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Significant Changes In World History From Late 19th Century To The End Of The 20th Century

1618 words - 6 pages

Looking back over the period from the late-nineteenth to the end of the twentieth century, whatdo you identify as the single most important transformation of the global power-structure? Why?What were the political, economic, and social effects of this transformation, from the level ofinternational relations to the level of ordinary people's lives? If you were to prepare a collegelevelpresentation on this topic, what source(s) would you use to represent this transformation,and why?In the period from the late 19th to the end of the 20th century, the world underwent many dramatic changes that impacted every aspect of society. Technological innovations have produced a highly interconnected world. Communication was greatly improved first by the advent of the telephone and recently, the internet. Travel was made exponentially quicker evolving from trains to automobiles and airplanes. These technological improvements have allowed the sharing of ideas to occur at a much quicker rate. However, during this time period, one thing remained constant; The Western dominance of Africa, Asia and South America. While this dominance remained a fixture in international relations, the single most-important transformation in the global-power structure was the nature of this domination: From the late 19th to the end of the 20th century, the global-power structure has changed from one of overt domination to covert domination. In presenting this topic, it is imperative to show the expressed attitudes of the West in the late 19th century to the end of the 20th century. This would accurately illustrate the language used by the West. By linking the change in language with the actual outcome, one can clearly see while Africans and Asians have attempted to work within the power system, the power structure has been rigged to maintain Western dominance of geo-political, economic and social fixtures. The consequences of this dynamic have allowed for the powerful Western countries to consolidate said power while the rest of the world have struggled to gain any sort of political and financial leverage.In the late 19th century, Western Europe, and subsequently the United States, was looking to extract goods from 'undeveloped' countries such as India, China, and Africa. The West justified this exploitation because "… Superior races have a right, because they have a duty. They have the duty to civilize inferior races." (Ferry, 9) Therefore, the West felt compelled to intervene in these empires because the country was incapable of ruling themselves and needed our help to 'civilize' their lifestyles. This 'benevolent' mentality was echoed by Theodore Roosevelt in his speech 'The Strenuous Life'. Roosevelt states, "The Philippines offer a yet graver problem. Their population includes half-caste and native Christians, warlike Moslems, and wild pagans. Many of their people are utterly unfit for self-government, and show no signs of becoming fit." (Roosevelt, 12) This blatantly...

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