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ISTORIA UNIVERSALA A CURRICULUMULUI EDUCATIONAL
documentar pentru studenți și masteranzi -
DANIEL J. ELAZAR- World History Curriculum DOUNE MACDONALD - Curriculum change and the postmodern world: is the school curriculum-reform movement an anachronism?
NOTĂ Studiul reprodus mai jos este una dintre cele mai complete și mai sintetice viziuni asupra devenirii civilizației și culturii omenești prin intermediul planificării și organizării conștiente a educației indivizilor umani. Parcurgându-l cu atenție, cursanții își vor constitui cu ușurință o imagine realistă asupra importanței proiectării și implementării de curricula în în societate și, totodată, vor putea medita responsabil asupra consecințelor pe care le implică schimbările educaționale determinate conștient.
World History Curriculum
Daniel J. Elazar ( ARTICOL PUBLICAT în Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs ) Introduction Approximately 90 miles north of San Francisco, on the Pacific Coast, sits Fort Ross State Park, a quiet and pleasant restoration of a small frontier settlement. In the 1820's, Fort Ross was the southern most Russian outpost in North America. For a brief moment, it reflected the outer limits of the expansionist ambitions of certain Russian leaders, who saw in the still politically chaotic Pacific coast of North America of the early nineteenth century a chance to extend Russian hegemony southward in the face of the rival British, American and Spanish claims. The Russian effort was brief and unsuccessful. It had no real support from St. Petersburg (then the capitol of the Russian Empire) and was confronted by intense opposition from the rival claimants. The Russians abandoned the fort in the 1830's, withdrawing to Alaska where they were to sit for another generation until Secretary of State William Seward arranged to purchase that territory for the United States in 1867. Today, Fort Ross is a collection of restored log structures whose piquant history is an added attraction for visitors to a lovely section of the Californian coast. In one sense, however, Fort Ross is far more significant than its brief history would indicate. It represents the point of convergence of those elements of what we generally define as Western civilization in their movement to encircle the globe. Its founding and brief history brought to a culmination four millennia or more of expansion that ultimately embraced the whole world. Over five thousand years before the founding of Fort Ross, the Near Eastern civilizations out of which western civilization was to spring, were inventing civilization itself in the fertile crescent from the Nile to the Tigris and Euphrates valleys. Some two millennia later, Israel gave birth to Judaism which became the religious foundation of western civilization. A millennium thereafter the Greeks began the development of western philosophy and science. Between the Semitic peoples of western Asia and the Hellenic peoples of the Greek isles, the contributions of these two civilizations were spread throughout the Mediterranean Basin during the course of the millennium immediately prior to the rise of Christianity.
Two thousand years ago, Christianity was born out of the Jewish people and within its first millennium synthesized its understanding of Jewish religious civilization with the contributions of Greek philosophy and civilization and spread throughout Europe. The energies of the West thus organized and released, the following millennium saw the Christianized Russians move eastward across Siberia and the Bering Straits and the Christianized Spanish, French, Dutch, and British peoples move westward across the Atlantic, away from their European heartlands, to colonize vast new territories and implant western civilization within them. The eastward movement of the Russians and the westward movement of the other European nations finally met - after having girdled the globe - in northern California at Fort Ross, thereby completing literally millennia of migration, settlement and cultural transformation. The consequences of this western globe-girdling have become quite apparent in the twentieth century as the entire world has entered the embrace of western civilization. While Western Civilization has succeeded in girdling the globe it has done so at every step by absorbing important elements from the other civilizations it has encountered sometimes more and sometimes less, so that 150 years after the building of Fort Ross, Western Civilization had been transformed; first into modern civilization and then into world civilization. Today, the history of humanity needs to be based on an understanding of that interplay of civilizations and how the new world civilization now emerging is more than simply western civilization but is indeed an amalgam of the world's civilizations that has been continuing since the very beginning of time. The history of the world can be looked upon as the story and the record of how humanity emerged as a single entity in East Africa tens of thousands of years ago, progressively divided itself into sharper and finer divisions racial, ethnic, and national while at the same time moving to a world unified on a more complex basis. Today we have reached the point where a unified world history can be seen and understood by all. What remains is to reorganize our teaching of world history to incorporate the worldwide perspective while at the same time not falling into the trap of making all historical events equal so as to give equal weight to all peoples and places at all times or to equate the history of public events with that of private behavior. This curriculum is designed to do just that. It takes what may be called a "civilizational" approach, looking at different civilizations, first and foremost West and East, but also North and South. We shall try to understand how civilizations in the various areas of the world either interacted or acted separately from one another over nearly ten thousand years of human history. In doing so we will follow several themes: 1. 2. the common source and ties binding the human race as a whole as well as its separation into various subgroups; the pattern of human migrations which populated and have organized the populations of the world, first creating the distinctions among humans and, in the last five hundred years, bringing about their reamalgamation; the frontier (in the sense that Frederick Jackson Turner used the term) as the driving force behind those migrations and the consequences of successive
namely. If this at times seems "Eurocentric. the different faces of the prism also act as a control on the historian's judgment. 4. These are the themes on which we will focus in this curriculum. In other words. let us say. That is to say. it will have much more to do with public affairs than. the way in which humans have organized their lives and cultures to respond to the first five. he or she would not be a historian if he or she was not bound by the historical realities reflected back by the particular face of the prism and by other faces as well. looking at personal and private matters only insofar as they bear on those of public importance. while every historian. civilizations. In this respect history is prismatic rather than systematic.e. if we were to study the history of the family which involves more of the private dimensions of life." it should be understood as accurately reflecting the forces that have shaped the world which have been heavily influenced by European civilization at least since the late Middle Ages. Human activity is carried on at so many levels and with so many facets that any attempt to record and make sense of its history requires selection and the exercise of judgment in evaluating the record produced by what is selected. All of these themes have been of vital importance in guiding human history since the beginning and in every subsequent era. and forces that have molded the world as we know it. the other great force driving humanity. 5. They form the basis for our understanding of how humans function in history. humans and their institutions. the role of human invention in responding to those frontier challenges and in repeatedly reinventing the world which human beings occupy. while the historian looks at history and makes his or her selection on the basis of a particular view into the prism.frontiers in bringing about human development or the lack of frontiers in retarding that development. more than any other human factor. what facet is being explored. The selection of one facet or another does not necessarily reflect on the importance of that facet in the overall scheme of things but on the questions being asked. If human life is a prism. The study of history is a matter of selection and judgment. examining the human capacity to invent things that can elevate us or things that can destroy us. has galvanized humans to decisive action or to change themselves. like every human being. the force of religious belief which. . This curriculum will focus on the facet of world history and will concentrate on issues of public importance first and foremost. The orientation of this curriculum is toward the identification and exploration of those peoples. i. Thus the study of world history will involve examining the historical record through examining that (or those) facets which have been most influential in shaping the history of the world. what is selected and studied is based upon the questions asked. Thus.. Consequently. 6. a different facet in most respects. comes with a particular set of leanings or judgments. The curriculum's approach to European and other civilizations. the face of the prism itself must be to some degree controlling since it can only show the historian what is there and the historian must honestly try to discover what the face has to reveal.
and South America to a secondary position. so. By now. too. various groups. Both are critically necessary and how human history is. generated the differences among peoples. The Common Source of Humanity The combination of archeological and DNA explorations has brought us to a knowledge of a common source of all humanity in East Africa. and northern Africa equally active in one common sphere of activity with close connections between them and between the part of each continent within the sphere to those parts beyond it. too. yet brought different . Africa. The history of the emergence of the first two homo sapiens and the spread of their descendants around the world in such a way that they became separated into various subgroups teaches us about the unity and diversity of humanity both. the Eurocentric world has focused on Atlantic Europe and North America.however. we are not simply or even basically speaking of military conquest. and southern white musical expression that has become the basis of popular musical culture around the world. an interplay of that unity and diversity with both contributing to human behavior either in its underlying uniformities and similarities or in its manifest differences. which is notably different from the MTV broadcast in North America. western Asia. For example. just as Western industrialism and economic development has conquered the world. beginning from East Africa. Indeed. is the assumption that Eurocentrism means a bias toward European white male elites. But if we emancipate ourselves from that perspective and go back before the rise of Islam. it shares in the critique of Eurocentrism which often has distorted the perspective through which we in the West see the world. since the Age of Exploration and Discovery. That is a very different perspective than the Eurocentric perspective of today. In our own times. many of them distinctly outside of the original European elites. the synthesis takes place but the music is unmistakably rock. Nor is all of Western civilization European. is not at all Eurocentric. even though contemporary theory holds that there was literally a first woman and a first man and that all subsequent humanity are descended from them. The MTV station seen in Asia is located in India and develops that popular musical culture in the style of Indian music. just as "Eurocentrism" is a bias. a North American synthesis of African. populated and organized the populations of the world. Human Migration A major source of the separations and differences for tens of thousands of years that is now becoming a major source of human reintegration is to be found in the pattern of human migration. Those migrations. in one respect or another. we will find a world centered on the Mediterranean including within it southern Europe. have participated in the conquest of the world by Western civilization and both the role of "elites" and those outside must be noted fairly and fearlessly. Jewish. relegating Asia. In other words. when we speak of the conquest of the world by Western civilization. so. has rock music. for example. By the same token.
was a dynamic process. although fraught with problems of its own. uses so new that they are essentially unprecedented but so much a part of the process in question that they will be applied across the length and breadth of the continent. 4. Humans appear to have a drive to migrate and at the same time the act of migration keeps humanity on its toes. in Turner's view." The frontier. real as they are. and frontiersman. interests. It is how to accommodate newness. the central political problem of growth is not simply how to handle the physical changes brought by each frontier. as is every other dimension of human life. The frontier involves extensive new organization of the uses of the land (or space). the "civilized" and the "wilderness. population turnover. The frontier is not merely a dramatic imagery but a very real process. or at least meet them adequately. 3. though manifesting itself as a single "whole. and character of the larger frontier of which they are parts. The frontier involves an expanding or growth economy based on the application of existing technologies in new communities or new technologies in settled communities.peoples into contact in different ways. It is a recurring one in history and needs to be understood if we are to find ways to solve our problems. preserve those characteristics which have enabled certain countries to continue to develop for a period far longer than has been historically true in the case of other countries and societies." both geographic and functional. it is dynamic and essentially progressive. each with its own goals. yet all tied together by their common link to the central goals. indeed the basic sociotechnical process that informs the experience of certain people and countries. Frontier activities are those devoted to the exploration of that which was previously unknown and the development of that which was previously "wild" or undeveloped. The frontier movement. . The very process of migration has changed individuals and peoples by bringing them into contact with new and unfamiliar environments and creating circumstances that have forced them to adapt and adjust to those new and different environments and circumstances. 2. describing the border between the settled and unsettled. A frontier in the sense used here involves ten characteristics: 1. The Frontier The term "frontier" was transformed by Turner from the European definition describing the border or border zone between two states or countries to what became the American one. interests. As a result. This is the frontier situation. character. As a process. that exist simultaneously and successively. at times symbiotic. and transience as a way of life. at times hostile." actually coalesces a number of different "frontiers. and at times friendly. and at the same time.
if necessary. risk. In essence. nor are those their primary interest. The direct manifestations of the frontier can be found in every section of a country or region at some time (usually sequentially) and are visible in a substantial number of localities that either have. thus contributing to the maintenance or extension of equality in the social order." Most can handle the ups and downs of risk-taking and are able to begin again. it has never been done before. Some cultures seem to have a penchant to produce a modal personality that is frontieroriented.5." rather than immediately responding "no. 7. we are talking about a minority of the population. 10. and explore within its framework amid elements of risk and action. To manifest itself. to farm the land rather than merely trap furs on it. First and foremost. 6. Frontiersmen are those who go out ahead of the camp and who gain their primary satisfactions from exploring something new or from the fallout of being first at something and thus freer with regard to it than those who follow them. regardless of such factors as family background. frontiersmanship and the frontier spirit are as much a part of culture as of personality. or personal influence. frontier zones. no doubt. change. Even in such cases. seek those conventional gains. The frontier generates opportunities to grow. Pioneers. without some outside source protecting the risk-takers from negative consequences because that same outside source will limit the benefits which can be gained from the positive results. 8. People with the frontier spirit see opportunity where others see only danger. endowing them with the "frontier spirit. The frontier feedback must influence the total social structure to the point where the society as a whole is significantly remade. in the imagery of the land frontier. Personality may be the most important when we try to identify individuals with that spirit. and equality. There must be reasonably free access to the frontier sector of society for all who want it. not to invent computers but to establish networks in cyberspace and profit from them. but certain cultures appear to produce more people with those personality traits than do others. or are themselves. freedom. they follow the frontiersmen to plant settlements where only explorers have gone before them. They may or may not gain the more conventional benefits of pioneering but often do not. The frontier spirit animates two types of people: frontiersmen and pioneers. including new occupations to be filled by people who have the skills to do so. will tend to say "yes. social class. and demands responses involving courage. it can be done. these frontier characteristics are what the frontier spirit is all about. A frontier situation generates a psychological orientation toward the frontier on the part of the people engaged in conquering it." The "feedback" from the frontier leads to the continuous creation of new opportunities on many level of society. develop. a frontier needs a great deal of freedom and willingness to take risks that really are risks that is to say. In sum. on the other hand. but . 9.
there must be a will to do so. preserve. the various forms it has taken. and sideways. Humans and Their Institutions History is dynamic. One can make a good case that history is about invention. Every kind of human behavior can be found within it. and society. where whole populations are moved by key minorities in key positions. as well as the impact of inventions themselves. Yet the dynamics and confusions of history should not obscure the truth that humans make. has been recognized as a dominant human psychological characteristic if nothing else. in families. its furtherance. A proper understanding of history would provide an understanding of how this is so. human nature as expressed in human psychology may lead humans to satisfy the aforementioned needs through religious belief. in ideas. particularly religious. in mores and ways of living.a minority significant and large enough to influence the entire society. since American society has given such a prominent place to inventors and inventions in very concrete and visible ways. In fact. to reach out beyond themselves as individuals to transcendent powers that outlive the human lifespan. It does not seem to follow any clear rules. groups. Human Invention The application of the foregoing principles and the human "package" that they produce is expressed through the role of human invention in response to those frontier challenges. backward. in technology. At least for some. The new circumstances brought about by migrations and frontiers can only be mastered through human invention of all kinds. generalizations from or about history seem to be futile or impossible. Indeed. This is similar to the case of other kinds of revolutionary movements." that is to say. Religious Belief The by now well documented apparent need of human beings to "believe in something. Religious belief and religions have been the great forces driving that will. transmit. and how to evaluate those forms in light of our transcendent goals for human improvement and the improvement of the world. in their reaching out. as individuals. It moves along forward. Great systems of religious belief not only provide humans with great satisfactions but place great demands on them to be better than they might otherwise be if they imply followed their own natural inclinations. and . While Americans are more conscious of the role of invention than most. humans. but true religion serves to raise humans beyond their natures. but since that requires great effort. have developed religious belief which in its more primitive forms simply answer those psychological needs but in its largest and highest expression provides humans not only with the satisfactions of belief but with guidance as to how they should live their lives. and resistance to it and its consequences. Within human nature there is the capacity to go beyond normal human limitations. humanity in general has tended to think of invention primarily in the realm of technology and not sufficiently in other human realms.
and usually power as well. or the civilizations produced by this kind of development. They do so by covenanting among themselves. among which are law. and status in a pyramidal fashion with clear divisions between higher and lower elements in the pyramid and greater authority and status. we mean the structures of civilization. in the last analysis. coming together and agreeing to morally based pacts that provides for the constitutionalized distribution of authority and power among themselves to preserve as much liberty and equality as possible within a political and social order where institutions necessarily restrict liberty to some extent to enable people to live in society and recognize those necessary inequalities generated by the human condition and needed for society to survive and flourish. congeries of institutions. religion. Covenants are designed to provide that all those entering society preserve some share in its . societies. choice. economies. They are hierarchy. with the rest of the population outside of the central circle located in the peripheries. society. or civilization. and design. educational systems . Institutions and Cultural Orientations While there are many different kinds of cultural orientations that inform and shape the institutions of civilization.change their history through their institutions. and covenant. No matter how attractive any particular story or actor in history may appear to be. in most cases. all may be reduced to one or another of three basic models or ideal types. but in the end they always come out to be hierarchies. adhering to one another and persisting through the generations. By institutions. Hierarchies organize authority. Hierarchies are often. the forms which political and social life take. organic development. some combination of all three but every one has a dominant orientation to one or another. they reject submission to power pyramids or to the iron laws of oligarchy and choose to establish their institutions and societies by reflection. Over time institutions are formed as a result of those limited responses. history reveals that the end result of these kinds of incremental developments is usually the development of an elite occupying the center of the polity. They are frequently maintained by force or at least by the threat of force. the significance of the story or the actor is only in proportion to the degree to which institutions are involved. ascribed to the higher and less to the lower. Particular polities and societies are. government. There seems to be little in the way of overarching design in the institutions. leaving the others outside. Civilizations are. power. Organic development describes social organizations generated by what seems to be accident or chance. and the organized or structured expressions of particular cultures or ways of life. but in another. one might even say usually. In one sense organic development is less a matter of higher or lower than hierarchy. authority. The model of a hierarchy is the pyramid. power and status will inevitably gravitate toward a central elite. When people perceive themselves to be equals. Hierarchies may be more rigid or more flexible. sometimes by conquest from the outside and sometimes by conquest from within. that is to say. established by conquest.one could go on to list many others. whereby people in specific situations respond in limited ways to deal with specific situations or tasks. what Robert Michel referred to as "the iron law of oligarchy." This suggests that without planning and making provisions to the contrary.
their mixtures. During those 600.shaping. and 6 million years for the first pre-humanoids. and the Upper Paleolithic. From East Central Africa. As indicated above. the Kenya of today.000 to 10. It is now fairly certain that homo sapiens originated in East Central Africa as the works of the Leakeys.000 years we have found evidence of four ice ages and three interglacial periods which are benchmarks in human development.000 years ago to 100. Both have mixtures of other models within them and some specific countries or institutions may be predominantly of one of the other models. the Negroids of . in shaping the direction of parts of the world and then the world as a whole. either by acting together collectively or cooperatively. the "Adam and Eve" of the human race. the Mongoloids of Asia. The additional findings of the geneticists only strengthen the Leakeys' findings and also bring us closer to understanding the beginnings of humanity. continental European civilizations tend to be either hierarchical or organic.6 million years in the case of the first finds of homo sapiens. father and son. The result is a mosaic. but what today we identify as the basic human races. have demonstrated. East Asian civilizations as a rule are more hierarchical while English-speaking civilizations as a rule are more covenantal. from 600. from 50. In fact. and covenantal elements. Of course we have archeological records that go back considerably further and paleontological records that extend back 3. with all civilizations.000 years ago. beings that were human in the way that we are. Finds such as Australopithecus. or matrix of arenas of political and social organization framed by common institutions established by agreement.000 years ago. but in the modern period acquired elements of the covenantal model. these early homo sapiens began to spread around the globe. By the same token. First Period: (prehistoric times to approximately 4000 BCE) Before History Human history begins with the invention of writing sometime around 3750 BC or approximately 5750 years ago (significantly close to the date that both the Jewish and Christian traditions note as the date of the creation). organic. societies. but different ones begin from different starting points and emphasize one of these models more than the others. or by acting individually. that all human genes can be traced back to one woman and one man in East Central Africa. not only had humans migrated throughout the world. For example. or civilizations having one or another.000 to 50. but their study adds a special spice to the study of history. Pithecanthropus. the Middle Paleolithic. these three models are ideal types. since the beginning of contemporary genetics based on DNA and on the studies pursuant thereto. from 100. thereby preserving basic liberties and equality. By the end of the Pleistocene period. Not only that. in the real world they are usually combined in some way. Perhaps most exciting are the discoveries of the past few years. and Neanderthal man have entered the human lexicon and mark the beginnings of what we take to be human life. All of this took place in what is defined as the Pleistocene Age. We will deal with these models where appropriate in the following discussion.000 years ago. which is divided into three periods: the Lower Paleolithic or Older Old Stone Age. The models. and the struggles among them and between institutions. made a decisive difference in history. polities. and institutions having hierarchical.
