Introduction:: WORLD Background

Subscribe to my newsletter and never miss my upcoming articles

Globally, the 20th century was marked by: (a) two devastating world wars;

(b) the Great Depression of the 1930s;

(c) the end of vast colonial empires;

(d) rapid advances in science and technology, from the first airplane flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina (US) to the landing on the moon;

(e) the Cold War between the Western alliance and the Warsaw Pact nations;

(f) a sharp rise in living standards in North America, Europe, and Japan;

(g) increased concerns about environmental degradation including deforestation, energy and water shortages, declining biological diversity, and air pollution;

(h) the onset of the AIDS epidemic; and

(i) the ultimate emergence of the US as the only world superpower.

The planet's population continues to explode: from 1 billion in 1820 to 2 billion in 1930, 3 billion in 1960, 4 billion in 1974, 5 billion in 1987, 6 billion in 1999, and 7 billion in 2012. For the 21st century, the continued exponential growth in science and technology raises both hopes (e.g., advances in medicine and agriculture) and fears (e.g., development of even more lethal weapons of war).

Comments (1)

Prince Adedeji Ayobami Adekoniye's photo

The Hundred Years' War was a series of conflicts in Western Europe from 1337 to 1453, waged between the House of Plantagenet and its cadet House of Lancaster, rulers of the Kingdom of England, and the House of Valois over the right to rule the Kingdom of France. It was one of the most notable conflicts of the Middle Ages, in which five generations of kings from two rival dynasties fought for the throne of the largest kingdom in Western Europe. The war marked both the height of chivalry and its subsequent decline, and the development of stronger national identities in both countries.[1]

Later historians adopted the term "Hundred Years' War" as a historiographical periodisation to encompass these conflicts, constructing the longest military conflict in European history. It is common to divide the war into three phases, separated by truces: the Edwardian War (1337–1360), the Caroline War (1369–1389), and the Lancastrian War (1415–1453). Although each side drew many allies into the war, in the end, the House of Valois retained the French throne and the English and French monarchies remained separate. Tensions between the French and English crowns had gone back centuries to the origins of the English royal family, which was French (Norman, and later, Angevin) in origin. English monarchs had therefore historically held titles and lands within France, which made them vassals to the kings of France. The status of the English king's French fiefs was a major source of conflict between the two monarchies throughout the Middle Ages. French monarchs systematically sought to check the growth of English power, stripping away lands as the opportunity arose, particularly whenever England was at war with Scotland, an ally of France. English holdings in France had varied in size, at some points dwarfing even the French royal domain; by 1337, however, only Gascony was English.

In 1328, Charles IV of France died without sons or brothers and a new principle disallowed female succession. Charles's closest male relative was his nephew Edward III of England, whose mother, Isabella of France, was Charles's sister. Isabella claimed the throne of France for her son, but the French nobility rejected it, maintaining that Isabella could not transmit a right she did not possess. An assembly of French barons decided that a native Frenchman should receive the crown, rather than Edward.[2]

So the throne passed instead to Charles's patrilineal cousin, Philip, Count of Valois. Edward protested but ultimately submitted and did homage for Gascony. Further French disagreements with Edward induced Philip, during May 1337, to meet with his Great Council in Paris. It was agreed that Gascony should be taken back into Philip's hands, which prompted Edward to renew his claim for the French throne, this time by force of arms. DoyinSoft Technologies