Western civilization came as a result of a certain influence and it is therefore important to mention that it did not occur by accident. Historically, Western civilization began in Ancient Greek and Roman Empires in the 13th century.
The influence of the Greek and Roman leaders of the time played a very significant role in ensuring that the way of life in Europe and America was in line with the changing times. Western civilization has got a lot of components ranging from technology, political systems, art, culture, tradition and heritage. Greece is a European country endowed with a rich history especially when it comes to Western civilization (Burn, 1948).
The country is the hub of civilization with its historic leaders playing a significant role in spreading the civilization message. Alexander the Great is a famous Greek leader who is widely recognized in history for the role he played in promoting Western civilization. This paper will highlight the role played by Alexander the Great in shaping and spreading Western civilization.
Alexander the Great was born in 356 BC to a Greek royal family and was destined for big things right from birth. His extraordinary nature led to him being compared to a Greek god known as Zeus. Alexander’s strong personality and intelligence made him become a very influential leader from the time he took to the throne at a tender age of twenty (Burn, 1948).
The Greek people had a lot of trust and confidence in Alexander because they were sure of his ability to deliver where his late father had failed. Alexander the Great was an advocate of cultural diversity and played a vital role in ensuring that the Western culture and civilization completely dominated the entire world (Greer, 1977).
The great accomplishments achieved by Alexander the great during his time would later affect future societies across the world. Alexander ensured that Greek artifacts and sciences spread across the world. The Roman Empire was the first to adopt ancient Greek architecture, philosophies, art and democracy (Greer, 1977).
This revolution happened as a result of Alexander the Great’s influence. The Greek culture would later become dominant in the rest of Europe and America due to Alexander’s influence. It was Alexander’s ability to influence ideologies that made Romans to refer to him as “Great”. The Romans embraced Alexander’s philosophies and the general Greek culture as a way of demonstrating their love and respect for him.
Alexander was seen as a role model by many Romans because he was the one that spread the Greek culture to the East and West. Alexander the Great used the Roman Empire to spread Greek civilization to Europe and the rest of the world (Greer, 1977). The Western world readily embraced the Greek culture because it was very advanced and progressive.
The major highlight of Alexander’s life on the throne is the speech he made at Opis one year before his death. The speech was later referred to as Alexander’s Oath and many international organizations and world leaders have continued to uphold Alexander’s ideals and philosophies depicted in the famous speech.
The elements of Alexander’s Oath charted the course as the world moved towards the third millennium (Burn, 1948). In this famous speech, Alexander the Great reiterated his desire to see a happy and peaceful world the moment all wars came to an end. Alexander the Great supported common prosperity through harmonious living. The other highlight of Alexander’s Oath was his desire to see the whole world living like a single nation governed by common laws and culture (Burn, 1948).
The Opis speech depicts Alexander the Great as a leader who was against racism but only distinguished people according to their ideologies and virtues. Alexander the Great was a peacemaker who was always impressed by virtuous people. Alexander’s philosophies that were captured in the Opis speech were later adopted across the world and this gave birth to cultural globalization (Burn, 1948).
Alexander the Great moved across Europe trying his best to spread the Hellenic peace and culture. Alexander’s exploits as a liberator took him to Egypt where he helped a great deal in establishing the Alexandria city.
Alexandria became one of the most beautiful and progressive cities across the world as a result of Alexander’s influence. Egypt was the first African country to adopt Western civilization during Alexander’s time (Greer, 1977). Western civilization later spread to the rest of Africa as it continued to dominate the world.
The Greek Macedonian Empire that was established by Alexander the Great extended to many parts of the world and in the process spreading the Western culture and philosophies. Alexander the Great was a smart military thinker and strategist whose will and determination ensured that he achieved whatever he wanted to achieve (Stearns, 2003). All nations under Alexander’s control were influenced to speak and write a universal language.
Alexander the Great believed that Western civilization could only spread across the world through the use of a common universal language. Language is a vital tool in spreading ideologies, philosophies, technologies and culture (Stearns, 2003). Alexander the Great was aware of this secret and he successfully used it to a great effect. Establishing a universally spoken language was one of the greatest steps taken by Alexander the Great towards spreading Western civilization and culture across the world.
