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Old Monday, November 19, 2007
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Post Gross Domestic Product

Gross Domestic Product

Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the total value of goods and services produced in a country over a period of time. GDP may be calculated in three ways: (1) by adding up the value of all goods and services produced, (2) by adding up the expenditure on goods and services at the time of sale, or (3) by adding up producers’ incomes from the sale of goods or services. However, it is difficult to measure GDP precisely, partly because every country has an unofficial economy, often called a black economy, that consists of transactions not reported to government.

GDP measures a country’s economic activity regardless of who owns the productive assets in that country. For example, the output of United States-owned companies based in Australia is considered part of Australia’s GDP rather than part of the U.S. GDP. Most countries now consider GDP to be the best measure of economic activity. However, until as recently as the early 1990s, the United States, Germany, and Japan commonly used the Gross National Product (GNP) to measure economic activity. GNP is the total of incomes earned by residents of a country regardless of where the assets are located. In other words, the income earned by a U.S.-owned business based in Australia would be considered part of the U.S. GNP, not Australia’s.

Many economists use the GDP to measure the standard of living in a country. They divide a country’s GDP by its population to arrive at GDP per head. The figure is then often converted into U.S. dollars to allow for comparisons between countries. If GDP grows at a higher rate than the population, standards of living are said to be rising. If the population is growing at a higher rate than GDP, living standards are said to be falling. GDP per head does not take the cost of living into account. As a result, some people believe it more accurate to judge living standards in other ways.

One estimate of living standards is the Human Development Index, published for the first time in 1990 by the United Nations Development Program. It uses a scale of 1 to 100 and takes into account GDP per head, adult literacy, and life expectancy.
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Post International Bank for Reconstruction and Development

International Bank for Reconstruction and Development

International Bank for Reconstruction and Development or World Bank, specialized United Nations agency established at the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944. A related institution, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), was created at the same time. The chief objectives of the bank, as stated in the articles of agreement, are “to assist in the reconstruction and development of territories of members by facilitating the investment of capital for productive purposes [and] to promote private foreign investment by means of guarantees or participation in loans [and] to supplement private investment by providing, on suitable conditions, finance for productive purposes out of its own capital…”

The bank grants loans only to member nations, for the purpose of financing specific projects. Before a nation can secure a loan, advisers and experts representing the bank must determine that the prospective borrower can meet conditions stipulated by the bank. Most of these conditions are designed to ensure that loans will be used productively and that they will be repaid. The bank requires that the borrower be unable to secure a loan for the particular project from any other source on reasonable terms and that the prospective project be technically feasible and economically sound. To ensure repayment, member governments must guarantee loans made to private concerns within their territories. After the loan has been made, the bank requires periodic reports both from the borrower and from its own observers on the use of the loan and on the progress of the project.

In the early period of the World Bank's existence, loans were granted chiefly to European countries and were used for the reconstruction of industries damaged or destroyed during World War II. Since the late 1960s, however, most loans have been granted to economically developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. In the 1980s the bank gave particular attention to projects that could directly benefit the poorest people in developing nations by helping them to raise their productivity and to gain access to such necessities as safe water and waste-disposal facilities, health care, family-planning assistance, nutrition, education, and housing. Direct involvement of the poorest people in economic activity was being promoted by providing loans for agriculture and rural development, small-scale enterprises, and urban development. The bank also was expanding its assistance to energy development and ecological concerns.

Subscriptions to, or purchase of, capital shares are worth SDR 100,000 (about $120,000) each. The minimum number of shares that a member nation must purchase varies according to the relative strength of its national economy. Not all the funds subscribed are immediately available to the bank; only about 8.5 percent of the capital subscription of each member nation actually is paid into the bank (a total of $7.3 billion in mid-1987). The remainder is to be deposited only if, and to the extent that, the bank calls for the money in order to pay its own obligations to creditors. There has never been a need to call in capital. The bank's working funds are derived from sales of its interest-bearing bonds and notes in capital markets of the world, from repayment of earlier loans, and from profits on its own operations. It has earned profits every year since 1947.

All powers of the bank are vested in a board of governors, comprising one governor appointed by each member nation. The board meets at least once annually. The governors delegate most of their powers to 24 executive directors, who meet regularly at the central headquarters of the bank in Washington, D.C. Five of the executive directors are appointed by the five member states that hold the largest number of capital shares in the bank. The remaining 19 directors are elected by the governors from the other member nations and serve 2-year terms. The executive directors are headed by the president of the World Bank, whom they elect for a 5-year term, and who must be neither a governor nor a director. The bank currently has 183 members.

The bank has two affiliates: the International Finance Corporation (IFC), established in 1956; and the International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960. Membership in the bank is a prerequisite for membership in either the IFC or the IDA. All three institutions share the same president and boards of governors and executive directors.

IDA is the bank's concessionary lending affiliate, designed to provide development finance for those countries that do not qualify for loans at market-based interest rates. IDA soft loans, or “credits,” are longer term than those of the bank and bear no interest; only an annual service charge of 0.75 percent is made. The IDA depends for its funds on subscriptions from its most prosperous members and on transfers of income from the bank. The IDA had 161 members in 2001.

All three institutions are legally and financially separate, but the bank and IDA share the same staff; IFC, with 174 members, has its own operating and legal staff, but uses administrative and other services of the bank. Membership in the International Monetary Fund is a prerequisite for membership in the World Bank and its affiliates.
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Post Cold War

Cold War


Cold War, term used to describe the post-World War II struggle between the United States and its allies and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and its allies. During the Cold War period, which lasted from the mid-1940s until the end of the 1980s, international politics were heavily shaped by the intense rivalry between these two great blocs of power and the political ideologies they represented: democracy and capitalism in the case of the United States and its allies, and Communism in the case of the Soviet bloc.

The principal allies of the United States during the Cold War included Britain, France, West Germany, Japan, and Canada. On the Soviet side were many of the countries of Eastern Europe—including Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, East Germany, and Romania—and, during parts of the Cold War, Cuba and China. Countries that had no formal commitment to either bloc were known as neutrals or, within the Third World, as nonaligned nations .

American journalist Walter Lippmann first popularized the term cold war in a 1947 book by that name. By using the term, Lippmann meant to suggest that relations between the USSR and its World War II allies (primarily the United States, Britain, and France) had deteriorated to the point of war without the occurrence of actual warfare. Over the next few years, the emerging rivalry between these two camps hardened into a mutual and permanent preoccupation. It dominated the foreign policy agendas of both sides and led to the formation of two vast military alliances: the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), created by the Western powers in 1949; and the Soviet-dominated Warsaw Pact, established in 1955. Although centered originally in Europe, the Cold War enmity eventually drew the United States and the USSR into local conflicts in almost every quarter of the globe. It also produced what became known as the Cold War arms race, an intense competition between the two superpowers to accumulate advanced military weapons.

Hostility between the United States and the USSR had its roots in the waning moments of World War I. Soon after the Bolsheviks (later Communists) overthrew the existing Russian government in October 1917, Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin resolved to withdraw Russia from the war. In 1918 the United States, along with Britain, France, and Japan, intervened militarily in Russia.

They did so to restore the collapsed Eastern Front in their war effort against Germany; however, to Lenin and his colleagues, the intervention represented an assault on Russia’s feeble new revolutionary regime. In fact, the European powers and the United States did resent Russia’s new leadership, with its appeals against capitalism and its efforts to weld local Communist parties into an international revolutionary movement. In December 1922 the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was formed as a federal union of Russia and neighboring areas under Communist control. The United States refused to recognize the Soviet state until 1933. The deep ideological differences between the USSR and the United States were exacerbated by the leadership of Joseph Stalin, who ruled the USSR from 1929 to 1953.

In August 1939, on the eve of World War II, Stalin signed a nonaggression pact with German dictator Adolf Hitler. The two leaders pledged not to attack one another and agreed to divide the territory that lay between them into German and Soviet spheres of influence. Hitler betrayed the agreement, however, and in June 1941 he launched his armies against the USSR. Britain and the United States rallied to the USSR’s defense, which produced the coalition that would defeat Germany over the next four years. This American-British-Soviet coalition—which came to be known as the Grand Alliance—was an uneasy affair, marked by mistrust and, on the Soviet side, by charges that the USSR bore a heavier price than the other nations in prosecuting the war. By 1944, with victory approaching, the conflicting visions within the alliance of a postwar world were becoming ever more obvious.


A -The Struggle for Europe
Even before the defeat of Nazi Germany in May 1945, the United States and the USSR had become divided over the political future of Poland. Stalin, whose forces had driven the Germans out of Poland in 1944 and 1945 and established a pro-Communist provisional government there, believed that Soviet control of Poland was necessary for his country’s security. This met with opposition from the Allies, and it was not long before the quarrel had extended to the political future of other Eastern European nations. The struggle over the fate of Eastern Europe thus constituted the first crucial phase of the Cold War. Yet during this period, which lasted from 1944 to 1946, both sides clung to the hope that their growing differences could be surmounted and something of the spirit of their earlier wartime cooperation could be preserved.

While the United States accused the USSR of seeking to expand Communism in Europe and Asia, the USSR viewed itself as the leader of history’s progressive forces and charged the United States with attempting to stamp out revolutionary activity wherever it arose. In 1946 and 1947 the USSR helped bring Communist governments to power in Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Poland (Communists had gained control of Albania and Yugoslavia in 1944 and 1945).

In 1947 United States president Harry S. Truman issued the Truman Doctrine, which authorized U.S. aid to anti-Communist forces in Greece and Turkey. Later, this policy was expanded to justify support for any nation that the U.S. government considered to be threatened by Soviet expansionism. Known as the containment doctrine, this policy, aimed at containing the spread of Communism around the world, was outlined in a famous 1947 Foreign Affairs article by American diplomat George F. Kennan. Containment soon became the official U.S. policy with regard to the USSR.

By 1948 neither side believed any longer in the possibility of preserving some level of partnership amidst the growing tension and competition. During this new and more intense phase of the Cold War, developments in and around postwar Germany emerged as the core of the conflict. Following its defeat in World War II, Germany had been divided into separate British, French, American, and Soviet occupation zones. The city of Berlin, located in the Soviet zone, was also divided into four administrative sectors. The occupying governments could not reach agreement on what the political and economic structure of postwar Germany should be, and in mid-1947 the United States and Britain decided to merge their separate administrative zones.

The two Western governments worried that to keep Germany fragmented indefinitely, particularly when the Soviet and Western occupation regimes were growing so far apart ideologically, could have negative economic consequences for the Western sphere of responsibility. This concern echoed a larger fear that the economic problems of Western Europe—a result of the war's devastation—had left the region vulnerable to Soviet penetration through European Communist parties under Moscow's control. To head off this danger, in the summer of 1947 the United States committed itself to a massive economic aid program designed to rebuild Western European economies. The program was called the Marshall Plan, after U.S. secretary of state George C. Marshall .

In June 1948 France merged its administrative zone with the joint British-American zone, thus laying the foundation for a West German republic. Stalin and his lieutenants opposed the establishment of a West German state, fearing that it would be rearmed and welcomed into an American-led military alliance. In the summer of 1948 the Soviets responded to the Western governments’ plans for West Germany by attempting to cut those governments off from their sectors in Berlin through a land blockade. In the first direct military confrontation between the USSR and the Western powers, the Western governments organized a massive airlift of supplies to West Berlin, circumventing the Soviet blockade. After 11 months and thousands of flights, the Western powers succeeded in breaking the blockade.

Meanwhile, in February 1948 Soviet-backed Communists in Czechoslovakia provoked a crisis that led to the formation of a new, Communist-dominated government. With this, all the countries of Eastern Europe were under Communist control, and the creation of the Soviet bloc was complete. The events of 1948 contributed to a growing conviction among political leaders in both the United States and the USSR that the opposing power posed a broad and fundamental threat to their nation’s interests.

The Berlin blockade and the spread of Communism in Europe led to negotiations between Western Europe, Canada, and the United States that resulted in the North Atlantic Treaty, which was signed in April 1949, thereby establishing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The Berlin crisis also accelerated the emergence of a state of West Germany, which was formally established in May 1949. (The Communist republic of East Germany, comprising the remainder of German territory, was formally proclaimed in October of that year.) And finally, the Berlin confrontation prompted the Western powers to begin thinking seriously about rearming their half of Germany, despite the divisiveness of this issue among West Europeans.

The death of Joseph Stalin in 1953 had a significant impact on the course of the Cold War. His successors, including Nikita Khrushchev, who ultimately replaced Stalin as Soviet leader, sought to ease some of the rigidities of Soviet policy toward the West, but without resolving the core issue: a divided Germany at the heart of a divided Europe. The Western powers responded cautiously but sympathetically to the softening of Soviet policy, and in the mid-1950s the USSR and the Western powers convened the first of several summit conferences in Geneva, Switzerland, to address the key issues of the Cold War.

These issues now included not only the problem of German reunification, but also the danger of surprise nuclear attack and, in the background, the momentarily quieted but still unresolved conflicts in Korea and Indochina (for more information, see The Cold War Outside Europe below). The 1955 Geneva Conference achieved little progress on the central issues of Germany, Eastern Europe, and arms control. However, on the eve of the conference the two sides resolved the issue of Austria, which had been united with Germany during the war and divided into American, British, French, and Soviet occupation zones in its aftermath. The signing of the State Treaty between Austria and the Allies established Austria’s neutrality, freed it of occupation forces, and reestablished the Austrian republic.

