Essay on Impact of Globalization on the Development of States From the 1500

Published: 2021/11/12
Number of words: 1536

Globalization affected the development of modem states from 1500 to the present because of the need to make free trade, the flow of capital, and the tapping of foreign labor markets transcending into nation-state boundaries and expanding trade and economic competition between empires and countries seeking new resources. The change is driven by an integration of worldwide economy, where values, technology, human products and practices are disseminated. Because of such factors, there have been various outcomes from 1500 to the present day, a major one being international human trafficking from Africa, beginning the era of slavery. An impact assessed through comparing the effect of globalization on America and Africa in the following.

Social and Philosophical Forces

Social forces significantly contributed to the globalization and development of modern states. Such forces include the new nationalism, changes in social structure and class systems, and the changing role of religion in people’s daily lives. According to Gill (2017), the forces have contributed to the latter through influencing international relations shaping the modern state’s development. Enlightenment philosophies and religions have equally contributed to the development of modern states in this era. The philosophies and beliefs have changed the way people thought about the role of government and its interactions with other people as encouraged by ideas such as natural law and social contracts. Through the two ideas, people were able to challenge governmental structures and the society in both regions since the Middle Ages. As such, they are shaping and structuring the modern states from the early ages.

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Economic Forces

Economic forces have specifically and contributed to the development of states over time. The changes are due to increasing global connectedness of trade, exploration, and empire-building. According to Cohn (2012), human resources, natural resources, capital formation, and technology shape the forces of an economy that drive the economic growth of different states. Governments in highly developed countries focus on these areas than those from low developed countries bringing about economic disparities. The latter is the difference in the development of states between different regions like America and Africa. Economic forces driving economic growth narrow down to specific goods and commodities, which have been vital in developing global connections and state structures.

The goods and commodities have impacted global economies and national state priorities both in America and Africa. The flow of goods and commodities to facilitate trade has created economic sufficiency since no nation has been self-sufficient. Elson (2020) further notes that each government is involved at various levels of trades, either through buying or selling, facilitated by the specific goods and commodities, to acquire what they lack and produce efficiently what they can. Such goods and commodities have been instrumental in international and long-distance trade and shaped many trade factors since 1500. The Silk Road cutting across continents was an ancient trade route made possible by the goods and commodities transiting through it for over 600 years. Since the Middle Age, the global connection and state structures have been influenced by trade strengthening global economies at varying levels (Cohn, 2012). Hence the varying economic strengths witnessed today between America and Africa.

Political Forces

Political events have precipitated the formation of modern states and global interactions. Steger (2020) points out that war, revolutions, and the building of empires since 1500 have shaped globalization and the development of modern states. Political approaches towards such events in the two regions, America and Africa, have created economic growth and growth opportunities in states within the areas. War has contributed to the development of security measures that have affected globalization. The development of nuclear weapons facilitated World War I and II has had political ramifications in various world regions such as Africa and America. Multiple incidences of revolution occurring since 1500 have brought forth military aspects that equally contributed to the development of modern globalization. Control of political spaces became necessary as the building of empires widened across various regions. Today, political influence still has a significant impact on globalization.

Forces of Globalization

Globalization is shaped by various trends, impacting the development of specific states and global relations across multiple regions. Such events or trends include increased exploration and global interactions, inspiration from emerging nations, and opposition to imperial or communist rule. Kochtcheeva (2020) explains that increased exploration and global interactions led to the development of the Silk Road, for instance, across the Arabian Peninsula. The Silk Road, used for nearly 1500 years, has been the most enduring trade route in human history. The trade route allowed the transport of goods and commodities over a long distance and served as a vector where various ideas and religions were diffused. The latter lead to civilization, further widening globalization and facilitated the development of modern states even in neighboring regions such as Europe and Africa.

Such events and trends leading to the development of states, in turn, impacted neighboring areas. The Silk Road contributed to substantial growth in ancient trade, facilitating the development of neighboring states through trade practices. The road was a chain link that connected various regions across Asia, Middle East, and Europe, areas close to Africans. Merchants with their caravans shipped goods from one trade center to the other. Increased trade due to the chain road connection led to the development of more trade routes that facilitated the development of regions. Different empires emerged across the trade routes, and political influence increased across China to the Mediterranean basin. The facilitation of trade further heightened trade in other regions, such as Africa, with the free movement of goods and commodities (Kochtcheeva, 2020). As a result, trade becoming a weapon for colonization since 1500.

Historical Perspective

The development of globalization and the emergence of modern states set the stage for modern events and characteristics. Dowrick and Delong (2013) explain that the expansion of democracy, the outbreak of world war, and the growth of international terrorism are some of how modern states have developed through globalization. Since 1500, extensive trading links were extended to the rest of the world, increasing the development of globalization that helped spur social change and economic development. Europe, which developed due to globalization, became more relevant to the world, asserting itself. Colonization of the African region by different European states happened in the last parts of the nineteenth century, dramatically transforming world history. A time, in which part of the world lacked freedom and the colonialists-majorly Europeans-ruled their lands, lives, and resources, leading to revolutions and significantly contributing to the world war. Even post-colonization, the European way of international relations became the norm.

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The growth of international terrorism equally became one of the significant modern events emerging from historical perspectives. Globalization is a precipitating factor to the rise of global territorial conquest, expansion, and domination witnessed from 1500. Economic development based on science-based technology influences trade mechanisms among nations, financial and capital investment, and power in the international monetary system. There is also the aspect of military dominations by highly developed countries that emerge technological and superior weaponry, worldwide peacekeeping interventions, and occasional wars. The American political and ideological influence leads to a moral superiority that facilitates causes of terrorism such as poverty, inequality, energy, oil, psychopathy, and Islamic fundamentals (Dowrivk & Delong, 2013). An influence dominating from 1500 and is aggravated further by globalization to international terrorism.


Globalization affected the development of modern states from 1500 to the present because of the need to make free trade and expand territories. Globalization has been fundamental to the development of the modern world today and has developed over time across different decades. The impact of globalization is both positive and negative. War, revolutions, empire-building has been among the emerging consequences arising from globalization. Such impacts have primarily shaped the development of modern states, having America, West Europe, and East Asia as the significant determinants upon which political and ideological influences shape the rest of the world. Hence the considerable differences between different regions such as America and Africa, whose impacts are vast.


Cohn, S. (2012). O’Connorian models of development: How states literally build economic growth. Employment and Development under Globalization1(1), 33-60.

Dowrick, S., & Delong, J. B. (2013). Globalization and Convergence. Globalization in Historical Perspective, 191-220.

Elson, A. (2019). The Impact of Income and Wealth Inequality in the United States. The United States in the World Economy1(1), 131-150.

Gill, G. (2017). The nature and development of the modern state. Palgrave.

Kochtcheeva, L. V. (2020). The Forces of Globalization. Russian Politics and Response to Globalization1(1), 1-29.

Steger, M. B. (2020). 4. The Political Dimension of Globalization. Globalization: A Very Short Introduction1(1), 64-82.

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