Conclusions: The Moving Forces
of the Early Global Media
A ceo as reviled as [ Rupert] Murdoch might take comfort in know-
ing he is just one man in a long line of cable barons. To be sure, these
captains of the media industry ruled over a very di√erent kingdom a
century ago. But they cut a similar figure in the public imagination: the
controlling oligarch holding information
captive.—l. peterson,
‘‘The Moguls are the Medium’’
One of the key tasks of this book has been to show the depth and duration of
globalism between 1860 and 1930. Toward those ends, we have demonstrated
that a combination of a technological revolution, the expansion of mar-
kets, international law, imperialism, and a discourse of modernization from
the mid-nineteenth century on, especially after about 1870, were globalizing
mechanisms in their own right and the basis upon which the activities of
‘‘global actors’’ depended. The technological revolution allowed for the near
instantaneous worldwide movement of information and news through un-
derseas cable and wireless linked inland to telegraph systems and the press.
Time and again, however, we have also shown that this revolution did not
facilitate long-distance social communication for the general public, at least
not to the same extent as cheap mass mail service, better road facilities,
railways, and fast steamships. Nonetheless, many of the ‘‘global media re-
formers’’ did believe that the new technologies could turn their dreams of
almost instantaneous global communications into reality for the many, rather
than the few, and strove relentlessly to do so. And in so doing, their visions
anticipated a time in which citizens had greater access to the means of long-
distance social communication, along the lines that the World Wide Web
serves in our own time.
Other authors, past and present, such as Herbert Feis and Geo√rey Jones,
also lend support to our claim that the period covered in the preceding pages
was one in which a strong form of globalism emerged. For both of these
authors, business enterprises and investment across national borders, inde-
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