A Splendid Exchange Essay examples

Words: 1475
Pages: 6

Dennis Berk A.P. World
Dr. Andrews Summer Assignment The accelerating pace of international trade is one of the most dominating, and important features, of contemporary life. Globalization is creating widespread changes for societies, economics, and governments. Since the invention of the steam engine, transportation and communication limits have faded away and, with the development of the Internet, practically disappeared. A case can be made for the proposition that trade, throughout history, has been the main engine for the development of the world as we know it today. In his book, A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World, William J. Bernstein makes this case. The main thesis of A Splendid
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Obviously, this is a very long process, and the trade was only sped up by the invention of better ships, and eventually the airplane. Another question asked in A Splendid Exchange is what drove early man to trade? This question is answered by Bernstein stating that political stability was most important for man to want to trade, and he says that the technological innovations of land and sea transport are secondary. With political stability, nations are able to expand and then there is a sudden increase in demand for more goods, which can only be completed by trade. In A Splendid Exchange, the thing I was most surprised to learn about was the great impact that the Peloponnesian War had on trade. Greece’s city-states didn’t have the best soil to plant on before the Peloponnesian War, and certainly not after it. Because of all the battle that took place, much of Greece’s fertile land was destroyed. Because Greece now had less arable land, and less people to farm this land because of all the deaths during the Peloponnesian War, the city-states of Greece had to rely heavily on trade. Another thing I was surprised to learn about was how a country 1000s of miles away from another country can be the reason that country continues to live on. As an example, the Greeks could not grow wheat. Clearly, without wheat a country simply cannot