Vol 22 (2019)

From Universal History to World History. Carroll Quigley (1910-1977) and the Shaping of New Historical Paradigms

Filippo Chiocchetti
Università del Piemonte Orientale

Published 2020-05-29


  • Carroll Quigley,
  • Universal History,
  • World History,
  • World-Systems Theory,
  • Modernization


During his lifetime tenure at Georgetown University, from 1941 to 1976, Carroll Quigley played a significant role as historian, teacher and public intellectual. His ‘holistic’ approach to ‘macrohistory’ led him to build interpretative paradigms intended to explain how changes happen in history, and to provide new periodizations more apt to account for such changes. By analysing his works and connecting them to those of other historians and social scientists – which he absorbed, challenged, and finally recast to produce an original framework – Quigley can be singled out as a transitional figure from Universal History to World History. A case study about cultural diffusion and the worldwide dynamics of modernization is eventually provided to confirm such a thesis.