The Berlin Conference
The Berlin Conference is one of the greatest conferences that shaped the various global economic, historic and political disparities in development and civilization during the colonial rule, especially in Africa. Due to the overlapping of territories by the colonial governments, the Berlin Conference played a significant role in establishing territorial claims of colonial governments in Africa (Sven). The conference was initiated by Portugal and took place in Berlin, Germany. The country’s Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck was the host of the conference which occurred in 1884 to 1885. This brought an end to the slave trade as the agreement included the preservation of African cultures and religions (Johann 2). The African countries as they are known today were mapped out during this period and colonies were established that influenced the way of governance in African counties to date. Africa was also to be a neutral place in case of war, which later on protected the continent in all the world wars that preceded. The boundaries forced people from different cultures to be confined together while in other cases families and communities were divided by colonial boundaries. In Africa today, it is possible to find people of the same community living in across borders of two.
In line with Beckert (137), industrial capitalism refers to a system where capital, trade and industry is controlled by the private sector and often focuses on generation of profit. This approach by Adam Smith (136) enabled industrial capitalism to grow in the 19th and 20th centuries. Significant changes were administered in developed economies where the gap in wealth between the bourgeoisie and the working class widened. Merchants, tradesmen, and professionals were able to build massive wealth while the working class suffered through deprived working conditions and low payment. The middle class made significant money and were able to educate their children and also attain political power while the working class clogged in poverty. Industrial capitalism gave birth to monopolies and multinational cooperation’s. Wealth accumulation remained within a network of few individuals, enabling the wealthy to develop more in their social structure and increased access to goods and services.
Zionism is a political and religious collaboration that rallied Jews from all over the world to migrate back to their ancient ancestral land in the Middle East to reestablish the state of Israel. The movement was described to be discriminatory and aggressive by many critics. Zionism was aggravated by increased anti-Semitism across the world, where the tension between Jews and the Europeans triggered the course. An incident in 1894 sparked outrage among Jewish people which led to the beginning of a campaign to mobilize their return to Israel and restore their Jewish culture. Over 6 million Jews lost their lives in Russia and Europe during the Holocaust as they fled to Palestine to escape hostility (Smith 232). After the Holocaust, Zionists leaders continued to push for an independent Jewish nation. This led to the declaration of Israel as the Jewish nation in 1948 after the British army withdrew from Palestine. Zionism has continued to evolve over the years and today, there are those who follow devoutly while others are more secular. The struggles in Palestine and Israel on the extremism of Islam beliefs and Zionism ideologies influence political and security stability in the Middle East Region.
The industrial revolution between 1760 and 1840 transformed the way countries in Europe manufactured and processed products. Economies in Europe were transformed during this period where nations changed from agriculture and handicrafts models into the large-scale industry, and mechanized factories (Beckert 136). Machines were invented and labor was organized differently to enable existing industries to produce more with less, thus increasing efficiency. The industrial revolution had its merits and disadvantages to the environment and society. Populations in developed economies increased rapidly, natural resources rapidly depleted, the use of chemicals and fossil fuels in factories had a massive impact on the environment. The rise of machines in manufacturing made goods affordable and more accessible to the masses. Employment creation inventions were brought by the industrial revolutions as new types of tools and infrastructure were developed. Today’s technology was influenced by the inventions and discoveries that were established during this time.
Section II: Short Essay
Choice E: The Impact of European colonization on no-western populations around the world (the 1500s – 1800s)
European colonization was an establishment of European countries acquiring political control over other societies and territories to explore economic exploitation opportunities. Every non-European colonial territory was left with a particular way of governance and administration (Sven). State building processes, economic structuring, and cultural norms were shaped by the aftermaths of colonialism. There were both short-term and long-term consequences. There are many types of research that indicate that countries or communities that were colonized by European countries became deprived and poorer as important resources such as minerals and human labor were exploited by European colonial governments (Sven 13). Countries such as Peru experience extreme exploitation in the mining system. The people of such communities were left deprived and over exploited with little or no benefits including their labor income (Zheng 44). Agricultural and mining proceed were all entirely shipped to Europe living nothing for the locals. In Africa, many countries that were productive in Africa where agriculture excelled never benefited. Labor from the local communities was free and all the products from the harvests or the mines were shipped to their coastal and to Europe.
In Africa, not all colonial governments left the local people with organized governance structures. Countries such as Congo, Somalia, and Sudan were left in chaos after the colonials left (Zheng 44). There was no transition between the European government and the locals on how leadership and resources were to be handed over. This destabilized the communities in this countries and to date, there are civil unrests and genocides that cannot be stopped. There are many non-western counties that had a state like institutions and after the colonialists entered, they now have open political systems.
There are arguments that support the idea that many non-western populations were able to develop modern ways of life including attaining civilization as a result of colonialism. European colonials entered regions with civilized ways of governance. They brought with them advanced resources and better ways of capital management. Investments strategies were diversified as different resources were exploited to benefit the local populations. Education, health, and infrastructure were among the benefits that the people of these colonies benefits. There was extensive construction of water dams, railways, roads and other infrastructure that opened up counties and allowed rapid development.
Section III: Long Essay
Analysis of globalization in the late nineteenth century with that of globalization in the 1100s-1300s.
