The history of empires created by inner Asian peoples bears direct relevance to the
conceptualization of world history down to the early modern period, as their impact on
surrounding civilizations resulted in long-lasting demographic, economic, and political
changes. This essay explores the basic mechanisms of state formation in inner Asia
and presents an argument for the periodization of inner Asian history based on the
incremental ability of inner Asian empires to extract from outside sources the wealth
necessary for the maintenance of political and military state apparatus. On this basis, the
essay proposes a four-phase periodization, including ages of tribute empires (209 B.C.-
A.D. 551), trade-tribute empires (551Ð907), dual-administration empires (907Ð1259),
and direct-taxation empires (1260Ð1796).
This essay points to residential location as an important source of group interest, alongside
the more familiar factors of race, class, and gender. This group interest is especially
strong among people living in or dependent upon a particular city. This phenomenon
is illustrated here through a variant of central-place theory applied to the history of
South Africa and the Argentine pampa from the mid-eighteenth to the late nineteenth
century, with particular attention to the play of rivalries between cities and conflict
between cities and their hinterlands.
Gobineau, Arthur, comte de, 1816-1882 -- Views on China.
China -- Foreign public opinion.
Racism -- History -- 19th century.
Histories of racist thought tend to give only incidental treatment to the depiction of
China in modern race theory. Meanwhile, scholarship on Western views of China frequently
alludes to anti-Chinese racism but rarely analyzes high-brow race theory. This
article aims to contribute to the understanding of both racist thought and Western views of China by examining the notions about China elaborated by Arthur de Gobineau,
one of the leading race theorists of the nineteenth century. Gobineau's depiction of
China is subjected to a close reading within the framework of his vision of world history,
followed by consideration of the reception of his racial ideas and their possible
political influence. The discussion highlights the compatibility of racist thought with
antiprogressivism and antimodernism.
Europe -- Territorial expansion -- Historiography.
Military art and science -- History.
Imperialism -- History.
The military superiority thesis contends that the key to the ascendancy of western
Europe as the world's predominant region was its edge in military technology. Thanks
to intensive regional warfare and a series of military revolutions, military superiority
enabled Europeans to subordinate the rest of the world between 1500 and 1900. At
best, this interpretation gives too much explanatory weight to military technology.
Other factors that were equally if not more important were the variable vulnerabilities
of Afro-Eurasian and American targets of expansion, the need for and availability of
allies, and the evolution of a global political economy in ways that favored increasing
European predominance. As explored in five cases, ranging from Mexico and Peru to
southeast Asia in the fifteenth through eighteenth centuries, none of these factors
worked entirely independently of the others. Rather, they interacted to promote the
ascendancy of some Europeans for a period of time. Military superiority, and especially
naval superiority, may have been most important for facilitating first the arrival and
then the survival of Portuguese, Dutch, and English forces along the maritime fringe of
In the context of military technological developments in eastern Europe, the notion
of an Ottoman decline needs to be called into question. In this essay Keith Krause's
model for the spread of military technology as a diffusion wave that settles into a
three-tiered hierarchy of military producers is used to measure the Ottomans' capabilities
in manufacturing their own weaponry and naval systems. When placed on this
scale, the Ottomans started out as a third-tier producer in the fifteenth century and
remained so throughout the period. Thus, the Ottomans did not decline on the military