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World History and the Rise and Fall of the West

William H. McNeill
Journal of World History
Vol. 9, No. 2 (Fall, 1998), pp. 215-236
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20078729
Page Count: 22
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World History and the Rise and Fall of the West
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Abstract

This article seeks how best to understand the history of humankind as a whole by emphasizing communications and transportation networks. It summarizes the principal consequences of major changes in the range and carrying capacity of these networks, with reflections on the role of the West in recent centuries. During these centuries Europeans enjoyed a brief experience of world dominance, thanks to an initial monopoly of modern forms of mechanically powered transport and electrical communication, only to see their dominant position decline as other peoples have caught up with them in our own time.

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