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A Short World History

A Short World History

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A Short World History

Länge:
288 Seiten
4 Stunden
Freigegeben:
Mar 22, 2018
ISBN:
9781531293314
Format:
Buch

Beschreibung

A Short World History is a quick read, covering the first civilizations until 1920.
Freigegeben:
Mar 22, 2018
ISBN:
9781531293314
Format:
Buch

Über den Autor


Buchvorschau

A Short World History - E. M. Wilmot-Buxton

A SHORT WORLD HISTORY

..................

E.M. Wilmot-Buxton

LACONIA PUBLISHERS

Thank you for reading. If you enjoy this book, please leave a review or connect with the author.

All rights reserved. Aside from brief quotations for media coverage and reviews, no part of this book may be reproduced or distributed in any form without the author’s permission. Thank you for supporting authors and a diverse, creative culture by purchasing this book and complying with copyright laws.

Copyright © 2016 by E.M. Wilmot-Buxton

Interior design by Pronoun

Distribution by Pronoun

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

A SHORT WORLD HISTORY

SECTION I THE ANCIENT EMPIRES OF THE WORLD

CHAPTER I BEFORE THE DAYS OF HISTORY

EXERCISES

CHAPTER II THE ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS OF THE EAST: EGYPT, BABYLONIA, ASSYRIA, PERSIA, PHŒNICIA, JUDÆA (4000 B.C.)

EXERCISES

CHAPTER III THE FAR EAST: CHINA, INDIA

EXERCISES

CHAPTER IV THE GLORY OF GREECE (2000-330 B.C.)

EXERCISES

CHAPTER V THE SPLENDOUR OF ROME (750 B.C.-A.D. 14)

BOOKS RECOMMENDED FOR FURTHER STUDY

SECTION II THE MEDIÆVAL WORLD

CHAPTER VI THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE (A.D. 30-600)

CHAPTER VII THE EMPIRE OF ISLAM (A.D. 622-1058)

EXERCISES

CHAPTER VIII THE NEW NATIONS (A.D. 600-900)

EXERCISES

CHAPTER IX THE EASTERN WORLD IN THE MIDDLE AGES (A.D. 900-1300)

EXERCISES

CHAPTER X THE LATER MEDIAEVAL WORLD OF EUROPE (A.D. 1200-1500)

EXERCISES

CHAPTER XI THE LATER MEDIEVAL WORLD OF ASIA (A.D. 1200-1500)

EXERCISES

BOOKS RECOMMENDED FOR FURTHER STUDY

SECTION III THE MODERN WORLD

CHAPTER XII THE GROWTH OF NATIONS

EXERCISES

CHAPTER XIII THE DISRUPTION OF EUROPE (A.D. 1517-1648)

EXERCISES

CHAPTER XIV NEW WORLDS FOR OLD: AMERICA AND INDIA (A.D. 1490-1700)

EXERCISE

CHAPTER XV THE ERA OF COLONIZATION (1600-1900)

EXERCISES

CHAPTER XVI GREAT POWERS AND BENEVOLENT DESPOTS (A.D. 1650-1800)

EXERCISES

CHAPTER XVII REVOLUTION—INDUSTRIAL AND POLITICAL (1780-1815)

EXERCISES

CHAPTER XVIII THE ERA OF PROGRESS AND REFORM (1815-1914)

EXERCISES

SOME BOOKS RECOMMENDED FOR FURTHER STUDY

CHAPTER XIX THE WORLD OF TO-DAY (1900-1920)

EXERCISES

A SHORT WORLD HISTORY

BY

E. M. WILMOT-BUXTON

F.R. Hist. S.

AUTHOR OF MAKERS OF EUROPE ETC.

INTRODUCTION

..................

TO WRITE A COMPLETE HISTORY of the World within the limits assigned to this book would be, of course, to attempt the impossible. But the necessity of giving a wider view of history than is afforded by the courses usually followed in schools is so strongly felt to-day, that even a partial story of world development may be found useful as a class book, all the more, perhaps, because it does not pretend to deal exhaustively with the subject.

To attempt to deal with world history in more than one of its many aspects seems likely to court disaster; and all that has been done here is to trace, very simply, the line of economic development throughout the rise and fall of Empires, showing in closest connexion with this theme the general principles of cause and effect, as one nation after another rises, comes to the front, and passes away into obscurity. If the method thus adopted emphasizes the application of these principles to the World War of the present century, one chief aim of the writer has been fulfilled.

The book presupposes a general knowledge of the chief events, places, and personages of history, and does not deal with military, biographical, or political details. For such a subject, wide reviews, general principles, broad touches are more in place.

