| The Earth and Its Peoples: A Global History, Second Edition
|Crisis, Realignment, and the Dawn of the Post-Cold
War World, 1975-1991
Ethnic Groups in the World
The map at the beginning of this essay shows how multiethnic
or multinational the world's countries are today.
CNN Cold War: Interactive Maps
This site features several excellent interactive maps
exploring issues and events from the Cold War such as the United States's
interference in Latin America and Soviet adventurism in Afghanistan.
Collapse of the Soviet Union
This map puts the events surrounding the collapse of
communism in Europe in a geographical context.
and the Former Soviet Republics Maps
This site provides links to numerous maps that illustrate
what became of the former Soviet Union.
This site offers more contemporary maps of Europe since
the collapse of the Soviet bloc and Yugoslavia.
South America: 1945-1999
This multimedia map explores the political changes in
Latin America during this time.
Frontline: Maps of the Persian Gulf War
This site provides several maps of this brief military
engagement in 1991.
Urban Growth in the Third Quarter of the Twentieth Century and Map:
Urban Growth in the Fourth Quarter of the Twentieth Century These
maps show the regions where urbanization has been most intense during the
last half of the twentieth century.
examining Life Expectancy in the Twentieth Century
examining Infant Mortality in the Twentieth Century
examining World Population Distribution throughout the Twentieth Century
examining Population Growth in the Twentieth Century
Immigration: Origins of Immigrants 1970-1990
This map shows the influx of Asian and Latin American
immigrants to the United States during the latter part of the twentieth
This comprehensive site offers hundreds of images of
leaders and events during the Cold War and its end.
d'Etat of 1989
This site provides numerous images of the events surrounding
the collapse of communism in Romania.
of the Keiretsu and their different forms
This essay includes several charts and graphs which illustrate
the most powerful of these business combinations in contemporary Japan.
The East Asia Keiretsu
Several charts at this site show the interconnections
among multiple firms in East Asia.
from the Iranian Revolution
These images primarily depict the early days of the revolution.
from the Iran-Iraq War
These images are from an Iranian source.
This comprehensive site provides hundreds of images of
the protest and massacre in Beijing, China.
100: The Unknown Rebel
This examination of the Tiananmen Square massacre contains
a video clip of the events surrounding the tragedy.
Index of Persian
Gulf War Photos
This site is in ftp format.
Resources Institute: Global Trends
Many of the topical links at this site contain useful
images that examine population growth, food supply, and environmental stresses
in today's world.
International: The 100 Largest U.S. Multinational Firms in 1999
This site provides a convenient chart detailing the size
of American multinational corporations. There are also links to lists
of foreign multinational firms in the United States.
Select a country and view images of this fast-food chain's
Global Warming Harmful to Health?
This article from Scientific American contains
numerous images that explore this problem.
H. Mauchley and the Development of the ENIAC Computer
This essay contains numerous images of early computer
technology from the World War II era.
View images and watch video clips of the evolution of
computers after World War II at this corporate site.
Between 1989 and 1991, Communist regimes collapsed in
the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, and the Cold War, which had dominated
world history since the late 1940s, ended. The breakup of the Soviet
bloc was swift and relatively peaceful. Change came from within rather
than being the result of defeat at the hands of the United States and its
allies, as had been the case with fascist Germany and military-dominated
Japan during the mid-twentieth century.
Nevertheless, the causes of the collapse of communism
in eastern Europe were complex and overlapped. To analyze the situation,
go to CNN Cold War: The Wall Comes Down, 1989. Feel free to view any of the
multimedia presentations at this site, but pay special attention to the
sections "Online Spotlight: Unsung Heroes" and "Time: Freedom: November
20, 1989." Also see End
of the Soviet Union and the Cold War, Romanian
History: Collapse of Communism, and ONE MORE REASON FOR COMMUNISM'S COLLAPSE: TELEVISION IN POLAND, 1951-1989.
After reviewing these sites, make a list of all of the
reasons for communism's collapse in these nations. Keep the following
considerations in mind: What role did the political establishment
or, more specifically, certain leaders such as Mikhail Gorbachev play in
the collapse? How did nationalism or religion motivate people to
oppose the communist regimes? What kinds of organizations emerged
to express nationalist or religious sentiments? What role did technology
play in the demise of communism? What do you consider the most important
contributing factor or factors in the collapse of these communist regimes?
