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Old 03-25-2018, 01:16 PM   #151
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

Mason,

Not just the slave trade, but slavery was banned in:

Haiti (Saint Domingue at the time) 1793
France and all possessions 1794
Haiti (upon independence) 1804
New Spain (Mexico, Central America, most of what is now the continental US) 1813
Peru 1821 (not all immediately though)
(These earliest bans all had some backsliding - except the latter one in Haiti)
Chile 1823
Uruguay 1830
Bolivia 1831
Danish West Indies 1848
New Grenada 1851
Ecuador 1851
Argentina 1853
Venezuela 1854


You were right about the US being before Brazil though.

The abolition of slavery in the US could have been pretty influential in the West if the abolitionists in 1789 had had their way in the US Constitution, but as it was The French Revolution, The Haitian Revolution, and The Spanish Revolutions (in the new world) had a LOT LOT LOT more to do with abolishing slavery in The New World than the US Civil War.

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Old 03-26-2018, 05:44 PM   #152
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

Churchill, almost at the dismay of his own war cabinet, absolutely refused to consider to make peace with Germany, which was the Nazi plan after the invasion of Great Britain was cancelled. That kept the fight going long enough for the USA to get into the war.
Yes, Dunkirk was some rungood against the odds, but after that it was keep calm and carry on. Plus he gave the iron curtain speech after the war, predicting the cold war, and was almost always contrary to what other politicians in the UK were saying and doing throughout his career. Sure, eventually we would win without needing generals like Ike, Patton, Bradley, Monty, and the rest. But, no Churchill and no modern free Europe. It would be like an alternate universe episode of science fiction.


Also, how can we debate Civil War generals, when the war was caused by Lincoln’s election, and eventually won with complete surrender because Lincoln insisted, and then the very same Lincoln welcomed back the entire Confederacy with open arms and generosity. Surely Lincoln is the most influential human re: the US Civil War. Almost any other President and the war either would not happen at all, or would end in compromise, or the Confederacy would have been treated like a conquered nation instead of legal US states that had temporarily been unlawful.
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Old 03-26-2018, 06:05 PM   #153
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

Einstein
Jesus
Darwin
Buddha
Churchill
George Washington
Muhammad
Julius Caesar
Alexander
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Old 03-26-2018, 09:17 PM   #154
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

No Khan?
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Old 03-26-2018, 11:17 PM   #155
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

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Originally Posted by robert_utk View Post
Churchill, almost at the dismay of his own war cabinet, absolutely refused to consider to make peace with Germany, which was the Nazi plan after the invasion of Great Britain was cancelled.
Hi robert_utk:

I don't think this is accurate. Germany decided not to invade Britain after their air war against Britain had essentially failed. The refusal of Churchill not to make peace with Germany was before the air war against the British homeland had started.

Quote:
That kept the fight going long enough for the USA to get into the war.
I see this type of statement a lot. But after Dunkirk, there was no guarantee the USA would eventually enter the war. Yes, it's true that the United States was helping Britain more and more, but didn't it take an attack by Japan and then a declaration of war by Germany (against the US) to get things really moving.

Quote:
Yes, Dunkirk was some rungood against the odds, but after that it was keep calm and carry on. Plus he gave the iron curtain speech after the war, predicting the cold war, and was almost always contrary to what other politicians in the UK were saying and doing throughout his career. Sure, eventually we would win without needing generals like Ike, Patton, Bradley, Monty, and the rest. But, no Churchill and no modern free Europe. It would be like an alternate universe episode of science fiction.
I agree with this. By the way, the PBS show Nova recently did a show on Dunkirk. I highly recommend it and this can be seen on their Internet site. One of the things I learned was that the Germans had developed an underwater mine that worked on magnetism which they thought would stop the big British ships from rescuing soldiers from Dunkirk. But the British figured out a way to beat it.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/militar...e-dunkirk.html

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/militar...et-weapon.html

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Also, how can we debate Civil War generals, when the war was caused by Lincoln’s election,
I agree that Lincoln's election led to the war.

Quote:
and eventually won with complete surrender because Lincoln insisted,
While Lincoln wanted a complete surrender the war was won, in my opinion, because a totally unknown General Grant showed up.

