American Capitalism

Topics: Capitalism, Economic system, Economics Pages: 3 (1063 words) Published: June 24, 2013
Urban growth is a worldwide phenomenon which can been linked directly to the growth of capitalism. Latin America, as we currently know it, was formed by capitalist countries, and is the most urbanized region in the world. Yet this process of urbanization, whilst attributable at least in part to its relationship with capitalism, is also about global interdependence. During European economic expansion between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries, the Roman Empire city system was essentially rebuilt across the globe, resulting in a commercial trading market with the African coast, Middle East and Asia. Cities became political, religious, commercial and cultural centers, and a class system based on land-ownership soon began to flourish. As European economic expansion continued in the fifteenth century, new commercial trade routes were sought, with cities further establishing themselves as the foundation of this global commercial control. Though there were urbanized zones in Latin America before European conquest, the process of expansion and hegemony was accelerated with the imposition of European urban patterns and urbanization models.  In Latin America’s first two centuries of colonial dependence, metal production became the most important area of commerce, principally providing raw materials to the European market. This allowed Spain to gain a dominant position in the European inter-metropolitan power system. This interdependence is typical of Latin American economic growth. Historically, urbanization in this region has been used for the fiscal benefit of further advanced metropolitan societies, and the structure of these societies has in turn shaped both the cities and the culture of Latin America. As the region went through the process of de-colonization, interdependency remained, though this time through the economic structures of global markets rather than political structures. International relations remained predominantly based on an interest in raw...
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