Response Week 4

Within this week we talked about the issue of the establishment of global connections through imperialism which effected the world over. We understood how through the use of Western Empires and thereby their global spanning influence, the smallest changes in a completely different region of the world effected other parts for the first time in human history. In the example of the US civil war, we were able to understand how the global cotton trade was driven to a standstill as a direct result of the war, and thereby the raising of plantations in India by the British so they could continue to produce.

The theme of imperialism as the dynamic factor in the creation of global connections also occurs in Germany during the same period. As they industrialise and become a global player, they increasingly wish for a global hegemony like the other European powers in order to cheapen the supply of raw products entering the country. Through this we can understand how global connectivity pushed these perceptions of Empire while at the same time reinforcing the idea of continued expansion. Thereby allowing even more power to flow into Europe through just the existence of that perception.

When we turned to Jaffa in the 19oo’s, we also further understand how global connections were able to build up the town to a massive Mediterranean port where before it had been a simple village. We talked about how the development of the area was pushed by the British through their funding of projects like railroads within the Ottoman Empire. Something that both exerted soft power over the Ottoman’s but also helped them take control of the holy land. When full control was established and the region became a global port in it’s entirety, ideas were pushed of the development being a result of European influence, something we saw pushed in India through the example of the cotton plantation too. Making us understand how global connectivity was used as just another way to reinforce stereotypes of European supremacy by a supposed development that really only benefited those European powers.

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