Western world

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Western world
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{{Redirect-distinguish|Western power|Western Power Distribution|Western Power Corporation|Western Power (networks corporation)}}{{About|the Western world in the context of the East–West dichotomy|other uses|Western World (disambiguation)}}{{redirect2|Westerners|Occident|historical politics in Korea|Westerners (Korean political faction)|other uses|Occident (disambiguation)}}{{distinguish|Western Hemisphere|Western Bloc}}{{short description|Countries that identify themselves with an originally European shared culture}}{{use dmy dates|date=August 2014}}{{multiple issues|{{cleanup rewrite|date=August 2018}}{{more citations needed|date=August 2018}}{{toomanyimages|date=March 2019}}}}{{multiple image| align = | direction = vertical| width = 380| image1 = The West - Clash of Civilizations.png
Samuel P. Huntington's 1996 Clash of Civilizations.THE WORLD OF CIVILIZATIONS: POST-1990 scanned image {{webarchive>url= Latin America, depicted in turquoise, is either considered a part of the West or a distinct civilization intimately related to the West and descended from it.CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONSYEAR=1991EDITION=6THPAGES=38–39VIA=HTTP://WWW.MERCABA.ORG/SANLUIS/HISTORIA/UNIVERSAL/HUNTINGTON,%20SAMUEL%20-%20EL%20CHOQUE%20DE%20CIVILIZACIONES.PDF (IN SPANISH), | image2 = Evolution of Civilizations.jpgSamuel P. Huntington's 1996 Clash of Civilizations and based off Carroll Quigley's, The Evolution of Civilizations: An Introduction to Historical Analysis.CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONSYEAR=1991EDITION=6THPAGES=42,weblink (in Spanish), The West became a distinct tangible entity by A.D. 800. It reached the rest of Europe throughout the following centuries, with Iberia in the c.XII and Northern Europe in the c.XIII.}} The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various regions, nations and states, depending on the context, most often including at least parts of Europe, Australasia, and the Americas. There are many accepted definitions, all closely interrelated.weblink" title="">Western Civilization, Our Tradition; James Kurth; accessed 30 August 2011 The Western world is also known as the Occident (from the Latin word occidens, "sunset, West"), in contrast to the Orient (from the Latin word oriens, "rise, East"), or Eastern world. It is often correlated with the Northern half of the North-south divide.{{citation needed|date=July 2019}}Ancient Greece{{efn|See notes:BOOK, Ricardo Duchesne, The Uniqueness of Western Civilization,weblink 7 February 2011, BRILL, 978-90-04-19248-5, 297, The list of books which have celebrated Greece as the “cradle” of the West is endless; two more examples are Charles Freeman's The Greek Achievement: The Foundation of the Western World (1999) and Bruce Thornton's Greek Ways: How the Greeks Created Western Civilization (2000), Ricardo Duchesne, BOOK, Chiara Bottici, Benoît Challand, The Myth of the Clash of Civilizations,weblink 11 January 2013, Routledge, 978-1-136-95119-0, 88, The reason why even such a sophisticated historian as Pagden can do it is that the idea that Greece is the cradle of civilisation is so much rooted in western minds and school curicula as to be taken for granted., BOOK, William J. Broad, The Oracle: Ancient Delphi and the Science Behind Its Lost Secrets,weblink 2007, Penguin Publishing Group, 978-0-14-303859-7, 120, In 1979, a friend of de Boer's invited him to join a team of scientists that was going to Greece to assess the suitability of the ... But the idea of learning more about Greece — the cradle of Western civilization, a fresh example of tectonic forces at ..., BOOK, Maura Ellyn, Maura McGinnis, Greece: A Primary Source Cultural Guide,weblink 2004, The Rosen Publishing Group, 978-0-8239-3999-2, 8, BOOK, John E. Findling, Kimberly D. Pelle, Encyclopedia of the Modern Olympic Movement,weblink 2004, Greenwood Publishing Group, 978-0-313-32278-5, 23, BOOK, Wayne C. Thompson, Mark H. Mullin, Western Europe, 1983,weblink Stryker-Post Publications, 337, for ancient Greece was the cradle of Western culture ..., BOOK, Frederick Copleston, History of Philosophy Volume 1: Greece and Rome,weblink 1 June 2003, A&C Black, 978-0-8264-6895-6, 13, PART I PRE-SOCRATIC PHILOSOPHY CHAPTER II THE CRADLE OF WESTERN THOUGHT:, BOOK, Mario Iozzo, Art and History of Greece: And Mount Athos,weblink 2001, Casa Editrice Bonechi, 978-88-8029-435-1, 7, The capital of Greece, one of the world's most glorious cities and the cradle of Western culture,, BOOK, Marxiano Melotti, The Plastic Venuses: Archaeological Tourism in Post-Modern Society,weblink 25 May 2011, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 978-1-4438-3028-7, 188, In short, Greece, despite having been the cradle of Western culture, was then an “other” space separate from the West., See notes BOOK, Library Journal,weblink April 1972, Bowker, 97, 1588, Ancient Greece: Cradle of Western Culture (Series), disc. 6 strips with 3 discs, range: 44–60 fr., 17–18 min, BOOK, Stanley Mayer Burstein, Current Issues and the Study of Ancient History,weblink 2002, Regina Books, 978-1-930053-10-6, 15, and making Egypt play the same role in African education and culture that Athens and Greece do in Western culture., BOOK, Murray Milner, Jr., Elites: A General Model,weblink 8 January 2015, John Wiley & Sons, 978-0-7456-8950-0, 62, Greece has long been considered the seedbed or cradle of Western civilization., BOOK, Slavica viterbiensia 003: Periodico di letterature e culture slave della Facoltà di Lingue e Letterature Straniere Moderne dell'Università della Tuscia,weblink 2011-11-10, Gangemi Editore spa, 978-88-492-6909-3, 148, The Special Case of Greece The ancient Greece was a cradle of the Western culture,, BOOK, Kim Covert, Ancient Greece: Birthplace of Democracy,weblink 1 July 2011, Capstone, 978-1-4296-6831-6, 5, Ancient Greece is often called the cradle of western civilization. ... Ideas from literature and science also have their roots in ancient Greece., {{multiple image|align = right|total_width = 450|background color = #ede9e8|image1 = The_Parthenon_in_Athens.jpg|image2 = Surviving Greek Bronze.jpg|image3 = Epidauros.jpg|footer = The Parthenon, a former temple (Athens, {{circa}} 430 BC). The Victorious Youth, a controversial Greek bronze (Greece, {{circa}} 300–100 BC). Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, seats up to 14,000 people (Epidaurus, {{circa}} 150 BC).}}}} and Ancient Rome{{efn|{{multiple image|align = right|total_width = 450|background color = #ede9e8|image1 = Pontdugard.jpg|image2 = Rome_Pantheon_front.jpg|image3 = Trier Konstantinbasilika BW 2017-06-16 14-07-56.jpg|footer = Pont du Gard, a Roman aqueduct (Vers-Pont-du-Gard, {{circa}} 20 BC-AD 50). The Pantheon, a former temple visited—in 2013 alone—by over 6 million people (Rome, {{circa}} AD 120). The Aula Palatina, a Roman palace, then a Christian basilica (Trier, {{circa}} AD 310).}} See notes BOOK, Rome: the cradle of western civilisation as illustrated by existing monuments, Henry Turner Inman, 9781177738538, WEB,weblink The Birth Of Western Civilisation, Greece & Rome, Michael Ed. Grant,, 2016-01-04, WEB,weblink 9780500040034: The Birth of Western Civilization: Greece and Rome, HUXLEY, George (et al),, 2016-01-04, WEB,weblink Athens. Rome. Jerusalem and Vicinity. Peninsula of Mt. Sinai.: Geographicus Rare Antique Maps,, 2016-01-04, WEB,weblink Download This PDF eBooks Free,, 2016-01-04, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2016-01-07, }} are generally considered to be the birthplaces of Western civilization—Greece having heavily influenced Rome—the former due to its impact on philosophy, democracy, science and art, building designs and proportions, architecture; the latter due to its influence on law, warfare, governance, republicanism, engineering and religion. Western civilization is also strongly associated with Christianity, which is in turn shaped by Hellenistic philosophy, Judaism and Roman culture.Role of Judaism in Western culture and civilization, "Judaism has played a significant role in the development of Western culture because of its unique relationship with Christianity, the dominant religious force in the West". Judaism at Encyclopædia Britannica In the modern era, Western culture has been heavily influenced by the Renaissance, the Ages of Discovery and Enlightenment and the Industrial and Scientific Revolutions.WEB, Western culture, Science Daily,weblink WEB, A brief history of Western culture, Khan Academy,weblink Through extensive imperialism, colonialism and Christianization by Western powers in the 15th to 20th centuries, and later exportation of mass culture, much of the rest of the world has been extensively influenced by Western culture, in a phenomenon often called Westernization.The concept of the Western part of the earth has its roots in the theological, methodological and emphatical division between the Western Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches.BOOK, A history of eastern Europe: crisis and change, Bideleux, Robert, Jeffries, Ian, Routledge, 978-0-415-16112-1, 48,weblink 1998, West was originally literal, opposing Catholic Europe with the cultures and civilizations of Orthodox Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia and the remote Far East, which early-modern Europeans saw as the East.By the mid-20th century, Western culture was exported worldwide through the emergent mass media: film, radio, television and recorded music; and the development and growth of international transport and telecommunication (such as transatlantic cable and the radiotelephone) played a decisive role in modern globalization. In modern usage, Western world sometimesWestern Civilization, Our Tradition; James Kurth; accessed 30 August 2011 refers to Europe and to areas whose populations have had a large European ethnical presence since the 15th century Age of Discovery.BOOK, Thompson, William, Joseph, Hickey, 2005, Society in Focus, Pearson, Boston, MA, 0-205-41365-X, BOOK,weblink Gregerson, Linda, Susan, Juster, 2011, Empires of God: Religious Encounters in the Early Modern Atlantic, University of Pennsylvania Press, 28 June 2018, 978-0812222609,


