Europe makes up just 6.7% of the total land area in the world. In addition to being home to 9.8% of the planet’s population. Despite this, it is arguably the continent in the world that has managed to have the most influence on Planet Earth.
In this article, we are going to take a look at the aspects of European civilization in the modern world that still impacts our day-to-day lives.
Many of the most popular international holidays around the world have been popularized thanks to European powers. A great example of this is Christmas. According to Pew Research Center, an estimated 2 billion people around the world view Christmas as the most important holiday of the year.
In addition, there are many people from other religions and cultures that celebrate Christmas. This is well represented by the fact that 90% of Americans celebrate the Christian holiday, despite many of them not being part of the religion themselves.
Another aspect is that even non-European holidays will be influenced by Europe. The reason for this is that most of the world uses the Gregorian calendar. Which was first introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in modern-day Italy in 1582? Out of the 195 countries in the world, 168 officially use the Gregorian calendar. While the rest of the countries will still use the Gregorian calendar when conducting international trade.
Although, Christianity did not originate in the Eurasian Subcontinent. It was ultimately popularized after it became the official religion of the Roman Empire. There are an estimated 2.5 billion Christians in the world.
This makes Christianity currently the most popular religion on our planet. Although it is predicted that due to the rapidly rising population in Africa that Islam will eventually take that title.
In other aspects, the continent also has another major role in the faith of the planet. There have also been atheists, but Protestantism from the early 16th century onwards. These theological diversions made it much more acceptable to not abide by the mainstream religious doctrines.
Another reason for this is communism, which emerged on the peninsula and was against religiousness. Due to these factors, seven of the most atheist countries in the world are located on the so-called peninsula of peninsulas. Furthermore, Australia is also on this list, a country founded by Westerners.
The great wealth that the West has managed to acquire in turn helped to establish it as a cultural superpower. It makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Art in itself is not required for basic survival.
In order for artists to be able to survive, there needs to be a wealthy part of the population with high disposable income. The fact that the Western world has economically dominated the rest of the continent has allowed it to thrive in this regard.
A good part of the most popular artists of the last millennium are from Western countries or countries that have adopted this culture. A few examples include Pablo Picasso, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Rembrandt. To this day, movies and music from this part of the planet continue to lead.
A further one of the aspects of European civilization in the modern world that we are going to cover is liberalism. To put it simply, liberalism is the idea that every citizen should be granted a number of basic freedoms. As well as being equal in front of the law regardless of their beliefs or way of life.
People have been fighting and striving for freedom for tens of thousands of years. But Liberalism truly became a powerful movement in the 17th century. It saw the banning of slavery, abolition of the death penalty, and a great acceptance of different groups of people.
Apart from extending basic freedoms and human rights, countries adopting liberalism also saw frequent establishments of welfare states. This helped to lower inequality built up from feudalism and the colonial era. Thus, strengthening democracy in those nations.
The Languages We Speak.
Currently, the ‘lingua franca’ of the world is English, with around 1.35 billion people able to speak the language. In 4th place is Spanish with 543 million speakers, and then you are having French with 267 million speakers.
Furthermore, Russian and Portuguese both have over 200 million speakers each. Therefore, it is no exaggeration to say that languages from this tiny peninsula are very widely used.
To add to this, even if many people do not speak a language, they may still use words from another language. For example, the term ‘lingua franca’ is actually French, but it is still widely used in the English Language.
The technological prowess of the West has meant that many new inventions carry Western names. For example, the words ‘Computer’ and ‘Internet’ have been widely embraced in most languages around the world.
Opportunity for the Disadvantaged.
An open society is something ubiquitous with the West. Countries such as Canada, Australia, and the United States have been built up thanks to immigrants.
Hundreds of millions of disadvantaged people have over multiple centuries emigrated to have a chance in life. The Western world has proved that people of different cultural groups can live with each other in peace. As well as thrive.
This has inspired many countries in a fortunate position to be much more liberal with the people that they let into their countries. In the United Arab Emirates, an estimated 88% of people are immigrants. This inspiration has also arrived in Japan. Where the previously highly anti-immigrant society has been letting in hundreds of thousands of new arrivals.
Promotion of Democracy.
In the final part of this article about the aspects of European civilization in the modern world, we are going to cover democracy. The first recorded case of democracy was in 507 B.C in the city-state of Athens, Greece.
Admittedly, it lost popularity for well over a millennium. However, it has since recovered. In fact, it has become the preferred model of government for the overwhelming majority of the most prosperous countries in the world.
Democracy is not perfect, but it doesn’t have to be. The beauty of democracy is that over time, the imperfections of the political system and society will be corrected. On the other hand, in an authoritarian political system. The ruling elite care primarily about their survival. Making them unwilling to take positive steps that may risk their status.
The Democracy Index estimated that 75 countries in the world are actually democracies; this is out of a total of 195. Regardless, the majority of everyday people strive for the security and opportunity that democracy provides. As Winston Churchill said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others”.
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