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The history of Europe
Europe
covers the peoples inhabiting Europe
Europe
from prehistory to the present. The period known as classical antiquity began with the emergence of the city-states of ancient Greece. Later, the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
came to dominate the entire Mediterranean basin. The fall of the Roman Empire in AD 476 traditionally marks the start of the Middle Ages. Beginning in the 14th century a Renaissance
Renaissance
of knowledge challenged traditional doctrines in science and theology. Simultaneously, the Protestant Reformation
Reformation
set up Protestant churches primarily in Germany, Scandinavia and England. After 1800, the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
brought prosperity to Britain and Western Europe. The main powers set up colonies in most of the Americas and Africa, and parts of Asia. In the 20th century, World War I, and World War II
World War II
resulted in massive numbers of deaths. The Cold War
Cold War
dominated European geo-politics from 1947 to 1989. Unification into a European Union
European Union
moved forward after 1950, with some setbacks. Today, most countries west of Russia
Russia
belong to the NATO
NATO
military alliance, along with the United States and Canada.

Europe
Europe
depicted by Antwerp
Antwerp
cartographer Abraham Ortelius
Abraham Ortelius
in 1595

Contents

1 Overview 2 Prehistory 3 Minoans and Mycenae
Mycenae
2700–1100 BC 4 Classical antiquity

4.1 Ancient Greece 4.2 The rise of Rome 4.3 Decline of the Roman Empire 4.4 Late Antiquity
Late Antiquity
and Migration Period

5 Middle Ages

5.1 Byzantium 5.2 Early Middle Ages

5.2.1 Feudal Christendom

5.3 High Middle Ages

5.3.1 A divided church 5.3.2 Holy wars

5.4 Late Middle Ages

6 Early modern Europe

6.1 Renaissance 6.2 Exploration and trade 6.3 Reformation 6.4 Mercantilism
Mercantilism
and colonial expansion 6.5 Crisis of the 17th century 6.6 Age of Absolutism

6.6.1 Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War
1618–1648 6.6.2 War of the Spanish Succession 6.6.3 Prussia 6.6.4 Russia

6.7 Enlightenment

7 From revolution to imperialism (1789–1914)

7.1 Industrial Revolution 7.2 Era of the French Revolution 7.3 Napoleon

7.3.1 Impact of the French Revolution

7.4 Religion

7.4.1 Protestantism

7.5 Nations rising

7.5.1 Emerging nationalism

7.5.1.1 Germany 7.5.1.2 Italy 7.5.1.3 Greece

7.5.2 Serbia 7.5.3 Poland 7.5.4 Conservative forces 7.5.5 France under Napoleon
Napoleon
III 7.5.6 Major powers 7.5.7 Bismarck's Germany

7.6 Imperialism

8 1914–1945: Two World wars

8.1 World War I 8.2 Paris
Paris
Peace Conference 8.3 Interwar

8.3.1 Fascism
Fascism
and authoritarianism

8.4 Great Depression: 1929–1939 8.5 World War II

9 Cold War
Cold War
Era

9.1 Economic recovery

10 Recent history 11 Chronology 12 See also 13 Notes 14 References 15 Bibliography

15.1 Surveys 15.2 Geography and atlases 15.3 Major nations 15.4 Classical 15.5 Late Roman 15.6 Medieval 15.7 Early modern 15.8 19th century 15.9 Since 1900 15.10 Agriculture and economy 15.11 Diplomacy 15.12 Empires and interactions 15.13 Ideas and science 15.14 Religion 15.15 Social 15.16 Warfare 15.17 Women and gender

16 External links

Overview[edit] Some of the best-known civilizations of prehistoric Europe
Europe
were the Minoan and the Mycenaean, which flourished during the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
until they collapsed in a short period of time around 1200 BC. The period known as classical antiquity began with the emergence of the city-states of Ancient Greece. After ultimately checking the Persian advance in Europe
Europe
through the Greco-Persian Wars
Greco-Persian Wars
in the 5th century BC, Greek influence reached its zenith under the expansive empire of Alexander the Great, spreading throughout Asia, Africa, and other parts of Europe. The Roman Empire
Roman Empire
came to dominate the entire Mediterranean basin. By 300 AD the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
was divided into the Western and Eastern empires. During the 4th and 5th centuries, the Germanic peoples
Germanic peoples
of Northern Europe
Europe
grew in strength, and repeated attacks led to the Fall of the Western Roman Empire. AD 476 traditionally marks the end of the classical period and the start of the Middle Ages. In Western Europe, Germanic peoples
Germanic peoples
became more powerful in the remnants of the former Western Roman Empire
Roman Empire
and established kingdoms and empires of their own. Of all of the Germanic peoples, the Franks would rise to a position of hegemony over Western Europe, the Frankish Empire reaching its peak under Charlemagne
Charlemagne
around 800. This empire was later divided into several parts; West Francia
West Francia
would evolve into the Kingdom of France, while East Francia
East Francia
would evolve into the Holy Roman Empire, a precursor to modern Germany
Germany
and Italy. The British Isles were the site of several large-scale migrations. The Viking
Viking
Age, a period of migrations of Scandinavian peoples, occurred from the late 8th century to the middle 11th century. The Normans, a Viking
Viking
people who settled in Northern France, had a significant impact on many parts of Europe, from the Norman conquest of England to Southern Italy
Italy
and Sicily. The Rus' people
Rus' people
founded Kievan Rus', which evolved into Russia. After 1000 the Crusades
Crusades
were a series of religiously motivated military expeditions originally intended to bring the Levant
Levant
back under Christian rule. The Crusaders opened trade routes which enabled the merchant republics of Genoa
Genoa
and Venice
Venice
to become major economic powers. The Reconquista, a related movement, worked to reconquer Iberia
Iberia
for Christendom.

The peasants preparing the fields for the winter with a harrow and sowing for the winter grain, from The Very Rich Hours of the Duke of Berry, c.1410

Eastern Europe
Europe
in the High Middle Ages
Middle Ages
was dominated by the rise and fall of the Mongol Empire. Led by Genghis Khan, the Mongols were a group of steppe nomads who established a decentralized empire which, at its height, extended from China in the east to the Black and Baltic Seas in Europe. As Mongol power waned towards the Late Middle Ages, the Grand Duchy of Moscow
Grand Duchy of Moscow
rose to become the strongest of the numerous Russian principalities and republics and would grow into the Tsardom of Russia
Russia
in 1547. The Late Middle Ages
Middle Ages
represented a period of upheaval in Europe. The epidemic known as the Black Death
Black Death
and an associated famine caused demographic catastrophe in Europe
Europe
as the population plummeted. Dynastic struggles and wars of conquest kept many of the states of Europe
Europe
at war for much of the period. In Scandinavia, the Kalmar Union
Kalmar Union
dominated the political landscape, while England fought with Scotland in the Wars of Scottish Independence
Wars of Scottish Independence
and with France in the Hundred Years' War. In Central Europe, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
became a large territorial empire, while the Holy Roman Empire, which was an elective monarchy, came to be dominated for centuries by the House of Habsburg. Russia
Russia
continued to expand southward and eastward into former Mongol lands. In the Balkans, the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
overran Byzantine lands, culminating in the Fall of Constantinople
Fall of Constantinople
in 1453, which historians mark as the end of the Middle Ages. Beginning in the 14th century in Florence
Florence
and later spreading through Europe, a Renaissance
Renaissance
of knowledge challenged traditional doctrines in science and theology. The rediscovery of classical Greek and Roman knowledge had an enormous liberating effect on intellectuals. Simultaneously, the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
under German Martin Luther questioned Papal authority. Henry VIII seized control of the English Church and its lands. The European religious wars
European religious wars
between German and Spanish rulers. The Reconquista
Reconquista
ended Muslim
Muslim
rule in Iberia. By the 1490s a series of oceanic explorations marked the Age of Discovery, establishing direct links with Africa, the Americas, and Asia. Religious wars continued to be fought in Europe, until the 1648 Peace of Westphalia. The Spanish crown maintained its hegemony in Europe
Europe
and was the leading power on the continent until the signing of the Treaty of the Pyrenees, which ended a conflict between Spain and France that had begun during the Thirty Years' War. An unprecedented series of major wars and political revolutions took place around Europe
Europe
and the world in the period between 1610 and 1700.[1]

A Watt steam engine. The steam engine, fuelled primarily by coal, propelled the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
in 19th century
19th century
Northwestern Europe.

The Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
began in Britain, based on coal, steam, and textile mills. Political change in continental Europe
Europe
was spurred by the French Revolution
French Revolution
under the motto liberté, égalité, fraternité. Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon Bonaparte
took control, made many reforms inside France, and transformed Western Europe. But his rise stimulated both nationalism and reaction and he was defeated in 1814–15 as the old royal conservatives returned to power. The period between 1815 and 1871 saw revolutionary attempts in much of Europe
Europe
(apart from Britain). They all failed however. As industrial work forces grew in Western Europe, socialism and trade union activity developed. The last vestiges of serfdom were abolished in Russia
Russia
in 1861. Greece and the other Balkan nations began a long slow road to independence from the Ottoman Empire, starting in the 1820s. Italy
Italy
was unified in its Risorgimento
Risorgimento
in 1860. After the Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
of 1870–71, Otto von Bismarck
Otto von Bismarck
unified the German states into an empire that was politically and militarily dominant until 1914. Most of Europe
Europe
scrambled for imperial colonies in Africa
Africa
and Asia
Asia
in the Age of Empire. Britain and France built the largest empires, while diplomats ensured there were no major wars in Europe, apart from the Crimean War
Crimean War
of the 1850s. The outbreak of the First World War
First World War
in 1914 was precipitated by the rise of nationalism in Southeastern Europe
Europe
as the Great Powers
Great Powers
took sides. The 1917 October Revolution
October Revolution
led the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
to become the world's first communist state, the Soviet Union. The Allies, led by Britain and France, defeated the Central Powers, led by the German Empire and Austria-Hungary, in 1918. During the Paris
Paris
Peace Conference the Big Four imposed their terms in a series of treaties, especially the Treaty of Versailles. The war's human and material devastation was unprecedented. Germany
Germany
lost its overseas empire and several provinces, had to pay large reparations, and was humiliated by the victors. They in turn had large debts to the United States. The 1920s were prosperous until 1929 when the Great Depression
Great Depression
broke out, which led to the collapse of democracy in many European states. The Nazi
Nazi
regime under Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, rearmed Germany, and along with Mussolini's Italy
Italy
sought to assert themselves on the continent by demands and appeasement, leading eventually to the Second World War. Most of the fighting took place on the Eastern Front, and the war ended with the defeat of the Axis powers, leaving the USSR and the United States dominating Eastern and Western Europe
Europe
respectively. The Iron Curtain now separated the east under Moscow's control from the capitalist West. The United States launched the Marshall Plan
Marshall Plan
from 1948–51 and NATO
NATO
from 1949, and rebuilt industrial economies that all were thriving by the 1950s. France and West Germany
West Germany
took the lead in forming the European Economic Community, which eventually became the European Union
European Union
(EU). Secularization saw the weakening of Protestant and Catholic churches across most of Europe, except where they were symbols of anti-government resistance, as in Poland. The Revolutions of 1989 brought an end to both Soviet hegemony and communism in Eastern Europe. Germany
Germany
was reunited, Europe's integration deepened, and both NATO
NATO
and the EU expanded to the east. The EU came under increasing pressure because of the worldwide recession after 2008. Prehistory[edit] Main articles: Prehistoric
Prehistoric
Europe, Palaeolithic
Palaeolithic
Europe, Mesolithic Europe, Neolithic
Neolithic
Europe, Stone Age, Bronze Age
Bronze Age
Europe, and Iron Age Europe

Aurochs
Aurochs
in Palaeolithic
Palaeolithic
cave paintings in Lascaux, France.

Homo erectus
Homo erectus
migrated from Africa
Africa
to Europe
Europe
before the emergence of modern humans. Lézignan-la-Cèbe
Lézignan-la-Cèbe
in France, Orce[2] in Spain, Monte Poggiolo[3] Italy
Italy
and Kozarnika
Kozarnika
in Bulgaria
Bulgaria
are amongst the oldest Palaeolithic
Palaeolithic
sites in Europe. The earliest appearance of anatomically modern people in Europe
Europe
has been dated to 35,000 BC, usually referred to as the Cro-Magnon man. Some locally developed transitional cultures (Uluzzian in Italy and Greece, Altmühlian in Germany, Szeletian in Central Europe
Europe
and Châtelperronian
Châtelperronian
in the southwest) use clearly Upper Palaeolithic technologies at very early dates. Nevertheless, the definitive advance of these technologies is made by the Aurignacian
Aurignacian
culture. The origins of this culture can be located in the Levant
Levant
(Ahmarian) and Hungary
Hungary
(first full Aurignacian). By 35,000 BC, the Aurignacian
Aurignacian
culture and its technology had extended through most of Europe. The last Neanderthals
Neanderthals
seem to have been forced to retreat during this process to the southern half of the Iberian Peninsula. Around 28,000 BC a new technology/culture appeared in the western region of Europe: the Gravettian. This technology/culture has been theorised to have come with migrations of people from the Balkans.

Map showing the Neolithic
Neolithic
expansions from the 7th to the 5th millennium BC, including the Cardium Culture in blue.

Around 16,000 BC, Europe
Europe
witnessed the appearance of a new culture, known as Magdalenian, possibly rooted in the old Gravettian. This culture soon superseded the Solutrean
Solutrean
area and the Gravettian
Gravettian
of mainly France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Ukraine. The Hamburg culture
Hamburg culture
prevailed in Northern Europe
Europe
in the 14th and the 13th millennium BC as the Creswellian
Creswellian
(also termed the British Late Magdalenian) did shortly after in the British Islands. Around 12,500 BC, the Würm glaciation
Würm glaciation
ended. Slowly, through the following millennia, temperatures and sea levels rose, changing the environment of prehistoric people. Nevertheless, Magdalenian
Magdalenian
culture persisted until c. 10,000 BC, when it quickly evolved into two microlithist cultures: Azilian
Azilian
(Federmesser), in Spain and southern France, and then Sauveterrian, in northern France and Central Europe, while in Northern Europe
Europe
the Lyngby complex succeeded the Hamburg culture with the influence of the Federmesser group as well. Evidence of permanent settlement dates from the 8th millennium BC in the Balkans. The Neolithic
Neolithic
reached Central Europe
Europe
in the 6th millennium BC and parts of Northern Europe
Europe
in the 5th and 4th millenniums BC. Minoans and Mycenae
Mycenae
2700–1100 BC[edit]

The Treasury of Atreus, or Tomb of Agamemnon in Mycenae
Mycenae
1250 BC

The first well-known literate civilization in Europe
Europe
was that of the Minoans. The Minoan civilization
Minoan civilization
was a Bronze Age
Bronze Age
civilization that arose on the island of Crete
Crete
and flourished from approximately the 27th century BC to the 15th century BC.[4] It was rediscovered at the beginning of the 20th century through the work of the British archaeologist Arthur Evans. Will Durant
Will Durant
referred to it as "the first link in the European chain".[5] The Minoans were replaced by the Mycenaean civilization
Mycenaean civilization
which flourished during the period roughly between 1600 BC, when Helladic
Helladic
culture in mainland Greece was transformed under influences from Minoan Crete, and 1100 BC. The major Mycenaean cities were Mycenae
Mycenae
and Tiryns
Tiryns
in Argolis, Pylos
Pylos
in Messenia, Athens
Athens
in Attica, Thebes and Orchomenus in Boeotia, and Iolkos
Iolkos
in Thessaly. In Crete, the Mycenaeans occupied Knossos. Mycenaean settlement sites also appeared in Epirus,[6][7] Macedonia,[8][9] on islands in the Aegean Sea, on the coast of Asia
Asia
Minor, the Levant,[10] Cyprus[11] and Italy.[12][13] Mycenaean artefacts have been found well outside the limits of the Mycenean world. Quite unlike the Minoans, whose society benefited from trade, the Mycenaeans advanced through conquest. Mycenaean civilization
Mycenaean civilization
was dominated by a warrior aristocracy. Around 1400 BC, the Mycenaeans extended their control to Crete, center of the Minoan civilization, and adopted a form of the Minoan script (called Linear A) to write their early form of Greek in Linear B. The Mycenaean civilization
Mycenaean civilization
perished with the collapse of Bronze-Age civilization on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea. The collapse is commonly attributed to the Dorian invasion, although other theories describing natural disasters and climate change have been advanced as well.[citation needed] Whatever the causes, the Mycenaean civilization had definitely disappeared after LH III C, when the sites of Mycenae
Mycenae
and Tirynth were again destroyed and lost their importance. This end, during the last years of the 12th century BC, occurred after a slow decline of the Mycenaean civilization, which lasted many years before dying out. The beginning of the 11th century BC opened a new context, that of the protogeometric, the beginning of the geometric period, the Greek Dark Ages
Greek Dark Ages
of traditional historiography. Classical antiquity[edit] Main article: Classical antiquity

The Parthenon, an ancient Athenian Temple on the Acropolis
Acropolis
(hill-top city) fell to Rome in 176 BC

The Greeks and the Romans left a legacy in Europe
Europe
which is evident in European languages, thought, visual arts and law. Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece
was a collection of city-states, out of which the original form of democracy developed. Athens
Athens
was the most powerful and developed city, and a cradle of learning from the time of Pericles. Citizens' forums debated and legislated policy of the state, and from here arose some of the most notable classical philosophers, such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, the last of whom taught Alexander the Great. Through his military campaigns, the king of the kingdom of Macedon, Alexander, spread Hellenistic culture and learning to the banks of the River Indus. Meanwhile, the Roman Republic
Roman Republic
strengthened through victory over Carthage
Carthage
in the Punic Wars. Greek wisdom passed into Roman institutions, as Athens
Athens
itself was absorbed under the banner of the Senate and People of Rome—SPQR. The Romans expanded from Arabia to Britannia. In 44 BC as it approached its height, its dictator Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
was murdered by senators in an attempt to restore the Republic. In the ensuing turmoil, Octavian
Octavian
(ruled as Augustus; and as divi filius, or Son of God, as Julius had adopted him as an heir) usurped the reins of power and fought the Roman Senate. While proclaiming the rebirth of the Republic, he had ushered in the transfer of the Roman state from a republic to an empire, the Roman Empire, which lasted for more than four centuries until the fall of the Western Roman Empire. Ancient Greece[edit] Main articles: Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece
and Hellenistic period

A mosaic showing Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great
battling Darius III

The Hellenic civilisation
Hellenic civilisation
was a collection of city-states or poleis with different governments and cultures that achieved notable developments in government, philosophy, science, mathematics, politics, sports, theatre and music. The most powerful city-states were Athens, Sparta, Thebes, Corinth, and Syracuse. Athens
Athens
was a powerful Hellenic city-state and governed itself with an early form of direct democracy invented by Cleisthenes; the citizens of Athens
Athens
voted on legislation and executive bills themselves. Athens
Athens
was the home of Socrates,[14] Plato, and the Platonic Academy. The Hellenic city-states established colonies on the shores of the Black Sea
Black Sea
and the Mediterranean (Asian Minor, Sicily and Southern Italy
Italy
in Magna Graecia). By the late 6th century BC, all the Greek city states in Asia
Asia
Minor had been incorporated into the Persian Empire, while the latter had made territorial gains in the Balkans (such as Macedon, Thrace, Paeonia, etc.) and Eastern Europe
Europe
proper as well. In the course of 5th century BC, some of the Greek city states attempted to overthrow Persian rule in the Ionian Revolt, which failed. This sparked the first Persian invasion of mainland Greece. At some point during the ensuing Greco-Persian Wars, namely during the Second Persian invasion of Greece, and precisely after the Battle of Thermopylae and the Battle of Artemisium, almost all of Greece to the north of the Isthmus of Corinth
Isthmus of Corinth
had been overrun by the Persians,[15] but the Greek city states reached a decisive victory at the Battle of Plataea. With the end of the Greco-Persian wars, the Persians were eventually decisively forced to withdraw from their territories in Europe. The Greco-Persian Wars
Greco-Persian Wars
and the victory of the Greek city states directly influenced the entire further course of European history and would set its further tone. Some Greek city-states formed the Delian League
Delian League
to continue fighting Persia, but Athens' position as leader of this league led Sparta to form the rival Peloponnesian League. The Peloponnesian Wars ensued, and the Peloponnesian League was victorious. Subsequently, discontent with Spartan hegemony
Spartan hegemony
led to the Corinthian War
Corinthian War
and the defeat of Sparta at the Battle of Leuctra. Hellenic infighting left Greek city states vulnerable, and Philip II of Macedon
Macedon
united the Greek city states under his control. The son of Philip II, known as Alexander the Great, invaded neighboring Persia, toppled and incorporated its domains, as well as invading Egypt
Egypt
and going as far off as India, increasing contact with people and cultures in these regions that marked the beginning of the Hellenistic period. The rise of Rome[edit] Main articles: Ancient Rome, Roman Republic, and Roman Empire

