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Essay about Modern World History


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Modern World History


The histories and cultures of non-European Societies have been interpreted from a Western or European perspective. This view has affected the conventional narrative of the world History in various ways. According to Eurocentric Europe was the only shaper of the world. In this case, it means that the entire world responded to Europe. First, it has various colonies from different parts of the world, that is, from Asia to Africa (Andrea & Overfield, 2012). The Europeans viewed most of the world as open to conquest, domination as well as control. According to history, the population of the Third World has been said to be weak and required civilization. The colonization of the diverse parts of the world had different positive and diverse effects. First, it changed the political settings of the countries, led to economic, social and religious transformation.  In this case, it is important to argue that Westernization has shaped the modern world history, from power, religious faith, and imperialism to ideology.

Primarily, it is significant to understand how the Western world led its colonization of Africa and Asia. In the nineteenth century nations of Europe and the West attained global dominance. The countries had undergone industrialization which contributed to their dominance (Andrea & Overfield, 2012). They perceived that they were superior both intellectually. According to them, industrialization was just and inevitable. Therefore, they aimed at colonizing the states and making them civilized. Also, they assumed that they could spread their ideologies to the different states so that they can be civilized. In this case, the theme of power is important in modern world history. The Western World was focused on conquering other nations as they felt that they were more powerful compared to them.

They also assumed that expanding to other parts of the world would make them powerful. Their colonies would support them in the War. For instance, British used their colonies in the First World War as they believed that it would help them in gaining global dominance (Andrea & Overfield, 2012). The Europeans had made promises to their colonies that they would be offered self-rule for joining the Anglo-French alliance. However, this promise could not be fulfilled as it was their primary aim. For instance, British and French postwar settlement was to divide the Arab lands among themselves instead of giving them their independence. Additionally, the British tried to take control of Persia which was an Islamic state.

However, both Turkey and Persia were able to get their postwar settlements. The Turks made efforts to drive out the Greeks so as to gain self-rule. Nevertheless, the Arab was not successful in its quest to gain independence. This shows that they were determined to dominate other parts of the world. Hence, it can be said that imperialism was one of the main themes of the modern world history (Andrea & Overfield, 2012). The European nations had taken control of different nations. For example, French took control of Vietnam’s Southern region. It later extended to Tongking and Annam as they aimed at civilizing the country. They focused on undermining Vietnam’s Confucian culture through the establishment of a French-trained Vietnamese elite. The elite would cooperate with the colonial regime, hence, allowing it to dominate Vietnam. In this case, imperialism

Religious faith is another important theme in modern history. Apart from being superior, the Western nations also felt that they were superior morally.  Hence, the dominated Africa and Asia so that they could spread their spiritual ideologies (Andrea & Overfield, 2012). Missionaries spread to different countries to as they aimed at changing the individual’s perspective. For example, there were extensive European missionary activities in the Great Lakes region of east-central Africa. The first missionaries that moved to the country were the British Protestant missionaries in 1877. They were later joined by French Catholic missionaries in 1879. Before the missionaries started their work, many people had already converted to Islam. This meant that the conversions already weakened the traditional religion.

In this case, the missionaries were able to convert many individuals. Missionaries activities in Africa led to split among the locals, as some of them were against the British rule. This weakened the Kabaka’s power, and it gave a chance for the establishment of the British Protectorate of Uganda (Andrea & Overfield, 2012). British took advantage of the support of the new Kabaka to spread their power. During that time education and civilization spread in the nations. The Protectorate Government highly supported the missionaries. The government supported education and civilization, which lead to the establishment of schools in the remote area.   It is evident that apart converting people; the missionaries were able to educate them and make them civilized.

It is evident that power struggle characterized the early history. As the Europeans and the Western nations tried to dominate the world, Asia and Africa was focused on attaining their independence. Asian and African countries were tired of the dominance of the western world, and they demanded their independence (Andrea & Overfield, 2012). They organized parties as well as movements to help them in gaining political power. India had some of the strongest movement as the opposition of British escalated. People in India held mass demonstrations and boycotts as they demanded self-rule (Sergeev, 2013). Apart from India, people from other colonies also fought for their independence. For instance, the Turks were focused on regaining its territory. The end of the First World War caused political disaster in the Middle East.

The nations were highly humiliated as the European states refused to meet their postwar settlement. The Turks were the most humiliated they have stripped their Arab territories, and their army was limited to 50,000 men (Andrea & Overfield, 2012). France, Italy, and Britain were the main beneficiary of the settlement. They gained control of Turkey’s finances, and they surrendered sections of Turkey to Greece, Italy and Kurdistan and Armenia (McNabb, 2016). Turkey was marked with increased issues such as lawlessness, army desertions as well as inflation (Sergeev, 2013). Therefore, they had to agree on the treaty as they felt that it was the only way they could survive. From the global history, it is evident that the world revolved around a struggle for power between nations. The West and European nations were focused on gaining control of the world, while Africans and Asians were focused on attaining self-rule.

Nevertheless, despite the increasing evidence concerning power struggle globalization is another important theme in the modern world history. The western states gained international influence due to their economic position (Andrea & Overfield, 2012). For example, Latin Americans were focused on expanding their business in other parts of the world. They were the main supplier of wheat, mutton, coffee and raw butter among other primary products to Europe and the U.S. Also, Latin America was the main market for manufactured goods from Europe, and U.S. Countries were depending on each other for different products. In this case, the world history is not all about political instability and power struggle.

Latin America enjoyed political stability, and their leaders emphasized on economic growth. They ensure that the business interests of the foreign states were met. They maintained low taxes and tariffs so as to favor the states (Andrea & Overfield, 2012). The land owning elites in Latin America were the primary beneficiaries of the economic system. Globalization also favored the foreign businesses that had invested in construction, shipping, railroads, and mining. The system also benefited European as well as U.S. bondholders. Different countries depended on each other for economic growth. Although initially, the states had littles or no relations, industrialization brought them together. For instance, U.S had no interest with Latin America; however, this changed as the United States industrialized. The relation increased its investment and expanded its operations.


The Modern world history can be explained through four major themes, they include, imperialism, ideology, power as well as religious faith. During the nineteenth century, the world was marked by the power struggle, as the West and European nations aimed at attaining control of the world. On the other hand, other states struggled to gain self-rule, for instance, India, Turkey as well as Persia. Additionally, the West and European countries were determined to spread their ideology and culture to the third world war. They believed that the states were uncivilized and they needed to learn a new culture. The missionaries also spread to the third world countries to spread their beliefs. They focused on converting as many people as possible to Christianity. The missionaries were able to build schools that would ensure that people from these states were educated. 


Andrea, A. J., & Overfield, J. H. (2012). The Human Record: Sources of Global History, Volume

II: Since 1500. Cengage Learning.

McNabb, D. E. (2016). Oil and the Creation of Iraq: Policy Failures and the 1914-1918 War in

Mesopotamia. Routledge.

Sergeev, E. I. U. (2013). The Great Game, 1857-1907: Russo-British Relations in Central and

East Asia.

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