Chapters

  1. History’s Story
  2. Wanderers and Settlers: The Ancient Middle East to 400 B.C.
  3. The Chosen People: Hebrews and Jews, 2000 B.C. to A.D. 135
  4. Trial of the Hellenes: The Ancient Greeks, 1200 B.C. to A.D. 146
  5. Imperium Romanum: The Romans, 753 B.C. to A.D. 300
  6. The Revolutionary Rabbi: Christianity, the Roman Empire, and Islam, 4 B.C. to A.D. 1453
  7. From Old Rome to the New West: The Early Middle Ages, A.D. 500 to 1000
  8. The Medieval Mêlée: The High and Later Middle Ages, 1000 to 1500
  9. Making the Modern World: The Renaissance and Reformation, 1400 to 1648
  10. Liberation of Mind and Body: Early Modern Europe, 1543 to 1815
  11. Mastery of the Machine: The Industrial Revolution, 1764 to 1914
  12. The Westerner’s Burden: Imperialism and Nationalism, 1810 to 1918
  13. Rejections of Democracy: The InterWar Years and World War II, 1917 to 1945
  14. A World Divided: The Early Cold War, 1945 to 1980
  15. Into the Future: The Contemporary Era, 1980 to the Present
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Basic Principles

Axiomatic statements that help explain historical processes, describing human behavior as it is, not how we might like it to be. You can use them to summarize trends through history. How are they revealed by persons and events of the past?

From Chapter 1
There is no such thing as the “good ol’ days,” except in a limited way for a few people.

From Chapter 2
Humans know they are going to die; therefore most people form supernatural beliefs about what their purpose is in this life and what happens after death.

Only women can bear children; everything else about men and women’s social roles is up for argument.

Knowledge is power.

Land is wealth; wealth is power.

The only certainty in civilization is death and taxes. The only essential questions are: who pays and how much?

From Chapter 4
Democracy is difficult.

From Chapter 5
Sometimes politicians do the exact opposite of what they say they are doing.

From Chapter 8
Questioning authority is dangerous.

From Chapter 9
There is no such thing as an entirely free market; all markets have rules and costs.

From Chapter 10
Science is the only testable and generally accessible method of understanding the universe; every other means of explanation is opinion.

Every religion has elements that are nonsense to a rational outsider; nonsense or not, belief in some form of religion fulfills a vital need for most people.

From Chapter 12
The greatest difficulty for nationalists has been how to define exactly who belonged or not.

From Chapter 13
No revolution can succeed against a relatively competent government.

From Chapter 14
Nobody wanted World War III, because it would mean the end of the world.

 

Last Updated: 17 January 2017