When did globalization begin?

October 22, 2008 at 11:51 am | Posted in Globalization | Leave a comment

There is no agreed starting point of the phenomenon, but understanding of globalization is helped by considering the following.
The first great expansion of European capitalism took place in the 16th century, following the first circumnavigation of the earth in 1519 to 1521. After this, there was a big expansion in world trade and investment in the nineteenth century. This was brought to a halt by the First World War and the bout of anti-free trade protectionism that led to the Great Depression in 1930. Some see this period as an interruption to the process of globalization commenced in the late 19th century. The end of the Second World War brought another great expansion of capitalism with the development of multinational companies interested in producing and selling in the domestic markets of nations around the world. The emancipation of colonies created a new world order. Air travel and the development of international communications enhanced the progress of international business. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union ended the cold war between the forces of capitalism and socialism with capitalism winning. The development of the internet made possible the organization of business on a global scale with greater facility than ever before and this brought to an exponential development of globalization.


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