of the “West”. Oswald Spengler mocked the idea of continuity between western culture and classical civilization. The writer Rebecca West visited the Balkans during the 1930s and felt threatened by the cultures of these countries.
The twentieth century brought more violence than any other period in history. Two world wars occurred, and the Cold War followed. Both wars impacted much of the world. A large portion of Asia and the Pacific were involved. In addition, the Holocaust killed six million Jews. These events changed the nature of human rights worldwide. There are countless examples of what happened to humanity during the twentieth century. And these are just some of the important facts to know about western world history.
Despite these conflicts, the idea of the “west” is not entirely new. The idea of a “western world” has become widely accepted by the twentieth century. During the imperial era, Oswald Spengler wrote The Decline of the West, which mocked the notion of continuity between western culture and classical civilization. And in the late 1930s, Rebecca West visited the Balkans and felt threatened by Western values.
The Reformation split the Christian world of western Europe into two hostile camps. Protestantism gained dominance in northern Europe while the Roman Catholic Church maintained its hold over southern Europe. Protestantism advocated a less complicated form of Christianity. It gave greater importance to individual spirituality and contributed to the secularization of society. However, the Reformation did not stop with Europe. As it expanded, the world’s civilizations continued to dominate, colonizing and subjugating nations in the process.
By the middle of the Middle Ages, the Western Roman Empire had fallen into disorder. After several Muslim conquests, there was no unified Christian nation. In 330 C.E., the Franks under Charlemagne established a western empire, which the Pope recognized as the Holy Roman Empire. This offended the Byzantine Emperor. During this time, the Catholic Church split from the Greek-speaking Patriarchates, which led to the clash of cultures.