This period also saw fundamental change in one critical realm: Both the United States and the USSR came to recognize that nuclear weapons had produced a revolution in military affairs—making war among the great powers, while still a possibility, no longer a sane policy recourse.
Meanwhile, the struggle over Europe continued. West Germany was recognized as an independent nation in 1955 and was allowed to rearm and join NATO. In response to this development, a group of Eastern European Communist nations led by the USSR formed the Warsaw Pact . In the late 1950s Khrushchev launched a new series of crises over Berlin, and in 1961 the Soviet government built the Berlin Wall to prevent East Germans from fleeing to West Germany.

B -The Cold War Outside Europe
In 1950 the superpowers’ involvement in Third World areas—limited previously to sporadic jousting—changed suddenly, as the USSR and the United States became entangled in an Asian war. In June of that year, Stalin appeared to endorse the plans of North Korean Communist leader Kim Il Sung to attack South Korea, assuming—according to documents that have since come to light—that the United States and other major powers would not get involved. This mistaken assumption led to the Korean War (1950-1953), which pitted American-led United Nations forces against the military forces of North Korea and China (which had become a Communist republic under the leadership of Mao Zedong in late 1949). The first armed conflict of the Cold War, the Korean War led to a major increase in defense spending by the United States.

Because American leaders saw Stalin’s actions in Korea as a potential precursor to aggressive movements in Europe, the war helped prompt the United States to turn NATO into an ambitious and permanent military structure.

In 1954, following the military defeat of France in its bid to reclaim Vietnam in the First Indochina War (1946-1954), the great powers assembled in Geneva with representatives from Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia to negotiate an end to that conflict. Among other provisions, the resulting agreement, known as the Geneva Accords, provided for the temporary partition of Vietnam into northern and southern portions, with the Viet Minh (a Communist group seeking Vietnamese independence) concentrated in North Vietnam and the French and their Vietnamese supporters in the south. To avoid permanent partition, the accords called for national elections to reunify the country to be held in 1956. When the South Vietnamese refused to hold the elections because Viet Minh leader Ho Chi Minh was favored to win, the North Vietnamese began to seek the overthrow of the South Vietnamese government.

The Vietnam War, which began in 1959, pitted the Communist North Vietnamese and the National Liberation Front, a Vietnamese nationalist group based in South Vietnam, against the South Vietnamese. In 1965 the United States sent troops into Vietnam to fight alongside the South Vietnamese. A long and bloody conflict, the Vietnam War lasted until 1975. Before it ended, it spread to the neighboring countries of Laos and Cambodia, where it continued long after 1975. In Cambodia, the war brought to power the Communist movement known as the Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, whose regime inflicted a genocidal massacre on the Cambodian people. Meanwhile, by the mid-1960s the Communist world had been dramatically reconfigured as the result of an increasingly bitter and open split between the USSR and China. The dispute stemmed in part from ideological disagreements but also reflected the intense rivalry of two former empires.

The most serious Cold War confrontation between the United States and the USSR that took place in the Third World—one that raised the specter of nuclear war—occurred in 1962. In the summer of that year, the U.S. government discovered that the Soviets were in the process of deploying nuclear missiles in Communist Cuba. In October the United States moved to block Soviet ships carrying missiles to Cuba. The resulting standoff, during which the world stood seemingly on the brink of ultimate disaster, ended with Khrushchev capitulating to the demands of U.S. president John F. Kennedy. From the Cuban missile crisis both sides learned that risking nuclear war in pursuit of political objectives was simply too dangerous. It was the last time during the Cold War that either side would take this risk.

In the early and mid-1960s the great powers even superimposed their competition on local conflicts in faraway Africa. In newly independent nations such as the Republic of the Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Nigeria, the United States and the USSR chose sides and lent military backing and other assistance to groups or leaders thought to be sympathetic to their interests. In the Middle East, the underlying conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors became entangled with maneuvering by the superpowers to push one another out of the region. The Arab-Israeli wars of 1956, 1967, and 1973 drew in the United States and the USSR, creating the possibility of escalation to a direct confrontation between them.

In the early 1970s the tenor of the Cold War changed. During the first administration of U.S. president Richard Nixon (1969-1973), the United States and the USSR sought to put their relationship on a different footing. While neither side abandoned its basic positions, the two superpowers tried to take the first steps toward controlling the costly nuclear arms race and finding areas for mutually advantageous economic and scientific collaboration.

Détente, as this policy came to be called, collapsed in the second half of the 1970s, when the American-Soviet competition in the Third World intensified once again, this time during the civil war in Angola and the Somali-Ethiopian war over the Ogadēn region. During this phase of the Cold War, Communist Cuba played a significant role alongside the USSR, while the Chinese, now deeply wary of the USSR, participated on the side of the United States.

The early 1980s witnessed a final period of friction between the United States and the USSR, resulting mainly from the Soviets’ invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 to prop up a Communist regime and from the firm line adopted by U.S. president Ronald Reagan after his 1980 election. Reagan saw the USSR as an “evil empire.” He also believed that his rivals in Moscow respected strength first and foremost, and thus he set about to add greatly to American military capabilities. The Soviets initially viewed Reagan as an implacable foe, committed to subverting the Soviet system and possibly willing to risk nuclear war in the process.

Then in the mid-1980s Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in the USSR. Gorbachev was determined to halt the increasing decay of the Soviet system and to shed some of his country’s foreign policy burdens. Between 1986 and 1989 he brought a revolution to Soviet foreign policy, abandoning long-held Soviet assumptions and seeking new and far-reaching agreements with the West. Gorbachev’s efforts fundamentally altered the dynamic of East-West relations. Gorbachev and Reagan held a series of summit talks beginning in 1985, and in 1987 the two leaders agreed to eliminate a whole class of their countries’ nuclear missiles—those capable of striking Europe and Asia from the USSR and vice versa. The Soviet government began to reduce its forces in Eastern Europe, and in 1989 it pulled its troops out of Afghanistan.

That year Communist regimes began to topple in the countries of Eastern Europe and the wall that had divided East and West Germany since 1961 was torn down. In 1990 Germany became once again a unified country. In 1991 the USSR dissolved, and Russia and the other Soviet republics emerged as independent states. Even before these dramatic final events, much of the ideological basis for the Cold War competition had disappeared. However, the collapse of Soviet power in Eastern Europe, and then of the USSR itself, lent a crushing finality to the end of the Cold War period.
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Westphalia, Peace of, treaty, signed October 24, 1648, that closed the Thirty Years' War and readjusted the religious and political affairs of Europe. It is so called because the negotiations, which began in 1644, took place in the German cities of Münster and Osnabrück, in Westphalia. The main participants were France and Sweden and their opponents Spain and the Holy Roman Empire. By the terms of the treaty, the sovereignty and independence of each state of the Holy Roman Empire was fully recognized, making the Holy Roman emperor virtually powerless.

Among the territorial provisions of the treaty were the following: France was confirmed in the possession of the city of Pinerolo in Piedmont (Piemonte) and the bishoprics of Metz, Toul, and Verdun in Lorraine. Also, the town of Breisach on the east bank of the Rhine River and most of Alsace were ceded to France. Sweden obtained western Pomerania, with Stettin, Wismar, and the islands of Rügen and Poel, thus gaining control of the Baltic Sea.

The archbishopric of Bremen and the bishopric of Verden were also ceded to Sweden, and both Sweden and France obtained the right to vote in the diet of the Holy Roman Empire. As compensation for its cessions in Pomerania, Brandenburg obtained Cammin and the bishoprics of Halberstadt and Minden, together with succession to the archbishopric of Magdeburg. Mecklenburg-Schwerin was enlarged by the bishoprics of Schwerin and Ratzeburg in compensation for Wismar. Hessen-Kassel obtained the rich abbacy of Hersfeld, and Saxony (Sachsen) was allowed to retain Lusatia. The Lower Palatinate was restored to Charles Louis, eldest son of the elector of the Palatinate Frederick V, and an eighth electorate was created in his favor; the Upper Palatinate was confirmed to Bavaria. Also, the de facto independence of Switzerland and of the United Provinces of the Netherlands was recognized. The overall result of this political reorganization was that France, mainly at the expense of the Austrian Habsburgs, emerged as the chief power on the Continent.

The provisions with respect to ecclesiastical affairs included the interdiction of all religious persecution in Germany and the confirmation of the Treaty of Passau (1552) and the religious Peace of Augsburg (1555). According to the treaty, the religion of each German state was to be determined by the religion of its prince—Roman Catholic, Lutheran, or Calvinist. If a prince changed his religion he would forfeit his lands; this provision was included as a method of checking the spread of the Reformation. The Peace of Westphalia marked the close of the period of religious wars. Thereafter, European armed struggles were waged principally for political ends.
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Post International Organization

International Organization

International Organization, membership group that operates across national borders for specific purposes. Scholars of international relations consider international organizations to have growing importance in world politics. Examples of international organizations include the United Nations (UN), the World Bank (see International Bank for Reconstruction and Development), the International Committee of the Red Cross, and Green peace.

Most international organizations operate as part of one or more international regimes. An international regime is a set of rules, standards, and procedures that govern national behavior in a particular area. Examples of international regimes include arms control, foreign trade, and Antarctic exploration. International organizations are often central to the functioning of an international regime, giving structure and procedures to the “rules of the game” by which nations must play. For example, the World Trade Organization (WTO), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the European Union (EU) are key organizations that define the international trade regime.

International organizations fall into two main categories: intergovernmental organizations and nongovernmental organizations. Intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) have national governments as members. Hundreds of IGOs operate in all parts of the world. Member nations have created each of these organizations to serve a purpose that those nations find useful.

Membership can range from as few as two member nations to virtually all nations. The UN and its various agencies are IGOs. So are most of the world’s economic coordinating institutions, such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) seeks to coordinate the production and pricing policies of its 12 member states. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) seeks to regulate the flow of nuclear technology to developing nations. The WTO helps negotiate and monitor agreements among 128 nations to lower trade barriers. Military alliances, such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO), and political groupings, such as the Arab League, and the Organization of African Unity are also IGOs. In general, regional IGOs have experienced more success than global ones, and those with specific purposes have worked better than those with broad aims.

Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are private organizations whose memberships and activities are international in scope. NGOs do not possess the legal status of national governments. However, the UN and other international forums recognize many NGOs as important political institutions. Examples of NGOs include the Roman Catholic Church, Green peace, the International Olympic Committee, and the International Committee of the Red Cross. Although multinational corporations (MNCs) share many characteristics of NGOs, they are not international organizations because they do not coordinate the actions of members for mutual gain.

Historically, international organizations and regimes have reflected the interests of the world’s most powerful nations, or great powers. Many international organizations and regimes were established during times of global hegemony—that is, when one nation has predominated in international power. These periods have often followed a major war among the great powers. Today’s international organizations—such as the UN, the Organization of American States (OAS), and the World Bank—were created after World War II ended in 1945, when the United States was powerful enough to create rules and institutions that other countries would follow.

Although rooted in power, international organizations and regimes generally serve the interests of most participating nations and usually endure even when hegemony wanes. Most countries share mutual interests, yet find it hard to coordinate their actions for mutual benefit because of the lack of a central authority. Nations also face the temptation to bend the rules in their own favor. For example, it is in everyone’s interest to halt production of chemicals that damage the earth’s ozone layer. However, a country can save money by continuing to use those chemicals. The coordination of efforts to write new rules and monitor them requires an international organization.

For example, the United Nations Environment Program helped countries negotiate a treaty to stop producing ozone-destroying chemicals. Thus, nations find it useful to give international organizations some power to enforce rules. Most countries follow the rules most of the time.
In the 18th century, German philosopher Immanuel Kant and French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau broadly outlined the concept of a global federation of countries resembling today’s UN. Nations joined the first IGOs in the 19th century. These were practical organizations through which nations managed specific issues, such as international mail service and control of traffic on European rivers. Such organizations proliferated in the 20th century to cover a wide variety of specific issues. At the same time, the scope of international organizations expanded, culminating with the creation of the League of Nations in 1920.

The development of European regional organizations after World War II ended in 1945 mirrored the growth of IGOs historically, in that narrowly focused organizations preceded broader and more encompassing international institutions. The European Coal and Steel Community, predecessor of the European Union, coordinated coal and steel production. In the 1990s, the European Commission, executive agency of the European Union, enforces regulations concerning labor, the environment, and a host of other issues that affect the daily lives of virtually every citizen in Europe.

NGOs similarly developed from the need to coordinate specific, narrowly defined activities across national borders. Beginning in the 19th century, churches and professional and scientific occupational groups formed the first NGOs. Some political parties—notably Communist Parties in the early 20th century—organized internationally and began to function as NGOs. In the 20th century, specialized NGOs also sprang up in such areas as sports, business, tourism, and communication.

Between 1945 and 1995, the number of IOs increased fivefold, reaching about 500 IGOs and 5000 NGOs. On average, a new NGO is created somewhere in the world every few days. This trend reflects the growing importance of international coordination for both governmental and private institutions in an interdependent world.

