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World History at




Term Paper Topics 17th Waves 2013 March




from : L. Simonin, Underground life: or, Mines and miners, English translation 1869, pp.256-257, GB (= Google Books)

P.H. Kerr, The Growth of the British Empire 1911 p.189 has a map showing Naval/Coaling Stations of the British Empire

This source shows how technological innovation (steamship technology), generated in the West, affected the entire world : while steamships were able to cover large distances much faster, carry larger quantities of cargo at a much lower price than the traditional sailships, steamships required large quantities of coal and a network of stations were they could reload coal, called coaling or fuelling stations.

Wikipedia, Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O); British-India Steam Navigation Company, Calcutta and Burmah Steam Navigation Company, Orient Steam Navigation Company, Indo-China Steam Navigation Company, Compagnie Generale Transatlantique, Messageries Maritimes, Österreichischer Lloyd, Compagnie Maritime Belge, East Asiatic Company (Danish), Deutsch-Australische Dampfschiffahrts-Gesellschaft, Deutsche Ost-Afrika Linie, Woermann-Linie

This semester I want students to examine how, prior to the Africa Conference of 1884/1885, the not (yet) colonized world was affected by western technological innovation; how the trade between Westerners and Natives changed; how disputes were settled.

The Impact of the Steamship (look for coaling stations; attempts to find coal deposits, operate mines in the vicinity; shipyards where repairs can be undertaken; vocational schools where persons capable of making repairs on steamships can be trained etc. etc.
Also observe how this innovation affected the native population / how they reacted to it

(1)           North Africa : the Maghreb
(2)      Wonnie      The Levant (Egypt, Syria)
(3)           The (Persian or Arabian) Gulf
(4)           East Africa
(5)           West Africa
(6)           Southern Africa
(7)           Mainland Southeast Asia
(8)           Oceania (prior to 1900)
(9)           Coastal China (prior to 1900)
(10)      Gentleman Prisoner      Japan and Korea (prior to 1900)
(11)           Central America (prior to 1900)
(12)           Atlantic South America (prior to 1900)
(13)           Pacific South America (prior to 1900)
(14)           Yangtze, Hwangho Valley (prior to 1900)
(15)      Highwayman      Ganges, Indus, Brahmaputra Valleys
(16)           South American River Valleys
(17)           Niger Valley (prior to 1914)
(18)      Ventris      South East Asia's Rivers (prior to 1914)
(19)           Euphrates and Tigris Valleys

Exploring the unknown : examine records of expeditions. Describe the infrastructure western explorers in the interior would use - places where to resupply, where to have their ill recuperate, what kind of native infrastructure they find and utilize, how such stations serve traders and travellers

(20)           Along the Trans-Saharan caravan routes
(21)           In the highland of Abyssinia
(22)           In the hinterland of the Swahili Coast
(23)      So Mean      In the rainforest of the Congo
(24)           In the Zambezi Valley
(25)           In the Sahel Zone
(26)           In the rainforest of West Africa
(27)           In Amazonia

(28)      Genghis SuA      History of Horseback Archery
(29)      Salon Hostess      Belief Systems (Christianity, Buddhism, Confucianism) and their Influence on Individualism
(30)      Entomologist      Egypt : History focused on Archaeology

Recommended sources :
Travelogues (diaries or travel reports) written and published by travellers in the late 18th or 19th century. This genre of literature was highly popular at thast time; such travelogues often were reprinted, and translated into other languages.
Handbooks for merchants describing individual ports, the weights & measurements, currency used there, perhaps even facilities. See under "Economic Encyclopedias", where other useful sources are also listed.
Sailing directories (books published to aid captains in approaching an unknown harbour without sinking his ship).
Historical Geography Books

Every topic only once; first email first choice.
Presentations from March 1st. Due Date June 10th.




         June 29th 2012          Alexander Ganse






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