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Foundations of Western Civilization II by Robert Bucholz

Foundations of Western Civilization II

A History of the Modern Western World

by Robert Bucholz


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As Americans, we are rooted in different soils, in different lands. We draw on different philosophies and religions to sustain us. And we earn our livings in different ways. But no matter what our differences, there is one bond we share, says Professor Robert Bucholz.

"Wherever we come from, whatever we believe, and however we make a living, Americans are all to a greater or lesser extent inhabitants of a world shaped by the last five centuries of Western history and culture."

Moreover, he says, to understand how we came to be what we are, we must look to Western Europe, the land whose history from the 16th century to today "has, arguably, done more to shape [our] world than any other."

But how did that happen?

How did the decentralized agrarian principalities of medieval Europe become great industrial nation-states? How and why did absolutism rise and then yield to democratic liberalism? How did Western science and technology create the first industrialized economies and reduce the power of superstition and disease?

Why did Europe produce two great antagonistic economic systems, capitalism and Communism? Why did Westerners conquer half the world only to lose it?

And overall, has the legacy handed down to us been positive or negative?


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  • Published: 2002
  • LearnOutLoud.com Product ID: F019121
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