Factors Which Have Accelerated the Spread of European Culture throughout the World – Term Paper Example
Guns, Germs and Steel Culture is people’s way of life that encompasses religion, norms, behavior and event the language. Culture defines one group of people from another (Diamond & Ordunio 4). Although different culture might share a few similarities, the differences are more conspicuous than one can imagine. Since the history of civilization, there have existed cultural rifts and supremacy battle all over the world. Each community in the world attempts to proclaim its culture to be the best. The Europeans, for instance, have been more concerned with spreading their culture all over the world. Historians state that the battle of Culture is dominated by the Western world (Diamond & Ordunio 6). This implies that the Europeans have won the race or the urge to spread ones culture in different spheres of the world. This is evident from the way the greater part of the world has welcomed and embraced western mannerism from religion, clothing and their languages. Various social and cultural factors have hastened the expansion and diffusion of the European culture across the world.
The Europeans always felt that they owned a powerful religion that needed to be spread and embraced by everybody in the world (Diamond 4). They viewed other religions as ungodly and evil. They considered themselves closer to God and saw the need to make others join the bandwagon. They, therefore, began the spread of Christianity through crusades in other continents of the world like Africa, Asia, and the South American lands. As they converted the indigenous people to Christianity, they interacted and influenced the way of lives of these people to be like theirs. The locals adopted their religions and the greater part of their cultures.
In the era of the industrial revolution, the European came out in protest of slavery and slave trade (Diamond & Ordunio 24). There were many human rights activists from Europe, who were against slavery. They advocated for emancipation of slaves that were being used in the American continents, Africa and parts of Asia. Adam Smith, one of the activists and an economist, preached for equality (Diamond 23). The church and the clergy from the Western world saw it that since the gospel treated all equal; there was a need for that to be effected all over the world. They thus made efforts that were tremendous in abolishing slavery. The enslaved communities saw the Europeans as more humane and regarded them as friends since they were working to liberate them forced labor and abuse (Diamond & Ordunio 4). Therefore, there were instances where the enslaved communities interacted freely with the Western world and even collaborated with them and adopted their cultures.
The Western world has always been known to be a very prestigious group. They carry out activities to assert a higher social status than other races (Diamond 14). This is a genuine case that occurred in 13th Century when the spread of their culture had just begun. The Europeans saw their culture to be the best and the most supreme. They perceived themselves as more of human beings than other races. The urge to spread their culture on prestigious grounds thus increased.
As the Europeans worked hard to counter the spread of Islam, they ended up interacting with other races (Diamond & Ordunio 31). Islam was spreading very fast in Africa and Asia and was steadily becoming a threat to Christianity. Therefore, they were prompted to travel to these lands and establish schools and churches that acted as principal agents of spreading Christianity. The schools and the education setup that was designated by the Europeans aimed at ‘civilizing’ the indigenous people and transform their ways to that of the Western world. In the end, many people adopted the culture of the Europeans as a result of the schooling system and the churches that were set up to counter the influence of Islam.
It is of great importance that Diamond includes both culture and geography in his book (Diamond & Ordunio 11). These are two integral parts that describe the history of civilization of any group. The importance of culture cannot be overlooked. Culture identifies a person and isolates him or her from the rest. In other words, culture is one big family that we share and provides a sense of belonging. History is not complete with culture, Cultural Revolution, and evolution. Ideally, the social factors that prompted the colonization of other countries by the Europeans are anchored in the culture. Culture also designated the relationship codes in a society.
Geography is as well as important as culture. In fact, they are coherent. Culture is more tied to geographical zones. The culture of those living in Europe is different from the culture of those in Asia because they are geographically apart (Diamond & Ordunio 89). Distance affects the spread and speed of cultural transmission. The dominance of Europeans as from the 13th Century has for a long time been attributed to strategic geographical location. The Europeans are relatively situated on a continent that is vast with resources giving them a head start against other leaders. Therefore, Diamond ought to have included this aspect in his discussion.
In conclusion, the paper has looked at the social and cultural factors that catalyzed the spread and the dominance of European culture. Also, significant and addressed in the essay is the reason Diamond should have included culture and geography in his book, Guns, Germs, and Steel.
Diamond, Jared M., and Doug Ordunio. Guns, germs, and steel. National Geographic, 2005.
Diamond, Jared. "Guns, Germs, and Steel." New Уотк (1990)