Western culture was influenced by many older civilizations of the ancient Near East,BOOK, Jackson J. Spielvogel, Western Civilization: Volume A: To 1500,weblink 14 September 2016, Cengage Learning, 978-1-337-51759-1, 32–, such as Phoenicia, Ancient Israel,Religions in Global Society – Page 146, Peter Beyer – 2006Cambridge University Historical Series, An Essay on Western Civilization in Its Economic Aspects, p.40: Hebraism, like Hellenism, has been an all-important factor in the development of Western Civilization; Judaism, as the precursor of Christianity, has indirectly had had much to do with shaping the ideals and morality of western nations since the christian era. Minoan Crete, Sumer, Babylonia, and also Ancient Egypt. It originated in the Mediterranean basin and its vicinity; Ancient Greece and Rome are often cited as its birthplaces.File:Flickr - portableantiquities - Hilt Fitting.jpg|thumb|left|upright=0.6|Gold and garnet cloisonné (and mud), military fitting from the Staffordshire HoardStaffordshire HoardOver time, their associated empires grew first to the east and west to include the rest of Mediterranean and Black Sea coastal areas, conquering and absorbing. Later, they expanded to the north of the Mediterranean Sea to include Western, Central, and Southeastern Europe. Christianization of Ireland (5th century), Christianization of Bulgaria (9th century), Christianization of Kievan Rus' (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus; 10th century), Christianization of Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Sweden; 12th century) and Christianization of Lithuania (14th century) brought the rest of present-day European territory into Western civilization.Historians, such as Carroll Quigley in "The Evolution of Civilizations",WEB,weblink The Evolution of Civilizations – An Introduction to Historical Analysis (1979), 84, 10 March 2001, 31 January 2014, contend that Western civilization was born around AD 500, after the total collapse of the Western Roman Empire, leaving a vacuum for new ideas to flourish that were impossible in Classical societies. In either view, between the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the Renaissance, the West (or those regions that would later become the heartland of the culturally "western sphere") experienced a period of first, considerable decline,Middle Ages "Of the three great civilizations of Western Eurasia and North Africa, that of Christian Europe began as the least developed in virtually all aspects of material and intellectual culture, well behind the Islamic states and Byzantium." and then readaptation, reorientation and considerable renewed material, technological and political development. This whole period of roughly a millennium is known as the Middle Ages, its early part forming the "Dark Ages", designations that were created during the Renaissance and reflect the perspective on history, and the self-image, of the latter period.{{citation needed|date=February 2018}}The knowledge of the ancient Western world was partly preserved during this period due to the survival of the Eastern Roman Empire and the introduction of the Catholic Church; it was also greatly expanded by the Arab importationH. G. Wells, The Outline of History, Section 31.8, The Intellectual Life of Arab Islam "For some generations before Muhammad, the Arab mind had been, as it were, smouldering, it had been producing poetry and much religious discussion; under the stimulus of the national and racial successes it presently blazed out with a brilliance second only to that of the Greeks during their best period. From a new angle and with a fresh vigour it took up that systematic development of positive knowledge, which the Greeks had begun and relinquished. It revived the human pursuit of science. If the Greek was the father, then the Arab was the foster-father of the scientific method of dealing with reality, that is to say, by absolute frankness, the utmost simplicity of statement and explanation, exact record, and exhaustive criticism. Through the Arabs it was and not by the Latin route that the modern world received that gift of light and power."BOOK, Lewis, Bernard, Bernard Lewis, 2002, What Went Wrong, Oxford University Press, 978-0-06-051605-5, 3, "For many centuries the world of Islam was in the forefront of human civilization and achievement ... In the era between the decline of antiquity and the dawn of modernity, that is, in the centuries designated in European history as medieval, the Islamic claim was not without justification." of both the Ancient Greco-Roman and new technology through the Arabs from India and China to Europe.WEB,weblink Science, civilization and society,, 6 May 2011, WEB, Richard J. Mayne, Jr.,weblink Middle Ages,, 6 May 2011, Since the Renaissance, the West evolved beyond the influence of the ancient Greeks and Romans and the Islamic world, due to the successful Second Agricultural, Commercial,, commercial revolution Scientific,WEB,weblink The Scientific Revolution,, 6 June 1999, 6 May 2011, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 1 May 2011, and IndustrialWEB, Eric Bond, Sheena Gingerich, Oliver Archer-Antonsen, Liam Purcell, Elizabeth Macklem,weblink Innovations, The Industrial Revolution, 17 February 2003, 6 May 2011, revolutions (propellers of modern banking concepts). The West rose further with the 18th century's Age of Enlightenment and through the Age of Exploration's expansion of peoples of Western and Central European empires, particularly the globe-spanning colonial empires of 18th and 19th centuries.WEB,weblink How Islam Created Europe; In late antiquity, the religion split the Mediterranean world in two. Now it is remaking the Continent.,, May 2016, 25 April 2016, Numerous times, this expansion was accompanied by Catholic missionaries, who attempted to proselytize Christianity.There is debate among some as to whether Latin America as a whole is in a category of its own.Cf., Arnold J. Toynbee, Change and Habit. The challenge of our time (Oxford 1966, 1969) at 153–56; also, Toynbee, A Study of History (10 volumes, 2 supplements). Whether Russia should be categorized as "East" or "West" has been "an ongoing discussion" for centuries.Alexander Lukin. Russia Between East and West: Perceptions and Reality {{webarchive|url= |date=13 November 2017 }}. Brookings Institution. Published on 28 March 2003

Western/European culture

{{Further|History of Western civilization}}File:Sanzio 01.jpg|thumb|upright=1.15|The School of Athens depicts a fictional gathering of the most prominent thinkers of classical antiquity. Fresco by RaphaelRaphaelThe term "Western culture" is used very broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, religious beliefs, political systems, and specific artifacts and technologies.Specifically, Western culture may imply:
*a Biblical Christian cultural influence in spiritual thinking, customs and either ethic or moral traditions, around the Post-Classical Era and after. *European cultural influences concerning artistic, musical, folkloric, ethic and oral traditions, whose themes have been further developed by Romanticism. *a Graeco-Roman Classical and Renaissance cultural influence, concerning artistic, philosophic, literary, and legal themes and traditions, the cultural social effects of migration period and the heritages of Celtic, Germanic, Slavic and other ethnic groups, as well as a tradition of rationalism in various spheres of life, developed by Hellenistic philosophy, Scholasticism, Humanisms, the Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment.
The concept of Western culture is generally linked to the classical definition of the Western world. In this definition, Western culture is the set of literary, scientific, political, artistic and philosophical principles that set it apart from other civilizations. Much of this set of traditions and knowledge is collected in the Western canon.Duran 1995, p.81The term has come to apply to countries whose history is strongly marked by European immigration or settlement, such as the Americas, and Oceania, and is not restricted to Europe.Some tendencies that define modern Western societies are the existence of political pluralism, laicism, generalization of middle class, prominent subcultures or countercultures (such as New Age movements), increasing cultural syncretism resulting from globalization and human migration. The modern shape of these societies is strongly based upon the Industrial Revolution and the societies' associated social and environmental problems, such as class and pollution, as well as reactions to them, such as syndicalism and environmentalism.

Historical divisions

{{More citations needed section|date=July 2018}}The geopolitical divisions in Europe that created a concept of East and West originated in the ancient tyrannical and imperialistic Graeco-Roman times. The Eastern Mediterranean was home to the highly urbanized cultures that had Greek as their common language (owing to the older empire of Alexander the Great and of the Hellenistic successors.), whereas the West was much more rural in its character and more readily adopted Latin as its common language. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the beginning of the Medieval times (or Middle Ages), Western and Central Europe were substantially cut off from the East where Byzantine Greek culture and Eastern Christianity became founding influences in the Eastern European world such as the Eastern and Southern Slavic peoples.File:Age of Discovery explorations in English.png|thumb|upright=1.5|Map with the main travels of the Age of DiscoveryAge of DiscoveryRoman Catholic Western and Central Europe, as such, maintained a distinct identity particularly as it began to redevelop during the Renaissance. Even following the Protestant Reformation, Protestant Europe continued to see itself as more tied to Roman Catholic Europe than other parts of the perceived civilized world.Use of the term West as a specific cultural and geopolitical term developed over the course of the Age of Exploration as Europe spread its culture to other parts of the world. Roman Catholics were the first major religious group to immigrate to the New World, as settlers in the colonies of Portugal and Spain (and later, France) belonged to that faith. English and Dutch colonies, on the other hand, tended to be more religiously diverse. Settlers to these colonies included Anglicans, Dutch Calvinists, English Puritans and other nonconformists, English Catholics, Scottish Presbyterians, French Huguenots, German and Swedish Lutherans, as well as Quakers, Mennonites, Amish, and Moravians.{{citation needed|date=July 2018}}

Ancient Greek-Hellenistic worlds (13th–1st centuries BC)