One sign of the important role of international organizations is how they have endured as international power relations shift. In 1991, the Soviet Union dissolved and the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States ended. At this time, one might have expected the NATO military alliance to Russia and other formerly Communist countries in Eastern Europe ceased to pose a threat to the capitalist democracies of Western Europe. One might have expected NATO, which defended Western European nations, to go out of business, but it did not. Similarly, the creation of the WTO did not cause smaller free-trade associations such as NAFTA to end. Instead, the mosaic of IOs continues to expand, particularly as new communications and information-processing technologies make international groups more practical and effective.

The interdependence of nations in the modern world means that no single nation can dictate the outcome of international conflicts. Nor can private groups and individuals rely on national governments to solve major world problems. Therefore, both governments and individuals will continue to turn to IOs as an important way to address these problems and to protect their own interests.
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Post Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

1980: Pakistan

Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

The occupation of Afghanistan by Soviet troops, beginning in December 1979, raised Pakistani fears for their own security. The government undertook three main approaches in dealing with the crisis. The first approach was to explore a possible revitalizing of the relationship with the United States. Early in the year, the United States offered $400 million in economic and military aid to Pakistan, in an attempt to provide a modicum of security, but Pakistan turned it down, considering it an inadequate response to the grave threat facing the country and believing that only a formal treaty approved by the U.S. Congress would send the necessary message to Moscow. The unwillingness of the Carter administration to proceed along these lines was reportedly taken to indicate a lack of American seriousness. A visit by the U.S. presidential national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, to Pakistan failed to resolve many of the two nations' differences.

A second approach was based on the belief that concerted action by the Islamic bloc would make it more difficult for the Soviets to sustain the occupation or, at least, to move against other countries. Toward this end, an Islamic Foreign Ministers Conference was held in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad in late January and again in May, and a special group composed of representatives of three countries, including Pakistan, was set up to seek ways of resolving the Afghan situation and securing the withdrawal of Soviet troops.

Pakistan's friendship with China suggested a third approach to the Afghan situation. While it was acknowledged that Peking's options were somewhat limited, its support for Pakistan was expected to discourage Moscow from taking any major action against the Pakistanis—particularly if China's support was coordinated with American assistance.
The presence of over a million Afghan refugees in Pakistan has been an additional source of potential trouble between Pakistan and the Soviet Union. Two Pakistanis were killed in a border attack in late September, and the Soviets made numerous reconnaissance flights over the refugee camps. In addition, the refugees are an economic burden that Pakistan can ill afford. Pakistan's President Muhammad Zia ul-Haq met with U.S. President Jimmy Carter in early October to discuss economic assistance for the refugees, among other matters of concern.

Other foreign relations.
The fall of the shah of Iran, in 1979, led to initial concern in Islamabad, because of the traditionally close relations between Iran and Pakistan during the years of the monarchy. However, a rapport was established with the revolutionary regime in Tehran on matters of regional interest. In September, Zia undertook a "goodwill" mission to Tehran and Baghdad, aimed at exploring a possible end to the Iran-Iraq war; he was politely received but given no encouragement.

Relations with India became critically important due to the sensitive situation on the Pakistani-Afghan border. Relations had improved under the government of Morarji Desai; the return of Indira Gandhi to power was expected to lead to difficulties, with India playing a tougher role as regional leader.

U.S. opposition to the Pakistani nuclear program continued, although public condemnation was muted by the events in Afghanistan. When the United States agreed to send enriched uranium nuclear fuel to India, Pakistanis believed that they were being singled out for punishment and that there was a legitimate need to continue the program. On August 31, Pakistan announced that the country had become self-sufficient in nuclear fuel production for the Karachi nuclear power plant.

Government and politics.
The grave repercussions that had been predicted following the execution of former Premier Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1979 did not materialize in 1980. Domestic political demands were toned down somewhat, in light of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, although there was some pressure for a return to civilian government. Political activity remained banned, and the military government made vague promises for free elections, but no date was set. In the meantime, the population was polarized between leftist and rightist elements, with strong grass-roots support for an increased Islamization of the country.

This summer, the government announced the formation of "Zakat" committees for the collection of taxes to be distributed to the poor and needy, as prescribed under Islamic law. The Shiite community, comprising some 15 million people, objected to the mandatory program and also contended that their contributions should be distributed within their own community and not dispersed by the government. This led to a major demonstration by the Shiite Muslims in Islamabad, as a result of which the government exempted them from these laws.

Pakistan's economic performance improved during 1979-1980. The overall growth rate was 6.2 percent, with manufacturing improving by 8.1 percent (up from a 7.4 percent increase in 1978-1979) and agriculture by 6 percent (up from 4.2 percent in the previous year). The government reported that the average annual growth rate in Pakistan over the past three years was 6.4percent, in sharp contrast with an annual growth of 3.7 percent during 1970-1977.

There were record harvests of wheat, at 10.87 million tons, and cotton, at 4.2 million tons, not only because of an increase in the area under cultivation but also because of a significant increase in the yield per acre. Specific efforts were taken to move the country toward food self-sufficiency, such as price supports, promotion of rust-resistant wheat varieties, provision of fertilizer and irrigation water, encouragement of the use of farm machines, and educational programs for farmers.

Despite these gains, the economic situation remained precarious. In the absence of national savings, the country remained heavily dependent on external borrowing, which totaled $822 million for the period from December 1979 to July 1980. Foreign aid commitments during 1979-1980 totaled $939 million, compared with $1,426 million for 1978-1979. Total pledges from the Aid Pakistan consortium (both bilateral and multilateral) amounted to $675 million, as compared with $845 million for 1978-1979. U.S. assistance remained limited to $40 million in agricultural commodities. Pakistan's current foreign debt stood at $5.5 billion, which constituted nearly 32 percent of the gross national product, and Pakistan was unable to get any debt rescheduling.
Pakistan's oil import bill (a factor in its debt problems) amounted to $1.2 billion for 1979-1980. Efforts to offset this high cost from indigenous sources have thus far yielded modest results, with only 10 percent of the 1980 oil consumption being met from domestic output.

Area and population.
Area, 310,724 sq. mi. Pop. (est. 1980), 86.5 million. Principal cities (est. 1975): Islamabad (cap.), 250,000; Karachi, 3,500,000; Lahore, 2,100,000.

Islamic republic under martial law. Pres. and chief martial law administrator, Gen. Muhammad Zia ul-Haq.

Monetary unit: Pakistani rupee; 1 rupee = US$0.1030.
Trade (est. 1979-1980).
Exports, $1.8 billion; imports, $3.2 billion. Principal exports: rice, raw cotton, cotton yarn, cotton cloth, wool carpets, leather, fish, sports goods. Principal imports: petroleum products, wheat, edible oils, fertilizers, tea, chemicals, tires, medicines, iron and steel.
Education (est. 1979-1980).
Enrollment: primary schools, 5.9 million; secondary schools, 1.3 million; high schools, 500,000; junior colleges, 195,000; universities, 28,500. Literacy rate, 19.8%.
Agriculture (est. 1979-1980).
Production (in millions of tons): wheat, 10.87; cotton, 4.2; rice, 3.2; sugarcane, 27.
Armed forces (est. 1980).
Army, 408,000; navy, 13,000; air force, 17,600; paramilitary forces, 109,000.
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Post League of Nations

League of Nations

League of Nations, international alliance for the preservation of peace. The league existed from 1920 to 1946. The first meeting was held in Geneva, on November 15, 1920, with 42 nations represented. The last meeting was held on April 8, 1946; at that time the league was superseded by the United Nations (UN). During the league's 26 years, a total of 63 nations belonged at one time or another; 28 were members for the entire period.

In 1918, as one of his Fourteen Points summarizing Allied aims in World War I, United States president Woodrow Wilson presented a plan for a general association of nations. The plan formed the basis of the Covenant of the League of Nations, the 26 articles that served as operating rules for the league. The covenant was formulated as part of the Treaty of Versailles, which ended World War I, in 1919.

Although President Wilson was a member of the committee that drafted the covenant, it was never ratified by the U.S. Senate because of Article X, which contained the requirement that all members preserve the territorial independence of all other members, even to joint action against aggression. During the next two decades, American diplomats encouraged the league's activities and attended its meetings unofficially, but the United States never became a member. The efficacy of the league was, therefore, considerably lessened.

The machinery of the league consisted of an assembly, a council, and a secretariat. Before World War II (1939-1945), the assembly convened regularly at Geneva in September; it was composed of three representatives for every member state, each state having one vote. The council met at least three times each year to consider political disputes and reduction of armaments; it was composed of several permanent members—France, Britain, Italy, Japan, and later Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)—and several nonpermanent members elected by the assembly. The decisions of the council had to be unanimous. The secretariat was the administrative branch of the league and consisted of a secretary general and a staff of 500 people. Several other bodies were allied with the league, such as the Permanent Court of International Justice, called the World Court, and the International Labor Organization.

The league was based on a new concept: collective security against the “criminal” threat of war. Unfortunately, the league rarely implemented its available resources, limited though they were, to achieve this goal.
One important activity of the league was the disposition of certain territories that had been colonies of Germany and the Ottoman Empire before World War I. Supervision of these territories was awarded to league members in the form of mandates. Mandated territories were given different degrees of independence, in accordance with their stage of development, their geographic situation, and their economic status.

The league may be credited with certain social achievements. These include curbing international traffic in narcotics and prostitution, aiding refugees of World War I, and surveying and improving health and labor conditions around the world. In the area of preserving peace, the league had some minor successes, including settlement of disputes between Finland and Sweden over the Åland Islands in 1921 and between Greece and Bulgaria over their mutual border in 1925. The Great Powers, however, preferred to handle their own affairs; France occupied the Ruhr, and Italy occupied Corfu (Kérkira), both in 1923, in spite of the league.

Although Germany joined the league in 1926, the National Socialist (Nazi) government withdrew in 1933. Japan also withdrew in 1933, after Japanese attacks on China were condemned by the league. The league failed to end the war between Bolivia and Paraguay over the Chaco Boreal between 1932 and 1935 and to stop the Italian conquest of Ethiopia begun in 1935.
Finally, the league was powerless to prevent the events in Europe that led to World War II. The USSR, a member since 1934, was expelled following the Soviet attack on Finland in 1939. In 1940 the secretariat in Geneva was reduced to a skeleton staff, and several small service units were moved to Canada and the United States. In 1946 the league voted to effect its own dissolution, whereupon much of its property and organization were transferred to the UN.

Never truly effective as a peacekeeping organization, the lasting importance of the League of Nations lies in the fact that it provided the groundwork for the UN. This international alliance, formed after World War II, not only profited by the mistakes of the League of Nations but borrowed much of the organizational machinery of the league.

The accompanying table lists the countries that were members of the international organization. Where no date is given, the country was an original member of the league. The year in parentheses is the year of admission to the league unless otherwise indicated.
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Post Iran-Iraq War

Iran-Iraq War

Iran-Iraq War, armed conflict that began when Iraq invaded Iran in September 1980 and ended in August 1988 after both sides accepted a cease-fire sponsored by the United Nations (UN). The war was one of the longest and most destructive of the 20th century, with likely more than one million casualties. Despite the conflict's length and cost, neither Iran nor Iraq made significant territorial or political gains, and the fundamental issues dividing the countries remained unresolved at the end of the war.

The border between Iraq and Iran has been contested diplomatically and sometimes militarily for several centuries. After the Ottoman Empire conquered present-day Iraq in 1534, making it the easternmost part of its empire, Iran, its eastern neighbor, became a frequent rival. More recently, when Iraq was made a separate state in the aftermath of World War I (1914-1918), Iraq and Iran disagreed sharply over the precise border between them, especially in the area of the Shatt al Arab, a river channel providing Iraq's only outlet to the sea, via the Persian Gulf. In 1937 the two sides came to an agreement establishing a boundary that gave Iraq control of the Shatt al Arab.

Despite the border agreement, relations between Iran and Iraq continued to suffer periodic crises for two reasons. First, although Iraq is predominantly Arab and Iran is predominantly Persian, the border still cut across some political loyalties. In the north, a large population of Kurds (who are neither Arab nor Persian) straddled both sides of the border. Along the southern part of the border, an Arab minority inhabited the Iranian province of Khūzestān among a Persian majority. Furthermore, the largest portion of the Iraqi population is Shia Muslim (see Shia Islam), as is the majority of the Iranian population. Shia religious leaders at odds with the secular (nonreligious) government of their own country sometimes sought refuge in the other, straining Iranian-Iraqi relations. The most prominent refugee was Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a leading Shiae religious scholar who settled in Iraq after being exiled from Iran in 1964.

The second reason Iran and Iraq continued to suffer crises was that both countries were politically unstable. When either Iran or Iraq experienced a revolution or coup, the other country would exploit the troubled country’s political weakness to gain a diplomatic advantage. As Western countries, especially the United Kingdom, gradually lost influence in the area in the mid-20th century, both Iran and Iraq felt freer to pursue more ambitious foreign policies, unhindered (and at times even supported) by external powers. By the beginning of the 1970s both Iran and Iraq sought broader influence in the region. Under Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, Iran felt it could assert its authority in the area, partly with the backing of the United States. Iraq, governed by the Arab nationalist regime of Major General Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr, sought to unite and strengthen the Arab world and reject Western influence. These opposing views created a bitter rivalry between the neighboring countries.

