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Picture Grammar for Children 3. Although they fought in the New World, the Portuguese and Dutch both expanded their holdings in Africa. In the nineteenth century, European powers competed to acquire colonies in Africa in a process in which the division of vast stretches of African territory was made in conference rooms in Europe. Even regions that had been wealthier or more technologically advanced than Europe in the fourteenth century were vulnerable.
The Ottoman Empire waned, and by the early twentieth century, most of the Islamic world had come under European rule. Imperialism was the dominant political principle for much of the world in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
The Legacy of Empire The Age of Empire would have a profound impact upon the globe, in part because European empires proved to be surprisingly enduring. While a history of this period is far too complex to detail in this brief chapter, it marked the onset of ideas and markets that continue to shape our world.
This section will focus on its legacies. One of the most important legacies is the creation of diasporas— populations outside of their homelands who still retain emotional and cultural connections to their places of origin.
As this chapter has discussed, the slave trade brought millions of Africans across the At- History History affects not only nation-states and cultures but also individuals and families.
Then ask one family member or loved one what items would be on his or her list. Sections of Africa were devastated and depopulated by the trade, as one West African state after another fell to the Portuguese and other nations. The entire demography of other regions, such as the Caribbean, was remade.
Of course, the slave trade was not the only great population movement during this period. The nineteenth century saw large population movements from Europe to the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and other colonies. These diasporas profoundly shaped identities and nationalities from Australia to North America. At the same time, this period saw the creation of colonial relations, in which imperial powers established and governed the economies of their colonies to the advantage of the mother country.
For example, the Caribbean islands were devoted to monocrop agriculture that created wealth for a small European population on the islands in addition to the governments of France, Spain, Holland, and England. Trade within this system was carefully controlled so as to discourage the development of manufacturing within the colonies, which might allow the periphery to compete with the center.
Colonies were also only able to trade with their mother countries and not with other European powers. While imperialism came to an end with the collapse of Portuguese rule in Africa in the s, many of these colonial relationships endure and have a legacy in the present. The Age of Empire also gave birth to the identities that ultimately destroyed the imperial system. The inequality of colonial relations created resentments in Latin America and the United States that led to revolu- 19 20 History tion.
Colonial censors from Brazil to Mexico sought to limit the spread of nationalist ideals that could challenge imperial authority. The Rise of Nationalism In a sense, this period witnessed a struggle between two ideas. On the other hand, the Age of Empire also witnessed the rise of the idea of the nation-state. Of course, as Europeans adopted this idea and it became an increasingly powerful tool, they did not wish to extend sovereignty to their colonies.
And nation making was a violent and contradictory affair, which was often founded upon myth making and exclusion Anderson Nonetheless, the concept of nationhood spread from Europe to the rest of the globe and provided the foundation for our modern international system. In Haiti claimed its independence as part of the only successful slave rebellion in history.
Most of Latin America achieved independence by the s. In other areas, such as Canada and Australia, colonies gradually took a peaceful path to nationhood. These two contradictory processes existed side by side, so that even as much of the New World gained its independence in the nineteenth century, most of Africa and Asia witnessed the rapid expansion of European empires. This tension between nationalist ideals and imperialist reality did not exist only on the periphery of empires.
The contradiction between the two History The same historical event can appear very different based on your cultural or national perspective. Can you identify three events or trends in this chapter that would be perceived differently by two groups? Newer nations that were late to imperial expansion sought what they argued to be their rightful place on the world stage. To mobilize their peoples, all nations— even in the staunchly antinationalist Soviet Union— turned to nationalism.
Other empires, such as that of Austro-Hungary, were overwhelmed by the rising tide of nationalism and fractured into multiple nation-states. In the aftermath of the Second World War, many European nations lacked the resources or popular will to maintain an empire. Within Europe, the idea of nationalism was discredited, and sympathy grew among elites for a pan-European vision that would culminate in the creation of the European Union.
In Africa, Asia, and elsewhere, the rising power of nationalism made empires increasingly untenable. In some cases, European nations gave up their empire with a minimum of resistance, as the British did in India. In other cases, such as the French in Algeria and Vietnam, European forces fought on until they were overrun or bankrupted. But the result was the same. Within Europe itself, the continent was divided, and power passed to two external powers— a fact that demonstrates the degree to which European power was eclipsed.
The United States and the Soviet Union dominated the international system. The key line between these two powers was drawn in the heart of Germany, where the Berlin wall represented the greatest division in the international order. The age of European dominance had passed. But the tension endured between the nation-state and global forces.
In contrast, after World War II, global political affairs were dominated by the struggle between the Soviet Union and its clients and the United States and its allies. The United States depicted itself as leading an alliance of democratic countries against the totalitarian Soviet bloc.
But in practice, it proved quite willing to ally itself with brutally repressive regimes in Latin America, Indonesia, and Africa— provided that they had clear antiCommunist credentials. The Soviet Union depicted itself as the standardbearer of anticolonialism, but its invasions of Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Afghanistan showed it had much in common with the nineteenthcentury Russian Empire.
