English Essay on “Commerce as a Means of Spreading Civilization” for School, College Students, Long and Short English Essay, Speech for Class 8, 9, 10, 12 and Competitive Exams.

Commerce as a Means of Spreading Civilization

Civilization has been carried from one country to an-other by conquest and religious missions ; but perhaps mostly by commerce. In ancient times, it was, probably, Egyptian traders that brought civilization to Crete and the Egean Islands, where a high form of civilization flourished 2000 years before Christ. Probably, trade, through the Phoenicians, carried that civilization to Greece, and to all the lands round the Mediterranean Sea. It was not only Roman arms, but also Roman commerce, that civilized many barbarian nations under Roman sway ; and later, it was not only the military power, but also the commerce, of the Arabs, that brought eastern civilization to many lands, and to Europe. In more modern times, it was trade which led the Portuguese, the Dutch, the French and the English to India and the East. The English came at first to India simply as traders, and it was their East India Company that introduced western civilization into India, Burma, Ceylon and the East Indies.

The opening up of Africa in the 19th Century was due mainly to these forces: missionary effort, represented by Livingstone and Moffat; exploration, represented by Henry Stanley; and commerce, represented by merchants who went to Africa to make money by trading with the natives. Big trading companies were formed by Cecil Rhodes and others; and their operations helped to familiarize the Africans with the civilization of Europe. An entrance for western civilization into Japan, also, was first found by commerce. America was the first western country to make a trade treaty with Japan; and European traders soon followed.

Civilization, whether it was Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Arabic, or modern European, has no doubt been a blessing to the savage and backward races it has reached. But it has many times brought a curse with it,’ when it has introduced to savages the vices as well as the culture of the more civilized races. And this is the chief drawback connected with the spread of civilization by commerce; for traders do not act from philanthropic motives, but go to foreign lands simply to make money.

This is why the spread of civilization by missionary effort, or even in some cases by conquest, has been better than the spread of civilization by trade. Zealous missionaries whether of Buddhism, Islam or Christianity, have had a more truly civilizing effect on savage races than traders. And when the ancient Romans subdued a barbarous race, and admitted them to Roman citizenship, they probably did them less harm than some unscrupulous traders would have done.

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