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Making the world easier to understand - 4 perpetual centers of global influence

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In the 15th to 20th centuries, the Chinese, European, Islamic, and Russian empires ruled the world. They were engaged in a competition for global supremacy. Their successor states continue to exert influence on lands from their former empires. The competition for global supremacy continues with the same four centers of global power.

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Making the world easier to understand - 4 perpetual centers of global influence

  1. 1. Making world events easier to understand: View the world as having four centers of global power Kathleen Brush © 2019
  2. 2. A competition for global supremacy (1452-1991) • Four primary competitors • Chinese empires • European empires • Islamic empires • Russian empires © 2019
  3. 3. Leading competitors change over time • 15th century • Islamic/Muslim and Chinese empires are on top • Chinese rule eastern Asia, Muslims rule Middle East and North Africa • European empires waking from Middle Ages torpor • Increasing power of Islamic empires was a grand motivator • The Age of Discovery turned European powers into builders of overseas empires spanning Americas, Africa, and Asia • The Russian Empire didn’t exist © 2019
  4. 4. Leading competitors change over time • 16th century • Chinese empire changes hands from Ming to Qing dynasties. • Spanish and Portuguese empires are building vast global empires in the Old and New Worlds. Center of power is Latin America. • The Austrian Habsburgs are expanding an empire in Europe • Sunni Islamic empires continue expanding. • The Balkan Peninsula in Central Europe is conquered • Expansion reaches Central and South Asia • First Shia empire expanding in competition with Sunni empire • Tsardom Russia is founded – expansion in eastern Europe © 2019
  5. 5. Leading competitors change over time • In the 17th century • The Chinese empire remains isolated and expanding • Many European empires are building colonies in the New World Americas • Empires in Europe are gaining strength • Islamic power reaches an apex • Sunni and Shia empires mired in conflict • Tsardom Russia is aggressively expanding in central and eastern Europe © 2019
  6. 6. Leading competitors change over time • The 18th century • The Chinese empire is holding steady • European empires have colonized the three New World continents: Australia, North America, South America • The British lose The Thirteen Colonies (now the United States) • Shiite and Sunni empires continue wars • The new Russian Empire is making up for lost time • Focuses on military strength • Targets lands of the Sunni and Shiite empires in Central Asia © 2019
  7. 7. Leading competitors change over time • The 19th century • The Chinese empire is no longer isolated • Foreigners are operating in China • Japan is building an empire on China’s turf • First French Empire (Napoleonic Empire) is disbanded • France begins expanding a new empire in Africa and Southeast Asia • British Empire is world’s largest empire • Expansion into Southeast Asia • First German Empire expands into Africa • Islamic empires lose South Asia to British Empire • Wars between Sunni and Shia empires subside. Contraction continues from Russian conquests. • Russian Empire is ascendant • Facilitates freeing Balkan Peninsula from Muslim rule • Expansion strategy rethink after loss in Crimean War © 2019
  8. 8. Leading competitors change over time • Between 1900 and 1920 • Chinese Revolution dissolves empire • Russian Revolution dissolves empire • WWI (1914-1919) • Losing empires must disband • What’s left of Habsburg Empire dissolves • Independent nations are formed • First German Empire dissolves • World’s most powerful Islamic empire, Ottoman /Turkish Empire dissolves • People and lands are set on course for independence with French and British oversight • Europe’s British, French and Italian empires are victorious, but expansion is limited • United States participates in WWI under conditions that change the rules of competition related to spoils of war. • Empires and aspiring empires resent the changes © 2019
  9. 9. Leading competitors change over time • 1921-1938 • Republic of China is under attack by expanding Japanese Empire • Third Reich/German Empire II is ascending • Italian Empire is ascending • British Empire remains world’s largest • There are no Islamic competitors for global supremacy • The Soviet Union (new Russian empire) is expanding into lands previously held by Russian Empire © 2019
  10. 10. Leading competitors change over time • 1939-1945 – WWII • German, Italian and Japanese empires expand • Former Ottoman lands are gaining independence • 1945 • Losing empires disband • German Empire disbands • Italian Empire disbands • Japanese Empire disbands • All other empires agree to disband per UN Charter • Per UN Charter all people are to be given an opportunity to live in sovereign nations © 2019