File:Location greek ancient.svg|upright=1.5|thumb|The Ancient Greek world, {{circa}} 550 BC]]File:Diadochi_satraps_babylon-it.png|upright=1.5|thumb|right|The Ancient Hellenistic Greek world from 323 BC.]]Ancient Greek civilization had been growing in the first millennium BC into wealthy poleis, so-called city-states (geographically loose political entities which in time, inevitably end giving way to larger organisations of society, including the empire and the nation-state)Sri Aurobindo, "Ideal of Human Unity" included in Social and Political Thought, 1970. such as Athens, Sparta, Thebes, and Corinth, by Middle and Near Eastern ones (Sumerian cities such as Uruk and Ur; Ancient Egyptian city-states, such as Thebes and Memphis; the Phoenician Tyre and Sidon; the five Philistine city-states; the Berber city-states of the Garamantes).The then Hellenic division between the barbarians (term used by Ancient Greeks for all non-Greek-speaking people) and the Greeks contrasted in many societies the Greek-speaking culture of the Greek settlements around the Mediterranean to the surrounding non-Greek cultures. Herodotus considered the Persian Wars of the early 5th century BC a conflict of Europa versus Asia (which he considered all land north and east of the Sea of Marmara, respectively).The terms "West" and "East" were not used by any Greek author to describe that conflict. The anachronistic application of those terms to that division entails a stark logical contradiction, given that the term "West" has been used to distinguish Latin-speaking peoples from their Greek-speaking neighbors.Greek culture is said to have influenced Roman civilization in all aspects of society, from architecture to philosophy, art and war.According to a few writers, the future conquest of parts of the Roman Empire by Germanic peoples and the subsequent dominance by the Western Christian Papacy (which held combined political and spiritual authority, a state of affairs absent from Greek civilization in all its stages), resulted in a rupture of the previously existing ties between the Latin West and Greek thought,Charles Freeman. The Closing of the Western Mind. Knopf, 2003. {{ISBN|1-4000-4085-X}} including Christian Greek thought.

Ancient Roman world (509 BC–AD 476)

{{More citations needed section|date=April 2018}}File: Map_of_Rome_and_Carthage_at_the_start_of_the_Second_Punic_War.svg|upright=1.5|thumb|The Roman Republic in 218 BC after having managed the conquest of most of the Italian peninsula, on the eve of major successful and deadliest war with the PhoeniciaPhoeniciaFile:Roman_Empire_Trajan_117AD.png|upright=1.5|thumb|The Roman EmpireRoman EmpireAncient Rome (753 BC – AD 476) was a civilization that grew from a city-state founded on the Italian Peninsula about the 8th century BC to a massive empire straddling the Mediterranean Sea. In its 10-centuries expansion, Roman civilization shifted from a small monarchy (753 – 509 BC), to a republic (509 – 27 BC), to an autocratic empire (27 BC – AD 476). It came to dominate Western, Central and Southeastern Europe and the entire area surrounding the Mediterranean Sea through conquest using the Roman legions and then through cultural assimilation by eventually giving Roman citizenship privileges to the whole population. Nonetheless, despite its great legacy, a number of factors led to the eventual decline and fall of the Roman Empire.The Roman Empire succeeded the approximately 500-year-old Roman Republic ({{circa}} 510 BC – 30 BC), which had been weakened by the conflict between Gaius Marius and Sulla and the civil war of Julius Caesar against Pompey and Marcus Brutus. During these struggles hundreds of senators were killed, and the Roman Senate had been refilled with loyalists{{Vague|date=July 2018}} of the First Triumvirate and later those of the Second Triumvirate.{{efn|Several dates are commonly proposed to mark the transition from Republic to Empire, including the date of Julius Caesar's appointment as perpetual Roman dictator (44 BC), the victory of Caesar's heir Octavian at the Battle of Actium (2, 31 September BC), and the Roman Senate's granting to Octavian the honorific Augustus. (16, 27 January BC). Octavian/Augustus officially proclaimed that he had saved the Roman Republic and carefully disguised his power under republican forms: Consuls continued to be elected, tribunes of the plebeians continued to offer legislation, and senators still debated in the Roman Curia. However, it was Octavian who influenced everything and controlled the final decisions, and in final analysis, had the legions to back him up, if it became necessary.}} In 350 years, from the successful and deadliest war with the Phoenicians began in 218 BC to the rule of Emperor Hadrian by AD 117, Ancient Rome expanded up to twenty-five times its area. The same time passed before its fall in AD 476. Rome had expanded long before the empire reached its zenith with the conquest of Dacia in AD 106, under Emperor Trajan. During its territorial peak, the Roman Empire controlled about {{Convert|5000000|km2|}} of land surface and had a population of 100 million. From the time of Caesar (100 – 44 BC) to the Fall of the Western Roman Empire, Rome dominated Southern Europe, the Mediterranean coast of Northern Africa and the Western Middle East, including the ancient trade routes with population living outside. Ancient Rome has contributed greatly to the development of law, war, art, literature, architecture, technology and language in the Western world, and its history continues to have a major influence on the world today. Latin language has been the base from which Romance languages evolved and it has been the official language of the Catholic Church and all Catholic religious ceremonies all over Europe until 1967, as well as an or the official language of countries such as Poland (9th–18th centuries).Karin Friedrich et al., The Other Prussia: Royal Prussia, Poland and Liberty, 1569–1772, Cambridge University Press, 2000, {{ISBN|0-521-58335-7}}, Google Print, p. 88{{Multiple image
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|image2 = 628px-Western and Eastern Roman Empires 476AD(3).PNG

|footer = Graphical map of post-AD 395 Roman Empire highlighting differences between western Roman Catholic and eastern Greek Orthodox parts, on the eve of the death of last emperor to rule on both the western and eastern halves. The concept of "East-West" originated in the cultural division between Christian Churches. Western and Eastern Roman Empires on the eve of Western collapse in September of AD 476.
}}File:Invasions of the Roman Empire 1.png|upright=1.5|thumb|Ending invasions on Roman Empire between AD 100–500.]]In AD 395, a few decades before its Western collapse, the Roman Empire formally split into a Western and an Eastern one, each with their own emperors, capitals, and governments, although ostensibly they still belonged to one formal Empire. The Western Roman Empire provinces eventually were replaced by Northern European Germanic ruled kingdoms in the 5th century due to civil wars, corruption, and devastating Germanic invasions from such tribes as the Goths, the Franks and the Vandals by their late expansion throughout Europe. The three-day Visigoths's AD 410 sack of Rome who had been raiding Greece not long before, a shocking time for Graeco-Romans, was the first time after almost 800 years that Rome had fallen to a foreign enemy, and St. Jerome, living in Bethlehem at the time, wrote that "The City which had taken the whole world was itself taken."St Jerome, Letter CXXVII. To Principia, s:Nicene and Post-Nicene Fath paragraph 12. However, the Pope would be spearing slaughter and destruction{{clarify|date=March 2019}} by the followed sack of AD 455 lasted 14 days this time conducted by the Vandals, retaining Rome's ethernal spirit through the Holy See of Rome (the Latin Church) for centuries to come.Dominic Selwood, "On this day in AD 455: the beginning of the end for Rome" 2 June 2017.Irina-Maria Manea, "Alaric, Barbarians and Rome: a Complicated Relationship". The ancient Barbarian tribes, often composed of well-trained Roman soldiers paid by Rome to guard the extensive borders, had become militarily sophisticated 'romanized barbarians', and mercilessly slaughtered the Romans conquering their Western territories while looting their possessions.Rodney Stark, "How the West Won: The Neglected Story of the Triumph of Modernity".The Roman Empire is where the idea of "the West" began to emerge. By Rome's central location at the heart of the Empire, "West" and "East" were terms used to denote provinces west and east of the capital itself. Therefore, Iberia (Portugal and Spain), Gaul (France), Mediterranean coast of North Africa (Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco) and Britannia were all part of the "West", while Greece, Cyprus, Anatolia, Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, and Libya were part of the "East". Italy itself was considered central, until the reforms of Diocletian, with the idea of formally dividing the Empire into true two halves: Eastern and Western.{{Vague|date=July 2018}}The dissolution of the Western half (nominally in AD 476, but in truth a long process that ended by AD 800) left only the Eastern Roman Empire alive. The East continued to call themselves Eastern Romans even after AD 610 – 800 when Greek had become official language of the empire (was Latin) and the Pope's crowning of Charlemagne as Emperor of the Romans, while the West began thinking in terms of Western Latins (those living in the old Western Empire) and Eastern Greeks (those inside the Roman remnant to the east).The Eastern Roman Empire, governed from Constantinople, is usually referred to as the Byzantine Empire after AD 476, the traditional date for the "fall of the Western Roman Empire" and beginning of the Early Middle Ages. The Eastern Roman Empire surviving the fall of the Western, protected Roman legal and cultural traditions, combining them with Greek and Christian elements, for another thousand years. The name Byzantine Empire was used after the Byzantine Empire ended, the inhabitants of the Byzantine Empire continued to call themselves Romans for long time as the term “Roman” was meant to signify all Christians.{{Citation needed|date=December 2018}}

Middle Ages: Byzantine Empire (AD 395–1450), Holy Roman Empire (AD 800/962–1806), East-West Schism (AD 1054), Protestant Reformation (1500s)

