According to Daly (2013), Western civilizations can be defined as the beneficiary of preceding civilizations that originated from the Mediterranean region. Daly (2013) further note that Western Civilization as the accumulation of social, political, economic, and intellectual traditions that have developed for over 5000years since the emergence of the first civilization. In the modern times, Western Civilization is essentially observed as centering in the Western Europe, Australasia among other societies in the Western Hemisphere. Arguably, Western civilization has spread to become a dominant culture of the modern America, Europe, Africa and Asia. The civilization has had immense influence in the entire globe for many years. In this paper we analyze the rise and fall of the whole Western Civilization.
The rise of the whole western civilization
Western Civilization can strongly be associated with former Western Roman Empire and the medieval western Christendom that emerged from the feudalism to experience transformative historical episodes like the renaissance, the enlightenment, the reformation, industrial revolution, as well as, the liberal democracy. According to Pavlac (2011), the antique Near Eastern Civilizations formed a strong foundation for the Western Civilization. This civilization founded the first cities and made remarkable achievements in writing, architecture, engineering, and practice science. Pavlac (2011) these civilizations contributed the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim religious traditions to the West. Nonetheless, a more basic outlook and philosophy that neat Western Culture was first realized after 1000BC in Medieval Greece. Pavlac (2011) also indicates that the Greeks borrowed much from Mediterranean civilizations. Pavlac (2011) further argues that the Greeks reorganized there inheritance and came up with a brilliant civilization. After the Greeks were the Romans who dominated people in the Mediterranean area and assimilated the Greek civilization. The Romans introduced more new ideas into the institutions, more so in the governance, politics, and law. The together formed Greco-Roman Civilization which is direct to the western civilization.
According to Karnick (2007), at the end of the third century, the emperor Diocletian divided a dilapidating Roman Empire into two (East and West) as a restructuring measure. Unfortunately, the Western Roman Empire crumbled gradually in the fifth century and destroyed the unity of the Mediterranean civilization. Duchesne (2011) argues that the eastern and the southern shores became a section of the Arab Empire that established Muslim Civilization. Duchesne (2011) further indicates that the Eastern Roman Empire which had its capital at Constantinople, established itself as the Byzantine Empire and formed its own distinct civilization, with Christian as its religion, Roman political culture, and Greek in language. Duchesne (2011) notes that Byzantine civilization significantly influenced the Eastern Europe, Slavic People from Russia, as well as, the Latin and Germanic people from the West.
Duchesne (2011) indicates that after the fall of Rome, the Germanic people of Europe merged with the people from the Western Roman Empire. The German developed their institutions, culture even though they were slowly assimilated into the inheritance of the Mediterranean civilizations. The problems associated with absorbing the Roman inheritance, integrating Germans and Latin as well as accepting the doctrines of Christianity tormented the Western Europeans for more than six years (Duchesne 2011). The end product of this fusion was the creation of a western identity across Europe which was entrenched in Catholic Christendom. Karnick (2007) further argues that at the same period when the Western civilization was on the rise there were other civilizations that were coming up in the Far East in Japan, India and China.
According to Karnick (2007), notwithstanding a dynamic early establishment, all the three civilizations existed within an agrarian village economic system. Karnick (2007) argues that this is the economic system that eventually put these civilizations into distinct disadvantage with the Europeans. Arguably, by 16th century, the European civilization had developed a capitalist trade economy and had started to experiment with mechanical and scientific inventions that would aid them to expand their influence to the entire world. According to Pavlac (2011), this globalization dimension of the west resulted to cross culture exchanges which enriched the western civilization. Nonetheless, it resulted to conflicts that continue to haunt it to present. In keeping with Pavlac (2011), this legacy of the past has made comprehension of the western civilization’s origin and its background exceptionally important. Pavlac (2011) argues that no scholar has ever offered a thorough and satisfactory explanation of the emergence of western civilization. In addition, many author caution; it is paramount to recognize that western civilization can not be viewed as a unit.
Fall of the whole western civilization
In keeping with Karnick (2007), Western Civilization has been challenges by several societies in the West. Karnick (2007) states that one such challenge can be noted from the immigrants from different civilizations who rejected assimilation and continue to instill and propagate the customs, values, and cultures of their societies. As such, this phenomenon has been notable among the Muslims in Europe; nonetheless, this is just small minority. According to Karnick (2007), in Europe, Western Civilization could be destabilized by the declining of Christianity which has been focal component. According to Karnick (2007) the dilapidating proportions of Europeans professing religious beliefs, participate in religious activities, and observe religious practices.
According to Duchesne (2011), this trend does not reflect much on aggression to religion as unresponsiveness to it. Duchesne (2011) also indicates that Christian concepts, practices, and values also pervade Western civilization. Duchesne (2011) notes that Swedes are most likely the most unreligious among the western nations although their social practices, politics, families and their way of life are essentially Lutheran heritage. The erosion of Christianity among the westerns can be seen as the worst threat to the health of the western civilization.
Daly, J. (2013). The Rise of Western Power a Comparative History of Western Civilization. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.
Duchesne, R. (2011). The uniqueness of Western civilization. Leiden Boston: Brill.
Karnick S. (2007). The Two Streams of Western Civilization Review Article. Orbis, Volume 51, Issue 1, Pages 174-187
Pavlac, B. (2011). A concise survey of western civilization supremacies and diversities throughout history. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield.