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The outbreak of WW I was an era of extensive globalization, followed by a phase of deglobalization that ended only after WW II. This was the result of an increasing ability to communicate across long distances and after 1870, the percentage of both illiterate men and women fell all over Europe, and even more backward regions such as Spain, Russia, and the Balkans. Journalism became established as a profession and journalists as a social group. In China, Japan, Egypt, and Ottoman Turkey, the press flourished in the traditional language. In 1884 twenty–five states agreed to divide the world into a system of time of zones and establish global time based on the Greenwich meridian. Mastery of space and distance influenced the mindsets and attitudes of the age. Period 1789-1914 were not only a period of globalization but also one of ‘territorialization’ meaning the effort to tie social relations to specifically demarcated political territorial spaces, usually nationstates. By 1913, this system had been adopted almost everywhere. A grand scale of transcontinental steamship spread out and on a smaller case, mobility increased with the help of new inventions such as the bicycle, streetcar, bus, and automobile, and airplane. For many people, globalization first touched their daily lives through the effects of global economic intregation. Since the 1880s at the latest, one spoke of one global economy as an interconnected entity and it is very important to remember three points: 1. The intercontinental flows of labor, capital, and goods were linked with and mutually influenced one another. The export of European capital financed the expansion of the global economic infrastructure. 2. Between 1870-1914 the loosely interconnected trading networks that were usually centered in London consolidated into a unified system. The most important indication of this development is that the balances of trade and payments were now settled multilaterally. 3. The global economy could only function as a coherent system with the help of a welldeveloped infrastructure, which depended on initiatives taken by the nation-states. Since 1870s all important currencies had been based on the gold standard, so that global trade and investment could be conducted without being exposed very much to the risks of inflation and fluctuating exchange rates.
However. The year 1914 became a turning point in the national history of many countries located far from the battlegrounds of the ‘Great War’. integrated national economies and forced them to adapt. The monetary system based on the gold standards also broke down. most of the countries reverted to protectionism after 1878 and the first restrictions on immigration were established. How did the two processes influence each other? Particularly important are the political reactions to the consequences of global economic integration. Trade blockades. and attacks on communication facilities and shipping became means of warfare. Because of that reason. but also because new centers of power arose. On the one hand. it was the ability to mobilize . The industrial West was an area of extraordinarily intense economic interaction in which regional. compared with the period of 1820-1870. Europe was losing its influence as the supreme collective power in the world. On the other. and raw materials such as rubber that were vital to the war. In a period of increasing racism. During the war the colonies supplied Europe with resources such as foodstuffs. The RussoJapanese War of 1904-1905 also proved a harsh setback to European expansion and demonstrated that world politics was something other than just the European balance of power projected onto a global scale The complicated constellation of conflict that existed in 1914 would have been unthinkable in a general sense without globalization. After the war. these restrictions were first directed at Asian migrants. WW I had destroyed the European power system without replacing it with a global one or even a world government. because no state could finance the war without printing more and more paper money. Obviously.Access to the global economy was not only a source of economic profit but also social status and political power. such as New Zealand. even among the great powers there was a confusing variety of roles and political systems. national. Before 1914 the world had primarily consisted of great imperialistic (usually monarchical) powers. more or less dependent periphery. smaller states. and global networks overlapped. globalization occurred parallel and simultaneously to state building. WW I represented a phase of convulsively intensified interaction. Instead. Many European foreign investments were liquidated in order to finance the war. international. stable structures. numerous long-standing networks were destroyed without being replaced by new. it would be wrong to assume that globalization in the 19th century established links between coherent. which lost seventeen thousand soldiers from 1914-1918. and the non-Western. The average annual rate of population growth on earth had doubled during the years 18701913. The great powers system of the turn of the century did not become global merely because of the inflated scope of European ambitions. internment and confiscation. machines.
The experience of worldwide economic crisis and world war meant that this new agenda would be one of global modernization. and cultural trends in globalization during the postwar period. the United States had perceived itself as a world power. compulsory labor duties and the intensified production of goods essential to the war had increased the burden and impact of colonial rule. the war also had given great impetus to anticolonial nationalism everywhere. each country began to pursue a ‘national’ economic policy. Colonized people were demanding self-determination and modernization everwhere. The end of the war in 1945 represented a global turning point because of the willing of the victors to create a new world order. The world markets were suffering from an insurmountable stagnation of demand. Third.resources on a global scale that enabled the Allies to win. and currency. the reparations it was forced to pay. . the ability of American industry to produce the combat and transportation materials needed by the Allied forces was a decisive factor leading to the Allied victory. The demand for better-quality consumer goods dropped of everywhere. During the war government authorithies everywhere took over the de facto control of production. The political programs of both sides were used to mobilize support and loyalties that cut across national borders: The German SS recruited people all across the world who were considered ‘Nordic’. and global trade grew much more slowly than did production. the warwas a highly ideological and racially laden conflict. Second. The gold standard which had been seen as the most important component of the 19th century had thus become ‘golden fetters’. Beside that. since entering the war in 1941. In nearly all colonies. political. even in the United States. spearheaded by the United States. The war’s influence in this regard was threefold. the burden of reconstruction and in Germany’s case. All of the warring European nations were severely in debt due to the cost of war. First. The multilateral interpendence and division of labor of the global economy had been so permanently rocked by the war that it could not be revived. prices. WW II transformed the United States into initiator of economic.
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