Courses‎ > ‎Histories and Languages‎ > ‎

Since 1945

Barbie represents the "evils" of American capitalism, or freedom without morality, at least from the perspective of some traditional Muslim societies (Iran, in particular). Their answer was Sara and Dara, focusing less on independence than parental guidance, in keeping with Islamic ideals. The irony is the common Chinese production of the dolls in both cultures. Despite the contrasting political systems -- one separating church and state, and the other, Islamic, integrating the two -- the global economy is, nevertheless, integrated and a global culture is continues to evolve. 

The "geneology" of this integration of the economy and our cultures through globalization begins with the so-called first wave of urban civilizations that came out of the agricultural revolution. 

1500 BCE-500BCE First Wave civilizations: River valley cities were centers of gravity where increasingly complex work organization for planning, planting, harvesting, and storage of crops brought on the need for writing and different social groupings than for most of human history before it. Egalitarian social relations give way to social hierarchies and patriarchies.

500BCE--500CE Second Wave: The integration increased in Afro-Eurasia thanks to the peoples on the steppe who domesticated horses and tore down the social hierarchies of the first cities and helped start the second wave when the first Empires formed in the Common Era with the Roman and Han Chinese. It was during this period that more universal concepts of social justice )also paralleling the birth of world religions like Taoism/Confucianism, Buddhism and Christianity developed and were used to legitimize empires. 

500CE--1250CE Third Wave: As the Roman and Han empires got increasingly corrupt and hierarchic, a new round of invasions from the steppe shut down the old trade routes and initiated a "third wave" civilizations led by the Arabs and Islam to the south, where the silk roads expanded, as well as new "sea roads" in the Indian Ocean, and "sand roads" in the trans-Saharan. While the Roman empire shrunk into the eastern centered Byzantine and Islamic Empires expanded from the south, China reformulated and expanded with the Sui, Tang (600-900), and Song dynasties (900-1200). Mahayana Buddhism expanded along the silk roads from India to China, and Hinduism expanded to the south through the Indian Ocean trade routes. Islam and Buddhism expanded through the Indian Ocean, but to the east, along the Swahili coast of Africa, Islam was predominant.

1250--1500 The Mongol Peace and its aftermath: Ghingez Khan and his sons and grandsons (1250-1350) created the first truly integrated Eurasian trade block through which traders like Marco Polo could travel by foot from Italy all the way to China. Then the Mongol empire broke into three parts, one in Russia, one in southwest Asia (the Ottoman), and one in south Asia (the Mughal). When the Ottomans took over Constantinople in 1453, the

1500-1750 The Colombian Exchange and European Expansion: the European expansion across the Atlantic ocean lead to the Colombian Exchange and an even stronger integration with Africa and the Americas with Eurasia. 

1750-1850 First Industrial Revolution: coal, steel, and the steam engine Nineteenth century empire building led to different forms of imperial domination through colonialism, "puppet" governments, and proxy wars all the way through the 20th century. The 21st century rise of terrorism, can be explained in part as a reaction to this century-plus long period of western domination of Southwest Asian governments and petroleum resources.

1850-1950: Second Industrial Revolution, birth of Nationalism World Wars for "national-racial" dominance
mass migrations

1950-2015: The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were set up to prevent some of the global economic crisis that occurred after the First World War and quickly led to the Second World War. "Neo-Liberalism" of the 1970s on favored "free" movement of capital, reductions in tariffs and barriers to trade in general. The IMF imposed neo-liberal practices as preconditons for loans. The collapse of communism further supported neo-liberal policies. 51 of the world's largest economic units were transnational corporations in 2000.

Total world output in 1950, 7 trillion dollars; and in 2009, 73 trillion dollars. Problems include global regulation which led to the Great Recession in 2008. Growing inequality has become one of the biggest problems.

Migration as a theme: it has always been about migrations around the planet as the environmental conditions have changed