Books of The Enlightenment Period; 100

Compared to the recovery from the mass extinctions that ended the , , and periods, the recovery from the end-Cretaceous extinction was relatively swift. The seafloor ecosystem was fully reestablished within two million years. But the story on land was spectacularly different. By the Paleocene’s end, ten million years after the end-Cretaceous event, all mammalian orders had appeared in what I will call the “Mammalian Explosion.” While the fossil record for Paleocene mammals is relatively thin, the Mammalian Explosion is one of the most spectacular evolutionary radiations on record. Because of its younger age, the Cenozoic Era’s is generally more complete than those of previous eras.

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But what led to English success in North America, more than anything else, was the energy-rich continent that they stumbled into. Intact forests and soils were long gone in Europe, and seemingly virgin lands were there for the taking, as long as the natives were removed. Soon after the USA achieved its independence from Great Britain, during a meeting of English and American diplomats, a British diplomat noted that despite their many similarities, among them their common heritage, the Americans at that meeting were all about a foot taller than their British counterparts. Colonial New Englanders lived several years longer than their British counterparts. The rich soils of North America grew larger people than Europe’s depleted soils, and Americans always had one of humanity’s longest life expectancies. That was largely why they could .


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The Age of Reason or The Enlightenment is defined as a change in not just a way of thinking, but an establishment of values and rational actions....

No historian has argued that England had a grand plan of industrialization, but the Epochal Event was the culmination of several trends. Although the science of energy had yet to be invented, the obvious advantages of watermills, windmills, and sailing ships were not lost on people, and the control of arable land, forests, low-energy transportation lanes, workforces, and markets was always the road to riches from onward. People knew what they were doing, even if they had little or no long-term perspective.