Cicero
Cicero
addresses the Roman Senate
Roman Senate
to denounce Catiline's conspiracy to overthrow the Republic, by Cesare Maccari

Much of Greek learning was assimilated by the nascent Roman state as it expanded outward from Italy, taking advantage of its enemies' inability to unite: the only challenge to Roman ascent came from the Phoenician colony of Carthage, and its defeats in the three Punic Wars marked the start of Roman hegemony. First governed by kings, then as a senatorial republic (the Roman Republic), Rome finally became an empire at the end of the 1st century BC, under Augustus
Augustus
and his authoritarian successors. The Roman Empire
Roman Empire
had its centre in the Mediterranean, controlling all the countries on its shores; the northern border was marked by the Rhine
Rhine
and Danube
Danube
rivers. Under emperor Trajan
Trajan
(2nd century AD) the empire reached its maximum expansion, controlling approximately 5,900,000 km2 (2,300,000 sq mi) of land surface, including Britain, Romania and parts of Mesopotamia. Pax Romana, a period of peace, civilisation and an efficient centralised government in the subject territories ended in the 3rd century, when a series of civil wars undermined Rome's economic and social strength. In the 4th century, the emperors Diocletian
Diocletian
and Constantine were able to slow down the process of decline by splitting the empire into a Western part with a capital in Rome and an Eastern part with the capital in Byzantium, or Constantinople
Constantinople
(now Istanbul). Whereas Diocletian
Diocletian
severely persecuted Christianity, Constantine declared an official end to state-sponsored persecution of Christians in 313 with the Edict of Milan, thus setting the stage for the Church to become the state church of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
in about 380. Decline of the Roman Empire[edit] Main articles: Decline of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
and Crisis of the Third Century

Map of the partition of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
in 395, at the death of Theodosius I: the Western Roman Empire
Roman Empire
is shown in red and the Eastern Roman Empire
Roman Empire
(Byzantine Empire) is shown in purple

The Roman Empire
Roman Empire
had been repeatedly attacked by invading armies from Northern Europe
Europe
and in 476, Rome finally fell. Romulus Augustus, the last Emperor of the Western Roman Empire, surrendered to the Germanic King Odoacer. The British historian Edward Gibbon
Edward Gibbon
argued in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
(1776) that the Romans had become decadent, they had lost civic virtue. Gibbon said that the adoption of Christianity, meant belief in a better life after death, and therefore made people lazy and indifferent to the present. "From the eighteenth century onward", Glen W. Bowersock has remarked,[16] "we have been obsessed with the fall: it has been valued as an archetype for every perceived decline, and, hence, as a symbol for our own fears." It remains one of the greatest historical questions, and has a tradition rich in scholarly interest. Some other notable dates are the Battle of Adrianople
Battle of Adrianople
in 378, the death of Theodosius I
Theodosius I
in 395 (the last time the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
was politically unified), the crossing of the Rhine
Rhine
in 406 by Germanic tribes after the withdrawal of the legions to defend Italy
Italy
against Alaric I, the death of Stilicho
Stilicho
in 408, followed by the disintegration of the western legions, the death of Justinian I, the last Roman Emperor who tried to reconquer the west, in 565, and the coming of Islam after 632. Many scholars maintain that rather than a "fall", the changes can more accurately be described as a complex transformation.[17] Over time many theories have been proposed on why the Empire fell, or whether indeed it fell at all. Late Antiquity
Late Antiquity
and Migration Period[edit] Main articles: Late Antiquity
Late Antiquity
and Migration Period

A simplified map of migrations from the 2nd to the 5th century. See also the map of the world in 820 AD.

When Emperor Constantine had reconquered Rome under the banner of the cross in 312, he soon afterwards issued the Edict of Milan
Edict of Milan
in 313, declaring the legality of Christianity
Christianity
in the Roman Empire. In addition, Constantine officially shifted the capital of the Roman Empire from Rome to the Greek town of Byzantium, which he renamed Nova Roma- it was later named Constantinople
Constantinople
("City of Constantine"). In 395 Theodosius I, who had made Christianity
Christianity
the official religion of the Roman Empire, would be the last emperor to preside over a united Roman Empire. The empire was split into two halves: the Western Roman Empire
Roman Empire
centred in Ravenna, and the Eastern Roman Empire
Roman Empire
(later to be referred to as the Byzantine Empire) centred in Constantinople. The Western Roman Empire
Roman Empire
was repeatedly attacked by Germanic tribes (see: Migration Period), and in 476 finally fell to the Heruli chieftain Odoacer.

Map showing Europe
Europe
in 526 AD with the three dominating powers of the west

Roman authority in the Western part of the empire had collapsed, and a power vacuum left in the wake of this collapse; the central organization, institutions, laws and power of Rome had broken down, resulting in many areas being open to invasion by migrating tribes. Over time, feudalism and manorialism arose, two interlocking institutions that provided for division of land and labor, as well as a broad if uneven hierarchy of law and protection. These localised hierarchies were based on the bond of common people to the land on which they worked, and to a lord, who would provide and administer both local law to settle disputes among the peasants, as well as protection from outside invaders. Unlike under Roman rule, with its standard laws and military across the empire and its great bureaucracy to administer them and collect taxes, each lord (although having obligations to a higher lord) was largely sovereign in his domain. A peasant's lot could vary greatly depending on the leadership skills and attitudes to justice of the lord toward his people. Tithes or rents were paid to the lord, who in turn owed resources, and armed men in times of war, to his lord, perhaps a regional prince. However, the levels of hierarchy were varied over time and place. The western provinces soon were to be dominated by three great powers: first, the Franks
Franks
(Merovingian dynasty) in Francia
Francia
481–843 AD, which covered much of present France and Germany; second, the Visigothic kingdom
Visigothic kingdom
418–711 AD in the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
(modern Spain); and third, the Ostrogothic kingdom
Ostrogothic kingdom
493–553 AD in Italy and parts of the western Balkans
Balkans
The Ostrogoths were later replaced by the Kingdom of the Lombards
Kingdom of the Lombards
568–774 AD. These new powers of the west built upon the Roman traditions until they evolved into a synthesis of Roman and Germanic cultures. Although these powers covered large territories, they did not have the great resources and bureaucracy of the Roman empire to control regions and localities. The ongoing invasions and boundary disputes usually meant a more risky and varying life than that under the empire. This meant that in general more power and responsibilities were left to local lords. On the other hand, it also meant more freedom, particularly in more remote areas. In Italy, Theodoric the Great
Theodoric the Great
began the cultural romanization of the new world he had constructed. He made Ravenna
Ravenna
a center of Romano-Greek culture of art and his court fostered a flowering of literature and philosophy in Latin. In Iberia, King Chindasuinth
Chindasuinth
created the Visigothic
Visigothic
Code. [18] In the feudal system, new princes and kings arose, the most powerful of which was arguably the Frankish ruler Charlemagne. In 800, Charlemagne, reinforced by his massive territorial conquests, was crowned Emperor of the Romans (Imperator Romanorum) by Pope Leo III, effectively solidifying his power in western Europe. Charlemagne's reign marked the beginning of a new Germanic Roman Empire
Roman Empire
in the west, the Holy Roman Empire. Outside his borders, new forces were gathering. The Kievan Rus'
Kievan Rus'
were marking out their territory, a Great Moravia
Great Moravia
was growing, while the Angles
Angles
and the Saxons
Saxons
were securing their borders. For the duration of the 6th century, the Eastern Roman Empire
Roman Empire
was embroiled in a series of deadly conflicts, first with the Persian Sassanid Empire
Sassanid Empire
(see Roman–Persian Wars), followed by the onslaught of the arising Islamic Caliphate
Caliphate
(Rashidun and Umayyad). By 650, the provinces of Egypt, Palestine and Syria were lost to the Muslim forces, followed by Hispania
Hispania
and southern Italy
Italy
in the 7th and 8th centuries (see Muslim
Muslim
conquests). The Arab
Arab
invasion from the east was stopped after the intervention of the Bulgarian Empire
Bulgarian Empire
(see Tervel of Bulgaria). Middle Ages[edit] Main articles: Middle Ages
Middle Ages
and Medieval demography The Middle Ages
Middle Ages
are commonly dated from the fall of the Western Roman Empire (or by some scholars, before that) in the 5th century to the beginning of the early modern period in the 16th century, marked by the rise of nation states, the division of Western Christianity
Western Christianity
in the Reformation, the rise of humanism in the Italian Renaissance, and the beginnings of European overseas expansion which allowed for the Columbian Exchange.[19][20] Byzantium[edit] Main article: Byzantine Empire

Constantine I
Constantine I
and Justinian I
Justinian I
offering their fealty to the Virgin Mary inside the Hagia Sophia

Many consider Emperor Constantine I
Constantine I
(reigned 306–337) to be the first "Byzantine Emperor". It was he who moved the imperial capital in 324 from Nicomedia
Nicomedia
to Byzantium, which re-founded as Constantinople, or Nova Roma ("New Rome").[21] The city of Rome itself had not served as the capital since the reign of Diocletian. Some date the beginnings of the Empire to the reign of Theodosius I
Theodosius I
(379–395) and Christianity's official supplanting of the pagan Roman religion, or following his death in 395, when the empire was split into two parts, with capitals in Rome and Constantinople. Others place it yet later in 476, when Romulus Augustulus, traditionally considered the last western Emperor, was deposed, thus leaving sole imperial authority with the emperor in the Greek East. Others point to the reorganisation of the empire in the time of Heraclius
Heraclius
(c. 620) when Latin
Latin
titles and usages were officially replaced with Greek versions. In any case, the changeover was gradual and by 330, when Constantine inaugurated his new capital, the process of hellenization and increasing Christianisation
Christianisation
was already under way. The Empire is generally considered to have ended after the fall of Constantinople
Constantinople
to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. The Plague of Justinian
Plague of Justinian
was a pandemic that afflicted the Byzantine Empire, including its capital Constantinople, in the years 541–542. It is estimated that the Plague of Justinian killed as many as 100 million people across the world.[22][23] It caused Europe's population to drop by around 50% between 541 and 700.[24] It also may have contributed to the success of the Muslim conquests.[25][26] Early Middle Ages[edit] Main articles: Early Middle Ages
Middle Ages
and Muslim
Muslim
Conquest The Early Middle Ages
Middle Ages
span roughly five centuries from 500 to 1000.[27] From the 7th century Byzantine history was greatly affected by the rise of Islam and the Caliphates. Muslim
Muslim
Arabs
Arabs
first invaded historically Roman territory under Abū Bakr, first Caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate, who entered Roman Syria
Roman Syria
and Roman Mesopotamia. As the Byzantines and neighboring Sasanids
Sasanids
were severely weakened by the time, amongst the most important reason(s) being the protracted, centuries-lasting and frequent Byzantine–Sasanian wars, which included the climactic Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628, under Umar, the second Caliph, the Muslims entirely toppled the Sasanid Persian Empire, and decisively conquered Syria and Mesopotamia, as well as Roman Palestine, Roman Egypt, and parts of Asia
Asia
Minor and Roman North Africa. In the mid 7th century AD, following the Muslim conquest of Persia, Islam penetrated into the Caucasus
Caucasus
region, of which parts would later permanently become part of Russia.[28] This trend, which included the conquests by the invading Muslim
Muslim
forces and by that the spread of Islam as well continued under Umar's successors and under the Umayyad
Umayyad
Caliphate, which conquered the rest of Mediterranean North Africa
Africa
and most of the Iberian Peninsula. Over the next centuries Muslim
Muslim
forces were able to take further European territory, including Cyprus, Malta, Crete, and Sicily and parts of southern Italy.[29] The Muslim
Muslim
conquest of Hispania
Hispania
began when the Moors
Moors
(Berbers and Arabs) invaded the Christian Visigothic kingdom
Visigothic kingdom
of Hispania
Hispania
in the year 711, under the Berber general Tariq ibn Ziyad. They landed at Gibraltar
Gibraltar
on 30 April and worked their way northward. Tariq's forces were joined the next year by those of his Arab
Arab
superior, Musa ibn Nusair. During the eight-year campaign most of the Iberian Peninsula was brought under Muslim
Muslim
rule – save for small areas in the northwest (Asturias) and largely Basque regions in the Pyrenees. In 711, Visigothic
Visigothic
Hispania
Hispania
was very weakened because it was immersed in a serious internal crisis caused by a war of succession to the throne involving two Visigoth suitors. The Muslims took advantage of the crisis that crossed the Hispano- Visigothic
Visigothic
society to carry out their conquests. This territory, under the Arab
Arab
name Al-Andalus, became part of the expanding Umayyad
Umayyad
empire. The unsuccessful second siege of Constantinople
Constantinople
(717) weakened the Umayyad
Umayyad
dynasty and reduced their prestige. In 722 Don Pelayo, a nobleman of Visigothic
Visigothic
origin, formed an army of 300 Astur soldiers, to confront Munuza's Muslim
Muslim
troops. In the battle of Covadonga, the Astures
Astures
defeated the Arab-Moors, who decided to retire. The Christian victory marked the beginning of the Reconquista
Reconquista
and the establishment of the Kingdom of Asturias, whose first sovereign was Don Pelayo. The conquerors intended to continue their expansion in Europe
Europe
and move northeast across the Pyrenees, but were defeated by the Frankish leader Charles Martel
Charles Martel
at the Battle of Poitiers in 732. The Umayyads were overthrown in 750 by the 'Abbāsids,[30] and, in 756, the Umayyads established an independent emirate in the Iberian Peninsula.[31] Feudal Christendom[edit] Main articles: Holy Roman Empire, Charlemagne, Christendom, Caliphate of Córdoba, Bulgarian Empire, Medieval England, Medieval Hungary, Medieval Poland, and Kievan Rus'

Europe
Europe
in 1000, with most European states already formed

Europe
Europe
in 1204.

The Holy Roman Empire
Roman Empire
emerged around 800, as Charlemagne, king of the Franks, was crowned by the pope as emperor. His empire based in modern France, the Low Countries
Low Countries
and Germany
Germany
expanded into modern Hungary, Italy, Bohemia, Lower Saxony and Spain. He and his father received substantial help from an alliance with the Pope, who wanted help against the Lombards.[32] To the east, Bulgaria
Bulgaria
was established in 681 and became the first Slavic country. The powerful Bulgarian Empire
Bulgarian Empire
was the main rival of Byzantium
Byzantium
for control of the Balkans
Balkans
for centuries and from the 9th century became the cultural centre of Slavic Europe. The Empire created the Cyrillic script
Cyrillic script
during the 10th century AD, at the Preslav Literary School. Two states, Great Moravia
Great Moravia
and Kievan Rus', emerged among the Slavic peoples
Slavic peoples
respectively in the 9th century. In the late 9th and 10th centuries, northern and western Europe
Europe
felt the burgeoning power and influence of the Vikings who raided, traded, conquered and settled swiftly and efficiently with their advanced seagoing vessels such as the longships. The Hungarians pillaged mainland Europe, the Pechenegs
Pechenegs
raided Bulgaria, Rus States and the Arab
Arab
states. In the 10th century independent kingdoms were established in Central Europe
Europe
including Poland
Poland
and the newly settled Kingdom of Hungary. The kingdoms of Croatia and Serbia
Serbia
also appeared in the Balkans. The subsequent period, ending around 1000, saw the further growth of feudalism, which weakened the Holy Roman Empire. In eastern Europe, Volga Bulgaria
Bulgaria
became an Islamic state in 921, after Almış I converted to Islam under the missionary efforts of Ahmad ibn Fadlan.[33] Slavery in the early medieval period had mostly died out in western Europe
Europe
by about the year 1000 AD, replaced by serfdom. It lingered longer in England and in peripheral areas linked to the Muslim
Muslim
world, where slavery continued to flourish. Church rules suppressed slavery of Christians. Most historians argue the transition was quite abrupt around 1000, but some see a gradual transition from about 300 to 1000.[34] High Middle Ages[edit] Main article: High Middle Ages

Europe
Europe
in 1092

Europe
Europe
in 1097, as the First Crusade
First Crusade
to the Holy Land
Holy Land
commences

The slumber of the Dark Ages was shaken by a renewed crisis in the Church. In 1054, the East–West Schism, an insoluble split, occurred between the two remaining Christian seats in Rome and Constantinople (modern Istanbul). The High Middle Ages
Middle Ages
of the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries show a rapidly increasing population of Europe, which caused great social and political change from the preceding era. By 1250, the robust population increase greatly benefited the economy, reaching levels it would not see again in some areas until the 19th century.[35] From about the year 1000 onwards, Western Europe
Europe
saw the last of the barbarian invasions and became more politically organized. The Vikings had settled in Britain, Ireland, France and elsewhere, whilst Norse Christian kingdoms were developing in their Scandinavian homelands. The Magyars had ceased their expansion in the 10th century, and by the year 1000, the Roman Catholic Apostolic Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
was recognised in central Europe. With the brief exception of the Mongol invasions, major barbarian incursions ceased. In the 11th century, populations north of the Alps
Alps
began to settle new lands, some of which had reverted to wilderness after the end of the Roman Empire. In what is known as the "great clearances", vast forests and marshes of Europe
Europe
were cleared and cultivated. At the same time settlements moved beyond the traditional boundaries of the Frankish Empire to new frontiers in Europe, beyond the Elbe
Elbe
river, tripling the size of Germany
Germany
in the process. Crusaders founded European colonies in the Levant, the majority of the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
was conquered from the Muslims, and the Normans
Normans
colonised southern Italy, all part of the major population increase and resettlement pattern. The High Middle Ages
Middle Ages
produced many different forms of intellectual, spiritual and artistic works. The most famous are the great cathedrals as expressions of Gothic architecture, which evolved from Romanesque architecture. This age saw the rise of modern nation-states in Western Europe
Europe
and the ascent of the famous Italian city-states, such as Florence
Florence
and Venice. The influential popes of the Catholic Church called volunteer armies from across Europe
Europe
to a series of Crusades against the Seljuq Turks, who occupied the Holy Land. The rediscovery of the works of Aristotle
Aristotle
led Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas
and other thinkers to develop the philosophy of Scholasticism. A divided church[edit] Main articles: East–West Schism
East–West Schism
and Norman conquest of England

The Bayeux Tapestry
Bayeux Tapestry
depicts the Battle of Hastings
Battle of Hastings
and the events leading to it

The Great Schism between the Western (Catholic) and Eastern (Orthodox) Christian Churches was sparked in 1054 by Pope Leo IX
Pope Leo IX
asserting authority over three of the seats in the Pentarchy, in Antioch, Jerusalem and Alexandria. Since the mid-8th century, the Byzantine Empire's borders had been shrinking in the face of Islamic expansion. Antioch
Antioch
had been wrested back into Byzantine control by 1045, but the resurgent power of the Roman successors in the West claimed a right and a duty for the lost seats in Asia
Asia
and Africa. Pope Leo sparked a further dispute by defending the filioque clause in the Nicene Creed which the West had adopted customarily. The Orthodox today state that the XXVIIIth Canon of the Council of Chalcedon
Council of Chalcedon
explicitly proclaimed the equality of the Bishops of Rome and Constantinople. The Orthodox also state that the Bishop of Rome has authority only over his own diocese and does not have any authority outside his diocese. There were other less significant catalysts for the Schism however, including variance over liturgy. The Schism of Roman Catholic and Orthodox followed centuries of estrangement between the Latin
Latin
and Greek worlds. Further changes were set afoot with a redivision of power in Europe. William the Conqueror, a Duke of Normandy, invaded England in 1066. The Norman Conquest was a pivotal event in English history for several reasons. This linked England more closely with continental Europe through the introduction of a Norman aristocracy, thereby lessening Scandinavian influence. It created one of the most powerful monarchies in Europe
Europe
and engendered a sophisticated governmental system. Being based on an island, moreover, England was to develop a powerful navy and trade relationships that would come to constitute a vast part of the world including India, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and many key naval strategic points like Bermuda, Suez, Hong Kong and especially Gibraltar. These strategic advantages grew and were to prove decisive until after the Second World War. Holy wars[edit] Main articles: Crusades
Crusades
and Reconquista

The Siege of Antioch, from a medieval miniature painting, during the First Crusade

After the East–West Schism, Western Christianity
Western Christianity
was adopted by the newly created kingdoms of Central Europe: Poland, Hungary
Hungary
and Bohemia. The Roman Catholic Church
Catholic Church
developed as a major power, leading to conflicts between the Pope and Emperor. The geographic reach of the Roman Catholic Church
Catholic Church
expanded enormously due to the conversions of pagan kings (Scandinavia, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary), the Christian Reconquista
Reconquista
of Al-Andalus, and the crusades. Most of Europe
Europe
was Roman Catholic in the 15th century. Early signs of the rebirth of civilization in western Europe
Europe
began to appear in the 11th century as trade started again in Italy, leading to the economic and cultural growth of independent city-states such as Venice
Venice
and Florence; at the same time, nation-states began to take form in places such as France, England, Spain, and Portugal, although the process of their formation (usually marked by rivalry between the monarchy, the aristocratic feudal lords and the church) actually took several centuries. These new nation-states began writing in their own cultural vernaculars, instead of the traditional Latin. Notable figures of this movement would include Dante Alighieri
Dante Alighieri
and Christine de Pizan (born Christina da Pizzano), the former writing in Italian, and the latter, although an Italian (Venice), relocated to France, writing in French. (See Reconquista
Reconquista
for the latter two countries.) Elsewhere, the Holy Roman Empire, essentially based in Germany
Germany
and Italy, further fragmented into a myriad of feudal principalities or small city states, whose subjection to the emperor was only formal. The 13th and 14th centuries, when the Mongol Empire
Mongol Empire
came to power, is often called the Age of the Mongols. Mongol armies expanded westward under the command of Batu Khan. Their western conquests included almost all of Russia
Russia
(save Novgorod, which became a vassal),[36] the Kipchak-Cuman Confederation, Hungary, and Poland
Poland
(which had remained a sovereign state). Mongolian records indicate that Batu Khan
Batu Khan
was planning a complete conquest of the remaining European powers, beginning with a winter attack on Austria, Italy
Italy
and Germany, when he was recalled to Mongolia
Mongolia
upon the death of Great Khan Ögedei. Most historians believe only his death prevented the complete conquest of Europe.[citation needed] The areas of Eastern Europe
Europe
and most of Central Asia
Asia
that were under direct Mongol rule became known as the Golden Horde. Under Uzbeg Khan, Islam became the official religion of the region in the early 14th century.[37] The invading Mongols, together with their mostly Turkic subjects, were known as Tatars. In Russia, the Tatars ruled the various states of the Rus' through vassalage for over 300 years.

