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Stearns – 1914-present – Contemporary Period. Serious attention needed on this 3 chunks: 1. WWI/interwar/WWII 2. Cold War 3. 1989-present. 1945 to present most important. Theme 1 – Decline of West. From WWI on West declines (WWI is civil war of West) Symptoms:

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stearns 1914 present contemporary period

Stearns – 1914-present – Contemporary Period

Serious attention needed on this

3 chunks:

1. WWI/interwar/WWII

2. Cold War

3. 1989-present

theme 1 decline of west

Theme 1 – Decline of West

From WWI on West declines (WWI is civil war of West)


Demographic - West’s share of world population drops – everywhere else is growing.

West becomes elderly.

theme 1 decline of west1

Theme 1 – Decline of West

Political power of West declines.

Decolonization from 1920 on.

West’s relative military power declines (exception – air power).

why the western military decline

Why the Western military decline?

Guerilla warfare (i.e.. Vietnam).

Large number of states get enough military to defend themselves – make it tougher for the West. Ie. Decolonization, $ to buy guns, capitalists will sell to anyone.

complexity number 1

Complexity number 1

As West declines, cultural impact of West goes up.

W. power not as menacing.

W. exports “cool stuff.”

Japan does as well.

complexity number 2

Complexity number 2

Economy being re-defined once again.

W. still have dominant economies exporting finished goods, but the Pacific Rim countries now are in the mix.

subordinate groups

Subordinate groups

Sub-Sahara Africa

Parts of Latin America

who is in the middle economically

Who is in the middle economically?

India, China, Thailand, Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, some M.E. countries (Turkey, Iran), Australia, Canada.

how did these economic middle countries get in the middle

How did these “economic middle countries” get in the middle?

Use of a valuable/special resource to make $ (i.e.. Oil)

Play both sides of the Cold War.


“Import substitutes” – make clothes and cars at home (Turkey, India).

how did these economic middle countries get in the middle1

How did these “economic middle countries” get in the middle?

5. Develop new kind of export – i.e.. Brazil – 4th largest computer exporter, excellent steel. India – software. Chile – veggies, wine, fruit.

some new themes

Some new themes

Women gain in education globally – great variety.

-- Re-definition of patriarchy? In a real patriarchal society, women would not be able to vote.

2. Falling birthrates.

some new themes1

Some new themes

3. New technologies – airplanes, radios, satellites, internet.

4. Attempt by everyone to teach more people.

5. 300% population increase – largest in the history of the world.

some new themes2

Some new themes

6. Rise of nation states.

7. No clear pattern of cultural change:

-- Revival of Islamic, Hindu, and Buddhist fundamentalism.

-- Divisions within society – secular and religious.

no clear pattern of cultural change

Noclear pattern of cultural change:

China – Neo-Buddhist or Neo-Communist

India – Neo-Communist or Congress Party secular.

Africa – Christian / Muslim tensions/conversions.

massive social change

Massive Social Change

Who were the social classes that rules change?

In 1900 – Landowners

In 2000 – Big business owners

Fewer peasants, more urban workers.



Technology based.

People moving / migrating.

China re-enters in 1978

Russia re-enters in 1985



Globalization – what does it mean?

Multinational groups dependent upon each other.

Massive opportunities for cultural exchange.



International political organizations – i.e.. WHO limiting SARS.

Globalization of democracy – to Latin America, Southern Europe, Africa, Middle East?




Resistance (terrorism, anti-world groups).

First round of globalization did not work – will this one?