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The Roles of Globalization in Timothy Brook’s Vermeer’s Hat and Sidney Mintz’s Sweetness and Power

Decent Essays
Globalization deals with the break down of traditional boundaries in the face of increasingly global financial and cultural trends. It is a process that results in the growing interconnectedness of the world. Globalization is understood as the force that promotes the global interdependence of economies, political systems, and societies. It creates a complex system of exchanges of goods, services, people, wealth, knowledge, and beliefs. Both Timothy Brook’s Vermeer’s Hat and Sidney Mintz’s Sweetness and Power deal with the role of commodities in world history. Mintz analyzes the history of sugar production and consumption in Europe. Mintz discusses how the fall of sugar as a luxurious and exotic product to a necessity for the most common of the working class was able to command a revolution in diet and lifestyle, during industrialization and the rise of capitalism. Brook tells the story of tobacco’s route from the Americas to Europe. As tobacco became a commercial crop, it allowed for a new system of trade, further connecting Europe, the Americas, and Africa. Both works highlight the importance of each respective commodity in the linking of the global community. The integration of both sugar and tobacco in global trade had a profound impact on the power structures of society in the seventeenth century.
“Before the end of the seventeenth century, while sugar, was still a precious and rare substance, it had little meaning for most English people, though if they ever got to
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