Global social change

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, UndergraduateA+, April 1997

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History repeats itself. This concept applies not only within the realm of a singular nation's history but throughout and between nations. That is to say, that what one nation endures, throughout its economic and political history, may be compared to and be strikingly similar to that of many other nations. As we analyze social change thought the world we have noticed a cyclical pattern of histories, both economic and political, in the countries of Spain, Holland, Britain, and the United States.

I. Historical Periodization:

Throughout history and during alternating time periods, countries have grown from feeble entities, defeated by or ruled by the governing structures of foreign nations, to powerful nations. Between the fifteenth and the sixteenth century, SPAIN ruled as a great power among other nations. Its empire began when, in 1492, Spain financed Columbus's expeditions and explorations to conquer territory in the New World. Once it held its new established territory, Spain relied on the influx of gold and silver from the New World.

Spain was the first country to start an empire and consequently started a trend. Once HOLLAND gained their independence from Spanish rule, at the beginning of the seventeenth century, it moved on to become a great power. Holland had relied on seafaring and the economic success of Amsterdam until around 1620. 'By mid-century, however, they had used their technical sophistication and control of vital raw commodities to build successful industries . . . and supported by Holland's bourgeois virtues, trading preeminence and credit, Dutch manufactures soon dominated a number of European markets' (BP 198). Holland remained in power until its decline began in the middle of the eighteenth century. In 1750, the Dutch started losing European markets but continued as the number one market country in Europe. The British moved in where the Dutch...