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Western world

Origins and Development of Western Civilization: – Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome are considered the birthplaces of Western civilization. – Western Civilization is closely associated […]

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Origins and Development of Western Civilization:
– Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome are considered the birthplaces of Western civilization.
– Western Civilization is closely associated with Christianity, drawing from Greco-Roman and Jewish thought.
– Earlier civilizations like ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians influenced Western civilization.
– The convergence of Greek-Roman and Judeo-Christian influences shaped Western civilization.
– The identification of Western civilization began with the rise of Christianity in the Late Roman Empire.
– Historians argue that Western civilization emerged around AD 500 after the fall of the Western Roman Empire.
– Between the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the Renaissance, the West experienced decline and revival.
– The concept of Western civilization solidified in the 15th century, associating it with Christianity and ancient Greek-Roman achievements.
– The legacies of Athens, Jerusalem, and Rome are seen as foundational to Western civilization.

Evolution and Expansion of the Western World:
– The West is an evolving concept based on cultural, political, and economic synergy.
– Definitions of the Western world vary based on context and perspectives.
– The West is often correlated with the Global North in the North-South schism.
– The idea of Europe as the geographic West emerged in ancient Greece.
– The West’s geographical concept started forming in the 4th century CE with the division of the Roman Empire.
– Western colonization of the New World contributed to the geographical Western world.
– Prominent countries like the United States, Canada, Brazil, and Australia have been seen as part of the West.
– Racism played a role in Western colonization and ethnocracies in the Western world.
– Immigration has led to diversity in certain parts of the Western world since the late 1960s.
– The concept of the West has evolved from a directional to a socio-political idea associated with progress and modernity.

Variability in Defining the Western World:
– Modern definitions of the Western world include countries like Australia and New Zealand influenced by European colonization.
– Japan, despite being in the Far East, is sometimes considered part of the West due to its alignment with Western-style democracy.
– Cuba, located in the Western Hemisphere, is not always seen as part of the West due to its alignment with communism.
– Russia has been viewed both as part of and juxtaposed with the West based on historical contexts.
– The United States’ rise as a great power has prominently featured it in conceptualizations of the West.

Cultural Aspects of the Western World:
– Western culture includes diverse heritages of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, belief systems, political systems, artifacts, and technologies.
– The core of Western civilization is formed by the foundations of Greco-Roman civilization and Western Christianity.
– Western culture is characterized by artistic, philosophic, literary, and legal themes and traditions.
– Rationalism in various spheres of life developed by Hellenistic philosophy, scholasticism, and humanism is a cornerstone of Western thought.
– The expansion of Greek culture into the Hellenistic world led to major advances in literature, engineering, and science, and provided the culture for the expansion of early Christianity.

Influences and Impact of Western Culture:
– Western culture extended globally through imperialism, colonialism, and Christianization by Western powers from the 15th to 20th centuries.
– The exportation of mass culture led to Westernization globally.
– Western culture has undergone transformation through the Renaissance, Ages of Discovery and Enlightenment, and the Industrial and Scientific Revolutions.
– The Italian Renaissance brought classical traditions and philosophy.
– Modern Western societies are defined by political pluralism, individualism, subcultures, and cultural syncretism due to globalization and human migration.

Western world (Wikipedia)

The Western world, also known as the West, primarily refers to various nations and states in the regions of Australasia, Western Europe, and Northern America; with some debate as to whether those in Eastern Europe and Latin America also constitute the West. The Western world likewise is called the Occident (from Latin occidens 'setting down, sunset, west') in contrast to the Eastern world known as the Orient (from Latin oriens 'origin, sunrise, east'). The West is considered an evolving concept; made up of cultural, political, and economic synergy among diverse groups of people, and not a rigid region with fixed borders and members. Definitions of "Western world" vary according to context and perspectives.

The Western world as derived from Samuel P. Huntington's 1996 Clash of Civilizations: in light blue are Latin America and the Orthodox World, which are either a part of the West or distinct civilizations intimately related to the West.

Modern-day Western world essentially encompasses the nations and states where civilization or culture is considered Western—the roots of which some historians have traced to the Greco-Roman world and Christianity. In the Global North–South schism, the West is often correlated with Global North. A historic idea of Europe as the geographic West emerged in the fifth century BCE Greece. A geographical concept of the West started to take shape in the 4th century CE when Constantine, the first Christian Roman emperor, divided the Roman Empire between the Greek East and Latin West. The East Roman Empire, later called the Byzantine Empire, continued for a millennium, while the West Roman Empire lasted for only about a century and a half. This caused many people in Western Europe to envy the Byzantine Empire and consider the Christians there as heretics. In 1054 CE, when the church in Rome excommunicated the patriarch of Byzantium, the politico-religious division between the Western church and Eastern church culminated in the Great Schism or the East–West Schism. Even though friendly relations continued between the two parts of the Christendom for some time, the crusades made the schism definitive with hostility. The West during these crusades tried to capture trade routes to the East and failed, it instead discovered the Americas. In the aftermath of European colonization of these newly discovered lands, an idea of the Western world, as an inheritor of Latin Christendom emerged.

The English word "West" initially meant an adverb for direction. By the Middle Ages, Europeans began to use it to describe Europe. Since the eighteenth century, following European exploration, the word was used to indicate the regions of the world with European settlements. In contemporary times, countries that are considered to constitute the West vary according to perspective rather than their geographical location. Countries like Australia and New Zealand, located in the Eastern Hemisphere are included in modern definitions of the Western world, as these regions and others like them have been significantly influenced by the British—derived from colonization, and immigration of Europeans—factors that grounded such countries to the West. Despite being located in the Far East, a country like Japan, in some contexts, is considered a part of the West as it aligns with the ideals of Western-style democracy; while a country like Cuba, located in the Western Hemisphere, is argued as not being a part of the West as it aligns with the ideals of communism. Depending on the context and the historical period in question, Russia was sometimes seen as a part of the West, and at other times juxtaposed with it. Running parallel to the rise of the United States as a great power and the development of communication–transportation technologies "shrinking" the distance between both the Atlantic Ocean shores, the aforementioned country (United States) became more prominently featured in the conceptualizations of the West.

Between the eighteenth century to the mid-twentieth century, prominent countries in the West such as the United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand have been once envisioned as ethnocracies for whites. Racism is cited as a contributing factor to Westerners' colonization of the New World, which today constitutes much of the "geographical" Western world. Starting from the late 1960s, certain parts of the Western World have become notable for their diversity due to immigration. The idea of "the West" over the course of time has evolved from a directional concept to a socio-political concept that had been temporalized and rendered as a concept of the future bestowed with notions of progress and modernity.


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