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ECONOMICS - Essay Example

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Name of the Student History and Political Science Name of the Teacher 14 November 2013 HIS-102: WESTERN CIVILIZATION II There is no denying the fact that the Western Europe and the Eastern Europe are akin to two identical twins, who owing to a particular quirk of influences, ideologies and circumstances, grew up to be so dissimilar, unlike and disparate…
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Download file to see previous pages It will be indeed an insightful experience to delve on the ideologies and factors that made the Western Europe the crucible of economic development, social welfare and political liberalism, while pushing the Eastern Europe in the background, marred by economic underdevelopment, large scale dearth and poverty and pervasive autocratic regimes. The good thing is that one could readily identify a series of salient influences responsible for such massive differences in these two land masses. However, it is not strictly possible to arrange these events and influences in a sharp and certain chronological arrangement because many of them tend to overlap each other. Hence, in an academic scenario, the disparities between what is known as the Western Civilization and its twin brother, the Eastern Europe are to a large extent the progeny of a range of influences and events like the Industrial Revolution, the interplay of capitalism and communism, the Soviet Revolution, the Great Depression, World War II, Cold War, Globalization, to name just a few. Industrial Revolution indeed happened to be a turning point in the history of 19th century Europe. However, the historical literature is replete with conjectures as to what made the Industrial Revolution have such a widespread sway in the Western Europe and North America, while it left the Eastern Europe largely untouched. Industrial Revolution that began in Britain soon spread across Western Europe and North America. One plausible reason why the Industrial Revolution had its genesis in the Western Europe is the cultural and economic influences of Renaissance that left the Western Europe in possession of the requisite capital and the popular mindset required to fuel it (Stearns 5). In contrast the Eastern Europe largely remained bereft of such influences. Besides, the Western Europe was less stymied by autocratic regimes, absolute monarchies and political instability, unlike the Eastern Europe, which allowed the Western nations to dedicate their efforts and resources to the task of fomenting economic growth and development (Stearns 54). Contrary to this the Eastern Europe evinced much political instability in the times which if given a change could have drastically altered its economy and culture. The socio-political environment of the 19th century Western Europe was amply conducive for the technological breakthroughs that fueled the Industrial Revolution (Stearns 44). Besides, the influx of the Industrial Revolution in the Western Europe gave way to a propitious cycle that led to widespread alterations in the cultural norms and values, making the West European nations more egalitarian, progressive and forward looking. Yet, this was not the case with Eastern Europe that largely remained parochial, insulated and agricultural, failing to open up its gates to the influences that were altering its Western sibling. The other big factor that stimulated the Industrial Revolution in the Western Europe was the fact that the nations in this region happened to be dominant colonizing powers that had under their sway many colonies that furnished the much needed resources and raw materials required to support the ongoing Industrial Revolution (Stearns 36). In contrast the East European nations had no record of being colonizing powers, a factor that could have made them look for inspiration beyond their borders. The other big fa ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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