  11. 11. Competition is over - United Nations • United Nations is formed • Oversees transition from empires to sovereign independent nations • Responsible for keeping the peace • Responsible for overseeing fundamental freedoms for all • Primary Allied Power nations become UN superpowers that can veto UN resolutions needed for UN to meet responsibilities • Veto wielding members include: China,* France,** UK, USA, Soviet Union. UN superpowers have advantages in new world order. • No Muslim nations are permanent SC members. None were primary Allied powers. *Until 1971 China’s Security Council seat was held by Taiwan ** France was not a primary WWII Allied Power © 2019
  12. 12. Competition is not over • Portuguese and French work around UN Charter, deny independence to colonies. Many colonies go to war for independence. • China works around Charter and expands territory into areas once ruled by Chinese Empire. • Soviet Union works around Charter and expands territory into former Russian Empire lands and beyond. • British Empire disbands per Charter nearly doubling the number of nation states in the world © 2019
  13. 13. Cold War (1947-1991)-the competition is not over • The ideals of UN are buried by a new competition for global supremacy • The Soviet Union’s objective is a global communist empire • China and Soviet Union sign military pact (1945) – They are the two leaders of 2nd World nations committed to global communism • Sino-Soviet split 1960 • The United States becomes leader of the 1st world committed to preventing the expansion of communism and building a sphere of influence • Former British colony, the United States replaces Europe’s empires as most powerful western nation. Western nation are aligned in the 1st World. • US and Europe (and Turkey) form military alliance - NATO © 2019
  14. 14. Cold War (1947-1991) – The competition is not over (continued) • Oil production and demand drives rapid economic and military expansion in many Muslim economies in Middle East • 1979 – Shia Iran targets leading a global Islamic empire/community • Sunni Saudi Arabia is presently de facto leader of Islam • Iran – Saudi proxy wars begin • Both nations provide financial support to Islamic militants • 1982 - China incorporates some capitalism into communist system to invigorate economy • Many nations that want to be independent and choose a government are embroiled in Cold War proxy wars • 20 million die in Cold War-related conflicts • Many new countries have modern military weapons • Over 100 nations become independent during Cold War period • Cold War politics and conflicts creates many distractions for nation building. Many new nations don’t progress at all. © 2019
  15. 15. Cold war ends – Is the competition over? • Soviet Union disbands – ends communism 29 new non-communist nations • European Union is formed in 1993 • USA lone economic and military superpower • China joins World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, retains communism. Economy explodes. • Last Cold War conflict (Soviet-Afghan War) fuels capabilities of Islamic militant organizations • Some Muslim leaders see opportunity to regain power in aftermath of Cold War © 2019
  16. 16. The competition is not over 1991-present • Economically and now militarily powerful China reasserting a position of global dominance in eastern Asia and beyond • China claiming control of areas allegedly part of former Chinese Empire • Other nations in Eastern, Southeastern and South Asia expanding military • Russia revives from lost decade to reassert a position of dominance • Claims “protected” near abroad –former Soviet republics • Rising oil prices fuel economic and military expansion • Russia infringes on Ukrainian sovereignty to rule former Russian and Soviet land. • Former Soviet republics building military strength • Islamic fundamentalists make bid for recovering lands once ruled by Islamic empires • Shia Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia continue proxy wars for domination of Islam • Military strength expanding in many countries in Middle East and North Africa • EU expands membership to include former Soviet satellites in central Europe and Baltics. NATO members are also increased. EU expands global trading relationships. • US remains top economic and military power. Continues controversial role as global cop. © 2019
  17. 17. • Want to learn more about making the world easier to understand? • See articles and other posts at www.kathleenbrush.com and LinkedIn profile for Kathleen Brush. • Buy A Brief History of International Relations: the World Made Easy https://www.amazon.com/Brief-History- International-Relations-World- ebook/dp/B0816YM7TX/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=w orld+made+easy+kathleen+brush&qid=15752504 04&sr=8-1 © 2019

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