Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

How come Europe developed quicker than Africa?

No racist comments please. I just wonder if anyone understands why the Europeans were so much more technologically advanced than Africans (besides the Egyptians, they dont look like pure Africans anyway). If you look at history, whites did a lot more than blacks, but if you put a black guy against a white guy in any task, theres not telling who will do better cos both are the same. What can Africas slow and relatively unimpressive historical performance be attributed to? Climate, too much focus on agriculture/harvesting, geography, or something else, and how did Africas peoples circumstances compare to the Europeans? I know that some African accomplishments have been lost in history or covered up, but lets face the facts that there is a thousand times more evidence of much better development by Europeans. Good answers will be appreciated because I am truly stumped on this one!

13 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer


    Before 1492, China was the most advanced nation in the world and Europe was not the most advanced.

    Europe developed faster than Africa because:

    1) Europe borrowed many Eastern inventions from the Middle East and China (the wheel, chariots, guns, gunpowder, crossbows, magnetic compass, writing, agriculture, cities, castles/forts, body armor, catapults, printing press, money, etc)

    2) ONLY AFTER 1492 did Europe start to get rich:

    - African slave trade

    - Aztec gold and silver

    - Inca gold and silver

    - American Indian lands used for crops to export to Europe

    3) Europe was geographically closer to the "Weserlies" and "Easterlies" trade winds that could carry ships to North And South America.

    4) Europe was NOT "environmentally superior" to the rest of the world, which had plenty of crops and even better, more nutritious foods

    5) For centuries, Egyptian civilization was superior to anything in Europe. Even the ancient Greeks used to go to Egypt to study from them.

    6) Europe was a "late bloomer" in world history. Europe DID NOT INVENT most of the technology before 1492 (the Middle East and China did). Only through the African slave trade and by stealing American Indians' lands did Europe "win the lottery" and get rich quick.


    8) Europe was NOT "more competitive" than the rest fo the world. They were simply better pirates with more diseases.

    They simply took other peoples' inventions from the Middle East and China. ONLY THEN did Europe start to really advance.

    9) Stolen Aztec and Incan gold and silver MULTIPLIED Europe's economy by 6 TIMES!

    Forget "Guns, Germs, and Steel" by Jared Diamond. That's wrong. He's been denounced by many historians already in a book called 'Eight Eurocentric Historians."

    Europe developed faster than Africa ONLY AFTER 1492.


    - the wheel

    - chariots

    - guns

    - gunpowder

    - windmills

    - water wheels

    - crossbows

    - printing press

    - body armor

    - saddles

    - stirrups

    - wheelbarrow

    - iron field plow

    - writing

    - Christianity

    - castles/forts

    - paper

    - books

    - metal swords and shields

    - and so much more...

    Imagine what you could do if your paycheck was multiplied by 6 times! That's what stolen Aztec and Incan gold and silver did for Europe.

    Source(s): *"The Eastern Origins of Western Civilization" by John M Hobson *"Colonizer's Model of the World" by James Blaut *"1491" by Charles Mann *"Eight Eurocentric Historians" by James Blaut
  • cambia
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    How Europe Developed Africa

  • 7 years ago

    I completely understand your point. However I don't believe that answers the question. The fact is Europe and North America are technologically and economically superior. I would also suggest we have socially and religiously evolved further. The West is past tribal warfare, religious beheadings, stoning women, female circomcision and civil rights. Obviously we still have a ways to go in Civil rights. Not necessarily individually but as a whole. I do believe it has a lot to do with democracy, education, freedom of speech and from religion and nothing to do with Aztec gold. But wouldn't it be better to truly understand how this happened even if it's an uncomfortable story so we can help these other nations to prosperity, health and freedom? this is a great question. And while this best answer is factual. I don't think it answer's the question.

  • 6 years ago

    The great thinkers of the past who came up with the revolutionary ideas that changed the world came mostly from Europe. Plain and simple. People like Galileo, Newton, Einstein, Edison, Darwin, and Bell, (to name a few), who came up with the ideas that made modern day science and technology possible were all European. Why no notable significant and revolutionary scientific breakthroughs seem to have come from Africa I have no idea. While I think that s the response you re really looking for, I doubt there is any proven answer to such a question. There s pretty much just theories. I m sure there were nonetheless many genius Africans throughout history, and a small amount of research would undoubtedly reveal a large list of brilliant Africans of the past. But there s no question that the biggest breakthroughs that changed the world came mostly from European minds. Breakthroughs like electricity, penicillin, or the internal combustion engine. Perhaps brilliant Africans of the past came up with these ideas as well, but just weren t able to market them, or make them known to the public. It s hard to say. But I think this best answers the question of why progress was more expedited in Europe.

