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The 12th century was characterized by many economic, political, and social changes. At this time, Western Europe had made advances in education pursuit, technology and social organization. This transformation went on at a high rate especially in the 12th century. This can be mostly attributed by the resilience of the citizens of Western Europe towards all political, cultural, economic, and religious activities. They were curious of things that they hadn’t experienced and therefore experimented on various aspects and were generally ready to accept new ideas.

One of the most important elements that can be attributed to this was their choice of leaders who in turn inspired them. They greatly supported their leaders which served as a motivation to them. Their leaders paid great attention to public opinion during their leadership. They respected the fact that the people highly desired a state of law of order. Peter Abelard always admired a large audience and was therefore viewed as a teacher (Frankforter, 2013). In general, Europe was dominated by Christian faith led by the church which inspired the ideals among the people. As much as some people ignored these ideals, one way or another, they were affected by them.

The people had an optimistic approach to life attributed by their faith. They desired an intense and personal relationship with religion. Additionally, the aspect of justice became more prevalent during this time. The people viewed justice to be a key component of security, good governance, and peace. This led to a revolution in the courts and laws governing the judiciary. This brought conflict as the law of God and the laws of the land sometimes seemed to contradict each other. This led to an outcry as the people felt generally dissatisfied with the current laws and the court systems.

Consequently, there arose a great need for education as students sought to understand the law. The number of students continued to grow significantly through the 12th century and since they could not all fit in schools, they moved to the cities which gave rise to establishment of universities (Frankforter, 2013). This, in turn, led to the desire to succeed and ambition to make fortunes arose. The study of law was regarded as prestigious experience and a gain of status and power. However, success was more sought after than wealth.

The 17th century marked the beginning of philosophy as we know it. “Western culture started spreading from Europe to the rest of the world mainly via missionaries and explorers” (Frankforter, 2013 pg 17). This can be described as the “age of discovery” as the rest of the world begun to experience the western culture. Another key landmark was the industrial revolution experienced during this period. This was marked by introduction of machines, production and manufacturing processes. This led to an improvement in quality and quantity of goods and products as efficiency improved.

The main reason for these changes was the general change in the political arena. In the 12th century, the people believed that for change to occur, they had to elect visionary leaders. These leaders in turn listened and respected the opinions of the people who had elected them. Another reason for change was the desire for economic growth where the people sought to sustain themselves (Frankforter, 2013). In the 17th century, the political arena was marked by colonization. This led to the introduction of western countries’ culture and its spread in most parts of the world. The colonizers also sought economic gain as well as power by domination.

In Italy, the towns flourished as its ports served as a route for most voyages. This led to creation of more jobs and in turn, there was an increase in the number of people living in the city. “By 1400, five of Europe’s largest cities were found in Italy and only Paris was their equal” (Frankforter, 2013 pg 341). Italy rose to become very powerful as she acquired land around to form city states. She became self-sufficient in supply of raw materials and raw products. Italy also dominated in its trade with the Middle East at large therefore becoming an economic giant. She eventually became the financier of most economic projects in Europe.

In Germany, the merchants formed a corporation as a form of protection. This was due to the absence of a protector as they felt the need to protect themselves. The land and seas surrounding Germany were however protected by the navy and also the army. The Germans were highly artistic as they specialized in engraving. They also seemed to elect weak leader a fact that would eventually turn against them as they lacked the adequate leadership that they required to navigate through those tough economic times (Frankforter, 2013 pg 359).

In conclusion, the need for power, economic domination and growth have contributed highly to the evolution of the western world. The need for law and order should not be ignored as it contributed largely to stability of a nation. There is therefore need for a stable established state of governance for any nation or state to develop and meet its set goals.


Frankforter, A.D. West (2013), The 3rd Edition. Pearson.

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