chapter  3
18 Pages

Capitalism, imperialism and the emerging world: a historical overview

Chapter 2 discussed how, in accordance with WST, all parts of the world are today embraced by a single capitalist economy known as the world-system. But as we have seen, the exact nature of the link between the world-system and capitalism is a matter of some dispute, and further consideration is given to this matter in this chapter. Also in dispute is the timeframe of the world-system’s development, and that too deserves further consideration. What is not in dispute is the fact that the world-system as we now know it is the product of a long period of European overseas expansion and colonization that profoundly affected the rest of the globe and whose after-effects are still in evidence today. The bulk of this chapter therefore focuses on the phenomenon of European imperialism.