People, ideas and businesses can spread from one place in the world to another. This is called globalization. People become more connected and start having more in common.


Globalization In History

 

Globalization has a long history. 

 

For example, Greek culture spread from Europe to the rest of the ancient world. This was thousands of years ago. 

 

Many years later, Europeans started colonizing other countries. They took over those countries in order to get their goods.

 

Globalization sped up 200 years ago. Many businesses got metal and other goods from distant lands. They got these goods for little or no money. 

 

About 100 years ago, globalization sped up even more. Goods, people and ideas could move around more easily. Some of the reasons were airplanes and the Internet.


Communication

 

Globalization depends on how ideas are spread. News zips around the world on the Internet. People can read the same news all over the world.

 

Many people in the world use cellphones. A farmer in Nigeria can talk to his cousin in New York City, New York. Nigeria is a country in Africa.


Travel

 

Being able to travel around the world also helps globalization. Each year, millions of people move from one country to another. They are looking for better jobs.

 

People do not travel just for work. Millions of people take vacations to other countries.

 

Travelers learn about new ideas, goods and services. They know more about other cultures.


Popular Culture

 

Popular culture has also become more globalized. People in the United States like listening to South African music. They read Japanese comic books. American TV shows are popular in Israel.

 

People also eat foods from different countries. At the same time, there are American fast-food chains around the world. McDonald's has restaurants in more than 100 countries. 


Economy

 

People all over the world buy from American companies. Many countries buy oil from Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East.

 

Most large companies have offices all around the world. Many of them have moved factories to poorer countries. This is called outsourcing. The company can pay workers less in the poorer country.


Politics

 

Globalization can have good effects. People are able to get medicines they don't have in their country. Globalization also brings poor people new jobs.

 

But not everyone likes globalization. Some people worry that their own cultures will be lost. Everyone might start eating hamburgers and watching Hollywood movies. 

 

Some say globalization is also bad for workers. Even if people in poor countries have new jobs, they probably don't get good ones. Also, when companies move across the world, they take away jobs from the rich countries.

 

But other people say globalization is good. They say that workers would be worse off without these jobs. This helps poor countries get more jobs and become richer. 

 

Globalization is also good for rich countries. The people there get to buy cheaper goods.

 

The Global Network
American fast-food restaurant chains have become a symbol of modern globalization.
abroad
Adverb

in a foreign country.

accelerate
Verb

to increase speed or velocity.

Noun

(356-323 BCE) Greek ruler, explorer, and conqueror.

bankrupt
Adjective

unable to pay debts.

Battle in Seattle
Noun

(1999) protest of the 1999 meeting of the World Trade Organization in Seattle, Wash.

Bollywood
Noun

mainstream Indian film industry.

Noun

natural or artificial line separating two pieces of land.

cell phone
Noun

device that uses radio signals to transmit and receive voice and other data.

chili pepper
Noun

plant native to the Americas whose fruit and seeds are cultivated for food and spice.

Christian
Noun

people and culture focused on the teachings of Jesus and his followers.

Christopher Columbus
Noun

(1446-1506) Italian navigator.

Noun

complex way of life that developed as humans began to develop urban settlements.

Noun

gradual changes in all the interconnected weather elements on our planet.

colony
Noun

people and land separated by distance or culture from the government that controls them.

communication
Noun

sharing of information and ideas.

confront
Verb

to address a problem or person directly.

controversial
Noun

questionable or leading to argument.

corporation
Noun

business made up of a group of stockholders, or people who own interest in the business.

costume
Noun

traditional clothing of a region or country.

cotton
Noun

cloth made from fibers of the cotton plant.

crime
Noun

unlawful activity.

curry
Noun

food associated with India that features spicy sauces, vegetables and sometimes meat.

decade
Noun

10 years.

drug trafficking
Noun

buying, selling and transporting of illegal drugs.

economic downturn
Noun

part of the business cycle when the exchange of goods and services slows down. Also called a recession.

