Stark's Argument Analysis: The Dark Ages

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Stark begins part two of How the West Won by arguing that the Dark Ages did not exist as there were several innovations happening at this time. He states that the fall of Rome was the inciting event that led to the rise of Western Civilization because it “unleashed so many substantial and progressive changes” (69). Many of the inventions at this time surrounded agriculture such as the harnessing of wind and water power and the invention of a horse collar. This allowed for greater and more efficient production of food and resources. Because of immigrating people groups during this era, there was a huge influx in arts and the creation of more complex music. Stark’s main argument is the idea that the Dark Ages is a myth created by anti-Christians to slander the faith. In chapter five, Stark argues that European culture had little social or cultural influence and it would be “more accurate to speak of Christendom” (94) as in his eyes, it played a more crucial role in history. He begins the chapter disproving the myth that the Vikings were barbaric, instead he shows how they had advanced technology in both arms and armor, ship building, and catching codfish. Continuing on, Stark begins to argue…show more content…
Westerners placed immense value on individual freedom and this idea melded with Greek democracy to form the beginnings of a democratic system. Stark also claims that free will is not a new idea, as it is the basis of Christianity. Church officials opposed slavery because it surpassed the free will of those in captivity. Stark states that historical linguists believe that medieval slavery was not abolished but rather renamed, however, he does not argue against or for this claim. Stark believes that the “abolition” of slavery was due to the need for economic growth. Slaves benefitted their owners but societies” gain far more from a free workforce”

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