correct. civilization is based on cities, trade and interaction. any time people are isolated from the world, there is usually stagnation... whether its an island in the ocean, or people living in rugged mountain regions, or people who culturally isolate themselves. one historian said that civilization spreads far horizontally, but does not spread vertically.. in past times, people living in mountainous regions (balkans, appalachia, scottish highlands) often were far less advanced and built up than people in the lowlands, because they were cut off and isolated from the world and sometimes from each other. one reason the Jews have been so successful is because theyve been dispersed in the diaspora among numerous nations and cultures. Rome would never have been so successful without its roads and urban centers. and remember that the renaissance started in italy which was very connected to the world (to both east and west) and in cities like florence. as far as europes success, it has a pretty good environment. its not too dry or wet, plenty of arable land, and there are many navigable rivers as well as many natural harbors and a long coastline. and the various western european nations and cultures have been easily able to interact among themselves and other civilizations. africa, on the other hand, has an extreme environment... especially subsaharan africa. jungles leach all nutrients out of soil, and savannahs cant be farmed either. there are intense dry periods and monsoons. their rivers are far fewer given the size of the continent, and are often difficult to navigate with rapids and so on, and they get too shallow in a dry season. the coastline is also smooth with few natural harbors. and the tse-tse fly plagued men and animals alike with sleeping sickness.. not to mention other diseases which run rampant. this is why africa, through much of its history, has been divided, tribal, and unadvanced. though i will say that africa north of the sahara is better, as is western africa.. and both those areas have seen more advanced kingdoms and civilizations. ancient egypt in particular was brilliant, and it was based around a reliable, navigable river which flooded at regular intervals - the Nile. not that there havent been some kingdoms and development in subsaharan africa, but not nearly as much. overall, cultural exchange and connections to the world lead to greater advancement. it certainly helped lead europe to success.. and its also the reason why computers and internet are the 5th great revolution in history.