Since the end of
World War II, the world has become
increasingly interdependent in a number of ways.
Economically the world has grown closers as financial
corporations, and banks have all become
multinational. The tremendous growth of industry
around the world has created environmental problems that
the world must now work together to solve. And the
dependence on Middle Eastern oil has focused world
attention on the problems of supply and demand.
The world's economy is linked closely together.
Changes in one region of the world now affect all
others, sometimes with devastating results.
Global North, consisting of North
America, Western Europe, Japan, and Australia are
industrialized nations with high standards of living and
a high literacy rate. The
consists of developing nations in Asia, Africa, and
South America, many of which were former colonies during
Imperialism. These post
colonial nations face low literacy rates, massive
unemployment, little to no industrialization, and are
generally economically dependent on their former
colonial masters. The
interdependence between the
Global North and South is the primary focus of today's
Oil: The fluctuation of oil prices
have a major impact on the world. While high
prices may benefit oil producing countries such as those
in the Middle East, they cause
inflation in industrialized countries that are
dependent on that oil. This also translate to high
prices on goods sold to non-industrialized countries.
This has result in a near constant debt crisis
in most of these nations.
Industrialized nations make loans to developing nations
to help with
As the world
economy slowed in the 1980s, many of these
nations were unable to keep up with the loan payments.
International Monetary Fund negotiated deals
between these countries for repayment. In exchange
for lower interest rates, many developing nations were
forced to accept free market principles.
Financial Markets: The world's financial markets
have also become interdependent. Fluctuations in
one market are reflected in another. A prime
example of this are the problems many western markets
faced when the Asian markets took a downturn in the
Regional Cooperation: Many
nations have linked their economies officially by
joining cooperatives or through treaties. The
European Union is an example of a group of
nations working to unify economically. The EU has
worked for years to lower tariffs and institute free
trade among its member nations. Recently, many of
its nations switched to a single currency, the Euro.
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
is another example of nations attempting to lower trade
barriers and link their economies.
The rise of industrialization has caused numerous
problems with the environment. These problems
acid rain caused by fossil fuel
pollutions, depletion of the
due to the use of
global warming as a result of the depleted
ozone layer, and
nations wishing to increase their agricultural output
and to profit from lumber sales. Added to these
problems are the slow loss of
arable land throughout
most of Africa called
depletion of many species of plants and animals, and the
still constant threat of nuclear accidents
and nuclear wastes. These problems
pose a threat to all nations, and as a result, many
nations are working together to solve these problems.
The challenge is protecting the environment without
destroying the fragile economies of the developing