WHEN the Archduke Franz Ferdinand (pictured right) was assassinated in 1914, there were few initial indications that world war would follow. In retrospect, many people have argued that the killing was a freak event that should not have resulted in the folly of war.
But was the subsequent war really an exogenous event? Or was it the near-inevitable consequence of the tensions resulting from the first great era of globalisation? If Franz Ferdinand had survived, maybe something else would have triggered the conflict. If the latter possibility is right, that may be a warning sign for the current era.
From 1870 to 1914, the first great era of globalisation saw rapid economic growth, trade that grew faster than GDP, mass migration from Europe to the New World and convergence of real wages between the old and new worlds. In Europe, GDP per capita grew more than 70%; in the new world, (Argentina, Australia, Brazil,…Continue reading