Globalization - Overview


Human interaction over long distances has existed for thousands of years. The overland Silk Road that connected Asia, Africa and Europe is a good example of the transformative power of international exchange that existed in the "Old World". Philosophy, religion, language, the arts, and other aspects of culture spread and mixed as nations exchanged products and ideas. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Europeans made important discoveries in their exploration of the World ocean and in beginning cross-Atlantic travel to the "New World" of the Americas. Global movement of people, goods, and ideas expanded significantly in the following centuries. Early in the 19th century, the development of new forms of transportation (such as the steamship and railroads) and telecommunications that "compressed" time and space allowed for increasingly rapid rates of global interchange. In the 20th century, road vehicles and airlines made transportation even faster, and the advent of electronic communications, most notably mobile phones and the Internet, connected billions of people in new ways leading into the 21st century.

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