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Frameworks of World History

Networks, Hierarchies, Culture, Volume One: To 1550

Stephen Morillo

Publication Date - 04 November 2013

ISBN: 9780199987801

536 pages
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

A concise, genuinely global world history built around an analytical model that makes historical method explicit--and inviting


Frameworks of World History is a groundbreaking text that uses a clear and consistent analytical approach to studying world history. Author Stephen Morillo--an award-winning teacher with more than twenty-five years of experience teaching World History--frames the study of this vast subject around a model that shows students how to do world history and not just learn about it. While this globally organized text contains all of the essential information, it is the only book that does not just tell what happened, but also shows how and why it happened. Using a framework that examines networks, hierarchies, and culture in world history, Morillo presents a thesis and an argument that students--and instructors--can respond to.


  • Clear and consistent diagrams show the development of the model over time
  • "Issues in Doing World History" sidebars presents students with key philosophical or methodological issues that historians confront every day
  • "Framing the Argument: Chapter Themes" is a short list of the central ideas covered in the chapter
  • "Framing the Chapter" global maps highlight the key regions discussed in the chapter and show visual evidence that illustrates its themes
  • In the course of each chapter, two or three key ideas are highlighted in the margin in "Principles and Patterns." These are basic tendencies of human societies (principles) or long-term trends of world history (patterns).
  • "Images on the Screen" are photographs of artifacts from different regions that show how different cultures understood their worlds
  • "Frame it Yourself" are brief thought problems, placed at the end of each chapter, that ask students to apply the conceptual tools of the model

About the Author(s)

Stephen Morillo holds the Jane and Frederic M. Hadley Chair of History at Wabash College. He is the author of numerous monographs and journal articles and the coauthor of War in World History: Society, Technology and War from Ancient Times to the Present (2008) and Cultural Encounters: Themes and Sources in World History (2005).


"Frameworks provides a coherent and consistently argued frame for understanding world history on a large and connected scale, with clear conceptual attention paid to the relationship between the global and the local. The graphic representations of the relationship between networks, hierarchies, systems, and cultural frames are innovative and facilitate learning. The text provides students with a conceptual framework and scaffold whereby students will remember and understand the larger historical contexts of world history. At the same time, it provides students with the opportunity to further their historical thinking skills by challenging and substantiating the argument made in the text."--Tim Keirn, California State University, Long Beach

"No other text that I am aware of challenges students to think about the course of world history in terms of cultural frames, hierarchies and networks. The strength of the approach becomes clear as the book progresses. The importance of major shifts in social organization comes more clearly into focus using this method, because students are able to use a shared framework for comparison."--Eric Nelson, Missouri State University

"I am struck most by the innovative model and organization that drive Frameworks. Far too often, 'new' world history textbooks deliver mere tweaks to a distressingly standard macro-narrative and fail to devise a method to explain world history. Morillo offers a profound rethinking of an integrated interpretation of human societies. The book's greatest strength is in the development and application of hierarchies and networks as the foundational models for analysis."--Ras Michael Brown, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

"Frameworks is impressive. The author's dedication to involve a global approach in every single chapter of the book is humbling--I honestly did not think that this could be done! I also appreciate the focus on historical methodology, rather than just information. This book shows a different approach-military history, social history, religious history-in every chapter. I love that it is truly interdisciplinary and that each chapter is global in scope."--Nadejda Popov, University of West Georgia

"It was a privilege to read this new text. Frameworks is truly unique. Morillo is more than a professor or a scholar; he is a teacher-author. He not only uses a tight methodology and model for examining world civilizations, but the attendant metadiscourse (metacommentary) throughout the manuscript offers students a running lesson in historical method."--Evan Ward, Brigham Young University

Table of Contents


    Volume One (Chapters 1-14)

    PART I. Formations: To 600 BCE

    1. Early Humans and the Foundations of Human History: To 8000 BCE
    2. Patterns and Parameters: Development of the Agrarian World since 10,000 BCE
    3. The World of Early Complex Societies: 4000 BCE to 600 BCE

    PART II. Transformations: 600 BCE to 700 CE

    4. The Axial Age: 600 BCE to 300 BCE
    5. The Age of Empires: 500 BCE to 400 CE
    6. Societies and Peoples: Everyday Life in the Agrarian World
    7. The Salvation Religions: 200 BCE to 900 CE

    PART III. Traditions: 400 to 1100

    8. Contested Intersections: Networks, Hierarchies, and Traditional Worlds to 1500
    9. Traditional Worlds I: Inner Circuit Eurasia, 400 to 1100
    10. Traditional Worlds II: Outer Circuit Afro-Eurasia, 400 to 1100
    11. Traditional Worlds III: Separate Circuits, 400 to 1500

    PART IV. Contradictions: 1100 to 1500

    12. War, States, Religions: 1100 to 1400
    13. The Crisis of the Mongol Age: 1200 to 1400

    Volume Two (Chapters 14-28)

    14. Innovation and Tradition: 1350 to 1550

    PART V. Connections: 1500 to 1800

    15. The Late Agrarian World I: Networks of Exchange, 1500 to 1800
    16. The Late Agrarian World II: Hierarchies in a Global System, 1500 to 1800
    17. The Late Agrarian World III: Cultural Frames, Cultural Encounters, 1500 to 1800
    18. Late Agrarian Transitions: North Atlantic Revolutions, 1650 to 1800

    PART VI. Convulsions: 1750 to 1914

    19. The Industrial Revolution: Overview, Networks, Economics
    20. Industrial Hierarchies: Society, State, Culture
    21. Imperialism: Structures and Patterns
    22. Imperialism: Reactions and Consequences

    PART VII. Crises 1914 to 1989

    23. "The West" in Crisis, 1914 to 1937
    24. The World in Crisis, 1929 to 1945
    25. Crisis Institutionalized and Transformed: 1945 to 1989

    PART VIII. Modernity since 1970

    26. The Modern Global Network: Environment and Economy since 1970
    27. Modern Hierarchies: States, Societies, and Conflicts since 1970
    28. Networked Frames and Screens: Culture since 1970

    Sources for Frameworks of World History: Table of Contents

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