REFLECTION ESSAY HIEU 201
The western civilization fits the description of the majordevelopments that took place in Europe and later spread to America,New Zealand and other parts of the world. This civilization tookplace in the middle ages. It originated in medieval Europe, which hadChristian background whose development as had begun after RomanEmpire fell in 476 AD. Before the fall of Roman Empire, thecivilization could be traced back to Rome and ancient Greece. In thispaper, I will highlight the western civilization by highlighting themajor events associated with this era and possibly pinpoint theirsignificance.
After the Roman Empire had fallen, the westerncivilization was affected on the organizational and literacy aspectsuntil five centuries later. Later on, Christianity regained itsinfluence in the Western Europe during the middle ages as the monksrelentlessly saw its spread. The fall also saw Pope Gregory rise tocontrol military matters, continuity of religion and sources ofpower. Muhammad, who later founded the Muslim religion, was born inthis era (570 AD) and by 622 AD he had become a religious leader inthe medina (Huizinga2014)1.He initiated the spread of Islam and started conquering empires.Christianity and Islam did not coexist peacefully as two religions.However, this seems to have arisen from an event in 1402 wherebyTimur, a Muslim leader conquered Ankara but thought he had been ofhelp to Christians in defeating the Muslim army, which had threatenedthem. He, therefore, demanded Knights to convert or the city to paytributes, on refusal the whole city was destroyed. This seems havebeen the origin of the disagreements and misunderstandings betweenthe two religions.
Machiavelli and the Prince discourses werewritten as early as 1501 but would not be published until 1532. Thesediscourses were essential as learning tools to people while at thesame time conserved history by preserving it in various forms ofwriting, which would be passed down from one generation to the next.The Vikings started launching seaborne raids in Europe but laterjoined conquests Alfred the great later defeated them. Renaissancetook place from the 12thto the 14thcentury, during this era the field of science and art grew greatlyallowing for visualization of ideas and concepts. Culture underwentrebirth to give rise to the classical Greco-Roman forms. Researchersemphasized on PLATOs work regarding some crucial aspects in thesociety. Humanism grew from many aspects such as industrialization,commerce, and trading activities(Huizinga 2014)2.After the people recovered from the plague, they came up with newtechniques to help them survive.
People started believing that church was notthe only source of authority leading to emergence the reformation ofProtestants. This emergence was known as Protestantism and issubstantiated by the fact that people started believing in sciencethan being in what they previously did. Catholics responded to thisreformation in a counter-formation thus reaffirming pope as theleader while at the same time reformed the church from the internalperspective. Martin Luther, who lived from 1483 to 1546, emphasizedthe need of having an interpersonal coexistence with God by havingfaith. He wrote a letter to the church, on the freedom of Christian”.The churches later responded this letter in a document known asExsurge Domine. From 1509 to1564, John Calvin, a French clergy, and a legal representativeintroduced predestination and work ethics in the Protestantdenominations.
Tetzel was a church who was known for hisinvolvement in selling twisted words and other indulgences. He usedto conduct most of his businesses and trades in Germany. He madepeople believe that they could get rid of sin in the current worldand even after death. Such personalities served the purpose ofdestabilizing religion by spreading propagandas, which would misleadthose who believed without questioning. A group of religious leadersstarted meeting to discuss issues of importance. This group ofleaders came to be known as the Council of Trent. Council of Trentmade major changes to the religious doctrine thus alteringperspectives such as faith and salvation. This was between 1545 and1563 when the church was seeking a firmer standpoint against thespread of Protestants(Huizinga2014)3.The outcome of these standoffs was individuals being forced to make achoice between the two denominations. The religious and politicalaspects of Europe became divided over the matter. The St.Bartholomew`s Day Massacre in 1572 saw the death of thousands die inFrance due to religious disagreements in France.
To sum up, we can note that the westerncivilization started some ages back and had continued up to thecurrent day. However, considering how detailed most of these eventsare, highlighting on the essential ones is crucial. Starting from thefalling of the Roman Empire, destabilization, and stabilization ofthe Christianity religion, the feuds between the two religions untilthe renaissance could be considered as crucial. From Renaissanceonwards, we see the emergence of modern art, and the rise ofhumanism, which was coupled with Protestantism.We can also note some important individuals such Martin Luther andhis contributions in church doctrines. These mentioned eventsgenerally characterize the westernization until 1648 from whichperiod one would describe as the start of modernity.
Huizinga, Johan. Menand Ideas: History, the middle ages, the renaissance.Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2014.
1 Huizinga, Johan. Men and Ideas: History, the middle ages, the renaissance. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2014.
2 Huizinga, Johan. Men and Ideas: History, the middle ages, the renaissance. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2014.
3 Huizinga, Johan. Men and Ideas: History, the middle ages, the renaissance. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2014.
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