The world economy experienced various changes during its history. The era between 1750 and 1914 was characterized by rapid growth of economy in the European countries. Europe had both economic and political control over not only the western hemisphere but also the eastern hemisphere. Trade was one of the main ways for the country to get its profits and European nations dominated the long distance trade through unequal treaties as well as colonization strategies. The trade cartels formed along the seas gave them an upper hand on the control of all trade routes across the world.
By 1750, the issue of international trade and communication was not new in Europe. However, after this period the pace of trade increased drastically. The rapid growth was associated with the series of economic and technological advancements because of industrial revolution. The industrial revolution had its impact even on the countries were it did not occur. The revolution originated from Britain and later spread to other countries. British used its economic prowess to cause economic changes in the oversea countries through creation of British Empire.
With time, the spirit of industrialization spread all over the world ranging from Europe and America to Asia and Africa. The industrialized nations produced manufactured products for the market while the less industrialized produced the necessary raw materials for the industries. Despite the unequal division of labor between the industrialized and less industrialized nations, the entire workforce constituted the world trade.
In the nineteenth century, other regions such as Latin America attained rapid economic growth. Its integration into the world’s economy by Europe led greater economic stability across the continent. America’s economy witnessed rapid urbanization as Europeans actively migrated to America pursuing better economic activities. Russian industrial revolution was also the key on in the dynamics of the world trade. This revolution led to the rise of the spirit of conservatism among Russian people, which spread across other countries.
Recently, the world economy has experienced tremendous growth with such countries as China becoming major partners in the international trade. The liberization of the international trade has given each nation a fair ground to establish trade links with other countries. There is efficiency in production considering the massive innovation in recent years. The United States has also developed greatly its economy making it one of the strongest among other countries.
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The rise in the world economic growth since 1750 until now faced numerous challenges. The rapid industrial revolution in Europe led to increase in workers’ exploitation through slavery in their colonies. Due to increased demand of workers in various industries, European countries resulted in creating empires establishing colonies overseas. These empires served as sources of cheap labor for their economy. The workforce were mistreated, overworked, and poorly paid for their services. It led to communist revolutions in the aim to fight for the rights of the slaves.
The economic growth over the period faced the challenge of urbanization. The industrial revolution led to migration of workers to the industrialized cities. The rapid urbanization resulted in environmental pollution, congestion, and increased levels of crime and immorality. Notwithstanding the urban areas being the source of wealth, these problems became a great challenge to many governments in the industrialized countries.
Despite the growth in the world economy after the industrial revolution, the low life expectancy rate was still present in many countries. As much as countries strived to achieve economic prosperity, they should consider the public health of its workers. In some industries, the working conditions were very poor exposing the workers to dangerous activities. The inferior medical treatment reduced the life expectancy, as workers were prone to chronic diseases, which increased the mortality rate.
The intention of the European nations to create new empires on other continents was a conquest mission. Despite the fact that the empires viewed their colonies as markets for the products, the colonies’ main agenda was to supply raw materials and cheap labor for the industries. The process of struggling for new empires led to the world conflicts, which caused economic depression in Europe. The great depression was a severe experience for the European nations, which participated in the world wars.