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The New Cambridge Modern History
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  • Cited by 4
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    Seth, Vijay K. 2018. The Story of Indian Manufacturing. p. 75.

    2017. Science and Christianity: An Introduction to the Issues. p. 29.

    English, L. Eklof, B. and Balzer, M. M. 1991. Bibliography. Soviet Anthropology and Archeology, Vol. 30, Issue. 2, p. 67.

    Spufford, Margaret 1985. Can We Count the ‘Godly’ and the ‘Conformable’ in the Seventeenth Century?. The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 36, Issue. 03, p. 428.

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    The New Cambridge Modern History
    • Online ISBN: 9781139055895
    • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521221283
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Book description

A comprehensive examination of the political, economic, social, and cultural development of the world from 1493 to 1945.

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  • Chapter I - INTRODUCTION: CONCEPTS OF CONTINUITY AND CHANGE IN HISTORY
    pp 1-14
    • By Peter Burke, Fellow of Emmanuel College and Lecturer in History, University of Cambridge
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521221283.002
  • View abstract
    Summary
    Historian may be interested in changes over the long-term; because he thinks it a 'turning-point' in history; but he is likely to assume rather than to argue that a break in continuity occurred at this point. Guicciardini began his History of Italy and Ranke began his Latin and Teutonic Nations with the turning-point of the 1490s, just like the old and the New Cambridge Modern History. There are many kinds of continuity in history. Demographic continuity, for example. The population of a village may remain more or less stationary for centuries, while the individuals composing it make their entrances and their exits, because the birth rate and the death rate remain constant. In this context 'equilibrium' is a better term than 'continuity' because it draws attention to the fact that the population. Historians are professionally concerned with change; but to understand why change occurs it is necessary to study the obstacles and resistance to change, factors promoting stability or continuity.
  • Chapter II - THE ENVIRONMENT AND THE ECONOMY
    pp 15-42
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521221283.003
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter discusses three attributes of the European environment: its particular location on the surface of the earth, its comparative freedom from natural disasters, and the variety of its resources. In nineteenth century, a large proportion of all productive activity was located and carried on in small and non-urban units. Agricultural pests, and in some degree the whole humanised landscape, may be looked on as true by-products of the dominant economic system. A productive and convoluted economic system had been founded on the assumption of cheap, extra-European resources. A grave imbalance in protein, raw materials, fertiliser and energy consumption marked the era of Europe's dominion over world economic and ecological history. Other polities have now begun to redress the balance, but the finite extent of ocean and grassland in the world implies that under any known technology they cannot replicate the means by which Europe rose.
  • Chapter III - INDUSTRY
    pp 43-79
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521221283.004
  • View abstract
    Summary
    Industrial activity in Europe in the late fifteenth century fell typically into five forms: village and local specialised industry; peasant industry for the household; urban artisan industry; materials oriented industries in the countryside; and merchant-organised systems combining rural and urban labour. All these forms had been present in the thirteenth century, and all persisted in one corner of Europe or another up through the nineteenth century. The changes of the early and middle modern period occurred steadily throughout these 350 years, in response to a number of economic and technical factors, in particular as a result of the interaction between market growth and technical change. In the three centuries prior to 1750, then, some changes occurred in the three branches of technology: power generation, power transmission and materials production. A striking fact about the Industrial Revolution is the speed with which improvement extended from iron and machinery production to the manufacture of machine tools.
  • Chapter IV - POPULATION
    pp 80-114
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521221283.005
  • View abstract
    Summary
    The demographic situation in Europe in the last quarter of the twentieth century is fundamentally different from the situation at the end of the sixteenth century, before the 'industrial revolution'. The records of baptisms, marriages and burials, which would have made it possible to calculate changes in the population, were not exploited at the time. With the exception of Ireland and Albania, all the countries in Europe, including the USSR, are engaged in a process of demographic standardisation. During the inter-war period, emigration from Europe was considerably reduced, despite the economic crisis and unemployment, because the United States began to close their doors. The Second World War seemed to confirm demographic decline in Europe: losses including Soviet losses were three times as high as in the First World War: there were probably 40 million killed, half of them civilians.
  • Chapter V - PEASANTS
    pp 115-163
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521221283.006
  • View abstract
    Summary
    The twentieth century is a century of peasant wars; but the sixteenth or eighteenth centuries were great peasant ages tout court. European villages generally had a minority of independent yeomen and a majority of dependent daylabourers. This chapter includes in the peasant community, or in the spaces between villages, the world of migrants, tramps and beggars of all kinds, living on the margin of society and often despised. From the Bronze Age, and more particularly from the Iron Age onwards rural chieftains had separated themselves from the mass of peasants, as a result both of a process of social differentiation and of conquest by new rulers thrown up by the Celtic invasions. The European manor of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was not only an agricultural unit, but a legal and political one as well. The majority of the rural population around 1460, however, was made up of a middle peasantry.
  • Chapter VI - BUREAUCRACY
    pp 164-200
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521221283.007
  • View abstract
    Summary
    A recent American study suggests that a bureau, as opposed to any other form of organisation, is partly defined by its main output of goods, services, or other activities, not being subject to market evaluation. Amongst other things, a bureaucrat is one whose output, the quality and quantity of whose work, cannot be calculated on a market basis. A large volume of overseas trade, as in England and Holland, meant that customs duties on exports and imports, could play a more important part in the fiscal system than elsewhere. In several countries institutions were organised on the 'collegiate' principle. By the eighteenth century, some countries had moved a good deal than others towards having what people should recognise as a modern civil service, or a rational 'Weberian' bureaucracy. Eastern Europe has made one distinctive contribution to communist administration, in the form of the Yugoslav system of self management.
