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Globalization: Forces at Work

GLOBALIZATION: The act or process of extending or spreading to other parts of the world; through which the world becomes interconnected; it is moving beyond domestic and national borders in relation to such things as: technology, religion, economics, politics,  finance, education, laws, culture, ethnicity, society, language, populations and militaries.

The GLOBE: Earth.  According to the CIA Factbook “the world’s 325 international land boundaries separate 195 independent states and 71 dependencies, areas of special sovereignty and other miscellaneous entities; ethnicity, culture, race, religion and language have divided states into separate political entities as much as history, physical terrain, political fiat, or conquest…”

It is natural to desire friends and a family and to prosper amidst interaction, while at the same time wanting to keep your individualism and freedom.   It is generally the same for countries and corporations; to have a desire to have citizens and employees and to expand and prosper from the infancy and early growth stages interacting with other nations or corporations, yet to preserve control and identity.  Nevertheless, individual will and the desire of the masses – even a majority in a corporation or country, cannot typically halt change – even significant events; for example: corporate takeovers, revolutions and invasions.

Now before continuing I add the following from the article, Understanding Global Economics (  “Before introducing ‘global’ subjects, especially where corporations, banks and governments are involved (and they always are); i like to begin with a quote from my 1979 college text, Management, ‘…The term multinational firm did not appear in any dictionary until the 1970s…’   Just before this period, President Kennedy was the first president that appeared in televised debates; Johnson was the first to be sworn in behind a bullet proof enclosure and by a woman…  Nixon was the first to attend a manned space launch and the first to visit Communist China (1972) about 24 years before Walmart China (1996) began.”

The term globalization has been found in text as early as 1944 and in the 1960s, but it was popularized by editors and economists such as Theodore Levitt at Harvard Business Review (June 1983).  And from 1983, in less than two decades it was found in thousands of works.


Days and years have continued at the same pace since the first generation of man.  However, time seems to move faster, because of the pace of life; that is of the speed at which things change and events occur.  Globalization has been occurring in its simplest sense throughout the history of earth as people explored and migrated; settled and expanded civilizations and culture.

And as populations increased, inventions and technology increased; along with the need for more land and resources.   And villages became cities and cities became territories and states and nations, men sought to advance and prosper and mankind had to deal with competition, the environment, greed and corruption, violence and war, the exchange of goods and culture, etc.

So as early as the first civilizations in the Fertile Crescent of Mesopotamia – Sumer about 3000BC; and those in Egypt (c. 3000 BC) and the Indus Valley (c. 2500 BC), we find economic trade routes, expansion through migration and conquest, as well as the development and evolution of languages; and thus globalization.

In the sense of significant forced integration of domestic policies, economics, cultures and industries, we find empires globalizing through war and slavery.  Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome all expanded their empires and kingdoms and affected other nations with their own laws, cultures, religions, businesses, government policies and language.   And Han, Khan, Mayan and other dynasties did the same.  And after the invention of the printing press, soon came the Reformation of the 1500s and the next significant spread of Christianity and culture through both migration and missionary work.  And with better ships, weaponry and bigger armies came exploration and colonization of the 1600s to even to 20th century.

But in the sense of significant policies, free enterprise and voluntary international trade and financial markets, globalization occurred and global markets integrated through modern technology in communications, electronics, transportation and the policies of organizations such as the League of Nations and the United Nations.   And these inventions and events did not occur into the late 19th century (Industrial Revolution, electrical science, etc.) and after WWI in the 20th century.


FORCES at WORK: Population and Migration

 As early city-states grew, their people explored, migrated, and traded.  The expansion of Islam after the 7th century or the Mongolian Empire of Genghis Khan through use of overland routes in Eurasia are examples of globalization through population and migration following technology and military advancements.   Now population increases play less a role in globalization, except in the labor force.  And in addition to the voluntary free flow of labor and the culture, knowledge, technology and ideas that go out with the workers; there is also forced labor – although nothing like the slavery of the 16th to 19th centuries during colonization.  Also globalization occurs as refugees flee one land for another.

According to the CIA World Factbook (2016): “the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimated that as of the end of 2015 there were 65.3 million people forcibly displaced worldwide, the highest level ever recorded; this includes 21.3 million refugees, 3.2 million asylum seekers, and 40.8 million conflict IDPs; the UNHCR estimates there are currently at least 10 million stateless persons… the International Labour Organization conservatively estimated that 20.9 million people in 2012 were victims of forced labor, representing the full range of human trafficking (also referred to as “modern-day slavery”) for labor and sexual exploitation; about one-third of reported cases involved crossing international borders, which is often associated with sexual exploitation; trafficking in persons is most prevalent in southeastern Europe, Eurasia, and Africa…”

 FORCES at WORK: Environmental:  Climate and Geography

Weather, climate and the landscape of a territory or nation play another small part in globalization.   At various times in history peoples migrated with their goods and experiences to other lands because their current local become unsustainable.  Nomads are an example of people who learned to live by moving in difficult environments.

