How Did Europe Dominate the World?

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Shock and Awe:
(how do you have an illiterate scribe)

I can copy a textbook in Mandarin, could get it 100% identical to the original but it doesn't mean I'd understand it. Remember that for all the meaning we place on them, letters are just shapes that can be copied whether you know what it stands for or not

There were scribes who's job it was to take an old book and copy it for preservation. They could go away, read the book and translate it into 'modern' language (e.g. taking all the thee's and thou's out of Shakespeare) or they could just copy it verbatim. In the first case they have to be able to read and understand the text to make sure they were using the right words to convey what they book meant while in the second they just need to be good at copying shapes.

Both of these could be possible reasons why there is such a weird collection of Greco-Roman works that survived by being passed down. The example I remember is that half of some Roman philosopher's theories were lost but we still have a recipe book from roughly the same time. The expert in the article I saw this in suggested two reasons why; that either the scribes were copying works based on what they liked/disliked (so the monk who liked cooking might prefer a cookbook to a Greek tragedy) or that they were just taking the next book off the pile and copying it without really caring what it was about, just caring about the preservation of knowledge.

Through the cunning use of flags.

Jayemsal:
Through the cunning use of flags.

To late.

Sleekit:
"How Did Europe Dominate the World?"

the cunning use of flags.

I only know the British aspect as I'm not too clued up with the main continent's.

Guns, Technology, Religion, Modern Enterprising Trade and good location on the globe.

Guns and Tech I don't need to address other than Europe was constantly at war, but most of the time it wasn't total war more like how modern super powers duke it out in some 3rd world country, instead of fighting each other in a total war like WWI/II.

Technology, spurred on by the conflicts just like so many technological breakthroughs were made during both WWs and the cold war.

Religion played a big part in this, both safe guarding knowledge during the dark ages, although they were anti scientific during the renaissance period. The Holy Roman Church had a great deal of power in the medieval period, it was very much a throwback of the Roman Empire. It unified Europe against outside threats and stopped greedy or stupid Kings from getting out of hand. For example When Britain owned most of France, The Pope played a big part in stopping Britain from expanding even further and taking over the whole western continent. I have no doubt in my mind that the reason both Britain and the Dutch did so well for themselves is because they broke off from Rome with the Protestant Church including the Church of England. I suppose the French similar when they became a Republic later down the line.

Also Christianity was a major part of British colonisation and making native populations loyal.

It also ties into probably the biggest factor of western Europeans colony expansionism was the fact the British Empire was a trade Empire before anything Imperialistic or atleast until the Victorian Era when the British started to get slightly more decadent and snobbish and more Imperialist in their views to running an Empire.

Before then British Empire was built upon the deeds of Entrepreneurs and Venture Capitalists. The smart and highly driven middle class would leave Britain looking to seek their fortune. From Privateers stealing money from the Spanish, to the slave trade and sugar plantations in the Caribbean, to the East Indian Trading company slowly taking over India not by conquest alone but by smart political and economic brinkmanship and also the Opium Wars in China and setting up trading posts in Shanghai and Hong Kong. All this trade was made possible by the new British middleclass and their new taste for imported goods like Tea, Sugar, Indian fabrics and spices, making vast amounts of money for those who bought and shipped it to the UK and the rest of Europe.

Location also mattered greatly, Having the Unexplored Ocean on their doorstep means they could be the only ones to sail the globe. Africa with its poor climate and constant starvation due to lack of food was in no position to do it. Compare that to Europe and its temperate climate and fertile soil, and also the fact Western Europe was so far away from the India and China where goods were imported from means there was a big incentive to open up shorter trade routes, America and the Caribbean were just bonuses (and great ones to that).

Shock and Awe:

Jayemsal:
Through the cunning use of flags.

To late.

Sleekit:
"How Did Europe Dominate the World?"

the cunning use of flags.

Do they have a flag?

No flag no post.

Jayemsal:

Shock and Awe:

Jayemsal:
Through the cunning use of flags.

