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Old 07-25-2019, 12:54 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
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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
845 posts, read 191,088 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
3,654 posts, read 1,800,003 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 Today, 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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