What Caused the Boom?

From the August 2018 Trumpet Print Edition

Human civilization has experienced several positive developments in recent generations. Intriguingly, writers like Steven Pinker pin the most dramatic improvement in the human condition to the past 200 years.

What major event occurred 200 years ago that could have powered and sustained a massive boom in human development for billions of people around the world? Did people just start “figuring it out”?

Historians know what major turning point in human history occurred right around the year 1800: Britain and the United States rather suddenly emerged as world powers. Like every world power before them, these two nations introduced a lot of negatives, but they also introduced enormous positives: individual liberty, limited constitutional government, democracy, criminal justice, education, sanitation, irrigation, improved agriculture, revolutionary industrialization, technological innovation, free markets, charity, international aid, defeat of dictators, protection of global trade, criminalizing violent superstitions, valuing human life, promotion of the arts, and submission to the rule of law.

Many of these are the very advancements that observers credit for lifting billions of people from ignorance, illness and poverty. And they are traceable to the influence of Britain and America.

Did these advancements come from the superiority of the British and Americans? Did these peoples simply figure out a more enlightened way? Or did it come from something else?

Much of the positive influence that the British and the Americans exerted traces back to their belief in the principles of the Holy Bible. But there is much more to it. The Bible prophesied that God would bless the descendants of Abraham. It also said that if those descendants disobeyed Him, He would suspend that fulfillment for 2,520 years. And when did that 2,520-year suspension end? Right around 1800.

For 200 years, human civilization has experienced massive improvements in some aspects. The ultimate cause is blessings from God. To learn when, where, how and why, read Herbert W. Armstrong’s book Mystery of the Ages, specifically “The Mystery of Civilization” (Chapter 4) and “The Mystery of Israel” (Chapter 5).