Western Civilization


The history of western civilization can be traced to the inventions ancient Greece. They invented and perfected anything from thermometers, alarm clock, steam power, automatic doors among many other things. Many people however know Greece for their outstanding architecture. After the inspirations and inventions of Greece, western world became civilized. Western civilization took a long time. There were many phases including: the Roman Empire, the dark ages, the renaissance, the age of discovery, the industrial revolution, rise of western powers, the world wars, and the western nation’s dominance of the 21st century. In each phase, the economic, social, and political aspects of the western world would change.

After Rome conquered Greece, they invented many other things and made changes in the political theories. Their constructions and leadership philosophy were some of the most remarkable things of the empire. However, a dark age arose when the Roman Empire fell and Europe entered the middle ages. The Catholic Church was powerful then and filled the void that was left by the fallen Roman Empire. In 12th century, Europe experienced remarkable changes in of art and learning, which helped in the construction of cathedrals and universities.

The Catholic Church’s dominance was brought down after the reformation of the 14th century. At the same time, in the cities of Europe, there arose a merchant class in the cities, which led to the renaissance period. This continued to the 17th century when art became advanced, ushering in the age of discovery. It was during this period that empires such as Britain, Spain and Portugal rose.

Industrial revolution took place in the 18th century, beginning from Britain and spreading to the America. At this time, Europe ruled over Australia and America while Africa and Asia were ruled over by the western powers. In 19th century Democracy was founded by Britain, while South Americans opted for an autocracy form of government.

In 20th century, democracy was embraced by the European countries. Before this however, the eras of fascism and communism contributed to world wars. This left the European nations disintegrated. Further, the civil rights movements coupled with migrations into Europe by people of different faith and race made it hard for Europe to retain its western dominance. Cold war followed after the emergence of Soviet Union and United States.

After the collapse of Soviet Union in 1990, cold war ended. The European Union was formed and has continued to emphasize on economic and political co-operation among the European nations up to date. In the 21st century, western powers still have a lot of influence and power while the Asian and the African nations are still lagging behind. Western civilization has come a long way, from the era of ancient Greek, to the dominating European and United States powers of the modern world.