Center-periphery relationships describe the existence of unequal relationships between the developed areas and the underdeveloped ones of a given region. The core-periphery relationships are always characterized by immense dependence and inequality in terms of development. The core area tends to take control of the periphery, which depends on it for vital resources that are used to boost growth and standards of living. Furthermore, the core part of the country has many economic activities that facilitate its development, while the periphery has minimal economic activities because of the low levels of development. The process of making significant decisions is mainly done at the core of the region before being spread to the periphery. Many researchers have attempted to study the center-periphery relationships of the erstwhile British Empire. These studies are significant because they provide an in depth understanding of the gradual development of the Empire. This paper analyses various aspects of the center-periphery relationships of the erstwhile British Empire.
Research asserts that the core region in the erstwhile British Empire possessed enormous amount of wealth. The core region was made up of strong business individuals, who continuously engaged in different trading activities. According to Blackwell (2004), they generated large revenue that was used to build significant infrastructure in the core region. These business individuals opened up the area to investments; hence, their activity was attracting more business individuals, who were focused on developing the region. With businesses in place, the core area had immense economic activities that facilitated faster growth and expansion. The presence of the business individuals strengthened the entire economy of the area, making it easier for most occupants to access vital economic resources. The intensified economic activities in the core region also ensured that strong financial bases were established, hence, promoting the living standards of different individuals.
The core region was made up of strong political units. Research points out that the core region was made up of strong political formations. In the erstwhile British Empire, the government was created in the core regions in order to ensure that there was effective control of the other areas. It was vital to ensure that the government was strong enough to maintain its dominance over the periphery region. The core region was the area for political empowerment, as the entire bodies of political representatives were based there. A high degree of political stability ensured that the region progressed in its developmental agenda without barriers. Research asserts that the royalty was based in the core region; hence, it was able to ensure that they retain superiority over other surrounding areas. The move was strategic, as it facilitated maximum security for the region and ensured that individuals lived together in unity.
The research points out that periphery was less developed in terms of the economy. The periphery was characterized by low levels of economic development. Ferguson (2004) points out that this region experienced low levels of economic development, and most of the residents lived in abject poverty. There were low standards of living among individuals; hence, the situation was retarding the level of the economic development. Most of the occupants in the periphery did not have access to the essential revenues that could help them develop vital businesses. There were no enterprising individuals in the region; hence, it led to lower levels of economic developments. The lower levels of development meant that there was a poor infrastructure and even other underdeveloped essential facilities, like healthcare ones. Poor development in the periphery areas led to an excessive number of deaths among residents. Most of them did not have the finances to cater for their needs; hence, people were succumbing to poor living conditions.
The periphery regions continuously relied on the core for the supply of effective resources and needs among individuals. Research points out that the only way to help the people of the periphery areas was to rely on the core regions. Periphery regions were excessively poor, and residents could not even afford the food and basic needs. The situation prompted the core areas to intervene, in order to save lives of citizens. This happened even as the core regions were in search for supremacy in the region. The core region wished to display its strength by aiding the periphery region to meet its needs. It was a strategy, used by the leaders, to woo support from the periphery regions. The periphery regions could not produce their own goods and services, as they were not adequately industrialized. They relied on the traditional methods of working that were slow and less effective. The poor economic conditions of this region led to continuous reliance on the core region.
