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Sunday 27 November 2022


                                                       HISTORY(X) LESSON- 4





Ø Globalisation refers as the interlinking of the countries. This term refers to an economic system that has emerged since the last 50 years or so.

Ø But as we will see in this chapter that the making of the global world has a long history – of trade, of migration, of people in search of work, the movement of capital, and much else.


Ø In pre modern world travelers, merchants, priests and pilgrims travelled to far off distances for knowledge, opportunity and spiritual fulfilment.

Ø These people used to carry along goods, money, values, skills, ideas, inventions and sometimes diseases also.

Ø Not only this, they also took various foods and cultural habits with them to the different places that resulted in the diversity of culture.

Ø This interlinked can be traced around 3000 B.C when Indus valley civilization connected with the present-day West Asia. The currency which was used for trade activities was cowries or seashells.


Ø The silk routes serve as a good example of the pre modern trade and cultural links between the different parts of the world.

Ø Historians have found out various silk routes over land and through the sea. These routes were linked with the vast regions of Asia, Europe and Northern Africa. These routes existed since before the Christian era.

Ø This route was used not only for silk but the Chinese pottery, the textiles and spices from India and Southeast Asia went to different parts of world. In return the expensive metals like gold and silver moved from Europe to Asia.

Ø Just like trade, there was cultural exchange also. Various Christian, Muslim and Buddhist preachers went to different parts and spread into different parts of the Asia.


Ø Food is a great example of cultural exchange. Many crops were introduced in different places and reached in different places by traders and travellers.

Ø Take for example spaghetti and noodles. The belief about the noodles is that it travelled from China to west and became spaghetti. Some even say that pasta was taken to Sicily (island in Italy) by the Arabs.

Ø Our common foods such as potatoes, soya, groundnuts, maize, tomatoes, chillies, sweet potatoes were introduced in Europe and Asia after the discovery of vast continent Americas made by Christopher Columbus.

Ø So, we can say that most of our common foods came from America’s original inhabitants- the American Indians.

Ø Sometimes the new crops could make the difference between life and death. Potatoes being cheap became an essential food for the poor of Europe. Ireland’s poorest peasants became so dependent on them that most of them died when the crop failed in the mid1840s.



Ø The European sailors found a sea route in 16TH century and succeeded to cross the western ocean to reach America and Asia.

Ø Before this, for many centuries, the Indian Ocean was a famous trading centre. The Indian subcontinent was the centre of the exchange of goods, people, knowledge, customs etc.

Ø America remained unknown to the world for millions of years. Its discovery in the sixteenth century led to the beginning of trade of its minerals and crops.

Ø Valuable metals, especially silver from mines of present-day Peru and Mexico increased the wealth of Europe that financed its trade with Asia.

Ø  As these expeditions gained popularity in order to explore more trade and wealth centres, rumours and imaginations also became common. So, in the seventeenth century many expeditions set off in search of El Dorado, the fabled city of gold.


Ø The Portuguese and the Spanish started colonizing America in order to enhance their trade and increase their wealth.

Ø But conquering was not always done with the use of arms and ammunition but it also happened because of the spread of disease.

Ø Spanish conquerors who took germs of small pox with them to America. The natives were not immune to deadly disease. This resulted in the death of a large number of the Native Americans and found the way of establishing Spanish control over the place.


Ø Poverty and hunger became a common problem in Europe until 1ith century.

Ø The cities became crowded and there was an outbreak of deadly diseases.

Ø Religious disputes became common and people were persecuted. Various people left Europe for America.

Ø During the eighteenth century, African slaves were captured to work in the sugar and cotton plantations to be sold into the European markets.


Ø If we talk about Asian countries like China and India during the eighteenth century, both of these countries were the richest countries in the world.

Ø They were the leading countries in the Asian trade.

Ø But during the fifteenth century China restricted its overseas trade which resulted in decline of its importance in the trade world.

