A Splendid Exchange

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Dennis BerkA.P. World
Dr. Andrews Summer Assignment
The accelerating pace of international trade is one of the most dominating, and important features, of contemporary life. Globalization is creating widespread changes for societies, economics, and governments. Since the invention of the steam engine, transportation and communication limits have faded away and, with the development of the Internet, practically disappeared. A case can be made for the proposition that trade, throughout history, has been the main engine for the development of the world as we know it today. In his book, A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World, William J. Bernstein makes this case.

The main thesis of A Splendid Exchange by William J. Bernstein is to describe how, where, and why trade goes on in certain parts of the world, and how it affects completely different regions on Earth. Bernstein does this by using facts, details, and accounts of other economists and writers. A Splendid Exchange is not just about the trading of silk, tea, or coffee. It also speaks about the movement of diseases throughout the world. For example, when Christopher Columbus sailed the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria into the New World, disease quickly spread throughout the Americas, such as small pox. Obviously at the time the diseases made life miserable for many of the people living in the Americas, killing loved ones, friends, and family making it much more difficult for everyone to live. However, because the disease was spread, many people that now live in the Americas are immune to these diseases, including small pox. This is a classic example of the idea of natural selection, stating that only the fittest survive. Bernstein writes about this again in his novel while talking about the plague that rampaged through the streets of cities in Europe during the Dark Ages. This plague killed off an enormous amount of the European population, but eventually...
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