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How the Global Market Has Changed International Relations Since the Industrial Revolution

Essay by   •  May 6, 2012  •  Essay  •  1,285 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,232 Views

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Ever since the Industrial Revolution, the economies of all the world's countries have become increasingly intertwined. When any nation produces more than it needs of any one thing and/or needs more than it can make of any other it depends on the world market to survive. With the Industrial Revolution more and more countries depend on the world economy to survive.

With the Industrial Revolution came techniques of mass production of goods. Britain, America, France, Germany (after 1870), and to a lesser degree Russia expanded their industrial capability. This increased number of factories brought an influx of workers to the cities. In some cases these workers were immigrants from faraway lands who migrated to a foreign country to provide a better life for themselves and their families. These immigrants usually had relatives who remained in their country of origin. The United States was in turmoil over which side to take in the First World War. Many Americans were of British descent and were on the allies' side. But others were of German or Irish origin and they supported Germany.

Britain kept their factories churning out an endless supply of goods for sale in markets all over the world with the natural resources ripped from its overseas colonies. In fact, it was these colonial resources that enabled Britain to start the Industrial Revolution in the early 19th century. Many of these emerging markets were in developed places like America, Netherlands, Spain, and France; countries with whom Britain had fought the most of her wars. It's a difficult thing for a nation to sell its wares to a country it is at war with. Mutually open markets are likely a big part of why Britain became friends with her former enemies.

There were so many goods produced that there was a huge surplus of products. Many of these goods were available to be shipped overseas, so that children in Central Europe could play with toys made in a factory in New York. Or a maintenance worker in Philadelphia might use a wrench that was

manufactured in London. Indeed much of this surplus was made or grown to be sold in the overseas markets. Many corporations established sales depots in foreign countries to access the markets there and there was a new type of corporation in the multi-national variety. Eventually, production facilities were added to the overseas assets of many corporations. This will likely decrease the possibility of those two countries going to war against each other. For example Japanese companies like Sony, Honda, and Toyota own and operate factories in American cities. Most of what China produces is sold in American stores. It seems that most of the non-perishable things available for purchase say "made in China" on the package. With China having over one billion people, the country would implode if they did not have markets like that in the US to sell Chinese goods. This dictates that China set aside its communist ideology and sell its goods in a capitalist market that they must participate in to survive as a nation. If the US went to war against China or Japan again the proposed enemy's economy would collapse soon after due to their dependence on the American market to sell their goods.

During WWII the world was in a war-time economy. That means that in all belligerent countries virtually all but the resources necessary for civilian survival went to arms production or to support military personnel and/or military ops, even in America prior to December 1941 because American factories were supplying Britain, France, and China with war materiel.

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