The Western Heritage: Since 1300 (10th Edition)

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9780205705177: The Western Heritage: Since 1300 (10th Edition)
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Written by leading scholars in the field, this authoritative text presents an engaging and balanced narrative of the central developments in Western history. Seamlessly integrating coverage of social, cultural, and political history, the presentation reflects a flexible chronological organization.


The Tenth Edition provides updated scholarship, expanded coverage of European imperialism prior to World War I, streamlined coverage of the period between the two World Wars, and a brand new feature—Compare & Connect—which presents students with two or more documents that reflect opposing viewpoints on a topic and engages them to become part of the historical discourse.

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From the Inside Flap:


As we enter the twenty-first century, the heritage of Western civilization is a major point of departure for understanding our own epoch. The unprecedented globalization of daily life has occurred in large measure through the spread of Western technological, economic, and political influences. From the sixteenth through the end of the twentieth century the West exerted vast influences throughout the globe for both good and ill, and the global citizens of this new century live in the wake of that impact. It is the goal of this book to introduce its readers to the Western heritage so that they may be better informed and more culturally sensitive citizens of the emerging global age.

Since The Western Heritage first appeared, we have sought to provide our readers with a work that does justice to the richness and variety of Western civilization. We hope that such an understanding of the West will foster lively debate on its character, values, institutions, and global influence. Indeed, we believe such a critical outlook on their own culture has characterized the peoples of the West since its earliest history. Through such debates we define ourselves and the values of our culture. Consequently, we welcome the debate and hope that The Western Heritage, seventh edition, can help to foster a genuinely informed discussion through its overview of Western civilization, its strengths, weaknesses, and the controversies surrounding it.

Human beings make, experience, and record their history. In this edition as in past editions, our goal has been to present Western civilization fairly, accurately, and in a way that does justice to that great variety of human enterprise. History has many facets, no one of which alone can account for the others. Any attempt to tell the story of the West from a single overarching perspective, no matter how timely, is bound to neglect or suppress some important part of that story. Like all authors, we have had to make selections for an introductory text, but we have attempted to provide the broadest possible coverage suitable to that task of introduction. To that end we hope that the vast array of documents included in this book will allow the widest possible spectrum of people over the course of the centuries to give personal voice to their experience and to allow our readers to enter into that experience.

We also believe that any book addressing the experience of the West must also look beyond its historical European borders. The students reading this book are drawn from a wide variety of cultures and experiences. They live in a world characterized by highly interconnected economies and instant communication between cultures. In this emerging multicultural society it seems both appropriate and necessary to recognize the ways in which Western civilization has throughout its history interacted with other cultures, influencing other societies and being influenced by them. Examples of this two-way interaction, such as that with Islam, appear throughout the text. To further highlight the theme of interaction, The Western Heritage includes a series of comparative essays, The West & the World. (For a fuller description, see below.) Goals of the Text

Our primary goal has been to present a strong, clear narrative account of the central developments in Western history. We have also sought to call attention to certain critical themes:

The capacity of Western civilization from the time of the Greeks to the present to generate transforming self-criticism. The development of political freedom, constitutional government, and concern for the rule of law and individual rights. The shifting relations among religion, society, and the state. The development of science and technology and their expanding impact on thought, social institutions, and everyday life. The major religious and intellectual currents that have shaped Western culture.

We believe that these themes have been fundamental in Western civilization, shaping the past and exerting a continuing influence on the present.

FLEXIBLE PRESENTATION The Western Heritage, seventh edition, is designed to accommodate a variety of approaches to a course in Western civilization, allowing teachers to stress what is most important to them. Some teachers will ask students to read all the chapters. Others will select among them to re-enforce assigned readings and lectures. We have reorganized and rewritten the last two chapters (30 and 31) to permit instructors to end their course by emphasizing either social or political factors in the twentieth-century experience.

INTEGRATED SOCIAL, CULTURAL, AND POLITICAL HISTORY The Western Heritage provides one of the richest accounts of the social history of the West available today, with strong coverage of family life, the changing roles of women, and the place of the family in relation to broader economic, political, and social developments. This coverage reflects the explosive growth in social historical research in the past quarter century, which has enriched virtually all areas of historical study. In this edition we have again expanded both the breadth and depth of our coverage of social history through revisions of existing chapters, the addition of major new material, and the inclusion of new documents.

