Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Going Global...A Long Time Ago

Today's post relates to two of the Powell Center's Keystone Economic Principles:
6. Do what you do best, trade for the rest.
8. Quantity and quality of available resources impact living standards.

Much of what is currently available on the history of globalization seems to focus on the era since the "age of discovery". There are usually three "waves of globalization" identified: the aforementioned age, the late 19th century (or age of empire) and the late 20th and early 21st century.

I've thought that this is a bit restricting. If one is willing to define "global" more loosely - maybe areas that are known and accessible with given technology - then we see "globalization" taking place much earlier. And that globalization includes the trading of ideas, the sharing of culture, and political systems, and not just trade - just like the current definition.

There's an interesting article in today's issue of The Wall Street Journal that speaks to the idea of early globalization, and it focuses on a current show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The main takeaway is that globalization has been going on a long time; and nations seem to benefit in the process.

I look forward to your comments.

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