The Global Network

The Global Network

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


3 - 12


Geography, Human Geography, Social Studies, World History

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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Fast Fact

Battle in Seattle
The 1999 meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) was held in Seattle, Washington, United States. This meeting was protested by thousands of people opposed to globalization. The protests turned violent. Hundreds of people were arrested. Many were injured in confrontations with police. Many buildings were damaged. The incident is sometimes called "the Battle in Seattle."

Fast Fact

Powerful Peppers
Food has long been an important part of globalization. Today, foods in Korea and many parts of China are often spicy. They get their spice from chili peppers. This was not the case before the 1600s. The fiery chili pepper is native to the Western Hemisphere. Christopher Columbus first brought chilies to Europe in 1493, and from there they spread across Asia.

Media Credits

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Diane Boudreau
Melissa McDaniel
Santani Teng
Erin Sprout
Hilary Costa
Hilary Hall
Jeff Hunt
Tara Ramroop
Kim Rutledge
Mary Crooks, National Geographic Society
Tim Gunther
Jeannie Evers, Emdash Editing, Emdash Editing
Kara West
Educator Reviewer
Nancy Wynne
National Geographic Society
Last Updated

October 19, 2023

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