Quote:
and then the very same Lincoln welcomed back the entire Confederacy with open arms and generosity.
This was certainly Lincoln's plan. But it didn't happen. In reality there were two Civil Wars. The second one is known today as reconstruction and it was won by the South.

Quote:
Surely Lincoln is the most influential human re: the US Civil War. Almost any other President and the war either would not happen at all, or would end in compromise, or the Confederacy would have been treated like a conquered nation instead of legal US states that had temporarily been unlawful.
Unfortunately, the South was treated like a conquered nation. Lincoln's successor, Andrew Johnson, lost control of the government, the radical Republicans took over, and it went downhill from there.

While not the subject of this thread, one of the things that happened in the retelling of the Civil War is that Grant, instead of being portrayed as a great general who saved the Union and ended slavery, began to be portrayed as "Grant the Butcher" because of the high casualty rates. Thus his greatness is often overlooked.

By the way, in 1878 and 1888 Grant went on a tour of the world. One of the leaders he met was Otto von Bismark. From Wikipedia:

The two discussed military matters and in particular, the final stages of the Civil War, with Grant stressing that the Union Army fought to preserve the U.S. nation.[52] Bismarck complimented him for having saved the Union, where Grant replied, "not only save the Union, but destroy slavery"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_...ysses_S._Grant

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 03-27-2018, 10:02 AM   #156
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

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No Khan?


I forgot about the Khan of Khans. He should be on the list.
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Old 03-27-2018, 10:46 AM   #157
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

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Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
Hi robert_utk:

I don't think this is accurate. Germany decided not to invade Britain after their air war against Britain had essentially failed. The refusal of Churchill not to make peace with Germany was before the air war against the British homeland had started.



I see this type of statement a lot. But after Dunkirk, there was no guarantee the USA would eventually enter the war. Yes, it's true that the United States was helping Britain more and more, but didn't it take an attack by Japan and then a declaration of war by Germany (against the US) to get things really moving.



I agree with this. By the way, the PBS show Nova recently did a show on Dunkirk. I highly recommend it and this can be seen on their Internet site. One of the things I learned was that the Germans had developed an underwater mine that worked on magnetism which they thought would stop the big British ships from rescuing soldiers from Dunkirk. But the British figured out a way to beat it.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/militar...e-dunkirk.html

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/militar...et-weapon.html



I agree that Lincoln's election led to the war.



While Lincoln wanted a complete surrender the war was won, in my opinion, because a totally unknown General Grant showed up.



This was certainly Lincoln's plan. But it didn't happen. In reality there were two Civil Wars. The second one is known today as reconstruction and it was won by the South.



Unfortunately, the South was treated like a conquered nation. Lincoln's successor, Andrew Johnson, lost control of the government, the radical Republicans took over, and it went downhill from there.

While not the subject of this thread, one of the things that happened in the retelling of the Civil War is that Grant, instead of being portrayed as a great general who saved the Union and ended slavery, began to be portrayed as "Grant the Butcher" because of the high casualty rates. Thus his greatness is often overlooked.

By the way, in 1878 and 1888 Grant went on a tour of the world. One of the leaders he met was Otto von Bismark. From Wikipedia:

The two discussed military matters and in particular, the final stages of the Civil War, with Grant stressing that the Union Army fought to preserve the U.S. nation.[52] Bismarck complimented him for having saved the Union, where Grant replied, "not only save the Union, but destroy slavery"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_...ysses_S._Grant

Best wishes,
Mason


Some good points Mason.

Certainly without Grant, Lincoln would have either lost the election in 1864 or been forced to compromise on the issue of slavery. I agree Grant has not received his fair credit for being essential to the outcome if the war that allowed a United States to exist in the way it is today.

I never thought of Reconstruction as a sort of unofficial round two of the Civil War. Interesting.

With regard to the US entering WWII, my opinion is that it was not guaranteed but very likely. With regard to Japan, we would have eventually forced a confrontation probably from the Philippines, since we really did block their plans for expansion. With regard to Europe, I just cant imagine an outcome where we sit back and wait for Russia to be out of the war, Germany and Italy to seize the oil in the middle east, fortify a conquered Europe, and then we try to take it all back. Churchill would have screamed that Americans are cowards and would have been right!
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Old 03-27-2018, 01:06 PM   #158
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

I'm open to the idea that Genghis Khan get's on the list of the top 10 most influential humans... But at the moment, I disagree.

