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Westernised Global society: when it started?

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drgonzaga View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jun 2011 at 10:22
What is there of substance to dispute or debate? In many ways the modern man is more "isolated" today than at any point in the past! Rampant ignorance is the hallmark of today's information glut!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jun 2011 at 11:26
hmm, according to Penguin's map PNG is a western country. I'm not sure that holds in any sense of the word western, which brings me to my main point:
 
I've been meaning to start a thread on this for a while, but what does "western" or "westernised" actually mean? I realised that this wasn't straight forward when Cahaya told me she thought Dubai was very westernised, and I replied that even the west wasn't that westernised. Which just makes me wonder, what "western" actually is. I wouldn't hesistate to say that much of Asia is more westernised that much of America.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jun 2011 at 12:24
It is just a fact of life that the dominant world culture bleeds into others and by various means.

The Westernised "Global Society" - is there even such a thing?  Just because people dress in broadly the same garb it doesn't mean that they're part of the same society.  The concept of a "west" has been espoused by Northern Europeans and its root is ancient Greece.  So maybe that is your starting point for any timeline of the West and globalisation.

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

Globalisation truly began in the 15th century with the Portugese, was accelerated by the Spanish, reached its maximum territorial spread with the British, and was further developed by the Americans.

During the past 5 centuries the bulk of invention and innovation has come from either Europe or Europe along with its North American offspring. Along with that invention sprung dynamism in many other areas: political development, naval and military power, trade. "West" was at first a geographic term, but later evolved into a cultural/economic one.

"West" was a term used as much by Europeans as non-Europeans. Occidentalis was a term commonly employed in European maps as far back as the late medieval period. Before Columbus, they were as far west as one could go according to conventional knowledge.

So it was only natural that once the centre of innovation and growth shifted to their own part of the world, their traditional use of Occidentalis to describe themselves collectively would likewise be employed.

Edit: the term Christendom had earlier been employed. But with the increasingly secular nature of the world in the Age of Discovery and also the denomenational fragmentation of Europe due to the rise of Protestantism - a geographic rather than theological flavour may have seemed more appropriate to them when describing themselves.


By that thinking globalisation started with trade and by extension war, conquest and occupation.  So the movement is timeless.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jun 2011 at 23:30
Quote By that thinking globalisation started with trade and by extension war, conquest and occupation.  So the movement is timeless.


Only with the European adventures of the past 500 years did that trade, war and contact stretch to all corners of the globe. The Achaemenids and Mongols, while impressive, were never 'global'.

That 300 year period between the late 1400s and late 1700s saw a distinct realisation of trade and exploration on a global scale carried out by a relatively small area of nations which themselves had common characteristics making them distinct from the rest of the world.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jun 2011 at 02:45
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

hmm, according to Penguin's map PNG is a western country. I'm not sure that holds in any sense of the word western, which brings me to my main point:
 
I've been meaning to start a thread on this for a while, but what does "western" or "westernised" actually mean? I realised that this wasn't straight forward when Cahaya told me she thought Dubai was very westernised, and I replied that even the west wasn't that westernised. Which just makes me wonder, what "western" actually is. I wouldn't hesistate to say that much of Asia is more westernised that much of America.


This is the main point. To what degree "non-western" countries still exist, given most of the countries of the planet, besides the really poor, have starting to look quite the same lately.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jun 2011 at 15:47
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

hmm, according to Penguin's map PNG is a western country. I'm not sure that holds in any sense of the word western, which brings me to my main point:
 
I've been meaning to start a thread on this for a while, but what does "western" or "westernised" actually mean? I realised that this wasn't straight forward when Cahaya told me she thought Dubai was very westernised, and I replied that even the west wasn't that westernised. Which just makes me wonder, what "western" actually is. I wouldn't hesistate to say that much of Asia is more westernised that much of America.


This is the main point. To what degree "non-western" countries still exist, given most of the countries of the planet, besides the really poor, have starting to look quite the same lately.
 
