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Unformatted text preview: C HAPTER 6 T HE G REAT D EPARTURE Chapter 6 examines the process of accelerating changein population, warfare, fossil fuel consumption, and environmental exploitationthat has gripped the world since the turn of the twentieth century. This chapter argues that the processes of global industrialization have fundamentally changed the relationship of humans to the environment during the twentieth century, and that the new dynamics of this relationship represent a major break with the past. In 1900, Europe still maintained its imperial empire, but a thirty-year crisis period consisting of two world wars and the Great Depression ravaged Europe and polarized the postwar world around two opposing superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union. The ensuing Cold War fueled a nuclear arms race with the U.S. adopting a capitalist, consumer- driven economy while the Soviet Union pressed ahead with its state-run economy and its heavy emphasis on production. For what became known as the third world, the postWorld War II era brought independence from the imperialist powers but continued problems as newly freed nations tried to overcome the growing gap separating the haves from the have-nots. Many states were forced to take sides in the Cold War, while others attempted to forge a neutral stance between the two competing countries and ideologies. At the close of the twentieth century, the Soviet Union disintegrated, unable to keep up with U.S. military spending. Having committed to the ideal of industrial development, most nations must now deal with its consequences and confront the issues of fossil fuel consumption, population growth, and environmental damage in the twenty-first century. Key Terms/Vocabulary Bolshevik Revolution Cold War communism consumerism containment decolonization dependency development first world fossil fuels glasnost global warming globalization great departure Great Depression Haber-Bosch process independence movements industrialization MAD (mutually assured destruction) migration...
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