Friday, October 2, 2009

Developed vs. Non-developed worlds

The first few chapters of Hobsbawm explains the process of transformation in the world from the 18th to the 19th century. He describes that in the 19th century, the world was becoming more global, more populated, and divided into 2 distinct sectors.  First, the world was becoming more global in the 19th century because most grounds had been discovered and there was little to explore. Infrastructure such as railways and steamships made travel from one continent to the other faster and easier. Also, the invention of the electric telegraph made communication across continents easily accessible. Second, the world was becoming more populated, one reason being the mass emigration overseas of Europeans. Finally, Hobsbawm explains the world as two separate sectors; advanced vs. dependent. Factors that distinguished the advanced sector from the dependent one were; technology, political organizations, military forces, literacy, division of labor, etc. He also talks about Europe being the main capitalist center.

I found it interesting when Hobsbawm mentions that the distinction between industrialized and agricultural countries is not clear. I found it surprising when Hobsbawm said that the developing world remained mostly agricultural and there were only 6 countries that agriculture wasn’t the majority.

            One of the questions I have would be to understand how the Italian merchants went from being so powerful in a “capitalist” trading market to slowing being in the decline. I understand that literacy and religion were factors in the development of the advanced sector of the world, but were there other reasons for their decline? Another thing I found interesting was when Hobsbawn questions those countries that were reluctant to participate in the progression of a powerful new world. I am not sure I understand what this unwillingness he talks about was?

No comments:

Post a Comment