World History – Western Civilization – British Empire – Free eBooks

World History, Western Civilization, History of the British Empire. Free online books on broad historical themes that are global or encompass large areas of the world.

Hint: When a book you want to borrow at Internet Archive is already checked out, go to the Internet Archive’s ‘Search’ box, check “Search Metadata”, and search for the book’s title. Sometimes they have two or more copies.
 

World History Collection

About 880 books from the Internet Archive free online on the subject of World History. Some books: Essays on Europe, Islam and World History, Datelines of World History, AP World History, Atlas of Ancient History, Timetables of History, A Sourcebook for Teaching World History, History of the World, Mastering Global History, Patterns of Civilization, Human Heritage, Encyclopedia of World History, Eyewitness to History from Ancient Times to the Modern Era, World History Factfinder, People in History, Essential World History, World History to 1648, Voyages in World History, World History and Western Civilization, History of Civilization, Disease and History, Dictionary of History, Documents in World History, General History of the Caribbean, Exploring World History: ideas for teachers, 100 Books that Shaped World History, Humankind: a brief history, 100 Families Who Shaped World History, Almanac of World History, History of the World in 1,000 Objects, Themes in Global History, many more books on World History.

You may also like our collection of articles and media about world history.

Western Civilization Collection

About 500 books from the Internet Archive free online on the subject of Western Civilization. Some books: Handbook of Western Civilization, Readings in the Western Humanities, Western Civilization: sources, images and interpretations, The Western Humanities, Landmarks of the Western Heritage, Sources of the Making of the West, Western Civilization: an urban perspective, Western Civilization: primary source reader, The West: a narrative history, The Western Heritage, History of Western Society, The Western Humanities, Formative Ideals in Western Civilization, The West: culture and ideas, Documents in Western Civilization, Sources of the Western Tradition, History of Western Society, Heritage: an illustrated history of western culture, Traditions of the Western World, the Western Heritage, A Brief History of the Western World, many more books on Western Civilization.

History of British Colonies Collection

About 75 books from the Internet Archive free online on the subject of History of British Colonies. Some books: A History of England and the Empire Commonwealth, The Victorian Empire 1837-1901, Empire to Commonwealth: 30 years of British Imperial History, A History and Description of the British Empire in Africa, A Short History of British Imperialism, 1850-1970, Reading Colonialism through Children’s Books and Magazines, White Servitude in Colonial America, British Attitudes towards Canada 1822-1849, The Rise of the English-Speaking Empires from the 15th Century to the 1780s, The British Empire 1815-1939, The Imperial Idea and Its Enemies, Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World, The British Imperial Experience, British Colonial Policy 1754-1765, Edwardians in the Tropics, Women of the British Empire, The White Sahibs in India, The Dual Mandate in British Tropical Africa, The Colonial Office in the Early 19th Century, Dictionary of the British Empire and Commonwealth, Britain and Germany in Africa: imperial rivalry and colonial rule, A Civilised Savagery: Britain and the New Slaveries in Africa 1884-1926, British Economic Policy and the Empire 1919-1939, many more books on the History of British Colonies.

You may also like our collection of articles and podcasts about the history of the British Empire.

The British Colonial Library (10 volumes)

Comprising a popular and authentic description of all the colonies of the British empire, their history; physical geography; geology; climate; animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms; government; finance; military defence; commerce; shipping; monetary system; religion; population, white and coloured; education and the press; emigration; social state, &c.

Martin, Robert Montgomery
London: Whitaker 1836-39 Dewey Dec. 909

Originally published in 1834-35 under the title, History of the British Colonies. Titles of this set are:

Vol 1: History, Statistics and Geography of Upper and Lower Canada
Vol 2: History of Austral-Asia: comprising New South Wales, Van Diemen’s Island, Swan River, South Australia, &c.
Vol 3: History of Southern Africa: comprising The Cape of Good Hope, Mauritius, Seychelles, &c.
Vol 4: History of the West Indies comprising Jamaica, Honduras, Trinidad, Tobago, Grenada, The Bahamas, and The Virgin Isles
Vol 5: History of the West Indies comprising British Guiana, Barbadoes, St. Vincent’s, St. Lucia, Dominica, Montserrat, Antigua, St. Christopher’s &c. &c.
Vol 6: History of Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, The Sable Islands, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, The Bermudas, Newfoundland, &c. &c.
Vol 7: History of the British Possessions in the Mediterranean: comprising Gibraltar, Malta, Gozo, and the Ionian Islands
Vol 8: History of the Possessions of the Honorable East India Company, Vol. I
Vol 9: History of the Possessions of the Honorable East India Company, Vol. II
Vol 10: History of the British Possessions in the Indian & Atlantic Oceans; comprising Ceylon, Penang, Malacca, Sincapore, The Falkland Islands, St. Helena, Ascension, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, Cape Coast Castle, &c. &c.

