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Lecture 5 POLS2402 (History of global capitalism)

Lecture 5 POLS2402 (History of global capitalism) -...

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POLS2402 Lecture 5 31 August 2011 History, phases and logic of global capitalism Need for caution in specifying ‘global capitalism’. Pre-capitalist globalization c1400: merchants & adventurer traders (exploration with an economic motive) – buying goods in one part of the world & selling in another Some ancient civilizations (e.g. China) had currencies, infrastructure, administration, printing, political stability, pre-industrial machinery (looms), windmills, coal-fired iron furnaces, cannons, technological sophistication, irrigation, sewerage, long-distance viaducts, canals, merchants’ and craft guilds, restaurants, produced wealth, credit, policy-influencing elites, huge ships, and specialist cities (Hangzhou, Alexandria, Genoa, Venice, Bruges). Regional economic activity & trade routes which pre-existed European expansion (to 1400s) (1) North-South Europe (2) Mediterranean (linking Europe to Islamic world) (3) Central Asia-China (overland routes, Mongols) (4) Middle East (Persian Gulf) (5) Mediterranean-Indian Ocean links (through Egypt) (6) Arabic world-India (7) India-S E Asia (8) India-S E Asia-China (so China linked to Europe by Persian Gulf or Red Sea as well as overland) (9) sub-Sahara Africa–North Africa & Mediterranean (+ Europe) (10) Africa-Middle East-Asia links (via Indian Ocean) (11) Central America (Aztecs) (12) Sth America (Incas) [Much of this cooperative interaction punctuated by military and religious clashes.]
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Trade and interaction which wasn’t really capitalist Ottoman empire (Islamic, Turkish base – Istanbul) (C14-20th): trade with Egypt, Italy, India, Asia; also Arabs → Africa; partly financed by Venetians China : products desired by Europeans (e.g. silk, porcelain) – advanced tech, urban development, professional admin class, competent bureaucracy Ming dynasty (C14-17th): shipping to Africa – very large ships, with cannons & cargo; sea-going fleet de-commissioned as China concentrated on land empire/ defences & internal development India : decentralized, not internally coherent C13-16th; often invaded (by Monguls, Turks, Iranians, Afghans, Islamists), so coastal ports had autonomy, traded with Middle East, SE Asia. Europe : rival polities/ nations – strong wrt ROW (C13-15th) – new trading patterns, new forms of money & finance, gradual ‘integration’ (of economic activity); commercial role of key cities increasing e.g. Venice: linking Mediterranean, China, Africa, India, SE Asia – spices, silk, ivory; Italians would pay in either gold/silver OR on-ship goods from other regions (timber, grain, cloth, salt, slaves). → commercial networks → bourse (Bruges) → Hansa merchants in Baltic (from C13th), pre-national ‘league’ [alliance of ports, esp sending products from north further west (wood, fur, grains, fish – for wine, cloth)]. But imbalances : money drained from north to east, high-price goods came in to Europe while China didn’t want much that Europe produced; so payments in gold & silver.
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