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Globalization timeline

A computer needs global social organization to gather the resources that are required. It is the uneven distribution of human, mineral and organic resources across the planet that creates todays trade network. In general the more complex the system and greater the encouragement of innnovation the greater the wealth generated but this can be exported as occurred with China. Science and technology entail embedded knowledge, the average automobile today linked to 100,000 patents. After 1950 there was a Great Acceleration in human population, economic activity, and per capita GDP.

The rate of environmental, social, and economic change has closely matched the rate of increase in human population – 10 million in 10,000 BCE, 135 million in 1500, and 7.5 billion in 2017. The population explosion that occurred between 1700 and 1900 was accompanied by a massive increase in technological capacity as a consequence of the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions that occurred through the Age of Discovery which was marked by northwestern European maritime colonial expansion away from the old Mediterranean trade routes and into the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans to develop a truly global economy dominated by European (mostly British) values, traditions, and social institutions. Collectively this has become known as the Great Divergence.

Between 1960 and 2000, even after two world wars, the population would again double in the Great Acceleration whose technology now created a transport and communication revolution as part of an electronic age in a world strongly influenced by America and American culture. The last decade or so has seen China adopt a market economy and rapid economic growth.


100,00 BCE – Modern era Globalization of Homo sapiens
10,000-8,000 BCE – Sedentary cultures emerge in West Asia/North Africa
9,700 BCE – End of last Ice Age and beginning of Holocene
3,500 BCE – Wheeled vehicles appear in various locations from the Indus Valley to Mesopotamia, the Caucasus and Central Europe
3,200 BCE – Earliest known writing appears in Mesopotamia
700 BCE – First coins minted by ancient Lydians
600 BCE – Writing appears independently in Mesoamerica
312 BCE – Work on first aqueduct commenced in Rome
200 BCE – paper invented in China



618-907 – First paper money produced in China
800 – Gunpowder invented in China
c.1000Vikings sail to North America
1450 – First European printing press invented
1492-1504 – The voyages of Columbus
1492 – Dawn of ‘Age of Discovery’
1519-1522 – Spanish (Magellan) lead the first circumnavigation of the Earth
1350 – 1650 – Renaissance (approximate dates)
1517 – Protestant Reformation begins in Germany
1550-1800Scientific Revolution (approximate dates)
1582 – Gregorian (Western) calendar developed
1625 – Publication of On the Law of War and Peace by Hugo Grotius marking the beginnings of international law
1648 – End of Thirty Years War in Europe symbolizing beginnings of sovereign state system
1650 – 1800Enlightenment (approximate dates)
c.1700 – North and South America fully colonized by European settlements
c.1750-1850 – The Industrial Revolution in Britain
1764 – James Hargreaves invents the Spinning Jenny
1769 – James Watt improves the steam engine, subsequently harnessed for industrial and transport uses. Richard Arkwright develops the water frame
1779 – First steam powered mills. Samuel Crompton invents the mule combining the spinning jenny and water frame
1794 – Eli Whitney patents the cotton gin
1801 – Richard Trevithick reveals the steam locomotive
1821 – Michael Faraday develops the fundamental basis for the electric motor
1834 – Charles Babbage develops the forerunner of the computer
1837-1844 – Samuel Morse invents the telegraph
1843 – The first large, iron, steamship
1855 – Henry Bessemer invents a method for processing steel out of iron
c.1800 – Australasia and the Pacific opened up to European influence
1817 – New York Stock Exchange established
1840 – First World Ant-Slavery Convention held in London
1851 – First World Fair held in London
1844 – Greenwich Mean Time established
1874 – Universal Postal Union established
1876 – Alexander Bell patents first practical telephone
1896 -First modern Olympic Games held in Athens
1899 – First International Peace Convention held in The Hague
1903 – First manned, powered flight by Wright Brothers in US
1914-1918 – First ‘World’ War
1918-1919 – First truly global pandemic in the form of influenza infected one-third of the world population and killed 50 million
1919 – League of Nations established
1929 – First global financial crisis triggered by stock market crash on Wall Street leading to Great Depression
1939-1945 – Second ‘World’ War
1936 – The UK’s BBC transmits first television service
1945 – United Nations established
1945 – International Monetary Fund (IMF) becomes operational
1945 – Cold War commences
1945-1970 – Main period of decolonization
1948 Universal – Declaration of Human Rights
1955 – First MacDonald’s Restaurant opens
1957 – First Satellite launched by Soviet Union
1961 – ‘Globalization’ first appears in Webster’s dictionary
1964 – First desktop computer produced
1964 – First commercial fax machine patented
1973 – First handheld mobile phone produced
1973-1975 – Global recession follows oil crisis
1979 – Smallpox eradicated worldwide
1988 – Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) established by UN
1989 – Cold War ends
1991 – Word Wide Web established
1992 – First Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro
1992 – First machine-generated SMS or text message sent
1993 – First Web browser released
1994 – First International WWW conference held at CERN in Switzerland where the web originated
1995 – World Trade Organization (WTO) established
1999 – Euro introduced to world financial markets
2000 – Pyrenean Ibex declared extinct
2001 – World Trade Centre in New York destroyed by Islamic extremists on ‘9/11’
2001 – Wikipedia launched
2004 – Facebook launched
2005 – YouTube launched
2006 – West African Black Rhino declared extinct
2007 – Apple launches iPhone
2007-2008 – Global Financial Crisis begins in banking industry
2009 – Sovereign debt crisis in Europe
2010 – Apple launches iPad
2011 – World population surpasses 7 billion
2011 – South Sudan becomes world’s 193rd independent state
2012 – Construction of world’s first 1-gigawatt wind farm commences in UK
2013 – IPCC delivers 5th assessment report on climate change

First published on the internet – 1 March 2019

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