In Europe during the sixteenth and seventeenth century, mainly Spain and Portugal’s mercantilism, was the system that drove nations. Barter was the mode of existing exchange taking as deposits valuable metals like gold and silver, each nation sought to have the greatest accumulation of these metals by encouraging exports and reducingimports to maintain a surplus in the balance of payments. The industrial revolution began in Britain in the late eighteenth century, which was followed by France and Germany in the early nineteenth century.
The revolution brought the emergence of machinery that facilitated the production of products in large scale in less time. Countries began to benefit from the ability to trade among themselves,trade allows specialization in what the country is best at or manufactures. Technological change brought about by the Industrial Revolution resulted in a change in the correlation of forces between the powers. Leading to the rivalry of European states due to their imperialist ambitions, economic confrontation between the advanced capitalist competing for the conquest of new markets where obtainingraw materials was uncomplicated and selling their products was facile. The rise of extra-European powers, United States and Japan, marked the passage from a European concert to a concert of powers. Hence, European nations began taking measures in both domestic and foreign policy. These events mark the inception of a global arms race, meanwhile the United States, in order to assert theirsuperiority, secretly develops an atomic bomb. A demonstration of predominance and capability among superpowers which resulted in poorly justified deaths of thousands of civilians, a demonstration of power of which its deterrent effects have lasted until present day. Now, let us further examine how a history of conflict and rivalry between superpowers influenced in the development and dropping of the lethalnuclear weapon.
The role of wealth as a means for power was evident to European leaders in the beginning of the modern era. The wealth allowed the establishing and maintenance of armies, the financing of wars, the sustenance of complex bureaucracies, and ultimately, funding for ambitious government programs. The promotion of national economy and the defense of self-interests always underlyingall mercantilist policy agenda. Enriching the royalty would basically consist in attracting as much gold and silver to their coffers. Since the amount of precious metals was finite, the dispute with other countries to ensure ownership of the majority was inevitable. Spanish mercantilism was based purely on exporting activity in the defense of the precious metals that arrived in Spain from LatinAmerica, which were basically treasured in the form of ingots.
The great leap towards future world trade occurred in the late fifteenth century with the advance of Iberian people on the passage to India (Portugal) and in the Americas (primarily Spain). Not only did the intra-European trade experience a strong recovery with exploration, commercial factories, and colonized countries in both Iberiancountries, but it was during this same time that the real world trade was born.
In the mid-sixteenth century European commercial penetration extended to both coasts of the Pacific, the Spanish ships made the route from Peru to Europe via Portobelo (Panama), and the Portuguese came to the Moluccas (now Indonesia). Not only did they enter new goods in the international mainstream, but above all theprecious metals, from Spanish America, which led to what historians call “The price revolution”. However, even with the control of large territories, in the case of Spain and marine factories in the case of Portugal, neither of the two Iberian nations achieved to become real industrial and commercial metropolis. The Portuguese crown traded in Antwerp, which was Europe’s true commercial empire,...