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How Our Contemporary World is a Product of The Past

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Words: 927 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Jun 12, 2023

Words: 927|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Jun 12, 2023

The contemporary world refers to the present time, the current era in which we live. It encompasses the social, cultural, economic, and political realities of the modern age. The contemporary world is characterized by rapid technological advancements, globalization, interconnectedness, and evolving social dynamics. However, this is all we can say in response to the question 'what is contemporary world?' This essay will assess whether or not the modern world in which we currently live in could actually be due to how we acted and lived in the past. This will involve evaluating if the spread and improvement of agriculture of today emerged from hunter-gatherers whilst also considering if we are the cause for the change in the contemporary world as well as whether having a feudal system of ranks and power has made a difference to today’s world.

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While the contemporary world is rooted in the past, it is not solely determined by it. The present is shaped by historical events, cultural traditions, and the legacies of the past, which have laid the foundation for the current state of affairs. Historical developments, such as political revolutions, scientific discoveries, social movements, and cultural shifts, have all influenced and shaped the contemporary world.

Changes in Agriculture and Feudalism in Modern World 

Agriculture has developed significantly since it first started to emerge around 10,000 years ago across the world with practices such as rice cultivation. This was one of the main ways of growing such food like grains due to it being a simple process as well as being cost-effective. This was as large quantities were able to be produced at one time as well as being labour-saving for the people producing it. However, by consistently cultivating rice on the same plot of land, this has been likely to cause damage to the soils as it leads to degradation. Through this knowledge, farmers currently sometimes use fertilisers or pesticides on their crops like rice yet are still damaging the soils after the crops are harvested. “When the spread of agriculture began to increase, agriculturists showed a remarkable ability to adapt their practices to local environmental conditions”. Many of the adaptations were due to the agriculturists having to alter how their land originally was so they could have more space to grow a variety of crops such as maize and wheat. This was mainly done through the act of deforestation. Due to hunter-gatherers removing trees to make way for more land, this has continued into the present day mainly due to the rise in population and the range of diet where “approximately 18.7 million acres of forest are cut down each year, where the land leftover is then mostly used for cattle farming and palm oil production”.

Feudalism was a ranking system that was mainly used and present during 12th-14th Europe where people in society were placed into different ranks based on how much power they had over others which were mainly established on the economy and a person’s individual wealth. Weingast states that the “land represented the means to power, wealth and security,” meaning that those who had more money were able to obtain the better land which was then mainly used for military and fighting purposes. However, during the mid-14th century, the Black Death was spread throughout Europe which caused the majority of the lower class to become infected. As they died, there was nobody to assist the wealthy, causing the feudal system to become abolished and people living more equally of each-other. Today however, some parts of society have moved on from feudalism due to the difference in the ways that people are living, mainly relating to agriculture as the majority of land which is bought by agriculturists nowadays is used for commercial and cattle farming. This means that the world we live in today is not due to how the people of society acted in the past as it is not the same as what it used to be. As demonstrated by Hirst, “in a feudal society, status is based on land ownership.” While this may have been true in the Middle Ages of Europe, in the present, it is just predominantly based around how much wealth a person has amassed as shown in the diagram below. The diagram shows the percentage of adults who earn a specific amount of money and how much of the whole world’s wealth they actually own based from 2018. Regardless of how feudalism is based on, there is still a clear divide between social classes because of their economic status and their financial assets. To a certain extent, some parts of feudalism can still be seen today such as when land is used for subsistence farming in which only small amounts of crops are grown specifically for the individual and their family and not for commercial use or profits.

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Conclusion

The contemporary world is a product of both the past and the choices we make in the present, as we navigate the challenges and possibilities of our rapidly evolving global society. however, there are still aspects of the past which have continued into the present world, for instance how aboriginals and hunter-gatherers used to farm in the past has shaped how we currently farm due to using similar practices. On the other hand, not all events in the past has changed the world today due to how people are placed in humanity as people are still being judged and put into classes which are based upon their level of power and wealth, meaning that our contemporary world may not be seen as a product of the past.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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How Our Contemporary World is a Product of the Past. (2023, Jun 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 13, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/how-our-contemporary-world-is-a-product-of-the-past/
“How Our Contemporary World is a Product of the Past.” GradesFixer, 12 Jun. 2023, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/how-our-contemporary-world-is-a-product-of-the-past/
How Our Contemporary World is a Product of the Past. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/how-our-contemporary-world-is-a-product-of-the-past/> [Accessed 13 Apr. 2024].
How Our Contemporary World is a Product of the Past [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Jun 12 [cited 2024 Apr 13]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/how-our-contemporary-world-is-a-product-of-the-past/
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