In the effort to explore the subject on globalization, there is an insight into various facts on the differences and similarities of ancient times and the late-nineteenth century globalization. The existence of trade between different regions of the globe on a permanent basis is a definition of globalization that goes way back in the 1100s and 1300s (Zheng). In the early years, global trade was based on the movement of the commodity from one community to another. This required goods to pass through different points of exchange where different communities exchanged goods. Indirect contact between distance trading regions was common. Waterways and trade routes define global trading as goods from one point of the world could have a significant impact on the way of life in another (Bonnie, Marc, Richard and Kris). Long distance trade in the era of medieval Venice circa 800-1350, had a tremendous influence on the local institutions and ways of governance.
It is through globalization that many societies managed to cross into other territories which opened up civilization in all the five continents. In the medieval age, agriculture was the enabling factor of globalization as many societies began to adapt settled lifestyles (Smith, et al., 644). The pace of growth for globalization was very slow in early ages as modes of transportation to long distances were not developed. It would take months even years for traders to cross seas and enter other territories and make their way back (Beckert 136). In a period such as the archaic globalization was influenced by the Greek culture and their interactions with societies such as the Indians, Spain through the cities of Alexandria and Athens transpired (Bonnie, Marc, Richard and Kris). The Islamic Golden Age also accelerated ancient globalization where Jews and Muslim communities could trade and commodities such as crops, trade, knowledge, and technology were traded.
Post-medieval civilization brought by a different wave of globalization where maritime Europeans empires such as the Portuguese and Spanish used their technology in ship making to explore long distances using the seas and oceans (Zheng). Empires from the west sent voyages for exploratory purposes and trade ventures into African destinations. Trade involved slaves, precious stones, spices and timber. In the approach of the 19th century, civilization had increased in many western countries (Bonnie, Marc, Richard and Kris). Industrialization became an important factor in pushing globalization. Rapid population growth increased movements of people from different parts of the world to developed economies. This encouraged open competition between the Europeans and China empires to the Indian markets. Global trade in late 19th-century globalization was marked by a high rate of merchant production and growth in the service sector as a trade commodity in the global markets.
Multinational cooperation is one factor that distinguished ancient globalization from late 19th-century globalization. In the 1100s-1300s globalization, the commodity was moved across regions by aggressive merchants and trade caravans (Zheng). In late 19th century globalization, trade is seamless and happens on multiplatform which include land, sea, and air. Economic transactions and currencies in ancient globalization were characterized by hard currencies such as gold, direct barter trade (Bonnie, Marc, Richard and Kris). In the late nineteenth century, currency has become the most common form of payment especially after the introduction of modern communication platforms such as the telephone. The world was seen as a multi-territory where every society had its own cultures and distinct types of products to trade (Smith, et al., 614). The late-nineteenth-century globalized markets, products are manufactured or processed and the ingredients or components can be sourced from different parts of the world and uniformly distributed to multiple markets simultaneously
Trade systems in ancient times were not organized or civilized. Trade was merely a matter of moving commodity from one end of the world to another. Efficiency and competitiveness were determined by the quality of the products that arrived safely. In the late 19th century globalization, trade is extremely competitive. In late 19th century globalization, time is of the essence. Commodities are channeled through high-speed transportation models on land, air, and sea. Efficiency has been enhanced through technology and machines (Smith et al., 623). In medieval globalization, communication was slow and took a long time to pass information from one country or territory to another (Smith et al. 614). In the medieval ages, global trade was only initiated by wealthy trade merchants and governments which had the financial capacity to gather massive financial resources to send merchants to far distances. In the 19th-century globalization platform, trade was undertaken by both small-scale traders and large corporations.
The most important lesson in this course achieved is on the ways in which an essay can be organized. The importance of determining a thesis statement for an essay and why it should be at the first part within the introduction. The course provides an important lesson on creating titles that have specific arguments and how that is important to the development of an essay text. Ways to catch a reader’s attention are also learned from the lesson.
This study assisted in understanding ways to undertake write an essay and relate different types of information within a particular topic. There was a good experience in researching different topics that require different types of information. It was an important experience to compare information from different times using different literature and sources
Essay structure in terms of analyzing information and arguments was an important lesson learned. Establishing ideas and supporting the argument using different sources of literature was an important lesson. Types of referencing styles and how to include citations in texts was crucial. The lesson made the reasons to prevent plagiarism understood and why it is important to recognize other people work in one’s research. Different ways to source information were learned where citing from books, journals and the internet was learned. The lesson will assist in future researches and writing essays on various topics.
Beckert, Empire of Cotton, pgs. 136-198
Beckert, SVEN. “American Danger: United States Empire, Eurafrica, and the Territorializationof Industrial Capitalism, 1870-1950.” American Historical Review, vol. 122, no. 4, Oct. 2017, pp. 1137–1170. EBSCOhost, 188.8.131.52/login?url=http%3a%2f%2fsearch.ebscohost.com%2flogin.aspx%3fdirect%3dtrue%26db%3dtfh%26AN%3d125909993%26site%3deds-live.
Bonnie G. Smith, Marc Van De Mieroop, Richard Von Glahn, and Kris Lane, Crossroads and Cultures: A History of the World’s Peoples, Vol. II since 1300 [1st Edition] (textbook), Bedford/St. Martin’s (2012)/ ISBN-13: 978-0312442149 (textbook)
Johann Gottlieb Fichte, To the German Nation (1806)
Smith, et al., Crossroads and Cultures, pgs. 612-645 (Ch. 19)
Sven Beckert, Empire of Cotton: A Global History, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group (2014)/ ISBN-13: 978-0375414145 (Supporting Text)
Zheng He, Stele Inscription (1431); and Christopher Columbus, Letters from the Third Voyage (1493) (Moodle)