The Rise of a Global World
Textual Questions – Write in Brief:
Q1) Give two examples of different types of global exchanges which took place before the seventeenth century , choosing one example from Asia & one from the Americas.
Ans: Global exchanges were part of the contacts between the people living in different regions of the world long before the 17th century. The following examples reveal this fact.
i) Example from Asia: The Asian countries like China, India etc exchanged textiles particularly silk and cotton, spices, pottery etc for gold and silver from Europe .Silk routes are the best witness of this fact.
ii) Example from Americas: Many of the common food popular in Asia and Europe came from Americas. These foods include potatoes, Soya, groundnuts, maize, tomatoes etc. The exchange of these foods became possible only after the discovery of Americas by Christopher Columbus in 1492 CE.
Q2) Explain how the global transfer of disease in the pre-modern world helped in the Colonisation of the Americas.
Ans: The discovery of Americas by Christropher Columbus in 1492 had a deep impact on the inhabitants of Americas. The European powers such as Spain & Portugal began Colonising Americas for its vast lands , abundant crops & mineral wealth. However, the Colonisation of Americas was not just because of strong fire power of the European powers but because of the biological warfare ( transfer of disease) which played an important role in the Colonisation of Americas. The European powers spread the germs of deadly diseases like Smallpox etc. The Americas had no immunity against these disease because they were isolated from rest of the world. The diseases like Smallpox killed and wiped out whole communities of Americas, paving way for Colonisation. Otherwise Americans could have resisted invaders by weapons, but they had no defence against the germs of the above mentioned diseases.
Q3) Write a note to explain the effects of the following :
(A) The British Govt’s decision to abolish Corn Laws. OR What was the impact of the British Govt’s decision to abolish corn laws?
Ans: The British Govt. abolished Corn Laws under the pressure of industrialists and urban dwellers. They were hit by the high prices of Corn because the Corn Laws had restricted the import of Corn in Britain. The British Goverment‟s decision to abolish Corn laws had the following effects:
i) Import of food grains increased into Britain & imported food was cheaper than what was produced there locally.
ii) The vast areas of land had remained uncultivated which increased unemployment. Peasants flocked in the cities or migrated overseas.
iii) Many parts of the world like Russia, America and Australia expanded the land under cultivation to meet the increased demand for food from Britain.
B) The coming of Rinderpest to Africa: OR What was the impact of the coming of Rinderpest to Africa? (BOSE)
Ans: The coming of Rinderpest to Africa in 1890s is a fine example of how imperial powers used diseases like Rinderpest to change livelihoods and economy of colonized societies to fulfill their own interests. The Rinderpest had the following terrifying effects on people”s livelihoods & economy of Africa.
i) The disease killed 90% of the cattle depriving Africans of their source of livelihood.
ii) Colonial Govts’ monopolized the remaining cattle which forced the Africans to work for wages.
iii) It enabled the Colonizer’s to subdue Africans more effectively.
C) The death of men of working-age in Europe because of the world war.
What was the impact of the death of men of working – age in Europe because of the world war?
Ans: The First World War was fought between two power groups.The war was of global nature & involved the use of modern weapons. It claimed about 9 million lives & left 20 million wounded in Europe who mostly belonged to working age .So, the death of men of working age in Europe had the following effects.
i) It reduced the men of working-age (able workforce ) in Europe by which industries were affected adversely.
ii) The household incomes reduced considerably as the war left only a few men of working-age (able workforce) members within the family.
D) The Great Depression on the Indian economy:
What was the impact of the Great Depression on the Indian Economy?
Ans: The world wide economic crisis of 1929-1933 CE is generally known as the Great Depression .Owing to the fact that in the early 20th century global economy had become more integrated, the Great Depression had following effects on the Indian economy.
i) The depression greatly affected Indian trade. Indian exports & imports nearly halved between 1928 & 1934 CE.
ii) Peasants were the worst hit by the depression. The agricultural prices fell by 50% & Govt. refused to relax the taxes. The prices of raw jute fell by 60% by which the peasants fell deeper & deeper into debt. iii) The urban dwellers & salaried people with fixed incomes were comparatively less affected.
E) The decision of MNCS to relocate production to Asian Countries:
What was the impact of MNCs to relocate production to Asian Countries?
Ans: Multinational Companies are corporations which operate in several countries simultaneously.
From late 1970s MNC’s began to relocate production to Asian countries because asian countries offered low wage labour in abundance. They had following effects on the Asian countries.
i) It solved the unemployment problem to some extent in Asian countries as Multinational Companies (MNCs) increased job opportunities.
ii) It stimulated world trade and capital flow.
iii) It enabled the Asian countries to enjoy the new varieties of things.
Q4) Give two examples from history to show the impact of technology on food availability.
What was the impact of technology on food availability? Explain with the help of examples.
