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The Rise Of The West Essay

1449 words - 6 pages

Over the past 50 years, the idea of the rise of the West has been closely re-examined. Prior to the 1950s, historians believed that the rise of the West occurred because it was destined to; because Europe is the best and strongest. It was luck, fate, and destiny that helped Europe and America reach where they are today. In the past 50 years, many historians begin to disagree. They do give credit to luck as being a factor in the rise of the West; however, they also credit the ideas, political climates, culture, and economics as driving forces behind the rise of the West. The idea of the rise of the West occurred because of a combination of economics, innovation, culture, politics, and luck.
The Rise of the West refers to a period of time when Western Europe rose to power due to many environmental, political, and social factors. Many historians attribute the Rise of the West to the time period of 1450 to 1850. This power surge of Western Europe has been attributed to the global dominance of Western Europe and America in the 21 century. The interesting aspect regarding the Rise of the West is how Western Europe developed so differently from other parts of the world, leading it to be the superpower of the world. Many theories are made by historians in answering how the Rise of the West occurred. Three of the most widely accepted theories are the theories stated by historians Andre Gunder Frank, David S. Landes, and R. Bin Wong.
Andre Gunder Frank was a historian and social economist from Germany. One of Frank’s main theories regarding the Rise of the West links the wealth in Western Europe from their explorations in the Americas and Africa prior to 1800s to how Western Europe used that wealth to become a world superpower in the mid-1800s. Frank is a deep believer that economics is the most important aspect in the Rise of the West; he gives little credit to social changes of Western Europe. By defining economics as the most important aspect of the rise in power of the West, Frank also defined when the importance of global economy came to be. Many historians and economist have stated that the global economic system occurred after the Rise of the West; Frank disagrees. Frank believes that the world economy has been occurring since 1500s in the form of global trading. “A single global world economy with a worldwide division of labor and multilateral trade from 1500 onward” (pg.7). Frank’s notion that economics is the driving force behind the Rise of the West is correct in the fact that economy is a major force behind all innovations and advancements. A country cannot advance if it does not have the money to research and better its technologies, culture, and society. Frank’s notion of a single world economy is also correct in the fact that trading between Asia, Africa, and Europe does define a global economic system. What Frank lacks in his idea of the Rise of the West is his unwillingness to accepting innovative culture as a driving force behind the...

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