The Rise of Europe Explained
Submitted 4 years 9 months ago by CultureWhiz.
Europe’s rise to prominence can be best understood as emerging from the need to survive. As ineffective geographical boundaries and closeness in proximity brought various subgroups in the region into contact with one another, the drive for resources created extensive conflict and bloodshed among regional factions. As these battles became the litmus test for who would ultimately survive, and who would die off, innovations in military equipment and warfare played a primary role. The discovery of gunpowder from the Chinese introduced more efficient means of warfare, such as explosives and firearms. With new forms of production being uncovered, such as smelting to derive metals for weaponry, it became clear that those who controlled these natural resources would have a far greater likelihood of survival. This resulted in both the expansion of well-organized European groups into broader civilizations, as well as providing insight into the need to control the means of production to emerge successful.
The population of Europe also played an immense role in the continuity of advancement and expansion. Growing from 200 million in the 1800s, to roughly 500 million by the 1900s (more than half the world's population at the time), this rapid increase led to the development of cohesive civilizations, which consequently raised the likelihood of survival for those operating in a group mentality. The ability to band together towards a common goal ultimately became the differentiating factor in the region. Those who developed the most advanced societies reaped the benefits of military innovations, strength in numbers, and social and scientific progress, while those who did not were unable to survive against the more sophisticated powers. Similar to the concept of nest building employed by ants, early Europeans quickly discovered that cooperation and collective empowerment, would be critical to further expanding and advancing their societies. With these civilizations forming and growing immensely, the communal setting promoted the concepts of specialization and task delegation to specific members of the society, so as to increase their chances of survival, as well as making their social, political, and economic systems more efficient.
Collective farming and domestication of animals led to increases in survival rates among groups that implemented a shared system. This behavior led to an array of advancements among communal societies, some of which expanded into the establishment of marketplaces, artistic expression, and an expansion of education through school systems. At the onset, integrating these communal concepts was a challenge, but as they began to understand how to navigate new innovations, it allowed for a more effective assimilation of social institutions.
As the modern world provides insight into the significance of the European continent in creating the frameworks for future civilizations, the one thing that has remained constant throughout history is the struggle to resist and survive any external threats. This idea ultimately allowed the European continent, and the groups which inhabited it, to overcome the challenges they faced, and establish solutions that would better help them ensure the longevity of their society.