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As Guest of the Rector in 2004, historian Wolfgang Reinhard (2004/05) wrote his account on global connectedness between 1350 and 1750. In 2014, Reinhard's volume of the acclaimedseries was published by Beck and Harvard University Press.
Between 1350 and 1750—a time of empires, exploration, and exposure to radically different lands and cultures—the world reached a tipping point of global connectedness. In this volume of the acclaimed History of the World series, noted international scholars examine five critical geographical areas during this pivotal period: Eurasia between Russia and Japan; the Muslim world of the Ottoman and Persian empires; Mughal India and the Indian Ocean trading world; maritime Southeast Asia and Oceania; and a newly configured transatlantic rim. While people in many places remained unaware of anything beyond their own village, an intense period of empire building led to expanding political, economic, and cultural interaction on every continent—early signals of a shrinking globe.
By the early fourteenth century Eurasia's Mongol empires were disintegrating. Concurrently, followers of both Islam and Christianity increased exponentially, with Islam exerting a powerful cultural influence in the spreading Ottoman and Safavid empires. India came under Mughal rule, experiencing a significant growth in trade along the Indian Ocean and East African coastlines. In Southeast Asia, Muslims engaged in expansion on the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java, and the Philippines. And both sides of the Atlantic responded to the pressure of European commerce, which sowed the seeds of a world economy based on the resources of the Americas but made possible by the subjugation of Native Americans and the enslavement of Africans.
General editors of the History of the World series are Akira Iriye (Charles Warren Professor of American History, Emeritus, at Harvard University) and Jürgen Osterhammel (Professor of Modern History at the University of Konstanz).
Wolfgang Reinhard is Professor Emeritus of Modern History at the University of Freiburg. He was NIAS' Guest of the Rector in 2014, where he worked on the editing of this volume. "Thanks to NIAS I was able to complete the work I initially planned to do. As the editor of volume 3 Empires and Encounters 1350-1750 of the History of the World, I wrote a draft version of my own contribution to volume 3 on "Europe and the Atlantic World 1350-1750".
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