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Identify the main phases of the history of global and political integration before 1945

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Introduction

Identify the main phases of the history of global and political integration before 1945 It could be argued that the history of global and political integration began with the various great empires the world has seen such as the Roman empire. However, for the purpose of this essay, the concentration is on the period 1914 - 1945, looking at the main phases of integration from the eve of The First World War (WWI) to the end of The Second World War (WWII). The phases are not necessarily time periods, some are organisations, such as the league of nations, others periods of political or economic unrest, such as the rise of fascism in Europe. On the eve of the WWI the European states system was still dominated by a few great powers, who regarded themselves as the established arbiters of major international questions1. The great European powers and their colonies dominated global economic and political integration. There was extensive trade within the empire states, but there was little trade between empires. This was mainly due to trade barriers and high import charges. The Europeans regarded their colonies as dependent realms of European settlers, and later as overseas extensions of the European grand r(publique2. ...read more.

Middle

The first meeting of the League of Nations Council was on January 16 1920. The League was the first example of a global political organisation which integrated many nations. The League was set up when WWI, The Great War was seen as 'The War to End All Wars'. The League was established as a body to prevent another war of such magnitude as the great war. When President Wilson proposed the establishment of a League of Nations, public opinion cheered him as the man who would forgive a corrupt Continent its past sins and lead Civilisation out of its wasteland5. The US Senate, however, refused the US to join the League. It can be argued that on of the major failings with the League was nations such as the US not being included in negotiations. The League had the right idea, but a combination of poor leadership, poor organisation and key nations such as the US not included produced the League into becoming a failure and eventually failing to prevent WWII. Although the League was a failure it was a predecessor to the United Nations, and provided the UN with some important lessons on how not to be run. ...read more.

Conclusion

The age of European empires pre 1914, where the world was dominated, both politically and economically were in decline towards the beginning of the twentieth century. WWI was the first example of total war which was massively expensive, both in terms of human sacrifice and economically. This single event changed the world like no other single event in history. The first example of International organisations were evident. The inter war period was a role coaster economically, with a boom period and a massive depression and the great slump, however, there were early examples of global economic conferences, which although would not have included every nation, were the beginnings to the state of affairs today. The League of Nations, despite all its failings was the predecessor to all international organisations, such as the UN. The period of 1900 to 1945 changed the world from a European base to a global base. The rebuilding process of post WWII saw the evolution of a global economy with America and USSR becoming engulfed in a cold war, economic centres and growth in the economies in Asian and the growing importance of the middle East in terms of oil production. It was one of the bloodiest and terrible periods in modern history, but it allowed the world to become 'smaller' with global political and economic integration. ...read more.

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