(Sorry for the late post... I got the times mixed up. It's Friday at 10 and Saturday at 5, not the other way around...)
I am happy to be done with the 13th century! This week our reading introduced the 19th century before World War I, the world of imperialism. It begins with the centennial of the American and French Revolutions, describing the massive increase in technology, allowing for a more connected world (via steamboats, the telegraph, and train systems). During this time, countries worked together to advance the human race as a whole, instead of our current competitive nature. However, it did not take long for the world system to become competitive, causing an imperialistic world. With colonial expansion came feelings of European supremacy. Europeans looked down on less developed nations, not respecting other cultures. What imperialism did was westernize the world.
It is interesting to look at the European hegemons in contrast to the 13th century when the East was certainly more dominant. The world we are reading about now is very similar to the world we currently live in, where the world system is dominated by western culture.
I’d be interested to see what the American part is in the imperialist world. Thus far, America has not been mentioned in the reading too much. What was the US’s role in this world so different than the 13th century?