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed

Diamond, Jared M.
Viking 2005 Dewey Dec. 304

“What caused some of the great civilizations of the past to collapse into ruin, and what can we learn from their fates? Diamond weaves an all-encompassing global thesis through a series of historical-cultural narratives. Moving from the prehistoric Polynesian culture of Easter Island to the formerly flourishing Native American civilizations of the Anasazi and the Maya, the doomed medieval Viking colony on Greenland, and finally to the modern world, Diamond traces a pattern of catastrophe, spelling out what happens when we squander our resources, when we ignore the signals our environment gives us.” -Publisher

Guns, Germs, and Steel

Diamond, Jared
Norton 2005 Dewey Dec. 303

Pulitzer Prize-winner. “Why did Eurasians conquer, displace, or decimate Native Americans, Australians, and Africans, instead of the reverse? In this groundbreaking book, evolutionary biologist Jared Diamond stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history by revealing the environmental factors actually responsible for history’s broadest patterns. Here, at last, is a world history that really is a history of all the world’s peoples, a unified narrative of human life even more intriguing and important than accounts of dinosaurs and glaciers. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world, and its inequalities, came to be. It is a work rich in dramatic revelations that will fascinate readers even as it challenges conventional wisdom.” -Publisher

Contents: Yali’s question: The regionally differing courses of history — From Eden to Cajamarca. Up to the starting line: What happened on all the continents before 11,000 B.C.? — A natural experiment of history: How geography molded societies on Polynesian islands — Collision at Cajamarca: Why the Inca emperor Atahuallpa did not capture King Charles I of Spain — The rise and spread of food production. Farmer power: The roots of guns, germs, and steel — History’s haves and have-nots: Geographic differences in the onset of food production — To farm or not to farm: Causes of the spread of food production — How to make an almond: The unconscious development of ancient crops — Apples or Indians: Why did peoples of some regions fail to domesticate plants? — Zebras, unhappy marriages, and the Anna Karenina principle: Why were most big wild mammal species never domesticated? — Spacious skies and tilted axes: Why did food production spread at different rates on different continents? — From food to guns, germs, and steel. Lethal gift of livestock: The evolution of germs — Blueprints and borrowed letters: The evolution of writing — Necessity’s mother: The evolution of technology — From egalitarianism to kleptocracy: The evolution of government and religion — Around the world in five chapters. Yali’s people: The histories of Australia and New Guinea — How China became Chinese: The history of East Asia — Speedboat to Polynesia: The history of Austronesian expansion — Hemispheres colliding: The histories of Eurasia and the Americas compared — How Africa became black: The history of Africa — The future of human history as a science — 2003 afterword: Guns, germs, and steel today.

Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves

Bury the Chains book cover

Hochschild, Adam
Houghton Mifflin 2005 Dewey Dec. 326

“An account of the first great human rights crusade, which originated in England in the 1780s and resulted in the freeing of hundreds of thousands of slaves around the world. In 1787, twelve men gathered in a London printing shop to pursue a seemingly impossible goal: ending slavery in the largest empire on earth. Along the way, they would pioneer most of the tools citizen activists still rely on today, from wall posters and mass mailings to boycotts and lapel pins. Within five years, more than 300,000 Britons were refusing to eat the chief slave-grown product, sugar; London’s smart set was sporting antislavery badges created by Josiah Wedgwood; and the House of Commons had passed the first law banning the slave trade. The activists brought slavery in the British Empire to an end in the 1830s, long before it died in the United States.” -Publisher

Contents: pt. I. World of bondage : Many golden dreams ; Atlantic wanderer ; Intoxicated with liberty ; King sugar ; A tale of two ships — pt. II. From tinder to flame : A moral steam engine ; The first emancipation ; “I questioned whether I should even get out of it alive: ; Am I not a man and a brother? ; A place beyond the seas ; “Ramsay is dead, I have killed him” — pt. III. “A whole nation crying with one voice” : An eighteenth-century book tour ; The blood-sweetened beverage ; Promised land ; The sweets of liberty ; High noon in Parliament — pt. IV. War and revolution : Bleak decade ; At the foot of Vesuvius ; Redcoats’ graveyard ; “These gilded Africans” — pt. V. Bury the chains : A side wind ; Am I not a woman and a sister? ; “Come, shout o’er the grave — Epilogue: “To feel a just indignation” — Appendix : Where was Equiano born?

