Europe from 1200-present
Europe from 1200-1450:
Decline of Feudalism → More Political Centralization, Trade, and Cross-Cultural Interaction
Letters of Credit
European merchants established banks that issued letters of credit. Merchants could deposit money in a bank in their hometown and receive it at a bank in their destination to avoid the risk of robbery.
This was a group of trading ports in Northern Europe that traded grain, timber, and fur. Some merchants traveled on internal European rivers to trade with Central and Western Europeans as well.
Urban guilds were organizations of workers that would collectively regulate price and quality standards and help apprentices learn their craft. These would also care for robbed or sick/unemployed members of the guild.
Spread of Food
Foods like sugarcane and citrus fruits spread throughout Europe and Africa. Sugarcane eliminated the need for honey as a sweetener.
Spread of Technology
More maritime technology spread like the compass, rudder, and astrolabe. Also, agricultural innovations spread like the heavy plow and three-field system of crop rotation.
Italian Port Cities
Due to Italy's prime location in the center of the Mediterranean Sea, Italian port cities became really wealthy by controlling trade. The most important cities were Venice and Genoa.
Due to the Pax Mongolica of the Mongols, many people were able to travel long distances. Marco Polo traveled to China, encouraging other Europeans to do so. Ibn Battuta traveled throughout the Dar al-Islam.
Multiple merchants would invest in multiple cargoes so that if one cargo fails to earn profits (robbery, shipwreck, etc.), all merchants share the losses instead of one merchant taking on all of the losses.
Church Gained Power → More Religious Education and Spread of Christianity
More Cathedral schools, taught Bible in Latin
St. Thomas Aquinas harmonized Catholic teachings with Aristotelian teachings, believed people could use reason to understand god
Pilgrimages to honor saints' relics
John of Montecorvino became archbishop of Khanbaliq (Yuan Dynasty Capital)
Baptized 6000 boys
Didn't have much success in converting population to Christianity due to existence of already sophisticated East Asian traditions
Rivalries between Christians and Muslims
Pope Innocent IV sent envoys to Mongol Khan to ask to convert to Christianity to form alliance against Muslims, Mongols refused & threatened to take over Europe
Persian Ilkhan sent Rabban Sauma as an envoy to Pope Honorius IV to ask for support to retake Jerusalem from Muslims
Rabban Sauma couldn't gain any support
Pope Urban II formed Christian armies against Muslims to retake Jerusalem in Crusades
Fourth Crusade ended up taking Constantinople
Crusades facilitated spread of Arabic ideas and technologies
The Black Death
A disease that originated in Southern China in ~1346
Spread via fleas on Silk Road merchants & Mongol warriors to Europe by 1347
Symptoms included large black nodes & could cause death in a few days
Killed 1/3 of European population, often destroyed entire villages
Lost population → Labor shortages
Less peasants were surviving
Surviving peasants could campaign for higher wages & eventually won some freedom
Ended in about 1353 but outbreaks occurred sporadically until 1700s
Revolutions within Europe:
- Rebirth and patronization of human achievements
- Known as Humanism
- Promoted personal beauty and achievements
Patronized ancient Greek & Roman classics
Sculptures were made to look exactly like real human postures as opposed to exaggerated figures
Wealthy people patronized artists & commissioned them to make artwork for them
Lots of artwork was kept in churches as the church also patronized artwork
Linear perspective artistic style was developed, allowed for 3-D paintings
More Humanist books were published, wrote about the church or an ideal world
Niccolo Machiavelli published The Prince, taught that rulers shouldn't use religion to justify power
List of Scientists & Discoveries
First person to propose heliocentric model (in which all planets orbit the sun instead of the earth).
Used telescope, proved heavenly bodies (sun, moon, Venus, etc.) aren't spherical & smooth like Bible claims. Proved law of inertia.
Proved planets' orbits are elliptical instead of circular.
Proved the forces of universal gravitation that govern the universe.
Discovered blood circulation. Studied anatomy, discovered that women's bodies are useless compared to men's bodies.
Emilie du Chatelet
Influential woman scientist. Translated Newton's works into French & added additional explanations into her book, Principia Mathematica.
Change in Thinking & Emergence of Deism
Most of the discoveries undermined Catholic teachings
Heliocentric model disproved the fact that Earth was center of universe
Universal gravitation disproved that heavenly forces govern the world
Scientists created a new ideology, deism
Believed that a god created the universe but doesn't intervene later as the natural forces govern the universe
Protestant Reformation & Catholic Developments
Origins of Protestant Reformation
- Martin Luther, a theology professor at the University of Wittenberg in Germany, believed the Catholic church was corrupt
What was Wrong with the Church?
Luther believed people go to heaven by way of god rather than through the Catholic church
Luther hated the sale of indulgences (Catholic church sold forgivenesses of sins to people)
Luther hated that the Bible was only available in Latin as opposed to regional and common languages
- In 1517, Luther wrote 95 Theses, a pamphlet with 95 theses against the Catholic church, and nailed it to the Wittenberg Church
- The printing press helped spread his views
- Many agreed with him, but Pope Gregory X excommunicated him in 1520
- He was called to a meeting at Worms in 1521, but he refused to recant his ideas
Protestantism & Other Denominations
- Luther's ideas led to a new branch of Christianity, Protestantism
- Lutheran's own views were compiled into a denomination of Protestantism, Lutheranism
- John Calvin, a French Protestant who moved to Geneva, created the Calvinist Church
Believed god predestined a certain group of people (known as "the elect") to go to heaven
King Henry VIII of England wanted to divorce his wife (Catherine of Aragon) as he didn't have a male heir with her, but Pope Clement VII refused to let him
King Henry VII thus split from the Catholic church & established the Anglican church
Catholic Counter Reformation
- Catholic pope wanted to slow the spread of Protestantism, reformed Catholic doctrine
- Pope and other church officials met at Council of Trent from 1545 - 1563
- Promoted better education and training for church officials
- Banned sale of indulgences
- Clarified church's position on religious questions like salvation and heaven
- Still kept Latin as official language
Other Developments within Catholicism
- Witch-hunting became common
- People hunted, tried, and executed witches (people who they believed worshipped hell and the devil)
- 110,000 witches were tried in court, 45,000 witches were executed
- Most convicted witches were women, especially poor divorced women as they had few people to protect them
In 1534, Ignatius Loyola founded the Society of Jesus
Believed that praying to god led to salvation
Had a rigorous education system for clergy
Practiced self-control & moderation
Origins of Enlightenment
- Monarchs consolidated all power for themselves & claimed "divine right"
- Believed god chose them to rule & gave them all the power to control their subjects
Enlightenment thinkers believed in promoting human progress, so they promoted more human rights and liberties
Major Enlightenment Thinkers & Their Effect
Believed men are evil & prone to violent warfare. Believed a strong ruler was necessary to prevent war-like behavior of men.
Believed all men have rights of life, liberty, and pursuit of property. Believed ruler must guarantee these rights or else people can overthrow the ruler.
Believed all men are free & society should organize itself according to majority rule & the will of the general public.
Francois-Marie Arouet (Voltaire)
Believed in religious tolerance. Believed rulers shouldn't use religion to justify their rule.
Baron de Montesquieu
Believed government should have a checks & balances system to prevent it from becoming too powerful.
Impact of Enlightenment
All of these ideas led to the political revolutions of America, France, Haiti, and Latin America (Time Period 3).
Politics within Europe & Religious Wars:
Before 1469, Spain was divided into multiple kingdoms
In 1469, King Ferdinand of Aragon married Queen Isabella of Castile
Partially unified Spain
In 1478, Ferdinand & Isabella launched the Spanish Inquisition, a government program intended to attack all non-Catholics
Through Spanish Inquisition, they conquered Muslim Kingdom of Granada in 1492
Thus, Spain was completely unified under Catholic rule. End of Spanish Inquisition
In 1556, Charles V (ruler of large Habsburg domain from Spain to Austria) retired
His son Philip II inherited Spain & Low Countries (Netherlands, Belgium)
King Philip II continued Spanish Inquisition. Continued to attack all non-Catholics
Attacked Low Countries (Netherlands, Belgium) in 1568 as they were Calvinist (a branch of Protestantism)
Spanish Armada (Spanish navy) attacked England in 1588 as they were Anglican (a branch of Protestantism)
7 northern provinces became independent, known as United Provinces. 10 southern provinces were still under Spanish control
English navy successfully defended against Spanish
English retreated from France after 100 years' war
France started centralizing power
Bourbon Regime took over. First Bourbon king (Henry IV) issued Edict of Nantes (1598), which allowed Huguenots (French Protestants) to practice their religion
Cardinal Richelieu was chief advisor to King Louis XIII. Helped Huguenots defeat Catholic Habsburgs during 30 years' war.
King Louis XIV took over. Known as "sun king." Consolidated all power, forced nobles to live at newly-built Palace of Versailles. