Western Civilization Since 1500
The development of economic and political advancement from the Middle East towards the West is what is referred to as Western civilization. The aspect, which began back in 9000BC saw the West move from agrarian and hunter- gather communities to more technologically advanced communities. From previous studies, there have been claims that the region referred to as Eurasia developed much faster agriculturally due to various advantages. According to a study by Diamond (12), Eurasia developed faster leading to greater dominance of the region.
It is explained that the faster development of Eurasia was due to necessity and opportunities available. The practice of agriculture resulted in increased food supply and significant population growth in Eurasia. Diamond suggests that the advancement could have probably been as a result of more resistant plant and animal species which were easier to domesticate. While Eurasia had native barley, corn and wheat, the Native America still struggled to develop maize from the winds. The claims of advantageous environment are however refuted by some studies which claim that other areas such as Africa also had strong animal and plant species but did not experience the same rate of advancement as did Eurasia.
While refuting the claims of resistance species in Eurasia, McNeil purports that through this claim, Diamond failed to notice the efforts made by man towards domestication of the said plants and animals as well as the probability that human choice also played a role in the spread of agriculture. In other pieces of literature the movement of China from naval technology and power is also said to have been steered by the need for resources which were only provided through participation in agricultural activities. Through settling of peasants in mainland, China managed to initiate the growth of agriculture.
Diamond, Jared. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fall or Succeed. New York: Viking, 2006.
Diamond, Jared. Guns and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. Brooklyn: W.W. Norton, 2000.
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