Scholars such as Marshall G. S. Hodgson and William H. McNeill have long emphasized the importance of cross-cultural interactions throughout world history from ancient times to the present. Yet a persistent and widespread misconception holds that the peoples of the world began to interact intensively only after 1492. This misunderstanding reflects both "modernocentrism," an enchantment with the modern world that has hindered historians from recognizing the significance of cross-cultural interactions in earlier times, and the powerful influence of national states, which has discouraged historians from examining interactions between societies. Recent scholarship on commercial, biological, and cultural exchanges suggests, however, that during the millennium from 500 to 1500 C.E., cross-cultural interactions fostered the integration of societies throughout the Eastern Hemisphere.


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pp. 237-254
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