After Tamerlane: The Global History of Empire Since 1405

After Tamerlane: The Global History of Empire Since 1405

5.0 1
by John Darwin
     
 

ISBN-10: 1596913932

ISBN-13: 9781596913936

Pub. Date: 02/05/2008

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

A Rise and Fall of the Great Powers for the post–Cold War era—a brilliantly written, sweeping new history of how empires have ebbed and flowed over the past six centuries.

The death of the great Tatar emperor Tamerlane in 1405, writes historian John Darwin, was a turning point in world history. Never again would a

Overview

A Rise and Fall of the Great Powers for the post–Cold War era—a brilliantly written, sweeping new history of how empires have ebbed and flowed over the past six centuries.

The death of the great Tatar emperor Tamerlane in 1405, writes historian John Darwin, was a turning point in world history. Never again would a single warlord, raiding across the steppes, be able to unite Eurasia under his rule. After Tamerlane, a series of huge, stable empires were founded and consolidated— Chinese, Mughal, Persian, and Ottoman—realms of such grandeur, sophistication, and dynamism that they outclassed the fragmentary, quarrelsome nations of Europe in every respect. The nineteenth century saw these empires fall vulnerable to European conquest, creating an age of anarchy and exploitation, but this had largely ended by the twenty-first century, with new Chinese and Indian super-states and successful independent states in Turkey and Iran.

This elegantly written, magisterial account challenges the conventional narrative of the "Rise of the West," showing that European ascendancy was neither foreordained nor a linear process. Indeed, it is likely to be a transitory phase. After Tamerlane is a vivid, bold, and innovative history of how empires rise and fall, from one of Britain's leading scholars. It will take its place beside other provocative works of "large history," from Paul Kennedy's The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers to David Landes's The Wealth and Poverty of Nations or Niall Ferguson's Empire.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781596913936
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
02/05/2008
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
592
Product dimensions:
6.79(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.85(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations     viii
List of Maps     ix
Preface     x
Orientations     1
Eurasia and the Age of Discovery     47
The Early Modern Equilibrium     101
The Eurasian Revolution     157
The Race against Time     219
The Limits of Empire     295
Towards the Crisis of the World, 1914-1942     365
Empire Denied     425
Tamerlane's Shadow     487
Notes     507
Further Reading     558
Index     569

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

After Tamerlane: The Global History of Empire Since 1405 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
John Darwin explores three themes in ¿After Tamerlane:¿ 1. The growth of global connectedness that results in the globalization as it is known today. 2. The key role that Europe and later on the West played in that process. 3. The resilience of many of Eurasia¿s other states and cultures in the face of Europe¿s expansionism. Darwin pushes his audience to rethink the history of Europe¿s expansion by making four assumptions: 1. Europe did not progressively rise to preeminence, then fall and rise again as part of the West. The pace of European advance was spasmodic at best in the 250 years following the arrival of Christophe Columbus in the Americas in 1492 C.E. The subjugation of the Americas did not offer Europe a decisive advantage over the rest of Eurasia during that period. Asians were not interested in most of what the Europeans had to offer, resulting in a flow of American silver to South and East Asia. After 1750 C.E., this pattern progressively changed with the subjugation of India and the advent of the industrial revolution that allowed Europeans to impose a trade of manufactured products against raw materials and foodstuffs in the region. The great expansion of trade in the 19th century C.E. and the globalization that it helped to promote were possible for two main reasons. Firstly, there was no general war between the major European powers between the Congress of Vienna in 1815 C.E. and the outbreak of the WWI in 1914 C.E. Secondly, industrialization allowed culturally self-confident Europeans to colonize far faster and on a far larger scale than was previously possible. For example, think about the scramble for Africa among European powers at the end of the 19th century C.E. In contrast, Asian empires showed a remarkable cultural and political resilience in the face of Europe¿s expansionism. Despite all foreign encroachments, China ultimately lost only Outer Mongolia. A fast-industrializing Japan became quickly a match for its Western alter egos before losing all its colonies at the end of WWII. The victors of WWI failed to partition the Anatolian core of the Ottoman Empire in the early 1920s C.E. Finally, Iran comprises to this day most of ¿historic¿ Persia. The great exception to that rule was India because of its openness and accessibility, and because of the sophistication of its financial and commercial life. 2. A global proto-economy came into existence in the 16th century C.E. once the Americas had been connected to Eurasia and Africa. Without the exploitation of American resources, and the commercial integration of North East America and North West Europe to form an ¿Atlantic¿ economy, the eventual creation of a global economy in the late 19th century C.E. might not have happened at all. The increased protectionism against free trade that started in the 1880s C.E. did not stop the growth in international commerce before the outbreak of WWI. Globalization remained mostly in limbo during the Europe¿s second Thirty Years War. The second wave of globalization that started after the end of WWII under the leadership of the U.S. has gone far beyond the limited promise of the pre-1914 world. The ¿great divergence¿ in wealth and economic performance between the Euro-Atlantic West and most of the rest of Eurasia has given way instead to the ¿great convergence,¿ which should, if it continues, restore the balance to the rough equilibrium of half a millennium ago in the next fifty years. 3. Reducing the history of Europe¿s global expansion to that of Britain, the Low Countries, northern France, and western Germany is misleading for three reasons. Firstly, the quarrels and conflicts of the European states were a constant limiting factor on their collective ability to impose Europe¿s domination on the rest of the world. Secondly, this reductive approach ignores the territorial expansionism of tsarist Russia that was a European power. Finally, that analysis ignores t