Thursday, October 1, 2009

Through much of the 18th and 19th century many countries could be considered second world. Many countries that are considered 1st world today were 2nd or 3rd world countries in the 19th century. Event those countries considered first world often had large areas which certainly weren't. Austria although considered a core country due to its location in Europe had many disparities. For instance, some parts in the northern country had an 88 percent illiteracy rate compared to a 11 percent rate in the southern parts.
Technology and industrialization was a major reason some countries significantly developed while others lagged behind. More powerful countries were able to develop technologies and improve industrial out put leading to increased power and conquering ability. While core countries drastically increased their population, industrial output, and power poorer countries fell behind at at an extremely fast rate. Between 1800 and 1900 Europe's power more than doubled from 200 million to 430 million while America's population increased from a mere 30 million to 160 million. As core countries developed, second and third world countries fell making the division in between them even greater.
I found it interesting how some countries advanced just as other countries fell deeper into the periphery. Prior to the 18th century hegemons and core countries were much less defined. I think technology and rapid industrialization was the most important factor in core countries' success. Without industrialization occurring at the fast pace it did i wonder would other countries have more of a chance to catch up.

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