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What is the single most important invention in European history?

 
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Jun, 2011 12:16 pm
@VALTUI,
Your claim about the glorious revolution is hilarious. Once again, Gutenberg's bible was published in 1455--the so-called glorious revolution was in 1688, and it only applied to Anglicans--dissenters and Catholics need not apply. The point of the glorious revolution was to exclude those who were not Church of England from government and the throne. At the time that the first Reform Bill was introduced in Parliament in 1830, not even 5% of adult, white males could vote. You're livin' in Fantasy Land.
VALTUI
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Jun, 2011 12:16 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Ancient Athenian Democracy did not last very long. It soon became a long lost legend. Centuries had to pass before such ideas were resurected. And how and when did these marvelous ideas get resurected? They were resurected in a time we call the "Renaissance". Once again we thank the rapid and free spread of information during this period for this great time of European "Renewal" Arguing that the Athenians invented Democracy is hardly an argument at all.

I will gladly go toe to toe with you on history anytime. It has been my passion since 1964.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Jun, 2011 12:18 pm
@cicerone imposter,
In Thebes, any man who could afford a hoplite's panoply (the equipment of a heavy infantryman) could vote. That was an exception, however, which proved the rule.
0 Replies
 
VALTUI
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Jun, 2011 12:28 pm
@Setanta,
Did I claim that Gutenbergs invention immediately changed the government in England? The "Glorious Revolution" was the stablishment of Capitalism as a means of government in England. Protestants were the vehemently behind this revolution. The French Encyclopedists and leaders of the French Revolution were not voted into power. They were self apointed, but they stood for the stablishment of "The New World Order" based on free enterprise unimcumbered by Royals and their taxes. (See "American Revolution"). In France; the so-called "Fourth Estate" or merchant class. All schollars agree that modern history BEGINS with the spread of Gutenbergs invention. The "Modern Era" started around 1500 AD acording all reputable historians.

Only a simpleton fails to understand that the changes that followed the free spread of information and the spread of literacy after 1500, took centuries to have their effect. History is a slow and gradual process. Democracy does not come overnight to societies which have lived under Feudal "Priestly" Lords for centuries.

Have you no concept of passage of time in history or how long it takes for major changes to occur within societies which had abided by old and very effective Feudal methods for centuries?

Is the tree you are standing in front of blocking your view of the forest?

Who here needs to "wake up" ? ? ?
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Jun, 2011 12:37 pm
Hey, Asshole, i've got your "simpleton" right here . . . why don't you come suck on it.

This was my response at the very beginning of this thread:

Setanta wrote:
Well, the Europeans did not invent movable type, but i do consider the printing press to have been the most important development in their history.


What i am ridiculing (and it richly deserves ridicule) is your idiotic claim that Europeans brought democracy in their train. The point about the gap between the introduction of movable type and significant social change is to point out that there were many other factors involved, all of them more important than the printing press. I really don't need to get lectures on who can see what in history from someone as ignorant of the subject as you have always shown yourself to be. Tell me again all about the "glorious revolution" and what it meant.
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Thu 30 Jun, 2011 12:40 pm
@VALTUI,
VALTUI wrote:

Did I claim that Gutenbergs invention immediately changed the government in England? All schollars agree that modern history begins with his invention. The "Modern Era" started around 1500 AD acording all reputable historians.


Well, I've heart history at various rather know professors, read a couple of books (in German, French, English) .... but while really most if not all agree that around 1500 was a breaking point between the Medieval Times and the Modern Era, it's not a single event which documents it.

In Germany, it has been over centuries Luther, but certainly the victory of Henry VII over Richard III, the fall of Constantinople, the fall of Muslim Spain etc contributed a lot more to a change of a period than a single invention ....
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Jun, 2011 12:42 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Excellent points all, Walter. I had a professor at university who always insisted on the Fall of Constantinople, the widespread use of gunpowder and the beginning of the use of the printing press.
0 Replies
 
VALTUI
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Jun, 2011 12:46 pm
@Setanta,
Extremely crude; vulgar, uneducated, hopelessly stuck on stupid. What a shame. Is a history forum really the right place for such an immature mind? Maybe you should try animated war games. There are plenty available on line.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Jun, 2011 12:53 pm
@VALTUI,
I do PC role playing games. I wouldn't want to do that online, because i might run into someone like you.

You're whining about what i wrote, even though you had already flung a string of insults at me, including simpleton. What a pathetic little whiner you are. If you don't want people to insult you, don't insult them.
VALTUI
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Jun, 2011 12:53 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
With all due respect. People do things because they have ideas. No significant action in history passes without a plan. I think it is reasonable to assume that anything which greatly assists the spread of opinions and knowledge will greatly effect the way people behave. All the great politacal revolutions and even all the great wars owe their origins to ideas and plans which are based upon the exchange of knowledge. Even the "Holy Bible" says it: "In the Beginning was the Word; and the Word was God". I believe words have emmense power over men's minds, and therefore also rapid printing!

Todays version of Rapid Printing is the Internet. We are now blessed with the greatest information revolution in recorded history and the world is changing accordingly. Don't you agree?

