Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Globalisation Part III: First Imperial Age

I know my two revious globalisation posts have been really long, this may have bored some of you to sleep before you recheached the 10th sentence. I will try to make this one shorter and more concise. If you want any things cleared up or simply want to comment, do so at the comments below.

Most of us, when we think of the Imperial Age think of that time in history when large European empires carved out and colonised large parts of Africa and Asia. However, there was another Imperial Age that I believe preceeded this. It almost directly followed the First Age of Global Markets. This era created a great rise in trading which made several kingdoms and empires tremendously rich. They expanded, taking over weaker and poorer nations. The approximate time of this era would be sometime after the Mongolian empire broke up, around the 1400s into about 1600. In this time, several large empires rose up in power and strenght in almost a chain all the way from China to Europe. They were the Chinese empire under the Ming dynasty, the Mughal Empire of India, the Safavid Empire of Persia, the Ottoman Empire of Turkey, the Austria-Hungarian Empire, and farther west Spain. I know I have excluded many nations an countries that have been historically significant, however, this was a list of empires. The Iitalian city-states, France, and England were not yet world empires. Spain already had a well-established empire in the America. Other American colonial powers belong in the Era after this. The empires I have listed dominated the "Old World" in politics, economics, travel, society, and technology. These were the superpowers of old. Particularly the Ottomans and the Austro-Hungarians. These empires were basically what most people immediately thought of when thinking world powers. Of course, war between them was inevitable, and several of the empires lost agains the other. However, more or less, none of these nations were able to completely vanqush another for a long time. Indeed, the first one to fall, the Ming, was simply succeeded by another Chinese dynasty, the empire remained more or less intact, the last to fall were Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire. Bitter rivals throughout history suddenly having to be allied in World War I, which they lost and led to their demise. For much of this time period, these empires directly controlled large parts of the known world and dominated much of the rest.

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