Exam preparation materials

Review Chapter 9: A Globalized World

The world has become an increasingly globalized community. Where various cultures were once strongly divided by differences, modern communities have formed closer ties than have ever existed before. A global culture of interdependence has emerged and ushered in an era of heightened international relations and global awareness.


One of the major reasons for globalization is advancement in communication and media technologies. Inventions such as radio, television, telephones, and the Internet have drastically changed the way the world communicates, allowing people to connect with one another instantaneously from nearly any location. This increased ability to communicate has led to a world that is more connected and more closely related than at any other time in history.

Other technological advancements have also played a key role in the development of the global community. In the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, technological competition between the United States and the Soviet Union led to rapid advances in the field of space exploration as both superpowers attempted to become the first to enter outer space. In time, the “space race” turned into a cooperative international effort, beginning with the docking of American and Soviet spacecraft in 1975. By the turn of the twenty-first century, a global team of scientists and astronauts had constructed an international space station.

Technological advances in the medical field have been equally important. The increased availability and use of vaccines, antibiotics, and insecticides have increased the population and made people healthier. International health-care organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), have been established to ensure that people around the world have access to quality medical care and a healthier way of life.


One of the most significant factors in the emergence of a globalized world has been trade. A large global trading market plays a major role in creating a global community. One of the primary reasons trade has flourished in recent history is the breakdown of national trade barriers, such as protective tariffs. Various trade organizations have also been formed to help promote free trade among nations, including the European Economic Community (EEC). Founded in 1957, the EEC later became known as the European Union (EU). The management of free trade was improved by the formation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995. In some places, such as Europe, trade communities were able to introduce a single currency across many countries. This simplifies transactions and facilitates trade.

Regional trade organizations have also emerged. In 1994 the United States, Canada, and Mexico agreed to end tariffs as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In 1960 several South and Middle American countries signed a similar agreement called the Latin American Free Trade Agreement (LAFTA). Looking to increase the economic stability of their region, the countries of Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, and the Philippines formed a trade alliance in 1967 called the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Environmental Issues

The globalized culture is also driven by awareness of global environmental issues. As the world has become increasingly industrialized, it has also become more dependent on fossil fuels for energy. The burning of these fuels produces pollution and damages Earth's ozone layer. The widespread use of fossil fuels, along with other forms of air pollution, have also contributed to a significant increase in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which has led to an increase in global temperatures, commonly referred to as global warming.

Global warming has elicited an international response and a cooperative attempt to find a solution. In 1997 the United Nations organized a conference in Japan to discuss the climate crisis. This conference produced the Kyoto Protocol, an environmental treaty aimed to establish regulations to control the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Concerns about global warming have also led to greater interest in renewable energy sources that could serve as alternatives to fossil fuels. Nations around the world have explored solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, and other forms of power to meet energy needs in a more environmentally friendly way.


Not all aspects of globalization have been positive, of course. Recent years have seen the emergence of sophisticated international terrorist organizations. These groups commit violent attacks to spread hate and destabilize governments. Terrorists commit bombings, political assassinations, hijackings, and hostage taking to spread terror in the population. Extremists favor these types of attacks because of the media attention they attract.

One of the earliest examples of a terrorist attack that received major media attention was the kidnapping and murder of eleven Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany. Another example is the September 11, 2001, attack that occurred in the United States.

Terrorist operatives hijacked several commercial airliners and flew two of them into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York and one into the Pentagon in Washington, DC. A fourth plane bound for another target crash-landed in a field in Pennsylvania after passengers attempted to overpower the terrorists. Nearly three thousand people were killed in the attacks.

Global terrorism continues to be a significant threat to safety and security around the world.

Civil Rights

Of all the advances made since the World War II era, perhaps none has been as significant as those made in the area of civil rights. In the wake of World War II and the horrors of the Holocaust, the United Nations developed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. This important document states that all human beings have the right to “life, liberty, and security of person.”

One of the most important civil rights activists of the twentieth century was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who led the movement for equal rights for African Americans in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s. The African American civil rights movement inspired similar movements among other minority groups in the United States.

The struggle for women's rights, which has been ongoing throughout history, met with a number of successes in the twentieth century. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, which was beneficial for both racial minorities and women, outlawed sexual and racial discrimination. In the modern world, women in many countries enjoy the same legal rights and social standing as their male counterparts and have become a major part of the global workforce and the political arena.

Around the world, nongovernmental human rights organizations, such as Amnesty International, work to ensure that all people in the global community enjoy basic human rights.

Review Questions

1. Which of these has been the MOST important factor in the rise of globalized trade?

A. Increase in world population

B. Emergence of multinational corporations

C. Decline in regional national resources

D. Breakdown of protective tariffs

E. Enhancement of communications technologies

2. The Declaration of Human Rights issued by the United Nations in 1948 explicitly stated that all human beings have the right to

A. freedom, equality, and justice

B. life, liberty, and security of person

C. liberty, self-governance, and protection of the law

D. freedom, security, and religious tolerance

E. life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness

3. Which terrorist incident was the first to receive major mainstream media attention?

A. Oklahoma City bombing

B. Iran hostage crisis

C. Israeli athletes at Munich

D. First World Trade Center bombing

E. September 11, 2001

4. Which of these is the MOST significant cause of global warming?

A. Global overpopulation

B. Increased urbanization

C. Nuclear energy

D. Burning of fossil fuels

E. Widespread deforestation

5. In 1997 the United Nations attempted to address the issue of global warming by

A. producing a treaty meant to help control greenhouse gases

B. conducting its own independent study of the phenomenon

C. asking industrial leaders to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions

D. encouraging the development of alternative energy sources

E. launching a worldwide global-warming awareness campaign

Answer Explanations

1. D. The most significant factor in the rise of globalized trade has been the breakdown of protective tariffs between nations. The breakdown of these tariffs over the course of the latter half of the twentieth century made it much easier and less costly for nations around the world to engage in trade with one another. In many cases, the breakdown of protective tariffs was made possible through trading agreements such as LAFTA and NAFTA.

2. B. Since its inception, the United Nations has been committed to preserving basic human rights around the world. To this end, the organization issued the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. This landmark document explicitly states that all human beings have the natural right to “life, liberty, and security of person.”

3. C. The murder of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games was the first terrorist incident to receive major mainstream media attention. Angered over the establishment of the Jewish state of Israel in their homeland, a group of Palestinian terrorists kidnapped eleven members of the Israeli Olympic team and murdered them. The incident played out on live television. The media attention encouraged other terrorist groups to commit similar public atrocities to attract the same kind of attention.

4. D. The most significant cause of global warming is the burning of fossil fuels. As Earth's population has grown and the planet has become increasingly industrialized, communities have become more reliant on the burning of fossil fuels for energy. This practice results in the release of a number of harmful gases, including carbon dioxide, which builds up in the atmosphere.

5. A. The United Nations attempted to address the issue of global warming in 1997 by producing a treaty meant to help control greenhouse gases. Specifically, the United Nations adopted the Kyoto Protocol, which aims to control the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The treaty went into effect in 2005.

If you find an error or have any questions, please email us at admin@erenow.net. Thank you!