{{Further|Christendom|Greek scholars in the Renaissance|Peace of Westphalia}}{{Cleanup rewrite|2=section|date=September 2015}}File:Justinien 527-565.svg|thumb|upright=1.5|Apex of Byzantine EmpireByzantine EmpireFile:Map_of_the_Byzantine_Empire,_1025_AD.PNG|thumb|upright=1.5|Map of the Byzantine Empire in AD 1025 on the eve of the Christian East-West SchismEast-West SchismFile:Great Schism 1054 with former borders.png|thumb|upright=1.5|The religious distribution after the weblink Vodič kroz svet Vizantije (Guide to the Byzantine World), Dragan Brujić, 2005, Beograd, 51, {{dead link">date=June 2016|bot=medic}}{{cbignore|bot=medic}}In the early 4th century (AD 330), Roman Emperor Constantine the Great had established the city of Constantinople (formerly ancient Byzantium) as the capital of the Roman Empire, later called "Byzantine Empire" by modern historians. The Eastern Roman Empire included lands south-west of the Black Sea and bordering on the Eastern Mediterranean and parts of the Adriatic Sea. This division into Eastern and Western Roman Empires was reflected in the administration of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Greek Orthodox churches, with Rome and Constantinople debating over whether either city was the capital of Western religion.As the Eastern (Orthodox) and Western (firstly Catholic, then Protestant as well) churches spread their influence, the line between Eastern and Western Christianity was moving. Its movement was affected by the influence of the Byzantine empire and the fluctuating power and influence of the Catholic church in Rome. Beginning in the Middle Ages religious cultural hegemony slowly waned in Europe generally. This process may have prompted the geographic line of religious division to approximately follow a line of cultural divide.The influential American conservative political scientist, adviser and academic Samuel P. Huntington argued that this cultural division still existed during the Cold War as the approximate Western boundary of those countries that were allied with the Soviet Union.{{efn|Others have fiercely criticized these views arguing they confuse the Eastern Roman Empire with Russia, especially considering the fact that the country that had the most historical roots in Byzantium (Greece) expelled communists and was allied with the West during the Cold War. Still, Russia accepted Eastern Christianity from the Byzantine Empire (by the Patriarch of Constantinople: Photios I) linking Russia very close to the Eastern Roman Empire world. Later on, in 16th century Russia created its own religious centre in Moscow. Religion survived in Russia beside severe persecution carrying values alternative to the communist ideology.{{Citation needed|date=July 2018}}}}File:Byzantium@1180.jpg|thumb|upright=1.5|Map of the Byzantine Empire in AD 1180 on the eve of the Latin Fourth CrusadeFourth CrusadeIn AD 800 under Charlemagne, the Early Medieval Franks established an empire that was recognized by the Pope in Rome as the Holy Roman Empire (Latin Christian revival of the ancient Roman Empire, under perpetual Germanic rule from AD 962) inehiriting ancient Roman Empire's prestige but offending the Roman Emperor in Constantinople. The crowning of the Emperor by the Pope led to the assumption that the highest power was the papal hierarchy, quintessential Roman Empire's spiritual heritage authority, establishing then, until the Protestant Reformation, the civilization of West Christendom.The Latin Rite Catholic Church of western and central Europe split with the eastern Greek-speaking Patriarchates by the Christian East–West Schism, also known as the "Great Schism", during the Gregorian Reforms (calling for a more central status of the Roman Catholic Church Institution), three months after Pope Leo IX's death in April 1054.BOOK,weblink Kenneth Meyer, Setton, A History of the Crusades, Wisconsin University Press, 1969, 9780299048341, 209–210, Following 1054 Great Schism, both the Western Church and Eastern Church continued to consider themselves uniquely orthodox and catholic. Augustine wrote in On True Religion: “Religion is to be sought... only among those who are called Catholic or orthodox Christians, that is, guardians of truth and followers of right.”BOOK, Dulles S.J., Avery, Reno, R.R., 2012, The Orthodox Imperative: Selected Essays of Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., First Things Press, 224, Kindle,weblink Over time, the Western Church gradually identified with the "Catholic" label, and people of Western Europe gradually associated the "Orthodox" label with the Eastern Church (although in some languages, the "Catholic" label is not necessarily identified with the Western Church). This was in note of the fact that both Catholic and Orthodox were in use as ecclesiastical adjectives as early as the 2nd and 4th centuries respectively.In 1071, the Byzantine army was defeated by the Muslim Turco-Persians of medieval Asia, resulting in the loss of most of Asia Minor. The situation was a serious threat to the future of the Eastern Orthodox Byzantine Empire. The Emperor sent a plea to the Pope in Rome to send military aid to restore the lost territories to Christian rule. The result was a series of western European military campaigns into the eastern Mediterranean, known as the Crusades. Unfortunately for the Byzantines, the crusaders (belonging to the members of high aristocracy from France, western Germany, the Low countries, and Italy) had no allegiance to the Byzantine Emperor and established their own states in the conquered regions, including the heart of the Byzantine Empire.Meanwhile, the extent of both Christendoms expanded, as Germanic peoples, Bohemia, Poland, Hungary, Scandinavia, Baltic peoples, British Isles and the other non-Christian lands of the northwest were converted by the Western Church, while Slavic peoples, Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro, Russia, Romania and Georgia were converted by the Eastern Church. The Holy Roman Empire would dissolve on 6 August 1806, after the French Revolution and the creation of the Confederation of the Rhine by Napoleon.File:Holy Roman Empire and Byzantine Empire (mid-13th century).png|thumb|upright=1.3|Map of (:en:Byzantine Empire|Byzantine Empire) (yellow), and (:en:Holy Roman Empire|Holy Roman Empire) at greatest extent and tied states (pink, green, purple, orange) in AD 1261, after the restoration of the Byzantine emperor.]]Decline of the Byzantine Empire (13th–15th centuries) began by Latin Christian Fourth Crusade in AD 1202–04, considered to be one of the most prominent acts that solidified the schism between the Christian churches of Greek Byzantine Rite and Latin Roman Rite. It had evolved from an anti-Western riot in 1182 broke out in Constantinople and targeting Latins, the extremely wealthy (after previous Crusades) Venetians in particular, into a successful attempt to maintain control over the coast of Catholic present-day Croatia (specifically the Dalmatia, region of interest to maritime medieval Venetian Republic moneylenders and its rivals, such as the Republic of Genoa) rebelling against the Venetian economical domination.BOOK,weblink The later Crusades, 1189–1311, V: The Fourth Crusade, Wolff, R. L., Hazard, H. W., 162, University of Wisconsin Press, 1969, 2013-11-09, What followed dealt an irrevocable blow to the already weakened Byzantine Empire with the Crusader army's sack of Constantinople in April 1204, capital of the Greek Christian-controlled Byzantine Empire, described as one of the most profitable and disgraceful sacks of a city in historyPhillips, The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople, Introduction, xiii. which would be paving the way for Muslim conquests in present-day Turkey and Balkans in the coming centuries (only a handful of the Crusaders followed to the stated destination thereafter, the Holy Land).{{efn|The Dalmatia remained under Venice domination throughout next centuries (even constituting an Italian territorial claim by the Treaty of Versailles in the aftermath of the First World War and through successive Italy's fascist period's demands).}} The geographical identity of the Balkans is historically known as a crossroads of cultures, a juncture between the Latin and Greek bodies of the Roman Empire, the destination of a massive influx of pagans (meaning "non-Christians") Bulgars and Slavs, an area where Catholic and Orthodox Christianity met,BOOK, Goldstein, I., Croatia: A History, McGill-Queen's University Press, 1999, as well as the meeting point between Islam and Christianity. The Papal Inquisition is established in AD 1229 on a permanent basis, run largely by clergymen in Rome,WEB,weblink CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Inquisition,, 13 October 2017, and abolished six centuries later; before AD 1100, the Catholic Church suppressed what they believed to be heresy, usually through a system of ecclesiastical proscription or imprisonment, but without using torture,BOOK, Lea, Henry Charles, Henry Charles Lea, A History of the Inquisition In The Middle Ages, 1, Chapter VII. The Inquisition Founded, The judicial use of torture was as yet happily unknown..., 1888, 1-152-29621-3,
and seldom resorting to executions.
BOOK, Foxe, John, John Foxe, Foxe's Book of Martyrs, Chapter V,weblink Foxe's Book of Martyrs, ENCYCLOPEDIA
, Blötzer
, J.
, The Catholic Encyclopedia
, Inquisition
, 2012-08-26
, 1910
, Robert Appleton Company
, ... in this period the more influential ecclesiastical authorities declared that the death penalty was contrary to the spirit of the Gospel, and they themselves opposed its execution. For centuries this was the ecclesiastical attitude both in theory and in practice. Thus, in keeping with the civil law, some Manichæans were executed at Ravenna in 556. On the other hand, Elipandus of Toledo and Felix of Urgel, the chiefs of Adoptionism and Predestinationism, were condemned by councils, but were otherwise left unmolested. We may note, however, that the monk Gothescalch, after the condemnation of his false doctrine that Christ had not died for all mankind, was by the Synods of Mainz in 848 and Quiercy in 849 sentenced to flogging and imprisonment, punishments then common in monasteries for various infractions of the rule.
, Blötzer
, J.
, The Catholic Encyclopedia
, Inquisition
, 2012-08-26
, 1910
, Robert Appleton Company
, [...] the occasional executions of heretics during this period must be ascribed partly to the arbitrary action of individual rulers, partly to the fanatic outbreaks of the overzealous populace, and in no wise to ecclesiastical law or the ecclesiastical authorities.
, BOOK, Lea, Henry Charles, A History of the Inquisition In The Middle Ages, 1, Chapter VII. The Inquisition Founded, 1-152-29621-3, This much profitable Central European Fourth Crusade had prompted 14th century Renaissance (translated as 'Rebirth') of Italian city-states including Papal States, ushering the following Protestant Reformation and Counter-Reformation (which established the Roman Inquisition after the Medieval Inquisition) of the 1500s by discovery of the American continent, and consequent dissolution of West Christendom as even a theoretical unitary political body, later resulting in the religious Eighty Years War (1568–1648) and Thirty Years War (1618–1648) between various Protestant and Catholic states of the Holy Roman Empire (and emergence of religiously diverse confessions). In this context, the Protestant Reformation (1515) may be viewed as a schism within the Catholic Church. German monk Martin Luther, in the wake of precursors, broke with the pope and with the emperor by the Catholic Church's abusive commercialization of indulgences in the Late Medieval Period, backed by many of the German princes and helped by the development of the printing press in an attempt to reform corruption within the church.WEB,weblink Background to Against the Sale of Indulgences by Martin Luther, West Chester University of Pennsylvania,, 2012, WEB,weblink How important was the role of the princes in bringing about the success of the Lutheran Reformation in Germany in the years 1525 to 1555?, Marked by Teachers,, 2009, WEB,weblink The Reformation, A&E Television Networks,, {{efn|These changes were adopted by the Scandinavian kings. Later, French commoner Jean Cauvin (John Calvin) assumed the religio-political leadership in Geneva, a former ecclesiastical city whose prior ruler had been the bishop. The English king later improvised on the Lutheran model, but subsequently many Calvinist doctrines were adopted by popular dissenters paralleling the struggles between the King and Parliament lead to the English Civil War (1642–1651) between royalists and parliamentarians, while both colonized North America eventually resulting in an independent United States of America (1776) during the Industrial Revolution.}}Both these religious wars ended by the Peace of Westphalia (1648), which enshrined the concept of the nation-state, and the principle of absolute national sovereignty in international law. As European influence spread across the globe, these Westphalian principles, especially the concept of sovereign states, became central to international law and to the prevailing world order.BOOK, Henry Kissinger, 2014, World Order: Reflections on the Character of Nations and the Course of History, Introduction and Chpt 1, Allen Lane, 978-0241004265, Henry Kissinger,

