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Eventually, when the rest of Europe became a solid, cultural entity at the end of the Middle Ages, it was no surprise that the Byzantine Empire did not survive since it had failed to hold true to its core values and, eventually, the Empire officially ended upon conquest by the Ottomans.
Islamic Golden Age
The Islamic Golden Age is also called the Islamic Renaissance and its generally thought of as ranging from the 8th century to the 13th century (Kraemer). During this period, Muslim engineers, scholars, traders, philosophers, poets, artists, laborers, scientists, and princes created a culture that thrived and grew in many areas and would have an influence upon future societies around the globe (Turner). It is no wonder then that the people were greatly committed to the pursuit of knowledge. Additionally, Islamic scholars gathered information from all over the world and translated it. In fact, many Muslim philosophers sought humanistic, rational, and scientific discourses in their quest for knowledge; and, it is therefore not surprising that medieval Islam was open to humanistic notions of individualism, liberalism, religious freedom, and cross-cultural exchange. At the same time that knowledge expanded within the Empire so did agriculture. Moreover, the first market economy in the form of merchant capitalism was formed alongside with innovations which helped to enhance the innovation and growth of the time. For example, Muslim engineers demonstrated their innovation by coming up with industrial uses of hydropower as well as the first industrial uses of tidal power, wind power, steam power and fossil fuels (Hassan).
Despite the forward-thinking leadership and the innovative work that occurred during this age, the Islamic civilization eventually fell. While there is no consensus as to the precise reason for its fall, there are many individuals whom believe that it may have been one or more of the following disruptions in overall management and organization of the empire itself: (1) political mismanagement, (2) movement in thought toward imitation as opposed to continuing to demonstrate innovation, (3) reduction in tolerance of different ideas, (4) foreign invasion and attack, (4) inability to rebuild institutions destroyed in war, (5) increased illiteracy rates (Saliba).
The Crusades marked a time in History during wherein a mandate by a religious leader turned into years of bitter violence. In 1095, Pope Urban II announced the First Crusade in order to regain control of the Holy Land. For years to come, many lives would be lost in the name of religion. In fact, there were seven major crusades between the eleventh century and the end of the thirteenth century. As a result of the Pope's initial declaration of war, over time, respect for the papacy declined and, unfortunately, the policy of attack against Muslims took hold around the world in areas such as Spain and Eastern Europe (History World).
12th Century Renaissance
The Twelfth Century Renaissance was an internationalist movement characterized by such things as wandering scholars travelling from country to country developing their own genre of poetry (Sommerville). This Renaissance included social, political and economic transformations as well as an intellectual revitalization of Western Europe. Some believe that this Renaissance was a precursor which paved the way for the later European Renaissance of the 15th Century. Indeed from this Renaissance, Europe benefitted in the form of new insititutions of higher education, providing innovative techniques of thought and speech, and coming up with fresh approached to ancient problems of philosophy and theology (Encylopedia Brit.).
European Gothic Period and Renaissance
The Gothic Period grew out from the Romanesque Period in the mid-12th century as the increasing wealth and prosperity of the period caused new commercial centers to spring up. During this time, mercantile interests sponsored the construction of beautiful cathedrals which influenced artistic innovation throughout Europe. The Gothic style is characterized by a pointed arch called a lancet.
The Fifteenth Century European Renaissance was a cultural movement from the fourteenth century to the seventeenth century that begun in Florence, Italy and then spread amongst Europe. On a cultural level, it signaled a rebirth of learning as well as gradual educational reform throughout Europe. During this time period, people turned toward their past and tried to understand classical works as well as Christianity itself. There was a rise in realism amongst artists who used light and perspective in a more natural vein; likewise, philosophers sought to portray political life as it really was and to actually understand it on a rational level. The change in mindset affected the political structure and management of the European people. For instance, Italy did not exist as one large entity; instead, it was broken into small city-states and its cities stood alongside ancient buildings. Italy seemed to have freed itself from Feudalism and had based its society upon merchants and commerce while others let go of monarchial orientation (Skinner).
17th Century Scientific Revolution
During the Scientific Revolution of the Seventeenth Century two fundamental ideas influenced how individuals viewed the world. First, they adhered to the notion that the universe and everything within the universe works according to the laws of nature which are set by the Divine Being. The Divine Being does not work at random, instead the Being holds to the "management theory" that it is his job to make things work in an orderly and regular fashion.
Furthermore, the law of nature may be discovered through reason. Thus, if we care to understand how the world actually works we must observe it with a lens of reason. As a result of the foregoing conclusion, in these regions, it was thought that everyone had the ability to make choices, obey laws, and adhere to moral standards (Scientific).
The Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th Centuries brought about change in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and power. In England, changes were being made to move from manual labor and draft-animal labor to machine-based manufacturing. Trade routes provided for expansion of exchange. In capitalist economies, the Industrial Revolution began an era where per-capital income rose. In analyzing why the revolution occurred, some believe that the British made advancements because there was an entrepreneurial class and this class believed in progress, technology and hard work; or, in other words, they possessed the Protestant work ethic. Information also was exchanged rather rapidly due to the network of informal philosophical societies. Furthermore, magazines and periodicals describing technology began in the early 1800's. Additionally, the middle class of industrialists and businessmen triumphed over the land owning nobles. While many effects were positive, it must be noted that there is a downside to this seemingly positive model of growth and…[continue]
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