In the early 1970s Iraq's Kurdish population rebelled against the country's government, and Iran joined several other countries in supporting the insurgency. At peace talks in Algiers, Algeria, in 1975, Iran agreed to abandon its support for the Kurdish rebellion in return for an agreement by Iraq to share the Shatt al Arab waterway with Iran. Thereafter, the border between Iran and Iraq was drawn down the middle of the Shatt al Arab rather than along its eastern (Iranian) bank as agreed in 1937.

In January 1979 followers of Ayatollah Khomeini led a revolution that toppled the shah. The following month, Khomeini returned to Iran and began to take control of the new government. In April, after a popular referendum, Khomeini declared the establishment of an Islamic republic. The revolution posed what seemed to be both an enormous opportunity and a dire threat to the Iraqi government, now under the control of Saddam Hussein. On the one hand, Iran was in disarray. The various elements in the coalition that overthrew the shah were badly divided and the army was being purged. Further, the taking of American hostages in November 1979, combined with the desire of the new government to free the country from all foreign influence, left Iran internationally isolated. Never had Iraq’s rival been so vulnerable.

On the other hand, Iranian Shia Muslims had carried out the successful revolution against the shah’s secular government. Their success excited many Iraqi Shias with the possibility of similar gains in their country. Although Shiaes also constitute the majority of Muslims in Iraq, the Sunnis (Sunni Islam) had long held political power in Iraq’s secular government. Cautiously, the domestic opposition to Hussein’s strong-handed government became emboldened. One Iraqi religious leader in particular, Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr, emerged with ideas very similar to Khomeini’s. Al-Sadr was soon arrested and executed, bringing protests from some Iraqi Shias as well as a crisis in Iranian-Iraqi relations.

While these events were unfolding, some Iranian officials made no secret of their desire to have other Muslim countries follow their path of Islamic revolution. A crisis between Iran and Iraq escalated during 1980 as the two countries accused each other of border violations and interfering in each other’s internal affairs. Iraq responded to the escalation by repudiating the 1975 agreement giving Iran access to the Shatt al Arab. On September 22, Iraq further escalated the conflict, launching the full-scale invasion of Iran that initiated eight years of warfare.

Iraqi troops invaded Iran along a front some 500 km (300 mi) long. Numerous and well-equipped Iraqi forces overwhelmed the small Iranian border units and advanced into southwestern Iran. With the far side of the Shatt al Arab thus secured, Iraq captured the southern border city of Khorramshahr in the oil-rich Khūzestān province and began besieging other towns along the frontier. However, the Iranian resistance was stiffer than Iraq expected. Using its superior naval power, Iran quickly mounted an effective sea blockade. Standing up to Iraq’s larger air force, the Iranian air force issued retaliatory raids that checked Iraq’s advance on the ground. In January 1981 Iran launched its first counteroffensive, but Iraq decimated the assault. The war entered a protracted stalemate.

The stalemate did little to encourage either country to engage in diplomatic dialogue. The Iraqi government accused Iran of being bent on regional domination, while the Iranian government called for revolution in Iraq. Briefly in 1981 Iraq stopped fighting and expressed some willingness to consider a cease-fire, but Iran rejected any attempt to stop the war while Iraq occupied Iranian territory. Thereafter, the Iranian leadership staked out a very firm diplomatic position, claiming that it would never accept negotiations with the Iraqi government.

As the stalemate continued, Iran was able to mobilize irregular forces (groups not normally part of the army but drafted and armed in response to a crisis), including the Revolutionary Guard, an ill-trained but dedicated core of fighters. By early 1982, the struggle for political power in postrevolutionary Iran was resolved, allowing the government to pursue a more coherent war policy. Iran seized the initiative with several offensives that pushed Iraq out of much of Iran and brought the fighting into Iraqi territory. Throughout the summer and fall of 1982, Iranian attacks along the border focused on splitting the south of Iraq, where the majority of the Shias lived, from the north and capturing the southern Iraqi city of Al Başrah.

The Iranian offensives of 1982 set a pattern that continued for the rest of the war. Exploiting their superiority in numbers, Iran sent its Revolutionary Guard on the attack, supported by regular military forces. Outnumbered Iraqi forces inflicted heavy losses on the Iranians but ultimately fell back. As soon as the initial Iranian thrust had exhausted itself, however, the Iraqi army exploited Iranian disorganization and lack of equipment to retake much of the lost territory.

As the war continued, Iraq’s defense grew increasingly desperate. Probably as early as 1983 the armed forces used poison gas against Iranian troops. Iraq also widened the war to civilian targets, launching missiles against Iranian cities, bombing Iranian oil installations, and attacking Iranian shipping in the Persian Gulf. Iran responded with attacks against civilian and economic targets in Iraq.

The diplomatic situation mirrored the battlefield. Iraq had initiated the war with the conviction that a weak and isolated Iran would surrender and accept border modifications. The Iraqi leadership undoubtedly hoped to constrain and perhaps even bring down the Iranian revolutionary leadership.

As the war progressed, however, Iraq scaled down its aims drastically. While it continued its harsh criticism of the Iranian leadership (and sometimes of the Iranian people) and supported dissident Iranian groups, Iraq accepted the idea of a cease-fire and negotiations concerning the border dispute.
The Iranian leadership probably perceived the Iraqi diplomatic retreat as a sign of further weakness. After evicting Iraq from most Iranian territory by 1982, Iran was reluctant to end the war until Iraq acknowledged that, as instigator, it bore full responsibility for the war’s disastrous consequences. Iran continuously rejected a cease-fire on terms that Iraq could accept, demanding huge reparation payments and an end to Hussein’s rule before it would stop fighting. These conditions effectively killed any hope of a peaceful resolution.

International reaction to the Iran-Iraq War was remarkably muted, at least at the outset. Although the United Nations Security Council called for a cease-fire after a week of fighting and renewed the call on later occasions, the initial call was made while Iraq occupied Iranian territory. Moreover, the UN refused to come to Iran’s aid to repel the Iraqi invasion. The Iranians thus interpreted the UN as subtly biased in favor of Iraq. Outside the UN, other governments took few constructive steps to end the fighting—which was unusual for a war of such proportions. The international silence was partly caused by Iran’s international isolation and the mutual hostility between Iran and the West in the wake of Iran’s Islamic revolution. Further, Iran did not actively seek international support, wanting to remain free of relationships that might make it beholden to other nations. Iraq, expecting an easy victory against a vulnerable opponent, also did not seek international support in the early stages of the war.

Only within the Middle East did either side seek to win diplomatic support. Most Arab states regarded Iraq warily but were even more frightened by the prospect of a victory by the revolutionary Iranian regime. Slowly at first, then more quickly after 1982, most Arab states—especially Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the other states of the Arabian Peninsula—aided Iraq militarily and diplomatically. Iran had few friends in the region: Syria, a longtime rival of Iraq, stood out in the Arab world for its support of Iran, and at times Libya offered its support.

As the war wore on and Iraq failed to persuade Iran to accept a cease-fire, Iraq sought increasingly to internationalize the conflict. It first made clear that it would accept international mediation, casting pressure on Iran to do the same. Iraq also attacked Iranian shipping; this brought Iranian reprisals against not only Iraqi shipping but also the shipping of Iraq's backers (such as Kuwait). Western powers, including the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), were eventually drawn to the Persian Gulf to protect the valuable shipments of oil from the Middle East.

The prolonged fighting forced both sides to search desperately for military equipment, even if it meant dealing with former enemies. At the start of the war, Iraq had no diplomatic relations with the United States due to its friendly relations with the USSR and its longstanding conflict with Israel, the main U.S. ally in the Middle East. As the war continued, however, Iraq toned down its rhetoric to gain American support. The United States responded by giving trade credits to Iraq and supplying the Iraqi armed forces with intelligence information through Saudi Arabia. Equally important, the United States dropped objections to efforts by its allies, especially France, to give weapons and other supplies to Iraq. The United States was motivated in part by a desire to back its friends in the region (most of whom supported Iraq), and in part by its fear of the broader consequences of an Iranian victory. Iraq also relied heavily on the USSR for military supplies.

Iran was also willing to accept support from its former enemies. Since Iran’s military had been built under the rule of the pro-American shah, most of its equipment was of American origin. So while the new revolutionary government was hostile to both the United States and Israel, it needed American spare parts. Israel could supply some of these and chose to do so early in the war. Israel was anxious to undercut Iraq, a potential Arab adversary. Equally remarkable, the United States government opened a secret channel for selling arms to Iran in 1985, even as it urged other governments to stop all military sales to the country (see Iran-Contra Affair). American motives seemed designed partly to induce pro-Iranian groups in Lebanon to release Americans held captive there, and partly to improve relations with Iran. Profits from the arms sales were channeled to right-wing guerrillas in Nicaragua, known as contras, to supply arms for use against the leftist Nicaraguan regime. The exposure of the secret policy in 1986 greatly embarrassed the government of U.S. president Ronald Reagan.

As the war continued, Iraq, no longer believing it could achieve the sweeping victory it had hoped for at the outset, concentrated more and more on simply preventing an Iranian victory. Nevertheless, by 1986 Iraq's condition grew increasingly desperate. Its ability to hold its defensive positions was threatened by Iran’s willingness to suffer enormous casualties. Iran sent massive numbers of older men, children, and sometimes women as human “waves” against Iraq’s better-equipped forces. Although thousands upon thousands of these poorly armed forces were slaughtered with each assault, the Iranian government continued to send them to the front. With its larger population, Iran seemed confident that it would ultimately prevail. Iraq also mustered civilians not normally called on to fight, and by the mid-1980s its population was severely strained.

In 1986 Iran captured the Iraqi gulf town of Al Fāw. Iraq responded with more effective techniques—especially the use of massive amounts of poison gas—to thwart Iran’s frontal assaults. Iraq also stepped up its attacks on Iranian cities, oil installations, and shipping, drawing severe Iranian reprisals against Iraqi oil production and shipping that prompted more American activity in the gulf. Although clashes between American and Iranian forces fell far short of full-scale battles, the American presence nevertheless brought an end to Iranian superiority over Iraq at sea, giving Iraq time to resupply its weaponry and stop the Iranian ground advance.

In 1987 Iran's leaders prepared for what they hoped would be a last round of offensives to end the war and topple the Iraqi government. As the situation became steadily graver, international concern mounted. In July the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 598, calling for both sides to stop fighting, withdraw to the prewar border, and submit to an international body to determine responsibility for the war. Iraq seized on the resolution, but Iran refused to end hostilities with victory so near. Iran continued its attacks but did not achieve the victory for which it had hoped.
By 1988 Iraq, sufficiently rearmed and regrouped, drove the Iranians out of Al Fāw and several other border areas. Iran was in no position to launch a counterattack, and the international situation seemed increasingly favorable to Iraq. Many Iranian leaders concluded that the war could not be won and worked to persuade Khomeini to accept Resolution 598. Although the resolution failed to provide key Iranian aims—such as an end to Hussein’s government, payment of reparations, or clear identification of Iraq as the initiator of the war—Khomeini endorsed the cease-fire in July. On August 20, 1988, both sides ceased fighting in accordance with the terms of Resolution 598.

The Iran-Iraq War lasted just short of eight years and resulted in catastrophic destruction in both countries. Because both Iran and Iraq used irregular military units, attacked civilian populations, and played down their own losses while playing up those of their opponents, reliable casualty figures do not exist. For example, Iran claimed to have lost 200,000 or fewer of its own citizens, while Iraq claimed to have killed 800,000 Iranians. Neutral estimates come closer to the Iranian claim but are uncertain. Because of different battlefield techniques, Iraq’s deaths were probably about half those suffered by Iran. The total number of people killed almost certainly exceeds 300,000. Wounded and captured soldiers push the casualty total over one million, and some estimates of total casualties exceed two million.
The war was also extremely destructive to each country’s economy. Estimates vary, but the war’s total cost, including military supplies and civilian damages, probably exceeded $500 billion for each side. Both Iran and Iraq sacrificed their considerable oil wealth to the war for nearly a decade, and Iraq was forced to borrow heavily, especially from its allies on the Arabian Peninsula.

Remarkably, the war led to no tremendous political change in either country. Despite having led his country into a disastrous military conflict, Hussein emerged from the war more secure than before; he even claimed the Iranian failure to unseat him represented a tremendous Iraqi victory. The Iranian government could have ended the war in 1982 on only marginally different terms from those obtained six years later, yet the ensuing years of fruitless struggle consolidated rather than undermined Iranian popular support for the Islamic republic.

