Comparison Of Old World Imperialism And Globalization

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What does a comparison of old-world Imperialism and Globalization reveal about the two systems?

“In Globalization 1.0, which began around 1492, the world went from size large to size medium. In Globalization 2.0, 1800-2000, the era that introduced us to multinational companies, it went from size medium to size small. And then around 2000 came Globalization 3.0, in which the world went from being small to tiny.”

This quote by Friedman reflects the widely held view- that contemporary globalization is not a new phenomenon but a continuation of processes which began with the discovery of the Americas and the beginning of the British Empire. Indeed both Imperialism and contemporary globalization have developed from many of the same
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Many globalization skeptics argue that this Imperial era ushered in greater global integration through the intensified competition for foreign markets and began the progressive era of globalization. However, between 1914 and 1945 the effects of the world wars, isolated regimes and an overall air of unwillingness to invest internationally reversed global integration to an extent. Keynes encapsulates this idea of ‘national self-sufficiency’ that emerged at that time and characterized this ‘economic dark age’;

‘The protection of a country’s existing foreign interests, the capture of new markets, the progress of economic imperialism…I sympathize with those who would minimize, rather than with those who would maximize, economic entanglements between nations. … above all, let finance be primarily national.’

However, many theorists argue that despite this interwar hesitancy, the post-war reconstruction enabled the reformation of the Western European economic systems under free-market terms. For example, consider the impact of the Bretton Woods conference, which provided a framework for the facilitation of economic growth and trade through tying currencies to gold, and the establishment of the IMF to bridge any imbalances of payment. These are examples of new international institutions that created a greater integration of global economies never previously seen.
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