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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


(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

Demographic Catastrophe

(1,068 words)

Author(s): Rinke, Stefan
1. DefinitionThe extent, rapidity, and duration of the collapse of the indigenous population in what was to Europeans the New World after 1492 easily eclipsed the catastrophic epidemics that afflicted medieval and early modern Europe. Historians therefore quickly began to speak of a Demographic Catastrophe, sometimes even of an “American Holocaust” [9] (Colonialism). The mass death comprises one of the darkest chapters in the history of the European discovery and conquest of the Americas. The Demographic Catastrophe was a key precondition…
Date: 2019-10-14


(1,354 words)

Author(s): Rinke, Stefan
1. Concept and ideological basisPan-Americanism was a precursor of the worldwide “pan” movements, which arose in the European context towards the end of the 19th century as highly aggressive variants of popular nationalism [3]. Like the later “pan” movements in Africa and Asia, Pan-Americanism was already characterized by an anticolonialist direction and a geographical conception that went beyond the confines of the nation-state [2]; [13] (on Eastern Europe cf. Pan-Slavism).The origins of Pan-Americanism lay in the discussions of the character of the Americas…
Date: 2020-10-06

Mexican-American War

(818 words)

Author(s): Rinke, Stefan
The war between Mexico and the United States that broke out in 1846 set the tone for international relations in the Americas. It was the first, and so far remains the only, formal war waged by the United States against a Latin American country. It was long assumed that the annexation of Texas (cf. Texan secession) was the key cause of the war. In fact, the underlying issue was the disputed western frontier of the new state of Texas, and thus the frontier between Mexico and the United States.The US President James K. Polk at first hoped to give the impression of settling the co…
Date: 2019-10-14

Cultural contact, global

(9,702 words)

Author(s): Rinke, Stefan | Falola, Toyin | Aderinto, Saheed | Reichmuth, Stefan | Liebau, Heike | Et al.
1. Introduction The term cultural contact was long taken to mean the meeting of different cultural units that was homogenous and static in themselves. Modern approaches to an understanding of the concept proceed on the basis of a different idea of culture, seeing it as a “self-woven web of meaning” [3. 9] in human consciousness, subject to perpetual change in dynamic processes of the construction of symbols. Interpretations are thus made both individually and collectively, and these give rise to meanings and identities. This interpretation br…
Date: 2019-10-14

Manifest Destiny

(1,176 words)

Author(s): Rinke, Stefan
1. ConceptThe complex of ideas associated with the concept of the Manifest Destiny of the United States is best described as the notion of its quasi-divine mission of territorial expansion (Expansionism) and of the history of the United States as the fulfillment of that mission.  John L. O'Sullivan, a New York journalist and politician of the Democratic Party, coined the phrase in an 1845 essay in the periodical he edited, the United States Magazine and Democratic Review: “our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development…
Date: 2019-10-14


(1,002 words)

Author(s): Rinke, Stefan
The term filibuster derives from the Dutch word  vrijbuiter (“privateer”), which became French  flibustier, Spanish  filibustero and German  filibuster. Initially, this was the name for a specific type of privateer in the Caribbean context, but the scope of the term changed and expanded in the course of the 19th century. (In a second sense, the English  to filibuster denotes the deliberate holding up of a ballot, especially in the US Senate, by means of an exaggeratedly long speech.)In the parlance of Spanish colonialism, filibuster was a pejorative term for those who f…
Date: 2019-10-14


(2,080 words)

Author(s): Rinke, Stefan
1. Concept and research historyEurocentrism, formerly Europocentrism, is a key concept in the world perception of the modern age and is a subject of intense discussion in recent historiography that is influenced by theories of postcolonialism. The issue is not merely a European variant of the ethnocentrism that is a constant in human history (Humankind), nor merely a particular, fundamental European attitude wedded to prejudices against outsiders (Foreignness). Rather, the concept concerns the categ…
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


(841 words)

Author(s): Rinke, Stefan
A reservation is a territory reserved for the settlement of an autochthonous population group. They are a product of early modern European conquest and expansionism outside the Old World.From the very beginning, the contact between Europeans and American indigenous peoples in the New World was largely adversarial and led to decimation of the indigenous population, culminating in a demographic catastrophe. From the perspective of the Europeans, this was problematic in light of the papal missionary task (Mission), which w…
Date: 2021-08-02

Jesuit State

(2,339 words)

Author(s): Rinke, Stefan
1. General observations The missionary drive was always central to justifications of the discovery and conquest of the New World (Mission). Around the middle of the 16th century, the Jesuits emerged as a new, dynamic element, making their mark not only on the religious life but also on the politics, economies, and culture especially of remote and unappealing borderlands (Frontier) for about two hundred years. In particular, in the 18th century, the province of Paraguay and the Guaraní mi…
Date: 2019-10-14

