• Unit 10: Globalization and the Industrialization in the Late 20th Century

    The second half of the twentieth century saw many changes in the pattern of industrialization. While the capitalist states of the West enjoyed two decades of prosperity after 1945, problems in the global economy led to stagnation and decline in many manufacturing sectors in the 1960s and 1970s. Manufacturing power shifted from the West to the East, beginning with the reindustrialization of Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. Light and then heavy manufacturing moved to Asian production sites, as the cost of labor in the West rose. Southeast Asian states and then communist China entered the market as low-cost producers in the late 1970s and 1980s as previous barriers to international trade were eliminated. By the 1990s, free trade had replaced protectionism as the dominant economic ideology in the industrialized world, creating new opportunities for industrialized and industrializing states as well as new challenges to the stability of the global economic system.

    In this unit, we will examine the causes and effects of the decline of manufacturing in the West and the rise of low-cost producers in Asia. We will also study important international agreements that gradually eased barriers to trade between nations.

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 4 hours.