A Motive Force in History: Trade
Some argue that to understand human history, one must first understand the history of trade. For trade is not only a part of economics; it is also a main factor in human relations, exploration, colonialism, and war. Just as some of the greatest civilizations in history have endured for centuries because of their dominance of trade routes, many collapsed because they lost this dominance. Since time immemorial, trade has been indispensable to human civilization. But for most of that time, it has been confined largely to street markets, bazaars, and ports. Today, that is changing. We are on the verge of a new era of commerce, one in which, thanks to smartphones and computers, we can visit a store thousands of miles away and buy anything we want, from a phone case to an antique clock, all in just a few minutes. This is the new world of e-commerce.