World History

Rate this Article

 

 

What part of ‘World History’ would you like to explore?

 

 

World History is a field of historical study that emerged as a distinct academic field in the 1980s. It examines history from a global perspective.

 

Overview

 

Many works are analogous to World History, in that they discuss "the history of the world" in a unified framework — For example, it was a genre popular in the 19th century with universal history, and with Christian historians going back to at least the 4th century. Other analogous works include:

  • Shortly after World War I several popular books were written which dealt with the history of the world, though with a somewhat different approach. These included the children's book The Story of Mankind (1921) by Hendrik Willem van Loon and the textbook The Outline of History (1918) by H.G. Wells.
  • William H. McNeill's The Rise of the West: A History of the Human Community (1963).
  • Marshall Hodgson's writings were a precursor to the modern World History approach.
  • Arnold J. Toynbee was a precursor of modern World History with his vast project, A Study of History.
  • William McGaughey's Five Epochs of Civilization (2000).

 

World History looks for common patterns that emerge across all cultures. World historians use a thematic approach, with two major focal points: integration (how processes of world history have drawn people of the world together) and difference (how patterns of world history reveal the diversity of the human experience).

 

The study of world history is in some ways a product of the current period of accelerated globalization. This period is tending both to integrate various cultures and to highlight their differences.

 

The advent of World History as a distinct field of study was heralded in the 1980s by the creation of the World History Association and of graduate programs at a handful of universities. Over the past 20 years, scholarly publications, professional and academic organizations, and graduate programs in World History have proliferated. It has become an increasingly popular approach to teaching history in United States high schools and colleges. Many new textbooks are being published with a World History approach.

 

Analogous works

Many works are analogous to World History, in that they discuss "the history of the world" in a unified framework — For example; it was a genre popular in the 19th century with universal history, and with Christian historians going back to at least the 4th century. Other analogous works include:

  • Shortly after World War I several popular books were written which dealt with the history of the world, though with a somewhat different approach. These included the children's book The Story of Mankind (1921) by Hendrik Willem van Loon and the textbook The Outline of History (1918) by H.G. Wells.
  • William H. McNeill's the Rise of the West: A History of the Human Community (1963).
  • Marshall Hodgson's writings were a precursor to the modern World History approach.
  • Arnold J. Toynbee was a precursor of modern World History with his vast project, A Study of History.
  • William McGaughey's Five Epochs of Civilization (2000).

 

Source of this Article

 

World History

 

 

Clicky Web Analytics