Free Essay on The Heritage of World Civilizations:
1. In the 16th century the Church in Europe has divided to two main branches – Catholic and Protestant. One of the most well known “religious rebels” was John Calvin, who taught his theory all over Europe. Calvinism in England was called Puritanism. Its main doctrines were very ascetic and strict. Protestant movements, nevertheless, tended to be mutually reinforcing with capitalism. And Calvinists, by praising hard work, supported bourgeois morale and encouraged the accumulation of capital and the development of capitalism itself. Also Protestant Factions in England brought about significant changes in Church that caused the reform in Parliament. Later, in 17th century, the Reformation of Church followed by Puritan Revolution. Oliver Cromvell was one of the main figures who rose the Citizen Army against royal absolutism. The English Revolution followed later with liberal revolutions in America and France.
2. The scientific revolution of the 17th century produced a radically different mode of thinking. The science had been previously dormant in Europe since ancient times. So-called “humanism” period provided human minds to produce theories more regarded to philosophy or theology. There was one great barrier to scientific way of thinking – the tendency of human beings to accept as truth the judgements of their senses. For example the ancient view of cosmos was accepted into Christian thought, and suited people’s awe of the heavens, until Copernicus, Kepler and then Galileo discovered radically new heliocentric theory. Other scientists like Bacon, Descartes and especially Isaac Newton brought new revolutional ideas into various branches of science. So we can say that the science itself was “invented” in 17th century, which made the West the teacher of the world.
3. Americas in the 17th century were the colonies of Europe. North America was shared between England, France and Holland, and South America was mostly Spanish and Portugal. The native Indians were held as slaves, but Spanish brought large numbers of African slaves from native African slave markets into the New World. So now we can see the consequences of slavery: blacks and mulattos make up one-sixth of the total population of Latin America, whites constitute about one-quarter, most of the remainder are metises (mixed white and Indian). The last New World slaveholding societies, Cuba and Brazil, after achieving independence and abolishing slavery, have passed era of so-called “nationalization”, when most of the population tried to achieve equity and democracy. It led finally to the declared ideal of Latin countries – liberalism.
4. The Industrial Revolution began in England in the 1780s and then spread to the Europe and to the Americas. This revolution is considered to be one of the most important events in world history because it turned an agrarian society into an industrial one, it caused the technological revolution and lately the development of machines in nineteenth century. There were three main reasons of the Industrial Revolution:
- The essential growth of colonial empires had brought much of the world’s trade to the Europe, giving it the wealth to invest in new technology.
- The rise of capitalism had created class of manufacturers and new forms of business organizations adaptable to the large industrial enterprises.
- The Scientific Revolution had greatly increased the scientific knowledge of early machine technology, and Europe possessed the raw material necessary for industrialization.
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