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Q&A: What country has yielded the most advancement for human kind throughout history?

by tom44 on July 8, 2013

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Question by PlasticTrees: What country has yielded the most advancement for human kind throughout history?
Advancement meaning: innovation, medicine etc.

I’d like to say Italy. Some important Italians include: Christopher Columbus, Leonardo Da Vinci, Galileo, Marco Polo and Donatello.

What do you think? Does the USA compare? Other than Bill Gates and medicine, what do we have?

Best answer:

Answer by rann_georgia
Serbia. Nicola Tesla was from Serbia but moved to the United States. He invented AC electrify among other things.

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7 thoughts on “Q&A: What country has yielded the most advancement for human kind throughout history?

  1. P S says:

    USA, The birthplace of the modern democracy, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, Jazz, all the famous inventors, industry, commerce, scientific thought, great universities, the greatest engineering feats in history, dams, bridges, power plants…..The USA dominates….something about the liberty and freedom which acts as a catalyst…

  2. bob N says:

    The USA. We’ve provided or invented the airplane, nuclear weapons and nuclear power, the artificial heart, the lightbulb, phonograph, and telephone, the assembly line, repeating firearms, the microchip, we’ve put men on the moon (and invented both Tang drink mix and the microwave oven in the process), we’ve made more contributions to medical advances and cancer research than any other country, we created both rock and roll music, the blues, bluegrass, and country and western music, we inventred the phrase and the meaning of “superior firepower”, we won WWII for the rest of the world (yes, it’s true), we’ve contributed hundreds of first-class writers, artists, architects, etc… to the field of culture and arts, (need I go on?)

  3. Ego says:

    1) Ancient Egypt and Greece – Medicine, astronomy, mathematics, architecture, political organization

    2) Arab civilization from the 7th to 10th centuries – Literacy, social reform, applied sciences, civil administration

    3) Rennaisance Italy – Arts, sciences, architecture, engineering

    4) England from the 1650’s to WWI – Commerce, political organization, shipping and discovery

    5) USA in modern history – Industrialization processes, science & engineering, commerce

  4. wizebloke says:

    USA has MARKETED more benificial products to humankind.
    Rome, in Jesus time, had medicine (to cure gladiators), hygene (baths), transport (all roads lead to Rome), communication (Latin was widely spoken) and that was 2000 years ago. The others you mentioned add to that. Marco Polo didn’t come up with the innovations, but stole ideas from the Chinese of Compass, gunpowder, paper, silk and other commodities unknown in Europe at the time.

  5. IamCount says:

    Well, since most advancement for human kind has happened within the last 400 years or so, that’s the place to start.

    And I would say whether it is physics, or optics, or literature, or medicine, or warfare, that the bulk of those achievements land within the realm of the British.

    A few items and name with which to start.
    The tank
    Adam Smith
    Charles Darwin
    Scuba gear
    Electric motor
    internal combustion engine
    The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, the Who
    Steel Production

    Keep in mind that the Industrial Revolution happened there.
    Also it takes a technological advantage for a kingdom twice the size of Louisiana to have, in 1921, an empire that included 1/4 of the world’s land and 1/3 of its people. BTW, this is by far the largest empire in world history.

  6. suchAnoob says:

    – Although Columbus was born Italian, he could never have started his famous voyage without Spain’s funding.
    – Marco Polo travelled the world alot in a ship, and inspired Columbus to do the same, but that’s all it.
    – Da Vinci had lots of blueprints for advanced machines for his time, but they were barely used or even made in the first place. He did painted amazing paintings, but paintings and art isn’t really a heavy contributor to man’s advancement. Sure, Mona Lisa is very mysterious, but has that really helped propel mankind’s advancement. Nope.
    – Donatello is mainly a sculpture, he didn’t exactly helped design better building structures or aqueducts or waterways or roads or canals. He made artistic sculptures.
    – Galileo? Psssh. Copernicus is the real deal. He’s born in Poland.

    And, US is still young compared to Italy, UK, France when it comes to historical impact. Even before the US became independent, China’s alchemists were already making early versions of gunpowder. Greece’s Archimedes was already calculating pi, Britain’s Newton was already studying gravity .

  7. Mark T says:

    Actually, different countries have provided benefit for human civilization at different times. In many respects, we tend to over-emphasize our own culture and time, however without exaggeration the US has – from absolute terms been able to produce the most goods and services and inventions and such than any other power in history.

    However, this does not take into account the very long scope of history.

    Ancient civilizations – in China, Mesoamerica and Mesopotamia are the 3 cradles of civilization and have given is inventions we scarcely even think of as inventions.

    Language has been a capability of humans for about 70-80 thousand years, however, written language, has not existed for longer than about 7000 years, and as such has only been “invented” 3 separate times (see Guns, Germs and Steel).

    Each pan-civlization brought about it’s own form of religion, however today, the Mesoamerican religious forms are no longer practiced in anything approximating the forms they were practiced in during their heyday.

    Chinese religion evolved to comprise a series of philosophical instances and beliefs which are radically different in form but more or less evolved along philosophical rather than strictly dogmatic religious lines – Confucianism, Shintoism and variations of Buddhism are representative.

    Mesopotamian religion gave rise to Judaism, Zoroastriansim, Some aspects of Hindism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

    However, if we talk about raw inventive power, we are indebted to various civilizations over time, The Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Caliphates, and Doges of the Mediterranean tradition all fed off of one another in a civilization feedback between each other.

    However, “normal” life – as such had fundamentally started to alter by about 1300, or so in Europe. During which time, the European kingdoms and people started to emerge from the 1000 year dark age after the fall of Rom.

    The modern West, can draw a more or less direct line from these medieval stirrings to their pre-eminence today.

    However, After the 1800’s and the invention of steam power, western civilization has been on steroids, in the late 1850’s after the widespread introduction and use of oil, there really is no comparison between countries productivity – before and after.

    One could make a strong argument that Oil is the most important resource the race has ever encountered, allowing machines to replace slaves and automate the jobs of workers , electricity brought further advances, which allowed more work to be done by fewer and fewer individuals.

    For instance, a laptop with Excel is capable of thousands of calculations, performed in an instant, without electricity and without modern computers, (with just abacuses or mechanical adding-machines) the mathematics for a “complex” spreadsheet, could take a group of accountants hours or days to calculate.

    Originally, computer power was not measured in gigahertz or megahertz but in number of accounting hours of work that could be replaced by using them.

    However, the most exciting things may be in the immediate future.

    Specifically, the three inventions likely to alter human existence at least as significantly as oil and probably much more significantly.

    1. Fusion power – cheap – reliable high-energy power – which appears to be virtually inexhaustible.

    2. Machine Intelligence – it may not happen at all but if we manage to make machines as smart as us, it’s very likely that very quickly thereafter, they will surpass us in intelligence. These super-intelligent machines will allow us to solve problems which we currently are incapable of solving.

    3. Reliable off-world transportation – largely this is a problem with materials – some relatively cheap , light and durable material to protect ships during reentry, would allow the creation of a whole industrial presence in space, eventually, humanity may spread not just off the Earth and around the moons and planets of our solar system , but someday our species may span many star-systems.

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