After almost fifteen years of intensive work, UNESCO presents an entirely revised and updated edition of this major work in seven volumes. The new edition, now called History of Humanity, is a radical new work providing an account of cultural and scientific achievements in the light of new facts and methods of historiographical investigation. This major undertaking required an International Commission and the co-operation of some 450 distinguished specialists, in a great number of disciplines, from all over the world. A truly interdisciplinary work, the History of Humanity sheds new light on many hitherto unknown features of our common past.
Volume V opens with the discovery of America by Columbus in 1492 and closes with the French Revolution of 1789. This period was marked by the great European navigators, the slave trade, the first colonial empires, large scale European trade with Asia and America, great scientific inventions and the production of philosophical, literary and artistic works. During these two centuries, growing contacts between different regions and cultures of the world started to take on a significant role in world history.