08 Feb 2010

Sample Essay: Comarism

Politics

Western culture refers the traditional customs of the European origin it entails the political system, religious beliefs, ethical values and the social norms. The politics of the West have been shaped by different phases of civilization dating from the medieval periods.  Western culture is not homogenous since it hosts migrants from diverse cultures and political ideologies.

From 1900 until the time of Alexander the Great, there was a sharp contrast between the East and the West which to the great war between the Greeks and the Persians. During this time, the West was considered to be at the classical stage. The Roman Empire was built upon the Greek democracy and it spread its agenda all through the empire as they conquered Europe including the Hellenic world during the first century BC. For more than five hundred years, Rome Empire maintained the political ideologies of the Greek east and consolidated it with the Latin West though, just like Greece, it was no longer democratic. The ancient Rome was a civilization that came up from a city state which was founded on the Italian Peninsula circa in 9th century and grew to a huge empire. After twelve years of existence, the Roman civilization took a political shift from monarchy, to a republic and finally to an autocratic empire. It dominated the Western Europe using roman legions and by giving roman privileges and citizenship to the entire empire.

Woodrow Wilson who was the twenty eighth president of the United States was also the one of the greatest scholars in the progressive Era. The treaty of the Versailles was a peace treaty found at the end of World War I. It is this treaty that ended the war between the Germans and the others known as the allied powers. It was when Wilson was president of America that the treaty was signed, that is in the year 1919. Wilson believed in self determination collective security and international law and these principles helped him to go though the dark ages of the Versailles times. He also believed in democratic government and a league of nations.

It was note then that countries like Britain, Italy and France might have looked down upon Wilson and philosophies but as we speak all these nations and even others like Germany conduct their European policy with respect to Wilson’s ideas. These ideas were at some point viewed as a mere vision is now very well regarded as fundamental. Wilson a European statesman had a lasting respect till to day and his ideals are still very influential.

As Christianity took root in the Roman world, it absorbed much of the Roman culture and traditions thus laying basis for the advancement of Western civilization after the fall of the Roman Empire giving rise to the medieval west. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Europe was faced with political anarchy with many principalities and kingdoms warring. However, when the Frankish kings took over, they realized political stability and unity thus evolving into feudalism. With feudal system, most of the noble lost their traditional source of power. The teaching of the church preserved the politics, arts, education, while the culture was drastically transformed as the Greek and Roman paganism was replaced by Christianity.

The men in the medieval period sought power through the church. The modern western culture was based on the idea of democracy as the ideal form of the society.  The medieval period was then followed by renaissance which was triggered by the Greek and Arabic influences. From the late 15th century up to 17th century, the western culture began to spread to the entire world, the western political thinking also started spreading to the rest of the world. Despite the past empires in the Western politics, democracy and concept of freedom is a distinguishing factor of the Western people form non-western people. The eras of the middle age and the modern times that advocated for separation of the state from the church has paved ways for advancement and development of distinctive political norms.

The civilization that followed medieval period was the Renaissance and reformation. This period ranged from 1500 to 1650 and it contributed in the change of the political ideologies in the western world. It was the actual onset of the feudal even after the establishment of feudal institutions in the entire Western Europe, this feudal failed to realize a unidirectional political revolution. Feudalism came up as a result of the state society where land was the main source of wealth and military was the basis of power specifically in the agrarian societies. However, in France and England, this period led to the establishment of strong monarchy. This period was characterized by the by reformation caused by a catholic monk Martin Luther who publicly denounced the catholic beliefs including the institution of papacy. During the same time, there arose the western empires which build trade unions with other nations in Africa. After trading with Africa for along time, the western government began establishing colonies in Africa.

The last type of civilization that contributed to the current political situation in the west is the progressive era. Woodrow Wilson who was the twenty eighth president of the United States was also the one of the greatest scholars in the progressive Era. The treaty of the Versailles was a peace treaty found at the end of World War I. He did not gain much from Versailles and the senate did not ratify this treaty but his vision that contained great belief for diplomacy for the country and the world at last did not disappear just like that they became very relevant in setting the tone not only for America but the whole world. This was a period of reforms in the United States and it lasted for forty years (1880-1920).

The main purpose of this era was political purification. The blacks and the illiterates were excluded from vote. Immigration form southern and Eastern Europe were cut back. There were significant changes at the national levels.  They exposed the corruption cases and scandals in the national magazines. This era is also characterized by various revolutions which were to change the West forever causing new political ideologies and change in the society. The very first of these revolutions began in North America which was the territory of the British. Inspired by Enlightenment ideals, some leaders saw it very possible to realize an ideal nation. Another revolution that reshaped the western politics was the French revolution. The same enlightenment ideals that cause American Revolution aided the revolution in France at the time France was under economic crisis.

Reference:

Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (1996).

Thompson, William; Joseph Hickey (2005). Society in Focus. Boston, MA: Pearson

Bonnett, A. 2004. The Idea of the West

Davidson, Roderic H. (1960). “Where is the Middle East?”. Foreign Affairs 38: 665-675.

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