Free Report About The Transformation Of The World: Global History Of The 19th Century
The book provides a rounded and clear picture of a world in transition. The author makes a vivid description of a world that is in constant network by telegraph, steamship and more so the railways. He also dwells on the evolving interactions between humans and nature (Osterhammel 6). He looks at the significance of cities and elaborates on the role played by slavery and the events leading to its abolition.
He describes the emergence of novel nations and debates about the outstanding belief of the 19th C as a triumphant period of the nation-state (Osterhammel 142-151). He also describes events to show that the 19th century paved way for the worldwide disasters and catastrophes that emerged in the 20th Century. He also shows belief that it gave rise to pacifism, liberalism, trade union and many other developments. The central focus of the book is economics. It was the considerable growth of the economy that punctuated the 19th Century in Europe and its extensions. There was industrial revolution although its extent was in significant limitation. The author of the book therefore dwells heavily on the development and expansion of trade and commerce globally as the critical 19th Century domain (Osterhammel 142).
The thesis of the book argues against the major belief that the 19th Century was a victorious period of the nation- state. It was rather, the beginning of the dark ages that ended up in the modern day catastrophes and disasters.
The 19th Century
It dwells prominently on the promise of Europe’s transatlantic markets of labor and the challenges that the nomadic and tribal communities around the world had to endure. The kind of world in the 19th Century was punctuated with steamships and telegraph as well as railways. He further describes the Century as one beyond all a time when there was accumulation of unprecedented information and its display in archives, museums, exhibitions and also encyclopedias. The then world’s measurement and mapping was with a new insight. There was the counting of occupants and classification in new methods.
Transmission of information I this world was rapid and faster than any other.In comparison to the Centuries before and after the 19th Century, the era consisted of Diasporas and migrations at a great proportion. It was a period of expansion of cities and towns and closing frontiers (Osterhammel 24). There were numerous challenges and opportunities as well as white men who were hunters of wildlife across the world. Such practices seem incomprehensible in the modern world. The period also consisted of punctuations of nationalism, and the cult of the state heightened. For the larger part of the world, the mode of national organizations was empire. It was also an age of revolutions that had none had experienced before. The ones at the beginning of the century were related but by the mid-century and towards the end of the century including in China and Russia were separate and monarchies reinvented themselves. The unprecedented progress towards a greater democracy was more for the men than women.
The global history
He speaks greatly about the rise in education and languages of the world. There was also the evolution in science and ambiguities as well as debates about civilization around the world. Races emerged and their regimes soared such as the American south in the aftermath of reconstruction. His last chapter dwells on the growth of religion. He claims that religion was “the center stage in a global history of the 19th century” (Osterhammel 346). There are also notable observations about the development of religion and its tolerance around Europe.
The British and American missionaries are said to have failed greatly in the conversion of Indians and Chinese to Christianity. Moreover, nations were beginning to send convicts to very far away prisons. The Russian empire was unpopular for its Serbian penal colonies. The British deported more than 162,000 nationals of Australia by 1868 (Osterhammel 365). There were the changing dynamics of medical care and the alternative models of cities.
Major strengths of the book
The book is one of the mostnotable tidal wave of global history. There is an interesting trend that sweeps through history worldwide. The author aims at tracking the global movements of some individuals and sometimes even goods and ideas. The books strengths are particularly the fact that lies in the mode of approach to global visions. The author dwells largely on the global phenomena in his account of economic growth and development. He has very tremendous and great comparisons in various regions of the world. There are also the notable occurrences that are simultaneous across the globe. Unlike many other advocates of the world history, the author differentiates between simultaneous occurrences across the world. He notes the events that occur independently and those that occur for a common cause.
He also highlights on the global interconnections over the very local ones. He also discusses vividly the migration priorities and the long-distance movements that had very significant impacts on urbanization and the resultant social structure. He also gives a very clear occurrence of Great power warfare in the 19th century and lays emphasis on the Crimean War. It was a major global encounter although not exactly the most crucial development of strategy of armed wars and the balance of authority.
