Asia (Members Only)

Digital History of Asia


a key to global education: Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci

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Perspective


Asia is home to most of the human population and many of the world’s first civilizations and their mainstream religions of Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Jainism, Buddhism Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, and Sikhism.

China and India were the world’s largest economies in the world up through the early 19th century. China’s vast economy sustained what was then the world’s most advanced civilization. But the legendary wealth and prosperity of ancient India attracted both European commerce and colonialism, which endured until the Second World War. India gained its independence from Britain in 1949, and was soon followed by British Malaya, French Indochina, and the Dutch East Indies. In Southeast Asia, only Thailand remained free of colonialism. After enduring its Century of Humiliation (and the Opium Wars) at the hands of the West, China went on to both fight a civil war and eventually prevail in its war against Japanese invaders, establishing the Peoples’ Republic of China in 1949. The United States occupied Japan in the years following the Pacific War, and the Korean War erupted and raged until an armistice was signed in 1955.

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