world sociology

origins of world inequality

migration and the development of empire

  • all cultures have travelled
  • there is evidence that 9th century vikings discovered America
  • some people claim America was settled by Welsh prince Madog in the 12th century
  • the established trade route bringing goods from china to europe was probably established pre-christianity
  • as europe became more technically advanced in the 16th century, the desire for foreign goods led many explorers and sailors to attempt to find new trade routes
  • many europeans created villages and towns and countries in Africa, Asia or America and settled to farm or developing trading posts, killing, enslaving or conquering the original native populations in the process

how did the current pattern of global wealth and poverty develop?

  • empire- a group of countries ruled over by one person, state or country
  • in the modern era the first colonial empires were established by the Spanish and Portugese in South America
  • russia expanded through Asia towards the pacific ocean
  • the british empire began to grow in the mid 18th century
  • by the end of the 19th century it was so vast that it was claimed that the sun never set on the british empire
  • 1/4 of the world was ruled from london

the impact of empire on the continent of Africa

  • the purpos of developing an empire was to secure political stability in the regions that formed part of the empire and ensure trade could continue
  • the control of empires was difficult- a large military force was often required to defend commercial and political interest
  • large parts of Africa came under British control after a series of wars against African cultures
  • goods taken in battle or bought by British people were sent back to Britain and form the basis of much of our art galleries and museum stock
  • trade goods- art, raw materials and slaves
  • in some parts of africa slavery was already commonplace
  • the British interest in taking african slaves to work sugar plantations in the Caribbean meant this provided profit for slave traders who took increasingly large numbers of people from all over the continent
  • estimated that 11-24 million people were taken from africa to the americas between the mid 17th and mid 19th centuries
  • 10% died on the journey
  • no way of knowing for certain- records kept were poor, lives of slaves had little value
  • the population of africa declined
  • some cultures and kingdoms did not survive
  • increasing warfare and political instability
  • global shift from producing crops that local people ate to producing crops from Africa and the americas for a european market
  • slavery became part of african culture in some areas and is claimed to continue to the present day
  • massive individual misery and horror for those who were enslaved

the impact of empire on the Indian sub-continent

  • the conquest of india was a slow affair and involved warfare on a large scale
  • india was not a single nation but consisted of a range of individual princedoms and countries
  • more than one european country participated…

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