To late.

Sleekit:
"How Did Europe Dominate the World?"

the cunning use of flags.

Do they have a flag?

No flag no post.

I claim the Escapist for Britain! No flag, no website, you can't have one. Those are the rules...that I just made up.

BlackStar42:

Jayemsal:

Shock and Awe:

To late.

Do they have a flag?

No flag no post.

I claim the Escapist for Britain! No flag, no website, you can't have one. Those are the rules...that I just made up.

Shock and Awe:

BlackStar42:

Jayemsal:

Do they have a flag?

No flag no post.

I claim the Escapist for Britain! No flag, no website, you can't have one. Those are the rules...that I just made up.

Doesnt count.
image
I claim this thread in the name of Denmark!

And I'm American!

(By the way, dont google "flag" Its depressing)

One factor I have yet to see mentioned was the crusades. It gave the Europeans an enemy to focus on not among their own, provided a massive influx of cash into their flagging economy, and the previous contender for world domination became economically and culturally ruined. Perhaps most importantly of all, the Europeans regained much of the knowledge lost to them when Rome fell in addition to a hefty portion of the Saracens' own considerable technological and philosophical advances, including ideas/ideals that eventually led to both the renaissance and "age of enlightenment" movements.

In exchange for this leg up, we get to fight a war our ancestors started almost a millennium ago that never quite ended. YAY!

It's the geography. Europe is (or was, rather) a broken-up mess of tiny countries all at each other's throats. It means you've got a lot of independent leaders and thus more opportunity for a successful idea to catch and demonstrate it's profitability.

As a bonus, Europe is all peninsulas. Everyone's got an incentive to be good at building ships. You can get from pretty much any country to any other country by sea which, again, helps with the spreading of ideas. Europeans could even go to other, non-European countries and get ideas from them.

Then there's the Ottoman Empire on the border of Europe. A common powerful enemy who consistently beat the Europeans demonstrated the need to change the status quo or face destruction. It spurred the voyages of discovery, made mastering gunpowder a necessity, and drove the Spanish mad for gold. There was actually an acute sense of European inferiority for quite some time. It was the richer, larger, stronger empires of the East that could afford to feel smugly superior.

And, of course, things could've gone differently. A stronger Church could've dominated Europe and imposed uniformity. The Mongols could've succeeded at their own interchange of ideas and left Europe a batch of vassal states. Had the Americans not been so susceptible to European diseases, they could've plucked the torch of Enlightenment from the hands of their would-be conquerors before it barely had the chance to shine. Had the Chinese kept up there naval expeditions, European inter-continental trade might have died stillborn. The Europeans had the deck stacked in their favor, but luck still had a role to play.

Well of course, to say that Europe came to dominated the world is a bit of a generalization. It was actually different European states that dominated at different times. And while there were many factors the primary ones is the exchange of ideas between people from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and the resulting technology of transportation and communication.

You can go back as far as the Greek and Roman empires as evidence of this but for the modern period it started with Italy and the Renaissance. Here of course Italy benefited because of its geographic position relative to the middle east and far east. Italy also had a strong merchant class who profited from trade, and, at least in some city-states, a government and society which was open and tolerant of new ideas and ways of thinking. And it had, for its time the best technology for transportation and communication.

From Italy it shifted to the Netherlands, briefly, again for the same reasons: trade, a strong merchant class, a government and society open and tolerant of new ideas and ways of thinking, but now technology, in the from of ship design and navigational aids, became a primary factor.

It shifted again to England, again for the same reasons, England having the advantage of being an island nation at the head of a world wide empire.

It then shifted to America, the melting-pot, the nation of immigrants. America has all the advantages for a creative productivity: Geographic, resource rich, people from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds living side-by-side, a strong merchant class who profited from trade, a government and society which was open and tolerant of new ideas and ways of thinking, and, of course, it has best technology of transportation and communication.

As to America's decline, well that's a topic of another thread.

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