The Rise of the West

The Rise of the West: A History of the Human Community
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Cultural Growth and Interchange Art Religion 3.

Political and Social Framework 2. Eastern Mediterranean, Iran, and Central Asia 3. The Great Migrations 2. Political and Social 2. The Moslem Heartlands 2. The Struggle for Political Order 3.

The Expansion of Western Europe 4. The High Middle Ages 5.

The Rise of the West

Acculturation in the Older Outliers of Europe: Ottoman Reform and Christian Rebellion 2. Iran and Turkestan 3. Disintegration of the Mogul Empire in India 4.

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Islam in Africa and Southeast Asia D. The Democratic Revolution 4.

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Artistic and Intellectual Aspects C. The Changing Shape and Style of the Ecumene 2. The Moslem World 3. Other Parts of the World. For more information, or to order this book, please visit https: Twitter Facebook Youtube Tumblr. Even more remarkable, the economic energy of Europe began to shift away from the great commercial centers of northern Italy and toward the periphery of civilization in northwestern Europe.

The barbarians, it seemed, had somehow stumbled onto the secret of economic progress.

The Rise of the West: A History of the Human Community by William Hardy McNeill

Henceforth, despite many setbacks, the western Europeans — and later their colonial cousins in North America as well — steadily pulled ahead of the human pack. By the 18th century they had far surpassed the Chinese, not to speak of the world's more backward peoples, and until the late 20th century the gap continued to widen.

How did the West succeed in generating sustained economic progress? Historians and social scientists have offered various hypotheses, and so far no single explanation has gained general acceptance. Nevertheless, certain elements of an answer have received wide agreement. The growing individualism of Western culture, rooted in Christian doctrine, seems to have contributed significantly.

Fundamental to that sustained dynamism was the gradually improving status of private-property rights. So long as people cannot count on a reasonable prospect of reaping the fruits of their efforts and investments, they have little or no incentive to work hard or to accumulate physical, human, and intellectual capital.

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And without such accumulation, no ongoing economic progress is possible. More reliable private-property rights did not just drop from heaven, however. For the most part, the merchants acquired the protection of such rights by paying off the robber barons and aspiring kings who constituted the fragmented ruling stratum of western Europe.

A History of the Human Community

The Rise of the West: A History of the Human Community is a book by University of Chicago historian William H. McNeill, first published in and enlarged. The Rise of the West, winner of the National Book Award for history in , is famous for its ambitious scope and intellectual rigor. In it, McNeill challenges the .

In the extreme, the merchants established political independence in city states where they could exercise complete control over the legal institutions that undergirded their economic activities. Later, Bruges, Antwerp, Amsterdam, and London took the lead. A town's own militia stood ready to defend it against threats to its politico-economic autonomy. To facilitate their business, the merchants developed their own legal system. Intended to provide quick, cheap, and fair resolution of commercial disputes, this lex mercatoria established institutions and precedents that have survived to the present, and it now finds expression in a vast system of alternative nonstate dispute resolution in arbitration proceedings.