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ENVS 2200 Study Guide - Degrowth, Middle Ages


Department
Environmental Studies
Course Code
ENVS 2200
Professor
Stefan Kipfer

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2200 Exam Review Essay
2. Rodriguez and Feagin point out that urban specialization allows us to understand
the relationships among cities in a global context. Discuss with respect to different
types of cities (for example imperial cities, colonial cities, and industrial cities).
Draw on a range of relevant course materials.
Rodriguez and Feagin explained that the advancement of economies in financial
and industrial sectors gave rise to global cities.
They talk about the three stages of capitalistic development, mercantile, industrial
and monopoly.
When cities specialize in certain types of economic activities its called urban
specialization.
Three hegemonies are discussed Dutch, England and USA.
The Dutch specialized in textile, they created conditions that facilitated private
enterprise and promoted immigration of business entrepreneurship.
The British specialized in cotton and when steam engines made coal important
that boosted the economy even more, again increasing immigration of labor.
This also caused capitalist from Europe and USA to travel to London to get funds
for a range of enterprises, making it the central financial function in world
economy.
Lastly, USA specialized in the oil industry that supported the steel industry to
office work. Also there was great privatization and foreign investment in Latin
America.
The excerpt by Yeong-Hyun Kim and John Rennie Short explains the various
trades goods and mercantile roles of trading in the middle ages. It is explained,
that
European countries trading with each other in a nomadic way progressed into
urban cities soon. Later in the 17 century, the Dutch East Asia Company formed a
monopoly in trading. Over 7 million investors were involved with the company
which gave it much powerful, including “right to wage war, sign treaties,
construct fortifications and encourage settlement to increase commerce and
profit.” The trading that once was individual and free has now become privatized,
giving more power to industrialists.
The development of urban specialization is the direct result in the development of
global cities. Since the world has become greatly globalized due to the supply and
demand of all countries becoming dependent on each other. I believe urban
globalization and privatization has created our capitalistic economy, whose
growth now threatens the depletion of natural resources of the world. The two
reading states different ways in which economies got power and how that power
was transferred to private industrialists and financial investor who seem to control
the policies now. More growth will only cause a decline in our natural resources
and so the fight is against the privatized industrialists. How can we do this
without having the support of the government who are actually supporting and
encouraging globalization? Can we as environmentalists introduce a middle way
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