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Old 08-10-2019, 04:55 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dark Enlightenment View Post
There is a theory that the Black Death, which killed roughly half the population of Europe in the 1340s, changed society in ways that led to the end of the Dark Ages and eventually to the Renaissance.



How did the Bubonic Plague make the Italian Renaissance possible?
Didn't the Black Death also devastate the population of the Middle East and China? I can see it as a catalyst for ending the middle ages, but I don't see it as a differentiator between civilizations.
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Old 08-10-2019, 05:00 AM
 
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My belief why the Europeans saw the greatest leaps during the last 3-400 years are constant warfare.

Before China was unified, they where constantly evolving new ways to defeat their enemies. But once they where unified, the central government or emperor controlled everything. Innovation slowed down.

Spending large amounts of resources on things that will ensure your survival, instead of building larger and larger buildings or art objects for a tiny elite to admire slows down the economy and its innovation.


Then in the 1850ish with industrialization in England, then slowly moving Europe and USA, let them outproduce China and India.
Both of them stood for almost 60% of the worlds GDP.. but England managed to conquer India and demolish China.

Their economies fell to almost less then 10% of world GDP... while England extracted as much wealth as it could from these countries.
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Old 08-10-2019, 05:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dude5568 View Post
That is false .

500 years from today would make it August , 1519 . What part of Europe was dominant over , let's say , the Ottomans at that time ? ( fact .. the Ottomans had captured the heart of the Byzantine christendom just 66 years ago and made it Islamic ).

Hell , let's make it 1719 ( 300 years back from today ) , what part of Europe was dominant over the Qings or the Safavids or even the dead and decaying Mughals . And how do you ascertain " dominance "anyways ?

I would put the " Great Divergence " as starting in the mid 18th century and firmly established by the middle to late 19th century . Also , by this time the Protestant northern Europe and France ( which I believe was still majority catholic ) had far surpassed both southern and eastern Europe also in literacy , wealth , scientific advancement and industrialization . When the upper class victorian Englishman talked about the west's ( and particularly England's ) superiority over the rest , he did not include either the mediterraneans or eastern Europeans as his brethren. He talked about the " Anglo saxon " race which BTW were seen as " distinct " from someone like an Irishman or a Hungarian then they were from a lower caste Indian peasant.

This " Pan European " " white " identity is by and large an American concept ( post WW 2 ) and functions as a manufactured social caste . Before WW 1 , being " Anglo saxon " was all the rage here too.

My answer as to why this happened - Gutenberg's Printing press --> Increased Literacy in western Europe --> intellectual blossoming on an unprecedented scale --> enlightenment , scientific and industrial revolution.

This is a hyper TLDR version of this otherwise very complex topic and of course by it's nature rather speculative.
500 years ago is the start, I would argue, of the European rise. Whereas the Victorian period was its apogee. My question for you is this, does the Great Divergence become easier or harder to explain by moving it forward into the future? Your own printing press explanation is closer to the 1500 year mark, and both your and my explanations involve some time of "gestation" before a flowering.

Modernity began in northwestern and central Europe, and radiated out from there. I don't think "whiteness" is simply a construct, since it maps pretty cleanly on to "Christendom", or in other words a shared culture. I'm not saying Christianity had anything to do with modernity, but that modernity flowed along cultural channels established by the shared European culture. The fact that modernity hit a geographical limit when it bumped up against Islamic civilization indicates to me that "whiteness" is not meaningless.
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Old 08-10-2019, 05:12 AM
 
Location: Great Britain
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Increases in population, technology and trade/commerce led to European adavancement during this period.

History of Europe - The emergence of modern Europe, 1500–1648

The Lombards, came to London in 1272-1307 and were goldsmiths from the part of northern Italy known as Lombardy (larger than the modern Lombardy region), they helped introduce a type of banking known as Lombard Banking, and owned what is now Lombard Street, a street which is often compared to New York's Wall Street. The strret had formerly been one of the main Roman roads in Londinium.

