Sunday, October 4, 2009

1875-1914 World System

As Europe became a more prominent world power, the West and the East grew further and further apart. The social gaps between the rich and the poor grew deeper as the localof Europe arose. (20-25% of the world population at the time was European.) The world went through a period of industrialization with faster trade through better communication and transport. With the advancing technology, international trade boomed. Governments and military changed capitalism because economic domination was encouraged. The military encouraged capitalism through raw material production and trade, and through domination of trade, economy, colonies. The philosophy of war and military was transformed from hegemons that of manpower and training to a philosophy of advancing technology and power in capitalism.

Western culture was still considered European culture. Europe became urbanized and literate with the fifth economic wave which initiated technological progress in , medicine, the invention of cars, mass material production, the invention of planes, and the growth of workers and hours of work put in to jobs. Europe's material output at the time was more than two times that of the United States. The rest of the world was mostly agricultural, giving Europe the upper hand in the economy. This may have been related to the fact that Europe had the notion of progress while the rest of the world believed that history occurred at a slow pace. Europe's idea of progress stemmed from the rising life expectancy, growing literacy rate, and mass production. All of these were changing at a rapid rate.

From the reading, I wanted to know more about the rest of the world. What was happening there--specifically Asia, who was once ahead of Europe? I would like to hear about the variances in power and technology within Europe. Which countries dominated after the fall of the British Empire? And why did they dominate? How much of a role did medicine play in the progress of Europe?

Reading about Europe as a dominating power in the 19th century is much more interesting than Before European Hegemony because the information more closely relates to today's world system because of the philosophies of the time, the advances in technology, and the upcoming political liberalism that came about.

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