Revelation 6: 3-4
“3. When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, "Come!" 4. Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword.”
There has never been an occasion prior to the 20th Century, and more particularly prior to the advent of mass media, when the peace of the whole world could be affected. Many communities in bygone eras would not hear of a war until the war was over, if at all, particularly if the war was on a different continent. Simple folk could go to bed in many parts of the world in times gone by with no thought of violence or war, or devastation for weeks, and months, if not years on end. Wars were sporadic and episodic in nature, and oft times localized.
The advent of weekly newspapers, and their reporters being sent to remote areas by ship and airplane changed this. The Russian Revolution in 1917 was read about world wide, but lacked the immediacy of satellite news. Conflict spread throughout the world, not in one country or another, but over many countries.
Here is a partial list of the wars occurring in the early part of the 20 Century with (deaths)
1899-02: British-Boer war (100,000)
1899-03: Colombian civil war (120,000)
1899-02: Philippines vs USA (20,000)
1900-01: Boxer rebels against Russia, Britain, France, Japan, USA against rebels (35,000)
1903: Ottomans vs Macedonian rebels (20,000)
1904: Germany vs Namibia (65,000)
1904-05: Japan vs Russia (150,000)
1910-20: Mexican revolution (250,000)
1911: Chinese Revolution (2.4 million)
1911-12: Italian-Ottoman war (20,000)
1912-13: Balkan wars (150,000)
1915: the Ottoman empire slaughters Armenians (1.2 million)
1915-20: the Ottoman empire slaughters 500,000 Assyrians
1916-23: the Ottoman empire slaughters 350,000 Greek Pontians and 480,000 Anatolian Greeks
1914-18: World War I (20 million)
1916: Kyrgyz revolt against Russia (120,000)
1917-21: Soviet revolution (5 million)
1917-19: Greece vs Turkey (45,000)
The League of Nations attempted
1919-21: Poland vs Soviet Union (27,000)
1928-37: Chinese civil war (2 million)
1931: Japanese Manchurian War (1.1 million)
1932-33: Soviet Union vs Ukraine (10 million)
1934: Mao's Long March (170,000)
1936: Italy's invasion of Ethiopia (200,000)
1936-37: Stalin's purges (13 million)
1936-39: Spanish civil war (600,000)
1937-45: Japanese invasion of China (500,000)
1939-45: World War II (55 million) including holocaust and Chinese revolution
With World War II came worldwide radio and film communication on a weekly basis. Then came the Cold War with satellite communications and Television News. Men and women went to bed in fear of atomic war. Since the Cold War, peace has been taken from our homes on a virtual daily basis. The development of radio, television, satellite, and finally the internet, ensures that acts of violence, murders, rapes, wars, earthquakes, tsunamis, and devastation are reported on a daily basis, from remote parts of the earth in a manner and frequency that was unknown prior to the technological developments of the 20th century. Essentially most of mankind cannot go to bed at night with complete peace of mind without the intervention of the Holy Spirit.
Add to this the rise of extreme Islam. Islam fundamentalists have spread terrorism throughout the world. Their terrorism seeks to conquer, convert and subjugate the world by force. This sickness has entered almost every nation on earth causing violence between not just Islam and the rest of the world, but also between different sects of Islam.
Remember from the 1st Seal, once a Seal is open, it does not close.
For these reasons, the peace has been taken from the earth in a way never seen before in recorded history.
Here is a link to a list of ongoing conflicts and a world map showing the breakdown, as of 2012.
Wars of the 21st Century
If you add up the countries in conflict in 2011 you find a countries with armed conflict on their soil totaling 50,154,302 sq km however, this does not include United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, Germany and France, all who have soldiers in combat situations around the world. These Western Democracies are fighting against the forces that want to dominate the world today.
This means that families all over the world have loved ones in harms way.
For these reasons, it is arguable that the 2nd seal is open.