Forced labor

(1,126 words)

Author(s): Ehmer, Josef | Rinke, Stefan
1. Meaning of the term The term Zwangsarbeit (forced labor) first came into use in Germany around the middle of the 19th century and initially referred exclusively to a form of punishment in prisons or correctional facilities [1]; [3]. Subsequently it developed into todayʼs denotation, primarily in the context of state-organized punishment, exploitation, or annihilation in the 20th-century totalitarian systems. Modern coinages in German like Zwangsdienst (compulsory service),  Dienstzwang (forced service) or  Fron(-arbeit) (forced labor) came into use for the phe…
Date: 2019-10-14

Monroe Doctrine

(797 words)

Author(s): Rinke, Stefan
The Monroe Doctrine is the name given to the principles of foreign policy formulated by the United States President James Monroe on December 2, 1823, as part of his Annual Address to Congress. Monroe’s Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams, had a leading role in the conception of the document. The Monroe Doctrine mostly comprised US foreign policy aims that were not realistically achievable at the time Monroe gave the speech, but that would subsequently acquire great significance as guiding principles.The genesis of the Doctrine can only be understood in the context of …
Date: 2020-04-06

Settler colony

(6,012 words)

Author(s): Rüther, Kirsten | Rinke, Stefan | Stange, Marion | Wendt, Reinhard | Nolte, Hans-Heinrich
1. Introduction Colony (from the Latin  colere, “to cultivate”, “to till”) originally meant a human “plantation” or “offshoot” of the original society, and hence essentially a settlement. The word became more closely associated with foreign rule in the 19th century [5. 47 f.] (Colonialism). Since then, “settler colony” has become a sub-category of colony (alongside, for instance, “colony of control” and “trading colony” [8. 16–18]), particularly associated with aspects of inequality, difference, and gradients of authority. Until the 19th century and long…
Date: 2021-08-02


(7,623 words)

Author(s): Walter, Peter | Huber, Friedrich | Rinke, Stefan | Rüther, Kirsten
1. IntroductionMission (Neolatin  missio, “[act of sending]”; “dispatch”) denotes what was originally an exclusively Christian phenomenon: the active propagation of a religion, Christianity, by annunciation and sacramental incorporation into the church. A distinction is drawn between this “outer mission” ( missio externa) and the “inner mission” ( missio interna) that aims to recruit or recover to the faith people in already Christian countries.The literate religions that existed before and alongside Christianity did spread through migration, like Judaism…
Date: 2020-04-06

New World

(8,373 words)

Author(s): König, Hans-Joachim | Rinke, Stefan
1. IntroductionFrom the mid-16th century, the term “New World” denoted the Americas. This was not, however, the case from the outset, as the Portuguese and Spanish discovered new lands in the 15th century as they expanded into the Atlantic world, or when Columbus in 1492 added something completely new to European world perception by discovering America (America, discovery of).Even in Greco-Roman antiquity, authors like Strabo and Pomponius Mela used the expression “other/new world” (Greek  álle oikouméne; Latin  mundus/ orbis novus) for all newly-discovered regions of t…
Date: 2020-04-06

Historical traditions beyond Europe

(7,316 words)

Author(s): Rinke, Stefan | Mittag, Achim | Berkemer, Georg | Sievert, Henning | Nolte, Hans-Heinrich | Et al.
1. Introduction The understanding of history and the resultant historiography depend for the most part on a European self-image that was concerned to impose a certain interpretation and order on the past in accordance with European norms and categories (Eurocentrism).Outside Europe, however, such concerns had no part to play for much of the early modern period. Rather, many different views of history held sway, distinct not only from the European, but also from each other. Although European techniques and conventions were certainly a…
Date: 2019-10-14

Colonial wars

(5,028 words)

Author(s): Rüther, Kirsten | Rinke, Stefan | Ahuja, Ravi
1. Introduction Colonial wars belong to the context of European expansionism. They include a variety of typical manifestations of physical violence against those colonized and being colonized, which might serve to maintain authority or to establish colonial rule (Colonialism). Colonial wars are to be distinguished from forms of settler violence independent of state action. They become more clearly definable, however, in the 19th century. It was at this late date that they tended to purs…
Date: 2019-10-14

Literate cultures beyond Europe

(5,913 words)

Author(s): Bley, Helmut | Reichmuth, Stefan | Rinke, Stefan | Schmidt-Glintzer, Helwig | Frese, Heiko
1. IntroductionTo be considered first in this exploration of the non-European literate cultures are the various manuscript cultures that developed independent dynamics in many parts of Asia and Africa and among the indigenous cultures of Central and South America (American indigenous peoples; see below, 3.). Specific interrelations with oral forms of textual culture are evident here. Also important is the issue of the spread of printing with movable type, which reached other continents from Europ…
Date: 2019-10-14
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