" Christianization
Christianization
of Lithuania
Lithuania
in 1387", oil on canvas by Jan Matejko, 1889, Royal Castle in Warsaw

In the Northern Europe, Konrad of Masovia
Konrad of Masovia
gave Chelmno
Chelmno
to the Teutonic Knights in 1226 as a base for a Crusade against the Old Prussians
Old Prussians
and Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The Livonian Brothers of the Sword
Livonian Brothers of the Sword
were defeated by the Lithuanians, so in 1237 Gregory IX merged the remainder of the order into the Teutonic Order as the Livonian Order. By the middle of the century, the Teutonic Knights
Teutonic Knights
completed their conquest of the Prussians before conquering and converting the Lithuanians in the subsequent decades. The order also came into conflict with the Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
of the Pskov and Novgorod Republics. In 1240 the Orthodox Novgorod
Novgorod
army defeated the Catholic Swedes in the Battle of the Neva, and, two years later, they defeated the Livonian Order
Livonian Order
in the Battle on the Ice. The Union of Krewo
Union of Krewo
in 1386, bringing two major changes in the history of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania: conversion to Catholicism and establishment of a dynastic union between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
Lithuania
and the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland
Poland
marked both the greatest territorial expansion of the Grand Duchy and the defeat of the Teutonic Knights
Teutonic Knights
in the Battle of Grunwald in 1410. Late Middle Ages[edit] Main articles: Late Middle Ages, Lex mercatoria, Hundred Years' War, and Fall of Constantinople

The spread of the "Black Death" from 1347 to 1351 through Europe

The Late Middle Ages
Middle Ages
span the 14th and 15th centuries.[38] Around 1300, centuries of European prosperity and growth came to a halt. A series of famines and plagues, such as the Great Famine of 1315–1317 and the Black Death
Black Death
killed people in a matter of days, reducing the population of some areas by half as many survivors fled. Kishlansky reports:

The Black Death
Black Death
touched every aspect of life, hastening a process of social, economic, and cultural transformation already underway.... Fields were abandoned, workplaces stood idle, international trade was suspended. Traditional bonds of kinship, village and even religion were broken and the horrors of death, flight, and failed expectations. "People cared no more for dead men than we care for dead goats," wrote one survivor.[39]

Depopulation caused labor to become scarcer; the survivors were better paid and peasants could drop some of the burdens of feudalism. There was also social unrest; France and England experienced serious peasant risings including the Jacquerie
Jacquerie
and the Peasants' Revolt. At the same time, the unity of the Catholic Church
Catholic Church
was shattered by the Great Schism. Collectively these events have been called the Crisis of the Late Middle Ages.[40] Beginning in the 14th century, the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
became one of the most important trade routes. The Hanseatic League, an alliance of trading cities, facilitated the absorption of vast areas of Poland, Lithuania and Livonia into trade with other European countries. This fed the growth of powerful states in this part of Europe
Europe
including Poland-Lithuania, Hungary, Bohemia, and Muscovy later on. The conventional end of the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
is usually associated with the fall of the city of Constantinople
Constantinople
and of the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. The Turks made the city the capital of their Ottoman Empire, which lasted until 1922 and included Egypt, Syria and most of the Balkans. The Ottoman wars in Europe, also sometimes referred to as the Turkish wars, marked an essential part of the history of the continent as a whole. Early modern Europe[edit] Main articles: Early modern Europe; Scientific revolution; and International relations, 1648–1814

Genoese (red) and Venetian (green) maritime trade routes in the Mediterranean and Black Sea

The Early Modern period spans the centuries between the Middle Ages and the Industrial Revolution, roughly from 1500 to 1800, or from the discovery of the New World
New World
in 1492 to the French Revolution
French Revolution
in 1789. The period is characterised by the rise to importance of science and increasingly rapid technological progress, secularised civic politics and the nation state. Capitalist
Capitalist
economies began their rise, beginning in northern Italian republics such as Genoa. The early modern period also saw the rise and dominance of the economic theory of mercantilism. As such, the early modern period represents the decline and eventual disappearance, in much of the European sphere, of feudalism, serfdom and the power of the Catholic Church. The period includes the Protestant Reformation, the disastrous Thirty Years' War, the European colonisation of the Americas
European colonisation of the Americas
and the European witch-hunts. Renaissance[edit] Main article: Renaissance

Portrait of Luca Pacioli, the founder of accounting, by Jacopo de' Barbari (Museo di Capodimonte).

Despite these crises, the 14th century was also a time of great progress within the arts and sciences. A renewed interest in ancient Greek and Roman as well as more recent Arabic
Arabic
texts[41] led to what has later been termed the Italian Renaissance. The Renaissance
Renaissance
was a cultural movement that profoundly affected European intellectual life in the early modern period. Beginning in Italy, and spreading to the north, west and middle Europe
Europe
during a cultural lag of some two and a half centuries, its influence affected literature, philosophy, art, politics, science, history, religion, and other aspects of intellectual enquiry. The Italian Petrarch
Petrarch
(Francesco di Petracco), deemed the first full-blooded Humanist, wrote in the 1330s: "I am alive now, yet I would rather have been born in another time." He was enthusiastic about Greek and Roman antiquity. In the 15th and 16th centuries the continuing enthusiasm for the ancients was reinforced by the feeling that the inherited culture was dissolving and here was a storehouse of ideas and attitudes with which to rebuild. Matteo Palmieri
Matteo Palmieri
wrote in the 1430s: "Now indeed may every thoughtful spirit thank god that it has been permitted to him to be born in a new age." The renaissance was born: a new age where learning was very important. The Renaissance
Renaissance
was inspired by the growth in study of Latin
Latin
and Greek texts and the admiration of the Greco-Roman era as a golden age. This prompted many artists and writers to begin drawing from Roman and Greek examples for their works, but there was also much innovation in this period, especially by multi-faceted artists such as Leonardo da Vinci. The Humanists saw their repossession of a great past as a Renaissance—a rebirth of civilization itself.[42]

Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
(1452–1519), famed for the diversity of his talents.

Important political precedents were also set in this period. Niccolò Machiavelli's political writing in The Prince
The Prince
influenced later absolutism and real-politik. Also important were the many patrons who ruled states and used the artistry of the Renaissance
Renaissance
as a sign of their power. In all, the Renaissance
Renaissance
could be viewed as an attempt by intellectuals to study and improve the secular and worldly, both through the revival of ideas from antiquity, and through novel approaches to thought—the immediate past being too "Gothic" in language, thought and sensibility. During this period, Spain experienced the greatest epoch of cultural splendor in its history. This epoch is known as the Spanish Golden age and took place between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Exploration and trade[edit] Main article: Age of Discovery

Cantino planisphere, 1502, earliest chart showing explorations by Gama, Columbus and Cabral

Toward the end of the period, an era of discovery began. The growth of the Ottoman Empire, culminating in the fall of Constantinople
Constantinople
in 1453, cut off trading possibilities with the east. Western Europe
Europe
was forced to discover new trading routes, as happened with Columbus' travel to the Americas in 1492, and Vasco da Gama's circumnavigation of India and Africa
Africa
in 1498. The numerous wars did not prevent European states from exploring and conquering wide portions of the world, from Africa
Africa
to Asia
Asia
and the newly discovered Americas. In the 15th century, Portugal led the way in geographical exploration along the coast of Africa
Africa
in search of a maritime route to India, followed by Spain near the close of the 15th century, dividing their exploration of the world according to the Treaty of Tordesillas
Treaty of Tordesillas
in 1494.[43] They were the first states to set up colonies in America and European trading posts (factories) along the shores of Africa
Africa
and Asia, establishing the first direct European diplomatic contacts with Southeast Asian states in 1511, China in 1513 and Japan in 1542. In 1552, Russian tsar Ivan the Terrible
Ivan the Terrible
conquered two major Tatar
Tatar
khanates, the Khanate of Kazan
Khanate of Kazan
and the Astrakhan Khanate. The Yermak's voyage of 1580 led to the annexation of the Tatar
Tatar
Siberian Khanate
Siberian Khanate
into Russia, and the Russians would soon after conquer the rest of Siberia, steadily expanding to the east and south over the next centuries. Oceanic explorations soon followed by France, England and the Netherlands, who explored the Portuguese and Spanish trade routes into the Pacific Ocean, reaching Australia in 1606[44] and New Zealand in 1642. Reformation[edit] Main article: Protestant Reformation

The Ninety-Five Theses
The Ninety-Five Theses
of German monk Martin Luther, which criticized the Catholic Church

Map of Europe
Europe
in 1648

With the development of the printing press, new ideas spread throughout Europe
Europe
and challenged traditional doctrines in science and theology. Simultaneously, the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
under German Martin Luther
Martin Luther
questioned Papal authority. The most common dating of the Reformation
Reformation
begins in 1517, when Luther published The Ninety-Five Theses, and concludes in 1648 with the Treaty of Westphalia
Treaty of Westphalia
that ended years of European religious wars.[45] During this period corruption in the Catholic Church
Catholic Church
led to a sharp backlash in the Protestant Reformation. It gained many followers especially among princes and kings seeking a stronger state by ending the influence of the Catholic Church. Figures other than Martin Luther began to emerge as well like John Calvin
John Calvin
whose Calvinism
Calvinism
had influence in many countries and King Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII of England
who broke away from the Catholic Church
Catholic Church
in England and set up the Anglican Church; his daughter Queen Elizabeth finished the organization of the church. These religious divisions brought on a wave of wars inspired and driven by religion but also by the ambitious monarchs in Western Europe
Europe
who were becoming more centralised and powerful. The Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
also led to a strong reform movement in the Catholic Church
Catholic Church
called the Counter-Reformation, which aimed to reduce corruption as well as to improve and strengthen Catholic dogma. Two important groups in the Catholic Church
Catholic Church
who emerged from this movement were the Jesuits, who helped keep Spain, Portugal, Poland
Poland
and other European countries within the Catholic fold, and the Oratorians of Saint Philip Neri, who ministered to the faithful in Rome, restoring their confidence in the Church of Jesus Christ that subsisted substantially in the Church of Rome. Still, the Catholic Church
Catholic Church
was somewhat weakened by the Reformation, portions of Europe
Europe
were no longer under its sway and kings in the remaining Catholic countries began to take control of the church institutions within their kingdoms. Unlike many European countries, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and Hungary
Hungary
were more tolerant. While still enforcing the predominance of Catholicism, they continued to allow the large religious minorities to maintain their faiths, traditions and customs. The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
became divided among Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox, Jews
Jews
and a small Muslim
Muslim
population. Another important development in this period was the growth of pan-European sentiments. Eméric Crucé (1623) came up with the idea of the European Council, intended to end wars in Europe; attempts to create lasting peace were no success, although all European countries (except the Russian and Ottoman Empires, regarded as foreign) agreed to make peace in 1518 at the Treaty of London. Many wars broke out again in a few years. The Reformation
Reformation
also made European peace impossible for many centuries.

Europa regina, 1570 print by Sebastian Münster
Sebastian Münster
of Basel

Another development was the idea of 'European superiority'. The ideal of civilisation was taken over from the ancient Greeks and Romans: Discipline, education and living in the city were required to make people civilised; Europeans and non-Europeans were judged for their civility, and Europe
Europe
regarded itself as superior to other continents. There was a movement by some such as Montaigne that regarded the non-Europeans as a better, more natural and primitive people. Post services were founded all over Europe, which allowed a humanistic interconnected network of intellectuals across Europe, despite religious divisions. However, the Roman Catholic Church
Catholic Church
banned many leading scientific works; this led to an intellectual advantage for Protestant countries, where the banning of books was regionally organised. Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon
and other advocates of science tried to create unity in Europe
Europe
by focusing on the unity in nature.1 In the 15th century, at the end of the Middle Ages, powerful sovereign states were appearing, built by the New Monarchs who were centralising power in France, England, and Spain. On the other hand, the Parliament in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
grew in power, taking legislative rights from the Polish king. The new state power was contested by parliaments in other countries especially England. New kinds of states emerged which were co-operation agreements among territorial rulers, cities, farmer republics and knights.

Alberico Gentili, the Father of international law.

Mercantilism
Mercantilism
and colonial expansion[edit] Main article: Mercantilism

Animated map showing the evolution of Colonial empires
Colonial empires
from 1492 to the present

The Iberian states (Spain and Portugal) were able to dominate New World (American) colonial activity in the 16th century. The Spanish constituted the first global empire and during the 16th century and the first half of the 17th century, Spain was the most powerful nation in the world, but was increasingly challenged by British, French, and the short-lived Dutch and Swedish colonial efforts of the 17th and 18th centuries. New forms of trade and expanding horizons made new forms of government, law and economics necessary. Colonial expansion continued in the following centuries (with some setbacks, such as successful wars of independence in the British American colonies and then later Haiti, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, and others amid European turmoil of the Napoleonic Wars; Haiti unique in abolishing slavery). Spain had control of a large part of North America, all of Central America and a great part of South America, the Caribbean and the Philippines; Britain took the whole of Australia and New Zealand, most of India, and large parts of Africa
Africa
and North America; France held parts of Canada and India
India
(nearly all of which was lost to Britain in 1763), Indochina, large parts of Africa
Africa
and the Caribbean islands; the Netherlands gained the East Indies
Indies
(now Indonesia) and islands in the Caribbean; Portugal obtained Brazil and several territories in Africa
Africa
and Asia; and later, powers such as Germany, Belgium, Italy
Italy
and Russia
Russia
acquired further colonies. This expansion helped the economy of the countries owning them. Trade flourished, because of the minor stability of the empires. By the late 16th century, American silver accounted for one-fifth of Spain's total budget.[46] The European countries fought wars that were largely paid for by the money coming in from the colonies. Nevertheless, the profits of the slave trade and of plantations of the West Indies, then the most profitable of all the British colonies, amounted to less than 5% of the British Empire's economy (but was generally more profitable) at the time of the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
in the late 18th century. Crisis of the 17th century[edit]

Contemporary woodcut depicting the Second Defenestration of Prague (1618), which marked the beginning of the Bohemian Revolt, which began the first part of the Thirty Years' War.

Further information: The General Crisis The 17th century was an era of crisis.[47][48] Many historians have rejected the idea, while others promote it as an invaluable insight into the warfare, politics, economics,[49] and even art.[50] The Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War
(1618–1648) focused attention on the massive horrors that wars could bring to entire populations.[51] The 1640s in particular saw more state breakdowns around the world than any previous or subsequent period.[47][48] The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the largest state in Europe, temporarily disappeared. In addition, there were secessions and upheavals in several parts of the Spanish empire, the world's first global empire. In Britain the entire Stuart monarchy (England, Scotland, Ireland, and its North American colonies) rebelled. Political insurgency and a spate of popular revolts seldom equalled shook the foundations of most states in Europe and Asia. More wars took place around the world in the mid-17th century than in almost any other period of recorded history. The crises spread far beyond Europe—for example Ming China, the most populous state in the world, collapsed. Across the Northern Hemisphere, the mid-17th century experienced almost unprecedented death rates. Geoffrey Parker, a British historian, suggests that environmental factors may have been in part to blame, especially global cooling.[52][53] Age of Absolutism[edit] Further information: Political absolutism and International relations, 1648–1814

Maria Theresa
Maria Theresa
being crowned Queen of Hungary, St. Martin's Cathedral, Bratislava.

The "absolute" rule of powerful monarchs such as Louis XIV
Louis XIV
(ruled France 1643–1715),[54] Peter the Great
Peter the Great
(ruled Russia 1682–1725),[55] Maria Theresa
Maria Theresa
(ruled Habsburg lands 1740–1780) and Frederick the Great
Frederick the Great
(ruled Prussia 1740–86),[56] produced powerful centralized states, with strong armies and powerful bureaucracies, all under the control of the king.[57] Throughout the early part of this period, capitalism (through mercantilism) was replacing feudalism as the principal form of economic organisation, at least in the western half of Europe. The expanding colonial frontiers resulted in a Commercial Revolution. The period is noted for the rise of modern science and the application of its findings to technological improvements, which animated the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
after 1750. The Reformation
Reformation
had profound effects on the unity of Europe. Not only were nations divided one from another by their religious orientation, but some states were torn apart internally by religious strife, avidly fostered by their external enemies. France suffered this fate in the 16th century in the series of conflicts known as the French Wars of Religion, which ended in the triumph of the Bourbon Dynasty. England avoided this fate for a while and settled down under Elizabeth to a moderate Anglicanism. Much of modern-day Germany
Germany
was made up of numerous small sovereign states under the theoretical framework of the Holy Roman Empire, which was further divided along internally drawn sectarian lines. The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
is notable in this time for its religious indifference and a general immunity to the horrors of European religious strife. Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War
1618–1648[edit] The Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War
was fought between 1618 and 1648, across Germany and neighboring areas, and involved most of the major European powers except England and Russia.[58] Beginning as a religious conflict between Protestants and Catholics in Bohemia, it quickly developed into a general war involving Catholics versus Protestants for the most part. The major impact of the war, in which mercenary armies were extensively used, was the devastation of entire regions scavenged bare by the foraging armies. Episodes of widespread famine and disease, and the breakup of family life, devastated the population of the German states and, to a lesser extent, the Low Countries, Bohemia
Bohemia
and Italy, while bankrupting many of the regional powers involved. Between one-fourth and one-third of the German population perished from direct military causes or from disease and starvation, as well as postponed births.[59]

After the Peace of Westphalia, Europe's borders were still stable in 1708

After the Peace of Westphalia, which ended the war in favour of nations deciding their own religious allegiance, absolutism became the norm of the continent, while parts of Europe
Europe
experimented with constitutions foreshadowed by the English Civil War
English Civil War
and particularly the Glorious Revolution. European military conflict did not cease, but had less disruptive effects on the lives of Europeans. In the advanced northwest, the Enlightenment gave a philosophical underpinning to the new outlook, and the continued spread of literacy, made possible by the printing press, created new secular forces in thought.