In practice, the two sparred over their contested borders, while in the s China drew closer to the United States. Despite these contradictions, both sides sought to maintain alliances, cultivate clients, and punish those nations that aligned with the opposing side.
For more than four decades, this great contest between two global ideologies subordinated all other questions. Because this competition was viewed as a zero-sum game, a win by one side was necessarily a loss for the other.
This led to terrible errors, such as the U. But the Cold War also had positive impacts, such as freezing ethnic and nationalist struggles in Yugoslavia, despite the brutality and violence that characterized Soviet rule.
The system was also predictable, and it could be assumed that both sides were rational. With time, both sides had invested so much in infrastructure, ideology, and energy in the contest that its end appeared unthinkable. Therefore, it came as a great shock when the Soviet Union collapsed with stunning speed in One of the great tasks of the so-called post—Cold War era was formulating a new framework to understand international affairs. For a brief period, authors presented one argument after another.
Some proposed that History the future would be one of unstoppable democratization— which would be positive but quite boring Fukuyama No one framework can capture all the tensions and movements in any historical period.
With time, however, it became clear that the Cold War had obscured a contradiction between the expansion of the nation-states and the rising power of globalization. As imperialism ended, the number of nation-states climbed rapidly. At the same moment, however, the institutions that shaped globalization were founded, and the nation-state faced new challenges to its authority.
Globalization At the broadest level, globalization refers to the rise of sociopolitical and economic networks that dominate local and regional interactions.
New technologies, from the development of the telegraph to the rise of steam-powered trains, have been connecting peoples since the nineteenth century. Nonetheless, the period of globalization that began after the Cold War has accelerated the manner in which the global impedes on the local to a degree unknown in earlier eras.
While new technologies are important to this process, it could not have taken place without an institutional context, which was deliberately created under the leadership of the United States after World War II. These institutions, collectively called the Bretton Woods System, 23 24 History are fundamental to understanding globalization.
In it appeared inevitable that Germany, Japan, and their Axis counterparts would be defeated. The U. Far better known than the imf, however, is the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development ibrd , commonly referred to as the World Bank.
Although its creators designed it to help Europe recover from World War II, its mission changed to focus on development in the s. The World Bank loaned funds to developing countries at low interest rates. This was based on the idea of comparative advantage; that is, if each nation specialized in producing the goods to which it was most suited so that Canada did not grow bananas, and Ghana did not produce ice wine , the total wealth of the world would increase.
In order to accomplish this, member nations of gatt had to agree that if they gave a tariff break to one member, they would give the same reduction in tariffs to all.
In gatt changed into a new and more powerful institution: the World Trade Organization wto. History This body can monitor the trade in ideas as well as goods.
The wto is also extremely controversial. Like all Bretton Woods institutions, the manner in which the wto is portrayed depends very much on how the author or speaker views globalization. Chapters 4 and 5 explore this in more detail. In any case, all observers would agree that the Bretton Woods System created the basic architecture for globalization. The era after World War II saw the integration of the global economy in a manner that was different from earlier eras. Transnational corporations emerged that were so large they rivaled the economic scale of small nation-states.
With time, some increasingly lost their identities as corporations located in particular countries. New technologies emerged that dramatically dropped the price of transportation, shipping, and communication.
With these changes, global capital became increasingly mobile. People no longer invested in companies abroad but rather in indexes and commodity markets.
Money moved with amazing speed. So did people. Shifting forms of production and trade helped to create economic diasporas, ranging from Indians employed in the Gulf states to the millions of Turks living throughout the European Union. It is estimated that whereas in roughly 33 million individuals lived as migrants in countries other than their own, by the year that number had reached million.
These demographic changes do not mean that older ideologies and inequalities have vanished. This is the situation, for example, for some North Africans living in France or Germany. In part, these challenges may exist because of cultural ideals created during the Age of Empire and the way these ideals are now interpreted in an era with a mass media culture, as will be discussed in the chapter on cultural globalization. From this perspective, globalization has not ended old ideologies that disenfranchised certain groups but rather propagated these problems, and the global media has not broken down old barriers but merely reframed old ideologies.
The expansion of media outlets also enables diasporas to retain contact with their home cultures and resist assimilation by majority cultures.
The impact of new cultural markets is complex. But as the forthcoming chapter on cultural globalization will illustrate, new forms of communication and expression have joined with demographic change in a manner that is equally important to political and economic globalization.
This reality poses many challenges for nation-states. The Enduring Importance of the Nation-State Globalization now pressures the nation-state to a new degree. From the late s to , the Cold War limited the impact of globalization. The expansion of markets and commerce did not take place in the Soviet Union.
But the Chinese adoption of capitalism in the s, and the collapse of the Soviet Union in , removed this constraint on globalization. With the exception of a handful of states, such as North Korea, few nations were able to reject globalization entirely.
Some authors, such as Arjun Appadurai, have argued that this trend has made the nation-state increasingly irrelevant in international affairs. I did not begin to write this book with the crisis of the nation-state as my principal concern. But in the six years over which the chapters were written, I have come to be convinced that the nation-state, as a complex political form, is on its last legs.