Internationally, the war resolved few issues between the two countries. Although Resolution 598 called for both sides to withdraw to the prewar border, release prisoners, and negotiate all outstanding issues, these terms proved difficult to implement and negotiations remained deadlocked for two years. In some ways the Iran-Iraq War contributed to the outbreak of the Persian Gulf War in 1991: It left Iraq with a strong army and large debts to Arab nations, including Kuwait. Iraq cited Kuwait’s refusal to forgive Iraq’s war debt as one reason for invading its oil-rich neighbor. Only when Iraq was forced into desperate straits during the Gulf War did it move to repair its relationship with Iran. Iraq withdrew from Iranian territory, agreed to restore the 1975 border, and engaged in a large-scale prisoner exchange. Both sides charged the other with retaining some prisoners, however, and the border demarcation remained incomplete. A decade after the 1988 cease-fire, Iran and Iraq had yet to settle these differences.
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Post 1945: Great Britain And British Colonies

1945: Great Britain And British Colonies

The story of Great Britain in 1945 is in part the story of a nation at war. The cessation of hostilities, which occurred in Europe in May and in Asia in September, has not meant that the life of the British people is no longer affected by the pattern set by the stern necessities of warfare. The effects of the war, the general election that brought a new administration into office, and the measures taken or announced for dealing with the problems of the peace are the three topics of chief significance to be touched upon in this account; but some attention is directed also to what may be termed the normal occurrences of the national life.

Area and Population.
The Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has an area of 94,269 square miles, of which 5,534 square miles are in Northern Ireland; the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands add 296 square miles to the total. In 1941 the population of Great Britain was given as 46,467,000 and that of Northern Ireland as 1,288,000. The estimated total today is between 48,000,000 and 49,000,000; of this, somewhat less than 2,000,000 persons live in Northern Ireland, while, in Britain somewhat more than 5,000,000 persons live in Scotland, which in 1941 had a population of 5,007,000. The birth rate has risen during the war. Wartime additions to maternity and child welfare services are credited with reducing the number of still births from 36 per 1,000 in 1940, to 28 per 1,000 in 1944, and in lowering maternity mortality from 2.61 per 1,000 in 1940, to 1.94 per 1,000 in 1944.
Resignation of War Cabinet.

At the opening of the year 1945, Great Britain had a coalition Government, in which the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, who took office on May 10, 1940, was a Conservative as had been his immediate predecessor, Neville Chamberlain. Members of other political parties were in the Cabinet, but the Conservative Ministers were in a sense the senior partners of the coalition.

The rule of Cabinet unanimity, which means that all members of the Government must agree, at any rate on major issues, with the Prime Minister, was in force for the coalition. Responsibility for the conduct of the war rested with Mr. Churchill; few, if anyone, would deny that as a War Prime Minister his performance was magnificent. After the German surrender, the Prime Minister asked his Liberal and Labor colleagues to continue in the Government until the defeat of Japan. This they were unwilling to do. The 1940 coalition ended on May 23 when Churchill resigned, effecting the resignation of the entire ministry. He resumed office on the same day at the king's request, with a new and wholly Conservative Cabinet. Its members were referred to in the press as the "Caretaker Ministers." Dissolution of Parliament was announced to take place on June 15, to be followed by a general election on July 5.

The parliament, thus terminated, had a life of almost ten years, from November 14, 1935, during which great events transpired. In England, one king died, a second abdicated, a third was crowned; and three Conservative Prime Ministers held office, Stanley Baldwin, Neville Chamberlain, and Winston Churchill. The greater part of Europe was overrun by the Germans. For a time Great Britain stood alone against the Nazi menace; then the German invasion of Russia and the Japanese attack on the United States turned a European struggle into a global war. When the people of Great Britain went again to the polls in a parliamentary election, victory had come in Europe and was not far off in Asia. The great issues of this 1945 election were not concerned with the prosecution of the war but with postwar reconstruction and the problems of the peace.

July Elections.

The results of the election were not made known for three weeks, until July 26. In three constituencies the candidates were unopposed; for the other 637seats there were almost 1,700 candidates, of whom 88 were women; there were 291 three cornered, 39 four-cornered, and 7 five-cornered contests. After the election, but before the results had been tabulated and made public, the best guess seemed to be that the Conservatives were returned with a small majority. What happened was a Labor landslide. One of the most significant features of the election was the fate of the "Caretaker Ministers": of forty members of the Government, (sixteen Cabinet Ministers, twenty-four without Cabinet rank), thirty-one, including some of the most prominent, lost their parliamentary seats.

New House of Commons.
The July elections resulted in a Labor victory, astonishing in its scope. Of the 640 members of the new House of Commons 393 are Laborites and 189 Conservatives; lesser groups elected 44 members, of whom 20 may be counted as supporters of the Labor Government and 24 as in the Opposition; 14 members are listed as Independents. Of the Labor members, only 119 belong to trade unions; more than 40 are lawyers; 16 are journalists; 10 are physicians; a considerable number are teachers. The total includes some with many years of parliamentary experience, and more than 100 who have been concerned in local government work.

New Cabinet.
The new Prime Minister was Clement Attlee. His Cabinet which has twenty members is in size close to prewar standards; there were twenty-three Cabinet Ministers in 1939, twenty-one in 1929, and twenty in 1924.
Of the members of the new Cabinet several besides Mr. Attlee were Ministers in the coalition Government. Herbert Morrison, now Lord President of the Council, was Secretary for Home Affairs and Minister for Home Security; a Member of Parliament in 1923-1924, 1929-1931, and since 1935, Morrison was Minister of Transportation in his second term. Ernest Bevin, now Secretary for Foreign Affairs, was Minister of Labor and Minister of National Service.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Hugh Dalton, was President of the Board of Trade; he has had seventeen years' experience in the House of Commons, a distinguished career at Cambridge and the University of London, and a high reputation as university lecturer and author. Mr. Dalton has been succeeded at the Board of Trade by Sir Stafford Cripps, formerly Minister for Aircraft Production, who has been in Parliament since 1931 and has served also as Solicitor General and Ambassador to Russia. A. V. Alexander retains his post as First Lord of the Admiralty, which he has held since 1940. The new Lord Chancellor, Sir William A. Jowitt, raised to the peerage as Lord Jowitt, was Minister without Portfolio; a Member of Parliament from 1920 to 1931 and again since 1939, he was Attorney General from 1929 to 1932.
In addition to members of the preceding Cabinet, several of the new Ministers held lesser administrative positions under the coalition. The Secretary for the Home Department, James Chuter Ede, with wide experience in county and local government, was Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education.

The Secretary for the Colonies, George Henry Hall, a Member of Parliament since 1922, was Financial Secretary to the Admiralty. Joseph Westwood, now Secretary for Scotland, was Parliamentary Under-secretary for Scotland. George Alfred Isaacs, who has succeeded Ernest Bevin as Minister of Labor and of National Service, was Parliamentary Private Secretary to the First Lord of the Admiralty. The new Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Tom Williams, was Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture; a Member of Parliament since 1922, he was in the Ministry of Labor from 1929 to 1931 and in the Ministry of Agriculture in 1924. The Minister of Education, Miss Ellen Wilkinson, who is the only woman in the Cabinet, was Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Home Security; she was on the Manchester City Council from 1923 to 1926, and Member of Parliament from 1924 to 1931 and since 1935.

New Cabinet Ministers whose administrative experience in government antedates the coalition are the Secretary for War, John James Lawson, who was Financial Secretary for the War Office in 1924, Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labor from 1929 to 1931; and the Minister of Fuel and Power, Emanuel Shinwell, who was Parliamentary Secretary to the Department of Mines in 1924 and in 1930-1931, and Financial Secretary to the War Office in 1929-1930. The two peers (other than Lord Jowitt) in the new Government have both been Cabinet Ministers. The Secretary for Dominion Affairs, Lord Addison, (formerly Dr. Christopher Addison) who was given a peerage in 1937 and is Leader of the Labor Party in the House of Lords, was for a time Minister of Munitions in World War I and in 1921 became the first Minister of Health. The Secretary for Air, Viscount Stansgate, (William Wedgwood Benn), who joined the Labor Party in 1927 after twenty-one years in Parliament as a Liberal, was Secretary for India from 1929 to 1931.

Background of Members of Labor Government.
The Labor Government like the whole group of Labor Members of Parliament, is a cross-section of society, but predominantly middle class. There are two somewhat overlapping groups. About 200 members of the Labor Party in Parliament are or have been engaged in some professional work or occupation; the other big group includes trade union organizers and secretaries, miners, railway men, and so on. To return to the Cabinet, the Minister of Health, Aneurin Bevan, began working as a coal miner when he was thirteen years old; the Secretary for War, Mr. Lawson, and the Secretary for the Colonies, Mr. Hall, both worked in the collieries as lads of twelve. On the other hand, there are Ministers who are university-trained and have made a name for themselves in learned professions. Nobody has jumped from colliery to Cabinet; a vast deal of parliamentary experience, of experience in local government, of dealing with social and economic problems is to be found in the careers of such Ministers as Hall and Lawson and Bevan. It is interesting, too, to note that of the twenty-three women in the House of Commons, only one is a Conservative and one a Liberal; the others belong to the Labor Party. The present House of Commons has an unusually large proportion of new members: 240 Labor M.P.'s were elected for the first time. Among the Labor members, 126 have been in the fighting services during the war. An immediate problem that Mr. Attlee's administration may have to face is the salary of members; a good many M.P.'s, without private means and with no support from trade union treasuries, will find that the salary of £600 a year is altogether too small.

The War.

Civilian Casualties.
During the first months of the year 1945, Great Britain was still subject to enemy attack. In December, 1944, there were 367 civilians killed in Great Britain and 847 injured; that brought the total of civilian casualties from air raids in 1944 to 30,449, of whom 8,465 were killed and 21,985 injured. In January, 1945, there were 585 persons killed and 1,629 injured. After a break of more than eight months, raids by piloted aircraft were resumed by the Germans in March. The great majority of civilian casualties in the last phase of the war came from the V-2 rocket bombs that were aimed at London and did most of their damage in and about the metropolis. The first V-2 bomb was fired on September 8, 1944; the last on March 27, 1945. Between these dates 1,050 V-2 bombs reached England; they killed 2,754 persons and injured 6,523 others; the property damage, which was considerable, included the whole or partial destruction of thirty-five hospitals and forty-five churches. The total number of civilians killed in Great Britain by air raids to V-E Day was 60,585, of whom 26,920 were men, 25,392 were women, 7,736 were children, and 537 were unidentified. There were also 86,175 persons injured in the air raids: 40,736 men, 37,816 women, and 7,623 children. The total number of civilian air raid casualties were thus 146,760. Air raid casualties among the armed forces in Great Britain seem not to have been published; among the civilian casualties, "children" means all persons under sixteen, and "injured" is a term restricted to those who were hospitalized.

Property Damage.
As regards the destruction effected by enemy attacks on Britain, by the autumn of 1944 there had been some 4,500,000 houses damaged or destroyed by enemy action, and one-quarter of these had been bombed after D-Day. There were in London alone 719,000 bomb-damaged houses in January 1945; fifty-one percent of these had been repaired and made "tolerably comfortable." The destruction wrought by the V-2 bombs after the beginning of 1945 was mostly, though not wholly, in London and its environs; this would add considerably to the figure here given.

Military Casualties.
Since the cessation of hostilities figures have been published that give additional details regarding British military operations and their cost. In the great invasion and the campaigns following it, the British casualties in western Europe, including Canadian casualties, numbered 184,512, between D-Day and V-E Day; of these, 39,599 were killed, 18,368 missing, and 126,545 wounded. In the armed forces, and thus excluding civilians, merchant seamen, and members of the Home Guard, casualties for the war reached a total of 750,338; of these, 233,042 were killed, 57,472 missing, 275,975 wounded, and 183,849 were taken prisoner. These are for the British forces alone and they do not include losses suffered by troops from the Dominions, India, or the Colonies; they are figures listed as of May 31, and therefore include no losses incurred in operations against Japan between that date and V-J Day. The casualties incurred in the armed forces from the Dominions, India, and the Colonies numbered 483,458; of these 103,730 were killed, 40,641 were missing, 192,413 were wounded, and 330,523 were prisoners. India led with a total of 177,315 casualties; Canada had 101,008; Australia 92,211; the remainder were almost evenly divided among New Zealand, South Africa, and the Colonies. From the beginning of the war to V-E Day, 730 vessels of the Royal Navy were lost: 5 battleships, 8 aircraft carriers, 26 cruisers, 128 destroyers, 77 submarines, 51 minesweepers, 48 drifters, and 240 trawlers. In addition to these, note may be made of the loss of 23 vessels of the Canadian Navy, and of 13 Australian, 5 Indian, 4 South African, and 1 New Zealand vessel, a total of 46 vessels belonging to the naval forces of other parts of the empire. The British lost also 16,385 aircraft, of which 9,163 were Bomber Command, 3,558 Fighter Command, 70 Army Cooperation Command, 1,479 Coastal Command, and 2,115 of the Second Tactical Air Force.

Total Cost of War.
It is probably true that no measurably accurate estimate can be made of the total cost of any great war, yet £1,200,000,000 has been suggested as the figure for property damage that the British people have suffered on land, and £225,000,000 as the figure for their losses on the seas. Of greater significance than the disastrous effects of warfare on the wealth and resources of a nation is the effect on the people. It would be idle to maintain that the recent long-continued war has had no unfortunate effects on the British people; yet the great fires which enemy air raids set blazing and which damaged or destroyed millions of buildings did not weaken British determination to continue the struggle to its successful conclusion, nor is there reason to believe that the war has undermined or shattered the finer qualities of the British people. Enemy attacks made much more difficult all kinds of war work, but they did not end or seriously decrease it. The Port of London, for instance, was one of the special targets of German air attacks, and it suffered grievously; none the less, between the beginning of June and the end of August, 1944, there were there loaded and dispatched 311,000 personnel of the British Liberation Army, with 123,400 vehicles and 666,000 tons of general stores and ammunition, in 2,000 ships. (The round numbers are in each case less than the exact figure.)

