Essay about World History in Context

1156 Words Sep 22nd, 2011 5 Pages
Rebecca Nichols
HIS 140 – A History of Humanity
Essay 1

World History in Context, written by David Christian (2003), questions the context of world history as well as the complexity of human history and the societies with which they live. In Christian’s article he argues that looking at world history in its global context, rather than one specific moment in history, is the way it is intended to be interpreted and allows historians to recognize reoccurring patterns and themes. World history is meant to be an unbiased account of only one specific species, humans (Christian 2003, 437-438). Historians often struggle with this challenging topic and tend to produce works extremely biased, usually towards stable ‘western civilizations’ and
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Through symbolic language, accurate information can be passed down to generations at extremely enhanced rates compared to the ‘glacial pace’ of genetic data. Other species are at an extreme disadvantage because they have no way of keeping up with the ‘millions of brains available’ to humans through collective learning (Ponting 2000, 25). ‘Almost every object or idea we use today represents the stored knowledge of previous generations.’ Language has given us the ability to interact and connect with other humans which, in turn, has ‘accelerated the accumulation’ of information even more (Christian 2003, 445). Early agricultural benefits from human interaction included a number of small, isolated farming communities in the Middle East. These groups decided to combine and began working one of the early irrigation systems together. These irrigation systems required more than one small group to live together as a stable community because they couldn’t handle the system by themselves (Stearns 2007, 17). Eventually these small communities became so interconnected that it led to the global society we recognize today. Traditional cosmologies interpreted the earth, specifically the humans that inhabited it, as the center of the universe. While modern cosmologies tend to de-center humans from the focal point of the universe, they do not detract from recognizing humans as extremely rare, complex creatures, possibly one of a kind. Collective

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