The key relationship that existed between these two regions was of the dependent nature. Research points out that the core was largely developed and possessed most things lacking in the periphery regions. The core region was industrially well developed and had an efficient infrastructure system. This meant that the core effectively produced goods and services that were necessary in the lives of individuals. The produced goods and services were supplied to periphery regions, which did not have any industries. The continuous lack of industries and strategic production zones in the periphery led to continuous borrowing of resources from the core region that effectively produced most of these resources. According to Ferguson (2004), the residents of the region had to get used to depending on the core region. Research reports indicate that the core region did not produce most of the significant products and services that were needed in the lives of individuals. Thus, the regions coexisted in a dependence relationship between them two. In matters of politics, the periphery was highly dependent on the core to elect a leader that would continue with the supplies that they were accustomed. The residents of the periphery had a little to say in the significant matters relating to the political situations of the erstwhile Britain territory. They did not have the power to produce a leader; hence, continued reliance on the leadership from the core region. Blackwell (2004) reports that the dependency relationship made the core area take advantage of the periphery continuously. The core region took advantage of this coexistence and employed expansion strategies that negatively affected the inhabitants of the periphery. The core region effectively took advantage and retained a firm control over the periphery areas. This was caused by the fact that they could not secede easily due to lack of autonomy and economic stability.
Research asserts that the core region maintained its dominance over the periphery regions by ensuring that there was continuous dependence. The core region did not take part in the improvement of the periphery regions. It did not contribute to the development of industries and the establishment of strategic businesses that would help in developing the periphery regions. Continuous reliance on the core region made sure that the periphery region did not have a choice but to respect all the decisions made by the core. The failure to respect these decisions could lead to the termination of supplies; hence, it caused the increase in the level of suffering in this region. The periphery region was not given a chance to question some of the decisions made by the core region, as this would lead to the termination of effective supplies that were used in satisfaction of the needs of people. Therefore, one of the dominance means was ensuring that there was continuous dependence.
Another means of dominance were political. The elite ensured that every leader that ruled the erstwhile Britain Empire originated from the core region. Leaders were considered as a powerful tool of protection and dominance. Effective leaders from the core regions made sure that the entire region developed at the required pace and dominated over the smaller surrounding areas. The strong leadership that had been set up in the periphery regions ensured that there was effective development of these regions and continued dominance of the core region. The continued dominance emanated from the aggressiveness of these leaders in the process of protecting the territory and ensuring respect of their authority, at any time. The leadership ensured that there was adequate and effective control over the periphery region; hence, they made it remain submissive to the new rules and policies. With effective and strong leadership, the core was able to maintain its dominance over the periphery region.
Communication and transportation are an essential part of development in any economy and country. Communication refers to the passage of messages from one individual to another, while transporting is the movement of goods and people from one place to another. Communication and transportation played an instrumental role in the creation and maintenance of the British Empire. With effective communication, individuals were able to interact and coexist with each other. Coexistence is the key element that ensures that individuals are able to live at a common place in peace without jeopardizing development. Therefore, effective communication between individuals promoted the level of peace that was effective for the growth of the region. The relative period of peace ensured that there was continuous growth of the Empire that was founded in peace. The high level of peace ensured that the region had sustained growth and development. Furthermore, transportation facilitated the creation and maintenance of the Empire. Effective transportation channels ensured the easier movement of trade personalities in the Empire. They were able to generate high amounts of wealth from businesses that they had established; hence, they could ensure that the region was developing. The high amounts of wealth that were generated in the region ensured that there was stability, which led to the emergence of the Empire. The Empire was also maintained through effective channels of transportation that ensured that there was a smooth running of affairs.
In conclusion, center-periphery relationships describe the unequal interrelation that existed between developed areas and the underdeveloped areas of a given region. The core-periphery relationships are always characterized by immense dependence and inequality in terms of development. The core region dominates the periphery in matters of economic development and leadership. It takes advantage of all the resources available at its disposal to dominate the periphery effectively. This is especially enhanced through strategies, such as continuous dependence and lack of political autonomy among periphery regions. The core area tends to take control over the periphery, which depends on it for vital resources that are used to boost growth and standards of living. Furthermore, the core part of the country has many economic activities that boost its development while the periphery has minimal economic activities because of the low levels of development. The process of making significant decisions is mainly done at the core of the region before being spread to the periphery. The erstwhile British Empire had a core region that was economically and politically strong; hence, it was taking full advantage of the less developed periphery region. Transportation and communication played an instrumental role in the development of the British Empire and continued dominance of the core region.