Map of Europe
Europe
in 1794 Samuel Dunn Map of the World

From the Union of Krewo
Union of Krewo
(1385) central and eastern Europe
Europe
was dominated by Kingdom of Poland
Poland
and Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In the 16th and 17th centuries Central and Eastern Europe
Europe
was an arena of conflict for domination of the continent between Sweden, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
and the Ottoman Empire. The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
continued dominance central and eastern Europe
Europe
until series of wars: Khmelnytsky Uprising, Russo-Polish War and the Deluge. This period saw a gradual decline of these three powers which were eventually replaced by new enlightened absolutist monarchies: Russia, Prussia and Austria. By the turn of the 19th century
19th century
they had become new powers, having divided Poland
Poland
between themselves, with Sweden and Turkey having experienced substantial territorial losses to Russia
Russia
and Austria
Austria
respectively as well as pauperisation. War of the Spanish Succession[edit] The War of the Spanish Succession
War of the Spanish Succession
(1701–1715) was a major war with France opposed by a coalition of England, the Netherlands, the Austrian Empire, and Prussia. Duke of Marlborough commander the English and Dutch victory at the Battle Blenheim in 1704. The main issue was whether France under King Louis XIV
Louis XIV
would take control of Spain's very extensive possessions and thereby become by far the dominant power, or be forced to share power with other major nations. After initial allied successes, the long war produced a military stalemate and ended with the Treaty of Utrecht, which was based on a balance of power in Europe. Historian Russell Weigley
Russell Weigley
argues that the many wars almost never accomplished more than they cost.[60] British historian G. M. Trevelyan
G. M. Trevelyan
argues:

That Treaty [of Utrecht], which ushered in the stable and characteristic period of Eighteenth-Century civilization, marked the end of danger to Europe
Europe
from the old French monarchy, and it marked a change of no less significance to the world at large, — the maritime, commercial and financial supremacy of Great Britain.[61]

Prussia[edit] Frederick the Great, king of Prussia 1740–86, modernized the Prussian army, introduced new tactical and strategic concepts, fought mostly successful wars and doubled the size of Prussia. Frederick had a rationale based on Enlightenment thought: he fought total wars for limited objectives. The goal was to convince rival kings that it was better to negotiate and make peace than to fight him.[62][63] Russia[edit] Russia
Russia
with its numerous wars and rapid expansion was in a continuous state of financial crisis, which it covered by borrowing from Amsterdam and issuing paper money that caused inflation. Russia boasted a large and powerful army, a very large and complex internal bureaucracy, and a splendid court that rivaled Paris
Paris
and London. However the government was living far beyond its means and seized Church lands, leaving organized religion in a weak condition. Throughout the 18th century Russia
Russia
remained "a poor, backward, overwhelmingly agricultural, and illiterate country."[64] Enlightenment[edit] Main article: Age of Enlightenment The Enlightenment
The Enlightenment
was a powerful, widespread cultural movement of intellectuals beginning in late 17th-century Europe
Europe
emphasizing the power of reason rather than tradition; it was especially favourable to science (especially Isaac Newton's physics) and hostile to religious orthodoxy (especially of the Catholic Church).[65] It sought to analyze and reform society using reason, to challenge ideas grounded in tradition and faith, and to advance knowledge through the scientific method. It promoted scientific thought, skepticism, and intellectual interchange.[66] The Enlightenment
The Enlightenment
was a revolution in human thought. This new way of thinking was that rational thought begins with clearly stated principles, uses correct logic to arrive at conclusions, tests the conclusions against evidence, and then revises the principles in the light of the evidence.[66] Enlightenment thinkers opposed superstition. Some Enlightenment thinkers collaborated with Enlightened despots, absolutist rulers who attempted to forcibly impose some of the new ideas about government into practice. The ideas of the Enlightenment exerted significant influence on the culture, politics, and governments of Europe.[67] Originating in the 17th century, it was sparked by philosophers Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon
(1562–1626), Baruch Spinoza
Baruch Spinoza
(1632–1677), John Locke (1632–1704), Pierre Bayle
Pierre Bayle
(1647–1706), Voltaire
Voltaire
(1694–1778), Francis Hutcheson, (1694–1746), David Hume
David Hume
(1711–1776) and physicist Isaac Newton
Isaac Newton
(1643–1727).[68] Ruling princes often endorsed and fostered these figures and even attempted to apply their ideas of government in what was known as enlightened absolutism. The Scientific Revolution
Scientific Revolution
is closely tied to the Enlightenment, as its discoveries overturned many traditional concepts and introduced new perspectives on nature and man's place within it. The Enlightenment flourished until about 1790–1800, at which point the Enlightenment, with its emphasis on reason, gave way to Romanticism, which placed a new emphasis on emotion; a Counter-Enlightenment
Counter-Enlightenment
began to increase in prominence. The Romantics argued that the Enlightenment was reductionistic insofar as it had largely ignored the forces of imagination, mystery, and sentiment.[69] In France, Enlightenment was based in the salons and culminated in the great Encyclopédie
Encyclopédie
(1751–72) edited by Denis Diderot
Denis Diderot
(1713–1784) and (until 1759) Jean le Rond d'Alembert
Jean le Rond d'Alembert
(1717–1783) with contributions by hundreds of leading intellectuals who were called philosophes, notably Voltaire
Voltaire
(1694–1778), Rousseau (1712–1778) and Montesquieu (1689–1755). Some 25,000 copies of the 35 volume encyclopedia were sold, half of them outside France. These new intellectual strains would spread to urban centres across Europe, notably England, Scotland, the German states, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Italy, Austria, and Spain, as well as Britain's American colonies. The political ideals of the Enlightenment influenced the American Declaration of Independence, the United States Bill of Rights, the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, and the Polish–Lithuanian Constitution of May 3, 1791.[70] Taking a long-term historical perspective, Norman Davies has argued that Freemasonry
Freemasonry
was a powerful force on behalf of Liberalism
Liberalism
and Enlightenment ideas in Europe, from about 1700 to the 20th century. It expanded rapidly during the Age of Enlightenment, reaching practically every country in Europe. It was especially attractive to royalty, powerful aristocrats and politicians as well as intellectuals, artists and political activists. Its great enemy was the Roman Catholic Church, so that in countries with a large Catholic element, such as France, Italy, Austria, Spain (and Mexico), much of the ferocity of the political battles involve the confrontation between the Church and Freemasonry.[71][72] Twentieth century totalitarian movements, especially the Fascists and Communists, crushed the Freemasons.[73]

From revolution to imperialism (1789–1914)[edit] See also: 19th century
19th century
and International relations of the Great Powers (1814–1919)

The boundaries set by the Congress of Vienna, 1815.

The "long 19th century", from 1789 to 1914 saw the drastic social, political and economic changes initiated by the Industrial Revolution, the French Revolution
French Revolution
and the Napoleonic Wars. Following the reorganisation of the political map of Europe
Europe
at the Congress of Vienna in 1815, Europe
Europe
experienced the rise of Nationalism, the rise of the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
and the peak of the British Empire, which was paralleled by the decline of the Ottoman Empire. Finally, the rise of the German Empire
German Empire
and the Austro-Hungarian Empire
Austro-Hungarian Empire
initiated the course of events that culminated in the outbreak of the First World War
First World War
in 1914. Industrial Revolution[edit] Main article: Industrial Revolution

London's chimney sky in 1870, by Gustave Doré

The Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
was a period in the late 18th century and early 19th century
19th century
when major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, and transport affected socioeconomic and cultural conditions in Britain and subsequently spread throughout Europe
Europe
and North America and eventually the world, a process that continues as industrialisation. Technological advancements, most notably the invention of the steam engine by Scottish engineer James Watt, were major catalysts in the industrialisation of Britain and, later, the wider world. It started in England and Scotland in the mid-18th century with the mechanisation of the textile industries, the development of iron-making techniques and the increased use of refined coal. Trade expansion was enabled by the introduction of canals, improved roads and railways. The introduction of steam power (fuelled primarily by coal) and powered machinery (mainly in textile manufacturing) underpinned the dramatic increases in production capacity.[74] The development of all-metal machine tools in the first two decades of the 19th century
19th century
facilitated the manufacture of more production machines for manufacturing in other industries. The effects spread throughout Western Europe
Europe
and North America during the 19th century, eventually affecting most of the world. The impact of this change on society was enormous.[75] Era of the French Revolution[edit] Main articles: American Revolution, French Revolution, and Napoleonic Wars Historians R.R. Palmer and Joel Colton argue:

In 1789 France fell into revolution, and the world has never since been the same. The French Revolution
French Revolution
was by far the most momentous upheaval of the whole revolutionary age. It replaced the "old regime" with "modern society," and at its extreme phase became very radical, so much so that all later revolutionary movements have looked back to it as a predecessor to themselves.... From the 1760s to 1848, the role of France was decisive.[76]

The era of the French Revolution
French Revolution
and the subsequent Napoleonic wars was a difficult time for monarchs. Tsar Paul I of Russia
Russia
was assassinated; King Louis XVI of France
Louis XVI of France
was executed, as was his queen Marie Antoinette. Furthermore, kings Charles IV of Spain, Ferdinand VII of Spain and Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden
Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden
were deposed as were ultimately the Emperor Napoleon
Napoleon
and all of the relatives he had installed on various European thrones. King Frederick William III of Prussia and Emperor Francis II of Austria
Austria
barely clung to their thrones. King George III of England lost the better part of his empire.[77] The American Revolution
American Revolution
(1775–1783) was the first successful revolt of a colony against a European power. It proclaimed, in the words of Thomas Jefferson, that "all men are created equal," a position based on the principles of the Enlightenment. It rejected aristocracy and established a republican form of government under George Washington that attracted worldwide attention.[78] The French Revolution
French Revolution
(1789–1804) was a product of the same democratic forces in the Atlantic World and had an even greater impact.[79] French historian François Aulard says:

From the social point of view, the Revolution consisted in the suppression of what was called the feudal system, in the emancipation of the individual, in greater division of landed property, the abolition of the privileges of noble birth, the establishment of equality, the simplification of life.... The French Revolution differed from other revolutions in being not merely national, for it aimed at benefiting all humanity."[80]

The storming of the Bastille
Bastille
in the French Revolution
French Revolution
of 1789

French intervention in the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
had nearly bankrupted the state. After repeated failed attempts at financial reform, King Louis XVI had to convene the Estates-General, a representative body of the country made up of three estates: the clergy, the nobility, and the commoners. The third estate, joined by members of the other two, declared itself to be a National Assembly and swore an oath not to dissolve until France had a constitution and created, in July, the National Constituent Assembly. At the same time the people of Paris
Paris
revolted, famously storming the Bastille
Bastille
prison on 14 July 1789. At the time the assembly wanted to create a constitutional monarchy, and over the following two years passed various laws including the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, the abolition of feudalism, and a fundamental change in the relationship between France and Rome. At first the king agreed with these changes and enjoyed reasonable popularity with the people. As anti-royalism increased along with threat of foreign invasion, the king tried to flee and join France's enemies. He was captured and on 12 January 1793, having been convicted of treason, he was guillotined. On 20 September 1792 the National Convention
National Convention
abolished the monarchy and declared France a republic. Due to the emergency of war, the National Convention
National Convention
created the Committee of Public Safety, controlled by Maximilien de Robespierre
Maximilien de Robespierre
of the Jacobin Club, to act as the country's executive. Under Robespierre, the committee initiated the Reign of Terror, during which up to 40,000 people were executed in Paris, mainly nobles and those convicted by the Revolutionary Tribunal, often on the flimsiest of evidence. Internal tensions at Paris
Paris
drove the Committee towards increasing assertions of radicalism and increasing suspicions, fueling new terror: A few months into this phase, more and more prominent revolutionaries were being sent to the guillotine by Robespierre and his faction, for example Madame Roland and Georges Danton. Elsewhere in the country, counter-revolutionary insurrections were brutally suppressed. The regime was overthrown in the coup of 9 Thermidor (27 July 1794) and Robespierre was executed. The regime which followed ended the Terror and relaxed Robespierre's more extreme policies.

The Battle of Waterloo, where Napoleon
Napoleon
was defeated by the Seventh Coalition in 1815

Napoleon[edit] Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon Bonaparte
was one of the world's most famous soldiers and statesmen, leading France to great victories over numerous European enemies. Despite modest origins he became Emperor and restructured much of European diplomacy, politics and law, until he was forced to abdicate in 1814. His 100-day comeback in 1815 failed at the Battle of Waterloo, and he died in exile on a remote island, remembered as a great hero by many Frenchmen and as a great villain by British and other enemies. Napoleon, despite his youth, was France's most successful general in the Revolutionary wars, having conquered large parts of Italy
Italy
and forced the Austrians to sue for peace. In 1799 on 18 Brumaire
18 Brumaire
(9 November) he overthrew the feeble government, replacing it with the Consulate, which he dominated. He gained popularity in France by restoring the Church, keeping taxes low, centralizing power in Paris, and winning glory on the battlefield. In 1804 he crowned himself Emperor. In 1805, Napoleon
Napoleon
planned to invade Britain, but a renewed British alliance with Russia
Russia
and Austria
Austria
(Third Coalition), forced him to turn his attention towards the continent, while at the same time the French fleet was demolished by the British at the Battle of Trafalgar, ending any plan to invade Britain. On 2 December 1805, Napoleon
Napoleon
defeated a numerically superior Austro-Russian army at Austerlitz, forcing Austria's withdrawal from the coalition (see Treaty of Pressburg) and dissolving the Holy Roman Empire. In 1806, a Fourth Coalition
Fourth Coalition
was set up. On 14 October Napoleon
Napoleon
defeated the Prussians at the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt, marched through Germany
Germany
and defeated the Russians on 14 June 1807 at Friedland. The Treaties of Tilsit divided Europe
Europe
between France and Russia
Russia
and created the Duchy of Warsaw.

Napoleon's army at the retreat from Russia
Russia
at the Berezina
Berezina
river

On 12 June 1812 Napoleon
Napoleon
invaded Russia
Russia
with a Grande Armée
Grande Armée
of nearly 700,000 troops. After the measured victories at Smolensk and Borodino Napoleon
Napoleon
occupied Moscow, only to find it burned by the retreating Russian army. He was forced to withdraw. On the march back his army was harassed by Cossacks, and suffered disease and starvation. Only 20,000 of his men survived the campaign. By 1813 the tide had begun to turn from Napoleon. Having been defeated by a seven nation army at the Battle of Leipzig
Battle of Leipzig
in October 1813, he was forced to abdicate after the Six Days' Campaign
Six Days' Campaign
and the occupation of Paris. Under the Treaty of Fontainebleau he was exiled to the island of Elba. He returned to France on 1 March 1815 (see Hundred Days), raised an army, but was finally defeated by a British and Prussian force at the Battle of Waterloo on 18 June 1815 and exiled to a small British island in the South Atlantic. Impact of the French Revolution[edit] Main article: Influence of the French Revolution Roberts finds that the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, from 1793 to 1815, caused 4 million deaths (of whom 1 million were civilians); 1.4 million were French deaths.[81] Outside France the Revolution had a major impact. Its ideas became widespread. Roberts argues that Napoleon
Napoleon
was responsible for key ideas of the modern world, so that, "meritocracy, equality before the law, property rights, religious toleration, modern secular education, sound finances, and so on-were protected, consolidated, codified, and geographically extended by Napoleon
Napoleon
during his 16 years of power."[82] Furthermore, the French armies in the 1790s and 1800s directly overthrew feudal remains in much of western Europe. They liberalised property laws, ended seigneurial dues, abolished the guild of merchants and craftsmen to facilitate entrepreneurship, legalised of divorce, closed the Jewish ghettos and made Jews
Jews
equal to everyone else. The Inquisition ended as did the Holy Roman Empire. The power of church courts and religious authority was sharply reduced and equality under the law was proclaimed for all men.[83] In foreign affairs, the French Army down to 1812 was quite successful. Roberts says that Napoleon
Napoleon
fought 60 battles, losing only seven.[84] France conquered Belgium and turned it into another province of France. It conquered the Netherlands, and made it a puppet state. It took control of the German areas on the left bank of the Rhine
Rhine
River and set up a puppet regime. It conquered Switzerland and most of Italy, setting up a series of puppet states. The result was glory for France, and an infusion of much needed money from the conquered lands, which also provided direct support to the French Army. However the enemies of France, led by Britain and funded by the inexhaustible British Treasury, formed a Second Coalition in 1799 (with Britain joined by Russia, the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
and Austria). It scored a series of victories that rolled back French successes, and trapped the French Army in Egypt. Napoleon
Napoleon
himself slipped through the British blockade in October 1799, returning to Paris, where he overthrew the government and made himself the ruler.[85][86] Napoleon
Napoleon
conquered most of Italy
Italy
in the name of the French Revolution in 1797–99. He consolidated old units and split up Austria's holdings. He set up a series of new republics, complete with new codes of law and abolition of old feudal privileges. Napoleon's Cisalpine Republic was centered on Milan; Genoa
Genoa
became a republic; the Roman Republic was formed as well as the small Ligurian Republic
Ligurian Republic
around Genoa. The Neapolitan Republic was formed around Naples, but it lasted only five months. He later formed the Kingdom of Italy, with his brother as King. In addition, France turned the Netherlands into the Batavian Republic, and Switzerland into the Helvetic Republic. All these new countries were satellites of France, and had to pay large subsidies to Paris, as well as provide military support for Napoleon's wars. Their political and administrative systems were modernized, the metric system introduced, and trade barriers reduced. Jewish ghettos were abolished. Belgium and Piedmont became integral parts of France.[87] Most of the new nations were abolished and returned to prewar owners in 1814. However, Artz emphasizes the benefits the Italians
Italians
gained from the French Revolution:

For nearly two decades the Italians
Italians
had the excellent codes of law, a fair system of taxation, a better economic situation, and more religious and intellectual toleration than they had known for centuries.... Everywhere old physical, economic, and intellectual barriers had been thrown down and the Italians
Italians
had begun to be aware of a common nationality.[88]

Likewise in Switzerland the long-term impact of the French Revolution has been assessed by Martin:

It proclaimed the equality of citizens before the law, equality of languages, freedom of thought and faith; it created a Swiss citizenship, basis of our modern nationality, and the separation of powers, of which the old regime had no conception; it suppressed internal tariffs and other economic restraints; it unified weights and measures, reformed civil and penal law, authorized mixed marriages (between Catholics and Protestants), suppressed torture and improved justice; it developed education and public works.[89]

The greatest impact came of course in France itself. In addition to effects similar to those in Italy
Italy
and Switzerland, France saw the introduction of the principle of legal equality, and the downgrading of the once powerful and rich Catholic Church
Catholic Church
to just a bureau controlled by the government. Power became centralized in Paris, with its strong bureaucracy and an army supplied by conscripting all young men. French politics were permanently polarized—new names were given, "left" and "right" for the supporters and opponents of the principles of the Revolution. British historian Max Hastings says there is no question that as a military genius Napoleon
Napoleon
ranks with Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great
and Julius Caesar in greatness. However, in the political realm, historians debate whether Napoleon
Napoleon
was "an enlightened despot who laid the foundations of modern Europe
Europe
or, instead, a megalomaniac who wrought greater misery than any man before the coming of Hitler".[90] Religion[edit] Main article: Christianity
Christianity
in the 19th century Protestantism[edit] Historian Kenneth Scott Latourette
Kenneth Scott Latourette
argues that the outlook for Protestantism at the start of the 19th century
19th century
was discouraging. It was a regional religion based in northwestern Europe, with an outpost in the sparsely settled United States. It was closely allied with government, as in Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Prussia, and especially Great Britain. The alliance came at the expense of independence, as the government made the basic policy decisions, down to such details as the salaries of ministers and location of new churches. The dominant intellectual currents of the Enlightenment promoted rationalism, and most Protestant leaders preached a sort of deism. Intellectually, the new methods of historical and anthropological study undermine automatic acceptance of biblical stories, as did the sciences of geology and biology. Industrialization was a strongly negative factor, as workers who moved to the city seldom joined churches. The gap between the church and the unchurched grew rapidly, and secular forces, based both in socialism and liberalism undermine the prestige of religion. Despite the negative forces, Protestantism demonstrated a striking vitality by 1900. Shrugging off Enlightenment rationalism, Protestants embraced romanticism, with the stress on the personal and the invisible. Entirely fresh ideas as expressed by Friedrich Schleiermacher, Soren Kierkegaard, Albrecht Ritschl
Albrecht Ritschl
and Adolf von Harnack
Adolf von Harnack
restored the intellectual power of theology. There was more attention to historic creeds such as the Augsburg, the Heidelberg, and the Westminster confessions. In England, Anglicans emphasize the historically Catholic components of their heritage, as the High Church element reintroduced vestments and incense into their rituals. The stirrings of pietism on the Continent, and evangelicalism in Britain expanded enormously, leading the devout away from an emphasis on formality and ritual and toward an inner sensibility toward personal relationship to Christ. Social activities, in education and in opposition to social vices such as slavery, alcoholism and poverty provided new opportunities for social service. Above all, worldwide missionary activity became a highly prized goal, proving quite successful in close cooperation with the imperialism of the British, German, and Dutch empires.[91] Nations rising[edit] Main articles: International relations of the Great Powers (1814–1919), Serbian Revolution, Italian unification, Revolutions of 1848, and Greek War of Independence

Cheering the Revolutions of 1848
Revolutions of 1848
in Berlin

Emerging nationalism[edit] Further information: Nationalism The political development of nationalism and the push for popular sovereignty culminated with the ethnic/national revolutions of Europe. During the 19th century
19th century
nationalism became one of the most significant political and social forces in history; it is typically listed among the top causes of World War I.[92][93] Napoleon's conquests of the German and Italian states around 1800–1806 played a major role in stimulating nationalism and the demands for national unity.[94] Germany[edit] In the German states east of Prussia Napoleon
Napoleon
abolished many of the old or medieval relics, such as dissolving the Holy Roman Empire
Roman Empire
in 1806.[95] He imposed rational legal systems and demonstrated how dramatic changes were possible. For example, his organization of the Confederation of the Rhine
Rhine
in 1806 promoted a feeling of nationalism. Nationalists sought to encompass masculinity in their quest for strength and unity.[96] In the 1860s it was Prussian chancellor Otto von Bismarck who achieved German unification in 1870 after the many smaller states followed Prussia's leadership in wars against Denmark, Austria
Austria
and France.[97] Italy[edit] Italian nationalism emerged in the 19th century
19th century
and was the driving force for Italian unification
Italian unification
or the "Risorgimento" (meaning the Resurgence or revival). It was the political and intellectual movement that consolidated different states of the Italian peninsula into the single state of the Kingdom of Italy
Italy
in 1860. The memory of the Risorgimento
Risorgimento
is central to both Italian nationalism and Italian historiography.[98]

Beginning in 1821, the Greek War of Independence
Greek War of Independence
began as a rebellion by Greek revolutionaries against the ruling Ottoman Empire.

