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European Colonization of Non-Western Regions

13 Mar 2017History Essays

The European colonization of non-western regions inevitably resulted to unequal relationships. For example, because Spain was a strong advocate of the so-called “mercantilist system’, Mexican goods sold in Spanish markets were charged lower than the cost of production. Spanish goods sold in Mexico were above the ceiling price. This naturally destroyed the domestic economy of Mexico.

In West Africa, French and British colonial governments disrupted the migration pattern of many people. By creating “economic centers” in Ghana and Sierra Leone, labor migration from other West African colonies began. Many times, British and French authorities forced the natives of these colonies to work in plantations with wages insufficient to reproduce their daily needs.

During the “slicing of the Chinese pie”, European countries over utilized the natural resources of China. The Chinese were forced to work with wages far below to meet their daily needs. This relationship was spelled out in the so-called world systems theory. According to this theory, the peripheral states provide the core states raw materials and labor. The core states (imperialist countries) provide the peripheral states low-level products sold at virtually high prices. In this relationship, only the core and intermediate core states benefit.

Work Cited

Wallerstein, Immanuel. (1974). The Modern World System. 2nd volume. New York Academic Press

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