This week's reading dealt with The Age of the Empire. Hobsbawn's book is about Europe between 1875 through 1914. This time in Europe is characterized by rapid growth and population expansion, major industrialization, technological advances and innovations, and booming international trade.
Cities in Europe were becoming more industrialized, creating jobs and opportunities for people that previously never existed. People from rural areas moved to the cities in hopes of making a better living. The cities became overpopulated.
Because the entire world was industrializing in this time period, it clearly defined a global economy. Railroad systems, bridges, and steamboats are just a few of the technological advances and innovations that helped define this global economy. These things made international trade quicker and easier.
Though all of this seems like complete prosperity, it was not. There was defined line between the rich and the poor. There was no in between. Britain fell of its horse. It was no longer the dominant hegemon. There were now smaller hegemons throughout Europe. Overall I liked this week's readings much better than the previous book. It's more interesting to read about in my opinion.