This system even when seen as a system of differences appears poorly equipped to deal with the interlinked diasporas of people and images that mark the here and now. Nation-states, as units in a complex interactive sys- History tem, are not very likely to be the long-term arbiters of the relationship between globality and modernity. Appadurai , 19 While globalization appears to integrate the world culturally and economically, it also may erode the authority and allegiance that nation-states have historically compelled.
There are many well-known arguments supporting this perspective. Institutions such as the World Bank place clear expectations around loans that may limit national sovereignty. Nations are no longer able to easily control information, given the rise of the Internet and social marketing platforms.
The global media can bring intense pressure to bear on particular nations.
The rise of global travel means that diseases can spread with unprecedented rapidity, and responses to pandemics must be coordinated to be effective. Similarly, many international problems— from drugs to nuclear proliferation— can only be addressed at the supranational level. Demographic trends, such as the aging populations of Europe and Japan, may create economic pressures to increase immigration.
New peoples, however, retain old identities, which may be perceived as a challenge to the nationstate and make increased immigration politically unacceptable. There are many examples of nation-states in crisis.
In the developing world, there are many areas that either never successfully created a strong nation-state Somalia or collapsed under the weight of ethnic hatreds Rwanda.
In truth, one of the key problems of international politics is exactly the weakness of the nation-state, as the case of Afghanistan proved. Belgium is currently undergoing serious tensions between its Flemish- and French-speaking populations that may cause the nation to disintegrate. In Canada, two referendums on sovereignty have failed, but Quebecois nationalism remains alive. In the United Kingdom, the Scottish appear to be questioning their centuriesold relationship to the central state.
These may not be isolated instances but rather examples of a larger process. Is the nation-state increasingly irrelevant in global affairs? Our argument in this text is that the situation is more complex in that, while nation-states are engaged in a complicated interplay with new actors, they nevertheless remain powerful agents. With globalization, supranational entities such as the World Bank, transnational corporations, and the media may challenge nation-states.
But the idea of the nation-state remains important even in regions where the concept is the weakest, as can be illustrated with the problem of so-called failed states.
This term is itself strange for several reasons, one of which is that it implies that these regions have tried in the past to become nation-states and were not able to do so because of some internal problem. In reality, many of these regions never had a coherent identity and were forged by European powers on grounds that had no basis in social reality.
What is interesting is not how often these newly constructed states have failed but how often they have endured. Nation-states remain critical to understanding supranational phenomenon, such as terrorism. September 11 could not have taken place without the structure of globalization, which permitted the movement of people and resources globally to make the attacks possible. The identities and alliances that the movement used also relied on an earlier period of Islamic globalization.
But that does not mean that terrorism can be understood or addressed outside the context of the nation-state. Although Al-Qaida is a global organization, it needed a base in Afghanistan that was safe from History Meet with one or two other members of your class.
As a group, decide what was the single most important historical question that this chapter did not cover. Why was this particular question or material critical?
In all supranational issues, states are still relevant actors, despite transnational threats like terrorism.
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It is also true that the old issues of international politics endure. In August the Russian invasion of Georgia in response to the Georgian invasion of breakaway republics was widely perceived as a reaction to events since At the same time, many nations that are not currently Great Powers wish to improve their standing in the global system. This longing is made manifest in many issues. Some nations, such as North Korea and Iran, may be willing to take great risks to develop nuclear weapons— less to protect themselves from their enemies than to achieve the international prominence that they believe they deserve.
The stability that European societies worship is not what such countries have in mind. In politics, economics, and culture, nation-states remain powerful agents that do not just react to global trends but to some extent limit the power of globalization itself.
Ironically, European empires helped to create the nationalist sentiments that destroyed them. They united diverse peoples in the colonies, alienated this populace by ignoring their political and economic interests, provided the ideology of nationalism, and created a global structure in which nations aspired to statehood. Nation-states now dominate the international system, despite the current period of globalization. What has changed is that it is now a more complex world order, in part because there are more actors, such as international nongovernmental organizations, the Bretton Woods institutions, the United Nations, and transnational corporations.
New technologies, institutions, and problems constantly emerge to challenge nation-states. But nation-states appear to be permanent. At the same time, the fundamentals of statecraft and the experience of history remain relevant to current issues.
Every idea has its own history— which includes security, the most basic issue in international affairs. For this reason, the next chapter will examine the changing perspectives on security through time and why various nations may interpret the meaning of security differently. But history is also a thread that runs throughout this work as a whole. As you read the chapters to come, try to place the information that you gain in historical perspective. How does the experience of a particular nation— and the memories that its people hold— affect its perspective on international questions?
How does your history— both as an individual and within a state— determine what seems important to you? What impact might shifting demographics have on nation-state development?
Make sure you cover at least years of time. On the timeline, mark all critical global events that you can think of. Try and include not only wars and treaties but also other critical events that have occurred in particular regions. What do you notice about the events you all have chosen? Can you make any generalizations? Research when the colonies gained their independence.
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