Countries centuries, Europe started a massive globalization process,

Countries often engage in imperialistic
state-building in an effort to impose their country and culture onto another.

These states succeed long term through developed economic, political, and
social environments. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Europe started
a massive globalization process, turning to violence to enforce their power
over others in an effort to monopolize. They stripped land that wasn’t theirs,
renamed areas already named, and built their nation in places already occupied.

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They implemented a state and expanded on their own accord, using any means
necessary. This state-building is
inherently violent both physically and psychologically because of its
imperialist motives to gain political, economic, and social power.

            When countries set out to establish themselves in
foreign land, they are reorganizing a previously set power-institution to
better form their own. The reorganization and imperialist nation believing they
have a right to do so is a violent disposition to carry while expanding. Europeans
especially established this history of forceful colonization in lands not
belonging to them. They entered lands foreign to themselves and established
their communities through state-building, most significantly around the 18th
century. During this time, much of the world was still undiscovered to the
Europeans, although inhabited by people none the less. As Europe began to
explore outwards, they developed maps to track where they have been and
conquered. These maps exhibited eurocentrism, placing Europe in the center and
detailing other places according to their relation to Europe. Maps aggressively
enforced the idea of the white man and his land as being the norm by which
others should base their communities off of. If a nation wasn’t structured like
a European, or more specifically British, nation, then to the Europeans it wasn’t
a credible nation at all. Europe trekked and mapped in an effort to graph the
world that existed beyond Europe. Although altered since the 1500s, Gerard Mercator
had created the map with an enlarged Europe placed at the center, known as the
Mercator projection (Image 1). This map featured a cylindrical world with
inaccurate country sizes, however it was the first step towards the maps we see
today. As UNESCO criticizes, the Mercator projection “overvalues the white man
and distorts the picture of the world to the advantage of the colonial masters
of the time” (Lecture, 1/23). Europe was exploring and charting, establishing
colonies then justifying those establishments with written documentation on a
map. These maps recorded literal European state-building and where they visited
and settled, but also reflected Europe’s mindset about themselves and the power
they felt they had and deserved over others. As worded by Professor Sarah Stein
from University of California Los Angeles, “Maps are storehouses of spatial
evaluation and are acts of interpretation” (Stein, Lecture 1/23). Especially at
the time where technology wasn’t present to give accurate charting of land,
maps relied on the map makers opinion and entirely reflected the map makers
view rather than complete scientific accuracy. Having the power to document
land and altar as one saw fitting was an act of control over other nations that
Europe seized and used to their advantage.

            Along with charting lands visited by
Europeans, many explorers tended to rename when investigating lands new to
them. This renaming process is an act of power over those already living in
these lands, and is an aggressive approach to conquering. Europeans visiting
new lands called it “discovering”, as if they were finding lands unknown to
man. These lands that were being discovered were inhabited by many peoples, yet
Europe thought of themselves as the basis for a proper civilization. Others
occupying areas who were unlike them were not considered to even reside in
these areas properly as the Europeans did. As the explorers walked through new
lands, they first tried to name landmarks similar to what they had back home.

They found these names didn’t seem fitting, and ended up naming places related
to the treacherous terrain encountered in Australia. One such instance was the
naming of a mountain, different looking than those found in Europe, Mount
Deception (Lecture 1/23). In an effort to expand, Europe violently reorganized
previously set social institutions by psychologically implementing their own.

            Once a psychological power had been
established over land, the Europeans began to reinforce their power through
physical acts. To protect settlements and new acquirements of land, a strong
military base would be established. Having a strong military allowed a country
to protect when necessary, especially when trying to build in foreign, hostile
land, as well as have the means for attacking if they wanted to conquer easily.

This violence was a convenience for gaining the power they desire. State-building
for Europe was a globalization tactic, and to do so quickly required force. If
Europe wanted a strong foundation, they would need force behind them that would
allow them to infiltrate and take over new lands. A military could allow them
to focus on their social and economic institutions that go along with building
a nation. These social and economic platforms are often built by violent acts
towards the group who resides in the land being conquered. Especially in the
case of places like the United States, Britain seized the land and fought
immediately as they did with the Native Americans in an effort to quickly
overcome any resistance that may arise. Europe took land that wasn’t theirs but
conquered with the mindset that it was their duty and right to do so.

State-building in new areas can be symbolically
established to a certain extent. However, once a country has truly decided to
infiltrate in land not belonging to them or welcoming them, force is often
required. When Europe finally turned to America to fuel the global cotton
market they had created, they acquired their land and labor through force. Previously,
cotton had been a local crop, manufactured and sold only in the area where it
grew. Britain saw the potential for the cotton market to expand, and created a
system separating the growers and manufacturers. This type of market was the
largest of its kind, with Britain in control. In Beckert’s Empire of Cotton, Beckert notes that “what distinguished the United
States from virtually every other cotton-growing area in the world was planters’
command of nearly unlimited supplies of land, labor and capital, and their unparalleled
political power” (Beckert, 105) Because of Britain’s immediate power over the
area, they were able to control every aspect which included the social structure,
the economy, and the political atmosphere established. This then led Britain to
reinforcing slavery, especially in America, because slaves were the working
force behind the cultivation of cotton. Britain first tried to use the native
people living in America to work on their cotton plantations, however soon
realized their previously established communities in this land gave them a
power to not cooperate. This led the Europeans to bringing in people from other
continents to work on producing raw cotton materials. In America, the slave
population consisted of slaves sent over from Africa who had been treated in
brutal fashions regardless of age. One picture taken in Savannah, Georgia from
the 1860s shows that men, women, and children alike were sent to the fields to
pick cotton for all hours of the day, acquiring as much as possible or else
punished (Image 2). Britain continually reinforced slavery as the laborers
because Britain remained the biggest beneficiary of slavery from the cotton
industry. Slaves were the backbone of the cotton market. Britain’s global
cotton market would be nothing without the cotton being produced to fuel it. The
industry continued to grow as the demand for cotton remained, and Britain
continued to reinforce their control and new establishments in the United
States violently.

It’s interesting to note that because Europe was
involved in the first global market and involved in much of the conquest that occurred
in the mid 1700s to 1800s, they somewhat set the standard for how a country
could implement themselves into another. Europe’s approach to expanding was
violent and entitled, and set a precedent for how a country could enter another’s
economic, political, or social atmosphere. From Europe’s example, we can see
that state-building should not be an option if there is a current institution already
in place. If a country wants to enter in a global market, there are ways to do
so without resorting to violence. The nature of state-building is imperialistic
and forms from a desire for conquest. Nations should strive to connect and be
involved with one another, but not through conquering or wiping out previously
established settlements. A nation can establish political, economic, and social
institutions within another country using means other than violence and
conquest, leading to unification rather than domination.