Ans: Technology had a significant impact on food availability .The technological improvements in transport like faster railways, lighter wagons, larger ships, reefers helped in transporting food more cheaply & quickly from far away farms & production centres to different parts of the world. The following examples from history show the impact of technology on food availability.
i) Before the technology of reefers, cattle were shipped alive from America to Europe. It was very costly affair & hence meat was considered as an expensive luxury beyond the reach of European common people. The technology of refrigerated ships enabled the transport of perishable foods like meat over long distances. Now it became possible to transport meat instead of live cattle over long distances. This reduced shipping costs & damage & consequently lowered meat prices in Europe. This made meat affordable for the European common people.
i) The Corn Laws which restricted the import of food grains in Britain resulted in the high prices of food stuffs. However, when the Corn Laws were lifted and the technology like steam ships & railways increased the import of food grains from America and Australia. Thus technology played a significant role in the food availability in Britain and also the prices of food grains were lowered considerably.
Q5) What is meant by the Bretton Woods Agreement? (BOSE)
Ans: The Bretton Woods Agreement was the outcome of United Nations Monetary & Financial Conference held in July 1944 at Bretton Woods (USA) between the industrial countries. It was a framework aimed to preserve economic stability & full employment in the industrial world. It resulted into the formation of International Monetary Fund (IMF) & the International Bank for Reconstruction & Development (World Bank). IMF was to deal with external Surpluses & deficits of the member nations & World Bank was meant to finance postwar reconstruction . Under it the national Currencies followed the fixed exchange rates. Discuss
Q6) Imagine that you are an indentured Indian labourer in the Caribbean . Drawing from the details in this chapter (The Rise of a Global world), write a letter to your family describing your life & feelings.
Here, in the Caribbean, the situation is very much different from what I was told in India by the agents .They provided me false information about the work place, modes of travel, nature of work & other living & working conditions. But there is no boarding, lodging, food or medical facility. I have to live at the farm only .The work load is more than my capacity. On making a mistake or incomplete work, I have to undergo penalty or severe punishment. Once I tried to escape, but was caught & punished. My life has become highly miserable. I feel no one would like to work here as an indentured labourer. I would like to return home as soon as my contract expires.
Q7) Explain the three types of movements or flows within international economic exchange. Find one example of each type of flow which involved India & Indians, & write a short account of it.
Ans: In the 19th century world economists identified three types of movements or flows within international economic exchange .These flows were interwoven & hence affected lives of the people more deeply. The flows were as follows:
i) Flow of trade: This refers to trade in goods like cloth, wheat etc. among the different countries of the world. This was made possible by the improvement in the means of transport like railways & steam ships.
Example:- In the 19th century, British manufactured goods like textiles flooded Indian markets .By it the Indian weavers were highly affected & most of them quitted their jobs
ii) Flow of Labour: This refers to migration of people from one part of the world to another for seeking jobs. Over the 19th century large number of people migrated from Europe to America.
Example:- Thousands of Indians were taken to Caribbean Islands as indentured labourers by the British to work in plantations and mines. There they were exposed to miserable conditions ii) Flow of Capital: The 19th century also saw the movement of Capital i.e., long term & short term investments over long distances. e.g. Europeans invested in Asia, Africa & Americas to get the huge returns.
Example:- In the 19th century, British industrialists made long term & short term investments in India. They invested in the construction of railways, tea plantations, etc. & made huge profits.
Q8) Explain the causes of Great Depression.
Ans) During the Great depression, there were disastrous declines in production, employment, income and trade. The causes of the Great depression are explained in the following points:
1) The post war world economy was weak. This led to decline in the agricultural prices. To counter this, farmers expanded production to maintain their overall income but this agricultural overproduction made the problem worse. It ruined the people associated with this sector as their produce rotted for lack of buyers.
2) The First World War gave a boost to the US industry. After the war, industries of the US went for mass production of different goods like cars, refrigerators, washing machines etc. Soon there was glut in the market and the US was caught into economic crisis. Now US doubled import duties to protect its economy, but it gave a severe blow to the world trade and led to Great Depression.
3) Around mid 1920s, many European countries had financed their investments through the loan from US. But after the first signs of decline, American capitalists stopped all loans and withdrew most of their loans form the European countries. It affected the world economy, as it led to failure of banks, decline in agricultural prices and collapse of currencies in the world.
Q.9) Explain what is referred to as G-77 countries. In what ways can G-77 be seen as a reaction to the activities of the Bretton Woods Twins?
Ans) In 1964 seventy- seven less developed countries & developing countries organized themselves as a group, the group of 77 to demand a New International Economic Order (NIEO) before the UN. The NIEO Included the demands like fair prices for the goods of 3rd world countries, better access for their goods in the markets of developed countries etc. This was an attempt of the developing countries to save themselves from neo-colonialism and have a real control over their natural resources. So, they decided to work together to achieve new international economic order.
The G-77 can be seen as a reaction to the activities of the Bretton Woods Twins in the following ways:
a) From late 1950s Bretton Woods Twins i.e. IMF and World Bank shifted their attention towards developing countries. So, the developing countries came under the guidance of international agencies dominated by the former colonial pwers like USA, Britain, France, etc.
b) Due to IMF and World Bank, there was fast growth of the western economies during 1950s and 1960s. But, developing countries could not be benefited by it as their natural resources were again exploited by the industrial nations.