Since around 1500 C.E., humans have shaped the global environment in ways that were previously unimaginable. Bringing together leading environmental historians and world historians, this book offers an overview of global environmental history throughout this remarkable 500-year period.
In eleven essays, the contributors examine the connections between environmental change and other major topics of early modern and modern world history: population growth, commercialization, imperialism, industrialization, the fossil fuel revolution, and more. Rather than attributing environmental change largely to European science, technology, and capitalism, the essays illuminate a series of culturally distinctive, yet often parallel developments arising in many parts of the world, leading to intensified exploitation of land and water.
The wide range of regional studiesincluding some in Russia, China, the Middle East,
India, Southeast Asia, Latin America, Southern Africa, and Western Europetogether with the book's broader thematic essays makes The Environment and World History ideal for courses that seek to incorporate the environment and environmental change more fully into a truly integrative understanding of world history.
CONTRIBUTORS: Michael Adas, William Beinart, Edmund Burke III, Mark Cioc, Kenneth Pomeranz, Mahesh Rangarajan, John F. Richards, Lise Sedrez, Douglas R. Weiner
About the Author
Edmund Burke III is Professor, Presidental Chair, and Director of the Center for World History at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and coeditor, with David N. Yaghoubian, of Struggle and Survival in the Modern Middle East (second editon, UC Press). Kenneth Pomeranz is Chancellor's Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine, and author of The Great Divergence, among other books.
Table of Contents
List of Figures, Maps, and Tables ix
Part one Overview
1 Introduction: World History and Environmental History Kenneth Pomeranz 3
2 The Big Story: Human History, Energy Regimes, and the Environment Edmund Burke III 33
3 Toward a Global System of Property Rights in Land John F. Richards 54
Part two Rivers, Regions, and Developmentalism
4 The Transformation of the Middle Eastern Environment, 1500 B.C.E.-2000 C.E. Edmund Burke III 81
5 The Transformation of China's Environment, 1500-2000 Kenneth Pomeranz 118
6 The Rhine as a World River Mark Cioc 165
7 Continuity and Transformation: Colonial Rice Frontiers and Their Environmental Impact on the Great River Deltas of Mainland Southeast Asia Michael Adas 191
Part three Landscapes, Conquests, Communities, and the Politics of Knowledge
8 Beyond the Colonial Paradigm: African History and Environmental History in Large-Scale Perspective William Beinart 211
9 Environmental Histories of India: Of States, Landscapes, and Ecologies Mahesh Rangarajan 229
10 Latin American Environmental History: A Shifting Old/New Field Lise Sedrez 255
11 The Predatory Tribute-Taking State: A Framework for Understanding Russian Environmental History Douglas R. Weiner 276
Select Bibliography 317
List of Contributors 337
What People are Saying About This
"A collection of articles dealing with various environmental subjects covering different parts of the world. This book provides exactly this."Canadian Journal of History
"[Gives] a truly integrative understanding of world history."Abstracts of Public Administration, Development And Environment
"This well-organized, clearly written volume finally eliminates any anxiety environmental historians have wrestled with for decades."Journal of World History