Colonial West: discovery of America, mercantilism and imperialism (15th–20th centuries)

}}File:SpanishEmpire1790.svg|thumb|upright=1.5|Apex of Spanish EmpireSpanish EmpireFile:Portuguese_discoveries_and_explorationsV2en.png|thumb|upright=1.5|Portuguese discoveries and explorations since 1336: first arrival places and dates; main Portuguese spice trade routes in the Indian Ocean (blue); territories claimed by King John III of PortugalKing John III of PortugalLater concepts of a world of nation-states born by the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, coupled with the ideologies of the Enlightenment, the coming of modernity, the Scientific RevolutionWEB,weblink Modern West Civ. 7: The Scientific Revolution of the 17 Cent,, 6 May 2011, and the Industrial Revolution,WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink yes, 14 December 2000, The Industrial Revolution,, 6 May 2011, would produce powerful social transformations, political and economic institutions that have come to influence (or been imposed upon) most nations of the world today. Historians agree that the Industrial Revolution has been one of the most important events in history.Industrial Revolution and the Standard of Living: The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, Library of Economics and LibertyThis process of influence (and imposition) began with the voyages of discovery, colonization, conquest, and exploitation of Portugal enforced as well by papal bulls in 1450s (by the fall of the Byzantine Empire), granting Portugal navigation, war and trade monopoly for any newly discovered lands,{{harvnb|Daus|1983|p=33}} and competing Spanish navigators. It continued with the rise of the Dutch East India Company by the destabilising Spanish discovery of the New World, and the creation and expansion of the English and French colonial empires, and others.Due to the reach of these empires, Western institutions expanded throughout the world. Even after demands for self-determination from subject peoples within Western empires were met with decolonization, these institutions persisted. One specific example was the requirement that post-colonial societies were made to form nation-states (in the Western tradition), which often created arbitrary boundaries and borders that did not necessarily represent a whole nation, people, or culture, and are often the cause of international conflicts and friction even to this day. Although not part of Western colonization process proper, following the Middle Ages Western culture in fact entered other global-spanning cultures during the colonial 15th–20th centuries.With the discovery of the American continent, the New World in 1492–1493, the European colonial Age of Discovery and exploration was born revisiting an imperialistic view accompanied by the invention of firearms, while marking the start of the Modern Era. During this long period the Catholic Church had inaugurated a major effort to spread Christianity in the New World and to convert the Native Americans and others, by a 'Modern West' emerging from Late Middle Ages (after the Renaissance and fall of Constantinople) as a new civilization greatly influenced by the interpretation of Greek thought preserved in the Byzantine Empire, and transmitted from there by Latin translations and emigration of Greek scholars through Renaissance humanism (popular typefaces such as italics were inspired and designed from transcriptions during this period). By Renaissance architectural works, revivals of Classical and Gothic styles flourished during this modern period throughout Western colonial empires, with the former embodying Roman Catholic Church and republican values while the latter having more conservative and Protestant Church connotations.{{Multiple image
|total_width = 470
|image1 = ColumbusHouseOfValladolid.jpg

|image2 = Colonisation2.gif

|footer = Replica of the Iberian Santa María, the Genoan merchant navigator Christopher Columbus's flagship during his first voyage, a large carvel-built ocean-going ship, financed by Catholic Monarchs of Castile and Aragon.WEB,weblink Columbus Monuments Pages: Valladolid, 3 January 2010, Colombus had estimated a travel distance of {{convert|2400|mi|km|-1}}, far too low.Samuel Eliot Morison, Admiral of the Ocean Sea: The Life of Christopher Columbus, (Boston: Atlantic-Little, Brown, 1942). Reissued by the Morison Press, 2007. {{ISBN|1-4067-5027-1}}
{{listen| filename = The Letter of Christopher Columbus on the Discovery of America - Read by Availle for LibriVox's Short Nonfiction Collection Vol. 015 (2010).ogg| title = "The Letter of Columbus on the Discovery of America"Read by Availle for LibriVox| description = Audio 00:20:05 (full text)| style = float:none; clear:none| play = no| help = no| pos = left| type = speech}}Colonialisation by Western/European powers (and others) since 1492.}}In the 13th and 14th centuries, a number of European travelers, many of them Christian missionaries, had sought to cultivate trading with Asia and Africa. By start of the Crusades and relative contraction of Orthodox Byzantine's large silk industry in favour of Catholic Western European and rise of Western Papacy, most famous of these merchant travelers after the (Spice trade#Age of European Discovery: finding a new route and a New World|East-West trade) was Venetian Marco Polo. But these journeys had little permanent effect on the East-West trade because of a series of political developments in Asia in the last decades of the 14th century, which put an end to further European exploration of Asia: namely the new Ming rulers were found to be unreceptive of religious proselytism by European missionaries and merchants. Meanwhile, the Ottoman Turks consolidated control over the eastern Mediterranean, closing off key overland trade routes.The Portuguese spearheaded the drive to find oceanic routes that would provide cheaper and easier access to South and East Asian goods, by advancements in maritime technology such as the caravel ship introduced in the mid-1400s. This chartering of oceanic routes between East and West began with the unprecedented voyages of Portuguese and Spanish sea captains, and would eventually expand across the globe initiating European colonialism by Hispano-Italian 1492 exploring voyage by merchant, navigator, and colonizer Christopher Columbus. These voyages were influenced by medieval European adventurers after the European spice trade with Asia, who had journeyed overland to the Far East contributing to geographical knowledge of parts of the Asian continent upon their return, and are of enormous significance in Western history as they marked the beginning of the European exploration, colonization and exploitation of the American continents and that of their native inhabitants.{{efn|Portuguese sailors began exploring the coast of Africa and the Atlantic archipelagos in 1418–19, using recent developments in navigation, cartography and maritime technology such as the caravel, in order that they might find a sea route to the source of the lucrative spice trade.In 1488, Bartolomeu Dias rounded the southern tip of Africa under the sponsorship of Portugal's John II, from which point he noticed that the coast swung northeast (Cape of Good Hope).In 1492 Christopher Columbus would land on an island in the Bahamas archipelago on behalf of the Spanish, and documenting the Atlantic Ocean's routes would be granted a Coat of Arms by Pope Alexander VI motu proprio in 1502.In 1497 Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama made the first open voyage from Europe to India.In 1520, Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese navigator in the service of the Crown of Castile ('Spain'), found a sea route into the Pacific Ocean.}}{{efn|In the 16th century, the Portuguese broke the (overland) Medieval monopoly of the Arabs and Italians of trade (goods and slaves) between Asia and Europe by the discovery of the sea route to India around the Cape of Good Hope.M. Weisner-Hanks, Early Modern Europe 1450–1789 (Cambridge, 2006) With the ensuing rise of the rival Dutch East India Company, Portuguese influence in Asia was gradually eclipsed; Dutch forces first established fortified independent bases in the East and then between 1640 and 1660 wrestled some southern Indian ports, and the lucrative Japan trade from the Portuguese. Later, the English and the French established some settlements in India and trade with China, and their own acquisitions would gradually surpass those of the Dutch. In 1763, the British eliminated French influence in India and established the British East India Company as the most important political force on the Indian Subcontinent.}}{{efn|Although Christianized by early Middle Ages, Ireland is soon colonised in 16th- and 17th-century with settlers from the neighboring island of Great Britain (several people committed in the establishment of these colonies in Ireland, would later also colonise North America initiating the British Empire), while Iceland still uninhabited long after the rest of Western Europe had been settled, by 1397–1523 would eventually be united in one alliance with all of the Nordic states (kingdoms of Denmark, Sweden and Norway).}} The European colonization of the Americas was the outset of the Atlantic slave trade between the 1490s and the 1800s, which also contributed to the development of African intertribal warfare and racist ideology. Until the abolition of its slave trade in 1807, the British Empire alone (which had started colonial efforts in 1578, almost a century after Portuguese and Spanish empires) was responsible for the transportation of 3.5 million African slaves to the Americas, a third of all slaves transported across the Atlantic.BOOK, Niall, Ferguson, Niall Ferguson, Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power, New York, Basic Books, 2004, 62, 978-0-465-02329-5, The Holy Roman Empire dissolved in 1806 by the French Revolutionary Wars; abolition of the Roman Catholic Inquisition followed.In early-19th century the systematic urbanisation process (migration from villages in search of jobs to places where factories were set up) had begun, and the concentration of labour into factories led to the rise in the population of the towns particularly (world population had been rising as well, it is estimated it reached one billion for the first time in 1804),WEB,weblink The World at Six Billion, United Nations, October 12, 1999, August 1, 2010, while the new philosophical movement later known as Romanticism originated after the previous Reason of the 1600s and Enlightenment of 1700s, that enabled 19th century Western world's sustained economic development.PUBLICATION, Wim Van Den Doel, The Dutch Empire. An Essential Part of World History, BMGN – Low Countries Historical Review, 2010, The Western belief in progress, Enlightenment thinking and the scientific revolution were elements that enabled the Western economy to develop in the nineteenth century in a way that was fundamentally different from most of the economies in the rest of the world. Europeans had not been able to sell much to the Asians in the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but after the Industrial Revolution the situation was completely different, and the European textile industry, for example, was easily able to sell its cheap products throughout Asia. Improved transport methods also meant that European products could reach the Asian market at a relatively low cost. From about 1800, what historians term ‘the great divergence’ took place, which was the separation of the economic development of the Western World, on the one hand, and of almost all of Asia and Africa on the other.,
Western world's major national buildings and churches by the colonial 15th–20th centuries

