World Civilization between 1600 and 1950

World civilization is a term that has been used broadly to evaluate and assess the growth of the earliest beginning to the current state. The first recorded civilization in the world was in Mesopotamia in the 4th millennium BC. It is the first known and sophisticated civilization that was first to develop city-states (Berger 66). In these cities, the first known that any forms of writing or the cuneiform scripts emerged at around 3000 BCE. Since then, many civilizations have risen and fallen with the early six greatest civilizations being Mesopotamia, Indus Valley in present-day India, Andean Civilization of South America where the Inca people emerged and flourished, Egyptian Civilization in modern-day Egypt where a sophisticated social, economic, and political civilization emerged and thrived for hundreds of years, the Mesoamerica, and Huang Ho river region in present-day China (Scarre).

            The civilizations are believed to have arisen independently and controlled different trade routes, had different social and religious beliefs, and some of the landmarks associated with these civilizations are still present, depicting a complex and integrated culture of the past. Civilizations are further defined using social, political, and economic characteristics, which include domestication, centralization, and culturally ingrained progress ideologies, monumental architecture, among other ideologies (Scarre). The essay will be discussing several factors that are associated with world civilization between 1600 and 1950, which affected the civilizations and any other aspect that can be attributed to it between the times.  

World Civilization between 1600 and 1700

            The period is synonymous with the 17th century and has been known as one of the most intriguing moments in the history of civilization. There were so many things that were happening in the century, and a lot has been recorded. In 1601 the Dutch defeated Portuguese to have control of the Spice archipelago or the Indonesian islands. It was also during this period that the Dutch government gave East India Company the monopoly to lead trade all over Asia (McCloskey, Pg. 63). Notably, during this time, from 1500-1800, the rise of the western empire dominated the records. This was the rise of Western Europe, which had previously suffered invasions from Africa, non-parts of Western Europe, and Asia. By this time, the western took advantage of its newly developed technologies and sailed to new areas.

            The Americas were deeply affected by the invasion of the Europeans due to conquests, the introduction of new technologies, and also the introduction of rare sicknesses in their lives. By1605, the British army helped the Iranian military in defeating the Ottomans army, which was very significant. At this time, most of the established countries and civilizations were fighting over the control of the Americas and Asia. This was intense, and many European powers were in an ever raging war that would change the history of the world forever. For example, the Dutch finished their domination of the Indian ocean and controlled most of the trade routes in the region and were now established a strong outpost in the western coast of the country (Irving-Stonebraker). In 1610, Henry, the fourth of France, who was a very progressive king and also religious tolerant, was assassinated by Francois Ravaillac, who was highly unreligious and too unbalanced. Ravaillac was arrested and questioned on why he planned the killing of Henry but was highly unstable. He believed that his hallucinations were religious beliefs that directed him to assassinate the King in the streets of Paris.

            During this time, many scientists around the globe and particularly in Europe, and they had increased the space observations and come up with the theories surrounding the space. For example, in 1611, Galileo had tried to prove that the earth revolved the sun and not the vice versa as it was believed, but his claims were rebuffed. In terms of Indian Ocean dominance, Britain had reduced the influence Portugal had on the ocean by 1612 through fighting and winning the naval war at Surat India (Irving-Stonebraker). The Dutch arrived at the island of Timur, which had been claimed by Portugal and further reduced the influence Portugal had. At around that time, the first time barrel of cured tobacco had been brought in England from a colony in Virginia. Shakespeare died in 1616, and so did Tokugawa Ieyasu, the primary founder, and leader of Tokugawa Shogunate of Japan.

            Due to the increased shipment of cured tobacco from Virginia to England, most of the English citizens had become typical smokers, which the then king, King James, described as loathsome and harmful to the brain and also dangerous to the lungs of the smokers. At the start of 1619, the African slave trade had started, and many Africans were being transported to replace other Africans who had died in West Indies since the sugar industry was killing them fast that they were being replaced through procreation. In 1659, the Khoikhoi of South Africa defended themselves against the Dutch, who had attempted to grab their grazing lands. In conclusion, the 17th-century civilizations were outdoing each other in a number of ways, with the colonization of new properties and technology being some of the main areas they were focusing on.


World Civilization between 1700 and 1800

            During the 18th century, the world experienced tremendous changes that shaped the world forever. Many people, particularly in Western Europe, experienced what is known as the industrial revolution during this period that developed the way people did business and also produced goods and services. There were seven years of intense war between Britain and other countries where together with Prussia, Britain won the war against France, Russia, Spain, and Austria. France lost the battle and all it’s North American colonies, whereas Spain gave out Florida in exchange for Cuba by the British. 

            During this period, Samuel Johnson established the first US postal services in 1755 that continued to serve postal services across different areas in the country. It was during this era that there was the declaration of US independence and was approved in July 4th, 1776. The continental congress that made the announcement was made up of members from different American colonies who sought for self-governance. Before independence, the American Revolution started in concord and Lexington, Massachusetts, the revolution which brought the onset of revolution in the country. During this time, the European countries were struggling to establish dominance in the new world, dominated by countries like England, that boosted for highly skilled human resources and technology that was beyond other countries at the time. This ensured that they were able to sail for long distances with large fleets, which made them outdo many of their competitors. 

            Possibly, the industrial revolution is what marked this period of human civilization more. Industrial revolution or the first industrial revolution was the transition from primitive farming and agricultural-based production to new manufacturing processes in England and also in the United States. The period lasted between 1760 to around 1820 to 1840 (Eissa). The production moved from small shops to large factories where the shift brought about people moving away from rural areas to large cities so that they can work in factories. The revolution brought about new ideologies to do work, new modes of transportation, and a very different way of living among the people. Many of the first innovations that brought about the change happened in Great Britain and were in the textile industry. The changes were aided by the fact that Britain had a lot of coal, which enabled them to power machines and other automobiles in the country.