Some indication of the effects of the war on the tax-payer can be found by comparing the numbers of persons in various ranges of income, after income-tax has been paid, immediately before the war with the numbers during the war. In the lower brackets the numbers showed a marked increase, the £150 to £250 group rose from 4,500,000 to 7,000,000, the £250 to £500 group from 1,820,000 to 5,300,000, and the £500 to £1,000 group from 450,000 to 550,000. The higher bracket income groups decreased in size: the £1,000 to £2,000 group from 155,000 to 117,000 and the £2,000 to £4,000 group from 56,000 to 31,700. In the top brackets the reduction was yet sharper: the £4,000 to £6,000 group fell from 12,000 to 1,170; in the year 1938 there were some 7,000 persons with an income of £6,000 or more, but in 1942-1943there were only 80 persons who, after the tax, had so much income. At the rate of $4- to £1 that means that in Great Britain there were then only eighty persons who after paying income tax had an income of $24,000 or more. Steady employment and a marked increase in wages account for the marked increase in the number of persons in the lower income groups, with, of course, the addition of persons whose incomes, after the payment of the greatly increased income taxes of war years, were smaller than in prewar years; the decline in the number of persons with large incomes is presumably attributable to the heavy taxes.

In January, 1945, the British Government was spending money at the rate of about £14,500,000 a day, of which £12,500,000 was spent on the fighting forces. Five months later it was stated that the average expenditure "for the last few days" had lessened to about £12,250,000, of which £11,000,000 went to the fighting services. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir John Anderson, in his interim Budget presented to the House of Commons in April, estimated the expenditures for the fiscal year 1945-46 at £5,565,000,000 and the revenue at £3,265,000,000, leaving an estimated deficit of £2,300,000,000 to be met by borrowing. This allowed £4,500,000,000 for the prosecution of the war and £1,065,000,000 for other purposes. This was less by £372,000,000 than the £5,937,000,000 estimate for the preceding fiscal year; the difference was more than taken up by the decrease in the estimate for war expenditure. The estimated deficient was £534,000,000 less than that of the preceding year and was also a smaller percentage of the total; in other words, a larger proportion of Government spending in 1945-46 would be raised by taxes. Early in June the Commons passed a vote of credit for £1,750,000,000, and four months later another vote of credit, £2,000,000,000, for war expenditures. When the first Labor Budget was presented to Parliament on October 23 the new Chancellor of the Exchequer said that Sir John Anderson's estimate made six months before was about correct.

New Income Taxes.
The Budget introduced by the Labor Government provided for a number of changes in the income tax. Personal allowances were raised from £80 to £110 for single persons and from £140 to £180 for married couples. The exemption limit was raised to £120. On the first £50 of taxable income, three shillings in the pound is to be paid; on the next £75, six shillings in the pound; for the remainder, the standard rate is nine shillings in the pound. Stated in terms of American money: the standard British rate is fifteen per cent on the first $200 of taxable income, thirty per cent on the next $300, and forty-five per cent beyond that. Income tax surtax is now increased on a graduated scale. Beginning with January 1, the excess profits tax is to be reduced from 100 per cent to 60 per cent, and the purchase tax is to be abolished on some household equipment, for example, heating and cooking appliances.

Living Costs.

Food Subsidies.
One means that the British Government has adopted to keep down the cost of living has been the subsidization of foods. In January, the estimated cost of paying these food subsidies was £218,000,000; three months later the estimates had been revised upward to £225,000,000. Among the principal items in the schedule were bread, flour, and oatmeal, £65 million; meat, £24 million; potatoes, £28 million; and eggs, £16 million. A year before, the food subsidies had cost £205,000,000; when bread, flour, and oatmeal were figured at £60 million; meat at £23 million; potatoes at £28 million; and eggs at £11 million.

Great Britain, it has been said, must export at least fifty per cent more than in 1938 if it is to pay its debts. This will require a decided increase over the value of exports during the war. The figures, including those for Northern Ireland, are £271,000,000 in 1942; £233,000,000 in 1943; and £258,000,000 in 1944. The exports for 1944, it will be noted, were £25,000,000 over the amount for 1943, but £13,000,000 short of the 1942 figure. The exports for the year 1938 were valued at £471,000,000. These figures do not tell the whole story: the rise in prices has been such that the volume of exports in 1944 was only thirty-one per cent of that for 1938.

The manner in which British manufacturers are endeavoring to meet the need of increasing their exports may be illustrated by reference to the bicycle industry. Before the war, Great Britain produced 2,000,000 bicycles a year; this output was valued at about £11,500,000 (the 1935 value). In the year 1938, there were 576,000 bicycles exported, valued at £1,700,000. The manufacturers' present program is to produce 1,500,000 bicycles, two thirds of them for export, with a like volume of spare parts. A difficulty that stands in the way is the shortage of labor: the bicycle industry needs 20,000 men. In view of the large number of bicycles used in Great Britain itself, 10,000,000 in 1939, the program seems to call for building up the foreign market even at the cost of the customers at home.

Imports in 1944, munitions excluded, were only twenty-one per cent below the 1938 figure; but with a great increase in costs. The average value of imports was ninety-one per cent over that of 1938. Retained imports, still excluding munitions, reached £1,298,836,000 in 1944. The 1943 figure had been £1,226,554,000. In 1938, British retained imports came to £857,984,000. Total imports, including munitions, came to £2,361,000,000 in 1944, an increase of £476,000,000 over the 1943 total of £1,885,000,000; so munitions and re-exports were in 1943 £658,446,000 and in 1944 they were £1,062,164,000.

Balance of Trade.
In the first six months of 1945, exports amounted to £173,000,000 and imports to £598,000,000; the adverse balance of £425,000,000 was slightly reduced by re-exports amounting to £23,000,000. Again, these figures do not include munitions. Of the imports into Great Britain, more than one half come from North America (principally the United States) as compared with just over one-fifth in 1938. British exports to North America in the first six months of 1945 were £20,800,000 in value, not very far below the £22,000,000 for the same period in 1938. In July, exports were £32,500,000 and imports were £97,751,000; in August, exports increased to £36,523,000 and imports to £99,289,000. The August export figure was within £3,000,000 of the monthly average for 1938, but the volume of exports was barely fifty per cent of the prewar volume.

Unemployment was reduced to a minimum by the war. In mid-January, there were 63,213 men and boys unemployed, 1,056 temporarily laid off or on short time, and 804 casual laborers out of work; the figures for mid-April were 61,208, 348, and 752. There were 32,060 women and girls unemployed in January and 27,761 in April, with 1,539 temporarily laid off in January and 258 in April. There was a relaxation of labor controls at the beginning of June: men over 50, women over 40, girls and boys under 18, and all part-time workers doing less than 30 hours a week were freed from direction.

Labor Disputes.
Only two labor disputes of 1945 call for mention. In August, there was a settlement between the railways and three railway trade unions, providing a 7 shilling weekly increase in minimum adult pay, time and two-thirds for Sunday work, and up to 12 holidays with pay yearly; the demand for a 40-hour week was rejected. A dockers' strike at Liverpool, affecting some 17,000 men, began in October and soon spread to become a national strike. The dockers demanded 25 shillings a day, a 40 hour week, and extra pay for overtime, instead of £4.85 ($17.60) for a 44-hour week. They returned to work on November 5 on a truce during which their claims were to be settled. Resumption of the strike was threatened when in December the Central Strike Committee urged the dockers to reject the arbitration committee's recommendation to increase the pay by only 2 shillings a day.

The end of the war has brought little relief to the British in the way of any relaxation of rationing. In the middle of May, the restoration of the petrol (gasoline) ration was promised — for a long time there was no gas allotted for civilian non-essential use; but the amount promised was small enough, ranging from 4 gallons a month to 7, depending on the car horse-power. So far as food is concerned and clothing, the British people seem likely to find the first years of peace harsher and more austere than were the years of war. Much of this is owing to British willingness to have supplies of which they are in need go to people who are in yet greater need on the continent.

Municipal Elections.
The municipal elections in November showed that the Labor Party was trusted by the people in local as well as in national affairs. In 182 large boroughs, Labor won 2,977 seats, a gain of 1,245, while the Conservatives lost heavily. These Labor gains were mainly in the North, the Midlands, and in London; they gave Labor control in 60 or more principal towns in England and Wales, and 5 more London boroughs; but generally Labor did not win control of the largest cities, Manchester, Birmingham, and Liverpool, for example, though in those towns the number of seats held by Labor was increased.

Government Program for Future.
The Government program calls for bringing the Bank of England under national ownership, the repeal of the objectionable Trade Disputes Act, a version of the Beveridge Plan for workmen's compensation, the nationalization of the coal mines, already accepted in principle by owners and miners, and a state medical service. In December, it was further announced that the Government would in time introduce legislation for the nationalization of gas and electric utilities, railways and other inland transport, docks and harbors, and iron and steel works. Whatever may be thought of the wisdom of some of these proposals, and it must be remembered that British conditions are so different from those in America that it is questionable whether the average American should express an opinion on British internal policies, there is no doubt that the men who were elected last summer to grapple with the problems of the peace are doing so boldly and courageously.


As the year opened, preparations were being made for the United Nations Conference on International Organization called to meet at San Francisco in the spring. Included among the provisions suggested for the proposed Charter were a number dealing with dependent areas. Many students of colonial affairs, particularly in the United States, felt that the proposed Charter afforded an excellent opportunity to create a modified mandate, or trusteeship, system covering the colonies and dependencies of all the Powers, not merely those of the defeated countries. It was clear, however, that the United Nations which possessed colonial empires — Britain, France, Holland and Belgium — were of no mind to accede to any such suggestion.

The Churchill Government had frequently gone on record as being opposed to sharing the responsibility for administering Britain's colonies with any other Power. During the months preceding the San Francisco Conference, Colonel Oliver Stanley, Secretary of State for Colonies, reaffirmed this policy quite categorically. At the Conference itself, the British delegation opposed including in the Charter's section on Trusteeships any general promise of independence for colonial peoples.

The victory of the British Labor Party in the July elections was expected by many observers to result in a change of direction and emphasis in British colonial policy. In the long run this expectation may turn out to have been justified, but there was little evidence of it during the latter part of 1945. Indeed, on August 18 the Foreign Office stated that Hong Kong "is a part of the British Empire and we intend to occupy it just as any other part."

At the same time, it should be pointed out that the British Government was manifesting an ever-increasing sense of responsibility for the economic well-being of its colonial peoples. As Colonel Stanley said in a speech on March 19, "There can be no true self-government without an improved economic standard and a proper social development." These words were far from idle, for on January 31, Colonel Stanley had presented to the House of Commons a bill in which Parliament was asked to appropriate £120,000,000 for development and research in the colonies during the ten years beginning April 1, 1946. With this sum the Colonial Office intended to expand the activities already initiated under the Colonial Development and Welfare Act of 1940. This work had, in fact, become so important that in January the Colonial Office announced that Sir Frank Stockdale had been called to fill the new post of Advisor on Development Planning. He had previously been Comptroller of Development and Welfare in the British West Indies and Co-chairman of the Anglo-American Caribbean Commission created in 1942.
The colonial empire was estimated to have contributed some 450,000 soldiers to the British war effort. Up to the end of May, 6,741 of these had been killed.

The surrender of Japan resulted in the liberation of various British territories in Southeast Asia: Malaya, Sarawak, North Borneo, Hong Kong and others. (Burma had already been largely freed before the end of hostilities.) The surrender, coming with unexpected swiftness, caught Admiral Mountbatten's Command unprepared to occupy Malaya and the other Japanese-held areas at once. Eventually, however, they were all taken over and the process of rehabilitation was begun.

In Malaya the rubber plantations were found to be in better shape than had been generally anticipated. Considerable stocks of raw rubber were also discovered. By the end of December, some 16,500 tons had been shipped to England, and more was ready to go. The revival of the tin-mining industry was slower but was under way by the close of the year. Even before the Japanese surrender, the British had begun to formulate plans for a new political set-up in Malaya. Hitherto this area had consisted of three separate parts: the Straits Settlements (a crown colony), four federated Malay States and five unfederated ones.

Many observers felt that this anomalous, though typically British, arrangement should be overhauled in order to insure greater unity in Malaya and thereby help prepare its peoples to assume a larger share of their own government. On October 10, the Labor Secretary of State for Colonies, Mr. George Hall, speaking in the House of Commons, outlined a plan for creating a Malayan Union consisting of the States and the Straits Settlements, with Singapore left as a separate colony. Critics of this scheme pointed out that Britain had treaty relations with the various Malay rulers which had to be respected and that the mixed racial composition of the population — less than half are Malays — would make it extremely difficult to develop a common set of political interests or traditions.

North Borneo.
The liberation of North Borneo reopened the problem of how long that area would continue to be under the control of a chartered company. In August, it was officially announced that the government and the British North Borneo Company were negotiating a transfer of the colony's administration from the latter to the former.