Legislative buildings
File:Parlamento_April_2009-1a.jpg|Parliament building, Portugal (1598–1938)File:1459RomaMontecitorio.jpg|Parliament building, Italy (1653-1927)File:Palais_Bourbon,_Paris_7e,_NW_View_140402_1.jpg|Parliament building, France (1722–26)File:Houses_of_Parliament-Bank_of_Ireland_1.jpg|Former Parliament building, Ireland (1729–96)File:United_States_Capitol_west_front_edit2.jpg|Parliament building, United States (1783-1800)File:Griechisches_Parlament.jpg|Parliament building, Greece (1836–43)File:Parliament_at_Sunset.JPG|Parliament building, United Kingdom (1840–76)File:Congreso_de_los_Diputados_(España)_14.jpg|Parliament building, Spain (1843–50)File:Bundeshaus_Bern_2009,_Flooffy.jpg|Parliament building, Switzerland (1852-1902)File:Parliamenthill.jpg|Parliament building, Canada (1859–1927)File:Austria_Parlament_Front-Ausschnitt.jpg|Parliament building, Austria (1874–83)File:Palais_de_la_Nation_Bruxelles.jpg|Parliament building, Belgium (1879–83)File:Berlin_-_Reichstagsgebäude3.jpg|Parliament building, Germany (1884–94)File:Congreso-sol cupula-TM.jpg|Parliament building, Argentina (1896-1906)File:Riksdagshuset_i_Stockholm.jpg|Parliament building, Sweden (1897-1905)File:Christiansborg_Slot_Copenhagen_2014_01.jpg|Parliament building, Denmark (1907–28)File:El Palacio de Donceles.jpg|Parliament building, Mexico (1909-1911)File:Capitolio Nacional 1.jpg|Parliament building, Colombia (1876-1926)File:Palácio Tiradentes 2.JPG|Parliament building, Brazil (1922-1926)List of legislative buildings

Church buildings
File:Abbazia_di_Santa_Giustina.jpg|Abbey of Santa Giustina, Italy (1501–1606)File:Basilica_di_San_Pietro_in_Vaticano_September_2015-1a.jpg|St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City (1506-1626)File:St_Pauls_aerial_(cropped).jpg|St Paul's Cathedral, United Kingdom (1677-1708)File:Basilica_del_Pilar_ZaragozaAragon(Spain).jpg|Basilica-Cathedral of Our Lady of the Pillar, Spain (1681–1872)File:Dresden-Brühl-Terrasse-gp.jpg|Dresden Cathedral, Germany (1739–55)File:St_John's_Basilica.jpg|Basilica of St. John the Baptist, Canada (1839–55)File:Linz-cathedrale.jpg|New Cathedral, Austria (1862-1924)File:Σαγράδα_Φαμίλια_2941.jpg|Sagrada Família, Spain (1882–present)File:StJohnTheDivineWilliamPorto.jpg|Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, United States (1892–present)File:Westminster_Cathedral_at_Dusk,_London,_UK_-_Diliff.jpg|Westminster Cathedral, United Kingdom (1895–1910)List of largest church buildingsLists of cathedralsList of Catholic basilicas
Colonial architecture

File:William Bell Scott - Iron and Coal.jpg|thumb|280px|The Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain in 1760s and was preceded by the Agricultural and Scientific revolutions in the 1600s, forever modified the economy worldwide.]](File:World 1910.jpg|left|thumb|upright=1.2|Western empires as they were in 1910.)Before the urbanisation and industrialization of the 1800s, demand for oriental goods such as porcelain, silk, spices and tea remained the driving force behind European imperialism in Asia, and (with the important exception of British East India Company rule in India) the European stake in Asia remained confined largely to trading stations and strategic outposts necessary to protect trade.ENCYCLOPEDIA
, Webster
, Richard A.
, European expansion since 1763
, 2018-07-23
, Encyclopædia Britannica
, The global expansion of western Europe between the 1760s and the 1870s differed in several important ways from the expansionism and colonialism of previous centuries. Along with the rise of the Industrial Revolution, which economic historians generally trace to the 1760s, and the continuing spread of industrialization in the empire-building countries came a shift in the strategy of trade with the colonial world. Instead of being primarily buyers of colonial products (and frequently under strain to offer sufficient salable goods to balance the exchange), as in the past, the industrializing nations increasingly became sellers in search of markets for the growing volume of their machine-produced goods.
, Industrialisation, however, dramatically increased European demand for Asian raw materials; and the severe Long Depression of the 1870s provoked a scramble for new markets for European industrial products and financial services in Africa, the Americas, Eastern Europe, and especially in Asia (Western powers exploited their advantages in China for example by the Opium Wars),WEB,weblink European expansion since 1763, Encyclopædia Britannica, 4 August 2018, and resulted in so-called "New Imperialism", which saw a shift in focus between trade, indirect rule and formal colonial control of vast overseas territories ruled as political extensions of their mother countries.{{efn|The Scramble for Africa was the occupation, division, and colonization of African territory by European powers during the period of New Imperialism, between 1881 and 1914. It is also called the 'Partition of Africa' and by some the 'Conquest of Africa'. In 1870, only 10 percent of Africa was under formal Western/European control; by 1914 it had increased to almost 90 percent of the continent, with only Ethiopia (Abyssinia), the Dervish state (a portion of present-day Somalia)Camille Pecastaing, Jihad in the Arabian Sea (Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 2011), In the land of the Mad Mullah: Somalia {{Full citation needed|date=July 2019}} and Liberia still being independent.}} The later years of the 19th century saw the transition from "informal imperialism" (hegemony){{efn|In ancient Greece (8th century BC – AD 6th century), hegemony denoted the politico-military dominance of a city-state over other city-states.BOOK, The Columbia Encyclopedia, Fifth, 1994, New York, Columbia University Press, 0-231-08098-0, Barbara A., Chernow, George A., Vallasi, 1215, The dominant state is known as the hegemon.Oxford English Dictionary: "A leading or paramount power; a dominant state or person"}} by military influence and economic dominance, to direct rule (a revival of colonial imperialism) in the African continent and Middle East.Kevin Shillington, History of Africa. Revised second edition (New York: Macmillan Publishers Limited, 2005), 301.Between the 1870s and 1914 (so-called Beautiful Era, socioeconomically optimistic and innovative decades by the Second Industrial Revolution), the established colonial powers in Asia (United Kingdom, France, Netherlands) added to their empires also vast expanses of territory in the Indian Subcontinent and South East Asia. Japan was involved primarily in the so-called Meiji period (1868–1912), though earlier contact with the Portuguese, the Spaniards and the Dutch were also present in the recognition of European nations as strategically important to the Japanese Empire. The traditional Japanese society was virtually overturned into an industrial and militarist power like Western countries such as the United Kingdom, the French Third Republic, and similarly to the German Empire, the Russian Empire, and the United States, following the Spanish–American War in 1898, quickly emerged as new imperial powers in East Asia and in the Pacific Ocean area. By 1913, the British Empire held sway over 412 million people, {{Percentage|412,000,000|1,791,020,000}} of the world population at the time,Maddison 2001, pp. 97 "The total population of the Empire was 412 million [in 1913]", 241 "[World population in 1913 (in thousands):] 1 791 020". and by 1920, it covered {{convert|35500000|km2|sqmi|-5|abbr=on}},JOURNAL, September 1997, Expansion and Contraction Patterns of Large Polities: Context for Russia, International Studies Quarterly, 41, 3, 502, 10.1111/0020-8833.00053, Rein Taagepera, Rein Taagepera, 2600793,weblink {{Percentage|35,500,000|148,940,000}} of the Earth's total land area:WEB, The World Factbook — Central Intelligence Agency,weblink, 10 September 2016, land: 148.94 million sq km, at its apex, the phrase "the empire on which the sun never sets" was often used to describe the British Empire, because its expanse around the globe meant that the sun was always shining on at least one of its territories.Jackson, pp. 5–6. As a result, its political, legal, linguistic and cultural legacy is widespread throughout the Western World.In the aftermath of the Second World War, decolonizing efforts were employed by all Western powers under United Nations (ex-League of Nations) international directives.Though the overt colonial era has passed, Western nations, as comparatively rich, well-armed, and culturally powerful states, still wielded a large degree of influence throughout the world.

