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Western world

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Historical Development of the Western World:
– Western civilization traces back to ancient Mediterranean world, with Greece and Rome as birthplaces.
– Christianity, rooted in Greco-Roman and Jewish thought, heavily influences Western societies.
– Earlier civilizations like ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians also influenced Western civilization.
– Western civilization emerged from the legacies of Athens, Jerusalem, and Rome.
Renaissance intellectuals in the 15th century solidified the concept of Western civilization.
– The West is primarily Australasia, Western Europe, and Northern America.
– The West’s exploration led to the discovery of the Americas and colonization.
– The concept of the West emerged in the 5th century BCE in Greece.
– The Great Schism in 1054 CE divided the Western and Eastern churches.

Influence of Ancient Civilizations on the Western World:
Ancient Greece and Rome heavily influenced Western civilization in various aspects.
– Christianity, with roots in Greco-Roman and Jewish thought, shaped Western societies.
– Earlier civilizations like the ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians also contributed to Western civilization.
– The convergence of Greek-Roman and Judeo-Christian influences characterizes Western civilization.
– Western civilization began to crystallize with the rise of Christianity during the Late Roman Empire.

Cultural Aspects of the Western World:
– Western culture encompasses social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, belief systems, political systems, artifacts, and technologies.
– The core of Western civilization is influenced by Greco-Roman civilization and Western Christianity.
– Other elements shaping Western culture include Germanic, Celtic, and Jewish influences.
– Western thought emphasizes rationalism, empiricism, and the scientific method.
– The expansion of Greek culture led to advances in literature, engineering, and science, contributing to the development of Western civilization.

Evolution and Diversity in the Western World:
– The term ‘West’ evolved from a directional concept to a socio-political concept.
– Countries like Australia and New Zealand are considered part of the modern Western world.
– Japan aligns with Western-style democracy and is sometimes seen as part of the West.
Russia’s classification as part of the West varied throughout history.
– Prominent Western countries like the US, Canada, Brazil, and Australia were once envisioned as ethnocracies.
– Immigration has brought diversity to certain parts of the Western world since the late 1960s.

Modern Transformation and Global Influence:
– Western culture continues to transform through globalization, human migration, and cultural syncretism.
– Key features of modern Western societies include political pluralism, individualism, and diverse subcultures.
– Rational thinking developed through the Enlightenment and scientific breakthroughs.
– The modernization of non-Western countries was influenced by Western cultural developments.
– Christianity contributed to the creation of modern institutions like universities, hospitals, and scientific economics.

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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