Friday, October 2, 2009

The Begining of the New World

The world is now changing as the new book shifts gears into focusing on the late ninetieth century and early twentieth century. This book explores how the rise of the many hegemonies in the world was primarily in the west although the book does mention that Japan was still considered a core country at the time. The first two chapters of the book identifies the technology of the west as being why they grew into core countries. Britain is talked about much throughout the first part of this book as being a country who thought control on the peripheries were the best way o accomplish domination in the world. The author stated that many of the colonized countries were dependent on the buying of their primary good. The author highlighted Cuba as being this. The economy depended upon the USA buying sugar and cigars, if they did not buy them, the country had trouble keeping a sustainable economy. The author talked about how railways were curial in the world economy system. Saying that in mid 1800’s some 200,000km of rail lines were built and by the start of world war one there were close to one million railway lines built. The author again highlighted that many of the western countries tried to assume power by colonizing certain areas of the world, thinking that the use of natural resources there would bring them much fortune.
I thought it was very interesting how many countries were trying to buy up or take over all this power. I know much of power is holding onto the most land, but why always go after it full throttle? Does it make more sense to stabilize the economy in your own country then dictate the market throughout the world? Also, the amount of tea and coffee consumed by the American and GB is absurd. There is no reason to have a spike in that amount of a certain good. I just found it very weird.
One thing I do want to know about is the USA involvement in this whole ordeal. The author continually highlight the French and English but never does he really go into how the USA played in this world economy, I was just wondering where they fit in among this mess…


  1. I think that during the time period Hobsawn talks about the most was during the 18th and early 19th century. During this time America was young and pretty self sufficient. America had an isolation policy stemming from George Washington and tried not to meddle in foreign affair if it wasn't necessary.

  2. I agree with both of yins. Hobsbawm has little to say about the USA, and when he does its not a good thing. Although I like how you mentioned Cuba and how they relied on sugar and cigars. Have you ever had a Cuban cigar because, they know what they are doing. The USA did become much more isolated at this time, but why not use other peoples resources instead of yours.