Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Wednesday, November 10, 2021

In a time of great powers and empires, just one region of the world experienced extraordinary economic growth. How?


Alternate links: Google News | Twitter

How and why did the modern world and its unprecedented prosperity begin? Learned tomes by historians, economists, political scientists and other scholars fill many bookshelves with explanations of how and why the process of modern economic growth or the Great Enrichment' exploded in western Europe in the 18th century. One of the oldest and most persuasive explanations is the long political fragmentation of Europe. For centuries, no ruler had ever been able to unite Europe the way the Mongols and the Mings had united China.


Admin's note: Participants in this discussion must follow the site's moderation policy. Profanity will be filtered. Abusive conduct is not allowed.

Simple. Theft.

#1 | Posted by LegallyYourDead at 2021-11-10 05:53 PM | Reply

1000 years of European terrorism.

#2 | Posted by fresno500 at 2021-11-10 08:40 PM | Reply

And counting.

#3 | Posted by fresno500 at 2021-11-10 11:01 PM | Reply

It is what it is. Certainly theft, mixed in with some genocide - literal and cultural, among other things - nothing they didn't do among themselves for far longer. I think it is because of the mix of cultures that developed in Europe vs other places as outlined in the article. There were other greater civilizations but they all fell apart - usually due to decline and some barbarous invader. Other areas never rose too far - the America's never seen the invention of the wheel for example... So there is probably quite a bit of truth to the incessant warfare and competition. Bottom line IMHO though is enough Europeans were adventurous and ruthless with just enough smart people willing to challenge religious indoctrination.

#4 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2021-11-11 09:11 AM | Reply

American's didn't see the wheel because other than a few llamas they had no beasts of burden thus they saw no need for it... other than on a toy.

Horses originally domesticated by Asiatic peoples were reintroduced to the Americas by Europeans.
Often they lived in the same buildings with their farm animals and developed diseases the Natives had no immunity to. That's what killed them. Still, the Americas had their share of empires rising and falling before the Europeans.
That being said.

Empires usually rot from within and when economic disparity divides loyalties.

In terms of Economics, China has had a couple of bad centuries is all. They are usually on top and seem headed for a return. The reason their population is so huge is their past success. Same with India.

#5 | Posted by RightisTrite at 2021-11-11 09:35 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

They f**k too much is why their population is so huge. FIFY.

#6 | Posted by Effeteposer at 2021-11-11 10:46 AM | Reply

So there is probably quite a bit of truth to the incessant warfare and competition.

#4 | POSTED BY GALAXIEPETE AT 2021-11-11 09:11 AM | FLAG:

Lack of cavalry until it was introduced side by side with the wheel. As great as native Americans got with horsemanship, they're not ---- compared to steppe cultures whom have been at it for centuries.

#7 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2021-11-11 11:41 AM | Reply

and Europe had relatively great metallurgical technology despite the misleading "dark ages". It's the "dark ages" because it wasn't a Roman slave empire. That produced some military cultures that punched above their economic weight. The UK produced longbow men that were trained from so young it deformed their hands. It produced hundreds of years of naval advancements and the most concentrated maritime culture in history.

#8 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2021-11-11 11:49 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Have you noticed that steam is suspiciously white?

#9 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2021-11-11 05:31 PM | Reply

It's the "dark ages" because it wasn't a Roman slave empire

It's the "Dark Ages" because there's very little illumination in the form of written documents to help us piece together the history of the time.

#10 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-11-11 05:32 PM | Reply

The earliest Americans ate their first batch of horses into extinction. Maybe they were more like zebras or other "undomesticatable" equines. Anyways, the Spaniards returned them.

I know history is largely whitewashed but, the truth is Europeans didn't "bring civilization" to North America. Google "Mound Builders" in North America.

Empires come and go. The Afro/Euro/Asia diaspora one we now have is just brought another round to this continent's loooooooooooong @$$ history of "advanced civilizations".

Euros need to get over themselves.

#11 | Posted by RightisTrite at 2021-11-11 07:15 PM | Reply

#14 - You are right, the earliest Americans had a civilization. But to suggest it was on par with the Europeans' when the Spaniards first started arriving is absurd. The Native Americans were still in the stone age. They did not know how to build conquering armies -- they fought as mindless (admittedly idealistic) savagery, not organized like the Spaniards. They Spaniards mastered metallurgy and as such could build armor. They had the best shipmaking facilities and shipbuilders in the world. They had organized armies and navies with leadership. They mastered animal husbandry. They had advanced agricultural techniques. They were beginning to understand the workings of the cosmos at that time. They had cavalry. The Europeans had a long established written language, whereas the Native Americans never had one. The Europeans could make paper to record history with this written language.

I could keep going on, but although the Native Americans of the 16th century had a civilization, it was neolithic and in no way could be compared the the Europeans of the same era.

At best, it is debatable that the Europeans brought civilization to the New World But it's undeniable that they brought technologies and knowledge that quickly advanced the existing civilization,

#12 | Posted by jakester at 2021-11-11 07:39 PM | Reply

Guns, Germs and Steel is a theory proposed by Jared Diamond in his book: Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies. The book was also made into an interesting multi-episode TV documentary.

In conclusion, Diamond argues, the differences between different peoples and societies of the world are largely attributable to geographic differences between different regions of the world. In certain parts of the world, humans began pursuing agriculture because the fertile soil and temperate climate made agriculture a good use of time and resources. Agricultural societies then gained tremendous advantages over non-agricultural societies, because the increase in leisure time enabled people to develop technologies and centralized political structures, and the proximity to animals gave people immunities to deadly diseases. As a result, some societies were able to conquer others.

A summary of his theory/book is available here:

#13 | Posted by FedUpWithPols at 2021-11-12 11:58 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#10 | POSTED BY SNOOFY AT 2021-11-11 05:32 PM | FLAG:

You'll never make it as a progressive historian. It was an abundance of records produced by a slave empire. They started producing an abundance of records again with imperialist monarchies that became massive slave empires.

#14 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2021-11-12 02:07 PM | Reply

"But to suggest it was on par with the Europeans' when the Spaniards first started arriving is absurd."

Nobody suggested it was "on par."

In some ways it was better. In some ways it was worse.

Your uplift mythology is just that, mythology. The part where the uplift killed 90% of the native population is completely ignored. And why shouldn't it be?

#15 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-11-12 02:15 PM | Reply

Your uplift mythology is just that, mythology. The part where the uplift killed 90% of the native population is completely ignored. And why shouldn't it be?

Neil deGrasse Tyson has entered the chat.

#16 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2021-11-12 04:57 PM | Reply

Comments are closed for this entry.

Home | Breaking News | Comments | User Blogs | Stats | Back Page | RSS Feed | RSS Spec | DMCA Compliance | Privacy | Copyright 2022 World Readable

Drudge Retort