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The Earth and Its Peoples: A Global History, Second Edition
Richard W. Bulliet, Pamela Kyle Crossley, Daniel R. Headrick, Steven W. Hirsch, Lyman L. Johnson, David Northrup
History WIRED

The End of a Global Century, 1991-2000


Governments in the 1990s
This map breaks down all the nations of the world according to their political organization.

Agricultural Labor in the Twentieth Century
These maps demonstrate changes in the work force in all the regions of the world.

World Literacy in the Twentieth Century
These maps show both the increase in literacy and regional variations.

Distribution of Telephones in the Twentieth Century
This multimedia presentation illustrates how this form of telecommunication has grown and the areas where its use has been most prevalent.

World Conflicts, 1975-1995
This map displays the locations of the major military conflicts, primarily ethnic in origin, that occurred around the world during the late twentieth century.

Contemporary Conflicts
This interactive map shows the sources of tension in the world today.  Click on specific areas for more information.

Eastern Europe 2000
This map illustrates the new political boundaries that appeared as various ethnic groups declared their independence from Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, and the Soviet Union.  Some of the countries shown in the Caucasus region have not yet received international recognition.

The Balkan Regional Atlas
This site presents a map of the various provinces of the former Yugoslavia and a chart detailing their religious composition.

Atlas of Cyberspace
This site features many unique maps that depict the cyberspace world.


1900s Sound Clips
You can download various sound clips from twentieth-century American history from politics to popular culture at this site.  This is a good way to explore the history of media during the twentieth century.

Ethnic Cleansing in Sri Lanka
This site includes very graphic and intense images from this atrocity in Sri Lanka.

BBC News: The Battle for Free Trade
View images and watch video clips of the riots surrounding the World Trade Organization's annual meeting in Seattle in December 1999.

The History of Television
This site offers many images of popular television series which have been broadcast in the United States since World War II.

Points from the Past: History of Television Technology
This essay provides many diagrams illustrating the technology associated with television.

This is the companion web site to the popular global television channel.  At the bottom, there is a link to the corporation's international operations.

View the global operations of this company at this site.

Coca Cola: Around the World
Explore the international operations of this epitome of American popular culture.

History of Rock-n-Roll: The Golden Decade, 1954-1963
Listen to this collection of classic rock 'n' roll hits, both British and American, at this comprehensive site.

Time 100: The Beatles
View a video clip of the Beatles' famous appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Postmodern Structures
This site is a course syllabus that contains a few images of postmodern architecture.

Time 100: Pablo Picasso
The third page at this site has links to various museums displaying Picasso's work.

Activity One:

During the last few decades of the twentieth century, elements of a global culture emerged.  For evidence of this phenomenon, go to MTV.com and look for the link in the left hand column entitled "MTV Worldwide: International Sites."  Click this link and explore the international operations of this American television phenomenon.".  How does MTV's global presence represent an aspect of the global culture?  Who is its targeted audience?  Do most of MTV's various operations market the same programming or music, or do they specifically tailor their offerings to local consumers?  Does the corporation utilize elements of both approaches?  How has MTV helped to promote similar music tastes around the world?  Do you get the impression that MTV primarily benefits American musical artists, or does it promote a truly global commodity?

You can also observe a similar process by perusing the web sites of Levis.com and Coca Cola: Around the World.  Do the global activities of these corporations symbolize cultural convergence around the world?  In other words, does their worldwide prominence illustrate growing similarities in consumers' tastes and desires?  For more insight into this question, see Economic Globalization and Culture: A Discussion with Dr. Francis Fukuyama  (be sure to continue to the next page).  How does this analyst assess the concept of cultural convergence?  Do you believe that the new information revolution will usher in an era of better relationships among the different cultures of the world or that it will lead to more confrontation?

Activity Two:

One analyst who is pessimistic about global confrontations in the twenty-first century is Samuel Huntington.  To learn his views, go to Samuel Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996) Chapter 12, The West, Civilizations, and Civilization and then summarize his predictions for the future.  Next, compare and contrast his views with those of Fukuyama's, which you explored in Activity One.  Which man is more optimistic, and which is more pessimistic?  How does each view the future of Western values, especially the notion of liberal democracy, or popular sovereignty?  Do they predict that these values will become universal or will increasingly be challenged?  Do they envision a peaceful liberal international order in which nations work toward common goals, or do they foresee a more fractured world order?

Fukuyama and Huntington wrote their books several years ago.  How have recent trends in global affairs confirmed or contradicted their views?  To answer this question, go to Contemporary Conflicts and choose one conflict on each continent to investigate further.  Click on the link provided and then use the links that appear to investigate the nature of each conflict.  Are the issues religious, ethnic, or nationalistic;  that is, are people fighting to further the interests of their nation, or are they fighting to liberate an ethnic or religious minority?

First, visit the Official Website of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the ruling party in India today.  Study the "Party History,"  "Party Philosophy," and "Election Manifesto;" then you can access this information by clicking on these titles in the right-hand frame.  Then describe the goals of this political organization.  Why has it been successful at the ballot box during the past few years?

Next, analyze the information at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace:  NON-PROLIFERATION: Nuclear Arsenals of the Non-NPT Nuclear Weapon States.  Who are the main rivals of these three nations with nuclear capabilities in international affairs?  Describe the nature of this antagonism; is it economic, religions, or ethnic?

Lastly, go to Islamic Revolution: The Election of President Khatami and Iran's Young Voices for Change and review the material at these sites. Next, analyze the significance of President Khatami's and his supporters' victories in the presidential and parliamentary elections in Iran.  What are their goals, and are these goals focused on the religious or the economic growth of the nation?  Whom did Khatami and his supporters appeal to in their victories, and why?

These sites should give you the information necessary to evaluate the relevance of Fukuyama's and Huntington's work during the first decade of the twentieth century.  Which critic's scenario seems more plausible?  Be sure to evaluate the evidence that supports both sides of the argument.  In your final assessment, do you believe that we are living in a fragmented or a homogenous world today?

Activity Three:

For an extremely pessimistic view of the twenty-first century, read  Robert Kaplan, The Coming Anarchy. Then list and briefly describe the multiple problems that he claims plague the developing world, such as tribalism and urbanization. How have globalization, imperialism, and the rise of nationalism affected the developing world?  What predictions does Kaplan make about the future of the areas he has visited?  What regions does he single out as having brighter prospects than other places? Why does he see more potential in these places than in others? Why does he single out Africa as the most disturbing region that he examines?  Debate his claim that "we ignore this dying region at our own risk."

Activity Four:

As the three previous activities have demonstrated, the world at the dawn of the twentieth century is both more united and more divided than ever.  Although global corporations such as Coca Cola promote similar consumer products worldwide, and international institutions such as the United Nations and the World Trade Organization try to formulate rules of engagement for nations and peoples, the emergence of universally shared values has yet to occur.  Read the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights and then evaluate to what extent women around the world have obtained these rights.  For information, go to Women in Nigeria Today, Women and Education, Domestic Servants Overseas, Saudi Women: Education and Work, and A Woman's View: The Poverty of Women.  Have Third World governments responded to the needs of women?  Why, or why not?  Using the situations of women around the world as a case study, explain why it is so hard to develop a universal standard of human rights.