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Global History 2014.3: Introduction

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Sofia Eriksson

on 16 October 2014

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Transcript of Global History 2014.3: Introduction

Today's lecture
The aim for today's lecture is to map out the road head, and make sure that you know what to expect each week. History, and particularly history of the whole globe, can be intense and overwhelming if everything you hear is completely new.
Global History?
It isn't immediately clear what the word "Global History" means...
Why is this unit important?
Some people love history, others hate it. But there are good reasons to pay attention in the next 12 weeks even if you fall in the latter category:
Lecture 2: the world in the 15th century (1400-1499)
Lecture 3: European colonialism and the Columbian Exchange
In the late 15th century, the first signs of a world globalised in new ways became visible: Portuguese and Spanish sailors crossed the Atlantic for the first time in living memory (the vikings did it first, but didn't live to tell the tale), and began colonising America. This had two consequences that we will talk about in the lecture:
Lecture 4: from Commerce to capitalism and racism.
Lecture 6: Why Europe?
The industrialisation that we talk about in lecture 5 happened first in Britain, then the rest of Europe and America, and then Japan, and eventually other parts of Asia and Africa. It gave European countries the ability to really cement their power globally during the last few decades of the 19th century, and the first few decades of the 20th century.
Lecture 12
Global History
A road map
So the goal for the next hour or so is to make sure that you have a map in your head as we move through this unit, that you know where we come from and where we are going, and have heard most of the central concepts at least once before.
Does "Global" history mean...
- Stories about the past
Pieced together from remnants and clues left behind. None of us were there when it happened, so we have to piece it together from clues that are left to us: documents, paintings, pictures, memories, objects from the time.
None of these give us the complete version, we have to fill in the gaps with logic, understanding of the natural work and human psychology, but also imagination. This makes any history very contestable.
This means that you can argue about history, and "contest" - challenge - the version of history that you hear. But to do this well, you need to be able to support your argument with evidence: from analysis of those documents, paintings, pictures, memories, objects from the time
Or history of the globe?
Well - in this case both.
Let me explain...
- This unit covers the history of the whole world during the past 500 years
However, if you are going to be able see the whole world at the same time you have to zoom out a lot. Which means that you can't see the details. Only the big events and processes, that affected large parts of the world, and many people.
And one of the most noticeable processes that have taken place in the past 500 years, is that globalisation has become increasingly intense:
The globe becoming increasingly interconnected
through the movement of money, goods, people and ideas.
Signs that today's world is highly globalised:
- In 2007 the United States experienced a crash on their housing market. The globally interconnected nature of our economy transformed this local crash to the GFC (Global Financial Crisis).
brown = recession
- You find Sushi in Germany, Polish food in Australia, Michael Jackson has fans in Tibet, K-pop in Britain...our culture is globalised.
- This morning I had breakfast with my mother in Sweden (though she was having dinner). Communication is globalised.
- You find versions on the same kind of government in Thailand, Spain and Brazil: politics are globalised.
So this unit is called "Global History" because it will help you understand the history of the whole globe during the past 500 years, while also helping you understand the history of globalisation: how the world became more and more interconnected.
1. What is this unit about?
2. Why is this unit important?
3. What are we going to learn about?

1. It helps us understand why things are the way they are
How come perfectly good people hate each other in all corners of the world?
Why are there both black and white people living in South Africa, and why are the white usually better off?
Why do they speak Portuguese in Brazil, but Spanish everywhere else in Latin America?
Why are there so many people from India on Mauritius?
Why do women usually take their husbands name when they get married?
- To learn from our mistakes?
-Predict the future?
- Become a good teacher?
3.Knowing that not so long ago, people like myself thought and acted very differently makes me tolerant and humble.
2. The writers of history have a lot of power, because history matters.
Ex. the Holocaust (Shoah):
Ex. the History Wars in Australia (whether Aboriginal people were treated badly or not).
It keeps me from taking for granted that the way I see the world is the only and the better way.
Spain & Portugal
1. It started a period of European domination globally
2. It brought together not only the human societies of the eastern and western hemispheres, but also the animals, plants and microbes - an event called "The Columbian Exchange"
Atlantic Ocean
The Columbian Exchange
Lecture 5: Industrialisation and Industrial capitalism
The increasing focus on money, and on making profit in commerce, pushed people to invent ways of making products more cheaply and efficiently.

