Western world history has been a tumultuous one. It is a complex and multifaceted subject. It is shaped by the experiences of different people and countries from various eras. It also involves the history of different cultures. It reflects the growth of Western civilization beyond the ancient Greeks and Romans and the Islamic world. It also encompasses countries of the European Union and Latin America.
The twentieth century saw the outbreak of two world wars and the Cold War. It also saw the dissolution of colonialism and the invention of the Totalitarian state. In this century, many countries fought for independence. Some countries entered the Western world on their own terms, while others aligned themselves with the Soviet bloc or the US-led West.
The industrial age ushered in a new era of global expansion in western Europe. It also saw the emergence of the Industrial Revolution, which changed the way the world did business. This led to a shift in trade with the colonial world. Instead of selling handcrafted goods, European countries began selling machine-made goods.
The notion of the “west” emerges during the hot-tempered era of imperialism in the 1890s, and it gained wider currency in the 20th century. In the late 1930s, Oswald Spengler wrote influential books, such as The Decline of the West, which ridiculed the idea that western culture and the classical world are indistinguishable. Rebecca West, an American traveler to the Balkans in the late 1930s, felt that “western culture was threatened.”
The Mason Core Curriculum for the Western World History course requires students to demonstrate mastery of three learning outcomes. First, they must be able to explain long-term changes and continuities. Second, they should be able to critically analyze primary sources and communicate their findings. Third, they must be able to apply historical techniques and theories to make their understanding of the past more understandable.
After the French Revolution in 1848, the Holy Roman Empire would dissolve on 6 August 1806. Napoleon created the Confederation of the Rhine, while the newly established Latin Crusader State split the Greek Byzantine Empire. Eventually, both European empires collapsed. These events would change western world history dramatically.