g. goats. The finds for one group are concentrated on the Asian mainland in southeast and east Asia. The first steps were taken toward language in the form of picture language which later evolved into cuneiform and . They developed more extensive trade based on more travel by rivers and by roads or paths. paddles. a hunting cult. Our material evidence from the Pleistocene Age includes skeletal remains of proto-humans and early humans. and. pigs. They invented more sophisticated weapons (e. toward the end of the age.central Africa. with the domestication of wild grains for cultivation and sheep. stone and bone weapons and tools. In the Middle East primitive farming began and brick buildings were constructed in the earliest cities such as Jericho. Culture expanded and people moved to new settlements when they needed new land. Stone construction was introduced. sculpture. funnel-necked beakers). as well as continuing to believe in magic and evil spirits. in the way of jewelry. Most of our material evidence for it is from west Asia and throughout Europe from the Mediterranean to the Scandinavian coast plus Africa. The wheel was invented. At the very end of the period. This was the era of the so-called Neolithic Revolution (Gordon Childe). the first cities (hardly more than villages) were founded (e. The division of labor giving women responsibility for collecting plant foods and men for hunting was evident. as well.. cave art. and the Australians were all clearly established. Jericho and Damascus). decoration. The third group finds are found in the same area. It came relatively soon in the warmer parts of the world while the Mesolithic period persisted into the second millennium BCE in northern areas. fishhooks. the battle-axe). and in southern France.000 BCE and the retreat of the ice northward. their religions developed a belief in life after death. Neolithic people had become more sophisticated. The finds of the second in western and central Europe and west and south Asia. with findings that indicate belief in magic.g. The first sacred buildings were erected in the form of temples in the Mesopotamian cultural area. At least three of the four groups of tools had their origins in Africa. It seems that most settlements were along or near the seacoast and that people lived by hunting and gathering. The Mesolithic period was replaced by the Neolithic. and from the evidence. on the Iberian Peninsula. the Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age) culture period began. we can learn something about the patterns of migration from these discoveries. the fourth group primarily in Europe but seemingly brought northward by people from Africa. and weapons for hunting both large and small game animals. the Caucasoids of West Asia and Europe. Although the matter is not clear. They made more sophisticated pottery (e. and asses. more animals were domesticated including horses and oxen. The first material evidence of religion comes from this period.g. a heavenly god or gods. and a belief in gods as well. with buildings constructed of dried brick. Dogs were domesticated. Tools become more sophisticated and included canoes and skin-covered boats. with the latter even improved by logs and branch in wet places. After the end of the fourth ice age around 10. and both abstract and naturalistic representations of humans and animals. The fourth might have since the finds are on the south shore of the Mediterranean. There were great advances in art. often living in small settlements either in caves or huts of their own construction.
indicating that humans have been believing creatures since earliest times and that it is impossible to conceive of humans without belief systems to which they are attached and rituals to symbolize and express them. albeit not by going back. since our emergence as a species. . The invention of art and agriculture come alongside the invention of better weapons of destruction. The second major item of interest is the pattern of human migrations. but should emphasize the specific civilizations whose impact has been most completely articulated and longest lasting in the world. It is especially interesting to learn that there was a single human race with even common mother and father. the period under consideration here. This combination of fundamental unity along with very real diversity has accompanied humanity from earliest times to the present. a frontier phenomenon. it had spread to Europe as well. has been a constant motivating force for human development. The third point is that humans are an inventing species from the first. effectuated in part through migrations. the emergence of religious belief and its apparent development into cults. but by the fourth millennium BCE. Metalworking developed in the Middle East. It can be said that they form the basis for our understanding of how humans function in history. These are the themes around which we will focus in this curriculum. to me. principally in the Balkans but rapidly throughout the rest of eastern and western Europe. how humans have been a migrating. with the human visions that we have come to admire all reflecting a striving for restoration of that unity in one way or another with the best visions seeking to achieve unity without eliminating the enhancing elements of diversity and the worst visions seeking unity only through the triumph of one group over another. particularly Egypt. Much of this period is referred to as the Bronze Age. North Africa. All of these four themes have continued to be of vital importance in guiding human history in every subsequent era. particularly China. Second Period: Beginnings (C. In essence the human vision is in part a search for the benefits of the farthest past. West Asia. the social culture that went along with it remained basic in Europe throughout this period. We make a constant effort to overcome our limitations. While this led to a more sophisticated material culture. seems most interesting about this period before history is the story of the emergence of humans as it unfolded. Four. With the development of writing.4000-2000 BCE) This unit shall focus in more closely on the emergence of civilization or civilizations in East Asia.hieroglyphics. What. More than that. particularly Mesopotamia and the Fertile Crescent. which cannot be done. and that their migrations led to the development of very real and lasting diversity among them. we have the same capacity for inventing things that elevate us or things that destroy us. weaknesses. a new era could be said to have begun. particularly the Indus Valley. South Asia. That continuing frontier and the challenges it poses. one might say (in Frederick Jackson Turner's terms). but by going forward. and/or discomforts through inventions. and should also examine developments in this period in the other regions mentioned above.
economics. usually exaggerated and at times not even accurate.While the evidence from material culture gained through archeology for this period is great. The first documents were found in excavated libraries or archives but do not have a historical record upon which to draw. and religion. It was a model whereby all individuals or families in a particular area were considered equal and came together as equals to establish pacts. or clans come together as a governing elite and divide power among themselves based on the ability of each to control those within his group. the great creation myths are given sophisticated form to become the basis for the mythic system of the West but probably also of south and east Asia. settling at the same point and at some point need to organize themselves. A major sign of this is that area led the way in the invention of writing in this very early stage. and pact or covenant. Rather there is a specialization and differentiation based upon a rough but genuine equality among those bound by the pact. in the four centers of advanced civilization and perhaps even in Europe. some recorded myths. civilization does come into its own in this period and very different patterns of civilization are established. In the organic model. If Africa is the heartland of the first period. thereby establishing the basis for their equality. That kind of migration is confined to the peripheries and in the civilized areas themselves a relatively sedentary age begins in which there is much less migration and what there is is more sophisticated. It is there that the major civilizational advances are made. This usually happens when the heads of the families. Egypt is the best example of that. primitive migration and normalism is no longer a major factor. although we may assume so. as we have come to know from other sources. On the other hand. Originally these were probably peoples that saw themselves descended from some common ancestor and hence related. clans. This was the pattern in the Mesopotamian city states. the third was not to take on full form until the next period. but we can distinguish the three forms of political and social organization that are to accompany humans at least from then on: hierarchy. The former. government. people as families. no hierarchies were dominant. usually the result of conquest. in essence it established the dominance of its myths which were later to migrate westward to become the central myths and beliefs of Western civilization and ultimately to spread throughout the world. where the last word is at the top and the pyramid is built so that those at the top can exercise maximum possible control up and down the line. nor were elites able to gain control of the inner circle. Under such arrangements. Not only that. this still has many of the element of prehistory in the sense that we must piece things together from archeological evidence. including the discovery of the first written records. both in Africa where earlier forms of civilization continued. administration. In the case of the latter. By doing so. leads to a political and social order organized as a power pyramid. What emerges is a circle with a governing or ruling inner circle or a center surrounded by a periphery within its orbit. It is hard to say whether the third model was found in this period. for organizing their lives. . usually sacred. and monumental inscriptions describing the victory of one ruler or another. there is a great burst in those areas in the development of the accoutrements of civilization in terms of a technology. the Middle East is the heartland of the second. or tribes more or less drift together. organic development. tribes. In the regions of the advanced civilizations. Whereas the first two were well established by the time this period ended. Nevertheless. either external or internal by some powerful individual or group.
polished stone. in India along the Indus. which have been amazingly persistent in shaping the civilizations that emerged from each ever since. Almost immediately thereafter. If so. large sculptures. production of thin-walled vessels. the first advanced civilizations emerged following the "Neolithic Revolution. Since the two kingdoms and their joint successor were separated from other populations because of their physical location. that stretches from the Sahara to east Asia." These were the riverine civilizations in Egypt along the Nile. All four emerged in the great belt of arid land. This led to social stratification and the development of a differentiated society covering the means of production. These early civilizations included metalworking. A joint capital was founded at Memphis at the boundary between Upper and Lower Egypt. It is possible that a climate change which began in the Mesolithic period led to the growth of those desert belts after the population had increased in what were originally watered areas. Not only did economic exchange increase but also specialization took place with regard to more sophisticated craftsmanship. not merely convenient places for agriculturalists to meet and exchange. Mesopotamian populations developed cuneiform. Except for border . and became generators of civilization. The historian Wittfogel has referred to these as "hydraulic societies" and has written an elaborate theory of the emergence of sophisticated techniques to manage the water upon which they depended including centralization of government. and organization. what emerged were different forms of social organization in each place.000 BCE. To carry on all of this. City walls were built and temples and other sacred buildings were erected. desert and near desert. writing developed. irrigation. for religion and defense. urban settlement. polygonal wall construction. as a result of simple farming. Egypt and the Old Kingdom (2850-2052 BCE) The six-hundred-mile-long stretch of the Nile Valley from the Mediterranean into the African Desert from ten to fifteen miles wide became the site of the Egyptian empire. for trade and markets. which was a step beyond the earlier pictograph. in Mesopotamia along and between the Tigris and the Euphrates. The development of a more sophisticated economy eliminated the need for all to engage in subsistence farming and began an economy of exchange and economic specialization beyond simple trading. They united under Narmer and Ahi. first as a kind of picture language as in the Egyptian hieroglyphics or the Chinese word characters. Cities became centers for the production and exchange of goods. The two kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt developed around 3000 BCE. Political and social organization became differentiated and more sophisticated. and technology. brickmaking. they developed in substantial isolation. administration.000 years ago or 4. defense. the oldest of the empires of the ancient world. In fact. the use of square hewn stones for construction. They also began to write on clay tablets. working in precious metals and stones. and writing. and in China along the Hwang Ho. trade. the inhabitants of those areas had to migrate to the fertile river valleys and organize the use of the rivers to provide water to enable their societies to continue to exist.At some point around 6. religious life. defense.
those who occupied the key positions in the city's political and social order. meaning great man. traders. warriors. and the Euphrates. There is other that leads us to speculate that they came from the Indian subcontinent. They divided the land into city-states which had their own patron gods. The unitary state began to break down as struggles broke out among the feudal lords. The first such civilization was the Sumerian civilization. Cuneiform writing was developed. Mesopotamian civilization left us the Gilgamesh Epic from that period. A solar calendar of great accuracy was developed. As we know. All of this is reflected in the literature of the times. the embodiment of the hierarchical approach to social and political organization. By the sixth dynasty. A hierarchical political and social order emerged. known as the Thinis period. They did through periodic invasions into Lebanon at the north and Nubia on the south. Egyptian society did not develop a flourishing urban civilization but rather used cities as administrative centers for an essentially rural civilization. These were essentially oligarchies in which the rulers were no more than first among equals. cities became the centers of civilization. The origins of the Sumerians are shrouded in mystery. functioned between 2850 and 2650 when dynasties III to VI beginning from 2650 and lasting to 2190 constituted the age of the pyramids. the Tigris. The Sumerians settled in southern Mesopotamia sometime between 3200 and 2800. summarized in his book History Begins at Sumer. All of the polity was organized around the annual flooding of the Nile and the ability of the ruler and his administration to control and regulate that flooding. These cities seemed to have developed more or less organically out of responses to necessity in the valley of the two rivers.struggles with nomadic tribes. peasants. on the other hand. In Mesopotamia. In any case. Power was centralized. Somewhere around the year 3000 in the Middle East there was a great flood in both Egypt and Mesopotamia involving the Nile. There is some evidence that they came up from the Horn of Africa. It was entirely appropriate and probably no accident that the symbol of that civilization became the pyramid. The south gained its independence. priests. while the Bible leaves us with an account of the Flood and the religious explanation for it. Samuel Noah Kramer has given us the best account that we have of Sumerian civilization. the economy. capped by the pharaohs. officials. Local princes known as lugal. each of whom was revered as a god or the son of a god. a sun-based religion was the state religion. and the Great Pyramids were built. They maintained a state religion to support pharoanic rule. Society was hierarchically ordered into sharply differentiated classes of rulers. and the food supply. for which they used writing and newly developed accounting procedures to organize the technology. Each was independent or semi-independent. their . dominated both the priesthood and the city in each case. Their economy was a kind of state socialism. pyramids were built by the pharaohs in that period as their tombs and monuments. they were able to dictate when and where they came into contact with others. The first two dynasties. probably to support the solar religion. craftsmen. Between 2190 and 2052 the feudal lords remained powerful and in conflict until regional rulers of Heracleopolis gained power and reestablished a centralized state. and slaves. the pharaohs were becoming increasingly weaker and the power of feudal lords increased. governed by councils of local notables. During this entire period hieroglyphic writing was the norm. although they shared the same pantheon.
and Indara. Semites entered the area. Sargon founded a centralized state and built a new capital at Akkad. Ur. and Nippur and advanced to the Mediterranean. especially Western civilization of which they can be said to be the forerunners. Three centers of power formed: the palace. Their migrations. The Indus Valley Before 2500. Quetta. which became a power (the ziggurat). although they developed a separate culture. One hundred years later Utu Khegal. who established the Akkadian empire. With them came monarchy and the development of a centralized religious center at Nippur. but their language became the basis for the Indo-European languages. and the market. His empire lasted until 2150 when it was conquered by Gutians from Iran. King of Ereh. Meanwhile. which began at the very end of this period. They built harbor cities on the island. founding an empire. Haratta emerged as the most important center. City states like Ebla flourished and left large cuneiform libraries recently rediscovered which give us extensive documentation of life in that millennium. Ereh. the Indus Valley consisted of separate Neolithic industrial centers such as Amri. the Kish dynasty was overthrown and separate dynasties were founded in Ur and Lagash. The dynasty lasted to 2360 when it was overthrown by Lugal Zaggisi (king of the lands) of Uma who conquered Lagash. Haratta civilization introduced rajahs (kings) and maharajahs (superior kings) as rulers in cities laid out according to a checkerboard plan with a castle hill dominating each. Between 2800 and 2500. and with that a market economy was initiated.migration either northward or westward was critical to the establishment of civilization. He was the last of the Sumerian rulers and was overthrown by Sargon I of Akkad. civilization advanced in northern Mesopotamia. It is likely that they had contact with the Sumerians. was ended. The latter was commemorated in the oldest historical document that we have. Kish. Larsa. which included parts of Syria and Asia Minor as well as Mesopotamia. By and large they were organized under a patriarchal system of large families and tribes with a pastoral economy. Nal. We have little archeological evidence of them since they were nomadic peoples. In 2500 or thereabouts. the temple. The first settled European civilization which the Indo-Europeans founded was the Minoan civilization in Crete between 2600 and 2000. called the Stella of the Vultures. Kulli. Earlier connections between the priesthood and the political order that led to the earlier combination of political and priestly power. drove the Gutians out and restored the Sumerians to power in the year 2050. north of the region between central Europe and southern Russia on the Kirghiz steppes. The Indo-Europeans Meanwhile. which records the deeds of the son of the dynasty's founder. At the . In 2500. were both westward into Europe and southeastward into India. the Indo-Europeans began to emerge.
" New Directions Humanity. Phocis. and China. and the latter. The second is political . world history took a new turn in this period. The combination of their technical and political inventions within their geo-historical locations shaped or reshaped their religious beliefs in light of their migratory experiences. In this period. . In the process and direction of those rebellions. Mesopotamia. having diversified racially and geographically. the human on top of the hierarchy was seen as a man-god while in oligarchical Mesopotamia the gods were also seen as dominga super oligarchy above humans but interacting with them in ways subject to human manipulation. came to represent the West. In all. In those parts of the world where invention was arrested for one reason or another or failed to progress at the rate that it did elsewhere. those offshoots often emerged out of rebellion against the great empires or civilizations already in existence. The civilizations of the former were grounded in a search for harmony through quiescent individual acceptance of the myriad natural forces beyond human control. the pursuit of human development through the harnessing of the many dynamic forces in the world through conflict and the management of the tensions that stimulate human progress. In Indian and China.how they organized their civilizations and the societies within them.that is to say the level of sophistication that they attained. other centers were formed in the Aegean region in what was called the early Helladic epoch.same time. inventions seemed to reach a kind of plateau and these civilizations turned in different directions. Boeotia. Hence in hierarchical Egypt. In every case. those strategies had to be implemented through invention. with close communication with the Semitic and Hemetic civilizations of the eastern Mediterranean. on the other hand. Third Period: (2000-500 BCE) The Beginnings of East and West With the central elements of civilization as we know it in place in Egypt. Asia Minor became a meeting ground of civilizations as the Indo-Europeans migrated southwestward and the Semites migrated northwestward to what became the first "West. they sharpened the differences between East and West while maintaining contact between the two. entered a period of sophisticated diversification based upon the combination of major migrations and the development of strategies or adaption of the migrating peoples to the new areas in which they relocated. The period saw the beginnings of the conscious division of the world into East and West. Persian civilization developed in this period as a kind of bridge. They fell prey to the more dynamic civilizations or were pushed into the back-waters of world history. Argolis. particularly the Israelite and Greek peoples. A peasant society developed in Thrace. Attica. The Indian and Chinese civilizations and their offshoots came to represent the East. humans rose to the challenge but the uneven character and spread of their inventions made the difference from civilization to civilization in two ways: One is technical . the Indus Valley. the civilizations themselves became more static. and Corinth. while the Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations and their offshoots.
By the end of the period, the differences between Eastern and Western civilizations were clearly defined and the course of each more or less laid out. We shall focus on Western civilization which, over the next four millennia, spread around the world and became the dominant civilizational thrust, albeit, only after absorbing elements of other civilizations. The two peoples that were critical factors in shaping this period were Israel and Hellas, that is to say, the Hebrew and Greek peoples. The Israelites gave the world monotheism and laid the religious foundations of Western civilizations and the Hellenes gave us philosophy beginning at the very end of this period, out of which came the definitions of excellences in Western civilization. Both monotheism and the idea of what constitutes excellence were to be the principal shapers of first the Western world and then the world as a whole. While the Israelites and the Greeks founded what became Western civilization, their location and flourishing in west Asia and its immediate European and African environs meant that their cultures and communities were still linked to both East and West and partook of the civilizations of both. Hence they were bridging cultures as well as architects of the separation. So, too, in their own way were the great cultures of Egypt and Mesopotamia. Egyptian culture was both tied to the other cultures of the Fertile Crescent and west Asia and also reached southward and westward into Africa, down the Nile and north and south of the Sahara Desert. Meanwhile, in the farther reaches of Africa south of the Sahara, independent and separate African cultures took form. So, too, Mesopotamian culture had a powerful influence on the Iranians (Medes and Persians) who lived to the east. Elements of Mesopotamian culture reached the Indus Valley via the Persians. For example, all students of linguistics know that, with the exception of the pictographic writing of the Mayans and the east Asians, all alphabets, east and west, grow out of the original Semitic alphabet of western Asia whose earliest expressions have been found along the eastern Mediterranean coastal areas from Sinai to Phoenicia (Lebanon and coastal Syria today) from whence it was diffused to Europe and Asia. In its diffusion the original alphabet was modified, both East and West to become, in time, the Greek, Latin, and Cyrillic alphabets that the Western world uses today and the Arabic and south Asian alphabets that are used in the East. Only north and east of the Himalayas did an independent culture area develop, minimally influenced by the root cultures of the Fertile Crescent, although from ancient times there was trade between the two regions whose extent is just being rediscovered in our times. The beginnings of Israel and Hellas had much in common. The Israelites began their great project perhaps 600 years before the Hellenes to introduce their greatest contribution, namely, ethical monotheism, at about the time that the Hellenes were beginning to emerge. The peak of the Hellenic contribution came at the very beginning of the next epoch in the golden age of the Greek city-states at a time when Israel was moving into the second phase of its project, the development of Judaism as we have come to know it. The beginnings of both are in the confrontation with the great empires of the Nile Valley, Mesopotamia, and the Iranian steppes that dominated or tried to dominate their respective parts of the world. Both simultaneously drew from the cultures of those great empires and, in their revolt against them, tried to reshape those cultures and to winnow out what for them were their best aspects, refine those aspects, and turn them into instruments for further development.