Is not the impact of the Internet comparable to the existance of plentiful cheap books in past centuries?
0 Replies
 
VALTUI
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Jun, 2011 12:58 pm
@Setanta,
I am by no means a "whiner" I am proud of all the work I have done studying history and am willing to go at it with anyone who whishes to discuss the matter in an intellegent way. I never spesifically called anybody a "simpleton" but refered to the "simpleton" as a third party. But if the shoe fits . . . . .
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Jun, 2011 01:04 pm
@VALTUI,
So you fling another insult while claiming you don't fling insults. You're pathetic. Yeah, you should be proud. You've learned so much about history that you actually believe it would be possible to point to a single cause which created modern Europe. How simple-minded is that? You must be standing directly in front of that tree you alluded to.

China had printing presses more than a thousand years ago. As C.I. pointed out, the Koreans were using movable, metal type eight hundred years ago. In the 9th century, the King of Korea gave his people an alphabetic writing system. But neither China nor Korea became democratic. Korea only became democratic in our own lifetimes. Neither of those nations spread across the globe, colonizing and trading. So clearly, there is no historical evidence that merely possessing printing presses with moveable type will have such a restult.

Were i to look for the simgle most important factor in creating modern Europe, i'd say the plagues which raged across the continent from the 14th through the 17th centuries. Those examples of "the great death" made labor a seller's market and dealt the death blow to feudalism, not your silly claim about the printing press.
eurocelticyankee
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Jun, 2011 01:17 pm
What is the single most important invention in European history?

The question is ridiculous. Why not ask a somewhat more
sensible question, one that can actually be answered.

I.E. What are some of the most important inventions in European history?

My suggestion would be penicillin although I suppose that was
more a discovery, an accidental one at that. The microscope so.


VALTUI
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Jun, 2011 01:31 pm
@Setanta,
Yes, as you point out, the Chinese and Koreans had printing presses and yet remained backward societies, ruled over by warlords. So perhaps all the amazing social progress made among Europeans, such as the spread of literacy, the establishment of universities, the advance of technologies and spread of wealth and power through capitalism, have some other, unmentioned cause.

Now what could that be? You raise a good question. Why did Europe prosper and go through so many societal "revolutions" after the appearance of rapid printing? What was it in their history or traditions which made them so much more agressive and effective with the knowledge they obtained? What made Great Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries so different from the China and Korea of the same time period, who you point out had access to the very same technology? A good question indeed.
VALTUI
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Jun, 2011 01:42 pm
@eurocelticyankee,
Knowledge comes by asking questions. Nobody, at any given time has all the answers, but this no reason to be afraid of posing questions. It is my contention that there is something unique in European history which projected them up and over all other cultures in the world. One look at the 19th century confirmes what I say. What great cultural advantage did Great Britain have which gave the world its great commercial empire?

Since 1945, we live in a world managed by International Keynsian Debt Capital; A system which could not function without the existance of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank; neither of which were invented by China or Korea. This streamlined international system of trade, (which replaces old cumbersome commodities capitalism of 1929 fame), allowes maximum expansion of markets and maximum freedom to the greatest number of people. We can thank a well educated Englishman for saving the world from total economic collapse. Where did his education come from?

Other countries around the world have been slowly adapting to our system. A strange synthesis has taken place in many places. China is still under Communist dictatorship yet controlls the second largest economy in the world. Our history places us in the very middle of modern progress. Why and how?
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Jun, 2011 01:49 pm
@VALTUI,
Since you can't be Gutenberg, perhaps you want to sell a book about him or some replica printing presses?

No-one really will doubt that rapid printing helped a lot to get the written word spread more rapidly than before ...

But you have to consider (you studied history, you said, and certainly you were taught like anyone else who did so to consider everything in its time and period) that similar happened .... already before: namely when skriptoria became the most important part of a lot of monasteries ... Corbie, St. Gallen, Echternach, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Saint-Denis, ...
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Jun, 2011 01:52 pm
@VALTUI,
All one can do is provide verifiable facts. One can lead a horse to water...
0 Replies
 
VALTUI
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Jun, 2011 01:57 pm
@Foofie,
Language has always been the key to all progress. Rome gave us its great commercial empire and the Latin language to spread science with. I agree.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Jun, 2011 02:34 pm
I'll add a development that affected the history I've read about, but I can't ascribe to any one group of people - the town 'square'. My interest is in italian piazzas but they were by no means the first to have open space in a community, and the Greeks weren't either. Maybe the Greeks were the first to really use it, but I doubt even that as I take it as a natural development when humans first arranged huts. Agora (plateia now?), piazza, plaza, platz, plats, place, square.

I'll give it to the italians that their 'squares' were the subject of the term 'piazza rule', meaning mob rule.. for good reason. (Ok, Savonarola, and we'll raise you one..) Well, that is a bit off, in that I don't think the bonfires of vanities were exactly mob rule, nor was the death of Savonarola. Still, they were places where mobs with mob emotions happened. As were other squares in other lands.

A corollary though is that piazzas and their equivalents were community places for other reasons - in the Campo in Siena, St. Bernard was a popular preacher. Sometimes they were in front of cathedrals, and natural places for talking after church ceremonies.

My premise is that community gathering spaces made a room for community change to percolate, and that their development functioned that way and does to this day, even if some of the thought behind that percolating happened indoors in different abodes. A lot of that spacial development was in Europe.

So, not invention, but major development.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Jun, 2011 02:48 pm
@VALTUI,
VALTUI wrote:

Language has always been the key to all progress. Rome gave us its great commercial empire and the Latin language to spread science with. I agree.


Okay. Since now you are altering yourself "the single most important invention ..." to plural, and altering it as well to include progress and developments over centuries ... well, we could name then numerous other "inventions".
 

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