Can someone spell out the case?


In the approximate time period:

Is Genghis Khan more influential then William the Conqueror?

Is Genghis Khan more influential then Richard Lionhart?

Is Genghis Khan more influential then Henry II or King John? In the 1000-1300 time period, I think King John is the most influential. Perhaps King John and Henry II both deserve credit here? It seems to me that HenryII's establishment of the concept of "common" law was important.

Last edited by Lapidator; 03-27-2018 at 01:17 PM.
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Old 03-27-2018, 02:10 PM   #159
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lapidator View Post
I'm open to the idea that Genghis Khan get's on the list of the top 10 most influential humans... But at the moment, I disagree.

Can someone spell out the case?


In the approximate time period:

Is Genghis Khan more influential then William the Conqueror?

Is Genghis Khan more influential then Richard Lionhart?

Is Genghis Khan more influential then Henry II or King John? In the 1000-1300 time period, I think King John is the most influential. Perhaps King John and Henry II both deserve credit here? It seems to me that HenryII's establishment of the concept of "common" law was important.


If you are saying that Genghis Khan is less influential than several Kings of England, that seems to be quite a narrow view of world history. Entire ethic groups comprising more people than the British Isles picked up and evacuated the steppes of central Asia and relocated in the near east and eastern Europe, bringing culture as well as disease and warfare. And thats just the people that were fleeing the Mongols.

William the Conquerer seized the throne that he felt was rightfully his, and fortified his holdings with castles. He was Norman and spoke French, hardly a lasting impression on world history. I would say that earlier Rollo moving his clan to Normandy is more important.

Henry II instituted common law, which was great. Basically, when a judge gives a ruling, then the next year the next judge also has to give the same ruling. Certainly logical and good, but not unique in world history.
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Old 03-27-2018, 05:03 PM   #160
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

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Originally Posted by robert_utk View Post
If you are saying that Genghis Khan is less influential than several Kings of England, that seems to be quite a narrow view of world history. Entire ethic groups comprising more people than the British Isles picked up and evacuated the steppes of central Asia and relocated in the near east and eastern Europe, bringing culture as well as disease and warfare. And thats just the people that were fleeing the Mongols.
Yes, I don't dispute this.

I don't agree that conquering by warfare, in and of itself, is so influential for humanity though.

The lasting effects of the Mongol Hordes were what exactly?

Quote:
William the Conquerer seized the throne that he felt was rightfully his, and fortified his holdings with castles. He was Norman and spoke French, hardly a lasting impression on world history. I would say that earlier Rollo moving his clan to Normandy is more important.
I'd say that William is not merely marginally more influential then Genghis. There is lasting effect here. It is William and the House of Plantagenet who created England, which doubtless has had more than its share of influence over humanity.

Quote:
Henry II instituted common law, which was great. Basically, when a judge gives a ruling, then the next year the next judge also has to give the same ruling. Certainly logical and good, but not unique in world history.
What is unique is that HenryII and John both gave up some of the power of the monarch. This is influence in 13th century England in a direction that did not occur anywhere else in the world until that time. The Romans consolidated power until they went from Republic to Empire to collapse. The Persians always had a singular God King. The Chinese and Japanese always had singular Emperors, or a group of Kings, until WWII and communism.
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Old 03-28-2018, 12:42 AM   #161
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

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Originally Posted by robert_utk View Post
Some good points Mason.

Certainly without Grant, Lincoln would have either lost the election in 1864 or been forced to compromise on the issue of slavery. I agree Grant has not received his fair credit for being essential to the outcome if the war that allowed a United States to exist in the way it is today.

I never thought of Reconstruction as a sort of unofficial round two of the Civil War. Interesting.
Reconstruction is a very interesting period of time and was a disaster for the former members of the slave population. When the Civil War ended, everyone agreed that slavery was over, but no one knew exactly what that meant. If Lincoln would have lived, things would have probably moved along at a slower pace. Instead, the Radical Republicans seized control, passed highly progressive laws that couldn't be enforced, and it led to the era of Jim Crow.