Greece[edit] Main article: Greek War of Independence The Greek drive for independence from the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
inspired supporters across Christian Europe, especially in Britain. France, Russia
Russia
and Britain intervened to make this nationalist dream become reality.[99] Serbia[edit] Main article: History of Serbia

Breakup of Yugoslavia

For centuries the Orthodox Christian Serbs were ruled by the Muslim-controlled Ottoman Empire. The success of the Serbian revolution against Ottoman rule in 1817 marked the foundation of modern Principality of Serbia. It achieved de facto independence in 1867 and finally gained recognition by the Great Powers
Great Powers
in the Berlin Congress of 1878. The Serbs developed a larger vision for nationalism in Pan-Slavism
Pan-Slavism
and with Russian support sought to pull the other Slavs out of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.[100][101] Austria, with German backing, tried to crush Serbia
Serbia
in 1914 but Russia
Russia
intervened, thus igniting the First World War
First World War
in which Austria
Austria
dissolved into nation states.[102] In 1918, the region of Vojvodina
Vojvodina
proclaimed its secession from Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
to unite with the pan-Slavic State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs; the Kingdom of Serbia
Serbia
joined the union on 1 December 1918, and the country was named Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. It was renamed Yugoslavia, which was never able to tame the multiple nationalities and religions and it flew apart in civil war in the 1990s. Poland[edit] Main article: History of Poland The cause of Polish nationalism was repeatedly frustrated before 1918. In the 1790s, Germany, Russia
Russia
and Austria
Austria
partitioned Poland. Napoleon set up the Duchy of Warsaw, a new Polish state that ignited a spirit of nationalism. Russia
Russia
took it over in 1815 as Congress Poland
Poland
with the tsar as King of Poland. Large-scale nationalist revolts erupted in 1830 and 1863–64 but were harshly crushed by Russia, which tried to Russify the Polish language, culture and religion. The collapse of the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
in the First World War
First World War
enabled the major powers to reestablish an independent Poland, which survived until 1939. Meanwhile, Poles in areas controlled by Germany
Germany
moved into heavy industry but their religion came under attack by Bismarck in the Kulturkampf
Kulturkampf
of the 1870s. The Poles joined German Catholics in a well-organized new Centre Party, and defeated Bismarck politically. He responded by stopping the harassment and cooperating with the Centre Party.[103][104] Conservative forces[edit] After the defeat of revolutionary France, the other great powers tried to restore the situation which existed before 1789. In 1815 at the Congress of Vienna, the major powers of Europe
Europe
managed to produce a peaceful balance of power among the various European empires. This was known as the Metternich
Metternich
system. However, their efforts were unable to stop the spread of revolutionary movements: the middle classes had been deeply influenced by the ideals of the French revolution, the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
brought important economical and social changes. The working classes and some intellectuals became a base for socialist, communist and anarchistic ideas (especially those summarised by Karl Marx
Karl Marx
and Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels
in The Communist Manifesto). The middle classes and businessmen promoted liberalism, free trade and capitalism. Aristocratic elements concentrated in government service, the military and the established churches. Nationalist movements (in Germany, Italy, Poland, Hungary, and elsewhere) called upon the "racial" unity (which usually meant a common language and an imagined common ethnicity) to seek national unification and/or liberation from foreign rule. As a result, the period between 1815 and 1871 saw a large number of revolutionary attempts and independence wars. Greece successfully revolted against Ottoman rule in the 1820s. European diplomats and intellectuals saw the Greek struggle for independence, with its accounts of Turkish atrocities, in a romantic light. France under Napoleon
Napoleon
III[edit] Napoleon
Napoleon
III, nephew of Napoleon
Napoleon
I, returned to France from exile in 1848, bringing a famous name that promised to stabilize the chaotic political situation. He was elected president and elected himself Emperor, a move approved later by a large majority of the French electorate. He modernized Paris, and build up the economy. He was most famous for his aggressive foreign policy in Europe, Mexico, and worldwide. He helped in the unification of Italy
Italy
by fighting the Austrian Empire and joined the Crimean War
Crimean War
on the side of the United Kingdom and the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
against Russia. His empire collapsed after being defeated in the Franco-Prussian War.[105] France gave up monarchs and became the democratic but anti-clerical French Third Republic, which lasted until 1940.[106]

Giuseppe Garibaldi's redshirts during the Battle of Calatafimi, part of the Italian Unification.

Major powers[edit]

Country Population in millions (year)

Russia 71.8 (1870)

Germany 42.7 (1875)

Austria-Hungary 37.3 (1876)

France 36.9 (1876)

Great Britain 33.7 (1877)

Italy 26.8 (1876)

Source: Appleton Annual Cyclopedia: 1877 (1878) p 281

Most European states had become constitutional (rather than absolute) monarchies by 1871, and Germany
Germany
and Italy
Italy
merged many small city-states to become united nation-states. Germany
Germany
in particular increasingly dominated the continent in terms of economics and political power. Meanwhile, on a global scale, Great Britain, with its far-flung British Empire, unmatched Royal Navy, and powerful bankers, became the world's first global power. The sun never set on its territories, while an informal empire operated through British financiers, entrepreneurs, traders and engineers who established operations in many countries, and largely dominated Latin
Latin
America. The British were especially famous for financing and constructing railways around the world.[107] Bismarck's Germany[edit]

Otto von Bismarck, Chancellor of Germany

From his base in Prussia, Otto von Bismarck
Otto von Bismarck
in the 1860s engineered a series of short, decisive wars, that unified most of the German states (excluding Austria) into a powerful German Empire
German Empire
under Prussian leadership. He humiliated France in the process, but kept on good terms with Austria-Hungary. With that accomplished by 1871 he then skillfully used balance of power diplomacy to preserve Germany's new role and keep Europe
Europe
at peace. He was removed from office in 1890 by an aggressive young Kaiser Wilhelm II, who pursued a disruptive foreign policy that polarized Europe
Europe
into rival camps. These rival camps went to war with each other in 1914.[108] Imperialism[edit] Main articles: Colonial Empires, History of colonialism, Habsburg Empire, Russian Empire, French colonial empire, British Empire, Dutch Empire, Italian colonial empire, and German colonial empire

The Berlin Conference (1884)
Berlin Conference (1884)
headed by Otto von Bismarck
Otto von Bismarck
that regulated European colonization in Africa
Africa
during the New Imperialism period

Colonial empires
Colonial empires
were the product of the European Age of Discovery from the 15th century. The initial impulse behind these dispersed maritime empires and those that followed was trade, driven by the new ideas and the capitalism that grew out of the Renaissance. Both the Portuguese Empire
Portuguese Empire
and Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
quickly grew into the first global political and economic systems with territories spread around the world. Subsequent major European colonial empires included the French, Dutch, and British empires. The latter, consolidated during the period of British maritime hegemony in the 19th century, became the largest empire in history because of the improved ocean transportation technologies of the time as well as electronic communication through the telegraph, cable, and radio. At its height in 1920, the British Empire covered a quarter of the Earth's land area and comprised a quarter of its population. Other European countries, such as Belgium, Germany, and Italy, pursued colonial empires as well (mostly in Africa), but they were smaller. Ignoring the oceans, Russia
Russia
built its Russian Empire
Russian Empire
through conquest by land in Eastern Europe, and Asia. By the mid-19th century, the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
had declined enough to become a target for other global powers (see History of the Balkans). This instigated the Crimean War
Crimean War
in 1854 and began a tenser period of minor clashes among the globe-spanning empires of Europe
Europe
that eventually set the stage for the First World War. In the second half of the 19th century, the Kingdom of Sardinia
Kingdom of Sardinia
and the Kingdom of Prussia carried out a series of wars that resulted in the creation of Italy
Italy
and Germany
Germany
as nation-states, significantly changing the balance of power in Europe. From 1870, Otto von Bismarck
Otto von Bismarck
engineered a German hegemony of Europe
Europe
that put France in a critical situation. It slowly rebuilt its relationships, seeking alliances with Russia
Russia
and Britain to control the growing power of Germany. In this way, two opposing sides—the Triple Alliance of 1882 (Germany, Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
and Italy) and the Triple Entente
Triple Entente
of 1907 (Britain, France and Russia)—formed in Europe, improving their military forces and alliances year-by-year. 1914–1945: Two World wars[edit]

Military alliances leading to World War; Triple Entente
Triple Entente
in green; Central Powers
Central Powers
in brown

German-American historian Konrad Jarausch, asked if he agreed that "the European record of the past century [was] just one gigantic catastrophe", argues:

It is true that the first half of the 20th century was full of internecine warfare, economic depression, ethnic cleansing and racist genocide that killed tens of millions of people, more than any other period in human history. But looking only at the disasters creates an incomplete perception, because the second half of the century witnessed a much more positive development in spite of the Cold War. After the defeat of Fascism
Fascism
in 1945, the peaceful revolution of 1989/90 also liberated the East from Communist control in a quite unexpected fashion. As a result, Europeans generally live more free, prosperous and healthy lives than ever before.[109]

The "short twentieth century", from 1914 to 1991, included the First World War, the Second World War
Second World War
and the Cold War. The First World War used modern technology to kill millions of soldiers. Victory by Britain, France, the United States and other allies drastically changed the map of Europe, ending four major land empires (the Russian, German, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires) and leading to the creation of nation-states across Central and Eastern Europe. The October Revolution
October Revolution
in Russia
Russia
led to the creation of the Soviet Union (1917–1991) and the rise of the international communist movement. Widespread economic prosperity was typical of the period before 1914, and 1920–1929. After the onset of the Great Depression
Great Depression
in 1929, however, democracy collapsed in most of Europe. Fascists took control in Italy, and the even more aggressive Nazi
Nazi
movement led by Adolf Hitler took control of Germany, 1933–45. The Second World War
Second World War
was fought on an even larger scale than the First war, killing many more people, and using even more advanced technology. It ended with the division of Europe
Europe
between East and West, with the East under the control of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and the West dominated by NATO. The two sides engaged in the Cold War, with actual conflict taking place not in Europe
Europe
but in Asia
Asia
in the Korean War and the Vietnam War. The Imperial system collapsed. The remaining colonial empires ended through the decolonisation of European rule in Africa
Africa
and Asia. The fall of Soviet Communism
Communism
(1989– 1991) left the West dominant and enabled the reunification of Germany. It accelerated the process of a European integration
European integration
to include Eastern Europe. The European Union continues today, but with German economic dominance. Since the worldwide Great Recession
Great Recession
of 2008, European growth has been slow, and financial crises have hit Greece and other countries. Social divisiveness has been caused by large-scale immigration and radical Islamic rejection of European norms. While Russia
Russia
is a weak version of the old Soviet Union, it has been confronting Europe
Europe
in Ukraine
Ukraine
and other areas. World War I[edit] Main articles: World War I, Home front during World War I, Diplomatic history of World War I, and Economic history of World War I

Trenches and sand bags were defences against machine guns and artillery on the Western Front, 1914–1918

After the relative peace of most of the 19th century, the rivalry between European powers, compounded by a rising nationalism among ethnic groups, exploded in August 1914, when the First World War started. Over 65 million European soldiers were mobilised from 1914 to 1918; 20 million soldiers and civilians died, and 21 million were seriously wounded.[110] On one side were Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
and Bulgaria
Bulgaria
(the Central Powers/Triple Alliance), while on the other side stood Serbia
Serbia
and the Triple Entente
Triple Entente
– the coalition of France, Britain and Russia, which were joined by Italy
Italy
in 1915, Romania in 1916 and by the United States in 1917. The Western Front involved especially brutal combat without any territorial gains by either side. Single battles like Verdun and the Somme killed hundreds of thousands of men while leaving the stalemate unchanged. Heavy artillery and machine guns caused most of the casualties, supplemented by poison gas. Czarist Russia
Russia
collapsed in the February Revolution
February Revolution
of 1917 and Germany
Germany
claimed victory on the Eastern Front. After eight months of liberal rule, the October Revolution brought Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Lenin
and the Bolsheviks to power, leading to the creation of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
in place of the disintegrated Russian Empire. With American entry into the war in 1917 on the Allied side, and the failure of Germany's spring 1918 offensive, Germany
Germany
had run out of manpower, while an average of 10,000 American troops were arriving in France every day in the summer of 1918. Germany's allies, Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
and the Ottoman Empire, surrendered and dissolved, followed by Germany
Germany
on 11 November 1918.[111][112] The victors forced Germany
Germany
to assume responsibility for the conflict and pay war reparations. One factor in determining the outcome of the war was that the Allies had significantly more economic resources they could spend on the war. One estimate (using 1913 US dollars) is that the Allies spent $58 billion on the war and the Central Powers
Central Powers
only $25 billion. Among the Allies, Britain spent $21 billion and the U.S. $17 billion; among the Central Powers
Central Powers
Germany
Germany
spent $20 billion.[113] Paris
Paris
Peace Conference[edit] Main article: Paris
Paris
Peace Conference, 1919

Europe
Europe
in 1919

Detail from William Orpen's painting The Signing of Peace in the Hall of Mirrors, Versailles, 28th June 1919, showing the signing of the peace treaty by a minor German official opposite to the representatives of the winning powers.

The world war was settled by the victors at the Paris
Paris
Peace Conference in 1919. Two dozen nations sent delegations, and there were many nongovernmental groups, but the defeated powers were not invited.[114] The "Big Four" were President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
of the United States, Prime Minister David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George
of Great Britain, George Clemenceau of France, and, of least importance, Italian Prime Minister Vittorio Orlando. They met together informally 145 times and made all the major decisions, which in turn were ratified by the others.[115] The major decisions were the creation of the League of Nations; the six peace treaties with defeated enemies, most notable the Treaty of Versailles with Germany; the awarding of German and Ottoman overseas possessions as "mandates", chiefly to Britain and France; and the drawing of new national boundaries (sometimes with plebiscites) to better reflect the forces of nationalism.[116][117] As the conference's decisions were enacted unilaterally, and largely on the whims of the Big Four, for its duration Paris
Paris
was effectively the center of a world government, which deliberated over and implemented the sweeping changes to the political geography of Europe. Most famously, the Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles
itself weakened Germany's military and placed full blame for the war and costly reparations on its shoulders – the humiliation and resentment in Germany
Germany
is sometimes considered as one of the causes of Nazi
Nazi
success and indirectly a cause of World War II. At the insistence of President Wilson, the Big Four required Poland
Poland
to sign a treaty on 28 June 1919 that guaranteed minority rights in the new nation. Poland
Poland
signed under protest, and made little effort to enforce the specified rights for Germans, Jews, Ukrainians, and other minorities. Similar treaties were signed by Czechoslovakia, Romania, Yugoslavia, Greece, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, and later by Latvia, Estonia
Estonia
and Lithuania. Finland
Finland
and Germany
Germany
were not asked to sign a minority rights treaty.[118] Interwar[edit] See also: Aftermath of World War I, Interwar period, and International relations (1919–1939)

Interwar Europe
Europe
in 1923

In the Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles
(1919) the winners imposed relatively hard conditions on Germany
Germany
and recognised the new states (such as Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Austria, Yugoslavia, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) created in central Europe
Europe
from the defunct German, Austro-Hungarian and Russian empires, based on national (ethnic) self-determination. It was a peaceful era with a few small wars before 1922 such as the Ukrainian–Soviet War
Ukrainian–Soviet War
(1917–1921) and the Polish–Soviet War
Polish–Soviet War
(1919–1921). Prosperity was widespread, and the major cities sponsored a youth culture called the "Roaring Twenties" that was often featured in the cinema, which attracted very large audiences. The Allied victory in the First World War
First World War
seem to mark the triumph of liberalism, not just in the Allied countries themselves, but also in Germany
Germany
and in the new states of Eastern Europe, as well as Japan. Authoritarian
Authoritarian
militarism as typified by Germany
Germany
had been defeated and discredited. Historian Martin Blinkhorn argues that the liberal themes were ascendant in terms of "cultural pluralism, religious and ethnic toleration, national self-determination, free-market economics, representative and responsible government, free trade, unionism, and the peaceful settlement of international disputes through a new body, the League of Nations."[119] However, as early as 1917, the emerging liberal order was being challenged by the new communist movement taking inspiration from the Russian Revolution. Communist revolts were beaten back everywhere else, but they did succeed in Russia.[120] Fascism
Fascism
and authoritarianism[edit] Italy
Italy
adopted an authoritarian system known as Fascism
Fascism
in 1922; it became a model for Hitler in Germany
Germany
and for right wing elements in other countries. Historian Stanley G. Payne says Fascism
Fascism
in Italy
Italy
was:

A primarily political dictatorship....The Fascist Party itself had become almost completely bureaucratized and subservient to, not dominant over, the state itself. Big business, industry, and finance retained extensive autonomy, particularly in the early years. The armed forces also enjoyed considerable autonomy....The Fascist militia was placed under military control....The judicial system was left largely intact and relatively autonomous as well. The police continued to be directed by state officials and were not taken over by party leaders...nor was a major new police elite created....There was never any question of bringing the Church under overall subservience.... Sizable sectors of Italian cultural life retained extensive autonomy, and no major state propaganda-and-culture ministry existed....The Mussolini regime was neither especially sanguinary nor particularly repressive.[121]

Authoritarian
Authoritarian
regimes were established in the 1930s in Germany, Portugal, Austria, Poland, Greece, the Baltic countries and Spain. By 1940, there were only four liberal democracies left on the European continent: France, Finland, Switzerland and Sweden.[122] Great Depression: 1929–1939[edit] Main article: Great Depression After the Wall Street Crash of 1929, nearly the whole world sank into a Great Depression, as prices fell, profits fell, and unemployment soared. The worst hit sectors included heavy industry, export-oriented agriculture, mining and lumbering, and construction. World trade fell by two thirds.[123] Liberalism
Liberalism
and democracy were discredited. In most of Europe, as well as in Japan and most of Latin
Latin
America, nation after nation turned to dictators and authoritarian regimes. The most momentous change of government came when Hitler and his Nazis
Nazis
took power in Germany
Germany
in 1933. A major civil war took place in Spain, with the nationalists winning. The League of Nations
League of Nations
was helpless as Italy
Italy
conquered Ethiopia and Japan seized Manchuria in 1931 and took over most of China starting in 1937.[124] The Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
(1936–1939) was marked by numerous small battles and sieges, and many atrocities, until the rebels (the Nationalists), led by Francisco Franco, won in 1939. There was military intervention as Italy
Italy
sent land forces, and Germany
Germany
sent smaller elite air force and armoured units to the Nationalists. The Soviet Union
Soviet Union
sold armaments to the leftist Republicans on the other side, while the Communist parties in numerous countries sent soldiers to the "International Brigades." The civil war did not escalate into a larger conflict, but did become a worldwide ideological battleground that pitted the left, the communist movement and many liberals against Catholics, conservatives, and fascists. Britain, France and the US remained neutral and refused to sell military supplies to either side. Worldwide there was a decline in pacifism and a growing sense that another world war was imminent, and that it would be worth fighting for.[125] World War II[edit] Main articles: Causes of World War II, World War II, Diplomatic history of World War II, and Home front during World War II In the Munich Agreement
Munich Agreement
of 1938, Britain and France adopted a policy of appeasement as they gave Hitler what he wanted out of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
in the hope that it would bring peace. It did not. In 1939 Germany
Germany
took over the rest of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
and appeasement policies gave way to hurried rearmament as Hitler next turned his attention to Poland.

