Print ISBN: 978-1-68217-924-6
# of Pages: 557
# of Volumes: 2
Print List Price: $295
e-ISBN: 978-1-68217-965-9
eBook User Price: $295
Free Online Access
Spread the Word

Defining Documents in World History: The 20th Century (1900-1950)

Editor: Michael Shally-Jensen, PhD
September 2018


This set, Defining Documents in World History: The 20th Century (1900-1950), considers the first fifty years of the last century through in-depth analysis of seventy-two primary documents including speeches, letters, treaties, pacts, manifestos, essays, book excerpts, and first-hand reports.

Designed for high school and college students, the aim of the series is to advance the study of primary source historical documents as an important activity in learning about history.

The material is organized under seven sections and each section begins with a brief introduction to define the questions and problems underlying the subjects addressed throughout each grouping of historical documents:

Africa and the African Diaspora begins with the Peace of Vereeniging that ended the second Boer War, and considers the “Back to Africa” movement and concludes with Notices from the Fifth Pan-African Congress;

Asian Affairs tackles such critical issues as the Philippines, The Boxer Protocol and the Chinese revolution of Sun Yat-sen, the role of Japan in the region and the world, and the push for independence in both Korea and India;

Euroamerican and World Affairs offers insight into the relationships between nations before, during, and in between the World Wars, from the Entente Cordiale through the Treaty of Versailles and the Molotov-Ribbentrop Act, the Armenian Genocide, the establishment of the Soviet government, and anti-fascism in Spain;

Latin American Affairs begins the Platt Amendment and the Hay-Banau Varilla Treaty, includes the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, discusses the “Díaz System,” and U.S. involvement in what Calvin Coolidge described as the “present disturbances” in Nicaragua;

The Middle East delves into the decline of the Ottoman Empire through its analysis of the Proclamation of the Young Turks, looks at the Charter
of the Arab League, the Balfour Declaration, and the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel;

Women in the World begins with Emma Goldman’s controversial essay on “Marriage and Love,” and includes Emmeline Pankhurst and “Freedom or Death” as well selections related to reproductive rights, sex, and gender equality; and

Technology, Medicine, and the Environment discusses such advances as the work of the Wright brothers and Charles Lindbergh’s solo flight across the Atlantic, medical challenges related to the World Wars including shell shock and gas attacks, the 1918 flu pandemic, as well as the growing awareness that humans are playing a direct role changing the environment with devastating results, including the extinction of species like the carrier pigeon.

These documents provide a compelling view of the events and policies that shaped the first half of the twentieth century and have had a significant impact on the national and social issues we confront to this day.

Each document is supported by a critical essay, written by historians and teachers, that includes:

  • Summary Overview
  • Defining Moment
  • Author Biography
  • Document Themes & Analysis
  • Bibliography
  • Additional Reading

The second volume of this title includes a Chronology, Web Resource, Bibliography, and an Index.


View a Full List of Titles from the Defining Documents Series