The Evolution of Western Civilization



The Evolution of Western Civilization

            The western civilization was established by the European and the Mediterranean communities. The civilization marked the conception of modern day cultures practiced in America and Oceania. The early Middle Ages signified a turbulent time for the Western Civilization as it collapsed culturally. The civilization faced a substantial decline after the fall of the Roman Empire, which, was succeeded by the Catholic Church. This ensued after Rome was removed from power by Alaric the Visigoth in 410 C.E. The trade, political systems, lifestyles and communities deteriorated slowly. During the period from 500-1000 C.E, there was great disorder and chaos. The existence of any formal leadership was local governments within the communities. Citizens lived in houses that were under the control of their proprietors who offered protection in exchange for crops. This system was coined the Manorial system that provided a means of surviving during the war and political tension. The proprietors were part of a greater system that was composed of dominating persons who liaised with lesser lords known as Vassals in a trade, which involved provision of military aid. This type of government system was called Feudalism. The aftermath of the defeat and fall of the Roman Empire gave birth to a new era that marked the beginning of the Dark Ages.

During this era, the western world experienced attacks from barbarians known as Vikings. They attacked various parts of England such as the Lindisfarne Monastery in 793 A.D, where they looted, killed innocent lives and plundered enormous wealth. They originated from Scandinavia and they organized raids in various parts of the England. They were brutal and barbaric in their ways of raiding, leaving thousands of deaths in their wake. This hit had a negative impact on the Western civilization almost bringing it to a standstill. During this period, a new religion spread across Asian desert, this was the Islam religion. Its expansion became more pronounced in this era. The religion influenced its African territories belonging to the Western civilization, most of the western Asian territories and the Liberian Peninsula also followed suit and embraced the religion. In Africa, the religion spread through three means through the Sahara Desert via towns like Timbuktu, through the Nile River in Sudan and by crossing the Red sea and moving towards East African towns such as Zanzibar and Mombasa. Since this period, there has been conflict between the Western Civilization and the Islam religion.

Several methods have been forwarded in an attempt to try to explain the reasons behind the clash of these two civilizations. The first reason is that contradictory belief in the God. Though both cultures acknowledge the existence of a supreme being, the difference stems from the specifics of its nature. The Islam believes in Allah and Prophet Muhammad whereas the Western civilization is founded on Christendom where the Supreme Being is God, the Son and the Holy Spirit, known as the holy trinity. Despite the contradictory religious opinions, the two civilizations differ in terms of lifestyle and livelihood. The laws and regulations that dictate the life of a Christian are quite different from those in Islam despite them being focused on morality and the ability of human nature to act towards the good of others.

Despite the contradictions and the clashing of these two civilizations, Western Europe has benefited from the informative Islamic facts from the Spaniard Cordoba caliphate, which is mirrors, the ancient civilization to the west. This Islamic kingdom existed in the period 929 to 1031 C.E. During this period, there were great advancements in culture and trade. The caliphate was abolished following the civil war that waged between two communities who were amongst the loyal families. The war was between the heirs to the throne and the descendants of the previous caliph. During the era of its prosperity, the caliphate had developed diplomatic alliances with the Berber tribes in Northern Africa, Germany and the rulers of the North and France who were of Christian faith. These relationships were maintained cordially even after the demise of the caliph who had made the alliances. He was succeeded by his son who followed the footsteps of his father by honoring the alliances. This civilization is an exemplary proof of how the Islam community can coexist with Christians from the Western civilization

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