It should be found suitable, therefore, for young students who, having worked through the ordinary scheme of British and European history, are prepared for a more extended view.

The study of World History should prove most interesting and stimulating to those who have even the merest spark of the historical sense. It will link up previous knowledge, often sadly disconnected in character; it will reveal the extraordinarily close connexion between ages and peoples widely differing in their stages of civilization; it will show the legacy which each period left to its successors. More especially it will reveal the true perspective of the story of their own country by painting in the background, against which modern history must be set if it is to be rightly understood.

Lastly, since it is hoped that the study of economics will form a part of the education of all our future citizens, this method of reading World History may help to make familiar some of its leading principles as seen in practical application.

A list of books, to most of which the writer owes a debt of gratitude, has been appended to each section, as suggesting sources for wider study of the subject.

E. M. W.-B.

Storrington

January 1921

A SHORT WORLD HISTORY

..................

SECTION I THE ANCIENT EMPIRES OF THE WORLD

..................

CHAPTER I BEFORE THE DAYS OF HISTORY

If you who read this book have visited the British Museum, you will have seen some of those wonderful friezes of Ancient Greece, which show in a series of pictures the life of heroes and the everyday deeds of the people of that land. Back through the ages they take us to the days of men and women and children very much like ourselves, though living under different conditions in lands far distant from our own. To us they stretch their hands, to us they seem to speak, reminding us of the strong links that bind together all races and tribes and peoples into one connected whole.

In trying to realize the story of the past, it will perhaps help us if we study in imagination a gigantic frieze long enough to embrace the circumference of the earth. On it we may note the figures of men and women who played some striking part in the history of their lands, and, more often, men and women who are merely typical of their race and period. These differ much from time to time, but they still form part of one continuous and gigantic whole, part of the great human family, always affecting one another, bringing certain characteristics to bear upon the common stock. Sometimes they help, sometimes they hinder, the progress of the race towards its common goal; always they count for something, and the world would have been different in some particular way if they had never appeared upon the stage of human life. And always these figures progress in one direction; seeing that the goal is the same for the prehistoric man as for us who read about him nowadays; and that goal is Human Happiness.

Prehistoric Man—The first figures that appear upon the frieze are grouped in packs like animals, for reasons of defence against unknown dangers. They are clothed in skins, and in their hands they carry a rough stone tool or weapon, shaped like a hammer; for their first impulse towards happiness arises from the need of slaying a wild animal for their meals and of making a shelter of some kind from the cold. Long before the days of history these wolfmen appeared in the midst of a world upheaved by volcanoes and torn by glaciers, in which a struggle for bare life was taking place among vast animals, mammoth ox and bison and woolly-haired rhinoceros, fighting for their existence not only with one another but with the powers of nature. And among the huge bones and skeletons, embedded in caves far below the surface of the earth, we find the skulls of Primitive Man of the Old Stone Age.

Primitive he was indeed, but still he was true man; for he had thought out the use to which he might put his stone hammer when made, and how and why he should shape a handle for it. He knew how to make a fire and how to cook his meal, which is more than the wisest beast could ever do.

One of his temporary abiding places found in recent times in Germany, shows the very charcoal that he used, the smoke-stained fire-place, and the bones of the slain beasts. No trace of clay vessel is there, nor of domestic animal. If he kept a dog, he did so for its flesh, which he tore from the bones with a stone knife or the lower jaw of a bear before sucking the marrow from them. We find there, too, the arrowhead with which he killed the bear, harpoons of reindeer horn for catching fish, and cups made from a reindeer’s skull.

At the end of this earliest period of man’s existence he was beginning to find some of his happiness in dressing up; for we find a horse’s tooth perforated for hanging round his neck, pierced shells for decoration, bone needles with eyes, and scrapers for dressing skins. At this period man was evidently a hunter and a fisherman, holding property, in the shape of the creatures that he killed, in common with the pack, with the members of which he herded round the fire at night, and slaked his thirst in the dew-pond among the hills at dawn.

New Stone Age—In the next period, the New Stone Age, primitive man had taken a step forward. He still knew nothing of agriculture or cattle-rearing, but he could make clay vessels for cooking and storing food; he could point his needles of bone, and make small bone combs for combing out sinews into thread. He could even make a kind of boat from which to catch fish. But he was still only a squatter or trapper, with no fixed abode, and his ideal of happiness was little more than a hearty meal.

Then come signs of advance in civilization, for his wants had evidently increased in number. Excavations show us implements for spinning and weaving; and ornaments, beads of pierced clay, plates decorated with stags’ heads, round buttons, bracelets of mother of pearl, combs of boxwood, hairpins. By his side appear the dog, the horse, the cow, the goat. His pottery was now made of finer clay, smoothed by hand, and baked through instead of only burnt on the outside; a handle appeared, and a shaped jar or jug.

