In many places throughout the world, countries have learned to industrialize. Reasons for industrializing have varied from a forced labor to keeping up with competition. A majority of countries have economies based around many similar or vital industries. The rates upon which industrialization has occurred differed many times throughout history; however, it’s important to recognize these differentiations and how they came about.
Referring all the way back to pre-industrial history, levels of industrialization were kept relatively on the same level all across the world.
A majority of populations had earned enough profit for sustenance and didn’t proceed for anything else as long and could live comfortably. This also corresponds to the fact that many people had produced most of their own goods. Countries like Ancient Greece had obtained slaves and used them to start trading handmade goods. With this effective use of forced labor, wealthy Greeks were enabled to reserve themselves a spot little above the normal sustenance level.
Industrialization had originated in the Midlands and northwest areas of Britain in the later half of the 17th century followed by the early 18th century. Through industrialization came the introduction to machine power and automated processes. These technological advancements revolutionized most industries, including chemical production, iron manufacturing, and textiles. These advancements had quickly spread and made their way to the economies of the United States and elsewhere in Europe. Although it is important to acknowledge that the advancements in technology and wealth ultimately gave the European dominant powers an upper hand, it is vital to comprehend that those empires still had to retain to demands regarding the government and administration.
These are themes that were drastically altered by the surge of language of human rights but continuously fell into a category of responsibility duty and/or rule.
This is where nations like Spain, France, Great Britain, the United States and Prussia began to excel past African and Asian nations. With the support of vast global empires and slaves, all of these nations were enabled to increase their output and amplify trade. This shift of American merchant capital to manufacturing noted another narrow connection between slavery and industry. Early cotton industrialists such as the Lowell, Cabot, and Brown families all had their own personal ties into the infamous slave trade. Both in agricultural commodities tended to by slaves and the West Indian provision trade. The profits and income from the ventures provided much more investments and allowed for technological advancements to sore. This had led to the Second Industrial Revolution occurring at the end of the 19th century. This second revolution had strengthened the Western economies drastically.
Nations such as Japan who had followed a policy of isolationism came pressured to eventually industrialize. Regarding Japan, Tokugawa’s government had no other choice but to revoke the feudal system. Japan had little to no choice over industrializing. It wasn’t because they wanted profit, they had been fond of their isolationist practices, yet it was inevitable that they would fall victim to the imperialistic ambitions of the Western economies. Japan was face to face with the fact that they had to compete against raving Western empires. Fortunately, the technology in existence had allowed for Japan to reach a relatively modern western level of industrialization within a decade.
As a result of colonization, a majority of countries in Africa did not industrialize until halfway into the Cold War and late 20th century. Those who had been colonized watched other empires excel while they were forced into labor. A major effect of increasing Atlantic integration was reorientation of African trade networks and stimulation of the economy. Merchants rose to prominence by specializing new trade, especially in areas near the coast, new commercial groups came to exercise increasing power. Although, this only included the empires who took control of the colonies in Africa which left Europe’s dominant powers to exploit Africans through slavery. Areas in the sub-Saharan Africa are still not industrialized in modern day.
On the other side of the spectrum, countries located in the Middle East needed a certain level of technological advancements from the West prior to taking advantage of their oil supplies. Late to the party, this did not take occurence until WWII and after. This was fuelled by western intervention. Despite the astronomical wealth of oil-rich nations, their industrialization is based almost solely on a natural resource. This one source element has discouraged most investments in other sectors resulting in a staggering placement behind other empires.
Overall, the rates of global industrialization have always largely relied on a need. Only certain countries with a legitimate need have succeeded to industrialize. This need may be for defense or greed, but has allowed for nations to force competition industrially on a global scale. Due to lack of technology or political disputes, there are areas of this world that have been restrained from achieving any industrial advancements, which unfortunately continues to this day.