The REAL Reason Europe Took Over the World | Summary and Q&A

November 2, 2022
Johnny Harris
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The REAL Reason Europe Took Over the World


The invention of the modern corporation played a significant role in Europe's ability to take over the world by pooling resources and extracting resources from distant places, leading to the establishment of private empires.

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Key Insights

  • 🌍 Europe's success in taking over the world was not just due to ships or guns, but rather a combination of technology, timing, ideology, religion, and key inventions.
  • 💼 The invention of the modern corporation played a major role in Europe's ability to colonize and extract resources from faraway places.
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  • 🌍 The Dutch were the first to follow Spain and Portugal's lead in colonization, establishing a permanent colony in Cape Town and trading in Southeast Asia.
  • 🚀 England and France were newcomers to imperialism, starting with colonization efforts in the Americas and West Indies.
  • 💭 Europeans justified their land theft by dehumanizing the native peoples and using legal philosophies that denied their right to own property.
  • ⚖️ Private empire, fueled by profit-seeking corporations, accelerated imperialism as they competed for resources and developed efficient conquest strategies.
  • 🔍 European maps became more detailed and accurate, aiding in the exploitation of new territories and resources.
  • ⚔️ Private empire also led to the horrific practice of slave trade, as European empires sought to maximize profits and dominate global trade.
  • 🌍 These structures of power and domination, built during this period of history, still shape our modern world and its inequalities.


(dramatic music) - It's easy to think that Europe was so successful in taking over the world because they had, like, better ships or guns, or whatever. But when you actually look at the whole story, you see that it was actually just a perfect storm of technology and timing and ideology and religion, of a few key inventions. And what I wanna show yo... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How did the invention of the modern corporation contribute to European imperialism?

The modern corporation provided a means for individuals to collectively pool their resources and fund expeditions, enabling the establishment of powerful private empires that could extract resources and claim land in distant places. This allowed European countries to expand their influence and dominance globally.

Q: How did dehumanization and ideology justify European land theft?

Europeans justified their land theft by dehumanizing the native populations and applying complex legal philosophies that labeled them as inferior and incapable of owning the land. This mindset, combined with the ideology of saving and converting others to Christianity, further reinforced the Europeans' sense of entitlement to claim the land.

Q: How did private empires accelerate European imperialism?

Private empires, fueled by profit-seeking individuals, engaged in competition to extract wealth and resources from colonized lands. This competition led to advancements in exploration, cartography, and conquest, allowing private empires to expand their territories and dominate specific regions. This repetition and efficiency of private empire-building accelerated European imperialism.

Q: How did the slave trade become intertwined with private empires?

The private empire model, driven by profit-seeking individuals, facilitated the slave trade. European empires, particularly England, Portugal, and France, outsourced the slave trade to private companies. This allowed the empires to focus on maximizing profits and fueling their private empires, resulting in the horrific exploitation and forced labor of millions of enslaved Africans.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Europe's success in global dominance was not solely due to technological advancements but also the invention of the modern corporation.

  • European countries like Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, France, and England followed in Spain's footsteps, pursuing imperialism and establishing colonies in different parts of the world.

  • The Dutch East India Company set the blueprint for privately-funded expeditions, paving the way for corporations to become powerful private empires that controlled trade, extracted resources, and claimed land.

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