I want to begin with an indisputable fact, namely that during the nineteenth century unprecedented power, compared to which the power of Rome, Spain, Baghdad or Constantinople in their day were far less formidable, was concentrated in Britain and France and later in other Western countries, the United States especially. This century, the nineteenth century, climaxed what has been called the "rise of the West." Western power allowed the imperial metropolitan centers at the end of the nineteenth century to acquire and accumulate territory and subjects on a truly astonishing scale. Consider that in 1800, Western powers claimed fifty-five percent, but actually held approximately thirty-five percent, of the earth's surface. But by 1878, the percentage was sixty-seven percent of the world held by Western powers, which is a rate of increase of 83,000 square miles per year. By 1914, the annual rate by which the Western empires acquired territory had risen to an astonishing 247,000 square miles per year. And Europe held a grand total of roughly eighty five percent of the earth as colonies, protectorates, dependencies, dominions and Commonwealth, one of them of course being Canada. No other associated set of colonies in history was as large, none so totally dominated, none so unequal in power to the Western metropolis. As a result, says William McNeill, in his book The Pursuit of Power, "the world was united into a single interacting whole as never before."