Cold War context (1947–1991)

During the Cold War, a new definition emerged. Earth was divided into three "worlds". The First World, analogous in this context to what was called the West, was composed of NATO members and other countries aligned with the United States. The Second World was the Eastern bloc in the Soviet sphere of influence, including the Soviet Union (15 republics including presently independent Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) and Warsaw Pact countries like Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, East Germany (now united with Germany), Czechoslovakia (now split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia).The Third World consisted of countries, many of which were unaligned with either, and important members included India, Yugoslavia, Finland (Finlandization) and Switzerland (Swiss Neutrality); some include the People's Republic of China, though this is disputed, since the People's Republic of China, as communist, had friendly relations — at certain times — with the Soviet bloc, and had a significant degree of importance in global geopolitics. Some Third World countries aligned themselves with either the US-led West or the Soviet-led Eastern bloc.
Maps on the Cold War East-West division
{| style="margin:auto;"
thumbSpheres of influence between the Western world and the Soviet Union during the Cold WarCold War|{{Three worlds}}
{| style="margin:auto;"thumbEast and West in 1980, as defined by the Cold WarCold WarthumbEuropean trade blocs as of 1988. European Economic Community member states are marked in blue, European Free Trade Association>EFTA â€“ green, and ComeconComecon{{multiple image| align = center| image1 = World_1975_empires_colonies_territory.png| width1 = 470| alt1 = | caption1 = | image2 = Christianity percent population in each nation World Map Christian data by Pew Research.svg| width2 = 393| alt2 = | caption2 = colonial empires through decolonization. The global distribution of Christians: a darker shade means a higher proportion of Christians.ANALYSIS TITLE=TABLE: RELIGIOUS COMPOSITION BY COUNTRY, IN PERCENTAGES DATE=19 DECEMBER 2011, 17 August 2012, }}
A number of countries did not fit comfortably into this neat definition of partition, including Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, and Ireland, which chose to be neutral. Finland was under the Soviet Union's military sphere of influence (see FCMA treaty) but remained neutral and was not communist, nor was it a member of the Warsaw Pact or Comecon but a member of the EFTA since 1986, and was west of the Iron Curtain. In 1955, when Austria again became a fully independent republic, it did so under the condition that it remain neutral, but as a country to the west of the Iron Curtain, it was in the United States' sphere of influence. Spain did not join the NATO until 1982, towards the end of the Cold War and after the death of the authoritarian Franco.

Cold War II context

File:Sanctions 2014 Russia2.svg|thumb|upright=1.1.364|Several countries (green), many of which are NATO members and/or EU members, introduced sanctions on Russia (blue) following the 2014–15 Russian military intervention in Ukraine and 2015 Russian military intervention in the Syrian Civil War.]]During the Cold War II, a new definition emerged. More specifically, Cold War II,WEB,weblink Welcome to Cold War II, Dmitri Trenin, 4 March 2014, Foreign Policy, Graham Holdings, 4 February 2015, also known as the Second Cold War, New Cold War,WEB,weblink The new cold war: are we going back to the bad old days?, Simon Tisdall, 19 November 2014, The Guardian, Guardian News and Media Limited, 4 February 2015, Cold War Redux,NEWS, Laudicina, Paul, Ukraine: Cold War Redux Or New Global Challenge?,weblink 9 January 2015, Forbes, 15 May 2014, Cold War 2.0,WEB,weblink Is the Cold War Back?, Eve Conant, 12 September 2014, National Geographic, National Geographic Society, 4 February 2015, and Colder War,NEWS, Mauldin, John, The Colder War Has Begun,weblink 22 December 2014, Forbes, 29 October 2014, refers to the tensions, hostilities, and political rivalry that intensified dramatically in 2014 between the Russian Federation on the one hand, and the United States, European Union, NATO and some other countries on the other hand.As Cold War II Looms, Washington Courts Nationalist, Rightwing, Catholic, Xenophobic Poland, Huffington Post, 15 October 2015. Tensions escalated in 2014 after Russia's annexation of Crimea, military intervention in Ukraine, and the 2015 Russian military intervention in the Syrian Civil War.WEB, 'The Cold War never ended...Syria is a Russian-American conflict' says Bashar al-Assad,weblink The Telegraph, 24 January 2017, NEWS,weblink U.S. Weaponry Is Turning Syria Into Proxy War With Russia, The New York Times, 14 October 2015, 12 October 2015, NEWS,weblink U.S., Russia escalate involvement in Syria, CNN, 17 October 2015, 13 October 2015, By August 2014, both sides had implemented economic, financial, and diplomatic sanctions upon each other: virtually all Western countries, led by the US and EU, imposed restrictive measures on Russia; the latter reciprocally introduced retaliatory measures.NEWS,weblink U.S. and other powers kick Russia out of G8, 25 March 2014, 7 August 2014,, Johanna Granville, "The Folly of Playing High-Stakes Poker with Putin: More to Lose than Gain over Ukraine." 8 May 2014.

Modern definitions

{{more citations needed section|date=April 2018}}{{Multiple image
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|footer = Asia (as the "Eastern world"), the Arab world and Africa.
}}The exact scope of the Western world is somewhat subjective in nature, depending on whether cultural, economic, spiritual or political criteria are employed. It is a generally accepted western view to recognize the existence of at least three "major worlds" (or "cultures", or "civilizations"), broadly in contrast with the Western: the Eastern world, the Arab and the African worlds, with no clearly specified boundaries. Additionally, Latin American and Orthodox worlds are sometimes separately considered "akin" to the West.Many anthropologists, sociologists and historians oppose "the West and the Rest" in a categorical manner.WEB,weblink New Left Review – Jack Goody: The Labyrinth of Kinship, 24 July 2007, The same has been done by Malthusian demographers with a sharp distinction between European and non-European family systems. Among anthropologists, this includes Durkheim, Dumont and Lévi-Strauss.As the term "Western world" does not have a strict international definition, governments do not use the term in legislation of international treaties and instead rely on other definitions.

Cultural definition

{{further|Western culture|Culture of Europe}}In modern usage, Western world refers to Europe and to areas whose populations largely originate from Europe, through the Age of Discovery's imperialism.In the 20th century, Christianity declined in influence in many Western countries, mostly in the European Union where some member states have experienced falling church attendance and membership in recent years,NEWS, USA Today,weblink What place for God in Europe, 24 July 2009, 22 February 2005, Peter, Ford, and also elsewhere. Secularism (separating religion from politics and science) increased. However, while church attendance is in decline, in some western countries (i.e. Italy, Poland and Portugal) more than half the people state that religion is important,JOURNAL, Special Eurobarometer 225, Social values, Science and Technology, Europa, web portal, Eurostat, 2005,weblink 9, 11 June 2009, Eurostat, and most Westerners nominally identify themselves as Christians (e.g. 59% in the United Kingdom) and attend church on major occasions, such as Christmas and Easter. In the Americas, Christianity continues to play an important societal role, though in areas such as Canada, a low level of religiosity is common as a result of experiencing processes of secularization similar to European ones. The official religions of the United Kingdom and some Nordic countries are forms of Christianity, even though the majority of European countries have no official religion. Despite this, Christianity, in its different forms, remains the largest faith in most Western countries.See ARDA data archives:weblink remains the dominant religion in the Western world, where 70% are Christians.WEB, ANALYSIS,weblink Global Christianity,, 19 December 2011, 17 August 2012, A 2011 Pew Research Center survey found that 76.2% of Europeans, 73.3% in Oceania, and about 86.0% in the Americas (90% in Latin America and 77.4% in North America) described themselves as Christians.WEB, ANALYSIS,weblink Europe,, 19 December 2011, 17 August 2012, WEB, ANALYSIS,weblink Americas,, 19 December 2011, 17 August 2012, WEB, ANALYSIS,weblink Global religious landscape: Christians,, 19 December 2011, 17 August 2012, Western world countries also are the most keen on digital and televisual media technologies, as they were in the postwar period on television and radio: from 2000 to 2014, internet's market penetration in the West was twice that of non-Western regions.BOOK, Maurice Roche, Mega-Events and Social Change: Spectacle, Legacy and Public Culture,weblink Oxford University Press, 329, 9781526117083, 2017, Wikipedia is blocked intermittently in China since 2004.NEWS, CNBC,weblink China blocks Wikipedia in all languages, 23 May 2019, 15 May 2019, David, Reid,

Economic definition

{{more citations needed section|date=April 2018}}File:Brooklyn Bridge 20080501.JPG|thumb|upright=1.0|New York City has been a dominant global financial centerfinancial centerThe term "Western world" is sometimes interchangeably used with the term First World or developed countries, stressing the difference between First World and the Third World or developing countries. This usage occurs despite the fact that many countries that may be culturally "Western" are developing countries – in fact, a significant percentage of the Americas are developing countries. It is also used despite many developed countries or regions not being Western (e.g. Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao), and therefore left out when "Western world" is used to denote developed countries. Privatization policies (involving government enterprises and public services) and multinational corporations are often considered a visible sign of Western nations's economic presence, especially in Third World countries, and represent common institutional environment for powerful politicians, enterprises, trade unions and firms, bankers and thinkers of the Western world.Paul Starr, "The Meaning of Privatization," Yale Law and Policy Review 6: 6–41" 1988.James C. W. Ahiakpor, "Multinational Corporations in the Third World: Predators or Allies in Economic Development?" 20 July 2010.Investopedia, "Why are most multinational corporations either from the US, Europe or Japan".Jackson J. Spielvogel, "Western Civilization: A Brief History, Volume II: Since 1500" 2016.United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Foreign Relations. Subcommittee on Multinational Corporations, "Multinational corporations and United States foreign policy Part 11" 1975.(File:Income groups 2016 by GNI per capita.png|upright=1.0|left|thumb|Countries by income group)The existence of "The North" implies the existence of "The South", and the socio-economic divide between North and South. The term "the North" has in some contexts replaced earlier usage of the term "the West", particularly in the critical sense, as a more robust demarcation than the terms "West" and "East". The North provides some absolute geographical indicators for the location of wealthy countries, most of which are physically situated in the Northern Hemisphere, although, as most countries are located in the northern hemisphere in general, some have considered this distinction equally unhelpful. Modern financial services and technologies are largely developed by Western nations: Bitcoin, most known digital currency is subject to skepticism in the Eastern world whereas Western nations are more open to it.Harvey Gavin, Daily Express, "MAPPED: Where is Bitcoin legal? Cryptocurrency regulations across the world" 2018.