Unlike many later world-class conflicts which were interracial, these revolts were essentially within the same racial groupings or transracial. The Israelites emerged out of conflict with the Semitic peoples in the Middle East, while the Hellenes emerged in confrontation with the Indo-European peoples of central Asia and beyond. Not only are there no signs of racial prejudice in the history of these peoples, there are no discussions of white against black or yellow or brown or any other combination of these. Instead, there are all kinds of records indicating that there was no racial issue, that, indeed, the races mixed insofar as they came into contact. Both the Israelites and the Hellenes were small peoples confronting large and powerful empires. In both cases, the small peoples involved emphasized quality over quantity in their respective projects. Indeed, their respective emphases on quality are among the most notable features of their civilizations, based upon their recognition of their smallness and their confrontation with much larger empires. Another element the two have in common is their location at the crossroads between Asia, Africa, and Europe. Israel is particularly well-located in that respect, but the Hellenes in their original location in Asia Minor were hardly less so. Finally, we should consider that, while the great empires against whom the Israelites and Hellenes revolted and fought were increasingly imperial, that is to say, hierarchical and inequitable in their character - what nineteenth century historians referred to as oriental despotisms, both the Israelites and the Hellenes were essentially egalitarian, popular, and noncentralized in their orientations toward life in political society. They were united by ideas rather than by power pyramids and succeeded in holding their peoples together through those ideas, their spread, and exercise. Their institutions were empowered through their critical ideas and their revolts invariably involved a significant dimension of revolt against power pyramids and their power holders. All of this ultimately combined to give Western civilization its essential characteristics, even if, as is often the case, their implementation of those ideas within their societies left much to be desired. The Greek polis is still looked upon as a classic polity in world political history, while the Israelite tribal federation has inspired generations of political scientists and theologians in the development of their ideal polities. Both the Israelites and the Ionians originated in migrations. The Bible, indisputably the single greatest and most influential book in Western civilization, gives us the record of the sacred history of the Israelites. That sacred history is founded in great migrations, first, the migration of Adam out of the Garden of Eden as a result of expulsion; second, the dispersion of the peoples of the world as a result of God's displeasure over the Tower of Babel whereby the human race tried to become like God, i.e., to challenge God's supreme power, according to the biblical account; third, and most important for our purposes here, the migration of the Patriarch Abraham and his family from northern Mesopotamia westward to the land of Canaan by God's command so as to detach himself from the land of his birth, his civilization, and his kin, and thus be open to the fundamental transformation of his culture to build a new way of life based on monotheism that would not be encumbered by the forms of the old in place. Abraham's migration is ultimately followed by the migration of his grandson Jacob and the Israelites to Egypt. After generations of Egyptian slavery, the by-then very numerous
Israelites led by Moses, left Egypt in the great Exodus to return to Canaan. Through that decisive migration they fully established themselves in what became the Land of Israel. The Bible goes on to describe two other sets of migrations at the end of the epoch, one, the forced exile of ten of the Israelite tribes by the Assyrians at the very end of the eighth century BCE and then the forced exile of the last two tribes by the Babylonians relatively early in the sixth century BCE. The period culminates with a small but significant return migration of Israelites from Babylonia to the Land of Israel after the Persians conquered the Babylonian empire and destroyed it. The Bible treats these migrations with the significance they deserve. The attempt to establish new civilizations based upon new ideas and beliefs can only be done if people are detached from familiar surroundings and relationships and forced to build anew because the old and familiar cannot sufficiently provide for them. Contrast the difference between the American and French revolutions in our time. The American Revolution came as the culmination of an initial migration from Britain and northwestern Europe involving Pilgrims, Puritans, Dutch Reformed, Huguenots, and Scots, who sought a new world in which to build a new way of life, which contributed greatly to the measure of its success. The French had to have their revolution in the midst of the old order, the Ancien Regime, and could never fully disrupt the institutions or habits of the old order, despite far more radical efforts than ever tried in the new United States, including the reign of terror, an attempt to replace the Christian calendar with a new revolutionary one, and many other such devices. For example, the French army to this day considers its first loyalty to be to France, which survives from regime to regime, because the army had its origins in pre-revolutionary France and was able to serve the revolutionary regime and the regimes that followed it on the grounds that it was serving France. Thus, the biblical insight as to the importance of migration for renewal is very important and still stands. The Ionian peoples were also migrants into the western part of Asia Minor where they settled and founded their cities. Ionia was the mother city of more than ninety urban settlements along the coast of the Black Sea. Hence, their history also contains a record, albeit less explicit, of their migrations and their civilization was also born after the peoples who gave it birth had been detached from their original places of settlement. The migrations of IndoEuropean tribes known as Ionians or Aeolians (Achaeans) is usually believed to have taken place between 1850 and 1600 BCE as a series of movements by tribes and parts of tribes into the region. These migrations, which took place about the same time as Abraham left Mesopotamia for Canaan, were followed after 1250 BCE, about the time that the Israelites left Egypt, by a new wave of migrations. Over the following 250 years there occurred the Delian migration. The Illyrians advanced to the Mediterranean Sea. Northwestern Greeks settled in Epirus, Aetolia, and Acarnania. The Aeboians migrated to Crete and southwestern Asia Minor by sea and to the Peloponnesus by land. Another wave of Greek colonization further to the west took place between 750 and 550 BCE. It was brought about by the development of crafts, the expansion of maritime trade, and the emergence of a population surplus which had to be relocated. There also was a growing indebtedness of the peasantry and social conflicts, especially in Greece proper (e.g., Corinth
the process of organizing peoples in new territories to form new peoples with new political and social institutions. Out of those westering elements. established another fundamental element of Western civilization. Asia's Mediterranean coast from the Sinai Peninsula to the Dardanelles and the area immediately east of it to a depth of perhaps 100 to 150 miles was the first conscious West of human history. it was referred to at the time as the land of the West and the Semitic peoples who settled those lands were known as Amorites or the peoples of the West. but also maintained its connections with the mother city through common cults and customs. To do so. that is to say. By the end of the period. What were the frontier challenges that faced them and how did the Israelites and Ionians respond to these challenges? The Israelite response was essentially religious and rural. the Israelites and the Ionians emerged to successfully give birth to the major elements that became known as Western civilization. independent entities in available spaces. the establishment of new. In both land frontiers led to the development of their forms of civilization. Both would continue as useful and acceptable means of colonization in the world. The subjects which help define a frontier include a "West. There was also emigration for political reasons. the Israelites had also embarked on a colonization effort of a different sort." the role of migration and its impact on cultural change.and Athens). Exiled from their land. The recorded history of those peoples that we have is a history of what we would later come to call frontier challenges and responses. themselves descendants of the Phoenician colonists of Carthage. The migrations and the formation of new peoples and new institutions should be the essence of our interest in them. we see that they played a role in that development similar to . two forms of colonization were in place by the end of the period: one. and the question of appropriate governmental forms to serve frontier situations. the problem of land distribution. We can view the Israelite and Ionian experiences as parallel phenomena at the western extremity of Asia. What united all of this colonization was a new consciousness of life asserting itself with elemental power. and the other. dominated the southern and far western Mediterranean. the establishment of diaspora communities in already settled areas. Thus. Phoenicians. Each colony acquired political autonomy. equal or equitable access to land. Both the Israelite and Greek migrations were into what were then called the lands of the West and. the Israelites developed a diaspora with communal institutions such as the synagogue that could be implanted wherever a group of Jews were settled together and could function with some measure of autonomy within the host society. The building of new civilizations in those lands by various peoples Hittites." In a sense. Israelites. The expansion proceeded westward because the Greeks were blocked by the Assyrians to the east. while the Ionian response was essentially aesthetic and urban. and Ionians . what Americans later referred to as "westering. in essence. Applying Turnerian categories. Hellenic civilization essentially spread on the northern coast of the Mediterranean because the Carthaginians. which planted satellite colonies around the Mediterranean for both trading and agrarian purposes. often influenced by an oracle. The colonization involved the founding of a mother city.was the first conscious westering process to be recorded in history. they were not in a position to found separate and independent cities as colonies but were forced to establish minority communities in lands occupied and governed by non-Israelite majorities.
continuing the links between the eastern and western branches of Western civilization. except for a few isolated spots. For example. If so. thereby completing the encirclement of the world.that enabled them to express the new societies that they were building. just north of the northernmost mission settlements established by the Spanish in the late eighteenth century in their effort to expand northward and just below the point where the British and Americans were penetrating into what was then referred to as the Oregon Territory. and religious . both established federal arrangements. The frontier challenges for both peoples essentially involved entry and settlement of their respective territories. would be very useful. Ross was an outpost built by the Russians in their efforts to penetrate southward. and slaves across all three dimensions. southward to southern Africa. Indeed.political. whatever technological advances were involved with them. these responses were inventive since they not only had to serve new societies but new societies that were far more egalitarian in their orientation than any non-tribal societies that preceded them. resident aliens. across the North Sea to the British Isles and Iceland. Any examination of those responses. By and large. establishing institutions . achieved after 3. Ft. in most places the frontier period was a short one.more accurately. both Hebraic and Hellenic civilizations had their origins in the West Asian frontier from the Negev to Asia Minor.that played by frontier settlement elsewhere in later times.800 years of "westering. The Greek polis is still looked upon as a classic polity in world political history. One went westward through the Mediterranean. in Israel based upon tribes and in Ionia based upon cities. resident aliens. In the century following the meeting of the two streams. The Israelites granted equal civil and social rights to both citizens and resident aliens.was completely settled by the West and. in both societies there were three defined groups: citizens. that branch of the Hellenic peoples who migrated southward. first confederations and then regimes more like federations. in some cases having frontier characteristics. had limited terms of servitude for Israelite slaves. and reserved the political and religious rights for citizens. In the case of political institutions. the land frontier . Indeed. Ross in northern California. at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Socially. to the coast of Israel. The two lines met at Ft. While the Israelite tribal federation has inspired generations of political scientists and theologians in the development of their ideal polities. then northwestward through west central Europe and western Europe. then across the Bering Straits to Alaska where it turned southward. apparently from Crete." Offshoots of the first line also spread northward into Scandinavia. and slaves. marked by the sociological and political fluidity of the settlement of new territories which. . then eastward across Siberia. While circumstances brought about a Russian retreat after a relatively few years. about 70 miles north of San Francisco. and eastward through south and southeast Asia to east Asia. The other line moved northward around the Black Sea into the Russian steppes. From the Hebrews and the Greeks Western civilization expanded along two lines over the next three millennium. ceased to be a vital force in the development of civilization. and then across the Atlantic Ocean to North and South America. once occupied. The Greeks distinguished between citizens. the Greeks entered into the Iron Age earlier than the Semitic peoples including Israel. the Israelites had to acquire Iron Age technology from the Philistines. that retreat was accompanied by greater British and American penetration into Alaska and the Yukon. ceased to manifest the characteristics of a frontier. social. the rural land frontier .
but the emphasis was on excellence. That excellence could vary from excellence in the pursuit of the excellence of the body expressed through sport. one god against more than one. God is not neutral with regard to these qualities. for history has to have a beginning and potentially an end. Christianity and Islam was designed to bring the world under monotheism for its own good. later. but cycles they are. The gods need to be propitiated. The cycles can be great ones. charity. There are greater and lesser gods but basically they are all equal members of the club. Israel's great contribution was in the field of religion and. if humans follow them faithfully. The gods interact with humans to satisfy these appetites and passions. kindness. can indulge their appetites to a greater degree. In pagan religions. There is no beginning and no end. on the other hand. Monotheism. In that sense there is no history. There is a distinction between good and bad. In the interim there must be progress toward that final end and humans are encouraged to be progressive to enable things to move along. excellence of the mind as expressed through philosophy. Sacrifices are designed to propitiate and pacify. the task of humans is to achieve self-protection by pacifying and conciliating the gods or learning how to manipulate them through magic. including human nature. Monotheism also recognizes that nature per se is neutral and what is natural is not always what is best. and righteousness. Even the gods are subject to fate as the Greek myths describe. The gods. without the restraints that humans have placed on themselves by virtue of the limits of human power or their moral expectations. and humanity does not move forward. and ethical monotheism at that. hence no progress. monotheism has a strong ethical dimension. It is a basic and total transformation of the way people look at the world. that God has made humans responsible in this world. with fewer limitations. Israel's great contribution was monotheism. at least in its essence.all the weaknesses of humanity. pacified. Greek thought emphasized excellence rather than the good.The greatest inventiveness of both peoples was directed toward the realm of religion and philosophy. into the service of the good. If Israelite religion through the Bible and then Judaism and. Appetites must be controlled for the good to occur. as in the case of Indian religion which sees worlds being created and destroyed after very long periods of time. only a repetition of a sequence of events fixed either for the human race as a whole or for certain groups of humans. These differences mark the great gulf between monotheism and polytheism. i. Everything is going to repeat itself. Moreover. the world is ruled by fate.. the end of history and human suffering. We must understand that monotheism is not a matter of arithmetic. All polytheisms essentially view the world as cyclical and controlled by fate. indeed. commandments that are designed to promote justice. not only for respecting nature but for directing nature.e. even emphasize. posits one powerful transcendent being who is not part of the natural world but transcends the natural world. neighborliness. All of these lie at the foundations of pagan rituals. Beyond that. The gods represent a kind of a club. The gods can interact with humans and do so in ways that have all the flaws of human behavior. The greatest work of the Greeks. Those appetites include sexual appetites and appetites for greed. . who initiates history through His creation and moves it along certain paths which. or they can be based upon shorter cycles as seems to have been the case with regard to Greek religion. and manipulated. that contribution set the tone of Western and subsequently world civilization from then on. power . revenge. will ultimately bring about their redemption. and excellence in the pursuit of morality as expressed in obedience to the laws. but loves good and hates evil. Homer's Iliad. imitative rituals such as fertility rites are designed to manipulate the gods. The good consists of fulfilling God's commandments which include.
Meanwhile. and the new. 1047-625 BCE). the greatest Greek contribution to human self-definition. a Jew from the Hellenistic city of Alexandria. Its first exponents were located in Asia Minor and in colonies far from the Hellenic heartland. just as the history of Israel consists of the efforts of the Israelites to survive by maneuvering between the Egyptian and the several west Asian empires. in China. The history of Greece acquires its central character through the successful struggle of the Greeks to resist Persian domination. another Jew living in the Reformed Protestant Netherlands in the seventeenth century of this era. In Africa. a religion dedicated to the search for the ordered universe through a combination of ancestor worship. The Egyptian empire in the Nile Valley which extended its powers southward into Ethiopia and northward along the Mediterranean coast as far as Asia Minor. At the end of the epoch. and the pursuit of harmony with those forces. testifying that it was also a frontier experience that rose out of the interaction of Greek cities with the frontier challenges and non-Greek societies. 1375-1047 BCE. forcing them to the southern part of the subcontinent. Egypt. and the new Babylonian empire which replaced partially three Assyrian empires (the old. Biblical monotheism and Greek philosophy were later synthesized by Philo. the middle. The Vedas. that drive for excellence of thought was to lead to the birth of systematic philosophy. These were to become so rooted that they were to continue to have their influence long after their original manifestations had been eliminated or transformed. while Israel and Helles are emerging to define Western civilization. in the years between 1500 and 1000 BCE. into a single system. the Shang dynasty established a feudal state in northeastern Hunan which initiated the transformation of neolithic China into a more institutionalized feudal state governed by Taoism. What seemed to be the most lasting "achievements" of both were the establishment of permanent hierarchical arrangements through which to organize society including political society. that same period was the early Vedic period in which the Aryans conquered the Dravidians. Regional empires rose and collapsed in both India and China. and Chinese feudalism in east Asia. After 539 BCE the empire of the Medes and the Persians conquered western Asia and tried to conquer the Hellenic peoples in Asia Minor and in Greece proper. from the athletic to the aesthetic to the moral. Philosophy initially developed in Asia Minor from the seventh century before the common era. Meanwhile.600 years until it was challenged by Spinoza. became sacred scriptures establishing a systematic polytheism and a caste system for the human believers. That system was adopted by Christianity after its birth and institutionalization and became the system that directed the thought of the West for 1. only . All of the activities of the Greeks. written in Sanskrit. the great empires of the Middle East came and went. Both were to last until late modern and even postmodern times and to continue to shape the South Asian peoples. These Indo-Europeans brought the chariot with them to give them military superiority. In India. is a celebration of excellence within the framework of the cyclical world of polytheism and the tragedies that are fated to result. are predicated on this achieving of excellence. the caste system in south Asia. 1800-1375 BCE. the Assyrian empire of Mesopotamia which extended its power throughout the valley of the two rivers and westward to the Mediterranean.composed at about the same time as the Bible. fetishism. the original inhabitants of the subcontinent.
Christianity. Two great migrational trends can be noted. With the triumph of Christianity. and declined. between the Roman and Parthian empires. while primitive compared to the civilizations they encountered south of the Caucasus. central. flourished as a world empire. and Africa. The first step in that direction came through the flourishing of Greece and the rise of speculative philosophy and a comprehensive aesthetics during the Greek Golden Age in the fifth and early fourth centuries BCE. Then from the middle of the fourth century onward for the next two centuries. dominating the stage in the Old World. Hellenism flourished. Those tribes settled in central and northern Europe and contributed to shaping the map of Europe as we know it today by establishing new peoples.the Nile Valley peoples as far south as Ethiopia entered into the mainstream of world history during this period. and the Alps. Rome and the Roman empire replaced the Hellenistic empires to the east in the first century BCE. One was the sweep of the barbarian tribes out of China and the great steppes of east-central and central Asia into eastern. It was also the period in which the Jews developed Judaism as we know it and then gave birth to its offshoot. South Asian civilization flourished separately but with inputs from the Middle Eastern civilization. despite continuing trade contacts with west Asia. East Asian civilization was far more separate. Those tribes. . West Asian. and Egyptian elements into a neo-Hellenic civilization that represented the last significant attempt to unite East and West until modern times. especially in the West. Coming to better lands in Europe than they had known on the steppes. paganism virtually disappeared in the West. Hellenism was a syncretistic civilization whereby the Greek conquerors of western Asia and northeastern Africa developed a syncretism of Greek. establishing a new border between East and West. they settled down and ultimately merged with the indigenous populations to form today's European peoples. The cutting edge of civilization was transferred to the West from the Middle East. also influenced by those in north Africa. including political institutions that were less hierarchical than those they confronted among the civilized peoples they encountered. the European segments of Western civilization became especially powerful and set the stage for their later dominance. Carpathian Mountains. primarily in connection with Egyptian culture and political power. This was the period in which Rome grew. remaining only in northern Europe for another six hundred years. New civilizations developed in Africa south of the Sahara. were filled with a tough military spirit and were strong in their collective institutions. which became the first mass-based monotheistic religion. An almost completely separate history was being developed outside of the Mediterranean. Africa south of the Sahara was only slightly more connected to the West. Fourth Period: The Shift to Europe (500 BCE-500 CE) While the great civilizations of the world continued to flourish in their respective locations throughout this period. Paganism survived in the rest of Asia. and entirely separate civilizations developed in the Americas. The Roman empire was finally brought down by the invasions of barbarian tribes from the East. and the Carthaginian empire to the south and west a century and a half earlier. and the Western Hemisphere still unknown to the West. and even western and southern Europe.
indeed. peoples who had to migrate not because they wanted to but because of the circumstances in which they found themselves. The system persisted until it was destroyed during the Roman . On the other hand. while quite different from the comprehensive federations and confederations of a later age (they were similar to the federacy or associated state relationships that exist today. Most of the areas that were settled and resettled as a result of these population movements were already inhabited. Jews. while the second was more in the dispersion model. especially for a pre-industrial age. the great polis. such as the synagogue. Northern Europe did. the age continued the struggle between hierarchical imperialism and popular republicanism. and the Greeks by inventing systematic philosophy and aesthetics. and famines. so that once the land was settled. But on the whole. e. the battle with the desert was (and is) a continuing one with sometimes the desert winning and sometimes humans winning and extending their settlements into it. since there was no means for continuing the experience. These cities were related to Rome as foederatii. the frontier disappeared. Only in northern Europe and in the desert areas of northern Africa and western Asia was there a line between the settled and the unsettled. at times supported by federalism. The Jews and Greeks continued their inventiveness in their traditional fields of religion and philosophy. In any case. the frontier areas were all related to the rural land frontier. the Jews by inventing both rabbinic Judaism and Christianity. Those federal relationships. The first migration was more in the classic frontier model. and countless other Asians who were conquered by the Romans and taken westward as slaves or prisoners or who migrated westward of their own free will when their homelands could no longer provide them with a decent living or life. the church. By and large. The Romans were particularly inventive in material matters and technology. conquests. people searching for new lands and new opportunities. Politically. and the academy.g. circumstances generated by human activities such as wars. this was a period in which the frontier as we have described it here had less of an impact. The Romans began with an adaptation of the Greek polis and initially expanded their empire through a series of treaties between Rome. that is to say. were nonetheless authentic federal linkages that preserved the local autonomy of the cities in question but transferred powers over foreign policy and defense to Rome. Both developed institutions to transmit their ideas that were very long-lasting. there was considerable invention. Some still remain with us. Their inventions ranged from better road building to serve the needs of their empire to the construction of systems of indoor plumbing to make life easier. The desert areas also saw some localized frontier situations as in the desert immediately south of the settled parts of the Land of Israel in what is today the Negev and the Sinai Peninsula where settlement was extended into desert areas by the development of sophisticated irrigation techniques. become a frontier area as the steppe tribes spread into those unoccupied or very lightly populated areas and made them their own.The other great migrational stream consisted of peoples who were exiled from their lands as a result of military conquest and religious oppression. between the United States and Puerto Rico or the United States and the Marshall Islands). and other city-states which it conquered. Less massive was the migration eastward into the western and northern parts of the Indian subcontinent by similar populations displaced from the various Persian/Iranian empires that controlled the territory between the eastern edge of the Roman empire and India proper.. Their major migrations were generally westward: Greeks.
