Western civilization Rise and Diffusion
Western Civilization primarily covers European history ranging from the middle of the 17th century to the post world wars era. It was the period that was shaped by certain philosophies and ideologies such as conservatism, liberalism and liberalism and feminism. Conservatism during the western civilization entailed promoting traditional social institutions including their culture and civilization. The capitalism concept was born during the rise of trade with the emergence of banking families and merchants. Liberalism, on the other hand, advocated for the individual freedom from oppressive and undue influence imposed by the state that could deter someone, thoughts or actions. Feminism was marked by social movements, ideologies and political movements that shared common goals in the bid to establish social equality of sexes. Western civilization rise and diffusion were greatly impacted by conservatism, liberalism and capitalism and feminism that shaped how people interacted among themselves as well as their relationships with the state.
The philosophy of conservatism finds its roots in the rebellion to the French Revolution. Edmund Burke was singled out as the advocator of the conservatism philosophy. The conservatives as viewed through the eyes of Burke saw the revolution as wicked and reckless, and they were against any attempt to transform the society (Bourke, 2018). Instead, they argued for the preservation of traditional systems including aristocracy, monarchy and church institutions. According to the embracers of conservatism, these institutions ensured order and provided proper values to prevent mob rule. The conservatives viewed it as a philosophy that shaped civilization. As a result, they supported social disability and warned against revolutionary violence in the bid to pursue utopian principles. From the conservatism’s position, society was like a living organism, and any attempt to tamper with it will lead to its death. As such, the western civilization was characterized by a firm adherence to religious ideologies and nationally-defined customs, believes and cultures.
Liberalism and Capitalism
Liberalism, unlike conservatism advocates for the personal freedom and protection of individual rights. Even though the liberals recognizes and appreciates the role of government in protecting people’s rights, it also acknowledges that the government is the threat to the individual’s freedom. Liberalism originates from the Western culture and is based on two preoccupations; individuality and practice of adversarial in the political and economic sphere (Alexander, 2015). It promoted individuality by recognizing the importance of human individuality including their isolation from community or group to give them freedom from strict customs, authority, and law. The liberalism also gave rise to the political and economic competition whereby people could compete through electoral contests, political parties, and trade giving rise to different types of market economies. However, the political competition was not adopted in western civilization until the early 19th century since people never believed that the government needed opposition.
The role of liberalism in western civilization was mainly due to its belief of adversarial and the conviction that people are rational beings who can settle their political differences through compromise and dialogue. The liberalism played a fundamental role in the 20th century in solving political wars and finding solutions to a disagreement between nations (Alexander, 2015). For example, the ideology of liberalism influenced the creation of the League of Nations, International Court of Justice and United Nations to resolve conflicts between nations. The organizations like International Criminal of Justice are also responsible for seeking justice for the crimes community against humanity. Regardless of the liberalism contribution in advancing individual rights, it is viewed by many as a threat to democracy (Alexander, 2015). Governments are usually created through the democratic process whereby the leaders elected by the majority takes the country leadership. On the other hand, liberalism focus on meeting the interests of unpopular minorities. Nevertheless, liberalism during the western civilization era was important in ensuring equality including protecting the rights of all people in the society irrespective of their social class.
The emergence and growth of capitalism in Europe went almost with the same phase as liberalism. The side by side growth of the two concepts could be because it was hard for capitalism to develop without the liberation of society by the state. Capitalism was born amid political disputes in the region. Its success in the conservatism dominated society was because its principles and rules that were not imposed on people (Beckert, 2013). Capitalism also motivated people to participate in valuable activities. When coupled with its success, it was always seen as the most crucial factor. As such, it has been impactful in shaping western civilization for the last 200 years. For example, through capitalism classical and liberal concepts were developed.
The start and spread of capitalism throughout Europe is directly linked to the decentralization that was characterized by a mosaic of kingdoms, ecclesiastical domains, city-states, principalities and political entities (Beckert, 2013). For example, states like Italy, Germany, and France enjoyed many small legislative jurisdictions. The presence of many jurisdictions made it possible to localize economic policies. As a result, people could easily move to the neighboring economy if the current one became oppressive. The regions that employed liberal economic policies were more successful than others which decided to remain conservative. With economic prosperity, the entrepreneurial lords and rulers were interested in growing revenues. Therefore, they advanced the concept of capitalism further by attracting other players through privileges, freedoms and franchises grants. The trend in economic sphere led to political concessions and later grew to self-government. In the end, capitalism became a European pattern before spreading in other parts of the world.
The rise and evolution of feminism were influenced by the need to have equality in sexes. The first feminism movements were witnessed in the 19th and 20th centuries (Swank & Fahs, 2017). Women wanted access to the same opportunities as men, and particularly right to vote. Feminism agitation in pursuing women rights gave rise to the women’s suffrage movement. Following the series of political movements, the declaration was drafted in 1848 that allowed women to vote, equality in education and same treatment under the law, but it was not until 1848 when a woman would be allowed to vote. However, the fight for women rights did not end with the 1848 declaration as in 1960s women would come with another wave that demanded the reproductive-based rights, domestic violence, sexuality, and equal employment opportunities. The 1960s crusade was mainly aimed at securing civil rights for all irrespective of the individual’s sex. Later feminism wave would come in the 1990s when women fought for the power, and as such, they greatly featured in music and politics.
Conservatism, liberalism and capitalism and feminism are some of the major philosophical ideologies that featured in western civilization. The above concepts shaped early culture either positively or negatively. For example, conservatism had negative effects on civilization since it derailed individual growth that could lead to economic empowerment and political development. Liberalism and capitalism laid crucial marks in progressing western civilization including its spread to other regions out of Europe. Finally, feminism was driven by the need to create equality, and this was achieved by the series of waves that were carried by women through movements.