All of those European nobles during the 16th century resembled each other in dress and Philip II made "black" all of the rage in fashion as his great grandson Louis XIV would do with the extravagant some 60 years later. Does that mean that Spanish or French "cultures" won out? So a banker in Lagos now resembles his counterpart in "The City", does such serve as a symbol of cultural homogeneity. I do not think so either in cultural terms or with respect to 'traditional" values. To dismiss the poor as irrelevant is also the height of snobbism and carries the implication of pernicious elitism. Naturally, this observation begs the questions: Do economic considerations constitute an actual barometer for a definition of the cultural?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jun 2011 at 15:54
The woman's headscarf is an example of non-western globalisation, no? Though it seems to have arisen independently in various places: I doubt the millworkers symbolised by Gracie Fields evre even heard of Islam.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jun 2011 at 19:33
Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

Quote By that thinking globalisation started with trade and by extension war, conquest and occupation.  So the movement is timeless.


Only with the European adventures of the past 500 years did that trade, war and contact stretch to all corners of the globe. The Achaemenids and Mongols, while impressive, were never 'global'.

That 300 year period between the late 1400s and late 1700s saw a distinct realisation of trade and exploration on a global scale carried out by a relatively small area of nations which themselves had common characteristics making them distinct from the rest of the world.


Well what triggered and propelled those adventures? Trade and wealth? Timeless concepts.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 2011 at 00:21
Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

Quote By that thinking globalisation started with trade and by extension war, conquest and occupation.  So the movement is timeless.


Only with the European adventures of the past 500 years did that trade, war and contact stretch to all corners of the globe. The Achaemenids and Mongols, while impressive, were never 'global'.

That 300 year period between the late 1400s and late 1700s saw a distinct realisation of trade and exploration on a global scale carried out by a relatively small area of nations which themselves had common characteristics making them distinct from the rest of the world.


Well what triggered and propelled those adventures? Trade and wealth? Timeless concepts.


Well then in that case there was no Roman period or Renaissance or Industrial Revolution because everything comes after something that came before and so we should give up trying to find patterns and distinctive characterstics during certain time periods in history.

Not exactly a useful or attractive approach.

I'm going to stick with defining the late 15th to late 18th centuries as the period in which trade, conquest and exploration became truly global in scale, and to define it as a phenomenon driven by the endeavours of a handful of states from a tiny rump of land on the western edge of the Eurasian landmass.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 2011 at 01:06
Well, CIX do you mean to imply that "Globalism" is an exercise in periodization? Remember that such efforts with respect to historical interpretation are essentially abstractions heavily dependant upon the assumptions put forth by the proponent. As of yet, there has been no presentation of cohesive posits that would justify any construct dressed up as the Age of Globalism.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 2011 at 02:10
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Well, CIX do you mean to imply that "Globalism" is an exercise in periodization? Remember that such efforts with respect to historical interpretation are essentially abstractions heavily dependant upon the assumptions put forth by the proponent. As of yet, there has been no presentation of cohesive posits that would justify any construct dressed up as the Age of Globalism.


Globalisation rather than globalism is what I am focusing on. And I do believe that it stands as a fairly self-evident fact that while one could not trade, explore or conquer within all the inhabited continents of the globe in the mid 15th century - they certainly could do those things by the late 18th.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 2011 at 02:11
P.S. 7000! (two posts ago) W00t!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko- Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 2011 at 02:35
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 2011 at 11:14
Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

Quote By that thinking globalisation started with trade and by extension war, conquest and occupation.  So the movement is timeless.


Only with the European adventures of the past 500 years did that trade, war and contact stretch to all corners of the globe. The Achaemenids and Mongols, while impressive, were never 'global'.

That 300 year period between the late 1400s and late 1700s saw a distinct realisation of trade and exploration on a global scale carried out by a relatively small area of nations which themselves had common characteristics making them distinct from the rest of the world.


Well what triggered and propelled those adventures? Trade and wealth? Timeless concepts.


Well then in that case there was no Roman period or Renaissance or Industrial Revolution because everything comes after something that came before and so we should give up trying to find patterns and distinctive characterstics during certain time periods in history.