A brighter political future was also promised to Burma, where civil government was restored in October. Upon this occasion King George, in a communication to the governor of Burma, stated that "Burma shall at the earliest possible moment attain complete self-government as a member of the British Commonwealth." He declared that later on there would be elections for a House of Representatives with a responsible ministry and a new constitution.

Ceylon also experienced constitutional growing pains during the year. In January, there arrived a commission, headed by Lord Soulbury, which had been sent out to investigate the possibility of confering more self-government on the island. Its sessions ran from January 22 to March 13, during which time much testimony was taken despite a virtual boycott by the Ceylon State Council. In Ceylon, as in India, the constitutional problem is complicated by the presence of various self-contained religious and racial communities. On the State Council a Sinhalese majority prevailed, and in the spring this body passed a bill providing for Dominion status — which the British Government had already refused to grant.

On October 9, the report of the Soulbury Commission was released. It proposed certain steps for getting the island ready for Dominion status through the practice of wide self-government. However, the minorities attacked it as not insuring them adequate protection. On October 31, the British Government announced that a constitution along the lines of the Soulbury report would be conferred as an interim step. The Ceylon State Council accepted this proposal by a vote of 51 to 3 on November 9.

September 5, at 11:30 A.M., British and Indian troops went ashore. They found the city undamaged except for the docks. (American Indiabased Superforts sank the great King George V dock on February 1.) A British Military Administration was set up, and the Japanese were put to work on the waterfront. It was found that the Japanese had cultivated the Malays, and persecuted the Chinese.

Surrender of Japanese.
A considerable naval force, headed by HMS Nelson, arrived on September 10, and on the 12th Itagaki made formal surrender to Mountbatten of all enemy forces in Southeast Asia. Present as witnesses were Allied representatives, the Sultan of Johore, the Maharajah of Cooch-Behar, the Bishop of Singapore, representatives of the Chinese community and former POW.
Singapore was specifically omitted from a proposal by the Colonial Secretary, October 10, for a Malayan Union and establishment of Malay citizenship. The question of ultimate union of Singapore with the state would be decided later.

The report of the Asquith Commission, July 19, on higher education in the colonies, stating that a good university was an inescapable corollary of self-government, proposed the creation of a University of Malaya based on the King Edward VII Medical College and Raffles College. Until its degrees acquired reputation, preparation would be for a degree from the University of London.
A sequel to the defeat of 1942 was the inquiry begun in Australia in November into the ethics of the escape of Lt. General H. Gordon Bennett on February 15 and 16, 1942.

West Indies.
Finally, in the fall of 1945, and after its contents could no longer be distorted by Nazi propaganda, the British Government published the report of the Royal Commission which investigated West Indian conditions just before the war. The Commission's recommendations had been made public in February, 1940, and had been instrumental in getting Parliament to vote the Colonial Development and Welfare Act of that same year. The Commission's Report, with its wealth of information on the islands' economic and social problems, was a landmark in British colonial policy.

In order to carry out the terms of the 1940 Act, there had been created the office of Comptroller of the West Indies Development and Welfare Department, occupied by Sir Frank Stockdale. Up to July, 1945, grants of £21,500,000 had been made to various colonies for development and welfare, of which one-third went to the West Indies. This represented 291 out of the 497 schemes approved for the whole empire.

Anglo-American Caribbean Commission.
The size of the Anglo-American Caribbean Commission was altered during the year by adding one more member for each side, thus increasing each delegation from three to four. The new American seat was filled by Mr. Ralph Bunche, a Negro who was currently serving as Associate Chief of the Division of Dependent Area Affairs in the State Department. The British delegation was to be reshuffled so as to include two non-official West Indian members.

Political Federation Proposed.
One of the recommendations of the Royal Commission had been that political federation should be one of the objectives of British policy in the West Indies. Colonel Stanley disclosed in June that he had circulated a dispatch among the governors of Britain's eight Caribbean colonies in which he stated that the Government favored the development of federation only if there were a popular demand for it from within the colonies themselves. He was opposed to any attempt to force it on the West Indian peoples against their will. The ultimate aim of such federation would be, he declared, full self-government within the British Commonwealth. He suggested the possibility that perhaps two federations, one for the eastern and one for the western group, might be preferable, and that the Bahama Islands might choose to remain outside of either one. Indeed, on July 3, the Bahamas House of Assembly unanimously rejected the federation proposed. Elsewhere in the West Indies federation met with greater approval.

Caribbean Labor Conference.
In September, a Caribbean Labor Conference met in Barbados and adopted a draft constitution for a new organization to be called the Caribbean Labor Congress and to include representatives of trade unions, cooperative societies and Socialist political bodies in the colonies. The Conference came out strongly for federation and for a number of economic and social reform measures, including the establishment of a West Indian university. This latter suggestion had the express support of the Secretary of State for Colonies in the Labor Government. It was generally agreed that Jamaica, the most populous of the colonies, should be the seat of such an institution.

In Jamaica, the new liberalized constitution of 1944 was on trial. As Colonel Stanley remarked in Kingston early in January, it was an experiment which might affect the future of all colonial peoples. In April, the Jamaican Government released a report on economic conditions prepared by a special committee chosen to investigate the problem. While recommending various social security measures, it also emphasized the importance of increasing production through harder and more efficient work. Another committee, reporting late in the summer, made a number of suggestions for improving Jamaican agriculture, including the establishment of an island Land Authority. Some idea of the wretched living conditions of the great mass of Jamaicans was given by census figures showing that nearly half of the island's 322,000 dwellings were classified as bad. For example, only 10 per cent had water closets, 18 per cent were without any toilet facilities at all, and less than one-half of one per cent had inside washing facilities.

The Duke of Windsor resigned as Governor and Commander-in-Chief in the Bahamas, it was officially stated in a Colonial Office announcement on March 15. Thus came to an end his nearly five-year tenure of office. Later in the same month, he expounded to the Nassau Chamber of Commerce a fourpoint program for the economic and social rehabilitation of the islands.

West Africa.
Some 200,000 men from British West Africa served in Britain's armed forces during the war, many of them in the Burma campaign of 1945. The West African colonies also played a vital part in Allied strategy by providing sites for airfields, new roads, improved railway facilities, and antimalaria drainage projects to protect the health of the Allied forces serving along the trans-African air route to the Middle East and India.

West African Council.
As a means of carrying on the coordination among the four colonies which had been developed during the war, the Secretary of State for Colonies, Mr. George Hall, stated in October that a West African Council was to be set up consisting of the four colonial governors and with its seat in the Gold Coast. Presumably a more rapid and productive economic development of the West African colonies would be one of the objectives of this Council. In Nigeria, it was planned to spend £40,000,000 on general development work during the next ten years, with lesser sums earmarked for the smaller colonies. In an article in the London Times for October 31, Lord Balfour, former Resident Minister in West Africa, drew attention to the imminent danger that Nigeria would lose its market for palm oil and kernels to Malaya, Dutch East Indies and the Belgian Congo, unless its growers improved the quality of their product.

A White Paper containing proposals for revising and liberalizing the constitution of Nigeria was published on March 5. The unofficial (i.e., native) members of the Nigerian Legislative Council expressed general approval of the proposals in a debate that took place on the 23rd.

Approximately one-half of the world's supply of cocoa comes from British West Africa, notably the Gold Coast. Early in the year, American cocoa importers protested against the British Government's announced intention to control the prices and marketing of the West African crop. This policy was later scrapped by the Churchill Cabinet. However, considerable anxiety was felt after the Labor victory in July that the new Cabinet would nationalize the cocoa industry. In mid-September, a report from Accra stated that the imperial government was going to buy the 1945-46 crop through the West African Produce Control Board at an increased price. In November, American importers were complaining about the way the British authorities were holding up cocoa shipments from West Africa.

East Africa.

East African troops distinguished themselves in the Ethiopian, Mediterranean and Burma campaigns. But with the end of hostilities, the problem of how to reintegrate these men into their African communities was causing considerable anxiety in colonial circles. In East Africa, tribal life has been breaking down without there being offered to the natives any satisfactory alternative. In southern and central Africa, the Bantu who have become dissatisfied with tribal life can go into industrial work in the cities or into the mines. There is no such outlet in East Africa and some observers feared that the stress of postwar readjustments might jeopardize the functioning of indirect rule. In a few cases native Africans had been able to utilize their war experience to learn trades and to aspire to becoming artisans and shopkeepers — aspirations which caused much anxiety among the Indian population who had hitherto largely monopolized these occupations.

In Kenya, a scheme for decentralizing the administration was published during the summer, and met with an acceptance "in principle" from the Legislative Council of that colony. However, the Indians opposed it as being inadequate, and both the natives and Arabs expressed disappointment at not being given larger representations. The scheme did not alter fundamentally the set-up under which Kenya has been controlled by its very small European minority.

Early in 1945 there were riots and a general strike in Uganda, which were put down with speed and energy by the British authorities. On September 5, "Prime Minister" Martin Luther Nsibirwa of the Buganda Kingdom was assassinated just outside the Cathedral at Kampala. On October 2, Sir John Hathorn Hall, the Governor of Uganda, swore in three regents who were to serve while the young Kabaka (king) was studying in Cambridge. He took this occasion to say that the assassination of the Prime Minister had cast a slur on all Buganda since it was not just the work of one man but of a number of traitors and self-seekers. Later in the month the Colonial Office announced a new departure by appointing three native Africans to the Protectorate Legislative Council for Uganda.

For a number of years many of the European inhabitants of East Africa have been desirous of political amalgamation — or the "closer union" — of Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika. They were therefore disappointed when Major-General Sir Philip Mitchell, Governor of Kenya, declared on November 6 that his recent discussions in London had not included this suggestion and that he did not believe it could be considered "practical politics today." He also reported that there were many applications from members of the British armed forces who wished to settle in Kenya, and that the London authorities had recently approved the admission of an additional 500 new farmers to the Kenya highlands.

Central Africa.
Central African Council.

In British Central Africa, progress towards amalgamation was made early in April when the Colonial Office announced the creation of a Standing Central African Council. The chairman of this body was to be the Governor of Southern Rhodesia, with the Governors of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland and the Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia serving as ex-officio members. In addition, the three latter officials were to appoint three members each to serve two-year terms. The first meeting of this Council took place at Salisbury on April 24. The Chairman, Sir Campbell Tait, asserted that, while the government of Southern Rhodesia favored the amalgamation of the three territories, the authorities in London believed that such a step was not practicable for the moment. The Council, he added, should not be regarded as the halfway house to amalgamation, though it could provide a foundation on which the fullest cooperation between the three territories could later be built.
Southern Rhodesia.

In Southern Rhodesia, the gold mining industry reported that its production was handicapped by high taxes and labor scarcity. In April, Mr. Danziger, the Minister of Finance, announced that the gold premium tax would be lifted in order to help the industry mine lower grade ore. The authorities at Salisbury also expressed concern at the attempt by the United States to persuade Britain to reduce the imperial preference on tobacco, since this product stood second in value among Southern Rhodesia's exports. Otherwise the picture for the colony's agriculture and stock-raising was bright. Earlier in the summer, a commission which had been appointed in April, 1944, to investigate native affairs, reported that it had found a widespread lack of leadership among the natives. It therefore suggested measures for bolstering the authority and prestige of the chiefs and thus curbing "indiscipline."
Northern Rhodesia.

In Northern Rhodesia, the first session of the Legislative Council, with an unofficial majority, met during the summer. On at least one occasion this majority defeated a government proposal concerning war pensions by a vote of 12 to 8. Even so, representatives of the small European population in the colony expressed disappointment at not being accorded greater self-government. One member even urged that Northern Rhodesia have a representative in the House of Commons in London, comparable to the colonial representation in the French Parliament at Paris.

In Nyasaland, an African Provincial Council was set up in each of the two provinces composed of chiefs and other responsible African members. Its function was to facilitate consultation by the colonial authorities and to give expression to African opinion. A grant of £345,000 under the Colonial Development and Welfare Act was made in order to provide for a five-year plan of educational expansion in the colony. Other local funds were also set aside for the social and economic development of the native population. The July report of the British Central Africa Company showed that the colony's tobacco, tea, soybean and sisal crops were all becoming increasingly productive.
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Post Seeds of Globalization

Seeds of Globalization

The term "globalization" refers to the increasing interconnectedness of nations and peoples around the world through trade, investment, travel, popular culture, and other forms of interaction. Many historians have identified globalization as a 20th-century phenomenon connected to the rise of the Western-dominated international economy. However, extensive interaction between widespread peoples, as well as travel over vast distances across regions of the world, has existed for many centuries. By 1000, the seeds of globalization had already taken root in the eastern hemisphere, particularly in the lands bordering the Indian Ocean and South China Sea. These were the most dynamic regions in the world at that time, and their interactions were extensive.

To understand how globalization first took root between 1000 and 1500, one must focus on contact between distant peoples in Asia, especially contact carried on through long-distance trade. Interregional trade has been a major force throughout world history because it fosters other forms of exchange, including the spread of religions, cultures, and technologies. For many centuries, the most outstanding example of overland interaction was the Silk Road, a trade route through Central Asia. Maritime trade flourished as well; the Indian Ocean became the heart of the most extensive seagoing trade network in the premodern world. Islamic merchants dominated this network, spreading their religion far and wide. Islamic expansion established a huge cultural region that stretched across the entire eastern hemisphere.

