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3. History of Civilization (3.19-3.20)
Written by Messiah   
Thursday, 06 July 2006

3.19    The Maya’s, Aztec’s and the Inca’s

There is much interesting history to explore in the mid-south America region, especially regarding the religions and way of life of the Maya’s, Aztec’s and the Inca’s. However, I didn’t bring them into the big picture as they were rather isolated from the development in the west-east world. Time of course was also the limit.

Maya civilization

With around 3 millennia’s of history, the yet existing people of Maya were force into foreign rule during the Spanish overseas conquests 1520-1697. The people of Maya were settled in the regions of southern Mexico and northern Central America (Guatemala, Belize, western Honduras, and El Salvador). Contrary to popular myth, the Maya people never "disappeared." Millions still live in the region, and many of them still speak Maya languages.

Aztec civilization

In the regions of central Mexico, around 14th, 15th and 16th century, the very cultural and mythical civilization of Aztec’s existed. Their capital, Tenochtitlan, is today known as Mexico. The Aztec’s also fell under Spain’s rule during their overseas conquests around 1521.

Inca civilization

The Inca Empire rose in the year 1438 but became short a lived civilization. The last ruler, Atahualpa, was killed in year 1533 on orders of the Conquistador Francisco Pizarro, marking the beginning of Spanish rule.

3.20    German Empire (2nd Reich)

Germany was a fragmented collection of smaller kingdoms, loosely bound together as members of the German Confederation, since the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806. The largest and the most powerful part was the “Monastic State of the Teutonic Knights” also known as “Imperial Prussia”, which consisted of the modern regions of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and northern Poland. Prussian King William I appointed Otto von Bismarck as Prime Minister of Prussia, in 1862. Bismarck was a hardheaded officer with monarchist, aristocratic and nationalistic views who were determined to defeat both the liberals and the conservatives, by creating a strong united Germany.

In 1870, after three successive wars, with Denmark, Austria and France, his goal became reality and in 1871 he rewrote the previous “North German Constitution” to become the “Constitution of the German Empire”, officially named the “Deutsches Reich”. Bismarck created a Social reform and the so called “KulturKampf” to meat the threats of Socialism and Catholicism. The social reform was a success and is used as reference even today. The “KulturKampf”, however, faced a reversed impact. The struggle against socialist revolutionaries made him dependant on the Catholic Centre Party, which strengthened rather than weakened Catholicism in Germany.

The Empire flourished as the world leading industrial power under Bismarck's ministry, which made significant impact in East Asia. The German model of unification, social reforming and modernization became the model for both Japan and China at the beginning of the 20th century. Everything seemed to go upwards for Germany until the death of the German Emperor in March 1888. He was succeeded by his son, Friedrich III, who died in Cancer 99 days later and became replaced with his own 29 year old Wilhelm II. The young and naive, Wilhelm II, abandoned the Bismarck’s careful policies and became obsessed in expanding Germany by force. Otto von Bismarck was dismissed in 1890 and four successors would be replaced until 1909.

Wilhelm II’s popularity collapsed and to meet the increasing threat of socialism, he regained, maybe not on purpose, the old Prussia's repressive "garrison state" agriculture. He also made Austria-Hungary an ally, which brought him closer to the suppressed heirs of the old Holy Roman Empire and the Teutonic Knights. When the heir to the Austrian throne was assassinated in Sarajevo, July 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war against Serbia. This led to what the British called “the Kaisers War”, meaning Wilhelm II, was personally responsible for the outbreak. Another more commonly used name of the war is “The Great War” or “World War I”.

 

 


 
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