That transformation put Christianity in the position to become the overwhelmingly dominant religion in Europe. Christianity had divided into two major wings. considerably more sophisticated in character and content than the popular paganism. each civilization in its own way. The period started out with a series of religious revolutions including the emergence of Buddhism in India and its spread to south and southeast Asia and the emergence of Confucianism as a quasi-religious system in China and east Asia. mostly national in character. The rise of Christianity may indeed be the biggest story of the period in terms of its lasting influence. indeed. In Persia. the sacred law of the Jewish people that combined both civil and religious elements. the emergence of Zoroastrianism with its belief in two gods. This republican meritocracy became the principal pillar of Jewish religious and civil self-government for the next millennium. but by that time it had long since become a paper framework only. a time when all four forces that we have identified here as being critical to the civilizational process seemed to converge. and quantitatively and intellectually the major religion of the West. In the middle of the period. Not until our own times has there been such a convergence of transformatory movements in a single century. one of good and one of evil. Instead of kings. The Israelite religion of the Bible was transformed by Ezra into normative Judaism organized around the halakhah. Ezra introduced an assembly of those educated in those codes to teach and interpret them. It also enabled the Church to persecute other religions. the way was clear to move ahead but it took another thousand years to complete that three-way combination. By the end of the period. The triumph of monotheism in its Catholic and Orthodox Christian forms reorganized and in many respects transformed European thought and behavior in fields far beyond the immediately religious.empire when the formal constitutional framework was changed to match the true imperial distribution of power. replaced the older polytheism of the Persians. that is to say. . serving particular nationalities. and had also developed a number of separate Christian churches. it changed the means by which those moral teachings would be made operational. Christianity triumphed to become the Roman state religion and as such to be given the keys of the kingdom. These great Asian religious reforms came at approximately the same time as the Greeks were introducing their great philosophic reforms so that the juncture between the sixth and fifth centuries BCE became a period of extraordinary transformation in belief and intellectual endeavor throughout the civilized world of the time. Catholic and Orthodox. Buddha was active in India and Confucius and Lao-Tze in China. Its successful synthesis of the striving for piety and justice of Judaism. An intellectual paganism developed among the Greeks. all of this within a single century in the sixth and fifth centuries BCE. After several centuries of struggle that involved substantial persecution of Christians by the Romans. Once these characteristics were combined and assimilated by the energetic and aggressive (often too aggressive) peoples of Europe. but the day of overt paganism was coming to an end in the West. led by the Greek philosophers different and. Christianity and gnosticism were born as well as a number of other pagan cults. a task mostly accomplished by the end of the period. This period was one of great upheavals in religion throughout the world. priests and prophets. While this religious revolution did not change the moral character of biblical teachings. These began the permanent schisms in Christianity which continue to the present. and the striving for rationality and excellence of the Greeks was to generate the engine that has driven Western civilization to its central position as the foundation stone of world civilization. East and West.
led by Carthage. and philosophy. The westward shift of the Western world already had taken a major step forward in the eighth century BCE when first Carthage and then Rome were founded. and the IndoEuropean/Latins led by Rome on the other over who would control the Western world. hence. Meanwhile. the neo-Babylonian empire was conquered by Cyrus the Great of Persia who allowed those Jews who wished. . and while there would be one more great incursion of Semitic-North African peoples into Europe. but his premature death ended this last effort to completely meld East and West. The destruction of Judea by the neo-Babylonian empire led to the dispersion of the Jews throughout the Fertile Crescent and into the Balkans. in the middle of the sixth century BCE. During the fourth century Macedonia became the dominant power in the Hellenic world. Carthage was a Phoenician colony and. the intellectual and spiritual heartlands of those civilizations. science. Athens. led by Pericles. Carthage was an expression of Semitic-Canaanite culture. Socrates began the transformation of philosophy that he. Carthage and Rome. of West Asian (Semitic) origin. Beyond the language question. Alexander the Great established his empire and with it. and Aristotle brought about. Plato. Carthage was defeated. it pays to give a moment's thought to what would have happened if Carthage had won in that struggle. from the Adriatic to the Indus and from the Caucasus to the Upper Nile. Nor were either represented by the two actual contenders. Hellenism. had essentially bankrupted the city in every way.The period began with the Babylonian Exile and dispersion of the Jews and the Greco-Persian Wars. Fifty years later. Persia conquered the Greek cities of Asia Minor. As it was. The breakup of his empire and its successors restored the political separation but enabled the cultural mixing to continue and intensify. the great gainer from the victory. Alexander's approach to solving the Greco-Persian problem was to fuse the two populations. the cultural changes in the map of Europe would probably have been equally profound. when they ended thirty years later. Simultaneously. the Semitic influence on Western civilization receded from the political realm and shifted to the realm of religion. that of the Muslims in the eighth century. At the turn of the century those cities revolted against Persian rule and were destroyed. While it is not often helpful to speculate on the "ifs" of history. but unlike the situation with other peoples. vastly different from the paganism surrounding them. it is possible that all of what has become Latin Europe where the Romance languages prevail would have spoken a Semitic rather than an Indo-European language. which became an autonomous state within the Persian empire. For the next 600 years there was a struggle between the Semitic/North African peoples on one side. Had they beaten the Romans. Its greatest emperor. the Jews. directly participated in that struggle. The Persians then initiated their campaigns to conquer the cities of Greece proper because they had assisted in the Ionian revolt. The fight went on for fifty years until peace was established between Persia and Athens in 448. The successor empires continued to exist and to preserve the Hellenistic world until first century BCE when they were overrun by the Romans. entered into its golden age. Neither Israel nor Greece. It had consolidated its position in Spain until the Romans drove them out of the Iberian Peninsula. held together by their "peculiar" religion. that was to be Athens' greatest legacy to the world. retained their identity as a separate people and their very presence began to spread the monotheistic idea. of which more later. to return to their land. but half a generation later initiated the Pelaponessian Wars (431-404) which.
From then on it became more of an absolute state headed by soldier-emperors. however. and bequeathed it to the West and also invented confederations of cities. and Scotland only became recognized much later. Rome perfected imperial rule. immediately to the north of the established peoples in Mediterranean Europe. It took until the end of this entire period for imperial Rome to collapse. At the time it became a republic. It also was the first federation. asymmetrical federal association or federacy. the empire had reached what is today the English-Scottish border in the northwest. and Edom. rivaled only by the Chinese and Japanese empires in the East. Denmark. It included all of today's Turkey and western Asia including Syria and Israel.For the first 240 years Rome was ruled by kings. Spain. During all that time. It opened an era of civil wars that led ultimately in the middle of the first century BCE to the end of the republic and the establishment of imperial rule. The destruction of Carthage may have been decisive for Western civilization but it was disastrous for the Roman republic. to the German border with the Low Countries. No empire survived as an empire longer than any other in the West. westward to the Atlantic and eastward to Asia Minor. All the while. across Europe. Rome was also very inventive governmentally in the systems of governance that it devised for that empire and its various provinces. there appeared a group whose pedigree goes back as far as their neighbors to the south but who remained within local rather than continent-wide political and social frameworks and hence their visible influence on history was less. The importance of Celtic foundations in shaping the local cultures in places as diverse as Switzerland. Meanwhile. and the RussianRomanian border and the Black Sea in the northeast. These were the Celts. to Iberia and the British Isles. as far as Mesopotamia. we continue to live off of it or its syntheses with the civilizations around it. and Schleswig. Moab. all three had republican roots and foundations. The Celtic peoples are known mostly through archeology rather than historical records because they apparently never had an imperial instinct. Brittany. the independent city. The Greeks perfected the polis. Ireland. France and Switzerland in the north. In the interim. Israel was one of the first nation-states in the world along with its immediate west Asian neighbors Araam (Syria). For the next 300 years Rome and Carthage actively competed and fought with one another until Rome finally destroyed Carthage and established the Indo-European/Latin civilization as the dominant one in the West. the Roman republic was extending its control over the Italian peninsula and the northern shore of the Mediterranean. Importantly. It did so initially by developing a third form of federalism. which it did as a result of the barbarian invasions from the north and the internal decline from within the empire and Rome itself. The empire also held the whole north shore of Africa. the first Roman-Carthagian treaty was concluded. who settled from Asia Minor. the Roman empire expanded. Roman civilization spread throughout the areas of its rule and as Latin civilization left its enduring impact on Europe. The Roman empire reached its greatest extent in the third century. . At the same time. it came under increasing pressure internally from Christianity and externally from the Germanic tribes who originally were found in southern Scandinavia.
These peoples. most of whom settled down in particular localities and only one of whom. reaching across into the western third of North Africa. the Slavic peoples were entering eastern Europe. Behind them were the mounted nomads from the Asian steppes. and the Khazars who settled north of the Caucasus. The Jews were then dispersed throughout the known world of the time. to remove it from the pagan influences of Rome itself. of which the east Germans are the most prominent. were also reduced to no more than a local people at about this time. While the Roman empire was at its peak. who barely managed to keep the light of classical Greek knowledge alive in their academies. The German tribes were differentiated into three groups: the north Germanic tribes living in Scandinavia. The former which was not to reappear as an overt influence in the West for another millennium. It also conquered Egypt and the area that is now European Turkey but failed to conquer the citystates of Greece. who initially saw themselves as the true civilizing forces in the Roman empire. and the west German tribes. In a certain sense. They were governed by a certain primitive republicanism and were polytheistic. As a diaspora they continued to be influential factors in world history because of the cohesion and intellectual energy they maintained even in their dispersion wherever they found themselves. The Greeks. after they settled down. the Eastern Roman empire in its Byzantine personality was an extension of Greek culture. leading to the destruction of the Second Jewish Commonwealth at about the time that Christianity emerged. acquired the same importance and menace as their east German compatriots. At its height the Persian empire included all of settled western Asia and reached from the Mediterranean to the Indus. . These included the Vandals. while the Eastern empire continued to exist for another 1. and the Goths who were to become so important in leading the assault on the Roman empire a century later. the Jews in their land made several efforts to throw off its yoke. The Western empire ceased to exist in 476. increasingly losing to the barbarian invaders. Altogether these were the peoples involved in the great barbarian migrations from the late fourth through the sixth centuries. the Franks. The capital was moved from Rome to Byzantium.The name "German" first appeared at the beginning of the first century BCE. the Bulgars who settled in Bulgaria. These included the Huns. The Persian empire achieved its central power position in the sixth century BCE. In the East. the east German tribes who had migrated from Scandinavia to the region east of the Elbe. the Magyars who settled in Hungary. The Medes and the Persians were centered on a high plateau between the earlier civilizations of Iraq and the Punjab in India that came to be known as Iran or the land of the Aryans. The Slavs were in some cases connected with the Germans. the Persian empire became the Roman empire's leading rival. but it represented a rejection of classic Greek culture in favor of a Christianized version. formed the backbone of the different nations of Europe that we know today. the Bergundians. At the end of that century. renamed Constantinople. Rome was undergoing various political and administrative changes. At the same time. the empire was formally divided into the Eastern and Western Roman empires. Meanwhile. Constantine the Great adopted Christianity at the beginning of the fourth century. after having been preserved by Jews and Muslims in the intervening years.000 years.
At the same time as the Persian empire arose. who appeared in China at that time. Buddhism. While that was true of Europe. India at that time passed out of the late Vedic period. A century after its rise.570-c. His teaching. Confucius established an ethical system and a meritocracy that manifested itself in a bureaucratic hierarchy for the administration of China. With its destruction. . particularly the rise of Islam in the seventh century.000 years. the eastern Mediterranean coast and the heart of western Asia passed out of the sphere of the Asian heartland and became linked again with the West. the northern and western parts of India were pulled into the realm of the various Persian and Parthian empires. especially among the ruling classes. It was the first major Indo-European power but became an oriental despotism after a century and was destroyed a century later by Alexander the Great. The third of the great moral reformers to appear in Asia in the period between the mid-sixth and mid-fifth centuries BCE was Confucius (551-479 BCE). With the collapse of that empire. The Islamic conquest rolled eastward into the Punjab and then continued through military and religious means to establish Islam as a major presence in central Asia. The new faith not only conquered all of west Asia and north Africa but which invaded Europe through the Iberian Peninsula and was only stopped at the Battle of Tours in France. After an epoch of warring states. that had a great impact on world history. It was not until the fourth century of the present era that an indigenous Indian empire was reestablished and even it was brought down by the incursions of the white Huns from the Asian steppes. The Persian empire encouraged local autonomy in over 120 states and also religious toleration. Gautama Buddha (563-483 BCE) appeared on the scene in India at about the same time as Zoroaster did in Persia. emerging with its caste system fully developed. It would be only in the eighth century of this era that Hinduism would succeed in driving Buddhism out of India. Buddhist influence was strong in India throughout this whole period. and southeast Asia as far as what is today Indonesia and the southern Philippines. Fifth Period: The Eastern Challenge (500-1500 CE) This unit should focus on the resurgence of the East during the period in which Europe was plunged into the Dark Ages and only slowly began to recover itself in the Renaissance. there were major cultural developments outside of Europe. His teachings reenforced the Confucian system of thought and government. the Ch'in Dynasty established a unitary centralized state in the third century BCE which continued under the Western Han and Eastern Han Dynasties more or less until the end of the period under question. His work was supplemented by that of Lao-Tze. represented a purification of Hinduism. a mystic who gave Taoism a new dimension but who essentially agreed with Confucius that human society was to be governed by wise men. Together both became the essence of Chinese civilization. After India's brief brush with the West in the person of Alexander the Great. In Africa. it had become a world religion rivaling Christianity in its scope and exceeding it in its militancy. a linkage that was to remain for the next 1. particularly in Asia and Africa. the major part of the subcontinent was united under the Maurya Dynasty whose greatest emperor was Asoka. Zoroaster (either 660-583 or c.500 BCE) appeared to found a new religion based on revelation. Islam penetrated south of the Sahara and along Africa's east coast as far as Zanzibar. western China. It emphasized the importance of moral conduct so that through reincarnation moral individuals could ultimately enter Nirvana.
The only frontier-oriented migrations from Europe were those of the Vikings to the northwest Atlantic and North America. both coasts of Britain. they were in themselves good examples of the relationship between certain kinds of migrations and frontiers and how where a migration is associated with the opening of new frontiers. even further into west Asia itself. Monotheism itself remains divided into three great religions. the second prong of the Viking "assault" penetrated the east coast of the Baltic sea. the combination promotes liberty and democratic republicanism. the Crusaders did more damage to Eastern Christianity. as it did in Iceland and Greenland. Although this period was not as "dark" as once portrayed. within Europe. and the Inca empire in Peru and western South America. Ultimately. or so it can be viewed in retrospect. and Vineland (North America).Since then. Sweeping eastward. Christian Europe was further embattled by the still pagan Vikings of the north who launched a two-pronged attack on Christendom. heading down through Russia following the river system as far as the Black Sea. Judaism. feudalism led to countless local conflicts which prevented European Christendom from achieving political unity equal to its religious unity. Outside of Europe this was the period of the great empires in black Africa to which Africans and Afro-Americans in particular have turned in recent years as examples of African high civilization. caught between the Muslims to the south and the Mongols to the east. the Mayan empire in southern Mexico and Central America. Greenland. which the Normans. . conquered. and then. In the process of temporarily capturing the Holy Land. Those invasions were so fierce that they succeeded in wiping out the original civilizations of the West in western Asia. Between the eighth and eleventh centuries. as traders. off to the west where they settled Iceland. thereby sending those Vikings who refused to submit. Meanwhile. Even though monotheism formally represents only half of the world's population. to the north and east of the Islam world. The barbarians who had migrated to Europe in the previous period spent this one entrenching themselves. Parallel to the African efforts were those in the Americas particularly the Aztec empire in Mexico. it was the period of greatest contraction of European civilization in the context of world civilization since the rise of the ancient Greeks. developing first into separate peoples and then separate states. the Frenchified Vikings. and the northern and eastern coasts of Ireland. and then sweeping into the Mediterranean as far east as Sicily. than they did in the long run to the Muslims. it sets the tone for all but a few isolated animists. The one great effort which western European Christianity was able to launch was the Crusades. leaving Europe alone to carry the torch of Western civilization. One prong reached down the west coast of Europe including Normandy and France. Christianity and Islam. each internally divided further and the first two periodically in conflict with the last. it can be said that monotheism has dominated the world. a beleagured Christendom did succeed in imposing Christianity on the Scandinavian countries. Those three represented the climax of native American civilization prior to the coming of the Europeans and were notable creations indeed. not to speak of the Jews in their way. Great empires developed in China and Mongolia that turned westward and spawned the Mongol invasions of the West. The weakening of the Byzantine empire by the Crusader invasions opened the door to its invasion from the east by the Ottoman Turks (also from the Central Asian steppes) and to its ultimate collapse in the last century of this period. This was the period in which Japan and Korea were consolidated. While those had little to no impact on the world scene.
establishing Polynesian civilization in the process. The same was true at the other end of Eurasia. Indeed. breeched in practice. The Jews. for all its drawbacks. they nevertheless lived in autonomous communities of their own.The only other major migration that could have had the same kind of effect was the Polynesian migration that settled the Pacific islands. Moving eastward from what are today Malaysia and Indonesia. the last of the world civilizations to be touched by the reach of Western civilization a millennium later. they were given autonomy similar to the cities in the Holy Roman empire which gave them protection to maintain their ethnic as well as their class identities. but he never tried them. had no real impact on the world at the time and also remained an extremely local affair. We have Leonardo's records and now know that his inventions would have worked. When cities were established. By and large. In medieval Europe they brought that republicanism to a new level of achievement for local and regional communities and even for the Jewish people worldwide. nominally owing allegiance to the regional or imperial rulers of the territories in which they were located but actually quite autonomous. The other exception was the German colonization of the east in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. too. too. Even their kings were constitutional monarchs. This was perhaps the longest period of closed frontiers in human history since the beginning of civilization. feudalism. albeit mostly in theory. but the Chinese treated them all as toys. The cities' government if rather oligarchical. those migrants ultimately settled all of the inhabitable islands of the south and central Pacific. useful in their ritual life rather than as instruments for changing their daily lives. usually as autonomous parts of other European urban settlements. A permanently persecuted minority in Europe. had strong republican elements. Even in the frontier-like situations. scattered over a vast peripheral area. In general. Still. it was sufficient to enable the more honestly republican elements in Europe to at least emerge in the cities. This took the form of the extension of feudalism based on agriculture and rural organization. Judaism and Jewish law as had developed from biblical times had kept the Jewish people republican throughout. Almost all of those European cities were republics. as late as the early Renaissance. just enough to enable the people involved to meet the new challenges. In the realm of government. . people with inventive minds like Leonardo Da Vinci developed their inventions in theory only. enjoyed or were forced to confront a certain kind of frontier. the Chinese did indeed invent many things which were later separately invented in Europe. and so did not develop those inventions. It. did serve to produce some idea of constitutionalism and republicanism. this colonization did not succeed and the German settlers left the land and either moved to the cities or returned to Germany. anticipating almost the entire array of political ideas and instrumentalities that in the next period were to become prominent in Christian Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth Europe. The closest approximation to frontier-like phenomena one can find in Europe proper was the establishment of cities serving the mercantile class and craftsmen whereby the city became a vehicle for the establishment of greater self-government and a communitarianism based upon greater equality. the level of invention was very low. this also was not a period of invention. The constant expulsions they faced from the various feudal-governed territories in which they found themselves led them to have to rebuild their lives repeatedly in new territories.
" The religions which had formerly encouraged liberty and justice now for the most part became supporters of feudalism and hierarchy and remained so for a long enough time for that worldview and the injustices that came with it to become deeply entrenched in European civilization. the Viking colonies. Perhaps the only exception. in Europe. In short. In the mountainous areas of Europe. the only exceptions to despotism were those tribal societies not absorbed or incompletely absorbed within the despotic empires. never had the ability to develop or to unite with the instruments of oppression that came to be so influential in other religions. Santurino) or emerged as bastions of democratic republicanism (Switzerland). and to some extent down the spine of Italy. perhaps because of its special circumstances. these were in the order of their influence. To recapitulate. the mountain republics of the European heartland. Iceland and Greenland were rural seafaring republics from their founding until their conquest by Denmark. especially from the thirteenth century onward. and the autonomous Jewish communities. and then only partially. was founded on the rejection of tribal republicanism as pagan and the substitution of a comprehensive. to this was Judaism which. allied with strong kings. religion and liberty were inevitably antagonistic to one another. not only acquiesced in the hierarchical feudal order that set about to systematically abolish republicanism and local autonomy but actually encouraged such efforts in a kind of devilish covenant with the secular feudal rulers. Islam. These points consolidated themselves in the latter half of the Middle Ages. Christianity. whether Catholic or Eastern Orthodox. hierarchical system of government as part of the Islamic world view. systematic. it also took several steps backward in its influence on other human "goods. which only the brave were willing to try to reclaim from the sea. centering on the Pyrennes and the Alps. During the medieval period. becoming so fully identified with them that only a Reformation that broke Christianity into pieces could even partially change the direction of the Church. Religion dominated the period as in no other in recorded history. those little pinpoints of light in the Dark Ages preserved the spirit of liberty and republicanism.The only exceptions were in Scandinavia where the valleys of Norway were small republics untl the coming of Christianity which. along that ragged set of ranges separating northern and southern Europe. Alexis de Tocqueville was to point out that. then to North America and the other new worlds of settlement. which had a number of consequences. imposed hierarchical regimes on them. while more hospitable to the discussion and consideration of ideas than Christianity for much of this period. . Our knowledge of both is almost entirely lost to history and is discovered by archeology and anthropology at best. Unfortunately. similar peripheral areas such as the swampy lowlands north of the mouth of the Rhine (now the Netherlands). the cities of the bourgeoise. the swampland republics of the lowland periphery. From them their influence was to spread throughout Europe. mountain republics survived (Andorra. and perhaps a few mountain villages able to preserve a kind of republicanism. almost like the remaining glaciers in the high mountains after a retreating ice age. that were able to maintain their primitive tribal democracies. Elsewhere in the despotic world. Ultimately those ideas and practices have spread in some manner or form throughout the world as democratic republicanism. also proved hospitable to free people and republican government. That alliance became so well entrenched that it is only beginning to be eroded in our days and the change has many opponents.
the cohesive Chinese civilization was formed during this period. less attuned to that moderation. The empire was the personal property of the ruler who could do with his subjects what he pleased.Of the oriental religions. There Byzantine civilization was taken over by the Russians and developed into a modification of its earlier form. It became the vehicle for the spread of what had become Western civilization northward into Russia. attempting to capture Japan but failing. That was even true in some of the tribal environments. little more need be said. No doubt this is one of the reasons that Western civilization ultimately triumphed. It was the only one to preserve republicanism. The empires were hierarchical despotisms. and England had just become or were on the threshold of becoming states in a post-medieval sense. The same was true in North America. The African empires were as despotic as any. capturing northern China by breaching the Great Wall and then the rest of China after that. Hinduism became utterly identified with its caste system. As the Middle Ages wore on in Europe. generated a hierarchical system modified only to the extent that it had long periods of feudalism as well. and even its record was limited in this period to a few then-despised examples that managed to escape the efforts of the major European rulers to crush them. In the meantime. Byzantium survived. indeed. Japanese strength was consolidated in the thirteenth century when. It was to be spread eastward in the next period. countries like Spain. China in this period was influenced to some degree by Buddhism. Only in the more primitive parts of the Americas where tribalism survived did primitive tribal democracy survive with it. under advanced civilizational conditions rather than just in the most primitive ones. succeeding in its efforts to capture the whole Iranian . France. printing. For those interested in tracing the burst of energy that revived the West." These were borderlands areas where wars took place but also where populations had to relate to one another and to be inventive in finding ways to do so. Portugal. in a great effort. The Mongols came out of northwestern China and spread both eastward and westward. Despite the many dynastic and territorial changes. Confucianism. and porcelain. In Africa. in the northeastern and eastern Mediterranean. and sometimes even democratic republicanism. they should keep their eyes on the regions that in the Middle Ages were called "marches. firecrackers. Meanwhile. Europe and indeed much of the world was organized into large empires embracing smaller feudal units with the power of each fluctuating in relationship to the other. taking its writing and its bureaucratic state organization from China and using both to strengthen its separation from previously dominant Korea. This was the period of Chinese inventions such as gunpowder. it repulsed the Mongol invaders. The result. was a bureaucratic despotism tempered only by the degree of moderation built into Chinese civilization. that remained unexploited. the situation was just as bad. had tried to introduce a humanistic hierarchical approach at the beginning of the previous period. however. Japanese Shinto became the state religion. Japan. some of the successful feudal units developed into large enough entities to begin to take on the form of states along lines that we would come to recognize in modern times. They did not even have the leavening of a republican theory. By the end of the period. except for the tribal societies that survived as autonomous entities. Japan also emerged as a separate entity at this time.