Natural disasters such as Volcanos, landslides and tsunamis can affect the migration of peoples.   For example, in 2015 thousands of people migrated from Nepal after landslides block a major river source.   And in Bangladesh a major tsunami hits their coast about every decade or so.  According to Displacement Solutions (2012), ‘Bangladesh is widely recognized as one of the most climate vulnerable countries on earth…  Bangladesh suffers from regular natural hazards that lead to loss of life, land, homes, livelihoods and to the forced displacement of individuals and communities across the country.’

And disasters not only affect globalization through migration; they affect it by the flow of goods and services to those hit regions, by the culture of volunteers to that region, and by the decisions of national corporations and non-profits private and government organizations including the IMF, World Bank and other UN departments.    For example, after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, a myriad of organizations played a role in its economy, food resources, housing and reconstruction.   As people help from other nations such as America, they share their religion, music, ideas, etc.

Geographic location can affect a nation in relation to such things as available resources, trade routes, waterways, mountains and weather.  Another example of how geographic location affects a nation and globalization can be seen in present day Turkey.  Istanbul is located on one of the oldest land passes connecting nations and continents.  It was once called Byzantium, colonized by the Greeks about 660 BC.    It has been subject to many wars and changes, occupied by the Greeks, Spartans, and Romans, which after Emperor Constantine’s death the city’s name was changed to Constantinople.  It became a Christian city.  Then as Muslims began to conquer its territory, its religion, culture and name changed.  It became Istanbul under the Ottoman Turks in 1453.

FORCES at WORK: Transportation and Technology

There is a direct correlation between transportation, technology and globalization.   The colonization and globalization that took place in the 16th through 19th centuries could not had occurred without the ships and advancements in technology – specifically in weapons, building and engineering.

The use of new sails, compasses, maps and bilge pumping systems enabled ships to navigate faster, safer and more accurately.  The use of gun powder and steel would forever change military campaigns and the significance of city and national defenses.

The explorations which began around 1492 with Columbus and others marked a specific point in history for colonization.  And for the next four centuries nations sponsored exploration that lead to increased colonization for the purpose of gaining resources, increasing standard of living in the mother country and expanding business and nation power.

The ‘age of discovery’ or the ‘age of exploration’ would not only increase the power of certain ‘Christian’ nations, it would lead to the formation and advancement of other ‘Christian’ nations.  It is also interesting during this period that one nation would commission business interest and or entrepreneurs and adventurers of another nation.

Spain, Portugal, England and the Dutch all used Italian explorers in the process of their colonization.  Christopher Columbus (who was said to be inspired by the Italian Marco Polo) was commissioned by King Ferdinand of Spain after being rejected by the King of Portugal.  John Cabot’s family moved to London and 12 years later, he was commissioned by the King of England to sail to the new worlds.  In 1497 he became the first modern European known to set foot in North America.  Giovanni da Verrazzano sailed for the French Crown.   Amerigo Vespucci sailed for Portugal and discovered South America (Amerigo; also called Americ or Americo which in Latin is ‘America’).

Portugal did also have its famous explorers such as Vasco da Gama and Ferdinand Magellan whose crew was the first to circumnavigate the world.  Spain produced Juan Ponce de Leon and Hernan Cortes; and other nations did likewise, Drake and Hudson for England and Champlain for France.

Then by World War I colonization gave way to the internationalization of transportation systems, communications, commerce, education, science and other technological advancements integrated with national and business interests.

Steamships and trains seemed wonders along with the telegraph and postal systems; until they were surpassed by technological advancements and uses of gas and electricity.  With these ‘modern’ advancements, especially from the time of World War II, the world entered the ‘Golden Age of Capitalism’ and a time of mass destruction accompanied and followed by mass expansion in banking, business and national interests – and with these soon international interest and globalization.

FORCES at WORK: War, Persecution and Slavery

The expansion of slave trade was significant and vast during the seventeenth century.  Likewise, the America and French Revolutions were paramount in the creation of modern military alliances and business interests, which goes hand and hand in both economic and imperial growth.  And not only would business industry and corporations supply the technology and military weaponry, the Central Banks would supply the money for the resources needed to fund revolutions, national and world wars.

FORCES at WORK: Language and Ethnicity


FORCES at WORK: Religion and Culture

God, Glory and Gold, etc.

FORCES at WORK: Economics: Banking and other Financial Systems


FORCES at WORK: Corporations and Resources

Mercantilism, etc.

FORCES at WORK: Politics and International Organizations



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