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Posted: November 24th, 2022

Western Technological Superiority

Western Technological Superiority
Between the seventeenth and nineteenth century Western military supremacy was based on the five foundations which involve discipline and training, new technologies, competition, western military tradition, and innovation. All the previously mentioned factors affirmed the earlier military dominance in the West. Currently, the established artillery elements are not only beneficial to the West but also to the other rest of the military nations in the world. Basically, the West, during this period, depended on the above enhancements to win wars thereby maintaining their supremacy. This paper discusses how the West integrated all the five elements in their military endeavors and how these factors assisted them to attain victory over their adversaries.
Because the Western soldiers were fewer than others, their ardent reliance on new and advanced technologies compensated for their inferior numbers in the military forces. Before the advent of some powerful volleys artillery and musketry, the West did not enjoy the worldwide superiority in the various countries’ military forces. These technologies may have not originated from the West; however, after an invention of new war equipment, the Western States would adopt and advance them. For example, thee innovations of the gunpowder and stirrup originated from the East and were later adopted by the West. Regardless of the innovations not emerging from the west, it was receptive to the inventions, made advancements and later became an establishment of the Western technological warfare.
Apart from the new technological adoption, the foundation of supremacy in the West could be attributed to their disciplined military forces. The armament superiority alone did not win the battles in the west but assisted to increase their chances of victory in the wars between seventeenth through the nineteenth century . During this era, the military success of the West was much attributed to smart war plans and discipline rather than the weapons advancements.
Military success in the west was based on wise war plans, better economic power and, above all, the presence of superior discipline. Rather than the exaltation of religion, patriotism or kinship, the western military practices had and have exalted discipline as the basic instrument that used teams that fought as entities made of soldiers. Other elements of Western military supremacy between the 17th and 19th century period included; many military army formations, local organizations into the almost extended family troop in an area under the local leadership, and inclusive slogans such as your country requires you, which enhanced recruitments . However, all of the above elements are entirely under the umbrella of military discipline.
Discipline entailed the formation of a steadfast fight and remaining at war whether attacking an enemy or being attacked. It entailed standing firm without the sways of panic or fear. The western soldiers adopted repeated team activities, either directly related to drills or firing practices. These practices created the artificial groups of kinship, platoons, small fellowships and companies which ultimately enhanced cohesion and efficiency during combat and other activities.
The team combat, steadfastness and the progressive armaments were critical for the western military because their inferior numbers compared to other world forces proved overwhelming. Without the advanced technologies and the superb discipline, Alexandria the Great and his Macedonia and Greek troops could hardly win the Persian forces . The inventions of missiles and firearms in the 19th century only enhanced the trend. Western military involved the arduous training, superb self-control, and strong team cohesion. In the land, sea and air fighting, discipline and training were very essential.
Another foundation of the Military Supremacy in the West was the Western Military Tradition. The traditions in the West can be traced from the practices of the militia during the Roman Empire. The traditions in the Western military, since its composition in AD 390 by Flavius Renatus Vegetius, have been the same . The Roman Empire introduced drills, sieges; encirclement tactic, military education, war laws, attrition and many other tactics had been used for centuries including the 17th through the 19th centuries. These traditions are still passed on from one military generation to the other in the west. The Western war supremacy was maintained with the inclusion of these traditions as they assured the defeat and destructions of their enemies. A tradition known as the bellum Romanum brought the logic of war without mercy which is still the measure of military techniques in the West.
Ideological and religion constraints did not interfere with the discussions and the conduct of the western war systems. Until the 19th century, laws concerning wars have been embedded though lacked effective enforcement machinery. However, there had been a continuous emphasis on the need for more superior technologies, discipline and the war vision based on achieving a decisive victory that led to the unconditional surrender of the enemy. According to the view of Carl von Clausewitz about the treaties of war of the early 19th century, what must be a dominant consideration during fighting is the direct eradication of the forces of the enemy. This is because the destruction of these forces is the overruling war principle. Other theorists such as Fabian Cunctator of Rome stressed on other methods of achieving the victory and attrition in the western military history. Fabian emphasized that the war defeat can be achieved by time reliance to perform campaigning frictions and the superior resources marshaling .
The tactics of war in the West spread to other countries such as China and Japan among other nations who began to utilize the instrument of discipline, aggressive traditions of the militia and technological advancements. Therefore, in the 19th century, what enabled the West to remain superior in their warfare was, first, the special abilities to change while at the same time conserve their military practices depending on the need, and, secondly, the western power to finance the changes. In the areas of less threatening issues, the Western traditions of war changed slowly, for example in the war against the Mughal India. However, when multiple military forces challenged the war zone, the need for quick innovation, and advanced technologies became tremendously strong .
Finally, the absence of competitors and related powers regarding artillery and economy gave the West the power of becoming supreme in military affairs. They had greater means of achieving higher coordination between the civilian and military instruments. As already mentioned, higher economic power compared to those of the adversaries gave the western soldiers the ability to replenish their fighting armament and maintain the fight. The introduction of the missiles and gunpowder defense weapons lead to the significant increase in the cost of war. Only centralized States afforded to acquire them. These expenses served to enhance the Western States’ military power.

References
Leeson D. The Cambridge History of Warfare, edited by Geoffrey Parker. Canadian Journal of History. 2007, 1-11.
Wilson, Brian. Modern martial arts and the reinvention of tradition. Arkansas Tech University, 2015.
Harrison JB, Sullivan RE, Sherman D. A short history of Western civilization. Knopf; 1985.

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