American and Soviet troops meet in April 1945, east of the Elbe
Elbe
River.

After allying with Japan in the Anti-Comintern Pact
Anti-Comintern Pact
and then also with Benito Mussolini's Italy
Italy
in the "Pact of Steel", and finally signing a non-aggression treaty with the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
in August 1939, Hitler launched the Second World War
Second World War
on 1 September 1939 by attacking Poland. To his surprise Britain and France declared war on Germany, but there was little fighting during the "Phoney War" period. War began in earnest in spring 1940 with the successful Blitzkrieg conquests of Denmark, Norway, the Low Countries, and France. Britain remained alone but refused to negotiate, and defeated Germany's air attacks in the Battle of Britain. Hitler's goal was to control Eastern Europe
Europe
but because of his failure to defeat Britain and the Italian failures in North Africa
Africa
and the Balkans, the great attack on the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
was delayed until June 1941. Despite initial successes, the German army was stopped close to Moscow
Moscow
in December 1941.[126] Over the next year the tide was turned and the Germans
Germans
started to suffer a series of defeats, for example in the siege of Stalingrad and at Kursk. Meanwhile, Japan (allied to Germany
Germany
and Italy
Italy
since September 1940) attacked Britain and the United States on 7 December 1941; Germany
Germany
then completed its over-extension by declaring war on the United States. War raged between the Axis Powers (Germany, Italy, and Japan) and the Allied Forces (British Empire, Soviet Union, and the United States). The Allied Forces won in North Africa, invaded Italy
Italy
in 1943, and recaptured France in 1944. In the spring of 1945 Germany
Germany
itself was invaded from the east by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and from the west by the other Allies. As the Red Army conquered the Reichstag in Berlin, Hitler committed suicide and Germany
Germany
surrendered in early May.[127] World War II
World War II
was the deadliest conflict in human history, causing between 50 and 80 million deaths, the majority of whom were civilians (approximately 38 to 55 million).[128] This period was also marked by systematic genocide. In 1942–45, separately from the war-related deaths, the Nazis
Nazis
killed an additional number of over 11 million civilians identified through IBM-enabled censuses, including the majority of the Jews
Jews
and Gypsies of Europe, millions of Polish and Soviet Slavs, and also homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, misfits, disabled, and political enemies. Meanwhile, in the 1930s the Soviet system of forced labour, expulsions and allegedly engineered famine had a similar death toll. During and after the war millions of civilians were affected by forced population transfers.[129]

Western European colonial empires in Asia
Asia
and Africa
Africa
disintegrated after World War II

Cold War
Cold War
Era[edit] Main articles: Cold War, NATO, Marshall Plan, and European Economic Community

East German construction workers building the Berlin Wall, 20 November 1961

Remains of the "Iron curtain" in Devínska Nová Ves, Bratislava (Slovakia).

The world wars ended the pre-eminent position of Britain, France and Germany
Germany
in the Europe
Europe
and the world.[130] At the Yalta Conference, Europe
Europe
was divided into spheres of influence between the victors of World War II, and soon became the principal zone of contention in the Cold War
Cold War
between the two power blocs, the Western countries
Western countries
and the Communist bloc. The United States and the majority of European liberal democracies at the time (United Kingdom, France, Italy, Netherlands, West Germany
West Germany
etc.) established the NATO
NATO
military alliance. Later, the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and its satellites (Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Romania) in 1955 established the Warsaw Pact as a counterpoint to NATO. The Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
had a much larger ground force, but the American-French-British nuclear umbrellas protected NATO. Communist states were imposed by the Red Army in the East, while parliamentary democracy became the dominant form of government in the West. Most historians point to its success as the product of exhaustion with war and dictatorship, and the promise of continued economic prosperity. Martin Conway also adds that an important impetus came from the anti- Nazi
Nazi
wartime political coalitions.[131] Economic recovery[edit] Main articles: Marshall Plan
Marshall Plan
and European Economic Community The United States gave away about $20 billion in Marshall Plan
Marshall Plan
grants and other grants and low-interest long-term loans to Western Europe, 1945 to 1951. Historian Michael J. Hogan argues that American aid was critical in stabilizing the economy and politics of Western Europe. It brought in modern management that dramatically increased productivity, and encouraged cooperation between labor and management, and among the member states. Local Communist parties were opposed, and they lost prestige and influence and a role in government. In strategic terms, says Hogan, the Marshall Plan
Marshall Plan
strengthened the West against The possibility of a Communist invasion or political takeover.[132] However, the Marshall Plan's role in the rapid recovery has been debated. Most reject the idea that it only miraculously revived Europe, since the evidence shows that a general recovery was already under way thanks to other aid programs from the United States. Economic historians Bradford De Long and Barry Eichengreen
Barry Eichengreen
conclude it was, " History's Most Successful Structural Adjustment Program." They state:

It was not large enough to have significantly accelerated recovery by financing investment, aiding the reconstruction of damaged infrastructure, or easing commodity bottlenecks. We argue, however, that the Marshall Plan
Marshall Plan
did play a major role in setting the stage for post- World War II
World War II
Western Europe's rapid growth. The conditions attached to Marshall Plan
Marshall Plan
aid pushed European political economy in a direction that left its post World War II
World War II
"mixed economies" with more "market" and less "controls" in the mix.[133]

The Soviet Union
Soviet Union
concentrated on its own recovery. It seized and transferred most of Germany's industrial plants and it exacted war reparations from East Germany, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria, using Soviet-dominated joint enterprises. It used trading arrangements deliberately designed to favor the Soviet Union. Moscow
Moscow
controlled the Communist parties that ruled the satellite states, and they followed orders from the Kremlin. Historian Mark Kramer concludes:

The net outflow of resources from eastern Europe
Europe
to the Soviet Union was approximately $15 billion to $20 billion in the first decade after World War II, an amount roughly equal to the total aid provided by the United States to western Europe
Europe
under the Marshall Plan.[134]

Western Europe
Europe
began economic and then political integration, with the aim to unite the region and defend it. This process included organisations such as the European Coal and Steel Community, which grew and evolved into the European Union, and the Council of Europe. The Solidarność
Solidarność
movement in the 1980s weakened the Communist government in Poland. At the time the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev initiated perestroika and glasnost, which weakened Soviet influence in Europe, particularly in the USSR. In 1989 the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
came down and Communist governments outside the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
were deposed. In 1990 the Federal Republic of Germany
Germany
absorbed East Germany, after making large cash payments to the USSR. In 1991 the Communist Party in Moscow
Moscow
collapsed, ending the USSR, which split into fifteen independent states. The largest, Russia, took the Soviet Union's seat on the United Nations
United Nations
Security Council. The most violent dissolution happened in Yugoslavia, in the Balkans. Four (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
and Macedonia) out of six Yugoslav republics declared independence and for most of them a violent war ensued, in some parts lasting until 1995. In 2006 Montenegro seceded and became an independent state. In the post– Cold War
Cold War
era, NATO
NATO
and the EU have been gradually admitting most of the former members of the Warsaw Pact. Looking at the half century after the war historian Walter Lacquer concluded:

"The postwar generations of European elites aimed to create more democratic societies. They wanted to reduce the extremes of wealth and poverty and provide essential social services in a way that prewar generations had not. They had had quite enough of unrest and conflict. For decades many Continental societies had more or less achieved these aims and had every reason to be proud of their progress. Europe
Europe
was quiet and civilized. Europe's success was based on recent painful experience: the horrors of two world wars; the lessons of dictatorship; the experiences of fascism and communism. Above all, it was based on a feeling of European identity and common values—or so it appeared at the time."[135]

The post-war period also witnessed a significant rise in the standard of living of the Western European working class. As noted by one historical text, "within a single generation, the working classes of Western Europe
Europe
came to enjoy the multiple pleasures of the consumer society."[136] Western Europe's industrial nations in the 1970s were hit by a global economic crisis. They had obsolescent heavy industry, and suddenly had to pay very high energy prices which caused sharp inflation. Some of them also had inefficient nationalized railways and heavy industries. In the important field of computer technology, European nations lagged behind the United States. They also faced high government deficits and growing unrest led by militant labour unions. There was an urgent need for new economic directions. Germany
Germany
and Sweden sought to create a social consensus behind a gradual restructuring. Germany's efforts proved highly successful. In Britain under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher, the solution was shock therapy, high interest rates, austerity, and selling off inefficient corporations as well as the public housing, which was sold off to the tenants. One result was escalating social tensions in Britain, led by the militant coal miners. Thatcher eventually defeated her opponents and radically changed the British economy, but the controversy never went away as shown by the hostile demonstrations at the time of her death in 2013.[137] Recent history[edit] Further information: History of the European Union

Germans
Germans
standing on top of the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
at the Brandenburg Gate, November 1989; it would begin to be torn apart in the following days.

Changes in national boundaries after the end of the Cold War

Following the end of the Cold War, the European Economic Community pushed for closer integration, co-operation in foreign and home affairs, and started to increase its membership into the neutral and former communist countries. In 1993, the Maastricht Treaty
Maastricht Treaty
established the European Union, succeeding the EEC and furthering political co-operation. The neutral countries of Austria, Finland
Finland
and Sweden acceded to the EU, and those that didn't join were tied into the EU's economic market via the European Economic Area. These countries also entered the Schengen Agreement
Schengen Agreement
which lifted border controls between member states.[138] The Maastricht Treaty
Maastricht Treaty
created a single currency for most EU members. The euro was created in 1999 and replaced all previous currencies in participating states in 2002. The most notable exception to the currency union, or eurozone, was the United Kingdom, which also did not sign the Schengen Agreement. EU did not participate in the Yugoslav Wars, and was divided on supporting the United States in the 2003–2011 Iraq War. NATO
NATO
has been part of the war in Afghanistan, but at a much lower level of involvement than the United States. In 2004, the EU gained 10 new members. (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, which had been part of the Soviet Union; Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia, five former-communist countries; Malta, and the divided island of Cyprus.) These were followed by Bulgaria
Bulgaria
and Romania in 2007. Russia's regime had interpreted these expansions as violations against NATO's promise to not expand "one inch to the east" in 1990.[139] Russia
Russia
engaged in a number of bilateral disputes about gas supplies with Belarus
Belarus
and Ukraine
Ukraine
which endangered gas supplies to Europe. Russia
Russia
also engaged in a minor war with Georgia in 2008. Supported by the United States and some European countries, Kosovo's government unilaterally declared independence from Serbia
Serbia
on 17 February 2008. Public opinion in the EU turned against enlargement, partially due to what was seen as over-eager expansion including Turkey gaining candidate status. The European Constitution was rejected in France and the Netherlands, and then (as the Treaty of Lisbon) in Ireland, although a second vote passed in Ireland in 2009. The financial crisis of 2007–08 effected Europe, and government responded with austerity measures. Limited ability of the smaller EU nations (most notably Greece) to handle their debts led to social unrest, government liquidation, and financial insolvency. In May 2010, the German parliament agreed to loan 22.4 billion euros to Greece over three years, with the stipulation that Greece follow strict austerity measures. See European sovereign-debt crisis. Beginning in 2014, Ukraine
Ukraine
has been in a state of revolution and unrest with two breakaway regions ( Donetsk
Donetsk
and Lugansk) attempting to join Russia
Russia
as full federal subjects. (See War in Donbass.) On 16 March, a referendum was held in Crimea
Crimea
leading to the de facto secession of Crimea
Crimea
and its largely internationally unrecognized annexation to the Russian Federation as the Republic of Crimea. The future of the EU was plunged into doubt in June 2016 when a United Kingdom membership referendum resulted in the country's intended withdrawal. 52% of the British voters voted to leave the EU, leading into a complex separation process implying political and economic changes for both the UK and the remaining European Union
European Union
countries. Chronology[edit]

700 BC: Homer
Homer
composes The Iliad, an epic poem that represents the first piece of European literature. 440 BC: Herodotus
Herodotus
defends Athenian political freedom in the Histories. 323 BC: Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great
dies and his Macedonian Empire fragments. 44 BC: Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
is murdered. The Roman Republic
Roman Republic
enters its terminal crisis. 27 BC: Establishment of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
under Octavian.