While strongly believing in the study of the social experience of the West, we also share the conviction that internal and external political events have shaped the Western experience in fundamental and powerful ways. The experiences of Europeans in the twentieth century under fascism, national socialism, and communism demonstrate that influence, as has, more recently, the collapse of communism in the former Soviet Union and eastern Europe. We have also been told repeatedly by teachers that no matter what their own historical specialization, they believe that a political narrative gives students an effective tool to begin to organize their understanding of the past. Consequently, we have made every effort to integrate the political with the social, cultural, and intellectual.

No other survey text presents so full an account of the religious and intellectual development of the West. People may be political and social beings, but they are also reasoning and spiritual beings. What they think and believe are among the most important things we can know about them. Their ideas about God, society, law, gender, human nature, and the physical world have changed over the centuries and continue to change. We cannot fully grasp our own approach to the world without understanding the intellectual currents of the past and their influence on our thoughts and conceptual categories.

CLARITY AND ACCESSIBILITY Good narrative history requires clear, vigorous prose. As in earlier editions, we have paid careful attention to the quality of our writing, subjecting every paragraph to critical scrutiny. Our goal was to make our presentation fully accessible to students without compromising vocabulary or conceptual level. We hope this effort will benefit both teachers and students.

Changes in the
Seventh Edition

INTRODUCING ART & THE WEST A beautiful and important new feature enhances students' understanding of the artistic heritage of the West. In every chapter we highlight a work of art or architecture and discuss how the work illuminates and reflects the period in which it was created. In Chapter 5, for example, a portrait of a young woman on the wall of a house in Pompeii and the accompanying essay provide a glimpse into the life of well-to-do young women in the Roman Empire (p. 161). In Chapter 7, two views of Salisbury Cathedral illustrate an essay on Gothic architecture (p. 248). In Chapter 16, two paintings tell contrasting stories about domestic life in eighteenth-century France (p. 526), and in Part 4, works by Turner, Manet, and Seurat illustrate both the power of the new industrialism and its effects on European social life. Part 5 includes discussions of paintings by Grosz, Magritte, and Picasso. In Chapter 30, Bread, painted by the Soviet realist Tatjiana Yablonskaya, and Jackson Pollock's One (Number 31, 1950), offer starkly contrasting views of twentieth-century culture (p. 1040). (See p. xxiv for a complete list of Art & The West essays.)

THE WEST & THE WORLD In this feature, we focus on six subjects, comparing Western institutions with those of other parts of the world, or discussing the ways in which developments in the West have influenced cultures in other areas of the globe. In the seventh edition, the essays are:

Part 1: Ancient Warfare (new) (p. 186) Part 2: The Invention of Printing in China and Europe (new) (p. 284) Part 3: The Columbian Exchange (new) (p. 582) Part 4: The Abolition of Slavery in the Transatlantic Economy (p. 736) Part 5: Imperialism: Ancient and Modern (p. 928) Part 6: Energy and the Modern World (new) (p. 1116)

RECENT SCHOLARSHIP As in previous editions, changes in this edition reflect our determination to incorporate the most recent developments in historical scholarship and the concerns of professional historians. Of particular interest are expanded discussions of:

Women in the history of the West. Adding to our longstanding commitment to the inclusion of the experience of women in Western civilization, this edition presents new scholarship on women in the ancient world and the Middle Ages, women and the scientific revolution, and women under the authoritarian governments of the twentieth century. (See, especially, chapters 3, 4, 5, 7, 14, 30. ) The Scientific Revolution. Chapter 14, which addresses the rise of the new science, has been wholly revised and rewritten to clarify the new scientific theory arising from the Copernican revolution, the new understanding of the Galileo case, the role of women in the new science, and the social institutions of the new science. The Dutch Golden Age. A new section in Chapter 15 discusses the United Netherlands during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Africa and the transatlantic economy. An extensive section in Chapter 17 explores the relationship of Africa to the transatlantic economy of the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries. We examine the role of African society and politics in the slave trade, the experience of Africans forcibly transported to the Americas, and the incorporation of elements of African culture into the New World. Jewish thinkers in the Enlightenment. A new section in Chapter 18 discusses the thought of Spinoza and Moses Mendelsohn as they relate to the role of Jewish religion and society in the wider European culture. The Holocaust. The discussion of the Holocaust has been significantly expanded in two ways. Chapter 29 provides more analysis of the causes of the Holocaust, and Chapter 30 includes an extensive new narrative of the particular case of the destruction of the Jews of Poland. Twentieth-century social history. The seventh edition of The Western Heritage presents the most extensive treatment of twentieth-century social history available in a survey text. We examine, in Chapter 30, the experiences of women under authoritarian governments, the collectivization of Soviet agriculture, the destruction of the Polish Jewish community, and European migration. The chapter concludes with a new section on the coming of the computer and the impact of new technology on European life. The history of the Cold War and Europe at the start of the twenty-first century. Chapter 31, on the Soviet-American rivalry and the collapse of communism, has been wholly rewritten and includes the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. Instructors may close their course with either of the twentieth-century chapters, depending on the issues they wish to emphasize. Chapter-by-Chapter Revisions

