Recently I almost regretted answering a comment on #Facebook regarding Donald Trump the Republican. The person then replied, “please tell me why people that arnt(sic) even americans try to give there (sic) opinions on our matters like there(sic) opinions are valid...?”. It was not the first time I had seen such comments, but the exchange made me understand that there are many in the world that do not understand that nothing happens anywhere without affecting other countries in some way.

The political Butterfly Effect

We all know the Butterfly Effect which explains the interaction that is the basis for the Chaos Theory of Mathematics, yet the interlocutor did not appreciate that it also applies to politics and the effects are immediate and worldwide.

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The oscillations on the major stock markets after each poll result during the presidential campaign and after #Donald Trump’s victory were just the first proof that the whole world followed the campaign. The President of the United States is widely regarded as the “Leader of the Free World” and this is not an empty title. It recognizes the active role of the country in international politics and the American foreign and economic agendas decide the agendas of many other countries.

It was only natural that the arrival of such a controversial and unorthodox non-politician to the White House would send shock waves around the world and that other governments would have gone into overdrive trying to understand the implications on their own future.

Gold, Lafayette, and Rome

Yet these long-range implications are not new in History.

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It was no accident that the assassination of Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand that triggered the Great War was known as “the shot heard around the world”. News of the discovery of gold in California and Alaska in the 19th century made a large number of treasure seekers move to the United States to try and make their fortune and this happened in the Ballarat Gold fields in Australia as well.

Indeed, American History was heavily influenced by overseas politics from its very beginnings. One notable example was the role of the Marquis Delafayette in the American War of Independence. His personal intervention not only gave a contribution to the foundation of the United States of America, but the subsequent economic and political exchanges between the United States and France were contributing factors to the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789. This contribution was recognized by the first American troops in France during the First World War who declared on arrival “Lafayette we are here!”

Recent archeological discoveries in a Roman butcher shop in Pompeii showed the presence of spices originating from the peninsula now known as Indonesia.

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This shows how the international commercial network in ancient times was even more extensive than previously known. In fact, the presence of silk in Imperial Rome also proves commercial links with China and the discovery of large caches of Roman gold in India further proves how the destiny of the Eternal City affected kingdoms and Empires half a world away.

Immediate effects

In today’s world the effects of a change of direction in any major country are felt within hours and not weeks, or months as would have happened centuries ago The presence of the internet and the social media has only meant that international discussions on these matters are now routine and natural as the users try to come to terms not only with political developments but also terrorist attacks, natural disasters and new scientific discoveries that lead to even more changes in our society.

Donald Trump’s #Inauguration Day on January 20th is an important date on the international political calendar and will have consequences on the whole world and not just the United States. For this reason, citizens everywhere must understand that their decisions do not stop at national borders and have effects they may not be able to imagine.