It was three hundred years before they next advanced into the Punjab. the establishment of the great mendicant orders in Catholicism . it did not know how to exploit what it had to offer. the Christians completed the reconquest of the peninsula from the Muslims and expelled the Jews. it did mean that this period ended with Asia having entered European consciousness and the reconceptualizing of the world not only as physically round but as interconnected. the successful Christian reconquest of most of Spain.plateau and Mesopotamia and raiding as far west as the Mediterranean coast and Syria and Palestine. The Mongols captured almost all of the open lands of what is today Russia. The period concluded with a culmination of events in the fifteenth century that opened the way to the next period. In the East. the Conciliar movement began the era of Church reform. despite its very painful beginnings. The Portuguese began the Age of Exploration by attempting to find a route to the East around Africa. The thrust of European explorations was to reach and begin trading with Asia. The first was the problem of the Mongols and the second. the last Crusade and the fall of the last parts of the Crusader kingdom to the Muslim reconquest.the Franciscans and the Dominicans and the Comeroids. In eastern Europe they reached Lithuania. while in 1492 Columbus "discovered" America for Europe. the problem of the Chinese. That was the century of the Mongol invasions and greatest advance. the Ottoman Turks conquered Constantinople and ended the Byzantine empire to create a new power in west Asia and the Balkans. the establishment of the elected German monarchy. sowing devastation wherever they went. From there they continued to advance until at the beginning of the thirteenth century they established the Sultanate of Delhi which lasted for more than three hundred years until early in the sixteenth century. to give just a sample of the century's events. the age of Thomas Aquinas and Maimonides. In the Catholic Church. During its period of expansion. In the end. the high point of the Hanseatic League in the Baltic. the two great beacons of liberty in the Middle Ages. While that did not happen until the next period. the consolidation of the French national state. The century began with the issue of Magna Carta in England (1215) and concluded with the establishment of the Swiss Confederation (1291). The Mongol destruction was so great that western Asia did not recover from it until modern times. The European slave trade increased enormously as a result of the finds of the discoveries of Africa and "white" Europeans and "black" Africans began to have a significant history together which. all they left the West was a strong impression of Oriental barbarism and despotism that was to color Western attitudes toward the East for centuries to come and to enable Westerners to ignore or denigrate the very real achievements in the East. the establishment of the Inquisition. Perhaps the most interesting century in this whole period was the thirteenth century which seemed to have been the climactic century of the period all over the world. has continued ever since. interrupted only by the Mongol invasion under Timur. Sixth Period: The Resurgence of the West (1450-1750 CE) The challenge from the East failed either because it did not have anything better to offer the West or because when it did. Islam penetrated the Indus area but was stopped there. and into Hungary as far as the Adriatic coast. the conversion of the Teutonic knights in eastern Europe. Humanity was only a short step away from beginning a worldwide history. and the Albegensian Wars. most of Poland. In Spain. Focused Western use of the inventions that .
This restoration of ancient texts became the effort to give them expression through literature. many of which originated in the East but were not developed there. Thus. put the West in a much stronger position. The fact is that the West did so and in relatively short order from an historic point of view. and Latin classics. as they were in the sea battles of the Mediterranean. The four events that marked the beginning of the new age were the invention of printing in 1445. indeed. overreached themselves in their efforts to . drama. as a small country. Greek. It shattered the unity of Western Christendom. The humanists explored ancient Hebrew. people leading in the governance of their respective cities. and the very energetic and combative West used its strength to conquer the East and. but. was slowly reduced to a backwater. The Protestant Reformation succeeded. reintroducing them to the Western world. and the beginning of the Reformation when Martin Luther nailed his theses on the church door in 1517. the fall of Constantinople in 1453. the idea of cultured. learning. in the sense that it had to launch its own house along paths that transformed medieval Europe and opened the door to modernity. ending the Byzantine empire and bringing the Ottoman empire into its most glorious period. It did so first through the Renaissance of the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries which revived humanism. Both times they were defeated. By humanism they meant that returning to the great human sources of antiquity it was possible to overcome the other-worldly-centered doctrine of scholasticism which had dominated medieval Christianity. took a further step forward in depaganization of the West. which still played an active role in human civilizations at the time of the Ottoman conquest. and launched the West on the road to democracy through its doctrines and organization. This was accompanied by the movement for civic republicanism. were not removed from the Balkans until the beginning of the twentieth. and greatly. for that matter. in the space of 72 years the foundations of the medieval world was overturned. Spanish power declined at the beginning of the seventeenth century and was replaced briefly by the Dutch who. although it was just the beginning of Ottoman expansion into Europe and the Ottomans twice reached the gates of Vienna. To do so. The fall of Constantinople was the last successful assault of the East on the West. that region. and the classic arts. The Ottomans continued to hold southeastern Europe for the next several centuries and. Following on its heels was the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century whereby medieval science and philosophy were overthrown and thought placed on a whole new premise that removed the earth from the center of the universe and humanity off center stage along with it. and the arts. civic-spirited. so that 1453 can be seen as the high point of successful Ottoman expansion. The first half of this period of expansion was dominated by Spain under Hapsburg rule because of marriages became the rulers of Spain (and Portugal as well) and the Holy Roman empire.came to represent progress in the next period. Humanism took many forms but shared this common conception. All of this was set within the context of the Age of Explorations whereby Europeans not only discovered new worlds beyond Europe but began to conquer and settle them. Columbus' discovery of America in 1492 for the Europeans. the West first had to put its own house in order. by the same token. the last time in 1689. the rest of the world outside of Europe. especially in the northern Italian city-states. The idea of humanism was the key to the Renaissance ideology. Then the Protestant Reformation came on the heels of the failed attempt of the Conciliar movement to reform the Catholic Church from within.
from Spain in 1492 and Portugal in 1497. First were the European settlers to the New World. Migration received a major boost in this period with the discoveries in the Western and Southern Hemispheres and the development of new connections between Europe and Asia. Here we should add the migration of the so-called Bantu peoples from Central to Southern Africa in search of new lands and new forms of social and political organization. The period was presided over by kings who perceived themselves as ruling by the divine right who themselves became subject to the new Age of Reason and by a rising middle class gaining power through the advance of capitalism and the wealth that it produced for them and their countries. who in time became the Zulu. too. Many in this last group were criminals who were given the choice of imprisonment or migration. The period started with the medieval expulsions of the Jews from the Iberian Peninsula. is the history of African and Australasian groups. Principal among them were the African slaves transported to the New World. Sotho. and Tswana peoples of Southern Africa. Since the punishments were far more severe than the crimes. Another group consisted of Europeans indentured and transported either to take up or to be indentured. certainly by the end of this period. Most of these were tribal groupings in the territories newly discovered by the Europeans. Europeans had begun to settle every unsettled space on the globe at least in its beginnings. not only responded to the tragedy but threw off a tremendous amount of energy that became critical to the expansion of the Ottoman empire and the settlement of the new worlds. a period of great philosophic and scientific discovery and invention in Europe. Then there were those who went in pursuit of wealth and glory. both eastward and westward.achieve world power and were ultimately reduced to poverty and replaced by the English in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century. there were many immigrants convicted of petty crimes who emigrated to avoid harsh punishments. . but so. but it began in this one. The history of the Native Americans. in almost every case to pursue a religious vision of building a new Jerusalem or a city upon a hill in some empty territory (which actually may not have been so empty). and a shifting and mixing of populations that had not been seen for more than a thousand years and on an extent that had never occurred before in history. A third category consisted of those who sought to escape persecution or forced military duty or to gain religious freedom. By the end of the period. Xhosa. The final category consisted of those rural to urban migrants who left their lands to seek greater freedom or opportunity in city settings. They can be grouped into three basic categories: those who went for ideological reasons. Migration took place in three forms. A third group of migrants consisted of those who migrated because they were forced off of their lands by incoming migrants from elsewhere. The second category involved those who emigrated as a result of force. The Jews' migration. The seventeenth and first half of the eighteenth centuries became known as the Age of Reason. Australia and New Zealand were the last to be settled at the very end of the eighteenth century. The results of all of this were worldwide population upheavals caused by migration and its effects. That was to become a principal migration category in the next period. is particularly instructive. in that respect.
In the fifteenth century. was to set off a chain reaction whereby the frontier phenomenon. Other inventions of the period included gunpowder. Western Europeans pioneered frontiers in three great areas of the Americas . and. new ones opened up. reformers from within the Catholic Church attempted. The scope of this frontier was. advancing all the way from the Ural Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. thus giving them their victory. in technology. to start a process that still continues at the end of the twentieth century in ways that could never have been even dreamed of by those who opened the first frontier. The Great Frontier has had great impact.North America. For example. It was in this period that the weapons of earlier ages were all but abandoned in favor of gunpowder and its derivative weapons. the Caribbean and Central American region.The catalyst of these migrations was the opening of the Great Frontier. military inventions advanced tremendously even in this period. and remains. and the different uses to which the different frontiers were put. a clear contestant for one of the greatest inventions of all time. the impact on their lives and civilizations. based on the differences in the pioneers. in use for firearms from the fourteenth century. Eastern Europeans pioneered in Siberia. the impact on the peoples displaced by the new settlers. opening up the possibility of universal literacy and universal access to printed materials. They . southern Africa. and the South Pacific. This transition period also saw the beginning of the Age of Invention. That frontier. As its earlier stages were exhausted. All three groups need to be considered in looking at the history of the world. the seventeenth century became an age of invention in science and philosophy. The key to the transformations brought about in this period may well lie with religious transformation. Indeed. through the Conciliar movement. The connection between invention and the frontier became closer and closer as the frontier stimulated needs and inventions in response to those needs. Not all were equally beneficial to humanity. Indeed. vast. Southern Europeans attempted to open frontiers in Northern Africa and the Middle East. The Renaissance itself was an age of invention in arts and culture. and made abortive attempts to enter the core areas in Africa and East Asia. The degree to which printing transformed the world. for example. although nothing like what happened in the next. in those places where the peoples were too numerous. once unleashed. Another significant question is the differing character of different frontiers. and South America. where they either repelled the new settlers in time or were subjugated by them. not only on those who pioneered it but on those who were in their way. to change the Church organization so they could get at some of the behavioral and theological problems that had developed in medieval Catholicism. unlike earlier land frontiers. was able to continue through different stages. the first massive use of artillery (the technological application of the earlier invention of gunpowder) was in the siege of Constantinople when the Turks used their heavy guns to blast holes in the city's walls. the period can be said to have begun with the invention of printing in 1445. the people displaced. the difference between the settlement of British North America by the British and Siberia by the Russians. and the eighteenth century. Essentially it involved the entire earth except Europe and certain long-settled core regions in Asia and Africa. In a sense there were three kinds of impacts: the impact on the frontiersmen and pioneers who settled in new lands and who built new societies where those lands were sufficiently unoccupied. in the process making censorship of ideas impossible and opening up new possibilities and problems for freedom of speech. and the compass and other navigational aids that made seagoing voyages possible.
The mixture of religion and politics led to both groups being crushed politically and religiously. Religiously. it embraced local . thereby starting on the road to privatization. and increasingly not even there. and even rigid brand of Protestantism that subsequently became known as Lutheranism captured much of Germany and the Scandinavian countries. Martin Luther successfully inaugurated the Protestant Reformation in 1517. a century or more after the death of Jesus. in the end. and kept his church essentially involved in spiritual reformation. At the beginning of the next period when absolutism was dissolved in Europe. one of the most important aspects of the Reformation was the way it further detached Christians who became Protestants from the remains of paganism and idolatry. opening the way for modern democracy. the idea that religion would be kept off the public agenda. even though the two are not exactly identical. In all of the places where Reformed Protestantism was strong. but would accept the religions of their respective rulers as their state religions and compete over secular matters only. hierarchical. there emerged a Protestant republicanism that opposed tyrants even as it demanded local religious conformity. Luther soon allied himself with the rulers of the countries where his version of Protestantism was becoming strong and. it did so by being willing to become syncretistic.did not succeed. Catholicism allied with the state prevailed. the English Civil War. whose name indicated that they wanted to purify the Anglican Church as much as the Catholic. In Switzerland that was possible city by city without conflicting with the political culture already functioning in that country. except perhaps on an internal basis. which they had rejected. against royal absolutism. the princes of Europe agreed to remove religion from the public agenda. Rejecting both were the free churches that arose in western Germany that rejected the idea of church and state entanglement and sought to build congregations of believers driven by matters spiritual and ignoring matters political outside of their own church governance. in part to serve the political needs of Henry VIII. Finally there was Anglicanism. developed Lutheranism as the established church in many German principalities and all of the Scandinavian kingdoms. nor did the first reformers in Central Europe. When Christianity first began to become a popular religion. that lasted until World War II. and in Scotland. Hence. that is to say. In that treaty. States would no longer go to war over which religions would be established where. Since this was a period of absolute monarchy (the divine right of kings). essentially a continuation of Catholic ideas within an independent church form established in England. in the Low Countries. Whereas Luther continued the medieval doctrine of rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what is God's. He was followed almost immediately by Huldrich Zwingli of Zurich who founded Reformed Protestantism. In the seventeenth century they launched the first of the great modern revolutions. remained. his church had to undertake both theological and political reformation. Reformed Protestants in England became the Puritans. His sober. this kind of agreement was possible. Zwingli's Reformed Protestantism captured city after city in Switzerland and the Rhine River Valley and developed strong bodies of adherents in France (the Huguenots) where. The Reformation also brought a period of religious-based or -justified warfare which lasted until 1648 when the Treaty of Westphalia established the modern state system and its international order known as the balance of power. Zwingli sought to build the kingdom of God on earth. later known as Calvinism. with their support.
It would not become full-fledged capitalism for another century or two but the outlines were there. just after printing had been invented. It also promoted individual autonomy as many individuals looked to Scripture directly for guidance rather than to their priests or even ministers. the covenant idea became the root of modern constitutionalism. the Unitarians for example. Protestantism rejected all of that. This new biblicism promoted literacy in the Protestant world. and for its introduction into the struggle for democratization and modernization. some Protestants. This new Christianity was to return to influence Catholicism's later movement in that direction as well. Indeed. with God. the leaders of the Reformation consulted the original Hebrew and Greek texts to get the most accurate renderings they could. It sought a stark. Their churches were simple and unadorned in contrast to the rather ornate and even baroque Catholic churches that they rejected as symbolizing paganism. Coming as it did. that idea was secularized as the idea of the political compact in which humans covenanted with each other to establish civil society. The African kingdoms of the eleventh to fifteenth centuries represented the high point of indigenous African civilization after ancient Egypt.gods and their festivals and transformed the gods into Christian saints and the festivals into Christian holidays. Hence the constitutional democracy that we all know today has its roots in that Reformed Protestant revival of the biblical idea of covenant which was not only important in the fight against tyrants and hierarchies but could be made operational in political systems that would protect liberties. Indeed. covenant became the foundation of the federal theology (as Reformed Protestants termed it) which saw the human relationship with God as the result of the pact (covenant) between the two described in the Bible. certainly for Reformed Protestants. The next vital thing the Reformation achieved was to make the Bible accessible to all. went so far as to reject the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus to even further purify their monotheism. a further step removed from the pagan side of its origins. it now became possible to print Bibles for mass distribution. In their work. albeit junior partners. In the eighteenth century. It should be noted that a kind of proto-capitalism emerged in the sixteenth century parallel to the Reformation. The only way to know to know how to read and understand the Bible. unadorned religion. and it began to influence human thought. Some of these African kingdoms were . every individual was responsible for his or her individual religious acts and consequently had to know how to act. In an important follow-on to this new biblicism came the restoration of the idea of covenant as a central principle in Christianity. the result was still a compromise because the saints were seen as powerful in their own right as long as proper obeisance was made to Christian belief in worshipping them. From the perspective of Reformation theology. was able to take an important step toward the kind of pure monotheism which it advocated in principle. While in time the regional gods were forgotten. Humans were thus empowered to be partners. This idea was a very daring one because it presented God as self-limiting for the sake of human initiative. the worship of God through the mediation of Jesus and no one else. considering that the Bible for them was the literal word of God and had to be clearly and accurately understood by everyone. As a religious idea in the sixteenth century. the sixteenth century was a great period of Bible printing and translation. Thus. In the seventeenth century. Christianity.
To this was added early on a population of African slaves after it turned out that they were better slaves than the native Americans. Africa was first affected by European explorations as early as the second half of the fifteenth century. the British. natives of America of European descent. The British themselves settled along the east coast of what is now the United States and the Atlantic provinces of Canada. They found it quite suitable for transplantation to the New World and introduced feudal orders including a class system that distinguished between European natives. In the Americas also. The contrast is instructive. and Inca empires were reaching their peak. the spanish in the south (as early as 1565) and southwest.Muslim and others pagan until the Europeans arrived and began to convert the royal families to Christianity. losing out to the Toltecs. The Spanish and Portuguese conquered the relatively densely populated areas from the Rio Grande to the Straits of Magellan at a time when feudalism still survived in Iberia. and the French. Moreover. By mid-century. mixed bloods. In China. By the time the French reached Quebec. by the Dutch. Thus the Latin American frontier was aborted by the importation of medieval models. Under the new dynasty China also began an era of expansion. led to the division of Latin America into Spanish and Portuguese segments. The Spanish. in the end. Hence the French could only introduce limited hierarchical and feudal arrangements. on the other hand. appalled by the barbarism of human sacrifice. but in a relatively few years the Europeans arrived to dominate them. Chinese medicine developed acupuncture. They set the tone and established a more egalitarian society based on covenantal principles as filtered through Puritanism and Reformed Protestantism. a less developed Indian area. and purely native. the Aztec. the last Mongol emperor was driven out at the end of the fourteenth century and a new dynasty came to power which ruled until 1644. North American settlement. which lasted until the British conquered Quebec in 1759. except for the areas deep in the hinterland. forced the Indians to accept Christianity and incorporated their territories into the Spanish empire. The Mayans actually faded in the fifteenth century. sending naval expeditions as far as Africa to open new trade routes and directing Chinese emigration towards Southeast Asia. While some of their settlers came in pursuit of wealth. At the beginning of the sixteenth century the Europeans were given bases at Canton and Macao. first through a Portuguese commercial empire which by the end of the century had been seized by the English and. their medieval order was in the process of disintegrating. many if not most of the settlers of French Canada were Bretons from the Celtic part of France. Toward the end of the century Jesuits were encouraged and engaged in missionary activity in return for imparting mathematical and technical skills. Meanwhile. probably led to the destruction of their empires. The Portuguese conquest of Brazil. all of Latin America had been absorbed into those two empires. but the Aztecs and the Incas reached their peak just before the Spanish arrived to conquer them early in the sixteenth century. the most influential ones came in pursuit of religious utopias or religious freedom. The leaders of these kingdoms shifted their economies to benefit from the new slave markets which. . It was only in the early sixteenth century that India felt that impact. after that. the French in Quebec and the British and Dutch and Swedes along the east coast of what is now the United States. The coming of the Europeans expanded the slave trade and turned the kingdoms' leaders into collaborators in that dreadful business. Mayan. came only in the seventeenth century. The strong Chinese concentrations in Southeast Asia date from that period.