International trade and commerce was Alexander’s master plan. All the countries that Alexander the Great managed to conquer became potential business partners with Greece. Alexander the Great ensured that ports and harbors were built in the conquered countries so that his empire could benefit a great deal by exchanging goods and services with nations under his control (McClellan, 1999).
It is believed that Alexander the Great was among the ancient Western leaders who crafted the idea of colonialism. The colonization of Africa was started by Alexander the Great as a way of introducing Western civilization in Africa. Colonialism introduced Western civilization in the affected countries with those who resisted being forced to adopt the Western way of life.
The culture of Greece spread to the Middle East under the influence of Alexander the Great who ensured that Greek philosophies and practices were adopted in the entire Middle East and some parts of Asia (Greer, 1977). Alexander the Great made a signifant contribution in ensuring that the world became a global village.
The infrastructure and educational standards in all the countries under Alexander’s control improved a great deal through Western civilization. The development of new cities with a Western architecture across the world marked the ultimate Western influence. Alexander the Great began the concept of urban planning where people were influenced to move from rural areas to centralized commercial cities.
All the cities under the Greek Empire were similar in architecture and planning (Greer, 1977). Civilization was highly enhanced when Alexander the Great introduced elementary education where children were taught basic reading and arithmetic. Alexander the Great believed that people’s lives could only be improved if they knew how to read and write. The students were also taught civic education and the Western culture. Education eliminated the local culture and promoted Western culture (Greer, 1977).
Alexander the Great had an expanded sphere of influence that was envied by other leaders of his time. It is this expanded sphere of influence that gave him a perfect platform to spread the Greek philosophies and culture across the world. The historical development of Greece was actually shaped by Alexander the Great.
The concept of Greek democracy was spread to Africa and the rest of the world by Alexander the Great. The concept of Greek democracy gave individuals the freedom to participate in government activities such as decision making (Burn, 1948). The Greek democracy ensured that important government decisions and policies were made by inclusive participation of all citizens.
Governance issues were a preserve of the wealthy in the society before the introduction of the Greek democracy. Many countries across the world were inspired to develop democratic systems of governance and in the process making Alexander develop his own country. Alexander the Great viewed citizens of every country as citizens of the world and not as citizens of their respective countries (Greer, 1977).
Alexander the Great was a selfless leader who fought for justice and co-existence among the different races across the world. Alexander’s philosophies and principles were adopted across the world since most of them were practical and ended up bringing instant results (Greer, 1977). Alexander the Great is a leader whose courage and influence brought civilization and change to many parts of the world.
The violent relationship between Europe and Asia was improved to a great extent by Alexander’s intervention. By influencing Europe and America, Alexander knew that reaching the rest of the world would be very simple. The Western civilization was symbolized by the Greek culture, tradition, art, education, architecture, governance systems, diet and literature (Stearns, 2003).
Spreading the Western ideologies and culture across the world required a very intelligent and charismatic leader in the mould of Alexander the Great. The Greek Macedonian Empire that was under the leadership of Alexander the Great took the initiative of ensuring that the Western culture spread across the world (Stearns, 2003).
There are many reasons why Alexander the Great is regarded to as the father of Western Civilization. To begin with, Alexander’s personal philosophies formed the core of Western Civilization. Alexander travelled widely across the world as a way of ensuring that he personally influenced the Western culture across the world.
Alexander the Great was a brilliant thinker and strategist who came up with progressive ideas such as globalization, education, democracy and urbanization (Stearns, 2003). The impact of Western civilization was widely spread across the world with many nations readily adopting the Western culture. Alexander’s all round nature distinguishes him as a very important figure in the history of Western civilization.
In conclusion, it is important to note that Western civilization became global through the initiative of Alexander the Great. Alexander the Great will forever be remembered as a pioneer of Western civilization and globalization. Western civilization brought notable change and development in the countries that fully embraced it. Alexander the Great is still a perfect role model with his leadership style and personal philosophies remaining a source of inspiration to many leaders across the world.
Burn, A.R. (1948). Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Empire. New York, NY: Macmillan Company.
Greer, T. (1977). A brief history of Western man. New York, NY: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc.
McClellan, J. (1999). Science and technology in world history. New York, NY: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Stearns, P.N. (2003): Western Civilization in World History. New York, NY: Routledge.