European Dominance From the Black death?
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11-05-2013, 06:04 PM
RE: European Dominance From the Black death?
(11-05-2013 05:28 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  You make some interesting points and there is no doubt that everything you mentioned was a factor (by biology I am assuming you meant the diseases the Europeans introduced to the Americas).

Here is our problem (as I see it) Europe is unique in the world as being the first center for Industrialisation and world wide Expansion. Regardless of how you feel about the merits of Colonialism the Facts are European Powers are the only World Powers to hold Empires on all 6 habitable continents. Now we know that genetically speaking Europeans are no smarter/more able than any other "race" (with the mapping of the human genome we also know that race is now an out dated model but as of yet it is still a useful meme for classifying groups by location) In looking back through History the Chinese were actually much more advanced than the Europeans until a tipping point roughly around the 1500's. I have seen this ascribed to the invention of the printing press and I can agree that the ready spread of information that Gutenberg's invention facilitated did have a factor but I still maintain that the initial motivation was the aftermath of the Black Death.

1700s, rather... On a per capita basis, Europe only became the richest (read northern France, England, the low countries, and the choicer parts of Germany for 'Europe' here) around the turn of the 19th century. China has its own reasons for stagnating, but India only became comparatively poorer after British rule was consolidated. And that, as I mentioned, could easily have gone the other way - well, not entirely the other way; you'd not be seeing Travancori factories in Plymouth, but the larger Indian states could easily have played a role similar to Japan a century later (or at least Thailand), but for a few veeeeery flukey developments. Give the Empress Elizabeth of Russia just two more years on the throne and EVERYTHING changes!

From what I've studied, and here is where I admit this is SO no my field, the Black Death is just not that pivotal a moment. There were plenty of epidemic disease outbreaks throughout history, and the effects of each were similar. Granted, the first wave of the Plague was (somewhat, but not too drastically) larger, and more widespread, but it wasn't a unique event. It DID come at a time when it accelerated some already-ongoing social and demographic trends, but again, that's accelerated, not caused.

Very interesting topic nonetheless!
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11-05-2013, 06:26 PM
RE: European Dominance From the Black death?
(11-05-2013 06:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(11-05-2013 05:28 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  You make some interesting points and there is no doubt that everything you mentioned was a factor (by biology I am assuming you meant the diseases the Europeans introduced to the Americas).

Here is our problem (as I see it) Europe is unique in the world as being the first center for Industrialisation and world wide Expansion. Regardless of how you feel about the merits of Colonialism the Facts are European Powers are the only World Powers to hold Empires on all 6 habitable continents. Now we know that genetically speaking Europeans are no smarter/more able than any other "race" (with the mapping of the human genome we also know that race is now an out dated model but as of yet it is still a useful meme for classifying groups by location) In looking back through History the Chinese were actually much more advanced than the Europeans until a tipping point roughly around the 1500's. I have seen this ascribed to the invention of the printing press and I can agree that the ready spread of information that Gutenberg's invention facilitated did have a factor but I still maintain that the initial motivation was the aftermath of the Black Death.

1700s, rather... On a per capita basis, Europe only became the richest (read northern France, England, the low countries, and the choicer parts of Germany for 'Europe' here) around the turn of the 19th century. China has its own reasons for stagnating, but India only became comparatively poorer after British rule was consolidated. And that, as I mentioned, could easily have gone the other way - well, not entirely the other way; you'd not be seeing Travancori factories in Plymouth, but the larger Indian states could easily have played a role similar to Japan a century later (or at least Thailand), but for a few veeeeery flukey developments. Give the Empress Elizabeth of Russia just two more years on the throne and EVERYTHING changes!

From what I've studied, and here is where I admit this is SO no my field, the Black Death is just not that pivotal a moment. There were plenty of epidemic disease outbreaks throughout history, and the effects of each were similar. Granted, the first wave of the Plague was (somewhat, but not too drastically) larger, and more widespread, but it wasn't a unique event. It DID come at a time when it accelerated some already-ongoing social and demographic trends, but again, that's accelerated, not caused.

Very interesting topic nonetheless!

