Western Imperialism: A Case Study

Powerful Essays
Through the balance of examining the history of Western domination and imperialism, evaluating contemporary issues that are a result from this history, and seeking ways in which to dismantle unsustainable economic and environmental systems, through individual action, we can work towards finding our place in a global community. Dr. Perry Bush’s lecture and John Isbister’s work on the history behind initial European domination and the affects imperialism set the stage. History matters because it explains why people are in the positions they are in today. Figuring out how the world has been shaped is a key in understanding how to fix the economic and environmental problems that the world faces today. Through the examination of two case studies,…show more content…
John Isbister’s article, “Imperialism,” he explains how the past contributes to the realities of poor and rich countries today. The first wave of imperialism started with voyages to the in the “new world” where Western powers created and maintained colonies through military might. Colonizers not only dominated the people in their colonies, but they dominated their colony’s environment, stripping the places of their natural resources. These colonies were used for economic gains. The West’s demand for raw materials also began the trend of disregard for the environment. Throughout the waves of Western imperialism virtually every area in the world has been affected. Even though Western countries have decolonized, the world remains scared. The legacy that imperialism has left behind continues to negatively influence countries today. For example, many of the borders in Africa and the Middle East were drawn by Western powers. These, often arbitrary borders, have imitated many of the ethnic, religious, social, etc. tensions that have resulted in wars and contribute to their instability to this day. Isbister comments that without Western imperialistic empires exploiting the world, they would have had little growth. Imperialism has set up the unequal world system that we live in…show more content…
While there are many factors that affect the economics of this situation, one of the central problems is that the coffee price is set by the West. There is no longer a standard set for the price of coffee. The main four multinational corporation coffee buyers, Kraft General Foods, Nestle, Proctor & Gamble and Sara Lee, set the price for coffee to be bought at around the world via the stock market. The West has an absurd amount of economic influence in the global economy. This type of influence reflects the way in which Western dominance continues to perpetuate global inequities. Only by taking actions such as buying fairly traded commodities, where everyone receives a fair wage, can help to deconstruct these economic
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