Why Did Europe Conquer the World?

TitleWhy Did Europe Conquer the World?
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsHoffman, Philip T.
Number of Pages272
PublisherPrinceton University Press
CityPrinceton
Abstract

Between 1492 and 1914, Europeans conquered 84 percent of the globe. But why did Europe establish global dominance, when for centuries the Chinese, Japanese, Ottomans, and South Asians were far more advanced? In this book, the author demonstrates that conventional explanations--such as geography, disease epidemics, and the Industrial Revolution--fail to provide answers. Arguing instead for the pivotal role of economic and political history, the author shows that if certain variables had been different, Europe would have been eclipsed, and another power could have become master of the world. The author sheds light on the two millennia of economic, political, and historical changes that set European states on a distinctive path of development, military rivalry, and war. This resulted in astonishingly rapid growth in Europe's military sector, and produced an insurmountable lead in gunpowder technology. The consequences determined which states established colonial empires or ran the slave trade, and even which economies were the first to industrialize. Debunking traditional arguments, this volume reveals the startling reasons behind Europe's historic global supremacy.

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