Many historians have struggled with the reasons as to why Europe claimed ascendency over China.There is speculation that importing gold and silver helped Europe quite a bit as well as the steam engine.Historians have also observed China’s continuing resistance to learn from other civilizations.
One thing that helped Europe to gain hegemony is the ability to import large amounts of bullion into the West.There were no special qualities that lead Europe into their time of glory, but because they were able to import large quantities of bullion into the West that they were able to get the ball rolling.Since Europe was getting the gold and silver from the New World,and almost certainly making Indians mine for the bullion, labor was cheap.With the labor cheap, Europe was making almost all profit with the exception of a few small expenses.This is one theory as to why Europe’s economy was so successful.
With the largely imported bullion, Europe was able to take full advantage of new technology, most importantly the steam engine.Europe’s political system was set up extremely well to accommodate the new technology.With the steam engine, the West was able to set up factories and mass produce clothes and other items that could be use for exports.Along with being able to produce more goods quicker, Europe worked extremely hard at expanding their trading network while China did almost nothing to protect or expand their large trading posts in East Asia.
The third and final reason for the rise of Europe was their ability to learn.European were able to learn from other cultures.Examples of this would be the concept of zero from the Arabic Numerals, and taking paper and gunpowder from the Chinese.The Chinese on the other hand did not accept ideas from other cultures.In their stubborn pride they refused to acknowledge any ideas ofanother civilization.It was not uncommon in this time from China to slip into p…