Latin America and the Orthodox world

File:Clash of Civilizations mapn2.png|upright=1.5|right|thumb|Huntington's map of major civilizations. What constitutes Western civilization in post-Cold WarCold War(File:Westerncultures.map2015.png|upright=1.5|right|thumb|Wider classification of the Western world, including ex-colonies with strong European sociocultural influence.)American political scientist, adviser and academic Samuel P. Huntington considered Latin America and the Orthodox world somewhat distinct from his conception of the Western world for his geopolitical analysis. However he further dwells on the subject by stating that while in general researchers consider that the West has three main components, European, North America and Latin American. In his view, Latin America has followed a different development path from Europe and North America. Although it is a scion of European civilization, it also incorporates, to an extent, elements of indigenous American civilizations, absent from North America and Europe. It has had a corporatist and authoritarian culture that Europe had to a much lesser extent and America did not have at all. Both Europe and North America felt the effects of the Reformation and combined Catholic and Protestant culture. Historically, Latin America has been only Catholic, although this may be changing due to the influx of Protestants into the region. Some regions in Latin America incorporates indigenous cultures, which did not exist in Europe, and which were effectively annihilated in North America, and whose importance oscillates between two extremes: Mexico, Central America, Peru and Bolivia, on the one hand, and Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay on the other. However, he does mention that the modus operandi of the Catholic Church was to incorporate native elements of pagan European cultures into the general dogma of Catholicism, and the Native American elements could be perceived in the same way.BOOK, Clash of Civilizations, Huntington, Samuel P., 1991, 978-0-684-84441-1, 6th, Washington, DC, 110–111,weblink (in Spanish), Subjectively, Latin Americans themselves are divided when it comes to identifying themselves. Some say: "Yes, we are part of the West." Others say: "No, we have our own unique culture"; and a vast bibliographical material produced by Latin Americans and North Americans exposes in detail their cultural differences. Huntington goes on to mention that Latin America could be considered a sub-civilization within Western civilization, or a separate civilization, intimately related to the West and divided as to its belonging to it. While for an analysis focused on the international political consequences of civilizations, including relations between Latin America, on the one hand, and North America and Europe, on the other, the second option is the most appropriate and useful; he also mentions that the underlying conflict of Latin American belonging to the West must be eventually addressed in order to develop a cohesive Latin American identity.BOOK, Clash of Civilizations, Huntington, Samuel P., 1991, 978-0-684-84441-1, 6th, Washington, DC, 38–39, The origin of western civilization is usually dated to 700 or 800 AD. In general, researchers consider that it has three main components, in Europe, North America and Latin America"... "However, Latin America has followed a quite different development path from Europe and North America. Although it is a scion of European civilization, it also incorporates, to varying degrees, elements of indigenous American civilizations, absent from North America and Europe. It has had a corporatist and authoritarian culture that Europe had to a much lesser extent and America did not have at all. Both Europe and North America felt the effects of the Reformation and combined Catholic and Protestant culture. Historically, Latin America has been only Catholic, although this may be changing. Latin American civilization incorporates indigenous cultures, which did not exist in Europe, which were effectively annihilated in North America, and whose importance oscillates between two extremes: Mexico, Central America, Peru and Bolivia, on the one hand, and Argentina and Chile, on the other. The political evolution and the economic development of Latin America have clearly separated from the predominant models in the North Atlantic countries. Subjectively, Latin Americans themselves are divided when it comes to identifying themselves. Some say: "Yes, we are part of the West." Others say: "No, we have our own unique culture"; and a vast bibliographical material produced by Latin Americans and North Americans exposes in detail their cultural differences. Latin America could be considered, or a sub-civilization within Western civilization, or a separate civilization, intimately related to the West and divided as to its belonging to it.,weblink (in Spanish), BOOK, Clash of Civilizations, Huntington, Samuel P., 1991, 978-0-684-84441-1, 6th, Washington, DC, 148–150,weblink (in Spanish), Huntington's view has, however, been contested on a number of occasions as biased.WEB, Fuentes, Carlos, Huntington and the Mask of Racism,weblink NPQ, JOURNAL, Citrin, Jack, Jack Citrin, Lerman, Amy, Murakami, Michael, Pearson, Kathryn, Testing Huntington: Is Hispanic Immigration a Threat to American Identity?, Perspectives on Politics, 2007, 5, 1, 31–48,weblink

Other views

A series of scholars of civilization, including Arnold J. Toynbee, Alfred Kroeber and Carroll Quigley have identified and analyzed "Western civilization" as one of the civilizations that have historically existed and still exist today. Toynbee entered into quite an expansive mode, including as candidates those countries or cultures who became so heavily influenced by the West as to adopt these borrowings into their very self-identity; carried to its limit, this would in practice include almost everyone within the West, in one way or another. In particular, Toynbee refers to the intelligentsia formed among the educated elite of countries impacted by the European expansion of centuries past. While often pointedly nationalist, these cultural and political leaders interacted within the West to such an extent as to change both themselves and the West.The theologian and paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin conceived of the West as the set of civilizations descended from the Nile Valley Civilization of Egypt.Cf., Teilhard de Chardin, Le Phenomene Humain (1955), translated as The Phenomena of Man (New York 1959).Palestinian-American literary critic Edward Said uses the term occident in his discussion of orientalism. According to his binary, the West, or Occident, created a romanticized vision of the East, or Orient to justify colonial and imperialist intentions. This Occident-Orient binary focuses on the Western vision of the East instead of any truths about the East. His theories are rooted in Hegel's Master-slave dialectic: The Occident would not exist without the Orient and vice versa. Further, Western writers created this irrational, feminine, weak "Other" to contrast with the rational, masculine, strong West because of a need to create a difference between the two that would justify imperialist ambitions, according to the Said-influenced Indian-American theorist Homi K. Bhabha.{{confusing-inline|date=July 2018}}
Map illustrations of the West according to different but closely interrelated definitions
File:Theodosius_I's_empire.png|Division of the Roman Empire after 395 into western and eastern part. The geopolitical divisions in Europe that created a concept of East and West originated in the Roman Empire.File:Latin alphabet world distribution.svg|Latin alphabet world distribution. The dark green areas show the countries where this alphabet is the sole official (or de facto official) national script. The light green places show the countries where the alphabet co-exists with other scripts.File:Christian world map.png|Countries with 50% or more Christians are colored purple while countries with 10% to 50% Christians are colored pinkFile:Religion in the world.PNG|Map showing relative degree of religiosity by country. Based on a 2006–2008 worldwide survey by Gallup.File:Primary Human Language Families Map.png|Human language families.File:Western palearctic.png|Western Palaearctic, a part of the Palaearctic ecozone, one of the eight ecozones dividing the Earth's surface.File:Intermediate Region Western Boundary FR.JPG|Geopolitical Occident of Europe, according to the Intermediate Region theory of Dimitri KitsikisFile:IE countries.svg|Indo-European languages.File:EU and EFTA.svg|European Union (in blue) and European Free Trade Association (in green).File:UN Human Development Report 2014.svg|World map by quartiles of Human Development Index in 2014.File:Map of the Legal systems of the world (en).png|Legal systems of the world.File:Secular States Map.svg|Secular states in blue.File:Christ_Islam.png|Relative geographic prevalence of Christianity versus the second most prevalent religion Islam and lack of either religion, in 2006.
From a very different perspective, it has also been argued that the idea of the West is, in part, a non-Western invention, deployed in the non-West to shape and define non-Western pathways through or against modernity.Bonnett, A. 2004. The Idea of the West

Views on torn countries

According to Samuel P. Huntington, Turkey, whose political leadership has systematically tried to Westernize the predominantly Muslim country with only 3% of its territory within Europe since the 1920s, is his chief example of a "torn country" that is attempting to join Western civilization. The country's elite started the Westernization efforts, beginning with Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who took power as the first president of the modern Turkish nation-state in 1923, imposed western institutions and dress, removed the Arabic alphabet and embraced the Latin alphabet, joined NATO, and are seeking to join the European Union since the 1960s with very slow progress.BOOK, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, Samuel P. Huntington, The Free Press, 144–149, Mexico and Russia are also considered to be torn by Huntington. He also gives the example of Australia as a country torn between its Western civilizational heritage and its growing economic engagement with Asia. Russia, Japan, and India also, are what Huntington terms 'swing civilizations'.

See also

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Representation in the United Nations:





Further reading

V. 1. From the earliest times to the Battle of Lepanto; {{ISBN|0-306-80304-6}}. V. 2. From the defeat of the Spanish Armada to the Battle of Waterloo; {{ISBN|0-306-80305-4}}. V. 3. From the American Civil War to the end of World War II; {{ISBN|0-306-80306-2}}.
{{Cultural gens}}{{Western culture}}{{Authority control}}

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