A theory on why Europe dominated the second half of the last millennium

Take-home point: The balance between unity as a continent and separation of individual nations created an intellectual climate in which countries competed with each other but also shared ideas.

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We must recognise that Europe’s (and the world’s) Great Enrichment was in no way inevitable. With fairly minor changes in initial conditions, or even accidents along the way, it might never have happened. Had political and military developments taken different turns in Europe, conservative forces might have prevailed and taken a more hostile attitude toward the new and more progressive interpretation of the world.

pub. 02/2017