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Industrial Technology and Trends of the 19th Century

1. How accurate is the image of the West as a land free from the curse of eastern industrial technology?

2. What important new social patterns arose in urban areas during the late 19th century?

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OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

West: Land free of Eastern Industrial Technology?

To answer this question, we have to first define the variables in the question. The notion of West and Eastern Technology. Lets first start with the West? What is the West? When we use the word 'West' or 'Western' we refer to a cultural worldview, perspective and practices that had its roots in Europe, spreading across North America, towards former British territories that have become modernised espousing ideas 'current' and based on Graeco-Roman and subsequently Christian traditions. It is very broad a term, encompassing government, history, belief systems, language, political practices, specific cultural and practical artefacts as well as technologies and philosophies. Greek philosophy therefore like that of Plato and Socrates as 'Western', so are the ideas of Descartes, Adam Smith and John Locke. The present practices of government, of the sciences and of philosophies and business strategies and economic and social structures that had its origins from this traditions in the US, in Europe are very much considered Western. Because of the hardpower of Western countries, the hegemony of Western culture over global systems is very strong and when we refer to the Western way of doing things, we refer to the stronger cultural influence felt across the world influencing the global order. In order to understand this, we need to go back to the Age of Exploration and Discovery - the 16th century. It was the old European powers of Spain and Portugal who pursued the exploration of the 'world' pushing the boundaries of their empire by enabling and supporting their navies to find new land and conquer new territories. The likes of Christopher Columbus, Vasco da Gama and Ferdinand Magellan discovered new continents (new here being relative - as the lands were 'new discovered' by the Europeans for themselves) and peoples, enriching themselves and their monarchs in the search for Spices and the route to China en lieu of the former Silk Road under the control then of the Ottoman Empire. Great Britain however soon overtook the Iberian powers with Queen Elizabeth I empowering her navy to conquer territories in Asia, Africa and the Americas. Great Britain built the biggest Empire known to man, controlling over 1/3 of the globe at the height of her colonial power. It is this age of colonization that made Western culture so influential as it was adopted (either by force or choice) by the conquered peoples of the European and Western powers. Even when colonialization is over, the Western ideals and culture remain with it's global hegemony. So, what about Eastern Industrial Technology? When we say Eastern, we refer to that which is opposite ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides insight, information and a discussion of the questions raised (see above) pertaining the image of the West as a 'land free from the curse of Eastern industrial technology' and the social patterns that arose in the urbanized centers of the 19th century. References are listed for further exploration of the topic. A word version is also attached.