  • Chapter VII - WARFARE
    pp 201-219
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521221283.008
  • View abstract
    Summary
    The dominant feature of warfare in Europe between the early sixteenth and the early eighteenth century was the persistent and substantial increase in the size of armies and navies. The larger countries of nineteenth-century Europe began to build up a large professional army which was kept separate from society in general. Prussia was the first state to see the military application of certain technological advances. The first and most important innovation of the Industrial Revolution was the steam-engine, perfected in England in the 1760s. The Prussian victory in 1871, achieved by superior armaments and greatest numbers, set the stage for a new phase of military history. Unlike the technological improvements of the Renaissance, the advances associated with the Industrial Revolution created a new and highly significant preoccupation among military planners. The shift to a warfare which is based increasingly on advanced technology has had numerous important effects.
  • Chapter VIII - REVOLUTION
    pp 220-247
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521221283.009
  • View abstract
    Summary
    The cluster of revolutionary movements about mid-seventeenth century was very much the result of economic decay accompanied by the political and military running down of Spain, which had made itself the policeman of Europe. In Europe, there was a bourgeois revolution which was, to the small extent then attainable, a 'bourgeois-democratic' one, inaugurating a capitalist era not in economic terms alone but with the constitutional and cultural values capable of co-existing with it. Since the French Revolution, Europe has been highly charged with nationalist fluids, in addition to class antagonisms, and for these too 1848-49 was a climactic turning-point, and a dismal failure. Edmund Wilson has described the metamorphoses undergone by the French Revolution in the historical writing. Soon after 1917 a sensible scholar could declare that 'the study of revolutionary theories is an essential part of social philosophy'. Revolutionary times bring close together and force into intense interaction all those elements, economic, political, cultural and the rest.
  • Chapter IX - THE SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTIONS
    pp 248-270
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521221283.010
  • View abstract
    Summary
    The activity of science has dramatically transformed society; since 1850 applied science has become the basis of the means of economic production in Europe. The spectacular intellectual triumphs of sixteenth- and seventeenth century astronomy and physics have long been characterised as the 'Scientific Revolution'. By the late eighteenth century the activity of science was acquiring a new cognitive and social status. The period 1780-1850 witnessed a major transformation in which the image of the natural philosopher as the investigator of nature was to be succeeded by the image of the scientist, the professional investigator of technical problems. The Renaissance witnessed new attempts at achieving a harmony between faith and reason. The Puritans stressed the importance of the reformation of education and the study of medicine, technology, agriculture and economic planning, subjects relevant to the humanitarian ends of their scientific programme.
  • Chapter X - SOCIAL THOUGHT AND SOCIAL SCIENCE
    pp 271-292
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521221283.011
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter discusses the crucial themes of social science and the relationship between Marxism and the social sciences from the end of the nineteenth century onwards. One aspect of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century reflection on 'society' is the controversy over the sociability or unsociability of man. The idea of the social nature of man was of course a commonplace to Aristotle, as was the idea that political events could often be explained by the relationship between different social strata. The English Revolution had impressed the influence of the distribution of property on political arrangements. Nineteenth-century social thought was dominated by the ideas of social development and of the importance of economic production which became prominent in France and Scotland in the second half of the eighteenth century. These ideas can be found not only in Marxism but also in French positivism and Herbert Spencer's social evolutionism.
  • Chapter XI - RELIGION AND SECULARISATION
    pp 293-317
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521221283.012
  • View abstract
    Summary
    Like urbanisation and industrialisation, with which it is often linked, secularisation appears to have been one of the major social processes which have shaped Western society in the last five hundred years. This chapter considers secularisation primarily as the process of change from the interpretation of reality in essentially supernatural, other-worldly terms to its interpretation in terms which are essentially natural and focussed on this world. The most distinctive feature of the Renaissance, the revival of antiquity, was a revival of secular ideals, the ideals of the educated Greeks and Romans, men who had not exactly rejected their gods but had certainly come to take them less seriously than their ancestors. The 'Higher Criticism', developed in German universities in the early nineteenth century, treated the Bible as the work of men, as a historical document which revealed more about the milieu in which it was written than about God himself.
  • Chapter XII - ON THE LAST 2,500 YEARS IN WESTERN HISTORY: AND SOME REMARKS ON THE COMING 500
    pp 318-362
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521221283.013
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter discusses the social structure of Antiquity as predominantly vertical, with tremendous differences in power and privilege, highly exploitative, but also as highly individualistic, and not only for the citizens. The individual is seen as the basic social unit. In Antiquity the dominant structure was highly centrifugal: from Inner- West in the eastern and central parts of the Mediterranean increasing areas were incorporated in the Outer-West through bridgehead formation, small replications of the Inner-West in the Outer-West. In the Modern Period, Inner-West moves North, and West goes to war against itself, but from a global point of view the result is the same: the Roman Empire writ large, even very large. The chapter turns to processes, starting with the most conspicuous rise-and fall process for the entire period. The Inner-West, gambling on a limited range of variables usually expressed in economic terms will probably express economic crisis as an imbalance between demand and supply.

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