Quote:
With regard to the US entering WWII, my opinion is that it was not guaranteed but very likely. With regard to Japan, we would have eventually forced a confrontation probably from the Philippines, since we really did block their plans for expansion. With regard to Europe, I just cant imagine an outcome where we sit back and wait for Russia to be out of the war, Germany and Italy to seize the oil in the middle east, fortify a conquered Europe, and then we try to take it all back. Churchill would have screamed that Americans are cowards and would have been right!
I pretty much agree with this. But the question is how long before the US enters the war, and in the delay, a lot of negative events could have happened.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 04-02-2018, 05:11 PM   #162
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

Modern historians have basically debunked the 'Radical Republicans responsible for Jim Crow' view of reconstruction. The reality is that the South actually won the civil war. They mounted what amounted to a full scale insurgency with the goal of preventing blacks from actually attaining freedom. Giving up faster wouldn't have changed their goals or caused them to be any gentler with Jim Crow.

The reason why the South wrote the history of the Civil War with all their lovely 'lost cause' bull**** is because they seriously won the war. The North got to declare victory and go home, but at the end of the day the South got to keep most of their slaves for another hundred years. To this day the South is run with the unstated goal of keeping labor costs low in mind. Racism has been a very useful tool for splitting poor whites and poor blacks in the south since the Civil War. In most of the rest of the country the poor mostly deserve poverty (my conservatism is showing a bit here) but in the South it's a totally different vibe. Labor costs in the South are quite a bit lower on average than they are in the rest of the country and that has tangible impacts on people's lives. It's an artificial state of affairs that will eventually come to an ugly end like all unnatural market situations must.
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Old 04-05-2018, 10:53 AM   #163
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

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Reconstruction is a very interesting period of time and was a disaster for the former members of the slave population. When the Civil War ended, everyone agreed that slavery was over, but no one knew exactly what that meant. If Lincoln would have lived, things would have probably moved along at a slower pace. Instead, the Radical Republicans seized control, passed highly progressive laws that couldn't be enforced, and it led to the era of Jim Crow.
Quote:
One white South Carolinian, of an old aristocratic family, uttered the truth in 1877. From the safety of anonymity, this voice in the wilderness spoke plainly:

The most horrible tales of negro murders that have ever appeared in radical sheets at the North would pale before the relation of incidents known to every white man in the South. The intimidation of the negroes is a stern and awful fact. Yet what do Southerners say about it? It is the bloody shirt, the lying inventions of unscrupulous politicians, the last gasp of carpet-baggery and radical deviltry. So bitterly do Southerners hate to have the truth come out that it is at the risk of his life that any man dares to speak it. When a political crime is committed, they palliate it, smooth over everything, charge the blame on the murdered victims.

A generation later, a few elder statesmen of the South uttered the truth too. “We had to shoot negroes to get relief from the galling tyranny to which we had been subjected,” baldly declared South Carolina’s “Pitchfork Ben” Tillman, former governor, current United States senator. He was speaking at a 1909 reunion of the ageing “Red Shirts” and white “rifle club” members who had roamed the state as young men in ’76, sixteen-shooter Winchester rifles at their sides and a couple of huge navy pistols stuck in their belts; assassinating African American legislators and town constables, seizing ballot boxes, firing potshots at field hands as a general warning they’d better behave themselves. “It had been the settled purpose of the leading white men,” Tillman went on, to “teach the negroes a lesson; as it was generally believed that nothing but bloodshed and a good deal of it could answer the purpose of redeeming the state from negro and carpet bag rule.”
Keep in mind the tyranny here mentioned is the gall of blacks to want to vote, hold political office and generally participate in civic life.

https://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/30/b...ody-shirt.html
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Old 04-05-2018, 10:58 AM   #164
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

Actually this is a better summation, from that same source

Quote:
A bald fact: Generations would hear how the South suffered “tyranny” under Reconstruction. Conveniently forgotten was the way that word was universally defined by white Southerners at the time: as a synonym for letting black men vote at all. A “remonstrance” issued by South Carolina’s Democratic Central Committee in 1868, personally signed by the leading native white political figures of the state, declared that there was no greater outrage, no greater despotism, than the provision for universal male suffrage just enacted in the state’s new constitution. There was but one possible consequence: “A superior race is put under the rule of an inferior race.” They offered a stark warning: “We do not mean to threaten resistance by arms. But the white people of our State will never quietly submit to negro rule. This is a duty we owe to the proud Caucasian race, whose sovereignty on earth God has ordained.”