Ø America gradually gained an important position in the trade market and this led to the moving of the centre of the world trade westwards.

Ø Europe soon rose to be the centre of world trade.

So, now that we know about the pre modern time in which the trades began within the different continents, let’s see what new changes were experienced in the nineteenth century.




Ø During the nineteenth century various economic, political, social and cultural factors led to the change of the societies and the external relations.

Ø In the nineteenth century three types of flow between the international economies were noticed. These were: -

§  Movement of goods-Trade

§  Movement of people: -Migration of people in search of work

§  Movement of capital: -Investments over long distances.

Ø These three flows were interconnected in a way that affected the life of people in a deeper way than before. These flows resulted in the shaping of the world economy.


Ø Traditionally, countries liked to be self-sufficient in food. But in 19th Britain, self-sufficiency in food meant lower living standards and social conflicts.

Ø In the 18th century the demand for the food grains increased in Britain. due to the huge population of Britain which raise price of the food grains.

Ø At the same time British government put restrictions on the import of goods due to the pressure by the various landed groups. These laws came to be known as the Corn Laws.

Ø This led to the increase in food prices. The industrialists and the urban residents were unhappy because of this and hence forced the government to abolish the Corn Laws. So, the government abolished the Corn Laws in Britain. It creates a great impact on Britain.


§  Scrapped of corn law led to the import of cheap corn into the country creating a tough competition for the corn growers.

§  The lands were left uncultivated because growing corn in Britain was not profitable business any more.

§  This led to the unemployment of laborers as they were thrown out of the work. Hence, these people were forced to move to the cities or to different countries for work.

§  The food prices fell and the consumption of the same increased in Britain. From the mid nineteenth century, the rapid industrial growth increased the income of Britain. So, now Britain could import more food.

§  Around the world- in Eastern Europe, Russia, America and Australia lands were cultivating food to export it into Britain.

§  The railway lines were also laid and new harbours were built to link the agricultural regions.

§  Soon people had to get settled on lands in order to cultivate them. Therefore, the need of building homes and settlements arose.

§  For this, there was a huge need for finance and labour. This led to flow of capital from London and supply of labour in America and Australia.

§  Such a situation led to the migration of about 50 million people from Europe to America and Australia in the nineteenth century. It is estimated that about 150 million people around the world left their homes for a better future.

§  So, by 1890, a global agricultural economy came into being. It was accompanied by the various types of labour movement patterns, capital flows, ecologies and technology.

§  So, now food didn’t come from a nearby village or town but from a far-off distance.

§  The agricultural workers started working on the land and all the agricultural regions were linked by the railways, ports etc.

§  The ships which took the food grains were generally manned by low paid workers from southern Europe, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.


§  All these changes were also observed in the west Punjab but on a smaller scale.

§  The British government developed the canal system in order to transform a semi desert area into fertile lands. It was done so in order to grow cotton and wheat in order to export it.

§  The Canal Colonies, as the areas irrigated by the new canals were called, were settled by peasants from other parts of Punjab

Ø All these changes shape the new global economy. The world trade during 1820-1914 was estimated to have multiplied from 25 to 40 times. Around 60 percent of the trade comprised of primary products i.e. the agricultural products such as wheat, cotton and mineral like coal.

Ø In this way we can say that the role of agricultural products in shaping the world economy. Let’s talk about the role of technology in shaping up the world economy which we see today.


Ø Technology plays an important role in the growth of the world economy.

Ø The invention of railways, steamships and telegraph played an important role in transforming the nineteenth century world.

Ø The advancement in technology was due to the various social, political and economic factors. The colonization increased the demand of improved transportation such as faster railways, larger ships and so on as this would facilitate the quick and cheap movement of agricultural products to distant places.

Ø The meat trade is one of the finest examples of this connected process. Earlier, the animals were shipped alive from America to Europe. This was not a profitable venture for most of the time for the following reasons:

§  The livestock used to take up more space

§  Most of them died, fell ill or caught diseases which resulted in their being unfit to be consumed.

