Western discovery and conquest

Under the direction of Henry the Navigatorthe Portuguese developed a new, much lighter ship, the caravelwhich could sail further and faster, [3] and, above all, was highly manoeuvrable and could sail much nearer the wind, or into the wind. In Bartolomeu Dias reached the Indian Ocean by this route.

Western discovery and conquest

Original citation Over the past century Western industrialized nations have attempted to reorganize the rest of the planet to live by their understanding of the natural and social world.

Discovery and conquest of Peru

In many ways they have been very successful in this endeavor. Over the period a world economic system has emerged with which communities must increasingly interact.

Western discovery and conquest interaction seems to depend on internal reorganization of the political, economic and social lives of people, and so communities find themselves compelled, by their need to compete in the world system, to 'develop'.

Since governments everywhere are under increasing pressure to establish and maintain the legislative, political and economic institutions that are necessary to ensure Western discovery and conquest economic development, we need to understand the key principles which underpin such developments.

Western discovery and conquest

We also need to be aware of the ways in which such principles conflict with the equally 'natural' understandings of people in non-Western communities. Any examination of economic organisation and action needs to be based on a prior understanding of the basic cultural presumptions underpinning them.

In a way which is common to people in all societies, people in Western communities, when considering the fundamental rights and responsibilities of community members towards one another, speak in ideological terms.

While each ideological frame spells out a particular version of 'reality', they all presume certain fundamental understandings about the nature of individuals, communities, the environment, and the metaphysical realm, and about the forms of relationship found in and between them.

Early life

I will refer to the consciously held 'ideal realities' which are derived from them and promoted by groups within a society as secondary ideologies see Ideology and Reality for further discussion.

To communities which do not share Western primary ideological presumptions, the confrontations among competing Western secondary ideologies are less than rational. Because their own forms of secondary ideology are based on their own primary ideological presumptions about life, which are likely to be very different from the basic presumptions contained within Western primary ideology, it is very difficult for them to enter into a dialogue with Western people.

Rather, as has happened during the last half century, people become opposed on the basis of subconsciously held basic presumptions about life, rather than on the basis of variant secondary ideologies. So, we speak of the confrontation between 'Islam and the West', rather than about a confrontation between Shiites and capitalists.

What we have is a confrontation between primary rather than secondary ideologies. Through this century, as non-Western communities become increasingly self-assertive, we are likely to find that the confrontations which occur will not be between people holding competing versions of Western secondary ideology - those are likely to oppose each other at the ballot box and in other ways within Western countries - but between variant sets of basic presumptions about the meaning, purpose and organisation of life.

These presumptions, being reflections of the basic cognitive frames of communities, will be poorly expressed, and those who attempt dialogue based upon such confrontations will find the explanations and basic positions of their adversaries rationally and logically unconvincing.

Before we can grapple with the confrontations which are already occurring and will repeatedly re-occur throughout this century, we need to comprehend the basic presumptions underpinning Western capitalist understandings of life.

In this discussion we will attempt to do this through exploring the historical experiences which shaped and moulded Western European communities over the past thousand years as they moved from feudalism to capitalism. How have some of the most basic presumptions which underpin Western understandings of life been shaped by history, becoming seen as features of the real world, the unfocused backdrop to secondary ideological disputes?

The descriptions which follow are complementary to sketches drawn elsewhere Ideology and RealitySubsistence and StatusThe Nature of Work. Here I will examine: In the examination of these issues I am going to look at some of the historical experiences of Western Europeans which have, over more than eight hundred years, produced the consumer culture of today.

To understand the present we have to know the experiences of the past which shaped and moulded Western European thinking and action and produced the primary ideological presumptions which underpin interaction, meaning and organisation in Western communities.

People and recognised 'environments' Fundamental to understanding Western primary ideological presumptions is an understanding of the ways in which people conceive of and interact with their environments. In order to grapple with the ways in which Western Europeans conceive of themselves in relation to their environments, we need to understand several important fundamental assumptions from which they operate.

First, all human beings are individuals who independently interact with the various environments within which they live, and develop their own unique personas through that interaction. Second, these independent individuals are autonomous fashioners of their environments, which are passive, being moulded by, and reflecting, human activity.

Third, individuals interact with a number of quite distinct environments. There is the physical or material environment, bound by natural laws.

For Western people, the 'natural world' can be controlled and directed by mastering sets of laws which relate to its various aspects - those of physics, chemistry, geology, botany, and so on. There is the social environment bound by social laws, again controlled and directed through understanding and applying sets of laws - the economic, political and social.

And there is, for many Western people, approximately eighty per cent of the population in most Western national censuses, a spiritual, or religious, or metaphysical environment bound by its own quite distinctive sets of laws.Europe was the western terminus of the world trading system.

The European Voyages of Discovery; The Ottoman conquest of Constantinople cut off slaves from the Black Sea region.

With Portuguese voyages to West Africa and the occupation of the Canary and Madeira islands, slavery hooked up with sugar culture. The Discovery and Conquest of Mexico, by Bernal Diaz Del Castillo The Discovery and Conquest of Mexico, By Bernal Diaz Del Castillo.

Da Capo Press, pp. $ Purchase. Get the best of Foreign Affairs' book reviews delivered to you. More Reviews on Western Hemisphere From This Issue.

Economics. Over the past century Western industrialized nations have attempted to reorganize the rest of the planet to live by their understanding of the natural and social world. In many ways they have been very successful in this endeavor. Over the period a world economic system has emerged with which communities must increasingly interact.

The genocide of indigenous peoples is the mass destruction of entire communities of indigenous peoples. Indigenous peoples are understood to be people whose historical and current territory has become occupied by colonial expansion, or the formation of a state by a dominant group such as a colonial power..

While the concept of genocide was formulated by Raphael Lemkin in the midth . Venezuela Table of Contents. History Contents Discovery and Conquest Spanish Colonial Life The Epic of Independence The Century of Caudillismo The Transition to Democratic Rule.

Western discovery and conquest

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