Mr. Beat attempts to define "Western Values," but by doing so, realizes it's a problematic phrase.
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A special thanks to Define American and Gutsy Media for their support creating this video.
Civilization: The West and the Rest by Neil Ferguson
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#westernvalues #thewest #history #defineamerican
You might be thinking, I should already know what “The West” means. After all, I spent at least hundreds of hours studying for overpriced Western Civilization classes I took in college. And yet, years later I still found myself Googling what “The West” actually was. Is it a reference to the Western Hemisphere? No, not really. It basically is a reference to Europe or any part of the world that has historically been heavily influenced by Europe. For that reason, The West is often expanded to the Americas, Australia and New Zealand.
Now remember, the opposite of west is east, so at one point there had to be a divide.
The divide between West and East we see today has its roots in the cultural and religious divide of the Roman Empire. For example, folks in the western portion of the Roman Empire often spoke Latin, while folks in the eastern portion of it often spoke Greek. Later, the divide became more evident when the western portion no longer was a thing yet the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantine Empire, continued on. And then, in 1054, there was the East–West Schism, aka The Great Schism, which was the first major split of Christianity. After it, there were now two denominations in Christianity, the Catholic Church in the west and the Eastern Orthodox Church in the East. This split, combined with the early Muslim conquests that spread Islam throughout Western Asia and Northern Africa, made it so that Western Christianity developed a more separate identity...oh, and VALUES (supposedly) .
When European explorers began to travel the globe to conquer and colonize foreign lands, they brought these values with them. And missionaries followed them who eventually were successful at converting millions to Christianity. Or I should say, WESTERN Christianity. So where these ideas were not heavily influenced were presumably not “The West.”
If you’ve got 9 minutes, I strongly recommend my friend Dom’s video called “What is ‘the West’” over on his channel Cogito. He goes into it deeper than I just did.
Ok, now that we established what “The West” is, let’s now attempt to define “Western Values.”
Are they simply the values that people who live in The West have? Well no, not really.
About Mr. Beat
Mr. Beat is a social studies teacher who specializes in making history and geography more engaging through entertaining and easy to understand videos. He has written songs about all of the Presidents and has created music videos for all of them.