§  This resulted in the rise in price of meat.

Ø This problem sorted with the introduction of ships with refrigerators. It had the following benefits.

§  The meat could be shipped in large quantities resulting in the cost cutting of the transportation.

§  Now, it was easy to handle the perishable meat for a longer time.

§  The price of the meat reduced; this allowed the poor to consume meat as their daily diet.

Ø But as the world was shrinking due to the improved transportation the growth of imperialism was also experienced during this time. Various European powers were establishing their colonies in different countries which would serve their businesses in the home country.


Ø During the nineteenth century, trade flourished and markets also expanded. But this period is not remembered for the expansion of trade and economic prosperity only, but also for the darker side to this process.

§  In many parts of the world, the growth and expansion of trade brought some of the disadvantages such as loss of freedoms and livelihoods.

§  During this century Europeans gained control over various territories of the world and formed their colonies.

§  In 1885 the European powers met in Berlin to control over Africa to complete the division process of Africa among them.

·      Britain and France were the ones that had established their control over vast overseas territories in the late nineteenth century.

·      Belgium and Germany rose as the new colonial powers.

·      Later in 1890, US became a colonial power by gaining control over the territories held by Spain.

Ø This colonization by the European powers led to a destructive impact on the lives of the people who were the residents of these colonies.


Ø Rinderpest was a cattle disease which spread in Africa in the 1890s leading to a deep impact on the lives and livelihood of the Africans.

Ø Africa-before Colonialism

§  Africa had vast land and a relatively small population. For centuries, the African people were dependent on the land and livestock.

§  As their needs were fulfilled with the land and livestock, none of them had ever worked for wages.

§  So, when Europeans entered Africa, they were unable to get laborers for themselves because no one was ready to work for the wages.

Ø So, in order to get laborers, they started using forceful methods as-

§  By increase in tax that could be paid only if the Africans work for wages.

§  Later on, the ownership rights of land were limited up to only one member, as a result other members were pushed into the labour market.

§  Mineworkers were kept confined in the compounds and were not allowed to move freely.

Ø Spread Of Rinderpest

§  The cattle plague or the Rinderpest arrived in Africa in the 1880s.

§  It came with the infected cattle that were imported from British Asia in order to feed the Italian Soldiers invading Eritrea in East Africa.

§  The Rinderpest disease very soon moved towards west from east then towards Atlantic coast in 1892.

§  It reached the Cape five years later. It is estimated that Rinderpest killed 90 percent of the cattle.

Ø Effect Of Rinderpest

§  Rinderpest killed the 90 percent of the animals of Africa.

§  It destroyed the livelihoods of the Africans.

§  So, they started to work in the planters, mine owners and colonial government who can now monopolized the scarce cattle resource to strengthen their power.


Ø A bonded labourer under contract to work for an employer for a specific amount of time, to pay off his passage to a new country or home is known as Indentured labour. The story of indentured or the bonded labour also serves as a best example to explain the two-sided nature of the nineteenth-century world.

§  On one side it shows the fast-growing economies and on the other, it shows the great misery.

§  Some were becoming wealthier and other poorer, there was technological advancement in some areas and new forms of coercion in other areas.


§  In the nineteenth century a large number of Indian and Chinese laborers went to work on plantations, mines and rails and roads construction projects around the world.

§  The Indian indentured laborers were hired under contracts with the condition of return travel to India after the completion of five years at the employers’ plantation.

§  Most of these workers belonged to areas like east Uttar Pradesh, Central India, Bihar and dry districts of Tamil Nadu. The people of these areas were forced to indentured labour for number of reasons:

·      Decline of cottage industries

·      Rise in rent of lands

·      Most of the lands were cleared for mines and plantations.

§  All the above things affected the lives of people so badly that they become deeply indebted and hence were forced to leave their home in search of work.