economy
Noun

system of production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.

establish
Verb

to form or officially organize.

expansion
Noun

process of enlarging.

export
Noun

good or service traded to another area.

fabric
Noun

cloth.

facility
Noun

a building or room that serves a specific function.

factory
Noun

one or more buildings used for the manufacture of a product.

fiber-optic
Adjective

having to do with the transmission of light through transparent fibers.

fiery
Adjective

burning or having to do with heat.

financial crisis
Noun

situation where banks, credit unions, and other institutions suddenly lose much of their value.

finished good
Noun

item assembled and ready for sale.

free trade
Noun

international exchange of goods and services without taxes or other fees.

Noun

connection of different parts of the world resulting in the expansion of international cultural, economic, and political activities.

HSBC
Noun

(HSBC Holdings plc) one of the largest banks in the world.

immigration
Noun

process of moving to a new country or region with the intention of staying and living there.

import
Noun

good traded from another area.

incident
Noun

event or happening.

Industrial Revolution
Noun

change in economic and social activities, beginning in the 18th century, brought by the replacement of hand tools with machinery and mass production.

Information Age
Noun

nickname for the current era of humanity, starting with widespread public access to the internet (the World Wide Web) in the early 1990s. Also called the Computer Age.

International Criminal Court
Noun

organization that tries people accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.

Internet
Noun

vast, worldwide system of linked computers and computer networks.

labor force
Noun

workers or people who are physically and legally able to work. Also called the workforce.

Latin America
Noun

South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico.

Madras
Noun

type of light cotton cloth. Madras is also the former name of the city of Chennai, India.

market
Noun

central place for the sale of goods.

McDonald's
Noun

largest restaurant chain in the world.

merchant
Noun

person who sells goods and services.

migrant
noun, adjective

person who regularly moves from place to place, usually in search of work.

mill
Noun

machine used for grinding or crushing various materials.

natural disaster
Noun

an event occurring naturally that has large-scale effects on the environment and people, such as a volcano, earthquake, or hurricane.

network
Noun

series of links along which movement or communication can take place.

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
Noun

(1994) treaty between the United States, Canada, and Mexico that reduced tariffs and made trade easier between the countries.

oil
Noun

fossil fuel formed from the remains of marine plants and animals. Also known as petroleum or crude oil.

outsourcing
Noun

process of moving jobs and factories to developing countries in order to lower costs.

pasta
Noun

dough rolled or made into shapes and then boiled.

popular culture
Noun

goods, services, ideas, and patterns of their use in a population.

Noun

place on a body of water where ships can tie up or dock and load and unload cargo.

poverty
Noun

status of having very little money or material goods.

profit
Noun

money earned after production costs and taxes are subtracted.

proliferation
Noun

very rapid growth or increase in production.

raw material
Noun

matter that needs to be processed into a product to use or sell.

religion
Noun

a system of spiritual or supernatural belief.

Noun

ancient trade route through Central Asia linking China and the Mediterranean Sea.

similar
Adjective

alike or resembling.

software
Noun

electronic programs of code that tell computers what to do.

standard of living
Noun

amount of goods and services a person in a specific community or geographic area is able to afford.

sushi
Noun

bite-sized rolls or balls of sticky rice topped with seafood or vegetables.

tariff
Noun

tax imposed on imports or exports.

tax
Noun

money or goods citizens provide to government in return for public services such as military protection.

terrorism
Noun

use of violence and threats of violence to influence political decisions.

thrive
Verb

to develop and be successful.

tourist
Noun

person who travels for pleasure.

trade
Noun

buying, selling, or exchanging of goods and services.

trade route
Noun

path followed by merchants or explorers to exchange goods and services.

travel
Noun

movement from one place to another.

wage
Noun

money paid to a person for providing goods or services.

wealthy
Adjective

very rich.

World Trade Organization (WTO)
Noun

group that works with governments and international organizations to regulate trade and resolve trade disputes between countries.