Western Civilization Essay

Words: 1417
Pages: 6

Western Civilization: Beginnings to Present Although Western culture has been defined by both Christian and secular values across the course of time, the West’s primary goal is to achieve economic supremacy, using Christian and secular philosophies, as well as colonization and technological innovation as means to achieve this goal. Of the features that define western culture, the most unique is democracy. Originating in ancient Athens, democracy created a sense of pride in one’s government which, in later centuries, would evolve into nationalism. In Athens, democracy allowed the people to have a say in their government, furthering the unification of their empire and thus strengthening it. Out of this democratic world came many of the …show more content…
As the Catholic Church continued down this path of non-Christian ideas including penance, a devote monk by the name of Luther sought to put the church back onto the path of Christ. This however was not favorable for the Church’s income and they eventually excommunicated Luther from their church. Luther was not about to give up however and his ideas spread quickly with the development of the printing press shortly before, weakening the Catholic Church’s grip on the citizens. This combined with the reunification of Europe and their Roman history, led the people of Europe to a more questioning mindset, further weakening the Church, and eventually leading them to the enlightenment. The enlightenment is the period in western history from the early 1600s through the 1700s as the medieval church worldview’s stepped aside for revolutions in science, politics and philosophy. The Enlightenment was a time when the opinions and ideas of the Church, which were formally in charge of both the economy and the government of Europe, were challenged through a more secular point of view brought about by the scientific revolution and integration of foreign cultures by the age of exploration. The secular beliefs of the enlightenment were more beneficial for European economic affairs in the High Middle Ages because, with the age of exploration underway, there was many foreign ideas entering Europe and