A number of researchers point out that the modern age has led to origin of globalization. Widespread development in infrastructure and connectivity resulted to more interaction among nations not forgetting sharing of ideas, culture and traditions. More trade links among countries around the world started to come up. This scenario greatly influenced economies both on the global and the domestic scale as well (Stallings, 2000). Groups of scholars however, argue that the origin of history of globalization can be traced to the ancient civilizations. The scholars in support of this particular theory single out the links between the Sumerian civilization and the Indus Valley civilization in the third millennium as an example. It is clear that after this particular age, there are quite a number of instances where trade links were established between various countries including India, Egypt, Greece and the Roman Empire. Regular businesses occurred between the Parthian Empire, the Roman Empire and the Han Dynasty. The development of the various trade routes can be ascribed to the popularity of the trade relations.
In the history of globalization, the Islamic period is a very important era. During this period, the Jews and the Muslims started to trade in various parts of the world. A blend of ideas, traditions and customs was eminent. China saw the introduction of the first postal service and paper thus better sharing of knowledge. An increase in travelling to various parts of the world meant that people continuously engaged in communication (Park, 2002). It for the above mentioned reasons that the medieval age was labeled the age of discovery. Eurasia and Africa got involved in economic and cultural switch over leading to development of colonies in parts of Latin America, Asia and Africa. This resultant system of colonization in turn put a deep impact on Agriculture, trade, ecology and culture on a global scale.
The industrial revolution during the 19th century was a major period in the history of globalization. Industrial revolution augmented the quality and quantity of products thus elevated exports and better trade and business relations. The European market was exploited by many consumers across the world. This phase of globalization however came to an end during the First World War as it had adverse effects on the economic front and the gold standard crisis.
This era came subsequent to the Second World War. The decision by world leaders to break down the borders for fostering trade relations between countries was one of the main contributors. It should also be noted that it was during this very period that countries like Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia and some South American countries gained their independence. As soon as these countries were on their feet, they established comprehensive economies paving way for better trade relations and communication with other countries (Stallings, 2002). There are a number of factors that have positively impacted on globalization. They include: promotion of free commerce and trade, creation of global corporations, reduction of transport cost and development of proper infrastructure, blend of culture and tradition across the world an abolition of various double taxes, tariffs and capital controls. The creation of the world trade organisation was also another vital factor. This led to the growth of a homogeneous platform to resolve trade and commercial disagreements.
In the economic sense, globalization entails the integration of world trade and financial markets. The impact of globalization leaves nothing to be desired or be proud of by the developing countries since on a general scale they are not catching up with the advanced economies. In relation to capital movements, the net official net flow of aid from the advanced economies to the developing countries has reduced significantly since the early 1980s. Critics of the IMF and the World Bank have held them responsible for indirectly plunging Africa and developing countries in general into poverty (Moran, 2002).
The critics therefore are of the account that the above mentioned organizations should relieve the developing countries off their debts and in addition pay adequate compensation for the pains and embarrassment caused.
There are quite a number of statistics and facts that paint a clear picture of how globalization has influenced life in the developing world. When talking about the income breach between the fifth of the world’s people existing in the countries and the fifth of those in the poorest countries, the figures have risen from sixty to one in 1990 to seventy four to one in 1997. “In later 1990s the fifth of the world’s people living in the highest income counties had 86% of the world’s GDP as compared to 1% by the bottom fifth”( Thomson, 2002). The counties also had 68% of foreign direct investment as compared to 1% by the bottom fifth. Finally, the counties had 74% of the world telephone while the bottom fifth had only 1.5%. Another striking observation is that assets of the three top ranking billionaires are greater than the collective GNP of all slightest developed states together with a total of 600 million citizens. This has had an inclination towards the perception that the process of globalization only benefits the rich and not the poor.
In the past few years, research has revealed how countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa have began to reap from the benefits of globalization not forgetting to note that some of these countries have led the world in percentage growth. The likes of Uganda, Angola and Botswana are already known among the ten fastest rising economies around the world. IMF predicted that Africa’s overall GDP would grow by 5% in the year 2000 to register a significant improvement from 3.1 % in 1999.
Botswana and Mauritius stand out in terms of positive effects of globalization. They have both experienced exponential growth since they embraced foreign investment on their own terms and merged their economic success with good governance together with generous budget allocations for education and health care. Despite the fact that Botswana was considered as one of the poorest countries at her independence, it is often cited as a major African success story. In addition, there is evidence to clearly indicate that it has the fastest growing economy on this globe since 1965. This should be taken positively in that other countries too in Africa can do well (Micklethwait & Wooldridge).
The knowledge gap greatly separates the developed and the developing countries. The relative lack of experience in good economic, social and political structures really brings down the ability of the countries to compete despite the fact that many developing countries have abundant resources and manpower. Studies reveal that in 1998 the internet has more than 140 million users and the number is expected increase past 700 million by the year 2001. On the contrary, South Asia which has 23% of the total world population only has 1% internet users.
Ideas concerning human rights, wealth creation, democracy and the environment are introduced through broadcasting of ideas through the satellites, information Highway or television. A possible effect of globalization could be that information technology has brought attention to the dire need for proper democratic development across the world including human rights protection everywhere. Media houses such the BBC world service, CNN, Aljazeera among others, are vehicles of instant communication (Stallings, 2002). They have been key in terms of revolutionizing the human understanding of the entire world. However, there is a significant degree of worry about the increasing exports of American films, commercial television programs and music.