The advance from the Old Stone Age (Paleolithic) to the New (Neolithic) was marked by certain major changes, found first in the Near East. One of these was the domestication of animals for food. Humans had tamed dogs and used them in the hunt long before. But when they kept goats, pigs, sheep, and the ancestors of our cows in pens, they could eat them when their meat was young and tender. without having to hunt them down when they were fully grown. Parallel with this went the first domestication of plants for food—a kind of wheat and barley.
The exploitation of these new developments required a constant flow of fresh capital. From the first, the older commercial community supported the young industrial community. Bankers played such an important role that the Barings of London and the international house of Rothschild were among the great powers of Europe.
When the king of Denmark died in late 1863, a controversy over Schleswig-Holstein gave Bismarck further opportunities. In brief, the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein at the southern base of the Danish peninsula had been ruled by the king of Denmark, but not as part of Denmark.
A fifteenth-century guarantee assured the duchies that they could never be separated from one another. Yet Holstein to the south was a member of the German Confederation; Schleswig to the north was not. Holstein was mostly German in population; Schleswig was mixed German and Danish.
Roman architecture used the Greek column, usually Corinthian, and the round arch, originated by the Etruscans; from this developed the barrel vault, a continuous series of arches like the top of the tunnel that could be used to roof large areas. The Romans introduced the dome, and a splendid one surmounts the Pantheon at Rome. Roman structures emphasized bigness: the Colosseum seated forty-five thousand spectators; the Baths of the emperor Caracalla accommodated thousands of bathers.
It was a revolutionary new theory in biology that most transformed thought, and thus action. In 1859 there was published in London Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. It rested in the study of natural history, the long record of the hundreds of thousands of years of organic life on earth.
In the troubled reign of James I there were three major points of contention—money, foreign policy, and religion. In all three issues the Crown and its opposition each tried to direct constitutional development in its own favor. In raising money James sought to make the most of revenues that did not require a parliamentary grant; Parliament sought to make the most of its own control over the purse strings by insisting on the principle that it had to approve any new revenues.
The Stamp Act Congress met in New York City in October 1765 and declared:
That His Majesty’s liege subjects in these colonies are entitled to all the inherent rights and liberties of his natural born subjects within the kingdom of Great Britain.
That it is inseparably essential to the freedom of a people, and the undoubted right of Englishmen, that no taxes be imposed on them but with their own consent, given personally or by their own representatives.
Although most of the Latin American republics had by 1945 enjoyed political independence for more than a century, they had much in common economically and socially with the emerging nations of Asia and Africa. Like the Asians and Africans, the Latin Americans had been suppliers of foods and raw materials to the rest of the world.
Of course, in a land as large and complex as France, even the tireless Louis could do no more than exercise general supervision. At Versailles he had three long conferences weekly with his ministers, who headed departments of war, finance, foreign affairs, and the interior.
In Poland Marshal Josef Pilsudski led a military coup against the democratic government on May 11, 1926, and headed a military dictatorship that became ever more authoritarian.