In investigating the course of world affairs since roughly 1500, special emphasis is placed here upon the struggle for power — by which is meant the use of organized force by sovereign states to impose their will upon each other, or upon their own citi­zens. The perpetual aggressiveness of both individuals and states underlies all history. It is the underlying theme of Thucydides (471—c.400 BC) who wrote about the Peloponnesian Wars, as it is of Herodotus (484-25 BC) who dealt with the Greek—Persian Wars. The nineteenth-century German historian Leopold von Ranke (1795-1886) in his Weltgeschichte1 viewed world history as the history of power. Power is essentially what Charles Darwin (1809-82) and Karl Marx (1818-83) are talking about — one in biology, the other in economics. Darwin spoke of the ‘struggle for survival’, Marx of ‘class conflict’. The German philologist and philosopher Friedrich W. Nietzsche (1844-1900) expressed the will to power in his Der Wille zur Macht.


Sixteenth Century Sovereign State Concise History World Affair Malabar Coast 
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  1. 2.
    See M.K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, Boston, Mass., 1957Google Scholar
  2. J.M. Brown, Gandhi: Prisoner of Hope, New Haven, Conn., 1989.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    See C. Sterling, Thieves World: The Threat of the New Global Network of Organized Crime, New York, 1994.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Helga Woodruff 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Woodruff
    • 1
  1. 1.University of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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