The paper “ Why Europe Industrialize Faster than Asia” is an inspiring example of the essay on macro and microeconomics. Over the last century, Asia had been at the same level of economic power and development as Europe, and even during the world wars it still maintained its economic prowess. However, after world war II and the commencement of the industrial age, Asia lagged behind and Europe rose to emerge superpower in this case. Europe industrialized way faster than Asia and other parts of the world. Ideally, a bet would have been laid on Asia to be the most industrialized as Asia had the advantage of superior scientific skills as well as technological know-how (Mokyr 2001, p. 2).
The opposite happened. This paper seeks to investigate the various reasons that saw Europe rise up to become an industrial superpower, triumphing over its neighbors, Asia. Climate and geography of EuropeMany researchers and historians point out to the fact that the geographical setup and composition of most of Europe was advantageous to the creation of industries. The climate was also very friendly. For instance, most of Europe’ s climate was humid implying that rainfall was abundant.
The presence of vast pieces of land abundant rainfall led to the development and promotion of agriculture. The agricultural revolution propagated the industrial revolution. People relied much on agriculture and innovations in the industry led to the creation of better ways of farming. This formed a platform for the launch of the industrialization in the region. Asia on the other hand is located in a region which is very dry. The climate is hot and not very conducive to farming.
Rainfall was not in abundance in this region. As a result, there was no large-scale engagement in agricultural activities and this placed them in a secondary position of industrialization after Europe. Concentration on technology enhancement in AsiaAs noted in the introductory portion of this paper, Asia had superior technological advancement and scientific know-how compared to Europe at some point. It could be expected that the superiority would have been translated into a faster form of industrialization but in this case, it did not. The technological superiority of the various nations in Asia was directed towards the build-up of research centers and other major institutions.
Most of the goods that the countries needed were imported from other nations. The concentration on the training of various personnel and scientists in the region led to the creation of many scholars. These scholars were later poached by other nations such as Europe to assist them in developing their own industries. The communist approach in AsiaIn most countries in the Middle East, communism as a form of government was very prominent (Zysman & Doherty 1995, p. 4). The belief and notion of one for all led to a lot of laxity among most of the people in this region.
In Europe, the embracement of capitalism as the economic form led to an increased pace of industrialization. People knew that the government guaranteed them the security they needed if they invested in industries. This saw the emergence of Eurocentric wealthy industrialists. Asia was against the concept of the interminably increased gaps between the rich and the poor that would be brought about by industrialization. This skepticism led to the reluctance to engage themselves in the industrialization process as a whole and as a form of industry.
Basically, industrialization indeed brought about the creation of two classes of people, the extremely wealthy and the extremely poor. The masters of industrialization became rich and those who worked and relied on these industries became poorer. To prevent such scenarios, most governments in Asia operated industries with the communist policy in mind. The government-owned nearly all of the industries that cropped up in the region. This pushed the investors away. State of unrest in most of AsiaWhile the rest of the world cooled down and decided to fight the war ‘ coldly’ , Asia was just warming up.
The constant warring and unrest in most of the Asian countries led to the discouragement of the majority of the investors in the region. Most Asian countries were engaged in war with Israel over boundaries and within themselves through civil wars. Even to date, the situation in most of these Asian countries has not settled down completely. There was no unity among most of the Muslim clans who existed in these nations and civil wars were the order of the day (Acemoglu, Johnson, & Robinson 2005, p. 546).
In this state, the development of industries was almost impossible. As noted in a prior point, there was a lot of scientific superiority in the region. This enabled most of these people to develop and create weaponry that caused a great deal of destruction in most of these nations. Factories were bombed and roads infested with mine bombs. This discouraged most investors, both foreign and local from investing in this region for fear of loss of their lives and resources. In Europe, the situation was very different.
While most of the countries in Asia were busy engaging themselves in civil wars within their own ranks, most of the countries in the European region were busy mending their collapsed economies. They worked together and invited investors, both local and foreign to rebuild the economy through the formation of industries. Various perks were given to these investors and they flocked to these nations in pursuit of investment opportunities. The political systems that prevailed in most of the European nations were relatively stable when compared with those that existed in the Asian region.
It is no doubt then that Europe was destined to industrialize faster than its Asian counterparts. Infrastructure advancement in EuropeIndustries tend to get concentrated in regions and areas where they have access to various infrastructure, for instance, roads and rails. This is because most of these industries rely on infrastructure to take their raw materials from the suppliers to the factory and the finished product to the customer. In Europe, the state of rail and road network was extensive.
In addition, most of the raw materials that were in these regions were in close proximity to the processing industries. This made it way easier to process the various products. On the other hand, it also made it easier to take these products to the markets. Asia’ s state of infrastructure was not that advanced (Kharas 2010, p. 3). Furthermore, most of the mines were located in the desert, and mining them was done in very harsh and risky conditions that endangered the lives of the miners and increased the costs of the speculators.
Although oil was abundant, the means to extract and export the product were limited. This led to the nations slowing down their industrial development. The overseas market for EuropeUnlike Asia, most European nations had a wide market beyond their borders. For instance, most of the colonies that these nations had conquered were transformed to be their target markets. Most of the products made from the industries in Europe then found their way to Africa as the target market. Asia region had no market for any of their products beyond their borders.
These nations had not been colonial masters in the past and for this reason, they did not have a large market out there. Eurocentric view and tradeMost scholars argue that Europe had been ‘ wealthy’ even before the industrial age cropped in. this has been brought about in a number of ways. European nations had more access to capital ownership and growth, basic property rights, the right to privately own property, specialization activities, and the beginning of the trade. Europe had more access to tom markets and more trade acumen compared to their counterparts in Asia.
The improved levels of trade between Europe and other nations across the world led to rapid industrial revolutions in these regions. Competition among European nations and the WestEuropean nations were in constant competition for world domination and superiority. This led to rapid development and innovations in a bid to outsmart other nations. In Asia, the nations did not engage themselves in the superiority race. This prevented them from engaging themselves in constant innovation wars for dominance and hence the need to industrialize was not very prominent. ConclusionThe paper has discussed the various reasons that led to Europe becoming more industrialized faster than their Asian counterparts.
The reasons discussed here include Competition among European nations and the West, Eurocentric view and trade, Overseas market for Europe, Infrastructure advancement in Europe, Climate and geography of Europe, State of unrest in most of Asia, The communist approach in Asia, and Concentration on technology enhancement in Asia.
Acemoglu, D, Johnson, J and Robinson, J 2005, ‘The Rise of Europe: Atlantic Trade,
Institutional Change, and Economic Growth’, The American Economic review, Vol. 95, No.3, pp. 546-577.
Kharas, H 2010, ‘The emerging middle class in developing countries’, Working paper series No.
285, OECP development center, Retrieved from http://www.oecd.org/dev/44457738.pdf
Mokyr, J 2002, ‘Was the industrial revolution a European phenomenon?’ Retrieved from
Zysman, J and Doherty, E 1995, ‘The Evolving Role of the State in Asian Industrialization’,
Working paper No. 84, Retrieved from http://brie.berkeley.edu/publications/WP%2084.pdf