Sei sulla pagina 1di 5

Isa Rei

Dr. Virginia Haufler/ TA: David Prina

BSGC 101

1 December 2016

From Invasion to Negotiation: Comparing Prince Henry and Jean Monnet Through the

Book “From Silk to Silicon”

American author Bill Ayers once said, “imperialism or globalization - I don't have to care

what it's called to hate it.” His quote explicitly accuses that globalization and imperialism are the

same thing. However, are they? Globalization, a term that has often been used to describe the

rapid increase in the interconnectedness around the globe. Despite the fact that this term was not

developed until the 1980s, the action of globalization can be traced all the way back to 1200s

with figures such as Genghis Khan and Prince Henry. These pioneers of globalization pushed

through physical boundaries by using force and invasion. However, as time goes on, the method

of globalization changes as well. With figures such as Jean Monnet and Margaret Thatcher, the

action of globalization has changed to a more peaceful approach that focuses on negotiation. In

this essay, we will take a deeper look into the lives and contributions of Prince Henry and Jean

Monnet, and compare their effects to globalization and relate it to the modern days’ globalizers.

Prince Henry of Portugal was the third son of King John I. As the third son, he knew that

the crown would never be passed onto him. Therefore, he strongly proposed the invasion of

Ceuta, a Spanish city located near North Africa, knowing his only way to earn power and fame

was through contributing to the expansion of Portugal’s territory. He persuaded his father that

“capturing a Muslim seaport” is the destiny of Portugal; in addition, “owning a thriving North

African center” can bring in many commercial benefits (36). As a military commander, Prince
Henry is reckless; his enthusiasm would often take over his head and made him did things that

were not the nest for the situation. However, not all of his moves were meaningless, for instance,

he ordered his forces to push through the Bulging Cape, a place that was feared by countless

sailors. This breakthrough was the first step he took in the process of globalization. While Prince

Henry enjoyed his early success in conquering Ceuta, he stumbled hard in 1437 when he tried to

capture the city of Tangier. This failure exposed his “arrogance, bad military judgement, and

unbridled ambition” to the people of Portugal (47), as a result, he was forced to remove himself

from the forces and focused on exploring new lands instead. Prince Henry sent out numbers of

ships to explore the coast of Africa, eventually, these missions laid the foundation of numerous

trading ties, including the slave trade. As Henry’s mission discovered tribes in Africa, they

captured the people there, brought them back to Portugal, and sold them as slaves. By the time he

passed away, Portugal was involved deeply into the slave trading business and more discoveries

were taking places after.

It is safe to say that Prince Henry started the Age of Discovery. Despite not being

successful on the battlefield, his reckless courage helped him to discover new lands. He pushed

through the physical boundaries at Bulging Cape by breaking the psychological boundaries the

sailors possessed. His discoveries lead to the countless voyages taken by other European

countries, and initiated the globalization between Europe and Africa. However, it is also

important to note that this connection lead to the slave trade and brought many diseases from

Europe to Africa. Prince Henry’s discoveries benefit most of European countries as they

conquered and took over new lands, as well as made a big profit off slavery; on the other hand,

the tribes in Africa were the biggest loser due to this globalization, as they lost their control of

the land and many became slaves, and a good amount also died due to diseases from Europe.
Jean Monnet was a French economist who has a huge impact on the Europe we know

today. Monnet’s father was in the cognac business, and as Monnet moved to London to expand

his father’s business, he learned many major differences between the attitude and culture

between France and Britain, as well as the way they negotiate for business. The first big

opportunity in his life was the broke out of World War I. During World War I, the French Prime

Minister Viviani introduced Jean Monnet to work in French Civil Supplies Service office in

London. During his times of service, he actively sought out the opportunity to talk to the leader

of both France and Britain and cooperate with them. By the time the war concluded, he already

established decent relationships with both governments’ officials. As the time World War II

rolled around, Monnet was able to convince the allies to work collective instead of individually

to combat the Nazis. Both opportunities laid the foundation of trust many world leaders have on

him. After the war, while the United States “saw the need for Europe to work together,” (202)

most European Countries saw themselves as the exact opposite. They viewed each other as rivals

and do not wish to collaborate. Jean Monnet saw this situation and proposed his idea of creating

an organization that consists countries in the Europe. This proposal is the cornerstone of the

European Union. Even on his last day, he still firmly believed that Europe needs to work together

in order to survive. As the European Union still exists today, Jean Monnet built something that

outlives him when he’s gone.

The biggest achievement of Jean Monnet is undoubtedly the unity of Europe. One central

idea that Monnet held and followed was “First, have an idea, then look for the man who can put

it to work.” (201) Perhaps this belief is the reason why Monnet never held a job in the

government. Instead, he presented his idea to the leaders of countries that are capable of putting

the idea into a reality. He helped to accelerate globalization through negotiation and cooperation
between countries. The biggest winner of the globalization by Jean Monnet was the European

countries as they could trade with each other freely. The loser of Monnet’s impact is the

countries that are not in Europe, as they would not be able to join the EU and would not have had

the opportunity to enjoy the benefits its members have.

Both Prince Henry and Jean Monnet took actions that have profound impacts on

globalization. One ignited the spark of the Age of Discovery, and the other one united and

basically reinvented Europe. Both actions lead to the rapid increase of interconnectedness

between countries and regions. However, the way they achieved their accomplishment is very

different. During the era of Prince Henry, he used forces to invade Africa and instead of being

respectful to the locals, they captured them as slaves and took away the resources. The earliest

form of globalization is basically imperialism, as whoever has the most resources and more

advanced technology can take control over those that do not share the same level of power.

However, looking at the era of Jean Monnet, it is clear that the form of globalization is also

evolving as time goes on. While Jean Monnet did have big goal he wants to achieve, he was not

seeking for power. He never held any actual political position during his life, and yet he was able

to unite and create the European Union through communication and negotiation, and eventually

brought benefits to all the countries in the EU. Yes, both forms of globalization have winners and

losers, but the losers during Prince Henry’s era definitely suffer more than the losers of Jean

Monnet’s era, as a result in the changing form of globalization.

Through the stories of Prince Henry and Jean Monnet, they show that globalization

changes its form as time moves on and the environments and technologies change. It is worth

noting that in our century, the way globalization will certainly be different from the earlier

periods. For example, the rapid growth of internet makes it possible for two places to connect
virtually, while in the Prince Henry era, globalization could only happen by physically visit

different places. Internet makes it possible for leaders from variety of countries to hold important

meeting without physically visit one another. However, at the same time, the advances in

scientific field also brings many underlying risk and concerns. For example, several countries

actually have nuclear weapons, and if any one of them decide to use it to take over other

countries, the consequences are unimaginable. It is important for the modern globalizers to

continue the path of globalization through cooperation instead of using power to overthrow each

other. The 21st Century globalizers should take advantage of the available technologies and

continue to use the negotiation strategy to globalize the world.