AD

45–55 (ca): First Christian congregations in mainland Greece and in Rome. 293: Diocletian
Diocletian
reorganizes the Empire by creating the Tetrarchy. 330: Constantine makes Constantinople
Constantinople
into his capital, a new Rome. 395: Following the death of Theodosius I, the Empire is permanently split into the Eastern Roman Empire
Roman Empire
(later Byzantium) and the Western Roman Empire. 476: Odoacer
Odoacer
captures Ravenna
Ravenna
and deposes the last Roman emperor
Roman emperor
in the west: traditionally seen as the end date of the Western Roman Empire. 527: Justinian I
Justinian I
is crowned emperor of Byzantium. Orders the editing of Corpus Juris Civilis, Digest (Roman law). 597: Beginning of Roman Catholic Christianization
Christianization
of Anglo-Saxon England (missions and churches had been in existence well before this date, but their contacts with Rome had been loose or nonexistent) 600: Saint Columbanus
Saint Columbanus
uses the term "Europe" in a letter. 655: Jus patronatus. 681: Khan Asparukh
Khan Asparukh
leads the Bulgars and invades the Byzantine empire in the Battle of Ongal, and creates Bulgaria. 718: Tervel of Bulgaria
Tervel of Bulgaria
helps the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
stop the Arabic invasion of Europe, and breaks the siege of Constantinople. 722: Battle of Covadonga
Battle of Covadonga
in the Iberian Peninsula. Pelayo, a noble Visigoth, defeats a Muslim
Muslim
army that tried to conquer the Cantabrian coast. This helps establish the Christian Kingdom of Asturias, and marks the beginning of the Reconquista. 732: At the Battle of Tours, the Franks
Franks
stop the advance of the Arabs into Europe. 800: Coronation
Coronation
of Charlemagne
Charlemagne
as Holy Roman Emperor. 813: Third Council of Tours: Priests are ordered to preach in the native language of the population. 843: Treaty of Verdun. 863: Saints Cyril and Methodius
Saints Cyril and Methodius
arrive in Great Moravia, initiating Christian mission among the Slav peoples. 864: Boris I of Bulgaria
Bulgaria
baptises the whole nation, converting the population from tengri, to Eastern Orthodox Christianity 872: Unification of Norway. 886: Cyril and Methodius
Cyril and Methodius
students – Sava, Kliment, Naum, Gorazd, Angelariy – arrive in Bulgaria. The Cyrillic alphabet
Cyrillic alphabet
becomes the official Bulgarian alphabet. 895: Hungarian people
Hungarian people
led by Árpád
Árpád
start to settle in the Carpathian Basin. 917: In the Battle of Achelous (917)
Battle of Achelous (917)
Bulgaria
Bulgaria
defeats the Byzantine empire, and Simeon I of Bulgaria
Bulgaria
is proclaimed as emperor, thus Bulgaria
Bulgaria
becomes an empire. 962: Otto I of East Francia
East Francia
is crowned as "Emperor" by the Pope, beginning the Holy Roman Empire. 988 Kievan Rus
Kievan Rus
adopts Christianity, often seen as the origin of the Russian Orthodox Church- 1054: Start of the East–West Schism, which divides the Christian church for centuries. 1066: Successful Norman Invasion of England by William the Conqueror. 1095: Pope Urban II
Pope Urban II
calls for the First Crusade. 12th century: The 12th century in literature
12th century in literature
saw an increase in the number of texts. The Renaissance
Renaissance
of the 12th century occurs. 1128: Battle of São Mamede, formation of Portuguese sovereignty. 1250: Death of emperor Frederick II; end of effective ability of German emperors to exercise control in Italy. 1303: The period of the Crusades
Crusades
is over. 1309–1378: The Avignon Papacy 1315–1317: The Great Famine of 1315–1317
Great Famine of 1315–1317
in Northern Europe 1341: Petrarch, the "Father of Humanism", becomes the first poet laureate since antiquity. 1337–1453: The Hundred Years' War
Hundred Years' War
between England and France. 1348–1351: Black Death
Black Death
kills about one-third of Europe's population. 1439: Johannes Gutenberg
Johannes Gutenberg
invents first movable type and the first printing press for books, starting the Printing Revolution. 1453: Fall of Constantinople
Fall of Constantinople
to the Ottoman Turks. 1492: The Reconquista
Reconquista
ends in the Iberian Peninsula. A Spanish expeditionary group, commanded by Christopher Columbus, lands in the New World. 1497: Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama
departs to India
India
starting direct trade with Asia. 1498: Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
paints The Last Supper in Milan as the Renaissance
Renaissance
flourishes. 1508: Maximilian I the last ruling "King of the Romans" and the first "elected Emperor of the Romans". 1517: Martin Luther
Martin Luther
nails his 95 theses on indulgences to the door of the church in Wittenberg, triggering discussions which would soon lead to the Reformation 1519: Ferdinand Magellan
Ferdinand Magellan
and Juan Sebastián Elcano
Juan Sebastián Elcano
begin first global circumnavigation. Their expedition returns in 1522. 1519: Hernán Cortés
Hernán Cortés
begins conquest of Mexico for Spain. 1532: Francisco Pizarro
Francisco Pizarro
begins the conquest of Peru (the Inca Empire) for Spain. 1543: Nicolaus Copernicus
Nicolaus Copernicus
publishes De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres). 1547: The Grand Duchy of Moscow
Grand Duchy of Moscow
becomes the Tsardom of Russia. 1582: The introduction of the Gregorian calendar; Russia
Russia
refuses to adopt it until 1918. 1610: Galileo Galilei
Galileo Galilei
uses his telescope to discover the moons of Jupiter. 1618: The Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War
brings massive devastation to central Europe. 1648: The Peace of Westphalia
Peace of Westphalia
ends the Thirty Years' War, and introduces the principle of the integrity of the nation state. 1687: Isaac Newton
Isaac Newton
publishes Principia Mathematica, having a profound impact on The Enlightenment. 1699: Treaty of Karlowitz
Treaty of Karlowitz
concludes the Austro-Ottoman War. This marks the end of Ottoman control of Central Europe
Europe
and the beginning of Ottoman stagnation, establishing the Habsburg Monarchy
Habsburg Monarchy
as the dominant power in Central and Southeastern Europe. 1700: Outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession
War of the Spanish Succession
and the Great Northern War. The first would check the aspirations of Louis XIV, king of France to dominate European affairs; the second would lead to Russia's emergence as a great power and a recognizably European state. 18th century: Age of Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
spurs an intellectual renaissance across Europe. 1707: The Kingdom of Great Britain
Great Britain
is formed by the union of the Kingdom of England
Kingdom of England
and the Kingdom of Scotland. 1712: Thomas Newcomen
Thomas Newcomen
invents first practical steam engine which begins Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
in Britain. 1721: Foundation of the Russian Empire. 1775: James Watt
James Watt
invents a new efficient steam engine accelerating the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
in Britain. 1784: Immanuel Kant
Immanuel Kant
publishes Answering the Question: What Is Enlightenment?. 1789: Beginning of the French Revolution
French Revolution
and end of the absolute monarchy in France. 1792–1802: French Revolutionary Wars. 1799: Napoleon
Napoleon
comes to power as dictator of France. 1803–1815: Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
end in defeat of Napoleon. 1806: Napoleon
Napoleon
abolishes the Holy Roman Empire. 1814–15: Congress of Vienna; Treaty of Vienna; France is reduced to 1789 boundaries; Reactionary forces dominate across Europe. 1825: George Stephenson
George Stephenson
opens the Stockton and Darlington Railway
Stockton and Darlington Railway
the first steam train railway for passenger traffic in the world. 1836: Louis Daguerre
Louis Daguerre
invents first practical photographic method, in effect the first camera. 1838: SS Great Western, the first steamship built for regularly scheduled transatlantic crossings enters service. 1848: Revolutions of 1848
Revolutions of 1848
and publication of The Communist Manifesto. 1852: Start of the Crimean War, which ends in 1855 in a defeat for Russia. 1859: Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin
publishes On the Origin of Species. 1861: Unification of Italy
Italy
after victories by Giuseppe Garibaldi. 1866: First commercially successful transatlantic telegraph cable is completed. 1860s: Russia
Russia
emancipates its serfs and Karl Marx
Karl Marx
completes the first volume of Das Kapital. 1870: Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
and the fall of the Second French Empire. 1871: Unification of Germany
Unification of Germany
under the direction of Otto von Bismarck. 1873: Panic of 1873
Panic of 1873
occurs. The Long Depression
Long Depression
begins. 1885: Karl Benz
Karl Benz
invents Benz Patent-Motorwagen, the world's first automobile. 1885: First permanent citywide electrical tram system in Europe
Europe
(in Sarajevo). 1895: Auguste and Louis Lumière
Auguste and Louis Lumière
begin exhibitions of projected films before the paying public with their cinematograph, a portable camera, printer, and projector. 1902: Guglielmo Marconi
Guglielmo Marconi
sends first transatlantic radio transmission. 1914: Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria
Austria
is assassinated; World War I begins. 1917: Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Lenin
and the Bolsheviks seize power in the Russian Revolution. The ensuing Russian Civil War
Russian Civil War
lasts until 1922. 1918: World War I
World War I
ends with the defeat of Germany
Germany
and the Central Powers. Ten million soldiers killed; collapse of Russian, German, Austrian, and Ottoman empires. 1918: Collapse of the German Empire
German Empire
and monarchic system; founding of Weimar Republic. 1918: Worldwide Spanish flu epidemic kills millions in Europe. 1918: Austro-Hungarian Empire
Austro-Hungarian Empire
dissolves. 1919: Versailles Treaty
Versailles Treaty
strips Germany
Germany
of its colonies, several provinces and its navy and air force; limits army; Allies occupy western areas; reparations ordered. 1920: League of Nations
League of Nations
begins operations; largely ineffective; defunct by 1939. 1921–22: Ireland divided; Irish Free State becomes independent and civil war erupts. 1922: Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
and the Fascists take power in Italy. 1929: Worldwide Great Depression
Great Depression
begins with stock market crash in New York City. 1933: Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
and the Nazis
Nazis
take power in Germany. 1935: Italy
Italy
conquers Ethiopia; League sanctions are ineffective. 1936: Start of the Spanish Civil War; ends in 1939 with victory of Nationalists who are aided by Germany
Germany
and Italy. 1938: Germany
Germany
escalates the persecution of Jews
Jews
with Kristallnacht. 1938: Appeasement
Appeasement
of Germany
Germany
by Britain and France; Munich agreement splits Czechoslovakia; Germany
Germany
seized the remainder in 1939. 1939: Britain and France hurriedly rearm; failed to arrange treaty with USSR. 1939: Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
and Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
agree partition of Eastern Europe in Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. 1939: Germany
Germany
invades Poland, starting the Second World War. 1940: Great Britain
Great Britain
under Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
becomes the last nation to hold out against the Nazis
Nazis
after winning the Battle of Britain. 1941: U.S. begins large-scale lend-lease aid to Britain, Free France, the USSR and other Allies; Canada also provides financial aid. 1941: Germany
Germany
invades the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
in Operation Barbarossa; fails to capture Moscow
Moscow
or Leningrad. 1942: Nazi
Nazi
Germany
Germany
commences the Holocaust — a Final Solution, with the murder of 6 million Jews. 1943: After Stalingrad and Kursk, Soviet forces begin recapturing Nazi-occupied territory in the East. 1944: U.S., British and Canadian armed forces invade Nazi-occupied France at Normandy. 1945: Hitler commits suicide, Mussolini is murdered. World War II
World War II
ends with Europe
Europe
in ruins and Germany
Germany
defeated. 1945: United Nations
United Nations
formed. 1947: The British Empire
British Empire
begins a process of voluntarily dismantling with the granting of independence to India
India
and Pakistan. 1947: Cold War
Cold War
begins as Europe
Europe
is polarized East versus West. 1948–51: U.S. provides large sums to rebuild Western Europe
Europe
through the Marshall Plan; stimulates large-scale modernization of European industries and reduction of trade restrictions. 1949: The NATO
NATO
alliance is established. 1955: USSR creates a rival military coalition, the Warsaw Pact. 1950: The Schuman Declaration
Schuman Declaration
begins the process of European integration. 1954: The French Empire begins to be dismantled; Withdraws from Vietnam. 1956: Suez
Suez
Crisis signals the end of the effective power of the British Empire. 1956: Hungarian Uprising defeated by Soviet military forces. 1957: Treaties of Rome
Treaties of Rome
establish the European Economic Community
European Economic Community
from 1958. 1968: The May 1968 events in France
May 1968 events in France
lead France to the brink of revolution. 1968: The Prague Spring
Prague Spring
is defeated by Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
military forces. The Club of Rome
Club of Rome
is founded. 1980: The Solidarność
Solidarność
movement under Lech Wałęsa
Lech Wałęsa
begins open, overground opposition to the Communist rule in Poland. 1985: Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev
becomes leader of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and begins reforms which inadvertently leads to the fall of Communism
Communism
and the Soviet Union. 1986: Chernobyl disaster
Chernobyl disaster
occurs, the worst nuclear disaster in history. 1989: Communism
Communism
overthrown in all the Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
countries except the Soviet Union. Fall of the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
(opening of unrestrained border crossings between east and west, which effectively deprived the wall of any relevance). 1990: Reunification of Germany. 1991: Breakup of Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
and the beginning of the Yugoslav Wars. 1991: Dissolution of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States. 1993: Maastricht Treaty
Maastricht Treaty
establishes the European Union. 2002: End of European colonial empires with the independence of East Timor, formerly Portuguese Timor. 2004: Slovenia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Cyprus
Cyprus
and Malta
Malta
join the European Union. 2007: Romania and Bulgaria
Bulgaria
join the European Union. 2008: The Great Recession
Great Recession
begins. Unemployment rises in some parts of Europe. 2013: Croatia joins the European Union. 2014: Revolution in Ukraine
Ukraine
and serious tensions between Russia, Ukraine
Ukraine
and the European Union. 2015: European migrant crisis
European migrant crisis
starts. 2016: United Kingdom votes to leave the European Union.

See also[edit]

Atlantic World History of Western civilization House of European History, Museum scheduled to open in 2016 in Brussels List of historians, inclusive of most major historians List of history journals#Europe List of largest European cities in history List of predecessors of sovereign states in Europe List of sovereign states by date of formation § Europe Timeline of sovereign states in Europe

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

^ Geoffrey Parker, "States Make War But Wars Also Break States,"Journal of Military History (2010) 74#1 pp 11–34 ^ "The Human Journey: Early Settlements in Europe". www.humanjourney.us. Retrieved 24 March 2017. Human fossil evidence from sites such as Atapuerca in Spain suggests that they were a form of Homo erectus
Homo erectus
(sometimes called Homo ergaster).  ^ National Geographic Italia – Erano padani i primi abitanti d’Italia(in Italian) ^ "Ancient Crete". Oxfordbibliographiesonline.com. 15 February 2010. Retrieved 17 May 2012.  ^ Durant, The Life of Greece; The Story of Civilization Part II, (New York: Simon & Schuster) 1939:11. ^ Hammond, N.G.L. (1976). Migrations and invasions in Greece and adjacent areas. Park Ridge, N.J.: Noyes P. p. 139. ISBN 978-0-8155-5047-1.  ^ Tandy, p. xii. "Figure 1: Map of Epirus
Epirus
showing the locations of known sites with Mycenaean remains"; Tandy, p. 2. "The strongest evidence for Mycenaean presence in Epirus
Epirus
is found in the coastal zone of the lower Acheron River, which in antiquity emptied into a bay on the Ionian coast known from ancient sources as Glykys Limin (Figure 2-A)." ^ Borza, Eugene N. (1990). In the shadow of Olympus : the emergence of Macedon
Macedon
([Nachdr.] ed.). Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. p. 64. ISBN 978-0-691-00880-6.  ^ "Aegeobalkan Prehistory – Mycenaean Sites". Retrieved 17 May 2012.  ^ The Synchronisation of Civilisations in the eastern Mediterranean in the Second Millennium BC III, Proceedings of the SCIEM 2000 – 2nd EuroConference, Vienna, 28 May – 1 June 2003 ^ Use and appreciation of Mycenaean pottery in the Levant, Cyprus
Cyprus
and Italy, Gert Jan van Wijngaarden, Amsterdam Archaeological Studies ^ The Mycenaeans and Italy: the archaeological and archaeometric ceramic evidence[dead link], University of Glasgow, Department of Archaeology ^ Emilio Peruzzi, Mycenaeans in early Latium, (Incunabula Graeca 75), Edizioni dell'Ateneo & Bizzarri, Roma, 1980 ^ "Socrates". 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica. 1911. Archived from the original on 29 January 2008. Retrieved 4 March 2008.  ^ Brian Todd Carey, Joshua Allfree, John Cairns. Warfare in the Ancient World Pen and Sword, 19 jan. 2006 ISBN 1848846304 ^ Bowersock, "The Vanishing Paradigm of the Fall of Rome" Bulletin of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 49.8 (May 1996:29–43) p. 31. ^ Hunt, Lynn; Thomas R. Martin; Barbara H. Rosenwein; R. Po-chia Hsia; Bonnie G. Smith (2001). The Making of the West, Peoples and Cultures. A: To 1500. Bedford / St. Martins. p. 256. ISBN 0-312-18365-8. OCLC 229955165.  ^ Di Berardino, A.; D'Onofrio, G.; Studer, B. (2008). History of Theology: The Middle Ages. Liturgical Press. p. 26. ISBN 9780814659168. Retrieved 18 May 2015.  ^ Susan Wise Bauer, The History of the Medieval World: From the Conversion of Constantine to the First Crusade
First Crusade
(2010) ^ * Kelly Boyd, ed. (1999). Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing vol 2. Taylor & Francis. pp. 791–94. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) ^ Fletcher, Banister, "Sir Banister Fletcher's A History of Architecture", Architectural Press; 20 edition (11 September 1996), ISBN 978-0-7506-2267-7, pp 172 ^ "The History of the Bubonic Plague". Archived from the original on 18 December 2006.  ^ "Scientists Identify Genes Critical to Transmission of Bubonic Plague". .niaid.nih.gov. Archived from the original on 7 October 2007. Retrieved 31 January 2010.  ^ Ralph R. Frerichs. "An Empire's Epidemic". Ph.ucla.edu. Retrieved 31 January 2010.  ^ "Justinian's Flea". Justiniansflea.com. Retrieved 31 January 2010.  ^ "The Great Arab
Arab
Conquests". International Herald Tribune. 29 March 2009. Archived from the original on 2 February 2009. Retrieved 31 January 2010.  ^ Events used to mark the period's beginning include the sack of Rome by the Goths
Goths
(410), the deposition of the last western Roman Emperor (476), the Battle of Tolbiac
Battle of Tolbiac
(496) and the Gothic War (535–552). Particular events taken to mark its end include the founding of the Holy Roman Empire
Roman Empire
by Otto I the Great
Otto I the Great
(962), the Great Schism (1054) and the Norman conquest of England
Norman conquest of England
(1066). ^ Hunter, Shireen; et al. (2004). Islam in Russia: The Politics of Identity and Security. M.E. Sharpe. p. 3. (..) It is difficult to establish exactly when Islam first appeared in Russia
Russia
because the lands that Islam penetrated early in its expansion were not part of Russia
Russia
at the time, but were later incorporated into the expanding Russian Empire. Islam reached the Caucasus
Caucasus
region in the middle of the seventh century as part of the Arab
Arab
conquest of the Iranian Sassanian Empire.   ^ Kennedy, Hugh (1995). "The Muslims in Europe". In McKitterick, Rosamund, The New Cambridge Medieval History: c.500-c.700, pp. 249–272. Cambridge University Press. 052136292X. ^ Joseph F. O´Callaghan, Reconquest and crusade in Medieval Spain (2002) ^ George Holmes (ed.). The Oxford Illustrated History of Medieval Europe. Oxford University Press. p. 371. ISBN 0-19-820073-0.  ^ Michael Frassetto, Early Medieval World, The: From the Fall of Rome to the Time of Charlemagne
Charlemagne
(2013) ^ Gerald Mako, "The Islamization of the Volga Bulghars: A Question Reconsidered", Archivum Eurasiae Medii Aevi 18, 2011, 199–223. ^ Seymour Drescher and Stanley L. Engerman, eds. A Historical Guide to World Slavery (1998) pp 197–200 ^ John H. Mundy, Europe
Europe
in the high Middle Ages, 1150-1309 (1973) online ^ "The Destruction of Kiev". Tspace.library.utoronto.ca. Archived from the original on 27 April 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2012.  ^ "Golden Horde", in Encyclopædia Britannica, 2007. ^ Wallace K. Ferguson, Europe
Europe
in transition, 1300-1520 (1962) online. ^ Mark Kishlansky et al. Civilization in the West: Volume 1 to 1715 (5th ed. 2003) p. 316 ^ Cantor, p. 480. ^ e.g. Ibn al-Shatir: The Planetary Theory of Ibn al-Shatir: Latitudes of the Planets ^ Robert A. Nisbet (1980). History of the Idea of Progress. Transaction Publishers. p. 103.  ^ "kwabs.com". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016.  ^ MacKnight, CC (1976). The Voyage to Marege: Macassan Trepangers in Northern Australia. Melbourne University Press. ^ Euan Cameron, The European Reformation
Reformation
(1991) ^ Conquest in the Americas. Archived from the original on 31 October 2009.  ^ a b Geoffrey Parker and Lesley M. Smith, eds. (1997). The General Crisis of the Seventeenth Century. Psychology Press. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) ^ a b Trevor Aston, ed. Crisis in Europe
Europe
1560–1660: Essays from Past and Present (1965) ^ Jan de Vries, "The Economic Crisis of the Seventeenth Century after Fifty Years," Journal of Interdisciplinary History (2009) 40#2 pp. 151–194 in JSTOR ^ Peter Burke, "The Crisis in the Arts of the Seventeenth Century: A Crisis of Representation?" Journal of Interdisciplinary History (2009) 40#2 pp. 239–261 in JSTOR ^ Peter H. Wilson, The Thirty Years' War: Europe's Tragedy (2011) ^ Geoffrey Parker, "Crisis and Catastrophe: The Global Crisis of the Seventeenth Century Reconsidered," American Historical Review (2008) 113#4 pp. 1053–1079. ^ J. B. Shank, "Crisis: A Useful Category of Post-Social Scientific Historical Analysis?" American Historical Review (2008) 113#4 pp. 1090–1099 ^ John B. Wolf, Louis XIV
Louis XIV
(1968) ^ Lindsey Hughes, Russia
Russia
in the Age of Peter the Great
Peter the Great
(1998). ^ G. P. Gooch, Frederick the Great: The Ruler, the Writer, the Man (1947) ^ Max Beloff, The age of absolutism, 1660–1815 (1966). ^ Peter H. Wilson, Europe's Tragedy: A History of the Thirty Years War (2009) ^ Henry Kamen, "The Economic and Social Consequences of the Thirty Years' War," Past and Present (1968) 39#1 pp 44–61 in JSTOR ^ Russell Weigley, The Age of Battles: The Quest for Decisive Warfare from Breitenfeld to Waterloo (1991). ^ G.M. Trevelyan, A shortened history of England (1942) p 363. ^ Paul M. Kennedy, ed. (1991). Grand Strategies in War and Peace. Yale U.P. p. 106. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) ^ Dennis E. Showalter, The Wars of Frederick the Great
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(1996) ^ Nicholas Riasanovsky, A History of Russia
Russia
(4th ed. 1984), p 284 ^ Margaret C. C. Jacob, The Enlightenment: A Brief History with Documents (2000) ^ a b Alan Charles Kors, Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment (Oxford UP, 2003) ^ Geoffrey Bruun, The enlightened despots (1967). ^ Sootin, Harry. "Isaac Newton." New York, Messner (1955). ^ Casey, Christopher (30 October 2008). ""Grecian Grandeurs and the Rude Wasting of Old Time": Britain, the Elgin Marbles, and Post-Revolutionary Hellenism". Foundations. Volume III, Number 1. Archived from the original on 13 May 2009. Retrieved 25 June 2009.  ^ Robert R. Palmer, The Age of the Democratic Revolution (1964) ^ Richard Weisberger et al., eds., Freemasonry
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on both sides of the Atlantic: essays concerning the craft in the British Isles, Europe, the United States, and Mexico (East European Monographs, 2002) ^ Margaret C. Jacob, Living the Enlightenment: Freemasonry
Freemasonry
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US. ISBN 0-19-511589-9 Read it ^ Russell Brown, Lester. Eco-Economy, James & James / Earthscan. ISBN 1-85383-904-3 Read it ^ R.R. Palmer and Joel Colton, A History of the Modern World (5th ed. 1978), p. 341 ^ Steven Englund, Napoleon: A Political Life (2004) p. 388 ^ Gordon S. Wood, The radicalism of the American Revolution
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(2011). ^ R. R. Palmer, The Age of the Democratic Revolution: A Political History of Europe
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and America, 1760–1800: The Challenge (1959) pp 4–5 ^ A. Aulard in Arthur Tilley, ed. (1922). Modern France. A Companion to French Studies. Cambridge UP. p. 115. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) ^ Andrew Roberts, "Why Napoleon
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merits the title 'the Great,'" BBC History Magazine (1 November 2014) ^ Roberts, "Why Napoleon
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merits the title 'the Great," BBC History Magazine (1 November 2014) ^ Robert R. Palmer and Joel Colton, A History of the Modern World (New York: McGraw Hill, 1995), pp. 428–9. ^ Andrew Roberts, "Why Napoleon
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merits the title 'the Great," BBC History Magazine (1 November 2014) ^ William Doyle, The Oxford History of the French Revolution
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(Palgrave Macmillan, 2009). ^ Karen Hagemann, "Of 'manly valor' and 'German Honor': nation, war, and masculinity in the age of the Prussian uprising against Napoleon." Central European History 30#2 (1997): 187–220. ^ Hagen Schulze, The Course of German Nationalism: From Frederick the Great to Bismarck 1763–1867 (Cambridge UP, 1991). ^ Silvana Patriarca and Lucy Riall, eds., The Risorgimento
Risorgimento
Revisited: Nationalism
Nationalism
and Culture in Nineteenth-century Italy
Italy
(Palgrave Macmillan, 2011). ^ Alister E. McGrath (2012). Christian History: An Introduction. p. 270. ISBN 978-1-118-33783-7.  ^ Louis Levine, " Pan-Slavism
Pan-Slavism
and European Politics." Political Science Quarterly 29.4 (1914): 664–686. in JSTOR free ^ Charles Jelavich, Tsarist Russia
Russia
and Balkan nationalism: Russian influence in the internal affairs of Bulgaria
Bulgaria
and Serbia, 1879–1886 (1958). ^ Christopher Clark, The Sleepwalkers: How Europe
Europe
Went to War in 1914 (2012) ^ Richard Blanke, Prussian Poland
Poland
in the German Empire
German Empire
(1871–1900) (1981) ^ Norman Davies, God's Playground: A History of Poland, Vol. 2: 1795 to the Present (2005). ^ J.P.T. Bury, Napoleon
Napoleon
III and the Second Empire (1968). ^ Denis Brogan, The French Nation: From Napoleon
Napoleon
to Pétain, 1814–1940 (1957). ^ Andrew Porter and William Roger Louis, eds.. The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume 3, The Nineteenth Century (1999). ^ Theodore S Hamerow, ed., Otto von Bismarck
Otto von Bismarck
and imperial Germany: a historical assessment (1994) ^ See "An Interview with Konrad H. Jarausch, author of Out of Ashes: A New History of Europe
Europe
in the Twentieth Century", Princeton University Press, June 2015 ^ Christopher Clark, The Sleepwalkers: How Europe
Europe
Went to War in 1914 (2013) p xxiii ^ Overviews include David Stevenson, Cataclysm: The First World War
First World War
as Political Tragedy (2005) and Ian F. W. Beckett, The Great War: 1914–1918 (2nd ed. 2007) ^ For reference see Martin Gilbert, Atlas of World War I
World War I
(1995) and Spencer Tucker, ed., The European Powers in the First World War: An Encyclopedia (1996) ^ Gerd Hardach, The First World War, 1914–1918 (1977) p 153, using estimated made by H. Menderhausen, The Economics of War (1941) p 305 ^ Margaret Macmillan, Peacemakers: The Paris
Paris
Peace Conference of 1919 and Its Attempt to End War (2002) ^ by Rene Albrecht-Carrie, Diplomatic History of Europe
Europe
Since the Congress of Vienna
Congress of Vienna
(1958) p 363 ^ Sally Marks, The Illusion of Peace: International Relations in Europe
Europe
1918–1933 (2nd ed. 2003) ^ Zara Steiner, The Lights that Failed: European International History 1919–1933 (2007) ^ Carole Fink, "The Paris
Paris
Peace Conference and the Question of Minority Rights," Peace and Change: A journal of peace research (1996) 21#3 pp 273–88 ^ Nicholas Atkin; Michael Biddiss (2008). Themes in Modern European History, 1890–1945. Routledge. pp. 243–44.  ^ Gregory M. Luebbert, Liberalism, fascism, or social democracy: Social classes and the political origins of regimes in interwar Europe (Oxford UP, 1991). ^ Stanley G. Payne (1996). A History of Fascism, 1914–1945. U of Wisconsin Press. p. 122.  ^ Martin Blinkhorn, The Fascist Challenge in Gordon Martel, ed. A Companion to Europe: 1900–1945 (2011) p 313 ^ Charles Kindleberger, The World in Depression, 1929–1939 (2nd ed. 1986) ^ David Clay Large, Between Two Fires: Europe's Path in the 1930s (1991) ^ Stanley G. Payne, The Spanish Revolution (1970) pp 262–76 ^ I. C. B. Dear and M. R. D. Foot, eds., The Oxford Companion to World War II (1995) covers every country and major campaign. ^ Norman Davies, No Simple Victory: World War II
World War II
in Europe, 1939–1945 (2008) ^ "Second''Second Source List and Detailed Death Tolls for the Twentieth Century Hemoclysm''". Users.erols.com. Retrieved 2 May 2012.  ^ Dinah Shelton, ed., Encyclopedia of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity (3 vol. 2004) ^ John Wheeler-Bennett, The Semblance Of Peace: The Political Settlement After The Second World War
Second World War
(1972) thorough diplomatic coverage 1939-1952. ^ Martin Conway, "The Rise and Fall of Western Europe's Democratic Age, 1945––1973," Contemporary European History (2004) 13#1 pp 67–88. ^ Michael J. Hogan, The Marshall Plan: America, Britain and the Reconstruction of Western Europe, 1947–1952 (1989) pp. 26–28, 430–443. ^ DeLong, J. Bradford; Eichengreen, Barry (1993). "The Marshall Plan: History's Most Successful Structural Adjustment Program". In Dornbusch, Rudiger; Nolling, Wilhelm; Layard, Richard. Postwar Economic Reconstruction and Lessons for the East Today. MIT Press. pp. 189–230. ISBN 0-262-04136-7 – via Google Books.  ^ Mark Kramer, "The Soviet Bloc and the Cold War
Cold War
in Europe," Klaus Larresm ed. (2014). A Companion to Europe
Europe
Since 1945. Wiley. p. 79. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) ^ Walter Laqueur, "The Slow Death of Europe", The National Interest 16 August 2011 online ^ Hay, W.A.; Sicherman, H. (2007). Is There Still a West?: The Future of the Atlantic Alliance. University of Missouri Press, Queen Elizabeth also had a major breakdown causing her to die cause of the stress overload. p. 107. ISBN 9780826265494. Retrieved 18 May 2015.  ^ David Priestland, "Margaret Thatcher?" ‘’BBC History Magazine’’ 1 May 2013 ^ "A Europe
Europe
without frontiers". Europa (web portal). Retrieved 25 June 2007.  ^ SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg, Germany
Germany
(26 November 2009). "NATO's Eastward Expansion: Calming Russian Fears – SPIEGEL ONLINE". SPIEGEL ONLINE. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)