Lombard banking - Wikipedia

Lombard Street, London - Wikipedia

Last edited by Brave New World; 08-10-2019 at 05:23 AM..
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Old 08-10-2019, 05:25 AM
 
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Nobody didn't expect that the edge of thy known world will dominate the globe. Spain, Portugal, Britain and Netherlands all layed at the edge of the known world. These such nations helped reshape the world for the next 500 years.
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Old 08-10-2019, 05:29 AM
 
Location: USA
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The Greeks, Egyptians, Romans, and some others had advanced civilization way before the Europeans. Although the Romans were European, but their empire extended to the known world at the time.
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Old 08-10-2019, 05:34 AM
 
Location: Japan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avondalist View Post
Didn't the Black Death also devastate the population of the Middle East and China? I can see it as a catalyst for ending the middle ages, but I don't see it as a differentiator between civilizations.
Well, there's no reason to think that the effect of the plague on societies would be the same everywhere. In Europe it seems to have been a death blow to feudalism and the beginning of freer, more prosperous working and entrepreneurial classes. In China not so much. Perhaps the nobility there were more powerful and entrenched than in Europe.
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Old 08-10-2019, 05:47 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avondalist View Post
"White supremacy" only exists as a concept because the last 500 years of history have been dominated by Europeans. How did that come about?

There is the geography theory, as espoused by Guns, Germs, and Steel. The northern European plain is the nearest large agricultural region to the cradle of civilization, so the theory goes it was bound to become dominant. I generally don't buy this, because China and India were actually more prosperous until about 1500, so why did the geography hand dealt take so long to be played?

There are genetic theories, mostly garbage since genetic diversity within the Homo sapiens out-of-Africa group is small compared to hominid diversity, and yet only one part of this group became Europeans. Also a genetic advantage would have again not waited until 1500 to take hold.

More plausibly, the development of the scientific method is easily shown to be an antecedent of most of Europe's modern advantages, and the scientific method was developed around 1500. That raises the further question of why Europe developed the scientific method, which Christian and classical apologists have played with for quite some time. I think the classicists have more to work with, which raises the question why the ancient Greeks were so advanced. This is a bit of a rabbit hole.

Most compelling to me is the European discovery of the new world. It happened around 1500 as well, and produced fabulous riches for Europeans, as well as acting as a population pressure release valve. I don't think any other civilization has had such a stroke of good fortune befall them as a discovery which triples the amount of land available to you. As to why Europeans were pressed to explore and others weren't, we know the reason is the exorbitant cost of the spice trade as exacted by middle Eastern and Mediterranean middlemen. And the Chinese voyages of exploration were abandoned for petty reasons with world-historical implications.
China had the four great inventions (compass, paper making, printing(including moveable type) and gunpowder a 500-1000 years before Europe. Meanwhile Chinese exploration went from Africa and through out Asia and likewise pre-dated Columbus thinking he was in Asia by hundreds of years.

The notion that the Europeans did all of the great inventions first is just a function of being in a nation derived from Europe, and ready history books written primarily by those of European descent.
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Old 08-10-2019, 05:48 AM
 
1,791 posts, read 610,276 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkb0714 View Post
China had the four great inventions (compass, paper making, printing(including moveable type) and gunpowder a 500-1000 years before Europe. Meanwhile Chinese exploration went from Africa and through out Asia and likewise pre-dated Columbus thinking he was in Asia by hundreds of years.

The notion that the Europeans did all of the great inventions first is just a function of being in a nation derived from Europe, and ready history books written primarily by those of European descent.
There's only four great inventions?
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Old 08-10-2019, 06:00 AM
 
Location: Great Britain
12,065 posts, read 4,114,574 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkb0714 View Post
China had the four great inventions (compass, paper making, printing(including moveable type) and gunpowder a 500-1000 years before Europe. Meanwhile Chinese exploration went from Africa and through out Asia and likewise pre-dated Columbus thinking he was in Asia by hundreds of years.

The notion that the Europeans did all of the great inventions first is just a function of being in a nation derived from Europe, and ready history books written primarily by those of European descent.


The great ancient civilisations included the Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks, Mayan, Incas, Osirian Civilization (Modern day Mediterranean), and Rama Empire (Modern day India and Pakistan). The Roman's and Greeks had a big influence on European culture, and both were civilisations well before their time, as were the Chinese and many others.

7 Most Advanced Ancient Civilizations in the World | Travel Blog

The Greeks were very inventive, and made a lot of discoveries prior to the Roman Empire.

List of Greek inventions and discoveries - Wikipedia

As fot the Romans gave Europe a road network and built amazing structures such as vast protective forts and walls, they built bath houses that still operate today and they changed the nature of city life with sewers and even the development of building and the use of concrete, whilst bringing in law and order and developing ports and cities, indeed it was the Romans that established London and other cities as important trading centres and ports. So it was these early civilisations that created the seeds for Europe to flourish.

Roman technology - Wikipedia

Last edited by Brave New World; 08-10-2019 at 06:21 AM..
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