ID Number: 56028163
The Myth of the European Miracle
The European Miracle – the argument that Europe forged ahead of all other
civilizations which explains its superiority in history and geography after
Gained popularity from Eric L. Jones’ book
, The European Miracle
Blaut argues Europe is not superior to non-Europeans
Mythmakers and Critics
In 1945, due to an increase in government and foundation sponsored “foreign
area studies programs,” Europeans had a rapid increase in knowledge of the
Idea of “modernization,” a theory that there could be a diffusion of European
ideas that would influence the economic development of the non-Western
Modernization as History
Europeans believed that the best course of development for the Third World
would be to follow the European pattern.
However, historians have trouble deciding what caused the rise of Europe.
The modernization approach was challenged because it gave no real role to
non-Europe besides being a recipient of diffusions from Europe.
As the Third World scholarship developed, there was an emergence of critics
of this idea.
The colonial era was rewritten to show how it had led to poverty instead of
progress. Colonialism led to both good and bad innovations leading to
Called the “underdevelopment theory” in Africa and Asia and the
“dependency theory” in Africa.
C.L.R. James showed that Caribbean slaves had a role in the development of
capitalism similar to that of the European working class.
Eric Williams showed that the wealth from slavery and slave plantations was
a crucial factor in the rise of capital for the Industrial Revolution in England.
Some mainstream European historians have also contributed to critiques of
the central Eurocentric doctrine; this is called the antisystemic scholarship.
J.C. Van Leur has researched the economic history of South and Southeast
Historians have found facts about China’s progressiveness in ancient and
Marxists such as Robert Brenner argue that capitalism was invented by
northwestern Europe with no help from others.