Not exactly a useful or attractive approach.

I'm going to stick with defining the late 15th to late 18th centuries as the period in which trade, conquest and exploration became truly global in scale, and to define it as a phenomenon driven by the endeavours of a handful of states from a tiny rump of land on the western edge of the Eurasian landmass.


Then what led to western globlisation was clearly sparked by the silk route which is what brought exotic goods to europe in the first place which is what then enticed Europeans to seek an alternative route to the sources in Asia when the Silk route dried up - which led to everything else.  You can't get away from that (trade) as it's the essence and prelude to your own point.  So your point sandwiches between that and modern global realities.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 2011 at 11:46
As I understand Constantine's point, it does sandwich between those two, and deliberately so. If we're talking about the way the world moved from a set of continents largely unknown to one another to one where intercontinental communications are virtually immediate, then obviously that process has to start with one and finish with the other.
 
I should have added in there somewhere that the initial state of only marginial communication between the 'civilised' areas and no communication wiith the rest  had gone on for a very long time without changing very much. Even the initial Arab conquests more or less followed where Alexander and the various Persian empires had trod.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 2011 at 14:11
Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

Quote By that thinking globalisation started with trade and by extension war, conquest and occupation.  So the movement is timeless.


Only with the European adventures of the past 500 years did that trade, war and contact stretch to all corners of the globe. The Achaemenids and Mongols, while impressive, were never 'global'.

That 300 year period between the late 1400s and late 1700s saw a distinct realisation of trade and exploration on a global scale carried out by a relatively small area of nations which themselves had common characteristics making them distinct from the rest of the world.


Well what triggered and propelled those adventures? Trade and wealth? Timeless concepts.


Well then in that case there was no Roman period or Renaissance or Industrial Revolution because everything comes after something that came before and so we should give up trying to find patterns and distinctive characterstics during certain time periods in history.

Not exactly a useful or attractive approach.

I'm going to stick with defining the late 15th to late 18th centuries as the period in which trade, conquest and exploration became truly global in scale, and to define it as a phenomenon driven by the endeavours of a handful of states from a tiny rump of land on the western edge of the Eurasian landmass.


Then what led to western globlisation was clearly sparked by the silk route which is what brought exotic goods to europe in the first place which is what then enticed Europeans to seek an alternative route to the sources in Asia when the Silk route dried up - which led to everything else.  You can't get away from that (trade) as it's the essence and prelude to your own point.  So your point sandwiches between that and modern global realities.




Did the silk road dry up? From what I understand the Italian maritime republics were still doing a brisk trade at the end of the 15th century and Europeans were if anything enjoying more silks and spices than ever.

Also, Europeans have been trying to find cheaper ways of importing eastern goods for thousands of years before the 15th century. Justinian I even had Buddhist monks smuggle silk worms into Constantinople in the 6th century. But it wasn't until the 15th century that some European states had the naval technology and degree of centralisation needed to conduct global scale conquest, trade and exploration.

The point of the topic is to identify when globalisation actually occurred, rather than some of the factors which might have been catalysts before the event's realisation. And the answer to that question, as I have said before, is the late 15th to late 18th centuries.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 2011 at 14:45
The ancient and medieval silk trade only connected two ends of one rather small world. It was by no means 'global' until modern times.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 2011 at 15:09
Well it became uneconomical enough for Columbus to try and reach India by circumnavigation.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 2011 at 15:12
I believe real globalization started with the telegraph and increased with the movie industry. Think a bit about it. For the first time the world could know the news of the antipodes in minutes, rather than in months or years. And for the first time people could see a war in a distant continent.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 2011 at 15:31
In case any of you have wondered why I perpetually cite C as IX rather than XI the fact of his longevity to monstrous proportion is more in keeping with Monomachus rather than any PalaiologosWink...
 
 
Now back to the topic, he wrote:
 
Globalisation rather than globalism is what I am focusing on. And I do believe that it stands as a fairly self-evident fact that while one could not trade, explore or conquer within all the inhabited continents of the globe in the mid 15th century - they certainly could do those things by the late 18th.