Principles of Western Civilisation

Kidd, Benjamin
NY: Macmillan 1902 Dewey Dec. 909.8

The Rise of the West: A History of the Human Community

McNeill, William
University of Chicago 1963 Dewey Dec. 936

“‘The Rise of the West’, winner of the National Book Award for history in 1964, is famous for its ambitious scope and intellectual rigor. In it, McNeill challenges the Spengler-Toynbee view that a number of separate civilizations pursued essentially independent careers, and argues instead that human cultures interacted at every stage of their history. The author suggests that from the Neolithic beginnings of grain agriculture to the present major social changes in all parts of the world were triggered by new or newly important foreign stimuli, and he presents a persuasive narrative of world history to support this claim.” -Publisher
“This is not only the most learned and the most intelligent, it is also the most stimulating and fascinating book that has ever set out to recount and explain the whole history of mankind. . . . To read it is a great experience. It leaves echoes to reverberate, and seeds to germinate in the mind.”–H. R. Trevor-Roper, New York Times Book Review

Contents: pt. 1. The era of Middle Eastern dominance to 500 B.C. In the beginning — The breakthrough to civilization in Mesopotamia — The diffusion of civilization : first phase — The rise of a cosmopolitan civilization in the Middle East, 1700-500 B.C. — The formation of peripheral civilizations in India, Greece, and China, 1700-500 B.C. — pt. 2. Eurasian cultural balance, 500 B.C.-1500 A.D. The expansion of Hellenism, 500-146 B.C. — Closure of the Eurasian Ecumene, 500 B.C. — 200 B.C. — Barbarian onslaught and civilized response, 200-600 A.D. — The resurgence of the Middle East, 600-1000 A.D. — Steppe conquerors and the European Far West, 1000-1500 A.D. — pt. 3. The era of Western dominance, 1500-A.D. to the present. The Far West’s challenge to the world, 1500-1700 A.D. — The tottering world balance, 1700-1850 A.D. — The rise of the West : cosmopolitanism on a global scale, 1850-1950 A.D

Hearth and Home: A History of Material Culture

Pounds, Norman J.G.
Indiana University 1993 Dewey Dec. 940.1

“Hearth and Home is a history of the ways in which human beings in the Western world have satisfied their fundamental needs for food, shelter, and clothing. It is the story of insecure and fearful societies, haunted by the specter of famine and disease, in battle with adverse weather and warring neighbors, and creating against the hazards of life a material culture of substance and strength.” -Publisher

Contents: Part I: Origins and Dispersals – Prolegomenon – Revolution and diffusion in prehistoric Europe – The classical foundations of western culture – Part II: Preindustrial Europe – The community of the village – Fields, farms and food supply – The privacy of the home – “The populousness of ancient nations” – The urban way of life – Toward a consuming society – The measure of progress – Part III: The period of Rapid Growth – The Nineteenth century – Conclusion

The Making of the Modern Mind; A Survey of the Intellectual Background of the Present Age

Randall, John H.
Houghton Mifflin 1926 Dewey Dec. 940.1

Contents: Book I: The Intellectual Outlook of Medieval Christendom – The coming of the age of the western peoples – The world as the scene of the drama of salvation – The chief end of man; the enjoyment of eternal life – The embodiment; the city of God – The embodiment; lay society
Book II: The New World of the Renaissance – The new interests of the modern age; the natural man – The religious reaction; the revolt from the Medieval church – The revolt from Feudalism and a unified Christendom – The new interests of the modern age; the world of nature – The new scene of human life
Book III: The Order of Nature; The Development of Thought in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries – The Newtonian world-machine – The religion of reason – The science of man; the sciences of human nature and business – The science of man; the science of government – The morality of reasonableness; humanitarianism
Book IV: The Growing World; Thought and Aspiration in the Last Hundred Years – The romantic protest against the age of reason – The conflict of social ideals to 1848 – The world conceived as a process of growth and evolution – The science of man in the growing world – Religion in the growing world – Philosophic reactions to the growing world of mechanism – Social ideals in the growing world