The Sea in World History: Exploration, Travel, and Trade [2 volumes]

Front Cover
Stephen K. Stein
ABC-CLIO, Apr 24, 2017 - History - 919 pages

In all eras, water transport has served as the cheapest and most efficient means of moving cargo and people over any significant distance. Only relatively recently have railroads and aircraft provided an alternative. Most of the world's bulk goods continue to travel primarily by ship over water. Even today, 95 percent of the cargo that enters and leaves the United States does so by ship. Similarly, people around the world rely on the sea for food, and in recent years, the sea has become an important source of oil and other resources, with the longterm effects of our continuing efforts to extract resources from the sea further highlighting environmental concerns that range from pollution to the exhaustion of fish stocks.

This chronologically organized two-volume reference addresses the history of the sea, beginning with ancient civilizations (4000 to 1000 BCE) and ending with the modern era (1945 to the present day). Each of the eight chapters is further broken down into sections that focus on specific nations or regions, offering detailed descriptions of that area of the world and shorter entries on specific topics, individuals, and events.

The book spans maritime history, covering major seafaring peoples and nations; famous explorers, travelers, and commanders; events, battles, and wars; key technologies, including famous ships; important processes and ongoing events, such as piracy and the slave trade; and more. Readers will benefit from dozens of primary source documents—ranging from ancient Egyptian tales of seafaring to texts by renowned travelers like Marco Polo, Zheng He, and Ibn Battuta—that provide firsthand accounts from the age of discovery as well as accounts of battle from World War I and II and more modern accounts of the sea.


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Chapter 1 Early Civilizations 4000 bce to 1000 bce
Chapter 2 The Ancient World 1000 bce to 300 ce
Chapter 3 Exchange and Encounter 300 ce to 1000 ce
Chapter 4 Global Interactions 1000 ce to 1500 ce
Chapter 5 The First Global Age 1450 ce to 1770 ce
Cover page
Halftitle page
Copyright page
Chapter 6 A World of Revolutions 1750 ce to 1900 ce
Chapter 7 Crisis and Achievement 1900 ce to 1945 ce
Chapter 8 After World War II 1945 ce to Present
Annotated Bibliography
About the Editor and Contributors

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About the author (2017)

Stephen K. Stein is a specialist in naval history and the history of technology who has written on topics ranging from ancient battles to aviation to the iPod.

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