Journal of World History, vol. 6, no. 2 (1995)


Language Death, Language Genesis, and World History, pp. 157-174
Frances Karttunen and Alfred W. Crosby
Linguistics has great potential value for historians. The well-documented plummet in the number of languages in the last 500 years and especially in the last few decades provides statistical evidence for the phenomenon we vaguely call cultural homogenization. The pidgin and creole languages among the indigenes, peons, and slaves of the colonies–now former colonies–of European empires provide avenues for examining the histories of the “people without history.”

Piracy and World History: An Economic Perspective on Maritime Predation, pp. 175-199
J. L. Anderson
The form of maritime predation commonly called piracy has significant economic aspects. Unregulated predation on or from the sea may, for purposes of analysis, be classified as parasitic on maritime trade, or episodic, or intrinsic to the functioning of particular societies. Such predation has historically had deleterious effects upon commerce, production, and welfare. In this survey, the economic nature and effects of this form of predation are considered theoretically, principally in the contexts of the histories of the Atlantic and Indian oceans and the Mediterranean and South China seas.

Born with a “Silver Spoon”: The Origin of World Trade in 1571, pp. 201-221
Dennis O. Flynn and Arturo Giráldez
Global trade emerged with the founding of Manila in 1571, at which time all important populated continents began to exchange products continuously. The silver market was key to this process. China became the dominant buyer because both its fiscal and monetary systems had converted to a silver standard; the value of silver in China surged to double its worth in the rest of the world. Microeconomic analysis leads to startling conclusions. Both Tokugawa Japan and the Spanish empire were financed by mining profits–profits that would not have existed in the absence of end-customer China. Europeans were physically present in early modern Asia, but the economic impact of China on Western lands was far greater than any European influence on Asia.

From Africa to the Americas: Ethnicity in the Early Black Communities of the Americas, pp. 223-236
Colin A. Palmer
Scholarship on the formative period of the African presence in the Americas is still in its infancy. Historians know little about the ways in which Africans sought to recreate the cultural worlds from which they came, even as they responded to new challenges. This essay explores the role of ethnicity in the construction of the lives of African-born slaves in Mexico City during the years when slaves were present in relatively large numbers. An analysis of the surviving marriage licenses shows that ethnicity was the most important factor in spousal choices; this finding has large implications for our understanding of the nature and evolution of black life in the Americas.

Marshall G. S. Hodgson and the Hemispheric Interregional Approach to World History, pp. 237-250
Edmund Burke, III
Marshall G. S. Hodgson, best known for his three-volume Venture of Islam: Conscience and History in a World Civilization, was also a world historian of note. His posthumous Rethinking World History makes available his interregional approach to world history. This article argues that his chief contributions to the writing of world history were his consideration of epistemological issues, his resituation of the history of Europe (and thus of modernity as a global process) in the hemispheric interregional context of Afro-Eurasia, and his elaboration of a vision of world history as the center of a reinvigorated historical discipline.

BOOK REVIEWS, pp. 251-290

INDEX, VOLUME 6 (1995) pp. 291-295