What makes Asia the East and America the West?


What makes Asia the East and America the West?

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These terms are based on the concept that the world is centered around Europe. And that makes America to the west and Asia to the east. As the world have changed these terms just have not updated.

Because everything is based on Europe in general and England in particular, because you can dictate stuff like that when you control half the world. Western Europe and America are the west, the Middle East is the middle east (we don’t really use the term ‘near east anymore’, but it used to roughly consist of Turkey and Egypt), and anything further east is the Far East (but generally not including the Indian subcontinent).

In 1884 the world got together to agree on a “universal time” because the world was becoming much more connected, thanks to things like the telegraph and nation-spanning rail networks. At the time, an overwhelming majority of celestial navigation charts were drawn from the perspective of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England. Most of the rest of the charts were copied from those. Most everyone agreed that since pretty much all of the trade of the world was shipped by the guiding hand of the Royal Observatory, they might as well make it the Prime Meridian, or 0 degrees Longitude, and therefore the basis for global time.

Well, almost everyone. The French insisted on using Paris as the Prime Meridian (because French) and didn’t come on board until 1911.

I don’t have anything to support this, but I think it was because of trade routes from long ago. Most merchants would go from America to Asia by going east through Europe instead of having to cross the whole pacific Ocean by going west, so Asia was east. Same goes for people going from Asia to America, America was just west to them since that was the direction they were travelling in.