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The World System and Colonialism

by: Carina Sauter

The World System and Colonialism ANTH 1102

Carina Sauter
GPA 3.79

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About this Document

These notes cover Dr. Birch's lecture on the modern world system: the social, political, and economic global ties. They discuss major trade routes, the industrial revolution, and the different typ...
Introduction to Anthropology
Dr. Birch
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Carina Sauter on Saturday April 30, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANTH 1102 at University of Georgia taught by Dr. Birch in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 5 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Anthropology in anthropology, evolution, sphr at University of Georgia.

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Date Created: 04/30/16
The World System and Colonialism • The myth of the “isolated” community o Communities have never been “lost” o All have ties to people within their culture o Never existed o Always participated in larger systems o Ex. Kula Ring exchange networks • Modern World System o Social, political and economic ties have global connections o Countries are considered: § Core § Semi periphery § Periphery § Unclassified o Each country occupies different positions in the world system o Shaped by capitalism world economy § : a single world system committed to production for sale or exchange with the object of maximizing profits rather than meeting domestic needs § capital: wealth or resources invested in business with the intent of using the means of production to make a profit th § huge increase in exchange and trade since the 15 century – influences today’s system o World Systems Theory: the idea that a discernable social system, based on wealth and power differentials, transcends individual countries § Rather than systems of flow of wealth and capital being contained in a single country, the entire globe’s countries are interdependent systems with the rest of the world § Core: dominant position in the world system; nations with advanced systems of production • US: vast amount of capital and pay for work • Wealth gets concentrated in the core (small sub sample) § Semi periphery: position in the world system intermediate between the core and periphery • India and China § Periphery: weakest structural and economic position in the world system • Nigeria and Kenya § Example: • Workers in El Salvador paid $2 an hour by American investors to harvest cotton • Cotton sent back to US workers, paid $10 an hour, to make product • Sent back to El Salvador as t-shirts, $20 each • Money concentrated in US – we get the $20 • Major trade routes o Have not changed much o Post trade of exploration in 1500 when European started expanding out of Europe o Age of Exploration = 15 -17 centuries o Explorers include: § Columbus (Spain) 1492-1493 § Cartier (France) 1534-1535 § Magellan (Spain) 1519-1522 § Drake (England) 1577-1580 o Disastrous effects: New World § Disease • Ex. Small Pox took out 50-90% of existing population from Columbus § Destruction of powerful empires • Destroyed traditional systems – political, economic – that were already warred down by disease § Disruption of traditional political and economic systems § Exploitation of labor (slavery) and resources (extraction) • Domestic Production (prior to 1650): mostly local o Made things for themselves (food, shelter, tools, etc.) o Everything else was traded or used on taxes o Local foods § Then became consumers of imported goods • The Industrial Revolution o Transition to new – industrial – manufacturing processes o New manufacturing and technological developments th o 16 century o Required: § Capital investment • Derived from transatlantic trade • Huge profits o Not paying people to extract sources § Scientific innovation • Machines and the power sources to drive them • Look for money opportunities § Raw materials and cheap labor • Made available through colonialism, slavery, and changes in the control of the means of production o Socioeconomic effects of the Industrial Revolution § Increase in living conditions § Uneven prosperity – wealth-based social stratification § Bourgeoisie: owners of the means of production § Working class (or proletariat): people who must sell their labor to survive § Poor working conditions à poor health § Like Neolithic revolution: wealth based stratification • Colonialism o : the political, social, economic, and cultural domination of a territory and it’s people by a foreign power for an extended period of time o has existed since early city-states o Exploitation colonialism § Focuses on access to natural resources for export § Trade may be only allowed with the “mother country” § Ex. Britain • “the sun never set on the British Empire” • imperialistic policies o Settler colonialism § Involved large-scale immigration, often motivated by religious, political, or economic reasons § Land is the key resource o Imperialism: a policy aimed at seizing and ruling foreign territory and peoples


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