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Class 10 Class 12

The Making of a Global World

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The Nineteenth Century (1815-1914)

The world had changed profoundly during the 19th century. There were changes in social, political, economic and technological factors in much complex way during this period. The changes altered the external relations beyond recognition.

Economists identify three types of flows within international economic exchanges. These are as follows:

  1. Flow of trade.
  2. Flow of labour.
  3. Flow of capital.

A World Economy Takes Shape

  1. Industrial Revolution changed the consumption and production pattern of the people.
  2. Demand for food increased, England imposed Corn Laws but tried to withdraw them under pressure from urban dwellers and industrialists. It led to import of cheap agricultural products into England.
  3. Countries like Eastern Europe, Russia, America and Australia increased their food production to meet British needs and became industrialised.
  4. There was a shortage of labour in Americas and Australia. Global Migration took place and nearly 50 million people migrated from Europe to America and Australia in the 19th century due to poverty, hunger and to escape religious persecution.

Indentured Labour Migration from India

  1. Indentured labour is a bonded labour who is hired on contract for a specific employer for a specific period of time.
  2. Many poor Indians from modern day Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Central India and dry districts of Tamil Nadu became indentured labours.
  3. Indentured labour immigration from India started to the Caribbean Islands, Mauritius, Fiji, Ceylon and Malaya.
  4. Though cheated and treated badly, they adapted to their new environment and cultural fusion took place as a result of this process of migration.
  5. From the 1900s, the Indian nationalists began to oppose the system of indentured labour. The practice was finally abolished in 1921.

Indian Entrepreneurs Abroad

  1. Some bankers like Shikaripuri shroffs and Nattukottai Chettiars financed the export of agriculture to Central and South-East Asia.
  2. They had their own sophisticated system of money transfer to different parts of the world and even in India.
  3. Indian traders and moneylenders also followed European colonisers into Africa. By 1860s, they established flourishing emporia at busy ports around the world.

Indian Trade, Colonialism and the Global System

  1. Historically, fine cotton from India was exported to Europe. After industrialization, the local manufacturers forced the British government to impose a ban on Indian imports. This resulted in British manufactured cotton textiles flooding the Indian Market.
  2. The share of cotton textiles in Indian export was 30% in 1800. It declined to 15% by 1815 and to 3% by 1870s. But from 1812 to 1871, the export of raw cotton increased from 5% to 35%.
  3. During this period, Indigo emerged as a major export item from India. Opium was the largest exported item from India and it was mainly exported to China.
  4. Although export of raw materials and food grains from India to Britain grew manifold but the import of finished goods from Britain also increased.
  5. This resulted in a situation in which Britain was having the trade surplus. In other words, the Balance of Payment was in Britain's favour. Income from the Indian market was utilised by Britain to serve its other colonies and also to pay 'home charges' for its officials who were posted in India. The home charges also included payment of India's external debt and pension for retired British officials in India.

Late nineteenth-century Colonialism

  1. While the expansion of trade improved the quality of life of many Europeans; it had negative implications for people of colonized countries.
  2. Late 19th century saw colonisation at huge scale by Britain, France and followed by Spain, Portugal, Germany and Belgium. The USA also became a colonial power by the 1890s. Most regions of Asia and Africa became colonies of the West.

Rinderpest, or the Cattle Plague

  1. Rinderpest is a disease which affects cattle. The example of rinderpest in Africa shows that even a cattle disease can widely alter the power equations in a geographical area.
  2. Europeans had come to Africa to make fortune out of mining and plantations. But they faced a huge scarcity of labour. Another problem was that the local people were not willing to work in spite of being offered wages.
  3. Arrival of Rinderpest: Rinderpest or the Cattle Plague arrived in Africa from Europe. It destroyed nearly 90% of the livestock and destroyed the livelihood of the Natives. Mine owners and colonial powers benefitted by it and Africa ceased to be a free continent.

Role of Technology

  1. Technology played an important role in globalizing the world economy during this period. Some of the major technological innovations were the railways, steamship and telegraph.
  2. Technological advances were often the results of social, political and economic factors.
  3. The refrigerated ships greatly helped to transport the perishable food items over a long distance.
  4. Trade in meat shows a very good example of the benefit of technology on the life of common people.
  5. It greatly facilitated the shipment of frozen meat from America, Australia Or New Zealand to different European Countries.