In the later Stone Age man had become an agriculturist, as well as a huntsman and fisherman. He had a settled home, generally in a hut built with many others on piles in the middle of a lake, which afforded him protection against hostile tribes or wild beasts. Among the remains of these we find the millstones with which he ground his corn, the twirling sticks for butter-making, and the strainers for cheese. Mats, baskets, combs, even toy ships for his children, were among his possessions. He had become a farmer of sorts. His wants were no longer bounded by his bodily needs. He began to realize, dimly enough, that he also had a soul, which survived death. So when his relations and friends were laid to rest under the huge ‘barrows or mounds still to be found both in Europe and America, he laid beside the dead body a supply of weapons and food for use in the next world.

The Bronze Age and the Iron Age—The next stage of man’s development is marked by the use of metals. In place of mud huts we now find the remains of wooden dwellings and indications of metal work in bronze. There are the casting moulds, the melting pots, sure indications of the development of man’s intellect, since he had discovered that a mixture of copper and tin in a certain proportion would give him hard and durable metal known as bronze.

Then comes the period when man discovered the use of iron. Excavations at Olympia in Greece show us, swords with blades of iron and handles of bronze. By this time the twilight period is nearly over and we are emerging into the light of history. But before we leave the story of primitive man, let us glance for a minute at the remains of the once famous city of Troy, now known as Hissarlik, on the western shore of Asia Minor.

The Stones of Troy—Here we get an extraordinary illustration of the different periods of man’s growth shown in cities, found in layers, one upon the other like the leaves of a bud, so that you can read them as from the leaves of a book. Seven or eight distinct towns, erected one on top of another, give us the connexion between the Stone Age and the most brilliant period of Greek and Roman history.

The earliest city, built probably four thousand years before the Christian era, shows rough clay vessels and stone weapons among the remains of a small and primitive settlement.

The next marks a startling change in development. It belongs to the first period of the glory of Ancient Troy, and shows mighty walls, and fine gateways replacing the old narrow entrances. A citadel and hall were built of bricks made with straw, amongst which a miser had hidden a treasure, found some three thousand years later. The tools were made partly of stone, partly of bronze, showing how the two periods overlapped. Pots turned on a wheel mark the influence of Oriental civilization. This city, the scene of the great legendary siege, was evidently destroyed by fire.

No new features mark the next three towns, and a long period of stagnation must have followed the early glory of Troy. But the sixth town shows another great advance. The walls were built of large, smooth blocks; fine gates, terraces, and stately mansions appeared, and in these were found vessels of shining colours, highly ornamented.

A barbaric wave seems to have passed over the seventh and eighth cities, and Troy deteriorated into a mere village, until it was rebuilt by Lysimachus in the days of history.

Even more wonderful are the revelations of an early civilization at Knossos in Crete, and at Mycenae and Tiryns in Greece. But as these belong more particularly to the history of Greece, we will read of them in that connexion.

Let us for a moment glance at the progress primitive man had made on what is called the economic side of civilization. Originally he was one member of a tribal family, holding property of the simplest kind in common with those who were descended from the same ancestor or patriarch. Different forms of activity, however, began to mark out rough distinctions; and classes of huntsmen, fishermen, hut-builders, and so on began to appear. Presently other tribes approached and members intermarried; the family instinct developed, and the family drawing apart from the rest, was allowed to claim the fruits of its own toil under certain conditions. Later on, the advantages of exchanging a surplus of skins or logs for one of shells or good sound flints for hammer-heads became evident. And when work was done outside the family circle in return for some gift of arrow-heads or corn, the right of the individual to hold that reward as his own marked the growth of the idea of personal property. Still, however, the claim of the community was strong, and the whole family, or clan, was held responsible for the actions of individual members. Then the idea of law began to develop, first out of a kind of blind instinct for justice, then out of settled custom, sometimes out of the ideals of isolated lawgivers.

The idea of a State now began to dawn upon prehistoric man, as strange tribes, on conditions of paying tribute and service, settled near his own. The Chieftain took the place of the Patriarch; and if the tribe was warlike in its tastes, a militant class split off from the shepherd or farmer class, and the members of this devoted their time to fighting with their neighbours for supremacy.

Sometimes a great leap towards civilization was made under the pressure of some revolt against oppression, or the influence of some unusual personality. And so, during an immensely long period of time, primitive man had gradually developed from the state of a savage until he stepped upon the stage of actual history as a rudimentary citizen.

