By William Woodruff

This ebook investigates the main adjustments in global background and global economic system up to now years and explains to what volume global forces were chargeable for shaping either previous and current. Its underlying subject is the fight for energy within which, because the 16th century, the West has prevailed. the various difficulties of the modern international - together with terrorism - are the legacy of the interval of Western domination. till the increase of the West, and its incomparable impression on each department of human task, the centre of the realm has been in Asia. by way of the 19th century global strength used to be firmly within the fingers of the West. America's later upward push to global prestige used to be caused by way of the 2 global wars. the main admired of the Western international locations, the united states is now blamed for the entire excesses of an past colonial age.

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While the religious wars of 1618-48 engulfed Europe, the Dutch fought to establish their rule on the major sea lanes of the world. It was the Dutch who first challenged the right of other powers to claim exclusive sovereignty over the oceans. Hugo Grotius, who declared the doctrine of the freedom of the seas - that every nation has equal rights on the high seas - was a Dutchman. Dutch intrusions into the eastern seas as well as into the Gulf of Mexico, had put the older doctrine of mare clausum to the test.

In the seventh and eighth centuries it had been attacked by Muslim invaders who struck at Europe through Spain and later through the Balkans. In the ninth and tenth centuries Asiatic nomad Magyar horsemen had raided deep into Europe. From the eighth to the eleventh centuries Europe had been threatened by the pagan Vikings, whose dragon-prowed ships had penetrated its waterways, and whose plundering and murdering had spread terror throughout Christendom. In the thirteenth century Europe had been battered by the Mongols, who swept from the heartland of Asia through eastern Europe to the shores of the Adriatic.

The Dutch were as realistic about trade as they were about politics. The sole purpose of the Dutch East Indies Company (founded in 1602, and which soon became the largest trading company in Europe) was not to explore the world, or save it for Christianity as Portugal and Spain had tried to do, but to increase its share of the newly found eastern commerce. Strategic bases rather than territory were their aim. The only time they mixed Calvinism and commerce, as they did in their West Indies Company, they did poorly.

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