The geopolitical and economic ramifications are far-reaching. The processes of fighting over control and dominance of wealth and power have continued well into this century, even when we are used to believing the older ways are gone. As mentioned in the geopolitics section of this site, and on the previous page on neoliberalism, wars throughout history have typically had trade, commerce, resources at their core, and political systems have been geared towards power play. Smith highlights well how, for example, the US broke away from British colonial rule, recognizing the unfairness and harshness in Imperial Britain’s policies. However, the . has now taken on that role and is doing the same things that the British once did to others:
England, the center of the British Empire, was small and contained relatively few natural resources. During Great Britain's mercantilist period, the prevailing economic wisdom suggested that the empire's many colonies could supply raw materials and resources to the mother country and subsequently be used as export markets for the finished products. The resulting favorable balance of trade was thought to increase national wealth. Great Britain was not alone in this line of thinking. The French, Spanish and Portuguese competed with the British for colonies; it was thought, no great nation could exist and be self-sufficient without colonial resources.