The early waves of economic globalization

The early waves of economic globalization.

Early waves of economic globalization

“The Germinal Phase: The Treaty of Westphalia and the Principle of Sovereignty: The modern state and system of global governance arose from the rubble of these wars. By 1648, most European princes and kings were bankrupt by the expense of war. Many had already signed treaties with one another. They met in the Westphalia region of Germany to broker a peace. As a consequence of the Treaty (or Treaties) of Westphalia, secular political power was stripped from religious authorities. The Treaty of Westphalia gave shape to an association of states, each of which claimed sovereignty within its political boundaries and legitimacy based on the nation within. Sovereignty over a politically defined territory and the citizens within remains the defining characteristic of the modern nation-state (Mann 2003, 137).

The Silk Road Into the Middle Ages: The Silk Road encompassed nearly all the world known to those who traveled it. For close to 2,000 years, from ancient times into the 16th century, it connected Asia, the Middle East, and Europe first by land and later by land and sea. Trade was extensive, extending into Africa as well. Some theorists date globalization to that era. Societies that traded along the Silk Road were not highly interdependent economically, but cultural diffusion was high. In the Middle Ages, trade expanded rapidly, and nations signed treaties of commerce to make trade more secure. Military exploits expanded feudal territories and enriched aristocracies, but the feudal economic system itself did not encourage or require globalization because feudal systems are self-sustaining economically.

The Colonial Wave: Planting the Seed of the Global Economy, 1500s to 1860s: The legacy of colonial systems has been long lived, influencing economic development and the position of societies in the global economy to this day. European immigrants with varying motivations rushed to populate and settle the colonies in the Americas, some to escape their nation and some in the name of it. The sparse population, richness of resources, and clemency of weather made these lands amenable as settler colonies” (Chirico, 2014).

Chirico, J. (2014) Globalization: Prospects and Problems. Thousand oaks, California. Sage Publications. Retrieved from

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The early waves of economic globalization

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