1914 to Present
The 20th Century was a time when the world got “smaller.” Communication and transportation made it possible to connect to every part of the globe and even into outer space.
The United States came to dominate the world during the 20th century and our culture spread everywhere (McWorld) Not every part of the globe felt comfortable with the Americanization of the world. American values can be interpreted as being based upon consumerism, greed, sex, and violence (remember our movies and music are everywhere). Many societies viewed this as in direct violation of their traditional values.
The United States dominated the world economically and politically. We became the richest country in the history of the world. In many cases our multi-national corporations used cheap labor and cheap natural resources from the underdeveloped world to become extremely wealthy.
The 20th Century has been the most violent century in history. The bloodiest official wars: Dates
Military Death Toll
World War I
Russian Civil War
Chinese Civil War
Abyssinian War (Italy vs. Ethiopia)
Spanish Civil War
World War II
Chinese Civil War
Sudanese Civil War
Afghanistan (Soviets and Afghanis)
Other atrocities include:
Khmer Rouge in Cambodia
Ethiopian Civil Wars
East Pakistan Massacres
Mozambique Civil War
Angola Civil War
Death Toll (Est.)
1. Questions of periodization
Continuities and breaks, causes of changes from the previous period and within this period: 1914 – World War I begins; world becomes smaller through communication and transportation; WWII; end of imperialism; domination of American culture; Cold War; advanced technology; space race; nationalism
The World Wars
Impact in General
Reduction of European influence outside of Europe (end of imperialism) Rise of power of the U.S.
Increase in Zionism – would affect Middle East
The Cold War
Concept of “crimes against humanity”
Globalization of diplomacy and conflict;
Countries were either aligned with the “east” (Soviets -- Communism) or the “west” (U.S. -- capitalism)
Global balance of power achieved because each country recognized the other country had nuclear weapons and they would respond – if the Soviets dropped a bomb, the U.S. would be able to send just as many bombs to the Soviet Union and we would all be dead!
Diplomacy at different levels
Groups for different causes and issues
League of Nations – world peace
United Nations – world peace
NATO – European and American alliance against Soviets
European Union – economic and political unity of Europe
NAFTA – economic free trade zone in North America
ASEAN – free trade zone in South East Asia
International Red Cross/Crescent – humanitarian
Amnesty International – human rights
Greenpeace – environmental
Organization of African Unity (OAU)
Central American Common Market – economic
Nonaligned Movement – 110 developing nations who seek to cooperate on...
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