The first revolution happened and stayed for around 100 years between the late 1700 to mid-1800s. This was characterized by a change in the textile industry and also the moving of production from home and small scale to large factories. During the period, steam-powered engines and cotton gin were an integral part of the change that ensured the process was a success. In the USA, the change occurred mainly in the New England and northeast regions and brought about numerous cultural differences. Cities grew large and were un-sanitized were many poor workers lived in slums and congested areas. The transport system changed, and people stopped moving by horses and boats and started utilizing large steam engines, rails, steamboats, and automobiles, mainly in the second revolution (Reid). The negative part of the revolution was the poor working conditions in these factories, where few laws protected workers in the factories. Child labor was a common practice, and people had to work for long in order to achieve daily wages (Eissa).

World Civilization between 1800 and 1900

            The era is also called the 19th century and started and is highly characterized by increased human exploration to the new world and even to Africa. There was a lot of social changes all over the globe with the slave trade and slavery in the United States and other countries being abolished, the first and also the second industrial revolutions that overlapped from the 18th to the 20th century leading to a massive change of the production process, voyaging, and even livelihood. The European powers brought about much control in many African, Asian, and South Asian states into an era of colonialism. Some of the renowned empires of the period include the Roman, the Spanish, Zulu of South Africa, First French, and Mughal empires that changed the way civilization did things.

            Through these empires, more durable and highly advanced empires came into life. They included the German empire that replaced what was of Holy Roman Empire, the British empire that established colonial rule across much of continental Africa and other Asian countries, The Russian empire that saw much of the central and other countries in Asia fall under its jurisdiction, and the United States Empire where more states continued to join the alliance, forming a more robust nation that we know today (Jiang, Pg. 2323). When the French empire was defeated during the Napoleonic wars, both British and Russian empires became highly unchallenged and established dominance over other countries at that time. For example, the Russian powers and empire expanded to other areas of southern Asia and the Caucasus.

            Many of the French allies that remained in the subcontinent of India, including much of Mysore kingdom and Nawabs of Bengal and others suffered a massive loss, and although their rebellion against British India Company led to the demolition of the company in the country, India was directly ruled by the British, through the British crown by establishing what was known as British Raj. During the first half of the 19th century, the British Empire increased, establishing new dominance in countries like Canada, Australia, the densely populated India, and also in the continent of Africa, which was highly unexplored at that time. Interestingly, the British Empire had established control over a fifth of the world land area and around one-quarter of the world’s population, making it one of the largest empires to ever rise in the planet.

            In terms of development and advancement in medicine, the era saw massive changes that continue to impact our lives today. Science was born as a profession, and the term scientist was adapted in 1833 by a scholar by the name William Whewell, replacing the term philosopher. Other influential ideas were those of Charles Darwin, the origin of humankind, which introduced the concept of natural selection through evolution. There was a lot of invention of different things ranging from science to astronomy and beyond. For example, aspirin was patented in the year 1889 and revolutionized the area of medicine. Louis Pasteur might be the most renowned scientist of the era due to his creation vaccine ever known to man when he came up with a vaccine against rabies (Rappuoli, Pg 8) He isolated it from a young boy that had disease through multiple bites from a rabid dog. Finally, the 19th century witnessed much of the changes that shaped world civilization and history forever. These changes and inventions have continued to influence how humans have continued to survive in the planet to date. 

World Civilization between 1900 and 1950

            During the first half of the 20th century, much of the changes that occurred marked significant political, social, and economic changes in the world. To put that into perspective, there were two world wars in the half-century, there was the cold war, the start of United States war, and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Particularly impressive is the fact that many nations in Africa were colonized by British powers who exploited their resources, used gun power and slaves to accomplish their missions, and also ensured that these African countries were submissive to the rules (Maxwell, Pg. 5). Most African countries formed rebellions against the European powers, which saw an end to the colonization of many nations before the half-century ended. However, two countries, Ethiopia and Liberia, did not experience colonization due to rebellion and the fact that the USA backed the latter due to the establishment of a free state by slaves who had decided to move back to Africa.

            Even though the half-century was filed with a lot of wars and crimes against humanity, a lot of innovation, particularly in Europe, also happened during this time. The era was ushered by the Wright brothers who innovated the first-ever airplane in the United States. The country also mesmerized the world through several intriguing innovations of the past century. During the world wars, the use of tanks as combat machinery was used for the first time, and the use of an atomic bomb in the second war, both innovated by the US, showed that the country was able to respond to urgent and also important military stimuli (Jiang). Although human civilization had continued to use different principles about electricity in the 19th century, much of the large scale production of power happened in the 20th century with the enormous expansion of electricity generation and also distribution.


            Humans have continued to live in the world from around 200,000 years ago, according to the first fossils of the anatomically modern human being found in Omo Valley, Ethiopia. From as early as 3000 BC, human civilizations had already started to establish dominance in the world, with much of the earliest civilizations changing the concept of both social and political advancement beyond simple living. Empires such as the Egyptians and the Inca established dominance in different continents, and their effects is still felt to date. From 1600 to 1950, or from the 17th to the mid-20th century, most changes in human civilization was diverse and along many fields and ranged from different aspects. Most empires were establishing dominance across a vast land and sea area, as witnessed by the British Empire, which established dominance in many parts of the world. The geopolitical aspect of the civilizations in between this period cannot be underestimated as this was one of the most diverse periods in world politics. The period also saw a massive boom in innovations from the world of medicine, engineering, manufacturing, and other essential fields with changes that have continued to shape our lives to date.


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