The Eastern Origins of Western Civilization

The following sample essay on The Eastern Origins of Western Civilization tells the story of John Hobson’s book in which he covers the development of Western civilization.

In this book, John Hobson tackles what he refers to as the prejudice of popularized assumptions as to the West’s blooming. (Hobson 2). In current days, it is usually assumed that Europeans have been in control of internal development as pioneers of its rise since the ancient Greek days that dated before the turn of the 6th century.

Meanwhile the Eastern part of the world became a mere watcher in the case of world development. He bases his theory according to historical facts that argue that the rise of the West to worldwide domination in the 19th and 20th Century is actually delayed development that depended on extensive borrowing from the non-western world instead of Western domestic revolution as is normally assumed.

In this book, Hobson has hardly conducted any original research, but has elected to combine many writings from a wide range of historical fields relevant to the topic at hand.

He does not apply new information or knowledge he has acquired by himself, but provides a compelling historical writing that challenges readers to re-evaluate historical ideas. According to Hobson, two processes proved advantageous for the development of the Western civilization: All developmental milestones in Europe were mainly due to the collaboration with inventions from the East.

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E.g. ideologies and institutions of education and science. This managed to occur through diffusion of cultures and information from the East. The establishment of Europe as a race after 1453 led to colonialism by which Europeans acquired and managed Eastern resources such as workforce and land.

The author begins the first chapter titled ‘Countering the Eurocentric Myth of the pristine West’ by inserting quotations by Ruth Benedict and Eric Wolf that were relevant to the argument of the East vs. the West that he is trying to lay out for the reader (Hobson 18). This is but a literary tactic employed by the author meant to reinforce his theory in the book as the quote by.

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The Eastern Origins of Western Civilization
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