“No free people, ever,” declared a speaker at a convention of the state’s white establishment a few years later, had been subjected to the “domination of their own slaves,” and the applause was thunderous. “This is a white man’s government,” was the phrase echoed over and over in the prints of the Democratic press and the orations of politicians denouncing the “tyranny” to which the “oppressed” South was being subjected.

A bald fact: more than three thousand freedmen and their white Republican allies were murdered in the campaign of terrorist violence that overthrew the only representatively elected governments the Southern states would know for a hundred years to come. Among the dead were more than sixty state senators, judges, legislators, sheriffs, constables, mayors, county commissioners, and other officeholders whose only crime was to have been elected. They were lynched by bands of disguised men who dragged them from cabins by night, or fired on from ambushes on lonely roadsides, or lured into a barroom by a false friend and on a prearranged signal shot so many times that the corpse was nothing but shreds, or pulled off a train in broad daylight by a body of heavily-armed men resembling nothing so much as a Confederate cavalry company and forced to kneel in the stubble of an October field and shot in the head over and over again, at point blank.

So saturated is our collective memory with Gone With the Wind stock characters of thieving carpetbaggers, ignorant Negroes, and low scalawags, that it comes as a shock not so much to discover that there were men and women of courage, idealism, rectitude, and vision who risked everything to try to build a new society of equality and justice on the ruins of the Civil War, who fought to give lasting meaning to the sacrifices of that terrible struggle, who gave their fortunes, careers, happiness, and lives to make real the simple and long-delayed American promise that all men were created equal—it comes as a shock not so much to be confronted by their idealism and courage and uprightness as by the realization that they were convinced, up to the very last, that they would succeed. Confident in the rightness of their cause, backed by the military might of the United States government, secure in the ringing declarations, now the supreme law of the land embodied in the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments of the Constitution, that slavery was not only dead but that equality and the right to vote were the patrimony now of all Americans, they could not imagine that their nation could win such a terrible war and lose the ensuing peace.

Lose, the nation undeniably did.
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Old 04-08-2018, 11:53 PM   #165
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

China was fractured and probably would have stayed fractured if not for Kublai Khan. The modern Persian state is pretty much a descendant of a Mongolian khanate that went native. Russia was a client state that quietly unified fiefdoms that eventually became Russia. Mongolian created trade routes that altered global trade for centuries. They also got a lot to do with what became the Ottoman Empire and southern Russia.
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Old 04-09-2018, 12:52 PM   #166
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

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China was fractured and probably would have stayed fractured if not for Kublai Khan. The modern Persian state is pretty much a descendant of a Mongolian khanate that went native. Russia was a client state that quietly unified fiefdoms that eventually became Russia. Mongolian created trade routes that altered global trade for centuries. They also got a lot to do with what became the Ottoman Empire and southern Russia.
Bolded is worth discussing. Recently read a little about Genghis Khan and what the implications of his and his followers empire building. Too detailed to go into but yes, the Mongols changed world history in many profound ways that still reverberate to modern times. Opening and making more trade markets (whether intended or not) was one of many ingredients. In fact, a history of trade would make a very good thread. Making sure to bar any reference to current events (which means Post 1990 for the History Forum). That goes elsewhere.

Last edited by Zeno; 04-09-2018 at 07:27 PM. Reason: Wording, typos
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Old 04-09-2018, 06:03 PM   #167
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

I can recommend Splendid Exchange by Bernstein (sp?). It tells a very accessible narrative of the history of trade globally although I believe many of the details are challenged by historians and I think it does a poor job of making it clear that trade, for most of the book, is very fragmented with only maybe a trickle of trade crossing continents.

In the intreest of disclosure, my reading list is basically anything on history/economics that the Economist reviews so I strongly suspect my reading list is biased in some way.
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Old 05-28-2018, 02:25 AM   #168
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

I think we need to look at ideas as foundational for changing the world the most. So,

Marx
Socrates
Plato
Aristotle
Zoroaster
Jesus
Confucious
Adam Smith
Darwin
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