The Uses and Abuses of Nationalism - Essay Example

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Giant economies in the world today prides in their ability to produce and sell to other countries, hence boosting their economic outputs. These world economic powers have benefited themselves…
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The Uses and Abuses of Nationalism
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The Uses and Abuses of Nationalism The sectors of commerce and trade are central to economic development across the world. Giant economies in the world today prides in their ability to produce and sell to other countries, hence boosting their economic outputs. These world economic powers have benefited themselves since the ancient times by capitalizing on nationalism and imperialism. In both economic and the political systems, commerce and have been issues that have taken center stage in the ancient times. In Chapter 33 of Ideas: A History of Thought and Invention, from Fire to Freud, Peter Watson mentions how the dynamics of commerce has played a critical role among the world powers.
The religious systems influenced the way commerce and trade has been done since the ancient times. During the 17th Century, there was a disagreement in establishing what was right according to the religious beliefs at the time. A rift had emerged between the Protestants and the Catholics, leading to the northern European nations’ interest in “trade and commerce” (896). The transition from Catholicism to Protestant among many Europeans created a transformation in commerce. Watson says, “New mercantile classes were replacing the traditional military and landowning aristocracies as the main political force.” (896).This demonstrates the influence of religion on trade and commerce during the ancient times. However, the influence of religious systems has continued to be minimal with time. In the modern day society, the input of the religious systems in matters of commerce and trade is almost inexistent. The change has been characterized by religious tolerance and freedom of religion as enshrined in the bill of rights.
Colonization helped shape trade and commerce in the European countries as well as those of their colonies. Courtesy of British colonization, America sprung to become a giant economy partly because most of the individuals who embarked on building the country had a great background. Watson supports this argument by mentioning that, “Britain had her American colonies… she had emerged as the most powerful of the maritime nations” (897). Some of the Britain’s benefits came from the trade and taxes that were levied on its colonies, an aspect that facilitated the growth of the economy.
Slavery was a key component of economic growth, in an attempt to maintain supremacy and high economic output western countries pioneered by Portugal engaged in slave trade. It began around 1444 despite criticism from several quarters, especially from key personalities such as Cicero and Aristotle (899). Slave trade greatly made labor cheap and hence facilitated the industrial revolution in many countries including the United States and Europe. This type of imperialism boosted trade and commerce greatly; partly because the competition that existed between the industrializing countries, was facilitated by the presence of adequate unskilled workforce. Later on, courtesy of massive advocacy by governments and civil right groups slave trade was abolished but the positive economic impact it left was insurmountable.
In conclusion, commerce and trade have been aspects of keen focus by many countries in attempt to grow their economies. They have been under the influence of several factors that have continued to change with time. From the ancient times, the political systems have been very influential in trade and commerce. Other factors that have shaped trade and commerce in the past include nationalization, religion, imperialism, and slave trade among other factors.
Works Cited
Watson, Peter. Ideas: A History of Thought and Invention, from Fire to Feud. Chapter 33: The Uses and Abuses of Nationalism and Imperialism. Harper Perrenial. 2006. Print Read More
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