Bibliography[edit] Surveys[edit]

Blum, Jerome et al. The European World (2 vol. 2nd ed. 1970) university textbook; part 1, Middle Ages
Middle Ages
to 1815; part 2 since 1815 online Davies, Norman. Europe: A History (1998), advanced university textbook Gay, Peter and R.K. Webb Modern Europe: To 1815 (1973) online, university textbook

Gay, Peter and R.K. Webb Modern Europe: Since 1815 (1973), university textbook

McKay, John P. et al. A History of Western Society (2 vol 2010) 1300pp; university textbook Moncure, James A. ed. Research Guide to European Historical Biography: 1450–Present (4 vol 1992); 2140pp; historiographical guide to 200 major political and military leaders Roberts, J. M. The History of Europe
Europe
(1997), survey Simms, Brendan. Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy, from 1453 to the Present (2013), survey

Geography and atlases[edit]

Catchpole, Brian. Map History of the Modern World (1982) Darby, H. C., and H. Fullard, eds. The New Cambridge Modern History, Vol. 14: Atlas (1970) East, W. Gordon. An Historical Geography of Europe
Europe
(4th ed. 1950) Haywood, John. Atlas of world history (1997) online free Kinder, Hermann and Werner Hilgemann. Anchor Atlas of World History (2 vol. 1978); advanced analytical maps, mostly of Europe Pounds, Norman J. G. An Historical Geography of Europe
Europe
(1990) Talbert, Richard J.A. Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World for iPad (Princeton U.P. 2014) ISBN 9781400848768; 102 interactive color maps from archaic Greece to the Late Roman Empire.

Major nations[edit]

Black, Jeremy. A history of the British Isles
British Isles
(1996) Carr, Raymond, ed. Spain: A history (2000) Clark, Christopher M. Iron kingdom: the rise and downfall of Prussia, 1600–1947 (2006) Davies, Norman. The Isles: A History (2001), Britain and Ireland Duggan, Christopher. A concise history of Italy
Italy
(2013). Fraser, Rebecca. The Story of Britain: From the Romans to the Present: A Narrative History (2006) Holborn, Hajo. vol 1: A History of Modern Germany: The Reformation; vol 2: A History of Modern Germany: 1648–1840; vol 3: A history of modern Germany: 1840–1945 (1959). a standard scholarly survey. Kamen, Henry. A concise history of Spain ( 1973) Helle, Knut, ed. The Cambridge History of Scandinavia (Vol. 1. 2003) Holmes, George, ed. The Oxford illustrated history of medieval Europe (2001). Holmes, George, ed. The Oxford illustrated history of Italy
Italy
(1997) Jones, Colin. The Cambridge Illustrated History of France
History of France
(1999) Kitchen, Martin The Cambridge Illustrated History of Germany
Germany
(1996). Morgan, Kenneth O., ed. The Oxford illustrated history of Britain (1984) Price, Roger. A concise history of France (2014) Riasanovsky, Nicholas V., and Mark D. Steinberg. A History of Russia (2 vol. 2010) Sagarra, Eda. A social history of Germany
Germany
(2003) Tombs, Robert, The English and their History (2014) advanced history; online review Wilson, Peter H. Heart of Europe: A History of the Holy Roman Empire (2016) 942pp

Classical[edit]

Boardman, John, et al. eds. The Oxford History of Greece
History of Greece
and the Hellenistic World (2nd ed. 2002) 520pp Boardman, John, et al. eds. The Oxford History of the Roman World (2001) Cartledge, Paul. The Cambridge Illustrated History of Ancient Greece (2002)

Late Roman[edit]

Heather, Peter. Empires and Barbarians: The Fall of Rome and the Birth of Europe
Europe
(Oxford University Press; 2010); 734 pages; Examines the migrations, trade, and other phenomena that shaped a recognizable entity of Europe
Europe
in the first millennium. Jones, A. H. M. The Later Roman Empire, 284–602: A Social, Economic, and Administrative Survey (2 Vol. 1964) Mitchell, Stephen. A History of the Later Roman Empire, AD 284–641: The Transformation of the Ancient World (2006)

Medieval[edit]

Davis, R. H. C. A History of Medieval Europe
Europe
(2nd ed. 2000) Ferguson, Wallace K. Europe
Europe
in Transition, 1300–1520 (1962) online Hanawalt, Barbara. The Middle Ages: An Illustrated History (1999) Holmes, George, ed. The Oxford Illustrated History of Medieval Europe (2001) Koenigsberger, H. G. Medieval Europe
Europe
400–1500 (1987) Riddle, John M. A history of the Middle Ages, 300–1500 (2008)

Early modern[edit]

Blanning, T. C. W. The Culture of Power and the Power of Culture: Old Regime Europe
Europe
1660–1789 (2003) Cameron, Euan. Early Modern Europe: An Oxford History (2001) Friedrich, Carl J. The Age of the Baroque, 1610-1660 (1962); Despite the title, this is a wide-ranging Social, cultural, political and diplomatic history of Europe; 14-day borrowing copy Hesmyr, Atle. Scandinavia in the Early Modern Era; From Peasant Revolts and Witch Hunts to Constitution Drafting Yeomen (2014) McKay, Derek, and Hamish M. Scott. The rise of the great powers 1648-1815 (3rd ed. 2014). Rice, Eugene F. The Foundations of Early Modern Europe, 1460–1559 (2nd ed. 1994) 240pp Merriman, John. A History of Modern Europe: From the Renaissance
Renaissance
to the Present (3rd ed. 2009, 2 vol), 1412 pp Scott, Hamish, ed. The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern European History, 1350–1750: Volume I: Peoples and Place (2015).

Scott, Hamish, ed. The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern European History, 1350–1750: Volume II: Cultures and Power (2015).

Stoye, John. Europe
Europe
Unfolding, 1648-1688 (2nd ed. 2000). Treasure, Geoffrey. The Making of Modern Europe, 1648–1780 (3rd ed. 2003), overview of each major country and inter-relations Wiesner, Merry E. Early Modern Europe, 1450–1789 (Cambridge History of Europe) (2006)

19th century[edit]

Anderson, M. S. The Ascendancy of Europe: 1815–1914 (3rd ed. 2003) Blanning, T. C. W. ed. The Nineteenth Century: Europe
Europe
1789–1914 (Short Oxford History of Europe) (2000) 320pp Bruun, Geoffrey. Europe
Europe
and the French Imperium, 1799-1814 (1938) online. Cameron, Rondo. France and the Economic Development of Europe, 1800–1914: Conquests of Peace and Seeds of War (1961), awide-ranging economic and business history. Evans, Richard J. The Pursuit of Power: Europe
Europe
1815–1914 (2016), 934pp Gildea, Robert. Barricades and Borders: Europe
Europe
1800–1914 (Short Oxford History of the Modern World) (3rd ed. 2003) 544 pp, online 2nd ed, 1996 Grab, Alexander. Napoleon
Napoleon
and the Transformation of Europe
Europe
(2003) Kertesz, G.A. ed Documents in the Political History of the European Continent 1815-1939 (1968), 507pp; several hundred short documents Mason, David S. A Concise History of Modern Europe: Liberty, Equality, Solidarity (2011), since 1700 Merriman, John, and J. M. Winter, eds. Europe
Europe
1789 to 1914: Encyclopedia of the Age of Industry and Empire (5 vol. 2006) Steinberg, Jonathan. Bismarck: A Life (2011) Salmi, Hannu. 19th Century Europe: A Cultural History (2008). Taylor, A.J.P. The Struggle for Mastery in Europe
Europe
1848–1918 (1954) online free; Advanced diplomatic history

Since 1900[edit]

Brose, Eric Dorn. A History of Europe
Europe
in the Twentieth Century (2004) 548pp Buchanan, Tom. Europe's Troubled Peace: 1945 to the Present (Blackwell History of Europe) (2012) Cook, Bernard A. Europe
Europe
Since 1945: An Encyclopedia (2 vol; 2001), 1465pp Davies, Norman. Europe
Europe
at War 1939–1945: No Simple Victory (2008) Dear, I. C. B. and M. R. D. Foot, eds. The Oxford Companion to World War II (2006) Jarausch, Konrad H. Out of Ashes: A New History of Europe
Europe
in the Twentieth Century (2015), 870pp. Judt, Tony. Postwar: A History of Europe
Europe
Since 1945 (2006) Martel, Gordon, ed. A Companion to Europe, 1900–1950 (2011) 32 essays by scholars; emphasis on historiography Mazower, Mark. Dark Continent: Europe's Twentieth Century (2000) 512pp Merriman, John, and Jay Winter, eds. Europe
Europe
Since 1914: Encyclopedia of the Age War and Reconstruction (5 vol. 2006) Paxton, Robert O., and Julie Hessler. Europe
Europe
in the twentieth century (5th edition 2011. Stone, Dan, ed. The Oxford Handbook of Postwar European History (2015). Ther, Philipp. Europe
Europe
since 1989: A History (Princeton UP, 2016) excerpt, 440pp Toynbee, Arnold, ed. Survey Of International Affairs: Hitler's Europe 1939-1946 (1954) online Weinberg, Gerhard L. A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II (2005)

Agriculture and economy[edit]

Bakels, C. C. The Western European Loess Belt: Agrarian History, 5300 BC – AD 1000 (2009) Berend, Iván T. An Economic History of Twentieth-Century Europe (2013) Berend, Iván T. Europe
Europe
Since 1980 (2010), focus on economic history Broadberry, Stephen, and Kevin H. O'Rourke, eds. The Cambridge Economic History of Modern Europe
Europe
(2 vol 2010), 1700 to present Dovring, Folke, ed. Land and labor in Europe
Europe
in the twentieth century: a comparative survey of recent agrarian history. 1965. 511 pp Gras, Norman. A history of agriculture in Europe
Europe
and America (1925). free online edition[permanent dead link] Milward, Alan S. and S. B. Saul. The Development of the Economies of Continental Europe: 1850–1914 (1977) Murray, Jacqueline. The First European Agriculture (1970) Pollard, Sidney, ed. Wealth and Poverty: an Economic History of the 20th Century (1990), 260pp; global perspective online free Pounds, N.J.G. An Economic History of Medieval Europe
Europe
(1994) Slicher van Bath, B. H. The agrarian history of Western Europe, AD 500–1850 (1966) Thorp, William Long. Business Annals: United States, England, France, Germany, Austria, Russia, Sweden, Netherlands, Italy, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, South Africa, Australia, India, Japan, China (1926) capsule summary of conditions in each country for each quarter-year 1790–1925

Diplomacy[edit]

Albrecht-Carrié, René. A Diplomatic History of Europe
Europe
Since the Congress of Vienna
Congress of Vienna
(1958), 736pp, basic introduction 1815–1955 Black, Jeremy. A History of Diplomacy (2011) Black, Jeremy. European International Relations, 1648–1815 (2002) Kertesz, G.A. ed Documents in the Political History of the European Continent 1815-1939 (1968), 507pp; several hundred short documents Langer, William. An Encyclopedia of World History (5th ed. 1973), very detailed outline Macmillan, Margaret. The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914 (2013) cover 1890s to 1914 Mowat, R. B. History of European Diplomacy, 1451–1789 (1928) 324 pages online Petrie, Charles. Earlier diplomatic history, 1492–1713 (1949), covers all of Europe; online[permanent dead link] Petrie, Charles. Diplomatic History, 1713–1933 (1946), broad summary online free also online in Questia Schroeder, Paul. The Transformation of European Politics 1763–1848 (1994) online; advanced diplomatic history Steiner, Zara. The Lights that Failed: European International History 1919–1933 (2007) Steiner, Zara. The Triumph of the Dark: European International History 1933–1939 (2011) Taylor, A. J. P The struggle for mastery in Europe, 1848–1918 (1954)

Empires and interactions[edit]

Bayly, C. A. ed. Atlas of the British Empire
British Empire
(1989). survey by scholars; heavily illustrated Brendon, Piers. The Decline and Fall of the British Empire, 1781–1997 (2008), wide-ranging survey Darwin, John. After Tamerlane: The Rise and Fall of Global Empires, 1400–2000 (2008). James, Lawrence. The Rise and Fall of the British Empire
British Empire
(1997) Tolan, John et al. eds. Europe
Europe
and the Islamic World: A History (2013) online

Ideas and science[edit]

Heilbron, John L., ed. The Oxford Companion to the History of Modern Science (2003) Outhwaite, William. The Blackwell Dictionary of Modern Social Thought (2003). Wiener, Philip P. Dictionary of the History of Ideas (5 vol 1973)

Religion[edit]

Latourette, Kenneth Scott. Christianity
Christianity
in a Revolutionary Age: A History of Christianity
Christianity
in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (1958–69) vol 1, 2, and 4 for detailed country-by-country coverage MacCulloch, Diarmaid. Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years (2011)

Social[edit]

Stearns, Peter N., ed. Encyclopedia of European Social History (6 vol 2000), 3000 pp Tipton, F. and R. Aldrich. An Economic and Social History of Europe, 1890–1939 (1987); An Economic and Social History of Europe, 1939 to the Present (1987)

Warfare[edit]

Archer, Christon I.; John R. Ferris, Holger H. Herwig. World History of Warfare (2002) The Cambridge History of the First World War
First World War
(3 vol 2014) online The Cambridge History of the Second World War
Second World War
(3 vol 2015) online Dear, I. C. B.; Foot, M. R. D., eds. (2001) [1995]. The Oxford Companion to World War II. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-860446-4.  Dupuy, R. Ernest, The Harper Encyclopedia of Military History: From 3500 BC to the Present (1993) Goldsworthy, Adrian, and John Keegan. Roman Warfare (2000) Horne, John, ed. A Companion to World War I
World War I
(2012) Keegan, John. A History of Warfare (1994) Kennedy, Paul. The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers
Great Powers
(1989) Paret, Peter, ed. Makers of Modern Strategy (1986), ideas of warfare Rapport, Mike. The Napoleonic Wars: A Very Short Introduction (2013) Sheehan, James J. Where Have All the Soldiers Gone? The Transformation of Modern Europe
Europe
(2008). Weinberg, Gerhard L. (2005). A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II
World War II
(2nd ed.). ; comprehensive overview with emphasis on diplomacy Zeiler, Thomas W. and Daniel M. DuBois, eds. A Companion to World War II (2 vol 2013), 1030pp; comprehensive overview by scholars

Women and gender[edit]

Anderson, Bonnie S. and Judith P. Zinsser. A History of Their Own: Women in Europe
Europe
from Prehistory to the Present (2nd ed 2000) Bridenthal, Renate, et al. eds. Becoming Visible: Women in European History (3rd ed. 1997), 608pp; essays by scholars Frey, Linda, Marsha Frey, Joanne Schneider. Women in Western European History: A Select Chronological, Geographical, and Topical Bibliography (1982) online Hufton, Olwen. The Prospect Before Her: A History of Women in Western Europe, 1500–1800 (1996) Herzog, Dagmar. Sexuality in Europe: A Twentieth-Century History (2011) Offen, Karen. "Surveying European Women's History since the Millenium: A Comparative Review", Journal of Women's History Volume 22, Number 1, Spring 2010 doi:10.1353/jowh.0.13

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to History of Europe.

Wikibooks has a book on the topic of: European History

Wikiversity has learning resources about European History

Wikivoyage has travel information for European history.

Media related to Old maps of Europe
Europe
at Wikimedia Commons Media related to Atlas of European history at Wikimedia Commons EurhistXX: The Network for the Contemporary History of Europe, edited in English from Berlin Contains information on historical trends in living standards in various European countries European History Primary Sources Online access to primary sources for historians New York Public Library. "History of Europe". Research Guides. USA. 

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