Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Was World War 1 The First War Of Globalization?

The first World War reconfigured the world that existed prior to the war.  In many ways we are still living with the consequences of the war and the events that followed.  There are many historical explanations for the causes of the war.  This is a review of book that links the cause to industrialization in Britain and Germany and the globalization of the economy that followed.  It argues that both nations moved to higher productivity manufacturing and a movement of much of its population from agricultural communities to the cities.  They imported much of their food and they both developed a powerful navy to protect their food supplies and the flow of their exports to nations that supplied their food and raw materials.  In other words, industrialization and globalization led to the development of a powerful military force in each country.  Some historians believe that globalization increases dependence upon one's trading partners and that reduces the likelihood of war.  It is clear, however, that globalization increases competition between nations and it can shift the balance of power within nations.  Workers are concerned about competition with cheap labor and they tend to resist immigration.  It also places a burden on political systems that are forced to deal with rapid changes which are often beyond their control.

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