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Archaic Globalisation

Even before the competitive acceleration of overseas white-on-black imperialisms which underpinned the trend towards global uniformity, early modern mankind had a great deal in common.

What Bayly terms ‘archaic globalisation’ was manifest, for example, in intercontinental trading networks and long-range pilgrimages undertaken for the sake of ‘cosmic religion’, while the claims of universal kingship compelled the widened horizons of multi-ethnic armies of soldiers and clerks. By the middle of the 18th century, at least 70 per cent of the world’s population lived in the agrarian empires of the Eurasian landmass and its environs, on and off-shore: Qing China, Mughal India, Tokugawa Japan, Java, and the Ottoman, Russian and Habsburg Empires, as well as the former territories of the recently toppled Iranian Safavids

Source: lin Kidd
  • Birth of the Modern World 1780-1914: Global Connections and Comparisons by C.A. Bayly
    Blackwell, 568 pp, £65.00, January 2004, ISBN 0 631 18799 5

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