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A Brief History of International Relations

The World Made Easy

Kathleen Brush

The world does not need to be complex and confusing. It can be made simpler so that the business, political, social, and economic implications of global news briefs beaming across televisions and electronic devices can be easily grasped. Key to this is knowing that a five-hundred-year competition for global supremacy between the Chinese, European, Islamic, and Russian empires only ended in 1945. When it did, the world had 57 independent nations. After all empires were dissolved in 1991, there were 193, and each nation carried histories of empires in the form of conquest, religions followed, languages practiced, diversified populations, repressive rule, and histories of discrimination. A Brief History of International Relations: The World Made Easy explores this history of global conflict to contextualize and simplify the often perplexing relations between nations and empires.

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Chapter 29. English-Speaking North America


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Many European empires had colonies in English-speaking North America, but in the end, virtually all colonies were ruled by the British Empire or incorporated into the United States. This is how the region came to be overwhelmingly English-speaking and named English-Speaking North America (ESNA). Language isn’t the only empire aftermath; every nation has a Christian-majority, and the diversity of populations reflects historical immigration from Europe, Africa, and Asia. The latter two were slavery and indentured servant labor sources between the 16th and 19th centuries.

In 1776 the Thirteen Colonies declared independence from the British Empire. The United States was the first overseas colony to declare and permanently keep its independence. Next in the region was Canada, and this would not occur for more than a hundred years.1 For the ten small island nations in the Caribbean, it was yet another hundred years. Other small island polities voluntarily retained ties to France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, or the United States.

ESNA has two huge nations, Canada and the United States, but the US population and economy are about ten times larger than Canada’s. The other ten nations are much smaller. ← 267 | 268 →

It is easy to forget that the British Empire once dominated this region because the United States eclipsed its power long ago, and then went on to surpass it. Below are some highlights of the United States as a global power...

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