When the Europeans began to explore the globe their greater surprise were not the extension of disowned lands, but theirs amazing superiority regarding the other populations, in the sixteenth century the Asian civilizations, Americans and Africans were rear regarding Europe.
It was not fruit of the case, as an example although many populations had developed to the alchemy only in the old continent born chemistry. Some historians have characterized the reason of this happening in geography, but this was present also when the European civilizations were by far inferior to those Asians, others has assumed that it was merit of a more productive agriculture, of the crews from fire or the steel, but it would remain to explain because only Europe has developed these things. The more reasonable answer resides in Capitalism, that it never allowed a productivity seen before and that was born and was only developed in Europe, but remains to understand as never this system only remained for centuries in our continent.
The true fundamental reason of the birth of Capitalism, and the western superiority generally, is the faith in the reason and the progress, and the reason of this its supremacy resides mainly in the Christianity. In fact while the other religions emphasized the role of the mystery and the intuition, this last one indicated in the reason the main gift of God and therefore the better means in order to catch up one better religious understanding. Undoubtedly the Christianity was influenced from the Greek thought, but the Greek religion remained nebulous, conflicting, mysterious, intrinsically irrational. Moreover, while the other cults were revolts to the past, sometimes inaccurately (like for those it orients them) and someone else clearly but however died (like the Islam), this from the beginning was turned to the future and the progress of the reason. Just this Sunday of Pentacost has been spoken about the Saint Spirit who renders lives the faith and puts into effect them the sacrifice of Christ, than otherwise would remain buried in the History.
If other faiths exalt the belongings, the ritual, the word, all things immovabli or only separated the Christian faith is based mainly on a fact, that it renders those simple "beautiful words" concrete, source of guide and salvation. Even if one does not believe is undeniable that only the Christian religion found itself on the facts and the founding reason, the two aspects modern science and in general terms every development.
That also has carried to the search of the application of the reason to the life of every day, that it has carried to technological developments, lacking, static or fruit of the case in other civilizations (like in China).
Encouraged from the Scholastic and incarnated from the university medieval this creed in the reason it has founded the bases of science and, therefore, the Capitalism that is essentially the application of the reason to the economy.
In the slid century, but, many intellectuals are themselves refuse you to recognize the role of the Christianity, indeed they have asserted that the western superiority drifts from the overcoming of the religious barriers, that it is a sense not considering that same science is been born on religious bases, from religious. Others are limit to you to recognize some merit to the Reform Protestant, the more famous example are the book of Max Weber: "Ethics Protestant and the Spirit of Capitalism", a book that has had much infuence, which indicated in ethics protestant, that it previewed the lessening of the consumptions and the search of the wealth, the factor that allowed the birth of Capitalism, while before the saving was legacy to the asceticism and the wealth to the profligacy, attitudes both hostile ones to Capitalism. Although the thesis is therefore elegant and still today nearly sacred between the sociologists has a status (the author is a sociologist) is obviously false for the simple fact that Capitalism is been born centuries before the Reform, in the Italian cities of the twelfth century.
However Weber had reason on one what, the material conditions for the development of Capitalism was present in many other civilizations, but in medieval Europe this was only developed because only here there was a compatible ethics with its development.
Although this Capitalism has been only developed in some places, because not in all Europe? That was prevented from eager dispots, the freedom is an other indispensable condition for the development of this system. That ago to rise an other question, because the freedom rose in small European states? Also this was a victory of the reason, in fact the theologist Christian theorized over a long time span the existence of inalienable rights of single (e.g. the free will) and the equality in dignity and rights of the men.
In conclusion the rise of the West is based mainly on four great victories of the reason:
1) the development of the faith in the progress with the Christian theology
2) the transformation of this attitude in organizational and technological improvements, many of which been born in the monasteries («Ora et labora»)
3) third regard the transposition of that in theories, shapes and political practice, also they are developed on religious garnishments, that they carried to responsable states which granted substantial personal freedoms to their citizens
4) the fourth concerns the development of Capitalism, that is the reason applied to the commerce.