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Old 07-25-2019, 12:54 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
79,380 posts, read 71,668,399 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCal_Native View Post
Maybe technology development wasn't rapid but at the same natural pace as before - maybe using the word "rapid" is incorrect, maybe it's only because we're more familiar with more recent developments; For example a jet flying at 30,000 feet doesn't appear to be moving fast but at 10 feet away it seems much faster; however maybe the technology that did develop (especially understanding electricity) resulted in a lot more utility. Similarly, why didn't Europeans sail to the Americas in the 6th century? Why didn't it happen until the 15th century? There was a sequence of technological achievement that had to occur first: storing food, building big ships, understanding winds, storing water, organizing tasks, etc.
This is an interesting point. Actually, Europeans did sail to the Americas much earlier; the Vikings made repeat visits around 1000 A.D. But they didn't really make a trans-oceanic trip, like the later European powers did. They leap-frogged from Iceland to Greenland, then from Greenland to Newfoundland. They certainly were master shipbuilders.
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Old 07-25-2019, 01:23 PM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
This is an interesting point. Actually, Europeans did sail to the Americas much earlier; the Vikings made repeat visits around 1000 A.D. But they didn't really make a trans-oceanic trip, like the later European powers did. They leap-frogged from Iceland to Greenland, then from Greenland to Newfoundland. They certainly were master shipbuilders.
This type of sailing is called "cabotaggio" (in Italian at least) and is at least as old as the Indus, Mesopotomia and Nile valley civilizations, and possibly older.

One great innovation in navigation was the harnessing of monsoon winds to allow direct sailing from the Arabian peninsula to the coast of India, without having to hug the coasts in between. No one knows for sure when this occurred for the first time, but it seems the earliest written records are from the Hellenistic period (some one thousand three hundred years before the Vikings), reaching its apogee during the first century of the Roman Empire. Not sure what their successors the Arabs did with it, but they did extend their trade routes and influence to the island countries of southeast Asia.

Even before the Hellenistic period, Greek shipbuilders constructed battleships with as many as five decks, in service, if memory serves correctly, during the war for Sicily as written about by Thucydides.

To be sure, the Vikings were master shipbuilders for cabotaggio, but they weren't the only ones.

Europeans developed the technology for circumnavigation in large part as a (dumb-luck?) chain reaction to their struggles in the eastern Mediterranean with the Ottomans, with help from Venetians and Genoese, in particular a guy named Chris.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCal_Native View Post
why didn't Europeans sail to the Americas ... until the 15th century? There was a sequence of technological achievement that had to occur first: storing food, building big ships, understanding winds, storing water, organizing tasks, etc.
The Europeans didn't sail only to the Americas. Initially, they were trying to get to Arabia and India (see above, see also previous posts about luck as a factor). The first voyages were down the coast of Africa.

Logical, but not necessarily technological: previous civilizations going back thousands of years knew how to store food, build big ships, understand winds, store water, organize tasks.

I don't know details of technological developments behind the earliest transoceanic and global voyages, but, in their ambition and boldness to stake out and control new trade routes, I suspect that Europeans learned by doing, with many casualties due to shipwreck (e.g. Atlantic hurricanes), malnutrition (e.g. scurvy), mutiny, piracy, and other forms of more or less organized, plausibly deniable, war (e.g. "terrorism").

Last edited by bale002; 07-25-2019 at 01:57 PM..
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Old 07-25-2019, 01:39 PM
 
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Because a place called the United States came into existence in the 1700's and was in full swing by the time period in question.
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Old 07-25-2019, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Seattle
1,314 posts, read 281,646 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcfas View Post
Great suggestions above. I think it all boils down to population growth.
It's a reciprocal relation: economic improvement can support a larger population, which promotes economic growth.
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Old 07-25-2019, 02:14 PM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjshae View Post
It's a reciprocal relation: economic improvement can support a larger population, which promotes economic growth.
"can" is the key word, because not necessarily.

Throughout history in many societies often a response to population growth was death through starvation, infant exposure, war, and other methods of death.

Conversely (or perhaps perversely), starvation, lack of population, and war can lead to economic improvement.

There are just too many factors in the real world - including irrationality, greed, ambition, arrogance, dumb luck, gamma rays from outer space - to isolate a simple cause-effect relationship.
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Old 07-25-2019, 02:44 PM
 
Location: Southern Colorado
3,682 posts, read 1,837,993 times
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Did not read everything but this comes to mind. We refined a lot of oil and harnessed electricity and the light bulb. Which made factories effective. People had more jobs and money, worked longer hours, and needed cars to get to work. Every new development had synergy with previous developments.

Too bad that "everything that could be discovered was discovered" by ~1902. j/k - some guy at the patent office said something like that.
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Old 07-25-2019, 02:51 PM
 
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IIRC, whatever we are going to have 20 years from now, is already here. Somebody will figure out a new way to use it or create a new product from already available technology.
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Old 07-27-2019, 06:00 AM
 
Location: Cebu, Philippines
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Electricity. With a steady and miniaturized access to energy, all kinds of ideas became possible. Before that, nothing could be doe without your own steam engine.
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Old 08-26-2019, 05:48 PM
Status: "positive" (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: London
4,410 posts, read 3,711,177 times
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The steam engine.
It was put into road vehicles (trains) and ships. This meant goods and people could travel vast distances quickly. Food could be easily imported from other countries, or continents, giving choice and a lever against famines. The British imported cereals and timber in vast quantities from North America in the mid 1800s, spurred by the Irish famine. This prevented European famines.

The steam engine could be fitted in factories creating mass production. It pumped out sewage into the sea making cities cleaner. It could turn generators making electricity, making the dark light, later turning electric motors. The current diesel engines are merely a progression from the steam engines. Most electricity in many parts of the world is produced by steam turbines. It could impound docks creating deep sea ports where they previously could not be accommodated. Its usages was vast.

Technology after the steam engine rose exponentially taking advantage of what it offered.
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Old Today, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Appalachian New York, Formerly Louisiana
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Don't forget the technology race influenced by the great wars. WWI and WWII both saw huge leaps and bounds in tech both military and civilian.
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