To which Pinguin entered an objection:

I believe real globalization started with the telegraph and increased with the movie industry. Think a bit about it. For the first time the world could know the news of the antipodes in minutes, rather than in months or years. And for the first time people could see a war in a distant continent.  
 
My question is a simple one: What do such perspectives do to the now classical periodization model as capture by Cambridge in their construct: The History of the Modern World.


Edited by drgonzaga - 23 Jun 2011 at 15:32
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 2011 at 15:48
Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:

Well it became uneconomical enough for Columbus to try and reach India by circumnavigation.
 
Which is the time that Constantine is suggesting 'globalisation' started.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 2011 at 16:00
But nothing of causation.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 2011 at 16:07
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

My question is a simple one: What do such perspectives do to the now classical periodization model as capture by Cambridge in their construct: The History of the Modern World.
 
Or Oxford in its History of the Classical World?
 
Actually I think that 'globalisation' makes more sense as a description of a period than Modern (which never is Modern though it used to be Smile) or Classical (which gets confused with Beethoven, Goethe and even Stockhausen).
 
At one time there was one stretch of literate civilisation that ran in a band from Ireland (or Portugal) across to Japan, all in the northern hemisphere and occupying what? One-eighth? of the world's surface. Outside that there were patches of preliterate or early literate societies, and stretches of primitice tribal ones, but none of them were aware of one another, though there may have been occasional legends based more on speculation than knowledge. 
 
Today 'everybody' is aware of all the continents and of the nearly 200 (or is it more) countries that make them up. Most if not all of them take part in regular sporting festivals, which anyone in any part of the world can watch (given only minimal economic resources).
 
So at time A the world was one way, and at time B the world was another, and there is a meaningful period in between (since it didn't happen overnight). I see no problem with calling that the period of globalisation, though itrying to identify precise beginning and end points will be fruitless. Unlike the 'modern' world it will still be the same several generations from now, but I would acept the danger that, like 'classical' the word 'globalisation' may be hijacked to mean all sorts of other things, thus creating the same problem.
 
The only period other than that that could possibly justify the term 'globalisation' is the much longer period in which humanity spread itself from its African roots around the whole world.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 2011 at 16:28
The good lord help me, Graham but I found this sweeping generalization a tad humorous:
 
Today 'everybody' is aware of all the continents and of the nearly 200 (or is it more) countries that make them up. Most if not all of them take part in regular sporting festivals, which anyone in any part of the world can watch (given only minimal economic resources).
 
Naturally, I noted the little marks around everybody, nevertheless I wonder how one could define "awareness". It has long been noted that when it comes to the "globe" and competence in geography, actual ignorance is rampant. In fact, early on I learned how to "weed out" overly-large lecture classes by giving a "map" test during the initial "drop/add" phase of class registration. Did watching the World Cup on TV impart any knowledge on South Africa much less Johannesburg? How well does superficial aquaintance translate into actual knowledge? Worse, how much does knowledge of global intricacies reflect a facet of elitism and in that respect simply reproduce the interests of--pardon the Marxism--the ruling classes?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 2011 at 19:25
I take your point. and I'm glad you noted the quotation marks. However even the ignoscenti of the modern world tend to be aware that they don't know what they don't know.  Or, alternatively, wrongly know what they think they know about the world.
 
I'm rather proud of 'ignoscenti', but it's probably improvable.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guaporense Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jul 2011 at 22:55
Our emerging global civilization started in the 16th century. However the Graeco-Romans already created a cultural sphere during Classical Antiquity that stretched from India to Britain (documents written in Greek have been found in Britain and in India, dated from the same centuries). It was perhaps the largest cultural sphere in geographical size in pre-modern history. The Islamic sphere also was very large during the middle ages, streching over the same areas minus parts of Europe, but both cultural spheres compared to the modern global one are insignificant in size.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jul 2011 at 00:05
16th century? Why not the 15th century, that was the time of the Spanish and Portuguese expansion? In fact, Brits weren't the first.

Edited by pinguin - 17 Jul 2011 at 00:05
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