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World History – European Dominance


What factors accounted for the rather sudden rise of Europe to world dominance? How was this small region was able to transform immensely larger portions of the world and to maintain its commanding position for so long?

The rather sudden rise of Europe to world dominance was able to transform immensely larger portions of the world and even then maintained its commanding position for quite a long long

There have been many interpretations with different factors being responsible

Parts of Europe had already developed capitalist institutions by the end of the Middle Ages, and the colonial age saw a further rapid development of capitalism in the region. Profit became a highly acceptable motive, and the relative freedom of action afforded by the capitalistic system provided opportunities for gaining wealth by taking risks. Energetic entrepreneurs found it possible to mobilize capital into large companies and to exploit both European and overseas labour. Such ventures often involved unscrupulous, illegal, or even barbaric practices, and these led to increasing regulation by governments as time went on. But the sheer energy and ingenuity exhibited by Europeans in pursuit of profits under the system of capitalism is a major explanation for the world dominance that Europe achieved.

By the end of the Middle Ages, the Europeans had reached a level of technology generally superior to that of non-Europeans with whom they came in contact during the early Age of Discovery. In particular, their achievements in shipbuilding, navigation, and the manufacture and handling of artillery gave them decided advantages in seeking out new lands to exploit and establishing themselves there. With the passage of time, European technology contin­ued to develop at an increasing pace, and the technological gap between Europe and most other areas widened.

Europe’s scientific prowess must was one explanation for the region’s rise to world dominance. Technology is partly ap­plied science, and the foundations of modern science were being constructed almost entirely in Europe during the centuries when Euro­pean influence was becoming paramount. Un­til recently, the great names of science have been overwhelmingly the names of Europe­ans; as late as World War II, the development’ of atomic fission in the United States was car­ried out by a team comprised largely of prom­inent refugee European scientists.

The aggressive confidence of Europeans in the superiority of their own lifestyle, culture and civilization is another explanation that has been offered for Euro­pean success. Abundant proof exists that such feelings were very prevalent and were often coupled with a strong sense of a mission to bring European culture to peoples and lands beyond the seas. Europeans often displayed great zeal in propagating their own ideas and institutions among alien peoples.

Questions, suggestions and comments


  1. Profile photo of Bala Bagathsingh Bala Bagathsingh

    sir/medam, can you give this type of comprehensive notes as PDF format???… if it is published as PDF format, it will be very useful for us… Thank you.

    1. Profile photo of Confused Billi Confused Billi

      Most of the written notes are available on PDFs at the online store. You will have to buy them. Compilations will be released from time to time – if you are a student of our TS, then you get these for FREE.

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