History is a body of knowledge about the past, together with everything that has involvement with that knowledge. Historians may differ on a similar kind of knowledge, depending on how they present their facts. As a result, their narratives tend to disagree. History may be a narrative of the past. However, written history is a dialogue between historians, based on how each one of them interprets these facts and events that happened in the past. Textbooks are crucial in communicating the difference in perception of different historians. The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast two history textbooks, ‘Frameworks of the World History’ by Stephen Morillo, and ‘The Earth and its Peoples’ by Richard Bulliet on the topic of decolonization. The essay compares the organization of information and the kind of information presented about decolonization. It also analyzes whether the information presented promotes the capacity to assess change over time and if it places globalization in a global context. To conclude, it gives the historical significance of each book, then picks one over the other.
Stephen tends to organize his ideas in a thematic format while Richard arranges his facts according to chronology. Stephen presents his facts in the form of imperial cultures, imperial networks, and imperialist hierarchies (Morillo 658). On the other hand, Richard first discusses the ‘great war’ and the Russian revolutions that happened between 1914 to 1918. He then proceeds to discuss peace and dislocation in Europe, that was between 1919 and 1929. However, the two textbooks have a similarity in how they present their facts about decolonization. For instance, they both focus on the importance of the imperialistic ideology in the process of decolonization. They also both discuss the significance of westernization and modernization in the process.
The information presented in both textbooks about decolonization promotes the capacity to assess change over time, together with its causes and impacts. For instance, Richard discusses the historical events, as they occurred through the years. This gives the reader to analyze the different changes that were taking place throughout the years. For example, at around 1900, the origin of the crisis in Europe and the Middle East was being cultivated. By 1919, the war had already taken place, and the Europeans were discussing peace. Later in the years, they would be focused on technological advancement (Bulliet 745). In Stephen’s book, the information given allows us to analyze historical changes according to the themes. This way, one can assess how they kept changing with time.
The facts given in both textbooks allow one to place decolonization in a global context. Both authors connect decolonization to changes in other regions of the world. For instance, Stephen discusses imperialism in the wider context, mentioning the cultural and network challenges it faced in its implementation across the world (Morillo 659). On the other hand, Richard discusses the social and economic change caused in China and Japan as a result of the war, the revolution, as well as arbitration between European countries (Bulliet 750).
According to ‘Frameworks of World History,’ the significance of decolonization was to create certain ideologies, not only in the people of Europe but across the world. According to ‘The Earth and its Peoples,’ the significance of decolonization was for world peace. Among the two textbooks, I prefer ‘The Earth and its Peoples because it presents its facts in the order in which they happened. It also mentions the exact years of historical events. This way, as a reader, one does not get lost in the order. It is also easier to connect different ideas.
Bulliet, Richard, and Pamela Crossley. The Earth and Its Peoples: A Global History. 6th ed., Cengage Learning, 2014.
Morillo, Stephen. Frameworks of World History. 3rd ed., Oxford University Press, 2013.