Anthro - Chapter 2-3 Notes.docx - Jason Wong ID Number...

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Jason Wong 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 1492 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 non-European world. Idea of “modernization,” a theory that there could be a diffusion of European ideas that would influence the economic development of the non-Western world. 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 Critique 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 underdevelopment. 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 Asia. Historians have found facts about China’s progressiveness in ancient and medieval times. The Countercritique Marxists such as Robert Brenner argue that capitalism was invented by northwestern Europe with no help from others.
Eric L. Jones’s The European Miracle also stands out in arguing for the European superiority. The Myth Myths about ancient and medieval Europe allow claim that Europe rose earlier in terms of development before 1492, and that post-1492 came about through work of this earlier development. Non-Europe was the result of the outflowing of this modernization. This idea is a myth because it is widely believed by Europeans and that it may not be true. The beliefs that support the myth are implicit, rather than explicit, meaning they do not enter into the scholarly discourse of historians. The explicit belief is that ancient and medieval Europe was more progressive than other civilizations, but these are supported by implicit beliefs that are

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