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The Global Shift of Power in the 1600 And 1700s - Research Paper Example

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The Global Shift of Power in the 1600 And 1700s. Nationalism, pursuit of wealth and trade opportunities along with religious and scientific motives has led empires and nations to build epicenters of economic, financial and political powers. …
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The Global Shift of Power in the 1600 And 1700s
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Download file to see previous pages The aftermath of 2008 financial and economic crisis witnessed another major shift in the balance of economic, financial and political power from the advanced countries to emerging markets – from West to East (“Emerging Markets”), or from the West to the Rest. This shift is, of course, not the first time that we have seen in the history of geopolitical influences. The meteorotic rise of the West from the 15th century and in parallel, the decline of China, was itself an earlier example, if not mirror image, of such kind of shift. The industrial revolution that gave birth to what is called “The Great Divergence” (the mounting divergence in manufacturing competence and in ability to project power between the first countries to industrialize, chiefly in Europe, and the rest of the world) marked another global shift. It is no surprise that the first industrial nation, Great Britain, controlled fully a quarter of the world’s population and landmass by the end of the 19th century. There was another transfer of power from the pioneer industrializer, Britain, to imperial Germany that attributed to the economic and geopolitical tensions setting the stage for World War I (Eichengreen). In his thesis, The World in Depression 1929-1939, author Charles Kindleberger notes that the Great Depression of the 1930s was an outcome of the global shift in power from Britain to the United States, one that left an drained Britain unable to manage global economy and an untested United States unwilling to do so. There was another power paradigm after World War II toward the two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, and consequently the supremacy of the U.S. over the Western world. Since then, its economic prowness has been gradually declining due to catch-up growth by Europe, Japan and other East Asian powers. We are today witnessing a shift towards emerging markets like China and India. Declining Eastern Powers in mid 15th century During the 1400s, Ming China was, by far, the leading economic power. It boasted of construction landmarks such as the Great Wall, a standing army with a million troops and mastery of gunpower, printing, papermaking and compasses. Two critical factors led to a gradual decline of Ming Dynasty, resulting in a global shift towards the West (Bosworth). First, the Ming Dynasty turned inward. Zheng He’s fleet was dismantled. Restrictions were placed on the size of newly constructed ships. By the end of the 15th century, subjects of the Chinese empire were prohibited to build ocean-going ships or to leave China. The Silk Route was all but closed to traffic. The Chinese met early European intrusions by limiting contact to a handful of treaty ports. Isolation to foreign ideas, absence of foreign competition, and the smothering effects of tradition set China led to a long period of economic stagnation. The second factor was enhanced Western influence through better sailing, navigation and military technology. Rise of Europe – 1600 to 1700 A.D. A detailed look at the West European economic growth is key to understand the global shift of power from East to the West. The origins of this surge in economic development and the related Industrial Revolution are considered to lie in the economic, political and social developments of Western Europe over the preceding centuries, most often starting in the 16th century (Acemoglu, Johnson and Robinson). Throughout the 17th and early 18th centuries, several geopolitical shifts occurred in Europe as the riches of the individual countries grew and faded. Marked political and religious ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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