In this regard, then, Europe’s intellectual community enjoyed the best of two worlds, both the advantages of an integrated transnational academic community and a competitive states system. This system produced many of the cultural components that led to the Great Enrichment: a belief in social and economic progress, a growing regard for scientific and intellectual innovation, and a commitment to a Baconian, ie a methodical and empirically grounded, research programme of knowledge in the service of economic growth. The natural philosophers and mathematicians of the 17th-century Republic of Letters adopted the idea of experimental science as a prime tool, and accepted the use of increasingly more sophisticated mathematics as a method of understanding and codifying nature.
How did Europe become the richest part of the world? | Aeon Essays