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Unformatted text preview: HIST 1003 1/12/09 I. What’s in a name? a. “Western Civilization” began in the 1920s, after WWI when US enters stage as a world power Pillars of W. Civilization: 1. Hebrew religion monotheism, transcendent god, one separate from world but accessible to an individual 2. Greek literature (includes Philosophy, Science, Art, Politics) investigation of cause and effect; placed high value on pursuit of knowledge about natural and human worlds; political ideal of freedom 3. Roman law addition of civil and international (from criminal); early human rights; rule of law The idea is that Western values were transported through Europe to culminate US. This is shallow, implying cultural superiority, straight line, racism (white Anglo-saxon) and east coast elitism developed by E. Coast Univ. professors who thought everyone wanted to be just like them. In the 1960s, people t ried to move away from this idea, but Western civilization remains. The definition of the West now is constantly evolving. It does this through interaction with other cultures: new technology, ideas, values are exchanged. Also, West isn’t confined to W. Europe anymore. Greek ideas spread throughout the Mediterranean. *Latin Christian Europe: (1 st-7 th century) before there were protestants, during the spread of Christianity. People identified with geography, family, clan, tribe, etc. before this. Split (1204): Orthodox (Greek) vs Catholic (Latin) West= authority is Pope; East= authority is Bible From then, east is excluded from West. Even some residing in the West, such as Jews and other non-Latin Christians, weren’t considered Westerners. *Feudal (politically decentralized): power dispersed among many rulers; example: English parliament had power of purse * Hierarchical society: (polit ical and social) church, feudal, pat riarchy, guild system * Commercial (beginning to be) Production for profit rather than subsistence In subsistence, peasants ate 80%, church got 10%, sold the rest. Global commerm was a st rong stimulus to production for profit. Hanseatic league- 1 st trade network; association of merchants at Baltic Sea controlling trade grew to powerful organization of 150 cities, independent city-states ruled by merchants. The league had its own Navy, Army, and established bases as far away as Russia to London. Extended far inland as well. Traded almost anything, fur, manufactured goods, etc. N & W. Europe is one big economic blob. Old W. Civiilization definition excluding non-Europe is wrong. Africa- wool textiles, wine, dye, gold, and salt. Europeans were looking for another way of transportation, so they would sail down Africa, maybe discover Canaries, etc. and set up trade. Uninhabited lands were in need of labor… slave trade origins....
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- Spring '08