§  Most of Indian indentured migrants visited places like Caribbean islands like Trinidad, Guyana and Surinam or Mauritius and Fiji, Ceylon and Malaya.

§  The recruitment was generally carried on by various agents.


§  The Indian indentured laborers were hired under contracts with the condition of return travel to India after the completion of five years at the employers.

§  It was done by the agents who tried to tempt the workers by showing them non real dreams about the good working conditions and good wages.

§  The workers saw these jobs as an opportunity to come out of poverty and misery.

§  But they were generally unaware about the real truth of harsh working conditions and low wages in these places of work.

§  In some cases the workers were forcefully abducted to work by these agents. Some of them escaped from these places. Those who were caught were severely punished.


Ø Many Indentured labour have discovered their own ways of surviving as; -

§  Many workers decided to be a part of the new culture prevailing at these places.

§  For Example, In Trinidad the annual Muharram procession started receiving participation by the people of all races and religions.

§  Likewise, the protest religion of Rastafarianism is also said to reflect the cultural links with Indian migrants to the Caribbean.

§  Not only this, the popular chutney music of Trinidad and Guyana is another creative contemporary expression of the post indenture experience.

§  So, many did not come back to India .That is why we still found people from Indian origin residing at these places.

·      V.S. Naipaul-Nobel prize winner.

·      West Indies cricketers Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan

Ø Though they had started relating themselves with the new culture but still know that their lives were full of hardships. So, in order to protect the rights of such workers Indian nationalist leaders began opposing the system of indentured labour migration as abusive and cruel. It was abolished in 1921.


Ø As we have known that food and crops were exported, which required capital. Large plantations could borrow it from banks and markets.

Ø The poor peasants used to borrow money from Indian bankers. Shikaripuri Shroffs and Nattukottai Chettiars were the important bankers or money lenders who provide money for export agriculture.

Ø The funds provided by them were either their own or borrowed funds from European banks. They had a sophisticated system to transfer money over large distances and even developed indigenous forms of corporate organization.

Ø The Indian traders also followed the European colonizers into Africa. So, from 1860’s Indian traders were able to establish their shops at busy ports worldwide through which they sell local and imported products to tourists and others. For, example Hyderabadi Sindhi traders developed safe and comfortable passenger vessels.


Ø Historically, the fine Indian cotton was in huge demand in Europe but with the development of technology and growth of industries, British cotton manufacture began to expand.

Ø As British industrialists were facing tough competition from the Indian cotton so they forced the government to impose restrictions on the import of cotton in Britain. This resulted in the decline of the Indian cotton export.

Ø In the beginning of the nineteenth century, British traders started exporting their products into various countries. This led to a tough competition for the Indian textiles or cotton producers as there were no taxes for the British producers.

Ø This led to a decline in the trade share of the Indian textile. For instance, there was some 30 percent of share of Indian cotton in the trade market during 1800 which declined to 15 percent by 1815. By the 1870s this proportion dropped below 3 percent.

Ø When India was experiencing decline in the export of furnished products it also saw the increase in export of raw materials.

Ø So, between 1812 and 1871 the share of raw cotton exports rose from 5 percent to 35 percent.

Ø Indigo used for dying cloth was another such product that was exported for many decades. The export of opium to China grew rapidly in 1820.

Ø Britain grew opium in India and exports it to China in order to earn income. This income was then used to import tea and other products from China.


Ø In the nineteenth century Britishers were importing products from India at low cost and exporting finished products at very high cost. Thus, Britain had a trade surplus, which means that its income was higher than its expenses.

Ø So, Britain started using this surplus in order to cover its trade deficit with other countries.

Ø Britain’s trade surplus also helped in paying off the home charges such as remittances, debts and pensions.

Ø So, now we know how the world trade grew and took a new shape. Its association with forced labour and colonialization gave it a new shape. But soon this led to the war between various economies as now everyone wants to earn more and wants to have more share in the world trade. 


