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In History of the World, DocsOnline sets out to create an audiovisual history of the world in maps, pictures, timelines, texts and documentaries. It is a work in progress in 10 parts and will be finished one year from now. Please subscribe to support and follow the development.
In History of the World, we aim to reveal the connection between important events of the past and life today. It is our goal to make you more aware of how your life fits in the big sweep of history.
When humanity slowly switched from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to farming, it came at a price. Despite the benefit of a farming lifestyle, which enabled the support of much larger communities, people also suffered some ill effects – disease and war.
Many animal-borne diseases were able to take hold because people were living so close together in mostly unsanitary conditions. And endless wars were fought over limited resources and religion.
A major event in world history is the formation of the Greek city-states and the first attempts at democratic rule. Ever since, the concept of democracy – power to the people – has been a recurring theme in the development of Western Civilization. Equally important in the development of world history is the birth of Eastern philosophy and religious thinking.
Part 2 of History of the World explores both the emergence of the Greek city-states as well as the emergence of the great religions in the East: Confucianism and Buddhism.
Part 3 explores the dramatic rise to power of the Roman, Maurya and Qin empires. These three empires laid the foundation for much of modern civilization.
You’ll witness their great accomplishments: The Roman army and the Roman republican government; the great cultural and scientific advances of the Hellenistic Age; the conversion of Ashoka and the spread of Buddhism; and the founding of a unified Chinese Empire.
One of the most dramatic stories in world history, is the decline and fall of the Roman Republic. Beginning with the murder of Tiberius Gracchus in 133 BC and ending with Octavian’s victory at Actium in 31 BC, this was a century-long process characterized by political violence and civil war.
In the course of these 102 years, Rome was transformed from a republic – governed by the Senate and People of Rome – to a military dictatorship, ruled by an almighty emperor.
Both the Roman Empire and Han dynasties controlled vast imperial territories of roughly the same size. Their society structures highly influenced the formation of later Western and Chinese identities.
Both ruled by a strong military dictatorship. Yet, unlike Han Emperors, the power of the Roman Ruler was much less secure due to the Republican tradition of Rome.
Contact between East and West increased in the medieval period, as trade routes expanded, leading to the spread of goods and ideas. While Europe was left in disarray after the fall of the Roman Empire, warrior tribes founded great empires in China and the Middle-East.
Until 1000 CE, Europe was clearly marginalized. China was superior in every sense, a technological power house. Islam, legatee of ancient learning, dominated the Middle East. Other societies in the Americas and India promised much. Yet it was Christian Europe that would thust itself upon the world by the end of the Middle Ages.
When Columbus discovered America in 1492, it set the stage for a long period of European expansion and eventually global domination.
Although the Great Mughal Empire in India and the Qing dynasty in China also experienced great prosperity, they were vastly surpassed by the large worldwide trading empires of Europe.
The agricultural revolution that began in the mid-18th century saw a massive increase in food production. The dramatic increase in efficiency fed a rising population, allowing it to expand further. Unemployed agricultural workers moved away from the fields and into the factories to help drive the industrial revolution.
Despite advances in farming practices, pre-18th century food production relied entirely on manual labor. The development of the steam engine and mechanized production completely changed the world’s social and environmental landscape. Cities boomed, natural land turned into farming land and social structures were obliterated.
The 20th century has seen the two bloodiest wars in history, conflicts that spanned the globe. It has been a period of rapidly expanding populations and diminishing resources, of opposing political beliefs and ruthless dictators. But it has also been a period of startling technological innovation and unprecedented prosperity.
The period began with World War I, followed by the financial crash of 1929, continued through World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989.
Powers once solely attributed to nature and the Gods are now at the disposition of humankind. Yet, be ware as pride comes before a fall. The destruction of the earth biosphere has emerged as the consequence of the vast industrial and social progress of the past century. Unless reversed within 20 years, nature – and the ‘Gods’ – will generate our apocalypse.
In a globalized world, the restauration of the environment can, like the struggle against poverty and the containment of violence, only be achieved through agreement on a global scale. Will humanity be up to the task to think as a species, and not as a race?