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America, Second discovery of

(2,779 words)

Author(s): König, Hans-Joachim | Rinke, Stefan
1. Introduction In the age of American liberation movements (e.g. the American Revolution) at the transition from the 18th to the 19th century, vast territories in both Northern and Southern America underwent a first systematic exploration, celebrated as America’s “new” or “second discovery” already by contemporaries. The exploits of America’s “second” discovery, comparable in significance to the explorations of James Cook (Voyages of discovery), are closely connected with Alexander von…
Date: 2019-10-14

Atlantic world

(11,958 words)

Author(s): Bley, Helmut | König, Hans-Joachim
1. Atlantic expansion and its impact on the European states 1.1. Discovery of America, prior history and consequencesThe voyage of discovery of Christopher Columbus, who on 12 October 1492, while searching for a westerly route across the “Ocean Sea” to India, became the first European to sight islands on the western edge of the Atlantic Ocean, heralded a new phase of history, both for Europe and for the continent hitherto unknown to Europeans: a phase of global interaction. From now on, the history of the two si…
Date: 2019-10-14

America, Discovery of

(2,738 words)

Author(s): König, Hans-Joachim
1. Introduction The voyages of discovery, sponsored by the Spanish kings from the late 15th century, which took seafarers to the parts of the world that came to be named America or the New World were originally not intended to discover new countries. The original aim was to win the race to India against the Portuguese, who had chosen the southward route around Africa. The Spanish plan was to take the supposedly shorter direct path across the Atlantic and then to find a navigable passage to India a…
Date: 2019-10-14

Bourbon reforms

(3,143 words)

Author(s): König, Hans-Joachim
1. Definition The term Bourbon reforms denotes the reform undertaken in Spain by which the Bourbon dynasty in the 18th century reshaped the structures it had inherited from its Habsburg predecessor in the fields of trade, economy, political, government, and the military.Hans-Joachim König 2. Historical context After the decline of the Spanish Empire under the last Habsburg king, Charles II (d. 1700), a process that reached its nadir with the Spanish War of Succession (1701-1713/14), the new Bourbon Dynasty began, hesitantly at first under …
Date: 2019-10-14

National myth

(5,678 words)

Author(s): Hirschi, Caspar | König, Hans-Joachim | Rinke, Stefan
1. Concept and introductionAny narrative giving an account of factual or fictional events as a contribution to the construction and cohesion of a nation may be called a national myth. Every ruling organization produces “consolidated histories” (“fundierende Geschichten”) [13. 52] attesting to its heroic origins and a past marked by tough challenges successfully passed, and prophesying a great future. In this way, power structures acquire the appearance of a higher necessity, and rulers and ruled become integrated into a unique and…
Date: 2020-04-06

Knowledge, global exchange of

(10,574 words)

Author(s): Nagel, Jürgen G. | Nolte, Hans-Heinrich | König, Hans-Joachim | Harries, Patrick
1. Introduction 1.1. Concept The global exchange of knowledge is a diffuse concept that first and foremost depends on what is meant by knowledge. Exchange relations can affect very different spheres, from scientific knowledge of high specialization to the practical everyday knowledge of a broad population. Global exchange of knowledge thus includes several complexes of exchange and transfer, including technology transfer and industrial espionage, which cannot always be clearly distinguish…
Date: 2019-10-14

Civilization process

(2,439 words)

Author(s): Schäbler, Birgit | König, Hans-Joachim
1. Concept While in the German language there is a verbal noun Zivilisierung in addition to the term  Zivilisation (Civilization), other languages comprise only the latter term (e.g. Engl. civilis/zation, French civilisation). The program of civilization stands for the evolution of “barbaric” or “savage” societies, progressing to a condition of a more advanced “civilized quality”, especially in a world history of successive civilizations; it also refers to the result of this development in the sense of culture, humanity, Bildung, urbanity and so on. Zivilisierung, on the other…
Date: 2019-10-14


(3,263 words)

Author(s): König, Hans-Joachim | Fassbender, Bardo
1. Forcible territorial acquisition Conquest (French  conquête, German  Eroberung), in international law and general usage alike, denotes the forcible acquisition of territory from another state by warlike means [7]. The forcible acquisition of territory by organized communities is one of the most constant and frequent phenomena of history, not only in Europe, but also on other continents. Voluntary transfers of territory were the exception rather than the rule. Conquests of enemy territory accompanied and followed wars throughout early modern history [5. 49–72] (Example…
Date: 2019-10-14

Newe Zeitung

(2,101 words)

Author(s): Münch, Roger | König, Hans-Joachim
1. Definition and state of researchIn discussing the  Newe Zeitungen – print media that emerged around 1480 in German-speaking Europe – we must distinguish between the contemporary generic term and the use of the phrase as a title. The former refers to non-periodic news sheets of the 16th and 17th centuries, which appeared with news of specific events. The noun Zeitung (“Newspaper”) was already in use in the sense of news or tidings;  Newe Zeitung thus means “new news” or “new tidings.” In generic usage, it is not absolutely necessary for the title to contain th…
Date: 2020-04-06

Latin American wars of independence

(3,203 words)

Author(s): König, Hans-Joachim
1. IntroductionThe Latin American Wars of Independence (1808/10-1826/30) belong to the context of the revolutions and liberation movements of the 18th and 19th centuries [17]. They grew out of an interaction between the growing alienation of members of colonial elites born in the Americas - American Spanish and American Portuguese (the so-called Creoles) - from their ancestral European countries, the development of a patriotism focused on the local region in the colonies rather than on the distant “homeland,” and …
Date: 2019-10-14

Occident (Abendland)

