Shaping World History: Breakthroughs in Ecology, Technology, Science, and Politics
This innovative survey of world history from earliest times to the present focuses on the role of four factors in the development of humankind: climate, communication and transportation technology, scientific advances, and the competence of political elites. Matossian moves chronologically through fifteen historic periods showing how one or more of the causative factors led to significant breakthroughs in human history. Shaping World History is based on original research and also draws widely from the literature on the history of science, technology, climate, agriculture, and historical epidemiology. This compelling analysis is presented in a personal style and includes reflections on how things work and why they are important.
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Major Causes of Breakthroughs
The First Farmers
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Africa agriculture American ancient animals became began breakthroughs British built canals Celsius century B.C. Charles Darwin China Chinese cities civil Climatic Change coal Colin McEvedy communication computers Darwin Darwin's Dangerous Idea decline developed Dutch Republic early earth East economic electric Empire England Eurasia Europe European Faraday fertility Galileo George Stephenson German grain Greek hominid horse human ice core important improved increased Industrial Revolution innovations invented iron Kepler land living magnetic maritime political culture Matossian medieval Mediterranean Mediterranean Sea ment merchants Mesopotamia millennium B.C. million mortality Moslems movable type moved Mycotoxins Natufians natural needed Newton nineteenth century ocean percent period plants political elites population growth potatoes printing with movable production Quaker radio railroads River Roman rulers sailing scientific scientists ship social control Society telegraph temperature theory tion trade transport tube University vacuum tube volcanic western world history writing system