Ø The First World War (1914-18) was fought in Europe. The war which was supposed to end within a few months lasted up to 4 years. It was fought between two powers:

§  Allies and the central power: - Britain, France and Russia. They were later joined by the US.

§  Central powers: - Germany, Austria- Hungary, and Ottoman Turkey.

§  But it impacted the whole world.


Ø This war proved to be very destructive as it saw the use of machine guns, tanks, aircraft, chemical weapons etc. on a large scale. All these were the products of modern large-scale industry.

Ø To fight the war, millions of soldiers were recruited from around the world and were taken to the actual place. The war took the lives of around 9 million people and 20 million were injured.

Ø Those who were killed or injured were generally men of working age. These deaths reduced the workforce in Europe. So, women stepped out to undertake jobs.

Ø As the war had increased expenditure so the Britain borrowed money from US banks as well as from the US public. This led to a change in the position of the US from the debtor to creditor and also a prosperity of the US citizens.

Ø The war had generated a situation of economic crisis in various countries which had led to huge loss of men and money.


Ø Post-war economic recovery was not an easy task. Britain that was once a prosperous economy before the war was now in a situation of crisis.

Ø This was because when Britain was busy in war. The industries in Japan and India developed.

Ø So, after the war, Britain found it difficult to regain its control over the Indian market and also it was unable to compete with Japan in the international market.

Ø Moreover, Britain had taken huge amounts of loans from the US at very high rates of interest which resulted in the huge external debts on the economy.

Ø After the war huge population became unemployed due to decrease in demand, production and employment.

Ø The government also reduced its public expenditure after the war to cover up its losses. So, the situation during post war time was worse.

Ø The agricultural economies also went into crisis after the war. Before war Eastern Europe was the major supplier of wheat in the world market. But when the supply was disrupted during war many countries like Canada, America and Australia increased their wheat production. So, when the war was over, there was a huge supply of wheat from various parts of the world leading to fall in the price of wheat and rendering farmers into debts.


Ø As we know that war helped in boosting the US economy therefore after a short period of difficulty the US economy resumed a strong growth in the early 1920s due to the concept of mass production in the 1920s.

Ø It was first used by a famous car manufacturer Henry Ford. He took this idea from the assembly line of a Chicago slaughterhouse where the slaughtered animals were picked apart by butchers as they came down a conveyor belt.

Ø Henry ford applied this concept of assembly line to his new car plant in Detroit. His view was that the assembly line method will allow quicker and cheaper way of producing vehicles by expertise in a particular task.

Ø As it was assumed the production increased, Ford’s cars came off the line at a gap of three minutes.

Ø But the problem arose when workers refused to work as this was impossible for them to match the pace of the work. To encourage them Ford doubled their daily wage.

Ø Though it was a risky decision made by him that could lead him to the losses but it proved to be a profitable venture for him. He forced his workers to work hard. This resulted in high production which in return cut down its cost of production and Ford was able to earn huge profits.


Ø The industrial practice used by Ford became an inspiration for other production houses in the US and Europe in the 1920s.

Ø Mass production led to lowering down of the cost of production.

Ø Due to higher wages the living standard of the workers also improved. They could even buy cars now.

Ø This led to more sales of cars and so the car production in the US increased from 2 million in 1919 to more than 5 million in 1929.

Ø Similarly, there was an increase in the demand of refrigerators, washing machines, radios, gramophone players by the hire purchase system. Hire purchase system means when you buy a product on weekly or monthly instalments.

Ø The increase in demand for houses and consumer goods brought the boom in the economy and led to the prosperity of the US.

Ø The demand and investment in housing and consumer goods created more chances of employment and income. So, in 1923 the US grabbed the largest share of overseas lending.

Ø Though US export triggered the European recovery and world trade and income growth for next few years, it could not last longer.


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