Globalization is the phenomenon that enables exchange and approximation between different societies . It is a process that brings nations together in all aspects: social, cultural, political and economic.
It allows the exchange of experiences, habits and information between different cultures, leading to more communication, cultural exchanges and business growth.
Globalization also creates acculturation , which is the mixture of different cultures in the same place. Likewise, the presence of multinational companies in the countries increases and allows the rapid circulation of information and goods.
Globalization facilitated the expansion of capitalism, which occurred with greater strength and scope at each stage of the globalization process. It started in the 15th century and went through different phases throughout history.
There are some differences over the periods, here we have adopted the division into four phases. Know a little more about each stage of the globalization process.
1st phase of globalization
The 1st phase of globalization, which occurred between the 15th and 19th centuries, is marked by the occurrence of the Great Navigations and the expansion of mercantilism .
Until the beginning of the maritime expansion, societies had less contact, precisely because of the absence of transport that allowed easy communications. Isolation made societies independent of each other, the exact opposite of what happens in globalization.
The maritime expansion begins with the need to find new markets and raw materials that would allow the expansion of global commodification, mainly in the European market. This expansion resulted in growth in market relations and easier circulation of products and people.
Thus, it was from this movement generated by the Grand Navigations that European countries established colonies in countries in America and started the process that was later called globalization.
Read more about the meanings of Mercantilism and Commercial Capitalism .
2nd phase of globalization
The second phase started at the end of the 19th century and lasted until the end of the Second World War. The most important aspect of this stage of globalization is the growth of capitalism .
The period is also characterized by the expansion and political and economic domination of European countries over nations on the African and Asian continents, in addition to America. The expansion placed the European colonies in a position of economic dependence, being used to supply raw materials and labor.
Technological advances have facilitated the acceleration of globalization and industrial growth, with the consequent increase in economic relations between countries. The innovations allowed communication and information exchange to be faster.
Technology also facilitated the interaction between different nations, which allowed for an increase in contacts in general, not only in relation to the expansion of trade and business. Telephone, radio and telegraph are some examples of inventions that facilitated the growth of communication.
At that time there was also a strengthening of banks and for this reason the phase is called financial capitalism .
There were notable events of that period: use of electricity and the emergence of new transport that facilitated the exchange of goods, raw materials and people. Examples are steam locomotives and ships.
Read more about Capitalism and Financial Capitalism .
3rd phase of globalization
The event that marks the third stage of globalization is the Cold War (1945-1991), which occurred between the Soviet Union and the United States. In this phase there is a conflict between the existence of the capitalist system and the precepts of socialism, these differences being responsible for the confrontation.
In the context of the Cold War, specifically, this dispute takes place between two opposing economic models: the socialist bloc (former Soviet Union) and the capitalist bloc (United States).
Read more about Capitalism and Socialism .
Some of the main characteristics of this phase of globalization are:
- transport development,
- advances in computing and communications,
- evolution of scientific knowledge such as space technologies and robotics.
Likewise, the increase in the circulation of information was also greatly influenced by this phase of globalization, especially by the new developments in communication and information technology.
Read more about the Cold War .
4th phase of globalization
This is the current phase of the globalization process. It began with the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. The period, called the New World Order , is marked by further progress and consolidation of the capitalist system . The consequences of the validity of this system are also beginning to be perceived more clearly.
The main characteristic of the stage is the technological advances, which provided an increase in the speed of information exchange. The phenomenon facilitated the exchange between different nations, allowing even more proximity between cultures, people and companies.
Technological advances directly influence the capitalist system, as it allows, for example, multinationals to reach different countries. Likewise, the emergence of economic blocs in different parts of the world is also typical of this phase of globalization.
Learn more about the formation of economic blocks .
The advance of neoliberalism also had an influence on the 4th phase of globalization, mainly in commercial and economic matters.
It materialized through the privatization of public companies and the delivery of some sectors of the economy to private companies. Other consequences were a reduction in labor rights, an increase in the concentration of income and an increase in poverty.
To learn more, read the article: Neoliberalism .
The characteristics of this phase are: the use of new energy sources (such as nuclear energy) and the development of modern technologies in areas such as genetics, robotics and biotechnology.
As one of the main negative consequences of that time, it is possible to point out the increased damage caused to the environment and to non-renewable energy sources.