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Progress From the Middle Ages to Now

Article By: Marcus Licinius Crassus
Non-fiction


Have we advanced from the Middle Ages? Are we actually better? Yes. But how? Is the world changing for better or for worse. For on one hand, you see technology On the other, you see gun control issues and global warming. Will the world in the 22nd century be better or worse?


Submitted:Apr 12, 2013    Reads: 44    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


NJASK7 Prompt

Marcus Licinius Crassus (My Pen Name)

Evolution, by Charles Darwin, is a theory to be remembered. From the Ancient Rome to the Middle Ages to now, has humanity not evolved? Yes, we have changed, and we have changed for the better. In our current century, we often compare this century to past centuries. Put our data on a graph and you will see a steady progressive movement upwards every century, even if it is during wartime. Because life has only gotten better throughout time, I believe that in the 22nd century, life will still improve. There is nothing to really suggest that the apocalypse is near.

For example: In centuries past, back in the days of warriors and empires, kings and queens, morals sure didn't take much precedence. Did the Duke Valentino care when he murdered Orsini and Vitelli in cold blood? No, not really. Today, these occasions are less, and we, as ethical people, will always try and punish the culprit. Not in those days. We have actually developed more complex feelings which are good and so we will stray away from the evil that once pervaded society. Greed, avarice, corruption, and apathy are all issues that pop up today. But we understand that it is wrong and we try to stop it. Nobody tried putting manacles on the Duke Valentino. Today, morals are an integral part of society.

Another example of this is set in more recent times. Disease: vanquished. Peace established, hate groups disbanded, technology advanced, laws set, society disciplined, and morals established. All of these feats are subjects that in the old days, bards could only wax eloquently on in their dreams. Today, this is the world in 2013. Technology will help us make our lives easier as we learn more. Back in the late 1800's Cyrus McCormick developed the mechanical reaper. Originally, slaves would have to use the sickle and scythe to hack away at the wheat under the blazing sun for hours. With this machine, slave toiled for shorter periods with more efficiency too. And morals eventually prevailed and set slaves free. Not to mention that child labor was eventually abolished. Think about a time where children were hauled away from parents to work in drab factories with only meager pay to compensate for long hours of hard work. And it wouldn't be safe either. You could lose and eye, a finger, an arm, or even your life working those dangerous machines in unhealthy conditions. Then, think about how they were treated by their managers. Corporal punishment was a fancy way of saying that you were beating your workers. This appalling practice has been put to an end. All because of morals as we progressed through time. I see improvement all the way, with a few setbacks here and there, such as the Great Depression and the bubonic plague in the Middle Ages.

Inevitably, some feel inclined to look at the aspect of the world itself. Pollution and global warming, plus the cutting down of trees, is destroying our Earth. Our animals and plants are dying and our resources are being consumed at an alarming pace. But we should not be too frightened. We are already gradually transitioning into using wind energy, solar power, and other nature-friendly sources. With more technology, we can protect nature. As for our diminishing supply of trees, we are using more and more electronic devices to read and type on now.

In fact, the world is actually a cleaner place to live in now. My primary example will be the Middle Ages. Imagine a time when an unknown plague was sweeping throughout the kingdom. There was no way to tell who had it and who didn't. Those who came into contact with it inevitably died. It was highly communicable, and spread like a wildfire. A human could only pray for the best in the battle against such a powerful adversary. It was Death itself, taking its toll on families and towns everywhere. The slightest cough could be your undoing as suspicious guards searched for the sick. Rats infested homes, and spoiled meat was not an uncommon meal. Flies would swarm like a ravenous beast waiting to devour all, and washing was a rare occurrence indeed. With no hygiene, it is small wonder indeed that many died from the bubonic plague. Today, we know all about sanitation and personal hygiene. I doubt something like this will sweep the world in the same magnitude ever again in humanity. We wash many times a week, in contrast with the monthly (if fortunate) baths of the peasants. We are clean, and our life expectancy is something around seventy or eighty. Back then, sixty was making you look like a wizened sage. Obviously, life has improved.

Also, we get education. Back then, most people, even most of the nobility, were illiterate and were at the mercy of the select few who were. This led to struggles over power, anarchy, brutality, and ultimately, a severe form of persecution as tyrants dominated the society with virtually nothing able to stop them. Without an education, those uneducated were left in the dark and were easily manipulated by the educated. The Salem Witch Trials, for example, show ignorance and simplicity. Many young women were lynched just because they were all of a sudden feared. These absolutely avoidable attacks on innocents were excused just because they had a "reason". If everyone was educated, they would actually figure out that these convicted "witches" were at most slightly eccentric and reclusive hermits. And maybe even some misanthropic people too, but still, death seems like a harsh punishment just because you think a certain way. These days, we get education, which illuminates our path to success and understanding of society.

With absolute conviction, I now openly declare that life will improve for humanity as a whole, not just for the avaricious individuals. Advancement in society is how life has patterned itself these past few centuries. There is not much reason to fret about it changing its course now. Truly, we can expect great things from the future. After all, the term "a flying car" used to refer to something impossible, but it was successfully created. So perhaps one day in the future, we may meet high up in the air in a scene reminiscent of when Harry Potter and Ron flew their own flying car. It is one of the various possibilities for our glorious future, whatever it may hold in store for us.





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