The book is very chronological. The author expands on Eric Hobsbawm’s idea of a long 19th century by combining three different concepts of period characterization. He describes the prior periods of transformation from the old world to the new world. He bases that on Reinhart Koselleck’s idea of a Sattelzeit. He also idealizes a core period of the 19th century from the early 1800s to the mid-1800s (Osterhammel 745) .He also borrows from the Anglo-Saxon idea of the Victorian era. He also follows the transitional period of the century where he sees a “long fin de siècle” that began in 1980 all the way to the 1920s (Osterhammel 768). The significance of this chronology is helpful in structuring complex accounts. He goes on to justify and discuss deeply the chronological order of his book. He does this by incorporating the global trends and global exceptions.
Weaknesses of the book
The book is quite big with even more surprisingly less facts. The story is not in unison and instead lays a series of thematic exercises. It depicts a great use of labor in gathering so much information and knowledge in a world where readers are only interested in particular details. Therefore, such readers end up looking for more specific authors (Osterhammel 465). It could have been better if the whole book was a sum of its clearly organized and separated parts but that is not the case here. More so, the book istoo abstract to be historical. The book does not depict enough abstract to make it philosophically historical. It begins with chapters of how people of the 19th Century took to the evolutions of space and time which they existed.
Sources utilized by the author
There is a significant relationship between time and space in relation to philosophy. More so, historians are well versed to deal with these relations. The author borrows content from many other historians of the 19th Century and their ideologies. One of these is Reinhart Koselleck who pointed out that any historical space creates in itself the virtue of time where it can go through traversing. Also on the time that makes it politically or fiscally controllable (Osterhammel 804). There are always some questions, temporal or spatial those are intertwined with one another. That fact holds even if the power of all images of time whose initial origins are from experiences with one another.He also borrows from David Harvey who speaks in different dimensions by speaking of as time-space compression. There are a total of four quotations from people of the 19 century period. There are single quotations from Thomas Paine and Leopold Von Ranke and anther two from Max Weber.
General arguments of the book
The book suggests that global history is not sufficiently ambitious. The globalization of history threatens the more constrained analyses that had better outcomes in the recent past. There is the risk that the supremacy of local drivers will be overlooked in the explanation of numerous events and trends.
Nevertheless, the author provides his readers with good enough reason to know more about global history and more so, the 19th Century. The author views modern science and its emergence in the mid-19th Century as a very important rupture with European descent and its global impact. The novel subjects in science, their designs and the social type of the scientist are clear depictions of the rupture. Even so, they also depict the autonomy of the resultant social structure. The author also dwells on the emergence of more specialists and their involvement with state authorities and business enterprises.
In his opinion, the author argues that the institutionalization of scientific inventions and education came to its completion by the end of the World War I. It happened in most states in both Europe and the United States of America. The author considers not the unarguable fact that a more engraving global history would not be able to overcome effectively. Simply, the author does not put into consideration the advent of the system of science in the western countries. It came as a result of intricate historical occurrences of globalization in the world. He characterizes it as a significant event in the European countries.
The book points out that “a general history of the world is necessary but not possible in the present state of research”. However, there is no need to give up hope. There is significant outcome with research and nowhere more so than in global history. Global history faces a living element even in deep economic recesses with universal element. There is an attempt from the author to depict global history in a not so general manner. The relevance of the changes in his work is basically in the manner of their contributions to the growth and expansion of emancipation (Osterhammel 243).
The end of slavery, the author presents a topic clearly understated in his description of Abraham Lincoln. The author describes global trends towards equality of rights and the rule of law. He mentions the interconnectedness with constitutionalism as the most significant political revolutions in the century. He sees the rise and increasing threat to them due to the growth of racist ideas and practices in the late 19th century. He connects these trends to the development of democratic politics.
Osterhammel J. The Transformation of the World: A Global History of the Nineteenth Century Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014.
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