Dutch traders penetrated China and Japan. Bengali. In the process. A new Japanese empire was created after 1573 and European access was severely restricted in 1639. Hinduism divided into many sects including Sikhism. It was followed by four more in the eighteenth. European firearms and Christianity were introduced. promulgated an edict of toleration for all religions and maintained personal contacts with Jesuits and Parsis (Zoroastrians). which picked up the falling flag and. became the language of the state. by judiciously combining the European version of Western aspirations with the aspirations of non-European. the beginning of the nuclear age. The modern epoch completes the story of the spread of Western civilization throughout the world and how modernization became one version or another of Westernization. At the beginning of the seventeenth century. In India. Urdu. artistic. in fact they were fought on all parts of the globe because of the new trading and colonial expansions of Europe and increasingly made use of troops not only from the countries involved but from their colonies. The first world conflict began in the seventeenth century. During this period. and concludes with the end of World War II. the greatest of the Moghul emperors governed in the latter half of the sixteenth century. southern Africa (the founding of white settlement at Capetown and the Cape of Good Hope in 1652 and thereafter). . There also was a burst of intellectual. and the age of decolonization. These efforts led to conflict among the imperial powers. the country effectively broke into small principalities in the era of the Samurai which lasted from 1478 to 1573. while Hindi. This procession of world wars was clear evidence of the worldwide expansion of Western civilization and its beginnings as the world's civilization. the Caribbean. The revolt of the Netherlands against the Spanish led to Dutch expansion in North America (New Amsterdam). England began its colonization of India. and the Dutch East Indies. It concludes with Europe having exhausted itself in its conquest of the rest of the world and especially through its incessant internecine wars. The initial challenges to them came in connection with the Reformation. beginning the first of what were to be seven "hot" world wars in the modern epoch and one worldwide Cold War in the postmodern. an attempt that did not succeed). and the burning of widows were introduced at this time. Punjabi. Many familiar Indian customs including the strict isolation of women. the Spanish and Portuguese lost their monopoly. non-Western peoples. the Moghul empire in northern India was subjugated by 1526. The English followed on the heels of the Dutch. and Maharashtri also developed. Akbar. and the Far East. particularly the United States. heavily settling in North America and also colonizing the Caribbean and spreading their trading companies to South and Southeast Asia.In Japan. using artillery. based on Hindu grammar and Persian Arabic vocabulary. Seventh Period: The West Reinvents the World (1650-1950) This period covers the modern epoch which begins in the middle of the seventeenth century with the Treaty of Westphalia and the English Civil War. and architectural activity including the building of the Taj Mahal in the mid-seventeenth century. Although the first five were seen principally as European wars. World Wars I and II were the sixth and seventh of those wars. Ceylon. The French also attempted colonizing efforts in North America. indeed. South America (in northeastern Brazil. transformed Westernization into modernization and reaffirmed its dominant role. European hegemony passed to its New World offshoots. the increase in child marriages. As European colonialism increased.
the general approach should be a universal one to see how all the pieces fit together in what had become. For example. and the American and French Revolutions toward its end). and many others. states. covers not only the two wars and the world scene in the interwar period with the Great Depression and its consequences. say until the end of the Napoleonic Wars. the second between the same forces at the beginning of the eighteenth. mathematics. and chemistry. through colonialism. what to Americans was known as the French and Indian War in the middle of the eighteenth. especially by AfroAmericans but also the earlier struggle of Southern and Eastern European immigrants and by Jews in Europe. In all of these wars. at the same time.In this period. extended its rule. and regions of the world responded differently or were affected differently by those several guiding factors. The first occurred in the struggle between the British. . the Mexican Revolution with its particular brand of radicalism. A chronological division of this period would look at the segment from the mid-seventeenth to the beginning of the nineteenth centuries. the third. and French in the seventeenth century. both at sea and on land. we explore the rise of capitalism. the Bolshevik Revolution. scientific and technological. and continuing through the Industrial Revolution of the eighteenth century that led to the application of the principles of the scientific revolution). individualism. Then the world avoided world war for a hundred years until World War I which was the sixth. and parts of the European periphery) gained independence. The second segment included the nineteenth century. (beginning with the midseventeenth century revolutions in biology. the National Socialism of the Nazis in Germany and the Fascists in Italy. The third segment. from World War I to the end of the period. but also the rise of Communism. and the struggle for equal rights in the United States. areas. Latin America. the Dutch. physics. the fifth was the bundle of Napoleonic Wars that had an even wider spread. and peoples in all parts of the world were involved and battles were fought in all parts of the world. to every corner of the rest of the world. the emergence of the welfare state in the democratic countries of the West. Dutch. the beginnings and expansion of the anti-colonialist struggle in Asia and Africa. the fourth was the American Revolutionary War which rapidly became a worldwide conflict between the French and the British involving the Spanish. astronomy. and philosophic (in the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment) which saw the transformation of ancient and medieval philosophy into a new modern system resting on very different premises. Portugal. as the period of the great revolutions that gave shape to the modern epoch both political (as in the English Civil War at the beginning of this segment of the period. far more psychological and "scientific" and less judgmental than earlier philosophic systems. from 1815 to World War I. While some things need to be looked at region by region. a single worldwide history whereby major events have worldwide impacts and are usually worldwide in scope. while World War II was the seventh. Major segments of the nonEuropean world settled by Europeans (North America. a period of relative peace and progress in Europe during which the Western world assimilated the developments of the first half of the modern epoch and. Spain. what we know as World War II was really the seventh world war. democracy. the industrial revolution. by 1650. and elsewhere. setting the model for decolonization that was to sweep the world after World War II. and modern technology to the threshold of the cybernetic age and how the various civilizations. Australasia. nations. and later in the air as well.
The initial discovery. their work became more specialized so they no longer made their own clothing or shoes but had to purchase readymade items. the harnessing of electricity. the transformations of modernity linked virtually all of them. change. whether in the form of regular steamship lines from Europe to the Middle East inaugurated in the 1830s. and invention throughout the modern epoch. far more than they ever had been. and Australasia as well. The central civilization of the epoch was the West. With them Europeans also acquired the techniques for using them. chocolate. Whereas in earlier periods one could identify greater and lesser centers with a certain amount of separation between them. the manufacture of iron and then steel to make the equipment to build steam engines and automobiles or whatever and sewing machines to manufacture clothing. these inventions became necessary in order for Europeans and other Westerners to reach out to other parts of the globe. Migration in the modern epoch was of three kinds: that connected with the great frontier in which elements of Europeans and Africans and smaller numbers of Asians came or were brought to the New World as settlers or to make settlement possible and to help the frontier societies move on from the rural-land to the urban-industrial frontier. progressing through the railroad to the automobile and the internal combustion engine in the field of transportation. southern Africa. and the development of first the telegraph and then the telephone and the radio in the field of communication. In the modern epoch the response of the Europeans and the settler descendants to their encounters with the new worlds was to develop new technologies and invent new devices to exploit those technologies that would help them in their settlement of those new worlds. but in the latter stages of the epoch in North America and Latin America. or corn throughout the world. The far more intensive impact of culture contact made cultural transformations much more visible and extensive. the interactions between patterns of settlement and levels of technology also intensified. plains. It can fairly be said that this was a major impetus for technological development.Even more than in our study of previous historical periods. They may have had some regional influence but it was secondary to the influence of the Western center. Particularly in Europe. beginning with the steamship. For example. In Europe. for example. Finally. and settlement of the new worlds in the latter part of the previous period had its major material impact in the spread of new world products not previously found in the old world tobacco. the issue of centers and peripheries becomes significant. the industrial revolution was not a frontier phenomenon. especially with the onset of the industrial revolution. The third was displacement and involved growing numbers of refugees. or railroads to cross the American prairies. The second kind was rural to urban migration as a result of the industrial revolution and its offshoots. farmers and other people who lived in rural areas moved to the cities in search of opportunities in the new urban-industrial world. A secondary area of emphasis is on the major cultural transformations that were particularly pronounced in this modern epoch as modernization spread throughout the world and Westernization was transformed into modernization. The peripheries consisted of those civilizational areas whose role was more localized and self-contained. and mountains. inaugurated in the 1840s in the United States. In other cases. This was mostly because . exploration. as people moved off the farms into the cities. actually a cluster of centers with new ones added as the West consolidated its expansion.
and in the Pacific. was principally in the hands of Jews. primarily Italians and French from southern France. depending on definition. the Caribbean Islands. In Africa and Asia. that was a continuation of the emigration efforts of the Chinese dynasties in the last part of the previous epoch. mines and towns catering to those industries across the land. moreover. When the French annexed Algeria they opened its doors to European colonists. more or less. That frontier persisted for more than 100 years as a major force in American society as a whole and. On the other hand. Some migration was generated by colonialism itself. sometimes in overwhelming numbers. at least as far as Fiji. the frontiers. Early in the nineteenth century United States. to settle in their colonies to do work that the British upper classes would not undertake. the colonial powers and their allies both used cities for commercial and governmental purposes which attracted people because they offered a better chance to earn a living than in their even more marginal subsistence farm. The frontier remained a very powerful influence throughout the modern epoch. Those colons came in and settled on previously Arab lands where they stayed until the French ended their rule over Algeria at the end of the 1950s. but also their allies. Parsis. as we shall soon have reason to note. either with indigenous Muslims who stood by the British locally or non-indigenous Muslims brought in to the British colonial areas to assist the British. more often than not set off this frontier chain reaction. It began with the rural-land frontier which persisted for 400 years until World War I. Thus were born the large South Asian concentrations in central and southern Africa. involving not only the colonial rulers and those who staffed the colonial administrations and armies. British settlers in the Caribbean and in Africa also imported South Asians.people were driven off their lands by the changing character of the economy. British colonialism was very heavily dependent on a British-Muslim alliance. The population movements and attendant growth on the urban-industrial frontier generated the second settlement pattern in . Chinese found their way into these colonies as well. dispersion. and in the African colonies of Germany until the British with their African allies captured them in World War I. just as the rural frontier was based upon the availability of free (or cheap) land. particularly the peoples of India. The one possible exception. at which time almost all of them abandoned those lands and moved to France. The French and to a lesser extent the Italians and the Germans used a different approach. A similar situation prevailed in Libya where the Italians colonized the area. and resettlement gave them at least two additional opportunities to return to the Land of Israel under frontier conditions. bounded in a particular territory and time-span. It is fair to say that all of the preseventeenth century territorial frontiers were one-time occurrences. The generation of new wealth through industrialization transformed cities from mere regional service centers to producers of wealth in their own right. and which brought with it the first settlement of these new worlds. spreading farms. perhaps another 60 years as a major force in various parts of the country. including the changing character of agriculture which had less room for small subsistence farms and required more massive farming efforts. whose original land frontier was like all the others but whose history of exile. the rural-land frontier generated an urban frontier which was based upon industrial development. Commerce in those areas. northeastern South America. as well as because wages were better in industry. initiated simultaneously with the opening of the modern epoch or within that epoch. was that of the Jews. or Chinese who emigrated to the new areas from their areas of origin to take advantage of the opportunities. In part. For example. ranches.
except in the central and southern reaches of Argentina and Chile where. Nevertheless. the existing indigenous populations far outnumbered any efforts on the part of new settlers to transform those territories into frontiers. The continuing frontier. and the techniques used to establish Iberian hegemony had to take that into consideration. the least inhabited islands of the Caribbean. some of which were echoed by the indigenous peoples as well (for example. The Spanish and Portuguese did so in the medieval manner. It was even true in South Africa where the white settlers tried to practice a strict apartheid. cross-racial contacts inevitably developed and at least some led to intermarriage and the biological mixing of races for the first time in thousands of years. actually at the time of the strongest white racism. Each frontier stage has generated its own new world with new opportunities.the United States. has bred its successor and has been replaced in turn by it. The British tried to bring in settlers. but the lands were not sufficiently vacant to overwhelm the indigenous inhabitants. The American frontier is paradigmatic. Otherwise. There the Iberian settlers brought the social. Nevertheless. While colonization was continued by much of Europe on the other continents in the modern epoch. because Spanish society did not leave room for a truly open frontier. Australia and New Zealand open for them to settle by the millions and true frontiers developed in all. they were relatively easily overwhelmed by the Spanish and Portuguese and their military technology. the British had control of all the sufficiently unpopulated lands where that kind of frontier could develop. for postmodern patterns of cross-racial and national integration. new challenges and new problems. The British had all of English-speaking North America. what became truly frontier colonization essentially narrowed down to the Englishspeaking world. the frontier ended with the completion of land settlement. the Japanese to this day have a strong streak of racism against non-Japanese and against intermarriage of Japanese with non-Japanese. that is to say. Once the French and the Dutch were driven out of North America. most living in highly developed civilizations with (for them) strong political frameworks. The populations remained. a century before the modern frontier process with its dynamic characteristics opened up. of free-standing cities built around the new industrial base from coast to coast. Given the racist attitudes prevalent in Europe at the time. even other Asians). cultural. At the same time it is true that wherever there were many indigenous inhabitants and a sufficient number of colonists. The French ran into the same problem in all of their colonies. . where whites could mobilize indigenous peoples to be their servants or middlemen between them as rulers and the people over whom they ruled. With the exception of the Caribbean. the stage was set by the end of the modern epoch. wherever it is found. even in Algeria where they did succeed in planting a large population. The Iberian settlement of Latin America began in the sixteenth century. new occupations. each frontier. once opened. Only in Africa did the British get into the kind of situation that their European neighbors encountered everywhere. In these lands of great opportunity. has all the characteristics of a chain reaction. and economic patterns of the late Middle Ages to territories rather heavily populated by aboriginal peoples. so that the land was not empty in any respect. political. These ties were frowned on except where they were hierarchical. new patterns of settlement. This was particularly true in Latin America. The Spanish and the Portuguese confronted masses of Indians whom they had to accommodate and absorb. all also set off chain reactions so that new frontier stages appeared as the old ones were closed (in each region of the larger countries).
what brought racism down was Nazism when the Nazis carried racism to its logical conclusion. and in the process found it necessary to conquer a good part of the world to guarantee those markets. genocide and the effort to destroy so-called inferior races by murdering all of them. although it seems that just as frequently the opportunities that were opened only partially in the face of rather rigidly hierarchical societies led to fascism and totalitarianism as the preferred popular response. . The need to Christianize the pagans of the world also provided a strong support for those settlement and colonialist efforts and made even the brutal among them more respectable by giving them an alliance with the Church or various religious groups concerned about saving heathen souls. The fact that none of these could be achieved. Where neither an indigenous frontier or an indigenous inventiveness were to be found. Indeed. So France. and in almost every case at least two of the three were contradictory. when there was probably the least appreciation of cultural differences. and when prejudice moved from religious concerns. and racism which rejected a people simply because of their race. the contrast between Germany and the United States or Russia and the United States could be very enlightening. Christians. regardless of how they lived or how well they chose to accept Western norms). found in their Christianity powerful support for overseas colonization of both the frontier and the colonialist kind. and totally self-sufficient. for the frontier to continue by other means. While invention could make less of a difference in the industrializing countries that did not go through the frontier experience. the burning alive of a man's widow upon his death. Indeed. totally homogeneous. once new lands were settled. No doubt. invention. while at the same time repressing and suppressing the indigenous minorities at home. even here it could loosen up older restrictions and open the door to greater freedom. namely. Colonialism was as much a matter of filling vacuums as it was a deliberately designed effort on the part of Europeans or their settler offspring. did not try to suppress indigenous minorities. the felicitous connection between science. invention and the frontier went hand in hand. That is indeed what happened. Here. most particularly in the United States but in the other frontier countries as well. This was the period when "scientific" theories of racial superiority and inferiority were developed to distinguish between peoples within Europe as well as between Europeans and non-Europeans. Religion played a dual role in all of this. ambivalent about modern statism. It sought markets abroad. namely Europeans or who had access to inventiveness or to both came to fill. that is to say. which in many cases had a certain basic legitimacy (for example. Spanish opposition to Aztec and Inca human sacrifice or British opposition to the suttee. a vacuum was created which those who reflected both. only to make certain that the English ruled them. sought to control territories with the raw materials needed to become selfsufficient abroad. opportunity. and democracy. Great Britain. colonialism was stimulated in part by the statism promoted after the Treaty of Westphalia by which every European state sought to become totally independent. More than ever in the past. made no difference when those ideas were at their peak. convinced of the superiority of Christianity and hence of Christian civilization. technology. and frontiersmanship led to the possibility of the frontier becoming a chain reaction and.In this connection it is difficult to overestimate the degree of racism that affected the modern world from the 1870s until the end of World War II. On the one hand. for example. The world finally awakened to the evils of racist thinking and the way became open for a change of minds and hearts.
that is to say. religion remained a powerful force in the lives of the world's peoples throughout the modern epoch and the process of privatization proceeded differentially in different countries and civilizations. even as it was becoming increasingly privatized. Even now their role raises problematic questions in most countries. Slowly. the subject of the next historical period. At first. Turks. and infidels. then Christianity as a whole. including both human weakness in general and the weaknesses of Christian conquerors in particular. but also took a very strong stand against immoral behavior on the part of those who considered themselves Christians.On the other hand. the latter were often lost in the clamor and excitement of conquest. even if not established churches. that is to say. recognizing them as human beings with souls. In a certain sense the Catholics were the most relaxed on these matters with Catholicism most experienced in accepting human weaknesses. for that matter. in the New World. polytheism was in that sense worse than atheism. in the views of the time. Still. non-believers." i. people who were non-believers could not be expected to take oaths made before God seriously because they did not believe in God. The Treaty of Westphalia may have formally pushed it off of the agenda of interstate conflicts.e. Even after infidels were included. It was to have very significant consequences in the next period. The strongest exponents of both positions were Reformed Protestants who took a very strong stand against those whom they believed to be sinners. were usually restrained in their cruelty but had little provision for recognizing natives who did not fully assimilate into their religiously informed culture. Calvinism was a powerful driving force in the promotion of both capitalism and democracy and should be examined from that perspective. and infidels. . who were also fully monotheistic but came from cultures very different from those of Christianity and therefore only followed behind Jews with whom Christians had first-hand contact in Europe and. Religion was a powerful influence throughout the whole epoch. on the other hand. a term generally used for Muslims at the time. deserving of minimal fairness. other religions were accepted into the fold although the line against pagans and atheists remained firm and unbridgeable until after World War II. Turks. beginning with the American Revolution in the eighteenth century and culminating in the post-modern epoch. but individual states still continued to support particular established religion or. Throughout all of this. who presented a much more difficult problem in that. Thus in Latin America the conquerors did commit great cruelties. while at that same time the Christian missionaries and clergy secured the integration of converted natives into the local societies. Jews who were obviously highly monotheistic but rejected the divinity of Jesus. beginning a process of excluding religion from the public square. That was beyond the pale. The Protestant colonists. but in the end they won out. after the American Revolution the trend throughout the Western world was to separate church and state and keep religion as a private matter.. At the same time. there was no provision for heathens. The United States was the first country to extend itself beyond Christianity to accept what in the eighteenth century were felicitously called "Jews. Christianity also provided the antidote in the sense that the cruelties of frontier settlement and colonialism were opposed by influential groups in the name of Christianity because of Christianity's moral principles. to give state citizenship and state interest precedence over it.
which did have a central government of reasonable strength at the beginning of the period. was easily brought into the Western orbit by the British and. after which it adopted Western modes and inventions. The Indian subcontinent. whose northern reaches had been part of the ancient world and whose southern tip was settled at the very beginning of the modern epoch. the French and the Portuguese. the reduction of government restraints on individuals to achieve social goals. China. Many retained strong elements of the communal unity that they had inherited from premodern periods and in many cases democracy was . It had already been transformed by Westerners through the slave trade which attained massive proportions from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries. to a lesser extent. after initially allowing Westerners to enter the country at selected sites. becoming totally isolated from the West for several centuries until the Americans forced it to open up in the 1850s. One of the most important developments in the modern epoch was the spread of democratic republicanism. made a turnabout and destroyed the Western outposts. prairie. and forest regions by Native Americans driven westward from the east coast by the pressure of the European settlers and they acquired horses from tribes that had been exposed to the Spaniards long before they saw any Spaniards. In the twentieth century. but it was the cutting-edge minority. the empowerment of the individual. changing the character if not the course of African civilizations. many of whom were still in the process of democratizing. Japan. people began speaking about democracy rather than democratic republicanism and the democracy of which they spoke was increasingly liberal democracy. The opening of the process to all adults was not achieved until the very last generation of the epoch when women were granted the right to vote. that is to say. Africa. For example. the Plains Indians in the United States were much affected by the coming of the Europeans to North America long before they encountered them in person. what we refer to today simply as democracy. and the recognition of every individual's civil rights. at least by today's standards. the consequences of which were that the old Chinese empire collapsed in 1911 and was replaced by an unstable republicanism mixed with warlordism until the indigenous Communist takeover of the country in 1946-49. was the last continent to be freely penetrated by the West in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. was more resistant and even tried at the end to fight the Western influences. The democratic persuasion still was confined to a minority of the countries and civilizations of the world. developed an imperialism of its own. Royal absolutism was rendered obsolete and eliminated in relatively short order by the middle of the epoch.The history of non-Western civilization in the modern epoch could no longer be treated separately from that of Western civilization except insofar as pockets remained untouched or minimally touched by the world trends. in the sense that they were driven westward out of their lowland. It was replaced by a republicanism that recognized rule by elites but increasingly empowered ordinary people to participate in the governing process in some manner. and ultimately came into direct military conflict with the West beginning with the Russo-Japanese War and continuing in World War II. but the direction was clear by the mid-nineteenth century. both for purposes of trade and even allowed missionizing. At the beginning of the epoch this took the form of challenging the divine right of kings. lacking any comprehensive governmental structure and divided into many princely states.