EXERCISES

1. What are the chief points which mark off prehistoric from historic man?

2. What are the main stepping-stones towards civilization during the prehistoric period?

3. Describe with pen or paint-brush your own idea of a prehistoric scene.

CHAPTER II THE ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS OF THE EAST: EGYPT, BABYLONIA, ASSYRIA, PERSIA, PHŒNICIA, JUDÆA (4000 B.C.)

Following the thin vague line of prehistoric figures upon our imaginary frieze, we see certain groups of men and women cut in bold relief and painted in brilliant colours. The first group shows a fair-haired, olive-skinned race, with oval face and slightly projecting lips. The long beards of the men turn stiffly up at the points; both men and women wear short hair, the second group has more distinctly African characteristics, with low forehead, heavy jaw and lips. In the midst of them stands a full-length figure, stiffly holding a stick in his hand. He is evidently the Great Man, lord of a district, and the smaller figures, digging, hunting, temple-building are his slaves. In the background flocks of sheep are treading seed into soft mud on either side of a wide river; and above in the distance looms a pyramid.

Ancient Egypt—The scene takes us back to Ancient Egypt, somewhere about four thousand years before the Christian era, at a time when Menes, first king of the whole land of the Nile, had established his capital at Memphis.

Concerning the early civilization of Egypt we have an immense amount of information. The results of excavation tell us plainly what was the daily life of the people, even to such details as the dolls which the children played with and the fairy tales they read. But as to how this extraordinarily advanced civilization developed scarcely anything is known. It is thought that the earliest people were of a pigmy race like those still found at the sources of the Nile; the period between their occupation of the land and that of the dwellers under the Ancient Empire is a blank.

The Ancient Empire of Egypt (c. 4000 B.C.)—The whole story of Egypt is one of glowing dynasties separated by periods of darkness. Thus we see first in full blaze of history the ten dynasties of the Ancient Empire, with their Pyramids and Temple Builders, and their seat of rule at Memphis, on the site of which Cairo now stands. The people were ruled by despotic kings, nominally aided by a council of nobles; in later days, colleges of priests, owning lands and money, held much power in the land, besides holding control over its literature and learning.

On the rocks of Egypt is portrayed the figure of one of these early rulers, Seneferu, in the act of crushing a fallen foe with a huge hammer. The inscription speaks of him as the great god, subduer of foreign lands, giver of power, stability, life, all health and joy for ever. He was the personification of the Sun God Rā, the midday sun, who controlled the flow and ebb of the Nile, the river on which the life of Egypt depended, so that the people reckoned their new year from the day on which it began to rise. The faith of the people was also closely bound up with their famous river.

As the day waned, crowds of worshippers followed the course of Tum, the setting sun, as he floated on his journey to the regions of the Under World. Thither also descended the souls of the dead, to be judged by Osiris, who sent them forth to the lands of bliss, or through the House of Truth, to reappear again upon the earth in the form of animals.

Religion was the very breath of these people of the Nile. A host of other gods held sway over them, as well as a crowd of sacred animals—the bull, fish, cat, and crocodile—which were incarnations of the spirits of the gods. Guarding the land, with its face of mystery turned towards the East, crouched the Sphinx, probably the image of Harmachis, Sun of the Under World, combining in its man’s head and lion’s body the ideas of intellect and strength. The Pyramids, those mighty cemeteries of kings, are an abiding witness to the belief in the importance of the preservation of the body that it might be a fit habitation for the returning soul.

The Middle Empire (? 2500 B.C.)—During the four dynasties of the Middle Empire, Thebes replaced Memphis as the capital, and its temple of Amen at Karnak, one of the suburbs of the city, became the centre of Egyptian religion. During this period the tomb inscriptions show us the building of a fleet, and caravans bringing gums and spices from Arabia. The caravan routes between Egypt and the Red Sea were opened up by the provision of wells; reservoirs were freely built, canals constructed, and good roads made. In the earlier days, the kings, occupied with their own personal glory, employed their people to build pyramids that should perpetuate their names for ever. Under the kings of the Middle Empire, temples were built instead, and the land was guarded well from invasion. Of Amen-em-hat, that mighty hunter, who brought back the crocodile a prisoner, it was well and simply said: He stood on the boundaries of the land to keep watch on its borders; and all the people loved him.

It was during this period that the famous Book of the Dead took its final form. It was the Egyptian Bible, and contained not only a history of the doctrines and faith of the land, but also a code of morals for everyday life.

The Hyksôs Kings (? 1750 B.C.)—Quite suddenly this state of comparatively advanced culture collapsed before the onslaught of a horde of Eastern tribes, who established the rule of what is known as the Hyksôs or Shepherd Kings. Says the Egyptian historian Manetho: "There came up from the East in strange manner men of an ignoble race who easily subdued our country by their power. They burnt our cities and demolished the temples of the gods,

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