Western Civilization

Western Civilization from 1589 to 1914 had many specific changes that contributed to the structure of the western world before World War I. In the absolutism state sovereignty is embodied in the person of the ruler. Kings were absolute kings and were resposible to no none except god. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries absolute rulers had to respect the fundamental laws of their land. They had to control competing jurisdictions, institutions or groups that were interested in their territory. They regulated religious sects.

France of Louis was the classic model of absolutism. Louis XIV, \” the sun king,\” was a devoted Catholic who believed that god had estalblished kings as rulers on the earth. The French language and culture became an international style because of him. People liked what he was doing, people really liked him. He effected the western world in a good way. He made them see that absolutism could indeed be very productive. Constitutionalism is the opposite of absolutism. Tis is the limitation of the state law.

Under the constitutionalism, the state must be governed according to law, not by royal decree. It implies the balance of power of the government and the rights of the subjects. Constitutional governments may be either be republics or monarchies. Between 1603 and 1649 absolutism ran along second to English beliefs. This is when costitutionalism began to rise. This was also during the English civil war. This was a messy period for England. After this period however, the English monarchy was restored. The Stuart kings were stored in 1660.

This did not however, help religion of the relationship between king and parliament. The test was passed in 1673. This stated that those who joined the church of England could not vote, hold office, preach, teach, attend universities or assemble, and these restrictions could not be upheld. Fear of a catholic monarchy led to the expulsion of James the 2nd and the glorious revolution. Constitutionalism was the way of the future and in my own personal opinion it was the best way to go. Shortly after absolutism and constituionalism the scientific revolution came into effect.

The scientfic revolution of the seventeenth century was the major cause of the change in world view and one of the key developments in the evolution of the western society. In the 1500s Europeans thought the world was the center of the universe. Most of their ideas came from Aristotelian medieval ideas. They believed that around the earth were ten circular spheres and that beyond the spheres was heaven. Science in this period was primarily a branch of theology. Galileo contributed greatly to the world of science. He discovered the laws of motion using the experimental method.

He also used the experimental method to astronomy, using the newly invented telescope. Galileo was tried by the Inquisition for heresy in 1633 and forced to recant his views. The scientific revolution caused the Medieval Universities to provide frame world for new science. The renaissance stimulated by science rediscovering ancient mathematics and supporting scientific investigations. The scientific communitys primary goal was to expand knowledge. Because the link between pure science and applied technology was weak, the scientific revolution had little effect on daily life before the 19th century.

The Enlightenment also had its benefits to the western world. The Enlightenment was an intellectual and cultural movement that tied together certain key ideas and was the link between the scientific revolution and a new world view. Some of these ideas were the natural science and reasoon can explain all aspects of life. And that the scientific method can explain the laws of human society. Also, another idea was progress the creation of better societies and better people is possible. Many writers made scientific thought understandable to an unscientific audience thus creating the emergence of enlightenment.

Enlightenment was key because it created a new world order. It helped people do things that they might not have noticed before. The expansion of Europe in the eighteenth century and the changing way of life in the eighteenth century also helped mold the western society. The population began to explode in the eighteenth century in Europe. There had to be limitations on population. Some things that helped the population were famine, disease and war. The reason population was growing so much was mainly because the plague had just ended.

The cottage industry also with the population in the eighteen century. By this time the cottage industry challenged the monopoly of the urban craft industry. There was a lot of healthy people because of the plague had ended. There was a lot of working people because of the cottage industry. The eighteenth century was good to Europe. Of all the effects on western life none were greater then the effects of the revolutions of France and America. The American Revolution was fought from 1775-1789. The British wanted Americans to share the imperial expenses.

The Americans did not like that so they fought for there freedom and they won. They won their independence. Americas greater political equality was matched by greater social and economic equality. By the time the American revolution ended in 1789 the French revolution began and went on until 1791. The French were influenced by the Americans so they decided to revolutionize too. By the 1780s Frances government was nearly bankrupt as was the banking system. The French raised bread prices and prices on other essentials.

France had to do something so they went to war. France did not endure the immediate successes the way the America did. Theirs was a more slow moving process but eventually they got there. These revolutions reinforced the enlightenment idea that a better life is out there. Everything that happened shaped western civilization in one way or another. None more so then the American Revolution. The western world looked at was going on and learned from it. Western civilization has come along way and yet has a long way to travel.


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