World Systems

Topics: Asia, Europe, Middle East Pages: 4 (1317 words) Published: March 27, 2005

The world history does not always go in the same route. Change in the balance of power all around the world and existence of big events such as the foundation of press are effective in the conversion of the way it goes. With the effect of these rotations, systems are also changing. The world system between 600 and 1500 is not same with the system after 1500. This differentiation in system at that time was related to the exploration of America. After the big geographical explorations, a new Euro-centric world system emerged. The Old World system was mainly Asia-centric. European states were far behind the Asian and Middle Eastern ones. According to the article of Janet Lippman Abu-Lughod which is named "The World System in the Thirteenth Century: Dead-End or Precursor", beside the world system there were subsystems which were not "depending on each other for common survival in the thirteenth century". There were three big circuits: Westers European, Middle Eastern, Far Eastern. "At that times the strongest centres and circuits were located in the Middle East and Asia. In contrast the European circuit was an upstart newcomer that for several early centuries was only tangentially and weakly linked to the core of the world system as it had developed between the eight and eleventh centuries." As she mentioned, Europe joined the advanced world system of that time after 11th century, yet till 15th century it was not so effective. Although the states in east were developed, this did not reflect to political arena. Every state was powerful in its own niche and as a result of this there was not a hierarchical form of political balance. These states could be thought as pockets. Nature of this system was production. As Janet L. Abu-Lughod mentioned "the production of primary and manufactured goods was not only sufficient to meet local needs but, beyond that, the needs for export as well. Then, the way of function of this system can be understood: trade....

References: • Jane L. Abu-Lugot, "The New World System in Thirteenth Century: Dead End or Precursor" in Michael Adas Ed, Islamic and European Expansion, The Forging Global Order. (Philadelphia: Temple University Press 1993) (SABANCI UNIVERSITY SPS 101B FALL 2003 P.109-118)
• Jacob Burckhardt, The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy, translated by S.G.C. Middlemore, 1878.
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