Either we like it or not, the economic growth has been a peculiarity of the Western European civilization, starting between the X and the XI century after Christ and later on exported to other parts of the world.
Among the factors, we should consider that the Western European culture is an integration of several cultures:
- ancient Greek, that gave the basics of science and philosophy together with the structured thinking, furthermore the Greek culture has been a connection factor with the Middle Eastern cultures (Assyrian, Sumerians, Babylonians, etc.) as well as with the Egypt
- the Roman culture, whose heritage are the very concept of law at all levels, from constitutional law to civil, international and criminal law, together with the concept of organization, either in government or in military. All juridical systems that exist now still can be divided into two big areas that are commonly known as:
- Civil Law, that evolves from the Roman and feudal law to the modern law, through the canon law and then through codification process; the Civil Law is the continuation of Roman law, the starting point has been the CORPUS IURIS CIVILIS (529-534)
- Common Law, that also derives from Roman law, although in its most ancient form, and evolves in England without the mediation of the CORPUS IURIS CIVILIS; it is mainly based on case law and is the basis of the law in all the countries of the Commonwealth and, in part, in the US, where in fact there is a mixed system. The common law was primarily a creation of the judges, then sanctioned by the royal power; in a certain sense, it is closer to the ancient Roman law than the Civil Law.
- Judeo-Christian, whose heritage are
- a religion based on a personal God as well as a linear conception of timeline,
- trinitary theism, that has been important for the development of the European civilization in all its aspects, while the Christological dogma of Calcedonia (451) has been important on the institutional point of view
- the dispute between Pelagius (360-420) and Saint Augustine (Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis- 354-430) ), with its anthropological consequences, among them the distinction between rightist and leftist politics, that is anthropological before being politic
- We should not forget that the very word Europe had different meanings in the past, and it’s used for the first time with the modern meaning when emperor Charles the Great was defined REX AC PATER EUROPAE or EUROPAE VENERANDUS APEX.
- However, until the XV century, would you ask to anyone “Where we are?” the answer would have been “We are in the Christianity”.
- Germanic culture, whose heritage can be found in the concepts of freedom and feudal or anyway territory related nobility
The Romans in the I century after Christ and the Indians in the XVI had created a good deal of the preconditions for economic growth, however such growth, albeit started, did not develop. As far as the Romans are concerned, the main reasons have been the so called trap of slavery as well as the lack of a suitable source of energy.