This is a great question and many things can be stated. I would say that in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, it was the rise of the West. The West soared to extreme heights in all areas, science, technology, finance, and general lifestyle. With this increase in power, we could see the strength of the West in terms of the increase of colonialism. The West was all over the world in search of natural resources and other materials that would bring profit. So, from this perspective, the West was joined together in a race to gain the rest of the world.
On the flip side, the West was joined together in terms of perception with respect to the rest of the world. In other words, there was much resentment over this unbridled passion and desire for exploration and power. Some good post-colonial theory is a must read for this topic. I will attach a use of the theory of Pierre Bourdieu from a different context, but you can use this theory to any discussion on how power works.