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Globalization in Its Historical Contexts

Posted by masondillon on June 17th, 2020

The essential peculiarity of the present stage of historical development is the fact of the strengthening of globalization processes in all public areas. These processes do not supersede ethnic, linguistic, and cultural differences within a single civilization, as they do not cancel the difference of interests as well as different rates and forms of peoples' development. This matter of diversity, which is frequently associated with globalization and goes along with it, gradually becomes local, while the nature of globalization is known to be a universal factor. Globalization means the universal nature of the most significant processes for humankind. Modern humankind is a unified system of economic, social, and cultural interactions, which implies the unity of its fate.

Globalization acts as an internally contradictory process. On the one hand, it opens up the new possibilities and horizons for the humankind's overall development, the interaction of peoples and states. On the other hand, it has created many problems and conflicts of economic, social, cultural, spiritual, military and political, demographic and moral character. Therefore, it is necessary to regard globalization from the historical point of view. Thus, the purpose of the essay professors paper is to investigate the historical context, in which the globalization processes had been developing.

Investigating the backgrounds of globalization, Osterhammel and Petersson (2015) reach a conclusion that initially, “for many people, globalization first touched their daily lives through the effects of global economic integration” (p. 84). This point of view is true due to the reason that the concept of 'global' originates from the concept of 'private' or 'personal.' In this regard, Hay and Marsh (2010), broadening the concept of globalization for the entire historical process of the human life's internationalization, identify three essential stages of globalization. The first stage, in the authors' point of view, is the fact that the globalization begins to count down from its integration processes of the ancient world to the great geographical discoveries of the 15th – 16th centuries (Hay & Marsh, 2010). This is a period of transition from 'personal' to 'global.' There, globalization had been carried out by the barbaric methods. The second phase, as Hay and Marsh (2010) note, starts with the formation of capitalist relations in England, and then in several other European countries before the actual division of the world between the imperialist powers of Europe at the beginning of the 20th century. The third period began in the middle of the 20th century when a new geopolitical map of the world emerged. This stage continues to exist up to nowadays.

A similar position is found in the works of Bener?a, Berik, and Floro (2015). As the basis of the division of the history of global society, they take the scale of the events and identify four main epochs that have become the so-called global links, or relationships, that accompany the history of humankind (Bener?a, Berik, & Floro, 2015). The first period, as the authors believe, is the epoch of fragmentary events and local social relations (Bener?a, Berik, & Floro, 2015). This period ends with the appearance of man 5-3 million years ago, until the completion of the Neolithic revolution, and before the formation of the first states about 7000 – 3000 BC. The second period, as Bener?a, Berik, and Floro (2015) are convinced, is the period of regional events and geographically limited international relationship. It lasts from the Neolithic revolution completion up to the era of the Great geographical discoveries, or until the end of the Renaissance. The third period is referred to as the epoch of global developments and general economic and socially-based policy that had lasted since the Great geographical discoveries until the middle of the 20th century when the world had become truly holistic. Finally, the fourth period, as Bener?a, Berik, and Floro (2015) believe, is the period of cosmic expansion and cosmic conflict that has begun with the launch of the first artificial satellite in 1957 and that will hypothetically continue at least for the near future.

Consequently, it is possible to claim that from the historical context point of view, globalization is not a completely new phenomenon. None of the historical stages of human development had become the completely opposite of the preceding ones, and no phenomenon or process had arisen out of nothing. Thus, it cannot but bear the traces of the relics related to the prior historical and cultural experience. New phenomena occur not instead of but together with the same concepts but having them qualitatively transformed. This assumption is proved by Osterhammel and Petersson (2015, who suppose that “globalization seems predestined to qualify for a place among the macroprocesses of the modern world” (p. 4). This view of the modern globalization processes makes it possible to assess the “uniqueness” and “unprecedented” traits of globalization adequately.

With regard to the reference point of the origin of globalization, it is possible to claim that globalization began in the dawn of humanity's history. Thus, the historical process and the context of globalization of society are characterized by the alternation of qualitative leaps and setbacks, just as in the time aspect of the globalization process that takes place in various regions of the world as uneven. The transition from one form to another region was accompanied by the expansion of the scale, the territorial boundaries, and so on. Each subsequent period covers a shorter period of time due to the general trend of accelerating social development.

Thus, it is evident that globalization is a process that has a long history. To analyze new aspects of contemporary globalization is necessary to go beyond the modern era and to consider them in retrospective approach. The world historical process cannot be developed outside the cultural context since culture and its achievements provide its progressive development.

From the historical context point of view, as it is shown by Osterhammel and Petersson (2015), globalization is a set of processes in culture existing and needed to be observed throughout the history of humankind, but these processes manifest themselves in different historical periods in different areas. However, to date, this problem has had virtually no special consideration on the part of cultural scientists and other professionals who deal with the problem of culture globalization (Hirst, Thompson, & Bromley, 2015). It is not possible to assess the cultural globalization properly without considering it in its historical context.

The globalization of culture has deep historical roots. Among the most significant and indisputable examples of globalization is the spread of the world's major religions, the spread of culture styles, such as Hellenism, Latin culture in the Middle Ages, and so on, and the spread of common styles of art and culture, transnational secular ideologies.

Most clearly, the globalization processes had taken place in the sphere of religion, as Osterhammel and Petersson (2015) mention. Since the 6th – 5th centuries BC, in various regions of the world polytheism had increasingly given a way to monotheism (Osterhammel and Petersson, 2015). Since then, the religious teachings had acquired their mature features. These religions had attracted a huge number of followers due to the idea of salvation, the unique moral code, as the world's religions have been able to overcome cultural differences and contradictions. In other words, they are versatile and one can say that they had made the globalization project powerful in the history of humankind.

Thus, to sum up, the process of cultural globalization, from the historical context point of view, had reached its peak in the past. However, currently, the national cultures began to play a dominant role (national language, education, transport and communications, liturgical practice and identity), for the least reason that they are systematically maintained, financed by national governments and non-governmental organizations. Currently, the process of globalization brings more and more perspectives for economy, politics, social, and cultural life of people. Possessing a certain number of disadvantages, globalization, in any case, stimulates the development of humankind from the global point of view.


Also See: Historical Context, Globalization Processes, Historical Process, Geographical Discoveries, Processes, Process, Period

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