Globalization is best defined as the global interaction of distant people influenced by cultural exchange. Globalization can be traced back to the early 500’s and is still dominant in today’s society. Early civilizations were never isolated from their neighbors, leaving a door open for cross-cultural exchanges. Through empire expansion, trade, revolutions, ideologies, and technology, globalization has played a major role in history and also in shaping the world today, making it one of history’s most significant phenomena. The expansion of large empires, like the Arab Empire, which covered a mass amount of territory from Spain to India, can be viewed as the first glimpse at globalization. Through empire expansion people were often integrated in cross-cultural society with religion playing a key role. The Arab Empire can be credited with the spread of Islam to Africa and southern Europe, Buddhism which originated in India spread to Asia, Christianity became dominant in Europe and in some parts of Russia, and Hinduism became popular in Southeast Asia. All four religions would have not had the global impact without the expansion of large empires. However, empire expansion had only a minimal effect on globalization. The use of trade in the early 500’s was the beginning of a global phenomenon. The Silk Roads expanded across Europe and Asia for centuries. Through the Silk Trade, consumers were offered a variety of goods that were not available in their native country (Strayer, 319). Merchants who traveled the Silk Roads found themselves engaging in more cross-cultural exchanges than that of goods. The spread of Buddhism from India to Asia is in large part due to the merchants spreading their religious views while on tr... ... middle of paper ... ... evident that globalization can be traced back to over 1,000 years ago. Global empires, global trade, global revolutions, global ideologies, a global economy, and global technological advances have all shaped the webs of communication and exchange since as early as 500. Through globalization the world has shaped into what it is today both geographically, religiously, economically, politically, and technologically. By the end of the twentieth century few people lived in a world not affected by globalization, thus making it one of the greatest phenomenon in history. Works Cited Gandhi, Mahatama “Indian Home Rule.” In Ways of the World: A Brief Global History with Sources, ed. Robert W. Strayer. Boston: Bedford: St. Martin’s, 2013: 964-965. Strayer, Robert W. Ways of the World: A Brief Global History with Sources. Boston: Bedford: St. Martin’s, 2013.