As I said this is merely a hypothesis not fact, it does create some interesting conversations however. This is the kind of stuff I love about History, the domino effect of how events influenced the present.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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11-05-2013, 08:05 PM
RE: European Dominance From the Black death?
Just read this article today regarding the plague and how historians believe it might have helped to bring about the downfall of the Roman Empire based on gravesite findings.

http://www.livescience.com/29498-plague-...pid=525412

"Although past studies confirmed this germ was linked with both (Great and Modern plagues) of these catastrophes, much controversy existed as to whether it also caused the Justinianic Plague of the sixth to eighth centuries. This pandemic, named after the Byzantine emperor Justinian I, killed more than 100 million people. Some historians have suggested it contributed to the decline of the Roman Empire."

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
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11-05-2013, 09:47 PM
RE: European Dominance From the Black death?
A point of interest with regard to the Renaissance is that there was a major change in child rearing practices that began in Europe a few generations before. Most notably, the practice of infanticide, especially among girls was drastically reduced. Babies were also swaddled for shorter periods of their infant-hoods, the first known parenting manuals were produced and the first known child welfare laws were codified... albeit not to well enforced.

And then, just a few generations before the Enlightenment, another major shift in child rearing occurred in Europe. Swaddling was largely abandoned, children were not sent out to wet nurses and parents began to focus some attention on their children from infancy, a practice that had previously not been seen.

There are six major child rearing modes history and every time we've seen a nation advance in one of those modes, we've seen technological and industrial development surge in the following generations. Not to mention, we also see a drop in religiosity with each advancement in child rearing.

That said, I don't think the plague had anything at all to do with Europe's advancement throughout the middle ages and later. It may have been a catalyst for improved child rearing and if so, that's its only contribution.

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12-05-2013, 03:48 PM
European Dominance From the Black death?
The renaissance was a result of Europe getting their asses handed to them by the Mongolian empire and many of their ideas influencing Europe.

https://www.google.com/search?q=the+rene...#itp=open0
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12-05-2013, 08:47 PM
RE: European Dominance From the Black death?
(12-05-2013 03:48 PM)I and I Wrote:  The renaissance was a result of Europe getting their asses handed to them by the Mongolian empire and many of their ideas influencing Europe.

https://www.google.com/search?q=the+rene...#itp=open0

Do you have any empirical evidence to cite?

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15-05-2013, 07:42 PM
RE: European Dominance From the Black death?
How The Bubonic Plague Actually Saved Europe In The 14th Century

http://www.businessinsider.com/bubonic-p...z2TPpvEz9x

Lowering the denominator increases the wealth for those "left over". Consider

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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15-05-2013, 08:43 PM
RE: European Dominance From the Black death?
(15-05-2013 07:42 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  How The Bubonic Plague Actually Saved Europe In The 14th Century

http://www.businessinsider.com/bubonic-p...z2TPpvEz9x

Lowering the denominator increases the wealth for those "left over". Consider

How does he account for the increase in banking innovation that sparked the credit boom that caused the increase in wealth that later helped to leave enormous piles of money laying around the dead?

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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15-05-2013, 08:49 PM
RE: European Dominance From the Black death?
(15-05-2013 08:43 PM)bbeljefe Wrote:  
(15-05-2013 07:42 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  How The Bubonic Plague Actually Saved Europe In The 14th Century

http://www.businessinsider.com/bubonic-p...z2TPpvEz9x

Lowering the denominator increases the wealth for those "left over". Consider

How does he account for the increase in banking innovation that sparked the credit boom that caused the increase in wealth that later helped to leave enormous piles of money laying around the dead?

Sorry bb, this is all I could find, the paper is not yet on the web as a pdf like his previous work.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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15-05-2013, 08:54 PM
RE: European Dominance From the Black death?
(15-05-2013 07:42 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  How The Bubonic Plague Actually Saved Europe In The 14th Century

http://www.businessinsider.com/bubonic-p...z2TPpvEz9x

Lowering the denominator increases the wealth for those "left over". Consider

I wish I could remember where he talked about that .. maybe on his England series on PBS. Michael Woods said essentially the same thing. The "clearing out' of so much of the population left a LOT of land for farming by much fewer people, and there are some that think that it had a lot to do with the subsequent rise of the West.

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