Be sure to use examples to defend your answer.
The end of the Cold War forced many people in the world,
particularly Westerners, to reevaluate major issues and themes characterizing
world history at the end of the twentieth century. The 1990s were
a decade during which many governments and international institutions focused
on the issue of globalization. Since the 1960s, there had been an
explosion in the growth of multinational corporations. To explore
this development further, go to Forbes.com:
The 100 Largest U.S. Multinationals in 1999 and The
100 Largest Foreign Investments in the United States; then compare
and contrast these lists. From this data, next categorize the kinds
of businesses that tend to invest in overseas ventures. Are they
manufacturing, telecommunications, or resource-extracting firms?
How much revenue do they generate?
For a closer look, first visit General
Motors: International Index. Click on the name of at least one
nation in each region listed there to see what the company's activities
are in this part of the world and when they began. For another example,
go to McDonalds.com and click
on "Select a Country" at the bottom of the page. Then choose one
country from each continent to investigate McDonald's overseas activities.
These are just two companies that are engaged in globalization, the process
in which service industries and manufacturing enterprises operate on a
truly global scale.
Why do you think these companies have globalized?
What factors have made this development possible? Think of all the
changes in travel and communication that have occurred since World War
II. For more information about this development, see The Challenges of Globalization. According to this site, what role
did governments play in fostering globalization after World War II?
Globalization presents many opportunities and challenges
for the world in the twenty-first century. For an overview of these
possibilities, see International Monetary Fund: Globalization, Threat or Opportunity? and read this entire essay. Discounting this author's opinion, explain why you
think different people respond to globalization both positively and negatively.
What benefits does it bring and to whom? What negative consequences
does globalization foster, and who are the prime victims in such situations?
Finally, read the brief article at LOUIS UCHITELLE, "World Economy Is as Interconnected Today as in 1913," New York
Times, April 30, 1998. This author tries to place the current
debate on globalization in a historical context. Can you think of
any other historical periods that could offer further insight into the
process that is occurring today? Have there been other periods during
which changes in communication, transportation, and finance encouraged
the dramatic restructuring of the world economy? For clues, review
web Activity One for Chapter 20, The Atlantic System and Africa 1550-1800,
and web activities two and three for Chapter 21, Southwest Asia and the
Indian Ocean, 1500-1750. What lessons do the historical episodes
recounted in these chapters offer to the current debate over globalization?
What does the past teach us about our present?
No technology has transformed the post-Cold War world
as much as the computer has. To understand its development and innovation,
go to John W. Mauchly and the Development of the ENIAC Computer; then scroll down to the "Table of Contents" and view each site hyperlinked there.
What technological innovations of the first half of the twentieth century
made electronic computers possible? What role did the United States
government play in the electronic computer's development? What were
these early computers used for? To pursue this subject further, go
to A Brief History of
Computing Technology. Begin reading this essay at Section 3.3,
"The Second Generation," and continue until you have read the section about
For another view of the development of computers since
World War II, see
Story of IBM: The Era of Innovations. Continue to the end of
this entire essay by clicking "Next Era" at the bottom right-hand corner
of each page. To view visual images of computers over time, go to
History: Highlights and click on the images of the various computers
shown on this page. After reviewing these sites, answer the following
questions: How did computers change after World War II, and what technological
breakthroughs encouraged these changes? What use was made of computers
from the 1950s through the 1970s? How did this usage change during
the 1980s and 1990s? What were the connections between the evolution
of computer technology and globalization? Do you believe that the
computer will continue to change world history during the twenty-first
century? Explain how. For one prediction, see Scientific
American: The Future of Computing.
One issue that dominates the post-Cold War world is the
fate of developing countries in Latin American, Africa, and Asia.
The essay International Monetary Fund: Globalization, Threat or Opportunity that you read in Activity Two introduced you to some of the problems associated with globalization in the developing world. To learn more about these issues, see The Third World Debt Crisis and UNDP
China: Sustainable Human Development. According to the information
at these sites, what other problems are typical for these nations as they
try to achieve sustainable economic growth and maintain justice?
Do you believe that globalization can help to ameliorate these problems,
or is globalization itself the problem? Defend your answer.