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  • 5 years ago

    First. necessity is the cause of invention. They where always fighting each other which led to them developing better weapons. Also its cold in Europe and hot in Africa. Africa had nice weather which meant they could grow crop year round and they could survive by living in simple houses like huts. In Europe its cold they had to find a new source of food. They could not live in huts because of cold wearher which means they had to build something bigger and better. Once they figurrd out the could advance technologically they never stoped. They hae the will to conquer the whole world

  • 1 decade ago

    You should read Jarod Diamond's work "Guns, Germs & Steel". He asks the question, why did the Europeans conquer most of the world in the last 500 years? Why didn't the Aztecs, Chinese or Zulu gain the guns, germs & steel to conquer Europe.

    To quickly summerize his book, he found that it was really three things that gave the Europeans technological advantages over the rest of the world.

    1. The Europeans had a large number of domesticated animals. Horses, pigs, sheep, goats and cows are all naturally found in European and were not difficult to domesticate. No other continent has as wide a variety of domesticated animals. By the with these animals led to the diseases that helped the Europeans conquer the Americas.

    2. Europe does not have a large homogenous population like those found in Asia, the Americas, and Australia. This caused interfighting between ethnic groups that led to the development of more effect and dangerous weapons.

    3. Europe, and Asia, are located on an East-West axis (as opposed to the South America & Africa). This allows crops (most notably wheat & rice) to be easily imported into new regions.

    With these three advantages, European developed the Guns, Germs and Steel that allowed them to conquer much of the world.

    What I really liked about Diamond's work is that he started with the premise that all peoples are the same.

  • 1 decade ago

    It is a matter of developing differently. Stable societies have existed in Africa for thousands of years, much longer than in Western Europe - and it is specifically a small group in Western Europe that you are talking about, I think..

    One question you need to ask is why the Greeks developed such a singular method of analysis, which you can consider 'advanced', or 'destructive', as this forms the basis of European thought. This development that you mention has resulted in the loss of many natural resources, most of the African continent was self-sustaining before industrialization, which is surely, the goal of life.

    Another question is the types of agriculture that are possible in the area.

    The third question is the ability to produce sustainable products and the volatility of the environment.

    The fourth question is the sustainability of the culture. Prior to West European influence, is seems trading throughout Africa was common and generally peaceful (dating back at least 5000 BCE).

    The fifth question concerns an analysis of all of the civilizations outside of Western Europe the the modes of change that each adopted over the centuries

    Humans do not like change, so you need to ask what it is in the European mindset that has forced change upon us. Even Darwin, who many people are happy quoting, spoke of a change through evolution, over hundreds of thousands of years, not the sort of thing that Europeans have engaged in.

  • 5 years ago

    The US no longer classifies Native American as a race, although it used to. It used to also have a category for Mexicans, Irish, Italians, etc. Now they only have Asian, black and white as racial categories. So Native Americans now have to mark either black, white or Asian as their race, and the majority will mark white. Same with Latinos. The US cut down racial categories so as to make it seem whites are the largest racial group in the US. But they also have another section on the census that asks everyone to identify their ethnic backgrounds, and Native American is considered now just an ethnic classify.

  • 4 years ago

    The "best answer" here is dumb. Even if Europe /America stole all tech from the rest of the world (which they did not) the question remains. Much of Africa live the way it did hundreds of years ago. If you want a simple answer, Europe and Asia progressed faster due to the early domestication of the HORSE.

  • 5 years ago

    there is only word why europe is so developed and is called long as illiteracy is high in africa,then don t expect development.

  • 1 decade ago

    Because of Potatoes. No, really.

    Before the Potato was introduced to Europe (during the "Dark ages") nearly all of your average European’s time was spent tending his crops in hope that they would have enough food to survive another year. Now if you know anything about potato farming, or potatoes for that matter, you know that each and every eye on a potato has the ability to produce another whole potato. The basics of potato farming are to cut up a potato leaving at least one eye on each chunk and then bury them in the ground. Later you simply dig up a bunch of potatoes. It doesn't require near the care as any other vegetable does.

    So suddenly in the mid to late 1400s you find all these peasants with all this free time on their hands, they're no longer toiling away to keep their families alive, they can pursue other interests, like art, science, engineering.... And thus began the European renaissance, bringing us such great minds as Leonardo Davenci and William Shakespeare.

    Okay so that was a very long winded explanation to put forth the idea that much like the saying "an army marches on its stomach" so does innovation. Africa still has problems providing food for itself, in fact most of the food stuff in Africa has been imported, an expensive and draining effort on the economy.

    Source(s): College history major
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