Trading ports such as Melaka in Malaya became vibrant, globalized centers of international commerce and culture. Chinese ships would later follow this trading network in undertaking the greatest oceanic explorations in world history to that point. This exploration confirmed the crucial role played by this Afro-Eurasian maritime commerce and the dynamism of some Asian civilizations. The exchanges across Asia at this time, including the spread of Islam, were significant enough that we can speak of a globalized economy and culture.

Trade and Interregional Contact
One characteristic of globalization in the modern age has been expanding commerce between countries around the world. The roots of this phenomenon reach far back in history. Long-distance trade routes grew out of the transportation systems that developed out of the need to move resources by land and sea. In turn, trade and expansion led to increased contact between different civilizations and societies. This contact enabled Indian influence, including that of Buddhism, to spread over the land and sea trading routes into Central Asia, Tibet, China, Japan, and Southeast Asia between 200 BC and AD 1500.

From around 200 BC to around AD 1000, the most significant example of interaction and long-distance trade was the Silk Road, which stretched across central and southwest Asia, linking China to India, western Asia, and the Mediterranean. Along the Silk Road, goods, people, and ideas traveled thousands of miles between China, India, and Europe. Silk, porcelain, and bamboo from China were carried west across the deserts, mountains, and grasslands to Baghdad and the eastern Mediterranean ports, and then shipped by sea to Rome.

The maritime system established on the Indian Ocean grew more important between 1000 and 1500, eventually surpassing overland trade. The oceanic routes between Southeast Asia and the Middle East greatly expanded. Traders from Arabia, Persia, and India visited the East African coast, and many Asians and Africans enjoyed a long period of lucrative and relatively free seagoing trade.

The Silk Road and the Mongol Empire
Between 1250 and 1350, the Mongols established and controlled the largest land empire in world history. This empire stretched from Korea to Vienna, placing a huge bloc of the world's population under Mongol control. The Mongols brutally conquered Siberia, Tibet, Korea, Russia, much of Eastern Europe, Afghanistan, Persia, Turkey, and parts of Arab civilization in the Middle East. Western Europeans were too remote and underdeveloped to give reason for conquest and thus did not suffer the ravages experienced by other peoples. In 1279, China, a more formidable foe and tempting prize than Western Europe, was added to the Mongol-ruled realm.

One cannot underestimate the importance of the Mongol era to world history or its role in establishing an early form of globalization. In the 20th century, globalization enabled Western technology to reach other parts of the world. Some historians consider the Mongols the great equalizers of history because during their rule, they permitted the transfer of technology from the more developed East Asia to the more backward Western Europe. They did this by reopening and protecting the Silk Road, however briefly. During the Mongol era, Chinese inventions such as gunpowder, printing, the blast furnace, silk machinery, paper money, and playing cards found their way to Europe, as did many medical discoveries and such domesticated fruits as the orange and lemon. The Mongols paved the way for greater global communication, opening China's doors to the world. One Chinese monk, a Nestorian Christian, became the first eastern Asian visitor to Rome, England, and France. In addition, some Chinese people settled in Persia, Iraq, and Russia. This movement was possible because travel from one end of Eurasia to the other was easier than ever before.

Furthermore, the Mongols unwittingly set in motion changes that would later allow Europe to catch up with and eventually surpass China. Some of these changes were based on European improvement of such Chinese inventions as printing, gunpowder, the stern-post rudder, and the magnetic compass. For example, in about 1050, the Chinese invented movable type. The Europeans later developed a better technology, and in the 1450s Johannes Gutenberg used movable type to produce multiple printings of the Bible. Likewise, the Chinese invented the first flamethrower. By the 13th century the flamethrower had evolved into a primitive gun—one major reason the Mongols took so much longer to conquer China than other civilizations. As these weapons were transported to Europe during the Mongol Era, and then improved, late medieval European warfare became far deadlier than it had been before.

Today's globalized world has been characterized by a brain drain, or exodus of talented people from various continents to Europe and North America. The world in the 14th century witnessed the same phenomenon; however, the flow moved the other way, from west to east. In China, the Mongol administration relied on a large number of foreigners who came to serve in what was effectively an international civil service. These included many Muslims from West and Central Asia as well as a few Europeans who found themselves drawn to the fabled Cathay, as they called it. One such person was the Italian traveler and author, Marco Polo. Polo claimed to have spent seventeen years in China, mostly in government service. Eventually he returned home to tell unbelieving Europeans of the wonders he encountered or heard about from other travelers. Polo’s reports seemed incredible because at that time China was well ahead of other Eurasian civilizations in many fields.

For these reasons, the Mongol Empire was one of the most important land empires in history. Yet in spite of the success of Mongol civilization during the 1200s, their empire would prove short-lived. Unlike other empires, the Mongols never took advantage of the maritime commerce developing at the time.

The Globalization of Islam and the Indian Ocean Maritime Trade System
Between the 8th and 15th centuries, Islam ventured out of its Arabian heartland in the Middle East to become the dominant religion in many parts of Africa and Asia and in Iberia. Muslim groups emerged in such different and geographically distant locations as China and the Balkans. In the process, an interlinked Islamic world called dar al-Islam (the Abode of Islam) emerged, a world that was joined by both a common faith and trade connections. The dar al-Islam stretched from Morocco to Indonesia.

This global Islamization spread Arab names, words, alphabet, architecture, social attitudes, and cultural values to peoples around the world. The great 14th-century Moroccan traveler Ibn Battūtah spent decades touring the extensive dar al-Islam. He traveled from Mali in Africa and Spain in the west to Southeast Asia and the coastal ports of China in the east. Whereas the Christian Marco Polo was always a stranger in his travels, everywhere Ibn Battūtah went, he encountered people who shared his general worldview and social values.

Muslim-dominated trade routes, which ultimately reached from the Sahara to Spain to the South China Sea, fostered travel. The key to their success was a more complex and increasingly integrated maritime trade throughout the Indian Ocean. This trade network linked China, Japan, Vietnam, and Cambodia in the east through Malaya and the Indonesian archipelago. From there it crossed into India and Sri Lanka, and then moved westward to Persia, Arabia, the East African coast as far south as Mozambique, and the eastern Mediterranean, finally connecting to Venice and Genoa.

The Strait of Hormuz on the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Melaka in Southeast Asia were the major pillars of what became the most important mercantile system of the premodern world. It was through this mercantile system that the spices of Indonesia and East Africa; the gold and tin of Malaya; the batik and carpets of Java; the textiles of India; the gold of Zimbabwe; and the silks, porcelain, and tea of China made their way to distant markets. When many of these products reached Europe, people there yearned to find their sources in the East, sparking the European age of exploration. Maritime trade flourished, especially in the 14th century after the Mongol empire ended and the spread of the Black Death, the bubonic plague, throughout Eurasia disrupted overland trade. The maritime network reached its height in the 1400s and 1500s, when Muslim political power was reduced but its economic and cultural power remained strong.

Islam and the Rise of Melaka
Various states around the Indian Ocean and South China Sea were closely linked to maritime trade. For example, East African city-states such as Mombasa and Kilwa, with their mixed African-Arab Swahili culture, thrived for many centuries. Merchants in India, including many Jews and Arabs, maintained close ties to Western Asia, North and East Africa, Southeast Asia and China. No political power was dominant along the maritime trading route. Its vigor depended on cosmopolitan port cities such as Hormuz on the Persian coast, Cambay in northwest India, Calicut on India's southwest coast, and Melaka near the southern tip of Malaya. Of all the cities, historians probably know the most about Melaka, and this city well illustrates premodern patterns of globalization. Southeast Asia had long been a cosmopolitan region where peoples, ideas, and products met. Some rulers of coastal states in the Malay Peninsula and Indonesian archipelago, anxious to attract the Muslim traders who dominated interregional maritime commerce and attracted by the universality of Islam, adopted the faith.

The arrival of Islam in Southeast Asia coincided with the rise of Melaka, which became the region's political and economic power. Melaka became the main base for the expansion of Islam in the archipelago, as well as the last stop on the eastern end of the Indian Ocean trading network. Melaka's pivotal role in world trade was confirmed by an early 16th-century Portuguese visitor, who wrote that it had "no equal in the world" and proclaimed its importance to peoples and trade patterns as far away as Western Europe. "Melaka is a city that was made for merchandise, fitter than any other in the world…” he wrote. “Commerce between different nations for a thousand leagues on every hand must come to Melaka.… Whoever is lord of Melaka has his hands on the throat of Venice."

During the 1400s, Melaka was a flourishing trading port attracting merchants from many lands in Asia and Africa. More ships dropped anchor in Melaka’s harbor than in any other port in the world; seagoing merchants were attracted by its stable government and free trade policy. Among Melaka's population of 100,000 to 200,000 people were about 15,000 foreign traders, among them Arabs, Egyptians, Persians, Turks, Jews, Armenians, Ethiopians, East Africans, Burmese, Vietnamese, Javanese, Filipinos, Chinese, Japanese, and Indians from all over the subcontinent. On the city's streets, some 84 languages were spoken.

Melaka had a special connection to the Gujerati port of Cambay, which was nearly 3,000 miles away, because merchants from Gujerat in northwest India were Melaka’s most influential foreign community. Every year trading ships from around the Middle East and South Asia would gather at Cambay and Calicut to make the long voyage to Melaka. The ships carried grain, woolens, arms, copperware, textiles, and opium for exchange. Melaka had become one of the major trading cities in the world, a multiethnic center of globalized culture and commerce, much like New York, Los Angeles, or Hong Kong are today.

Ming China and the World
The extent of globalization by the early 15th century is suggested by the great Chinese voyages of discovery. The emperor of the Ming dynasty, Yonglo (or Yung-lo), dispatched a series of grand maritime expeditions to southern Asia and beyond, expeditions that were the greatest the world had ever seen. Admiral Zheng He (or Cheng Ho), a Muslim whose father had visited Arabia, commanded seven voyages between 1405 and 1433. These voyages were huge undertakings, with the largest fleet including 62 vessels carrying nearly 28,000 men. (By contrast, a few decades later, Christopher Columbus would sail forth from Spain in three small vessels crewed by a hundred men.) The massive Chinese junks were far superior to any other ships of the time. In fact, the world had never before seen such a large-scale feat of seamanship.

During these extraordinary voyages, ships carrying the Chinese flag followed the maritime trade routes through Southeast Asia to India, the Persian Gulf and Red Sea, Arabia, and down the East African coast as far as Kilwa in Tanzania. Melaka became their southern base, and Melaka’s rulers made occasional trips to China to cement the alliance. Had the Chinese ships continued, they would have had the capability of sailing around Africa to Europe; however, Europe offered few products the Chinese valued. The Chinese expeditions expressed the exuberance of an era of great vitality. Although the Chinese traveled mostly in peace and fought only a few military actions, some 36 countries, including a few in western Asia, acknowledged allegiance to China. In this period, China was the greatest power in a globalizing hemisphere.

Historians still debate the reasons for Zheng He's great voyages. Some see diplomacy as the primary goal, with the recognition by so many foreign countries reaffirming the emperor's position. Others point to commercial motives, since the voyages came at the time Chinese merchants were becoming more active in Southeast Asia. In the early Ming period, China remained the most advanced civilization in the world. Commercially vibrant and outward-looking, Ming China could have opened greater communication between the continents and become the dominant world power well beyond eastern Asia. However, it never did. The grand voyages to the west and the commercial thrust in Southeast Asia came to a sudden halt when the Ming emperor ordered a return to isolationism and recalled all Chinese people living outside the empire.

How can we account for this stunning reversal that, in the perspective of later history, seemed so counterproductive? Perhaps the voyages were too expensive even for the wealthy Ming government. The voyages were not cost-effective because the ships returned chiefly with exotic goods, such as African giraffes for the imperial zoo, rather than mineral resources and other valuable items. It seems that the full possibilities of globalization were not apparent to Chinese leaders. Furthermore, in the Chinese social system, merchants lacked status. And unlike Christian Europe, China had little interest in spreading its religion and culture. The Mongols were regrouping in Central Asia, and the Ming court was forced to shift its resources to defend the northern borders. As a result, the oceans were left open to the Western Europeans, who improved upon Chinese and Arab naval and military technology and soon challenged Arabs, Indians, and Southeast Asians for supremacy in the Indian Ocean trading system.

The End of the First Globalized System
By the end of the 1400s, the reputation of such cities as Melaka, Canton, Calicut, and Hormuz as treasure troves of Asian luxuries had reached Europe. Anxious to gain direct access to Asian trade, the Portuguese finally made their way to India in 1498 and Melaka in 1509, inaugurating a new era of European activity in Asian history. Indeed, the Portuguese seized Melaka in 1511. Despite Portugal’s superiority in ships and weaponry, its standard of living was probably inferior to that of people in the more developed societies of Asia. This no doubt contributed to the tendency of Europeans to use armed force to obtain their commercial and political goals. This tendency ensured that the globalization of the world over the next five centuries would be under the auspices of Western Christians rather than the Muslims, Indians, and Chinese who established the basic framework between 1000 and 1500.
About the author: Craig Lockard is the Ben and Joyce Rosenberg Professor of History in the Department of Social Change and Development at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. He is the author of "Dance of Life": Popular Music and Politics in Modern Southeast Asia.
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