In the 1760s this led to the invention of the steam engine, which revolutionised production of almost all sorts of commodities. Steam engines could power machines that did jobs in a fraction of the time it took human workers to do it. This led to a rapid transition from manual production (people doing things by hand) to mechanised production (people running machines), something often called "the Industrial revolution".
In this lecture we look at how this happened, and what the consequences were across the globe.
In the lecture we follow this development from the Atlantic and around the rest of the world.
Lecture 7: Global Revolutions
Many have tried to explain why Britain beat other places to industrialisation: why was it a Briton, rather than the Chinese or Massai who invented the steam engine?
In this lecture we will look at some of explanations, many of them possible, but none really conclusive.
European colonialism, capitalism and industrialisation were overwhelming and very disruptive forces for those who experienced them, and they led to people changing the way they thought about the human condition, about society and politics.

One result of this was a series of revolutions that took place around the Atlantic in the 1700 and 1800s. In this lecture we will look at these: the North American, South American, French and Haitian revolutions, and the consequences they had for global society and politics thereafter.
Colonialism, capitalism and industrialisation caused the evolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries. But out of these revolutions grew the political ideologies that have defined the world since then - and that you still have to choose between when you vote.
Lecture 8: Global ideologies of the 19th century
In this lecture we look at how this happened.
From the 1870s the global political climate was one of increasingly intense rivalry between the leading imperial states like Britain and Russia, Germany and France.
One aspect of this was the competition over colonies, as the various countries attempted to claim as much territory as possible just to make sure no one else could. In this lecture we will look at how this played out, with particular focus on the contest over land in Africa and in Central Asia.
9 Empires in collision: the scramble for Africa and the Great Game
Capitalism and industrialisation began to spread across the world, and often carried by the power of European imperialism.
The global 20th century was defined by three wars: World War One, World War Two, and the Cold War.
Lecture 10: Global wars of the 20th Century: WWI, II and the Cold War
In this lecture we look at how these three wars were the direct result of the material changes brought about by colonialism, capitalism and industrialisation, as well as the ideologies that emerged in the wake of this.
Lecture 11: Decolonisation
One consequence of WWI and II was that the notion of European imperial domination became increasingly untenable. In this lecture we trace how the collapse of European imperial power took place in the context of the Cold War. We will look at what this meant for those who were landed with creating their own independent nation states out of former colonies.
Will help you do well on the exam
So what are we studying?
You will be doing this too: all assignments in this unit are about this
All good reasons...but my reasons:
Ex. the Middle East.
My favourite:
words to look up
The Great Game
The Scramble for Africa
High Imperialism
Cold War
East bloc/west bloc
War of Attrition
Colonial Nationalism
Independence movement
Let's stop and think...
Why is history important?
Why this unit?
- This unit will show you how the world of today: the modern and globalised world came about. Once you have completed it you will understand (among other things):
Why some places are very poor while others are rich.
Why the Western world in general, and America in particular are so powerful and influential globally.
Why money rules the world.
That the nations are relatively new.
Why the world is dominated by technology.
Why many people think that democracy is a good thing.
Go to app.gosoapbox.com
Throughout the unit we will be working are way towards the present, explaining how the modern, globalised world came to be.
But to understand this, we need to know what the world was like before: what is new and different about modernity and globalisation.
In the lecture next week we will talk about the most important characteristics of the world before these developments:
We will talk about the characteristics that defined the pre-modern, or traditional world.
Well before the beginning of this unit (and modernity), trade was an important feature of societies.
But from the 1500s, the nature and volume of the trade changed, ushering in the era of capitalism and mass consumption that define the world today.
In lecture four we will look at how colonial expansion and trade in both goods and humans generated a new economic system, and the notion that people of with dark skin colour were born to be slaves.
The industrial revolution is the reason we have cars, places, Ipads, washing machines and penicillin.
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