Chapter 1 The treatment of the origins of humankind has been completely rewritten to reflect the newest scholarship.

Chapters 3, 4, 5 contain new sections on Women in Homeric Society; Aspasia, Pericles' Common-law Wife; Greek Slavery; Women in Early Rome; Women of the Upper Classes in later Roman history.

Chapter 9 contains a discussion of medieval Russia.

Chapter 12 includes a shorter, rewritten discussion of The Thirty Years' War.

Chapter 14 has a wholly rewritten discussion of the Scientific Revolution and of the impact of the Scientific Revolution on philosophy, new or extensively rewritten sections on women and early modern science, the new institutions associated with the emerging scientific knowledge, religious faith and the new science, with an expanded discussion of the Galileo case.

Chapter 15 contains an extensive new section on the Dutch Golden Age, including the impact of its overseas empire on its prosperity.

Chapter 16 has a new section on The Impact of the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions on Working Women.

Chapter 17 includes a much expanded and revised section on African Slavery, the experiences of Africans in the Americas, and the cultural institutions they brought with them.

Chapter 18 has a new section on Jewish Thinkers in the Age of Enlightenment with emphasis on Spinoza and Moses Mendelsohn.

Chapter 22 has a refocused discussion of Karl Marx's thought.

Chapter 25 expands the treatment of racial thinking and the non-Western world.

Chapter 28 includes a rewritten discussion of the Soviet Experience in the 1930s.

Chapter 29 expands the discussion of the Holocaust.

Chapter 30 is a largely new chapter on twentieth-century social history, with major new sections on state violence, women under authoritarian governments, the collectivization of Soviet agriculture, the destruction of the Polish Jews, and the impact of the computer.

Chapter 31 has been extensively rewritten and reorganized to reflect the latest scholarship on the Cold War through the collapse of communism. It ends with a discussion of Europe at the Opening of the Global Century.

The last two chapters are written so that instructors, though teaching both chapters, may choose to close their course with either, depending upon their personal emphasis. Those instructors wishing to emphasize social history might end the course with Chapter 30 and those wishing to emphasize political development and great power relations may choose to conclude with Chapter 31.

MAPS AND ILLUSTRATIONS To help students understand the relationship between geography and history, we have added relief features to approximately one-half of the maps. All 90 maps have been carefully edited for accuracy. The text also contains close to 500 color and black and white illustrations, many of them new to the seventh edition.

PEDAGOGICAL FEATURES This edition retains the pedagogical features of the last edition, including part-opening comparative timelines, a list of key topics at the beginning of each chapter, chapter review questions, and questions accompanying the more than 200 source documents in the text. Each of these features is designed to make the text more accessible to students and to reinforce key concepts.

Illustrated timelines open each of the six parts of the book summarizing, side-by-side, the major events in politics and government, society and economy, and religion and culture. Primary source documents, more than ...

From the Back Cover:

The site is a comprehensive resource that is organized according to the chapters within the text and features a variety of learning and teaching modules:


  • Study Guide Modules contain multiple choice and true/false quizzes, map exercises, and other features designed to help students with self-study.
  • Reference Modules contain Web Destinations and Net Search options that provide the opportunity to quickly reach information on the Web that relates to the content in the text.
  • Communication Modules include tools such as Live Chat and Message Boards to facilitate online collaboration and communication.
  • Personalization Modules include our enhanced Help feature that contains a text page for browsers and plug-ins.


  • The Syllabus Manager™ tool provides an easy-to-follow process for creating, posting, and revising a syllabus online that is accessible from any point within the Companion Website™.
  • A Faculty Module give faculty the ability to download art from the book for creating Powerpoint™ slides in addition to lecture notes and strategies for teaching Western Civilization.
  • The Companion Website™ makes integrating the Internet into your course exciting and easy. Join us online at the address above and enter a new world of teaching and learning.

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