The Rise of Capitalism and Western Dominance.
The West seems to be the most economically stable and powerful part of the modern world. This is largely true nowadays, but it hasn't always been the case. Before the Renaissance, the civilizations of Western Europe were by far the most ignorant, uneducated, and unhygienic in the world, compared to the flourishing societies in India and China. Therefore, it is natural for one to be curious about what factors influenced Europe's fabulous advance in prosperity. How did Europe catch up and eventually surpass the great civilizations in the Middle East and the Orient? Why didn't those other societies experience a similar economic revolution? Countless factors influenced this unprecedented (and as yet, unrepeated) historic phenomenon, yet it seems clear that as feudalism gradually fell apart, the birth of capitalism paved the golden road to economic growth and prosperity in Europe.
Feudo-manorialism was mostly a bane to economic, scientific, and technological progress in medieval Europe. While it would be untrue to say progress didn't happen during the time period of C. E. 1000- 1500, it would be true to say that around 90% of Europe's population was poor and had no possible way to progress themselves onto a higher financial plane (Rosenburg, 6). Nathan Rosenburg writes in his landmark work How the West Grew Rich that "The West had made progress, perhaps slow and irregular but still substantial, for five hundred years. Yet it was, by modern standards, poverty-stricken" (35). Serfs worked the land their entire lives as payment to their liege-lord for allowing them to live on his land. In return, the lord of the manor provided his tenants protection from marauding bandits, who most often took the form of knights loyal to a land-hungry neighboring lord. Indeed, land was the only kind of wealth that one could have; or more accurately, owning land was the only way of earning any sort of decent income.