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A millenium ago, the Vikings landed in Canada, Islam spread in China and Southeast Asia was already the world’s factory. Welcome to the first globalization.

Show Notes

Globalization isn’t just the stuff of airplanes and container ships. It’s not colonization and circumnavigation alone. It started much sooner. Dr Valerie Hansen, professor of Chinese history at Yale University, points to the year 1000 as one early watershed era when the world expanded and became smaller at once. Trade routes criss-crossed the Americas, Islamic scholars mapped the globe and major religions spread across Asia. In large cities, exotic merchants set up shop, black and white people lived together… and sometimes mobs descended on reviled foreigners.

01:38 A convergence of global events in 1000
06:26 250 million people and an agricultural boom
09:20 Trade and religion made the world smaller
14:02 Slavery introduced the masses to a wider world
15:48 Southeast Asia, world factory
17:13 How to become a Borderline member
18:07 The globe and the average Joe
20:17 Xenophobia back then
25:02 A series of constantly expanding rings
29:50 How that globalization differed from today's

📚The Year 1000: When Explorers Connected the World and Globalization Began. By Dr Valerie Hansen. Simon & Schuster, 2020. Buy in US. Buy in UK.

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What is Borderline?

Borderline is a podcast for defiant global citizens. It believes in openness, discovery and compassion. It resists outrage and seeks wonder. Prosaically, the podcast discusses geopolitics, immigration and lives that straddle borders. If you leave home to get home, Borderline is for you.