generate trade surpluses as a source of wealth … through discouraging imports if theseimports meant that people were less likely to buy locally manufactured goods” (Balaam etal).By the end of the Nineteenth century, much of the non-European world had seen theculmination of the European rivalry for world power, and there was little territory left in thenon-European world to satisfy the demands for later emerging European powers. By1871, through the unification of Germany, Otto von Bismark had created Western andCentral Europe's most economically vigorous and militarily powerful state. (Lieber, 2001 :27)A multi-polar moment was experienced in Europe during this time, with treaties andalliances holding war at bay in an anarchical system of states, whose leaders wereoperating under mercantilist ideologies. By 1914 a sequence of events followed in quicksuccession, requiring national leaders and strategists to “make good” on their militarytreaties and alliances, which saw Europe fall into all-out war. “The European balance of power had failed disastrously” (Lieber, 2001 : 27). By 1918 America had entered the war and turned the tide against Germany. However, with the European allies unable toconstrain the threat of fascism, World War Two broke out in 1939. By the end of the war in1945, the European nation-state system and infrastructure lay in ruins. This sees the firstshoots of the global economic context in which the Southern African region finds itself today.Two world powers emerged from the war, namely the United Soviet Socialist Republic(USSR) and the United States of America (USA). Both powers pursued fundamentallydifferent economic and socio-political strategies and the world political system becameincreasingly bi-polar, with the USSR as one pole touting a socialist paradigm and the USAforwarding an increasingly liberal capitalist system. With the great depression of the 1930'sbarely passed and American commitment to the war hitting home, the Allied states realisedfirstly that the system needed to be altered so that a world war such as that which had justbeen won should never happen again, and secondly that Europe had to be rebuilt. “In1944, 44 states met in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire to devise new rules andinstitutions to govern the postwar international trading and monetary system” (Haywood,2007 : 156). Two major structures emerged from the Bretton Woods conference, namely aproduction structure and a financial structure.