(2,518 words)

Author(s): König, Hans-Joachim | Repgen, Konrad
1. ConceptLike “Orient” (cf. Orientalism), the term “Occident” shifted in meaning in the course of early modern global cultural contact and encounters between the so-called Christian West and Islam, and of European expansionism and colonialism, from a geographical term without political freight to a value category of cultural politics. Derived from the Latin  occidens [ sol] (“setting [sun]”), it originally denoted the evening and those regions lying towards evening, that is in the west or a westerly direction, in accordance with the Roman co…
Date: 2020-04-06


(9,984 words)

Author(s): Bley, Helmut | Faroqhi, Suraiya | Nolte, Hans-Heinrich | König, Hans-Joachim | Rinke, Stefan
1. Introduction 1.1. European expansion in the context of world historyEuropean expansion from the mid-16th century is rightly regarded as a key event of world history in the early modern period and of epoch-making significance. It is of relevance to Europe itself, doing much to shape its power structures, economy, politics and world view. The explorations that began along the west coast of Africa, then proceeded with the discovery of the New World and the ensuing occupation of important trading posts in …
Date: 2019-10-14


(850 words)

Author(s): König, Hans-Joachim
1. Concept Decolonization in general denotes the withdrawal of colonial powers from territories in which they formerly ruled over an indigenous population. From the perspective of the colonial powers, this is a process of dissolution in the sense of a setting free; from that of the colonized peoples, it is a process of release from the colonal power with the aim of liberation and state sovereignty. Decolonization thus also refers to the end of the European colonial empires that had beco…
Date: 2019-10-14

Global interaction

(4,508 words)

Author(s): Bley, Helmut | König, Hans-Joachim
1. Introduction and concept The history of the early modern period is the history of the first modern global society. It is still commonplace to interpret it as a period of untrammeled European expansionism. This, however, is uncritically to project the ascendancy of the highly industrialized states of Europe and the United States back into earlier periods, ignoring the fact that this ascendancy only came about in the late 19th century (Industrialization). Through haste and generalization, the slave…
Date: 2019-10-14


(5,266 words)

Author(s): König, Hans-Joachim | Stuckrad, Kocku von | Kepetzis, Ekaterini | Greilich, Susanne
1. Theory 1.1. IntroductionStarting with the 1978 study by the Palestinian-American literary scientist Edward Said [27] and its rapid reception in the early 1980s, the term “Orientalism” has become nothing short of a vogue expression, at the core of a frequent approach to research. Since this time, the term has remained as ambiguous as it has always been in the history of its European usage, from its first appearances in dictionaries (French  orientalism [3]; [6]) at the turn of the 19th century. It carries many connotations today, from the perception of the Orie…
Date: 2020-10-06


(953 words)

Author(s): König, Hans-Joachim
1. Geographical rootsThe Spanish and Portuguese used the term “Indio” to refer to the indigenous peoples of Central and South America. Columbus’s expedition was in search of India, and since he believed that Watling Island, which he reached on October 12, 1492, was actually an offshore island of India in Asia, he called the population encountered there “Indios.” With his famous letter of February 1493 [2. 140]; [9], the term took hold in the Spanish kingdoms. The Spanish continued to refer to the newly discovered regions (America, Discovery of) in general as  Las Indias (“The Indias”)…
Date: 2019-10-14

Columbian Exchange

(1,186 words)

Author(s): König, Hans-Joachim
1. DefinitionThe term Columbian Exchange describes the process of interaction between Europe and the Americas that took place following the voyages of discovery of Christopher Columbus (1492), the extent of which went unnoticed by contemporaries. In 1972, the American historian Alfred W. Crosby Jr. showed that Columbus' expeditions to the New World had just as profound an impact in biological as in cultural respects, if not greater [2]; cf. [1].Since then, the expression Columbian Exchange has been used to describe the enormous and diverse exchange between…
Date: 2019-10-14

American indigenous peoples, policy towards

(3,703 words)

Author(s): König, Hans-Joachim | Keil, Hartmut
1. Introduction During their expansion drive (Expansionism) into the New World the Europeans did not discover an uninhabited continent. They came across unknown civilizations which seemed to be different not only from those of any peoples then known, but were also socially, culturally and linguistically divergent among themselves and were located in regions that were characterized by varying climates as well as geographical features (American peoples, indigenous).To the Europeans all of them appeared to be equally alien, weird, even barbaric (Barbarian). The t…
Date: 2019-10-14


(8,686 words)

Author(s): Bley, Helmut | König, Hans-Joachim | Ahuja, Ravi | Nolte, Hans-Heinrich
1. Introduction 1.1. Early modern and modern colonialismAnalysing early modern colonialism within the context of European expansionism is of necessity an attempt to highlight the differences between early modern colonialism and its successors of the late nineteenth and early 20th centuries. As a rule the term colonialism tends to be more widely associated with its varieties of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.This kind of colonialism, especially its late 19th and early 20th century brands, differed from the early modern type as a result of the increa…
Date: 2019-10-14

Haitian Revolution

(2,047 words)

Author(s): König, Hans-Joachim
1. Definition The term Haitian Revolution refers to the 1791 slave revolt in the French colony of Saint-Domingue and the events that followed it (Slavery). After the American Revolution of 1776, it was the second such uprising in the New World, and its outcome, in 1804, was the foundation of the first independent modern state in Latin America [6]. The constitution of this state, called Haiti, by former slaves had a fateful impact on the direction of the Latin American wars of independence.Hans-Joachim König 2. Racial conflicts Ever since the Treaty of Rijswijk (1697), whic…
Date: 2019-10-14
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