- The Task of World History
- Theories of World History since the Enlightenment
- World Environmental History
- Nomadic pastoralism
- States, State Transformation, and War
- Religions and World History
- Technology, Engineering, and Science
- Advanced Agriculture
- Trade across Eurasia to about 1750
- Biological Exchanges in World History
- Cultural Exchanges in World History
- Pre-modern Empires
- Modern Imperialism
- East Asia and Central Eurasia
- South Asia and Southeast Asia
- The Middle East in World History
- Africa in World History: The Long, Long View
- Europe and Russia in World History
- Mediterranean History
- The Americas, 1450–2000
- The Atlantic Ocean Basin
- Oceania and Australasia
- The pacific Ocean Basin to 1850
Abstract and Keywords
How can one best manage the unpredictable and rapidly evolving relationship between human beings and the biosphere? This question provides one of the great research agendas for the early twenty-first century. It is no longer enough to track human environmental impacts at the local or national level, a task taken up within the flourishing field of environmental history. This article explores how each thread in this complex story is woven throughout human history and how it covers the entire world. At its most ambitious, the new scholarly field of world environmental history aims at a comprehensive historical understanding of the complex and unstable patchwork of relations between humans and the biosphere. The discussion argues that current environmental issues have their roots in the very nature of the human species and history. The article also describes the Paleolithic era, the agrarian era, and the modern era.
David Christian is Professor of History at Macquarie University.
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