I leave it to historians to fill in the details of global trade expansion and ‘nation building’ in support of trade, based on yesterday’s blog.
The interesting thing to me has been the function of trade expansion in my lifetime. My homeland, the United States, was mostly empty (possibly due to epidemics) and tribal groups were not amenable to consolidation in most areas outside of New England. The tribes were generally defeated in warfare and consolidated in grim reservations.
As modern industrial commerce expanded, the existing nation states around the world, became the primary trading partners with each other. They had only a modest need for the tribal world in the trading milieu, except for some natural resources. They fought over these resources in two massive global wars.
The United States won WWII and under its military suzerainty, applied the American model of government to the defeated nations. Such a model was and is conducive to modern industrial trade. The rest of the world came under contention between the U.S. and Russia. Both did their best to create stable sympathetic nation states allied with their trading circle.
The United States was able, with its overwhelming physical dominance and the explosion of new technologies, airlines, telecom, pharmacology, electronics and transportation to impose its technical standards and language on the world.
That is where we stand today.