At the same time. which had proved to be so attractive during the first half of the twentieth century. The Great Depression had taught the leaders of the world that protective trade barriers only led toward worldwide catastrophe. one. namely. a struggle between two modern forms of government democracy and totalitarianism for hegemony. a political order framed by government but in which a substantial segment of societal life was in the private sphere. First of all. and the rise. indeed. Only those countries which judiciously combined capitalism and the welfare state emerged successful. spread. The result was the decline of consciousness of the idea.) After the end of World War II the world entered into what some have called a postmodern epoch. both were also struggling with each other for influence with traditional societies. and defeat of Fascism. although the democratic reality involved its continuation in practice to the point where even totalitarian polities that claimed to be democratic had to pay lip service to the elements in the civil society model. Communism and its partner. and where collective activity was often undertaken by voluntary associations.simply integrated into that communalism to become a kind of communal democracy which recognized the primacy of the community or the dominant group in the community. Eighth Period: Toward Globalization (1945. two major struggles were going on in the world. were demonstrated to have clay feet economically (not to speak of politically and socially). particularly in the economic and religious realms. While the first 45 years of this period witnesses a struggle between the Communist world and the free world which was based on a combination of market capitalism and the welfare state. economically and socially. the philosophers of democratic republicanism had developed the idea of civil society. At the beginning of the modern epoch. This period inaugurated a world significantly different from that of the modern epoch. the nation-state and the statism associated with it in the modern epoch began to be transformed through a new interdependence stemming from a new world order. Nowhere was this more so than in connection with the economy. Indeed. the economy itself became increasingly globalized. initially in response to the upheavals of the period from 1914 to 1945 including both World Wars and the Great Depression of the interwar period." By the end of this period. many of the elements of both were made into "rights" to which every human being was "entitled. while the rise of liberal democracy cut into the civil society idea from the perspective of the individual. Political democracy became the goal of many peoples and became part of the anti-colonialist struggle. Moreover. totalitarianism involved the preservation of the forms while taking over the contents. the rise and spread of Communism. most of which had strong authoritarian dimensions but were often seeking new ways as they modernized. although. public non-governmental bodies through which people cooperated with one another voluntarily and thus eliminated the need for government action. The rise of statism and its later combination with socialism cut into the principles of civil society from the governmental side. state socialism. . even as state involvement in previously private or public non-governmental spheres grew in response to the needs of an industrialized society or as socialism or welfare state liberalism spread.
it soon became apparent that the EC was more than that. now the European Union. "Sold" to the European public as a sophisticated set of trade treaties at first. The end of World War II brought with it the opening of the nuclear age with its threats of potential mass destruction. in the 1950s.In part this was due to the great good sense of the United States and its leadership who in the immediate postwar period. the economic miracles wrought by the countries benefitting from U. even though signs of both had appeared even before. The two great themes of this period were decolonization and globalization. but they were conquered by other colonialist powers. The United States. although the decline took place first and foremost in the West) while the second became the new defining view after triumph of democracy and capitalism over totalitarianism and communism. Indigenous opposition to colonialism from the colonies themselves beyond their initial military resistance to conquest emerged shortly thereafter. combined with the need to prevent Europe from continuing with the curse of intracontinental wars. The success of the Japanese in World War II awakened the Asian peoples' sense that they could resist the powerful West . at the very least as a bulwark against Communism and Soviet imperialism. If global economics and the reorganization of the world to accommodate it made a long-term difference. the EC represented a more modest set of linkages not federal but confederal in character. Anti-colonial movements were born first and actually were born in the West in the various colonialist countries where opponents of colonialism developed strong opposition to colonialist government policies. in the end the Communist states were bankrupted and unable to meet the economic or political demands of their people and hence collapsed. Economic need. The threat of nuclear weapons limited the hot wars of the period in a number of ways and kept the Cold War from erupting into a hot one no matter how angry the great powers were at one another. Many other less institutionalized. While the struggle continued for another four decades. was the first to begin withdrawal or plans for withdrawal from their colonial possessions almost simultaneously with acquiring them in the Spanish-American War. The United States and shortly thereafter the Soviet Union as nuclear powers appreciated the destructive capacity of nuclear weapons and kept theirs under sufficient control even during a massive nuclear and conventional weapons arms race. assistance made the difference. with the adoption of the Single European Act and the Treaty of Maastricht. however.S. It was indeed touch and go for a while with the Community movement threatening to acquire power through elections in Western and Southern Europe. Japan and Great Britain. the most reluctant of the colonial powers. Both elements were direct consequences of the impact of World War II. it became the first full-fledged postmodern confederation. did not take full immediate advantage of its weakened allies or full revenge upon those it had vanquished during the war but rather assisted in their reconstruction. nuclear weaponry made an even greater one in its immediate impact. After an abortive attempt to establish a United States of Europe. Germany lost its colonies in World War I. less comprehensive multi-state relations developed in other parts of the world as well. After a "time of troubles" it emerged even stronger than it had begun and. led to the establishment of the European Community. In the end. The first was connected to the great decline of racism as a defining around the world (not just in the West.
and Afghanistan the world came close because one side or the other was directly involved. The success of the Asians stimulated African anti-colonialist movements. Despite the Soviet effort to give their empire a different appearance. The Russians had colonized Siberia in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In 1945 the United Nations was founded and while it did not become what its founders hoped. the dominant feature of the first generation of the post-modern epoch. agreements were put into place to provide for international monetary and trade stability. The collapse of the Soviet empire brought an end to the Cold War. that they were considered signs of interstate cooperation. and so in 1944 at Bretton Woods. Elsewhere. By the end of the 1980s. the first to get their independence after the war. had lost interest in colonies. Most of the former colonies became independent states. Indeed." although in Korea. with minor exceptions. The fear of nuclear war kept the Cold War "cold" rather than becoming "hot. The first signs of globalization had already appeared in the late nineteenth century but were so dominated by statism. as in the Caribbean.and greatly strengthened anti-colonialist movements there that had developed in the interwar period. Hence they even began to pressure those colonies that did not want independence. and Eastern Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth. weakened by World War II and their recovery efforts. military threat. In the 1950s and 1960s new devices were developed to supplement the original ones. primarily in the economic and secondarily in the social fields. regional or internal hot wars were fought by the surrogates of the two great powers. it was really not until the end of World War II that globalization began to emerge as a force in its own right. In all of these the West had the advantage because of the power of the United States and the ability of American aid to strengthen the power of its allies and to enable them to become self-generating economically. Initially. globalization could begin to flower. to take it because the mother countries were no longer willing to support them. The Soviets were literally driven into bankruptcy and a last ditch effort to save the USSR through liberalization came too late. it was just that. the Asian colonies were. having discovered that trade rather than rule was a better bargain. almost entirely in the form of posts and telecommunications. while the fifteen Russian republics each became independent within a loose confederal arrangement. A few became associated states that voluntarily continued their ties with their former rulers. Vietnam. While more such developments occurred after World War I within the context of the League of Nations or parallel to it. Still others developed federacy arrangements as in the case of the United States and Puerto Rico whereby they obtained great internal autonomy but remained linked to the former mother country but as a federated unit tied to it. . The last bastion of colonialism to fall was the Russian empire. although Africa did not emancipate itself until the early 1960s. With the end of the Cold War. both normatively and as a reality. the European colonial powers. Western colonialism was essentially over. central Asia in the eighteenth and nineteenth. By that time. New Hampshire. the United States and the USSR. globalization reflected the efforts of the United States and its allies to prevent a new depression after wartime demobilization. it did serve as a forum for certain kinds of actions and as a link for international technical services that supported globalization. and economic manipulation. The Eastern European and Baltic states became independent once again. The Cold War was essentially a battle of diplomatic maneuver. All of that was swept away with the Eastern European states' revolt against Communism and the collapse of the USSR.
The other colored races also were accorded new respect. While still to some extent based on stereotypes. While this did not seem to be leading to some kind of world government. Of course these . if only because no nation could take the risk of having a nuclear war or going it alone economically. National sovereignty had been curbed for even the most powerful nations. migration now became a continuing process of movement from place to place and across borders. African and most especially Afro-American cultural patterns entered the mainstream of popular culture and indeed began to mold it. The peoples of East Asia were recognized as a powerful new force on the world scene and afforded great respect for their achievements. Here. When linked together. With the transformation of the South African apartheid regime in the early 1990s. the last formally racist polity. No longer a matter of "one shot" movements from rural to urban areas or from one country to another in the search for opportunity. the barriers between the races began to fall. there was a revulsion against racial discrimination. cultures began to mix. from east to west. and then from north to south and wherever opportunity seemed to present itself. It seems that people who had moved from the Old World to the New. In the aftermath of World War II when the Nazis brought racism to genocide. were more receptive to continuing to migrate in search of opportunity if it seemed to be necessary. continued to play a major role in the world but took on new forms as a result of globalization. Opportunities were opened to people of every race. and representative figures from every race were able to rise to the very top in their respective fields. from south to north. This they communicated to their children and children's children. the United States was the pioneer. Census showed that the average American changed his or her residence at no more than five year intervals. and globally. which had become such a major element in the modern epoch. The difference between politically sovereign states and the constituent states of federations was diminishing to. While all were technically treaties.By the 1980s most states were at least in regional economic arrangements and the vast majority were in worldwide ones as well. the assumption that whites were better disappeared in most quarters. The forms of globalization assured that this would be the case in international political affairs. establish a system in which 180 formally politically sovereign states and twice that number of federated states were merging into one international system. so Americans became a migrating people within the United States. as between whites and non-whites in the United States. with far greater equity than ever before. at least not immediately. Over the next fifty years a major reevaluation of the races occurred around the world. if not always entirely equally. in effect. both internally. having severed their old ties so completely. Moreover. no state could afford to. it did generate a worldwide framework of interconnections and linkages that were being constitutionalized since they could not be dissolved. What of the major themes that we have followed through human history? Migration. these two phenomena had even more significant consequences. they were the kind of treaties that despite formal rights of withdrawal. ceased to exist. Racial discrimination had become a matter of habit and custom wherever it continued to exist and not a matter of public policy. too. It became increasingly unusual to find children living near their parents and the U.S. while efforts to overcome prior racism made it possible for nonwhites to rise in the economic spheres in most of the richer countries of the world where they were present. At least formally. with the possible exception of Japan.
This third frontier stage generated a third settlement of the United States. as it had become known in the modern epoch. made possible the transformation of the family in its nuclear form. it pushed religion further out of the public sphere and into the private. It spread to include transborder commuting for job opportunities and. The metropolitan-technological frontier emerged in full strength after World War II in North America. one based upon the new technologies of electronic communication. into a more casual set of relationships and less intergenerational in character. Military necessity added to this new migrational pattern as the major powers. By generating more heterogeneous communities. the development of technologically sophisticated industries and service industries transformed manufacturing workers and developed a much larger and stronger white collar population. Moreover. It took longer for this pattern to begin to develop in Old World settings where permanence of residence was the norm. the airplane. presumably not to migrate permanently but to take advantage of employment opportunities. These migrations were immense. the urban-industrial frontier gave birth in turn to a third frontier stage.averages could be misleading and there are people who stay in their same residences or neighborhoods for most or all of their lives. These new technologies transformed every aspect of life and turned urbanization into metropolitanization. but transformation of patterns of work. The introduction of commuting principally through private transportation and especially the automobile. Between the world wars. established military bases around the world during the Cold War. as developed countries began to need people to work in specialized occupations or in less desirable jobs. the internal combustion engine. Australia.or third-stage industries - . and petro-chemicals. the great separation between residence and place of work. involving a mass migration of tens of millions of Americans in search of opportunity on the suburban frontier. the new global economy brought with it a new kind of trans-border migration and settlement. and society. In many places these migrations were tied to the twentieth century frontier stages. The new affluence weakened the power of religion in the sphere of personal behavior. particularly the West. The technological component of the metropolitan-technological frontier saw transformations from the first-stage industries of the industrial revolution to second. this time in metropolitan regions from coast to coast. In short. The metropolitan frontier was not just a matter of moving to new places of residence. Tens of millions of people moved onto the metropolitan frontier either from adjacent older urban areas or from more distant rural ones. Public enforcement of a public moral standard declined as the combination of heterogeneity and new definitions of democracy led to greater demands for individual freedom of choice in a wide variety of areas previously considered necessary to the maintenance of public order. the globalization of commerce and industry meant that "colonies" of people from the developed countries began to settle in different parts of the world to conduct the business of their firms. The metropolitan frontier generated conditions that stimulated and required the new-style migration and made it possible. but the pattern was clear. and somewhat later in Israel. Greater affluence led to new standards of living and. "guest workers" began to move from the poorer countries to the richer. synthetics. in time. South Africa. but it began to happen through metropolitanization whereby people thought of themselves as not moving out of their area but simply looking for better housing. settlement.
At a certain point in the frontier's advance. on the other. The truth is that a fourth frontier stage opened. at least for some. but more separated.automotive. despite the "limits of growth" rhetoric. Again. the metropolitan frontier came to a close. the working class. only now the line was at 500 people per square mile and usually circled around older cities that were at the core of the metropolitan regions. who provided services rather than goods for the global society. the locus of employment. and more sophisticated processing for older industries. the other developed nations soon caught up. Higher education became more common and at least high school education was needed for occupational success in most jobs. It consists of the governing classes. telecommunications.a citybelt-cybernetic frontier generated by the metropolitan-technological frontier just as the latter had been generated by its predecessor. It was still possible to see a frontier line separating the metropolitan frontier and other parts of the country. In advanced developed societies. those who led by communicating and making more communication possible. One of the transformations they wrought was to make it possible for people to live outside of metropolitan areas. more egalitarian. the service classes. substantially increased mobility. The cybernetic revolution had begun with the invention of first computers in the late 1940s. this provided for increased opportunities and. At the same time. first in North America and then in the other frontier societies. Not long after that change in the basic metropolitan pattern took place. commerce and industry shifted from the old central city to the new suburban fringe and commuting patterns changed from being spokes toward a common center to one of leading in every direction. As the first post-World War II generation came to an end in the mid-1970s the third stage of the American frontier no longer seemed to be compelling. to name only a few. aviation. there was every sign that a fourth stage was beginning . either in what had come to be called exurbia or in rural areas that were urbanized as small towns. but did not really begin to transform society down to the popular level until the 1970s. the talking classes. this even led to a change in the class structure. whose initiatives produced the new wealth that society needed. on one hand. those who are involved at all levels and all positions of governing their globalized society and its components. replacing the old hierarchical structure with a new. in the United States it gave rise to a strong "limits of growth" movement of environmentalists who argued that we had to abandon our frontier attitudes and settle down to a world with less development. making obsolete earlier systems of labor training and apprenticeship. the entrepreneurial classes. This new way of living tied in well with globalization on the macro level by offering a micro level equivalent for ordinary people as well as for the world's leadership. only that the expansion had become routine and the only frontier-like characteristics were those that adhered to a particular local area where growth was transforming the style of life. plastics and synthetics. It was estimated already in the 1950s that over 60 percent of the employment opportunities available at that time did not exist for the fathers of those of employment age because the jobs did not exist. Although the closure of the metropolitan frontier coincided with the rebellions of the late 1960s or their aftermath. and a growing underclass . It was not that the suburban areas did not continue to expand. These rurban settlements of citybelts offered a whole new way of life which was soon further engulfed by the progress of cybernetics and space exploration to become what began to be called "cyberspace" involving life on the Internet or at least via the computer networks. If the United States raced ahead of the pack in all of these phenomena. petrochemical. one. which held the more traditional jobs that had been generated by older frontiers.
the first point of arrival in the United States. Thus. it is quickly evident that the major concentration of Asians is either on the West Coast. began principally with northern Europeans and Africans. no longer involving the mythic picture of a single figure inventing in his garage but teams of people in universities. which may be. in turn. while the frontier did not have the kind of impact that it did in the New. normal space has been eliminated in favor of cyberspace and people at least become witnesses to some frontier phenomena. Invention has become even more important than in the past because with the land frontier ended. In the Old World. it is now more than that and may actually have accelerated to the point where it is much closer to a frontier experience. historically speaking. In the postmodern epoch. it. although more than one may exist simultaneously within a particular country. in great corporate laboratories such as Bell Labs and IBM. all of which are centers of current frontier activities because of the very importance of higher education in the frontier process. just around the corner. or in the Silicon Valleys of the world. the impact upon them is greater than the impact of the urban-industrial frontier on Europe of the nineteenth century when that continent was undergoing modernization. increasingly if not from the beginning they occurred to immigrants from all parts of the world who settled in those frontier societies. for example. but the East has begun to be able to take inventions and improve on them . for example. the likelihood is that if the chain reaction is initiated. or in college towns. The United States. by the very nature of things it has been driven by inventions that become ever more transformatory to the . gave birth to the metropolitan-technological frontier. Today. Indeed. inventions have opened and formed the new frontier stages. it will continue at least into the fourth stage. Meanwhile.of people who were not suited or could not be trained to find any useful place for themselves on the new frontier and who became the source of the frontier's most visible problems. Today different countries are situated on different points of this chain reaction. consequences or "fallout" from the cutting edge of each frontier had an impact on them as well. principally animated by one or another of the four frontier stages.Japan. if one projects the settlement of Asians on the map of the United States to see where they are concentrated. in effect. While the full frontier conditions described here occurred only in the handful of frontier societies. At first that impact was merely a matter of modernization. Still. a new frontier stage is forming in space. Invention is still primarily concentrated in the West. invention has become more sophisticated. Just as the rural-land frontier gave birth to the urban-industrial frontier. Part of it will be a continuation of cyberspace which includes the "settlement" and development of what we might call inner space. On the other hand. but in time peoples came from all parts of Europe and then in our own times from all parts of the world. the adaptation to the contemporary situation of the time. Beyond that is outer space and interplanetary activity. some countries have moved from the first frontier stage to the second or even the third and then lost the characteristics of a frontier. Other parts of East Asia are beginning to do the same. Asians are as likely to be taking advantage of the new frontier as anyone else. While each frontier has continued to manifest itself on the land. Moreover. With globalization. if not direct participants in the frontier. the metropolitantechnological frontier has given birth to the rurban-cybernetic frontier which is the latest stage in the chain reaction. When every African village has one or more radios and Indian villagers can acquire family television sets.
Most frequently. of total reconstruction. and a continuation of normal religious indifference in East Asia. a rejection of the ideas and outlook of modernity (though not a rejection of its technology or material improvements) in an effort to return to "the old-time religion.became secular religions for millions of people. despite the illusions that are now immediately and overwhelmingly available to more and more of the world's population through communications and cybernetic technology. . the fact that this has happened makes invention central to the redefinition of reality. that is to say. in many cases it is a return to or an effort to hold on to traditional rituals. in effect. of racism. among Protestants it is a fundamentalism of individuals being "born again" and finding salvation as individuals. return to paganism. but it does not enable people to share real experiences in a real way. While they no longer worship idols and only a few have actually turned to a belief in pagan gods. the religious impulse remains as powerful as ever. the impact of religion seems to have become more diffused. a belief in material things. at times. with a resulting seriousness about religion notably lacking in other places. when those traditional religions had to confront the challenges of modern science. While some of their former adherents found their way back to traditional religion. strange paths. there has been a religious revival in many quarters. Just as those religions suffered rejection as a result. many joined with those who had abandoned or weakened their ties to traditional religion to. the ideologies collapsed during the first fifty years of the postmodern epoch. or whatever . after the crisis of belief and commitment to traditional religions in the last century of the modern epoch. Still. their effective worship of material success and goods without any religious restraints has turned them into pagans. that is. it is a virulent form of anti-Westernism.point where we now have to worry about the impact of inventions that erase the line between reality and fantasy which cannot be erased in real life. For Jews it is a return to an ultra-strict observance of Jewish law. which does have its impact. Conversions to Christianity and especially Islam continue in black Africa. or the revival of older church customs such as speaking in tongues. The terrible consequences of that particular perversion of faith were equal to the consequences of the religious wars of immediate premodern times that were brought on by conflicts between traditional religions in Europe. For a much smaller minority in all parts of the world. this has taken the form of a turn to religious fundamentalism." Each of the world's cultures has found a fundamentalism appropriate to it. the return to religion has sought to combine religious sensibility and commitment with the best aspects of contemporary society. For Buddhists it often takes the form of identification with one of the more demanding Buddhist sects. On the other hand. Only a minority is falling away from religious standards in the Muslim world. ideologies . except in the matter of folk religion. Since it is still as true as ever that every individual needs to believe in something. followed by Israel and Switzerland. In the modern epoch. As the impact of invention has become more concentrated. For Catholics. but the increasing complexity and "sophistication" of the world has led that impulse down new and.of utopian reform. Latin. Internet may make communication instantaneous. For Muslims. with the United States in the lead in the West. For example. The degree of religiosity varies from country to country and civilization to civilization. it seems.
e. human rights. The older communal democracy continued to retreat in the sense that. Brisbane.g. most people seemed to reject the constraints needed to maintain community that communal democracy required unless they were motivated by religious or very strong ethnic considerations. and the protection of their human rights. their empowerment in some way. the elimination of governmental enforcement of social restraints. there was no question that it represented the better of the two choices. The people who experienced both made their choice abundantly clear by successfully revolting against Communism in the period between 1989 and 1992. meaning. and basic political participation. for all adults. 4072. a founding idea of the modern epoch that is being used again 300 years later as a founding idea of the postmodern epoch. While the Free World has its own deficiencies and flaws. Still. voting. The great contribution of the revolt against Communism in Eastern Europe was the revival and restoration of the idea of civil society. greater individual freedom. These democratic elements not only were manifested in country after country but began to be built in to the new globalized system as well which added human rights protections to its agenda.In the brief time of the postmodern period that we have already encountered. The last gasp of the totalitarian challenge came with the Communist effort to seize power throughout the world. in particular. when given a choice. They were so successful that the Soviet Union itself collapsed. The University of Queensland. issues of politics and government have revolved around democracy and democratization.. which was beaten back by the Free World in the Cold War. The democracy that was favored throughout the world was some variant of liberal democracy geared to the freeing of individuals from externally imposed restraints. * Curriculum change and the postmodern world: is the school curriculum-reform movement an anachronism? DOUNE MACDONALD Doune Macdonald is in the School of Human Movement Studies. She teaches health and physical education . Australia. the resurgence of religion and especially ethnicity meant that communal democracy continued to survive and to seek new ways of expression in keeping with the new demands for individual rights and liberties.
2000). 1 I was reminded of the chaos currently occurring in the light of a proposed curriculum change in Australian schools (Lingard et al.g. Others see the future as somewhat exciting. Some (e. Studiind acest documentar cursanții vor putea să înțeleagă mai exact în ce a constat „ruptura” ideatică și practică dintre curriculumul modern și gândirea pedagogică postmodernistă care a avut loc la debutul anilor 90 ai secolului XX. Wraga 1999) assert that curriculum is fraught with oppositional discourses. it seemed that this particular curriculum innovation was being lobbed onto schools. • „curentul nondirectivist” a fost. with the result that schools always fall short of meeting the needs of young people and their communities. 'failure' and 'schism' (Reid 1998. Hlebowitsh 1999. 'blind'. and teachers. like the modernist schooling system in which entrenched knowledge and practices often override the innovative ideal (Eisner 2000). din păcate și-a făcut loc și în școala românească : cea dintre nondirectivism – curent pedagogic ce s-a manifestat la începutul secolului al XX-le și postmodernism – mișcare pedagogică apărută la sfâr șitul secolului al XX-lea. • Articolul de mai jos are meritul de fi fost scris de una dintre cele mai proieminente și mai obiective perrsonalități ale postmodernismului pedagogic. Henderson 2000). pentru neintervenția educatorului în educație. Despite the extensive knowledge and experience that curricularists seemingly have with respect to implementing meaningful curriculum change. esențialmente o pledoarie contestatară pentru cultură și pentru formarea multidimensională a omului. However.curriculum studies. A le diferenția net esteabsolut necesar în practică. acestea au dat naștere în practică unor aberații pedagogice periculoase precum unele dintre free schools. Furthermore. o pledoarie neorousseauistă pentru natură și pentru abandonarea copilului „în natură”. în esență. Să nu uităm însă că William Pinar a caracterizat dezbaterile curriculare postmoderniste ca reprezentând o „cacophony of voices”. given the complex competing and conflicting . that is the chickens. using such descriptors as 'disarray'. the goals and processes of change are narrowly proscribed by existing structures. Cel mai important câ știg este acela de a înlătura o confuzie gravă care. the chookhouse quickly returned to its normal routine. pentru evitarea unidimensionalizării omului prin specializare îngustă. whereupon the principal. or to the curriculum theorists who informed the innovation. resources and traditions. went into a flurry of activity. NOTĂ . theorizing and reform have been highly critical. Westbury 1999). With no disrespect to educators or teachers in the schools. 'floundering'. Dar este numai o voce. the fragmentation of interests and the separation of concerns into theory and practice. recent debates surrounding curriculum studies. Her most recent publications are in the fields of teacher education. curriculum reform. A 'solution' for the latter is for curriculum work to be grounded in deliberative knowing and practical action (Hlebowitsh 1999. and gender equity. When visiting friends and watching the activity in their chookhouse. McGinn 1999. in response to the 'crisis' in schooling and curriculum reform. that is the rooster. „paradigma postmodernistă” – este. pentru laisez-faire și libertinaj școlar.
for example. by what processes. Cohesive. constant and optimistic. academics. Approaches to curriculum reform The design and execution of education reforms . what. controlled and shared curriculum changes across. widespread. I contend that curricularists should look in other directions rather than continue to be occupied with increasingly anachronistic reform projects. for giant leaps in learning. Yet. . or curriculum authorities'? Curriculum reform. Questions of curriculum change became focused upon managing the diffusion and uptake process. The top-down model of curriculum reform continues to be employed in PE. represent differing attempts by powerful groups to impact upon what and how students learn in schools. ' (Westbury 1999: 358--359).narratives and the opportunities that can arise from the 'search for a more sophisticated. teachers'. With this argument in mind. analytical. and perhaps managerial understanding of schooling and of the curriculum . and the teacher. or even within. school-based and partnership-driven curriculum reform is an anachronism. In France. parents'. The PE syllabus prescribes the range of activities. underpinning curriculum reform is a contest over what is chosen. Where. composed of education officials. the PE curriculum is shaped by official texts prepared by Groupe Technique Disciplinaire. struggles over what education is for. in a sense. . drawing specific examples from physical education (PE). and other key stakeholders. by whom. provide an opportunity for radical breakthroughs in understanding. whose views are framed and constrained by modernist schooling structures. often fails to account for the voices of young people (Brooker and Macdonald 1998). and whose knowledge is of most worth---learners'. drawing upon examples from PE. systemic. in the first section of this paper I examine curriculum-reform strategies and theories. Top-down Attempts at curriculum reform in North America and the UK during the 1960s and early 1970s led to the development of the so-called 'teacher-proof' curriculum package as a central component of reform. I argue that the ways in which curricularists continue to drive curriculum-reform projects take little account of several significant postmodern phenomena. the time allocation. In the second section I suggest that any curriculum change with the aim of managed. Reform is normal. schools are modernist projects---as are schools themselves---marginal to young people's learning as we move further towards or into postmodernity. curriculum content. . As the term 'teacher-proof' suggests. (McGinn 1999: 7) The pursuit of education reform has a long history. with what intent and with what result. The following three models of curriculum change and reform. the intent was to minimize the teacher's influence on curriculum reform by developing a tight relationship among educational objectives. and assessment instruments---all packaged in a set of curriculum materials or texts produced by specialized curriculum writers removed from the school. the educational purposes of the school. Struggles over curriculum and its management are. how and which young people learn seems to have been overlooked in the curriculum-reform movement. sponsored by well-meaning educational authorities. were to play a subsidiary role to those of educational administrators and their discipline-based curriculum writers: the goal was the achievement of high levels of fidelity between the conception and practice of curriculum reform. . and the assessment for all French students who are heading towards a common baccalaureate . In this context. teachers.
including the teacher and the school environment. social. professional associations. However. Critics of school-based curriculum reform drew attention to the problematic nature of the teacher's role as the change agent. poorly resourced and loosely assessed curricula. in Fullan's (1999: 61) terms. notably. a new model of curriculum reform involved collaborative relationships between administrators. 'official' national texts has resulted in the resurgence of competitive games and sport in the PE curriculum. teachers. The consequences for PE were the loss of systemic attention and support (e. for example. Studies of teacher-initiated innovation reported that. played a key role in the apparent 'slippage' between conception and practice. Partnerships Throughout the 1980s and 1990s research. many have been concerned with physical activity instruction that falls outside the formal school curriculum. economic and cultural factors that delimit and steer the possibilities for change in specific contexts (Kirk 1988). Ennis (1999).g. Vickers 1992). the national curriculum exercise in England and Wales has also reflected a somewhat centralized approach to curriculum change with the explicit aim of having a codified curriculum produce a new (and cohesive) social order reflective of dominant groups. teacher educators. Hellison et al.(Amande-Escot 1997). students. academics/researchers. researchers. involve 'across-boundary collaboration'. despite widespread contestation. the emergence of new approaches to curriculum reform. what occurred in many Australian states and in the USA were less demanding. teachers and parents. and. curriculum developers. SBCD represented a democratization of curriculum development. 'Sport for peace'. such as those programmes working with 'at risk' young people (e. For some advocates. has described a US peaceeducation curriculum initiative. jointly led by district education officers. Curriculum innovations were invariably transformed between conception and implementation. community groups. Advocates of action research re-assessed the possibilities for this strategy to change schools on their own (Tinning et al. 2 Penney and Evans (1999) have documented how the largely centralized production of legally binding. and local forces. curriculum researchers began to advocate the central role of teachers in curriculum reform and the need for teachers to 'own' aspects of the changes that were sought. Bottom-up Research on curriculum development during the 1970s and early 1980s revealed the difficulty in achieving the goals of top-down teacher-proof curriculum packages. 1996). were justly given control of curriculum development (Kemmis and McTaggart 1988). 'slippage' occurred between the formal doctrine of the innovation and its practice (Fullan 1999). Where localized programmes in PE have received attention. critique and re-assessment of school-based strategies for change acted as a corrective to the extreme manifestations of the 'bottom-up' notion of curriculum reform. teachers. 'partnerships'. such as school-based curriculum development (SBCD) and action research---both particularly influential in Australia---began to consolidate a trend towards locating schools and teachers at the centre of curriculum-reform efforts. Consequently. Innovations failed to account for the temporal. in which the 'real experts'. Such partnerships. The features of .g. 2000) or strategies to engage specific populations such as girls. even in this context. In late 1970s and the 1980s. To improve the 'fidelity' of innovations. Similarly.
'bottom-up' or 'partnership'. critics often blame 'resistance' (most often by teachers). whether it be 'top-down'. and is most effective when both top-down and bottom-up partnerships are employed. systematic and intentional change. argue that postmodernist position is 'hyper-individualistic'. the curriculumreform problem is set within a vision of schooling that: • is highly regulated in terms of time and space. and how schooling is cultural work that . Curriculum change and the postmodern world Modernist curriculum reform. such as identity theory (Apple 1999) or pedagogic discourse (Bernstein 1996). monitoring. But in arguing that postmodernism may be not much more than 'an obfuscating label' (Barrow 1999: 415) or 'theoretical chic' (McLaren and Farahmandpur 2000: 28). pluralism and choice. identifiable outcomes and well-articulated plans. school or systemic level. purposive. But such understandings fail dramatically to take into account the contemporary conditions of high modernity as defined by Giddens (1991). and position the self as socially and historically constructed. 'incorrect' implementation. and revision. should include classroom teachers.this change model include collaboration across schools. In other words. Partnership projects have tried to reform the health and PE curriculum at national and state levels in Australia in a similar way (Kirk and Macdonald 2001). shaped by local contexts.3 But Fullan (1999) and others (McGinn 1999. Even where contemporary theoretical frameworks. subject. consumerism. control. I understand that educators should be circumspect in engaging wholeheartedly with postmodern discourses. community and student input to meet local needs. They rarely question their own assumptions about schools. and • aims for a regulated. linear and arranged in separate and distinctive bundles. McLaren and Farahmandpur (2000). be they at the teacher. Adams 2000) offer the 'lessons' that curriculum change is multi-dimensional. with an overemphasis on identity politics. the globalization of knowledge and culture. bad design and the generation of unanticipated outcomes. democratic and egalitarian social order (Leistyna et al. have been employed to inform curriculum change they have been employed with a particular view of schooling. Contemporary policies around curriculum change carries assumptions of linearity. • views knowledge as rational. Here postmodernity is understood to focus on difference and diversity. has been concerned with directed. learning and young people that is essentially modernist. schooling. space and boundaries. McLaren and Farahmandpur go on to acknowledge that postmodernists have drawn attention to circuits of power. for example. recognize shifts in time. • views students as consumers of the official school curriculum. 1996). messy and trying. and systematic data collection. and has lost sight of the reproductive power/constraints of capitalism. or indeed those of a postmodern world. learning and young people. teacher professional development. When reform fails. Thus the above-mentioned models and lessons are framed by a fairly rigid set of assumptions grounded in the modernist education system (Miller 2000).
Yet. My specific claim is that current PE curriculum reform. under the umbrella of health and PE (Macdonald and Glover 1997). a postmodern curriculum may be viewed as: • moving towards an open system with constant flux and complex interactions. in line with rapid growth in new and varied applications of knowledge. What are the boundaries/limits of a discipline? How can the disciplinary knowledge be applied for greater relevance? The structure of the disciplines in universities and their translation into school subjects 'triumphed' in the 1960s. and then translated for use as school subjects. in the Australian state of Queensland there is currently the trial of 'new basics'. as Goodson (1988: 177) suggests. into a pedagogic version to be used as a school subject'. However. These new basics are 'life-pathways and social . The institutionalization of knowledge via disciplines and subjects limits the possibilities for freedom or autonomy for teachers and students and the possibility of making meaningful connections across schooling. As Doll (1989: 250) writes. Educational philosophers suggested that valid forms and fields of knowledge arise from intellectual disciplines created and systematically defined by scholars in the primary field. with students becoming knowledge-producers rather than knowledge-consumers. if not learning area. • transformative rather than incremental with respect to change. and should bypass bureaucratic control that operates in oppressive ways. is marginal to young people's future learning. Following this position. devised by (ìdominantî) groups of scholars in universities. The middleschool literature exploring the needs of 9. Such change requires errors. Bernstein (1996) suggests that the reconfigurations of disciplinary knowledge have occurred recently. although structured around genuine partnerships.to 15-year-olds has also challenged the extent to which disciplinary knowledge meets the needs of young people. educators are seeing the clustering of subject matter into learning areas that extend beyond subjects. For example. focus.until recently has been understood through universal narratives that have tended to be masculinist and heteronormative. and will emphasize this ability as a focal point in the curriculum'. Worldwide. contemporary curriculum documents are no longer stories of 'the translation of an academic discipline. chaos and uncertainty through the actions of the learners. In Australia and New Zealand this clustering has tended to extend as far as the creation of 'key learning areas'---where PE sits alongside health education. 'A postmodern curriculum will accept the student's ability to organize. • requiring interactive and holistic frameworks for learning. As a result debate has shifted to the value of traditional disciplines. the ways in which disciplines shape school subjects and the value of having school subjects at all. outdoor education. and continue to occur. construct and structure. new ways of prioritizing and organizing interdisciplinary learning that move beyond the subject. often scholars working in universities. Death of the subject It is an interesting time for disciplinary knowledge and its representations in school subjects. What follows are four interrelated commentaries that further develop the notion of a postmodern curriculum and thereby critique the curriculum-reform movement. home economics and religious education. most PE curriculumreform projects have retained a strong subject.
It is active in reproducing the economic and cultural imbalances upon which a society is built (e. (Young 1998: 32) This sentiment has also been expressed in much of the recent work of Lawson (e. gender. are usually defined as 'educational' at all. 'active citizenship'. is generally reproductive. With the school as a bounded sphere of learning failing so many children. this selection reflects cost-effectiveness. 1998) who is arguing for attention to shift from the formal curriculum delivered by specialist teachers to how coalitions of professionals and community members can become available to young people to enhance their learning. . socio-economic status. and thereby the school curriculum. Although having points of disagreement. Curriculum reforms directed towards schools and teachers have failed to override the influences of what students bring to the school---their neighbourhood. identity and the consumer curriculum There are many cultural identities in any one space such as a school system or school. curriculum-makers continue to do so as seen with PE in the UK (Penney and Evans 1999). If the school curriculum is to become an emancipatory experience for a much larger section of each cohort of students. Although making a selection and shaping it into a curriculum that suits the heterogeneity of young people is highly contentious. selection becomes simply privatization.futures'. they buy in 'prepackaged American software' (Gough 2000: 235). knowledge. cultural and sociological understandings. Schooling. At others. and many activities by teachers and pupils which are not confined to the school nor. values and skills for conscious transmission through the planned curriculum. Where does subject-based reform fit within such new ways of thinking about the organization of knowledge? Taking equity seriously If the role of a school as a modernist project is to assist all students to reach their individual potentials. this is going to require much greater involvement of many people who currently have no direct links with school. Young people. in conventional terms. political. Bowles and Gintis 1977). 'combine to determine behaviour in school and the attitude to school which make up the differential principle of elimination operating for children of different social classes' (Bourdieu 1974: 35). This has profound implications when curriculum-builders are asked to select a set of cultural attributes.g. Curriculum-reform projects must broaden their sights with respect to who might constitute a partner and must look to where and how new spaces and places for learning might be created. including parents and employers. and 'environments and technology' (Education Queensland 2000). etc. educators need to recruit and recognize new spaces and places for learning that are effective and engaging. At times. comportment. but are beyond formal curriculum planning and reform projects. if not impossible. 'multiliteracies and communications media'. meanings. These are akin to the knowledge and skills Young (1998) refers to as a curriculum of the future that requires connectivity across subject matter in order to produce well-rounded and technologically literate learners with economic. with profit-making companies taking over school districts (Reid 1998). it has patently failed. values. and ethnicity.g. both Bourdieu (1974) and Bernstein (1996) have analysed cultural reproduction and the ways in which particular cultural capitals based upon language.
and what it means to be physically educated. 221). Ray Kurzweil (1999). given the focus on the body and embodiment in modernist PE. . given. as critical consumers they can bypass pre-selected. Conclusion 'To talk about the future of curriculum is risky' (Morris 2000: 5). The information revolution and the public pedagogies that this entails 'must be engaged seriously as knowledge-producing technologies and spheres that demand new types of learning and critical skills from both young people and adults' (Giroux 2000: 30). Although neural implants may seem far-fetched. yet much curriculum reform narrowly focuses upon the school as the only site of meaningful learning. who has been employed as a consultant some of the world's largest technology companies. For many young people their preferred engagement with physical activity outside school is at odds with what the formal school curriculum offers. In cyberspace the learner is 'free' within the constraints of corporatized technologies to explore haphazardly without boundaries and prescribed directions. Reid (1998: 501) suggests that 'materials and means to construct personal projects of education and communication will be available . meaningful learning and . inclusion and choice with respect to young people's learning. the only type of citizenship that adult society offers to children is that of consumerism' (Giroux 2000: 19). school-based lessons and other modernist structures of schools that obfuscate difference. More specifically. 'As culture becomes increasingly commercialized. and take on many and varied identities. . . As they become increasingly impatient of curricula that are deemed irrelevant. Global media and technologies give many young people access to ideas and opportunities for engaging forms of physical activity outside their substantive culture. By the year 2030. enhanced by widely available neural implants' (p. Young people's interaction with the curriculum is becoming like that of a consumer and a product (Wright and Macdonald in press).Furthermore. Kurzweil's work underscores the rapid and inexorable expansion of learning technologies that must be accounted for when considering curriculum futures. he predicts that human learning will be 'primarily accomplished using virtual teachers and . has plotted the shifts in education he sees running parallel with shifts in technology. the potential attraction of students to the 'body-less' world of learning in cyberspace should be central to how physical educators think about their subject's content and pedagogy. . teachers. In doing so. what it means to be a school student is being reinvented through the interests of corporate capital. Global technology and free-range learning As I have already suggested. and inert curriculum and seek alternatives. the majority of innovations and analyses are blind to the bigger and more significant questions surrounding change: Who are the young people in schools? and What. young people have a lifestyle and mindset that enables them to access much of their learning outside school. but such talk is necessary if curriculum workers are to attend to questions of relevance. and aware of varied pathways and places for learning. While the literature in the curriculum field recognizes the difficulty in creating meaningful curriculum change within current school structures. to all of us'. where and how do they learn? If curriculum reform continues to focus upon subjects. curriculum artifacts of synthetic states or nation-states 'that seek to construct uniform social identities' are redundant (Ross 2000: 89).
H. (2000) Taking Charge of Curriculum: Teacher Networks and Curriculum Implementation (New York: Teachers College Press). 'Blind'. Christianity and the English literary heritage are axiomatic' (Tate in Ross 2000: 11). the central role of British history. A 'chookhouse' is an Australian expression for a poultry shed or chicken run. 83--97. (1977) Schooling in Capitalist America: Education. BERNSTEIN. 415--432. J. and MACDONALD. P. 3 (1). R. 30 (4). BROOKER. European Physical Education Review. 'floundering' and 'failure' will be apt. BARROW. S. W. In J. B. 32--46. C. R. AMANDE-ESCOT. Reform and the Contradictions of Economic Life (New York: Basic Books). Notes 1. and GINTIS. BOWLES.. References ADAMS. E. (1974) The school as a conservative force: scholastic and cultural inequalities. few partnerships seem to account for the cultures and perspectives of young people. . 31 (1). Critique (London: Taylor & Francis). Seen in this light. D. (1999) Power. Eggleston (ed. Journal of Curriculum Studies. Jr.) Contemporary Research in the Sociology of Education (London: Methuen). (1999) The need for philosophical analysis in a postmodern era. (1997) Selection criteria for physical education teachers in France from 1947--1989. (1996) Pedagogy. 2. Meaning and Identity: Essays in Critical Educational Studies (New York: Peter Lang). M. The Chief Executive of the Schools Curriculum and Assessment Authority for England and Wales declared that 'the culture and traditions of Britain should be at the core [of the National Curriculum]. the reform movement will become more irrelevant to the lives of young people. APPLE. 49--57. typically a crude structure of tin sheeting and wire. 3.the impact of technology. Although extensive and genuine partnerships may be successful through bringing together a range of stakeholders who each have an interest in the nature of change in schools. Research. Interchange. (1998) Did we hear you? issues of student voice in a curriculum innovation. BOURDIEU. Symbolic Control and Identity: Theory.
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