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The Modern World: Global Connections In The Past

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Global connections in the past

Rapid communication and price convergence rarely characterised global interactions before the late eighteenth century, when the unparalleled position of Britain made it a global Empire, as it dominated international trade and production, secured by its overwhelming military power . However, earlier interactions still generated effects linking economic and political changes around the globe – these changes were different but no less transformative than those accompanying the modern globalisation . Soon after Vasco da Gama’s voyage to India (1497-1499), the Portuguese established commercial routes with pepper-trading states and opened factories across the world. Benefiting from its strong maritime power, Portugal managed to dominate the spice trade in the sixteenth century and was, according to many historians,
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Trades in Indian textiles, silks and slaves established the routes for long-distance interactions from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and led to the emergence of a global awareness and globally transformative effects, as the exchange of New and Old World crops – these interactions were instrumental in the demographic and political transformations that made the modern world possible . The periods of European colonialism and imperialism offer clear examples of ‘peripheralisation’ processes, in which countries were brought into the sphere of European capitalism based on the needs of the imperial centres – many international economic and political treaties were unequal as they were designated to impose arrangements favourable to the imperial centres .
Even before the Age of Exploration, interactions existed at global level. The Silk Roads, in particular, played a significant role in exchanging goods, technologies and ideas across the world – these exchanges were

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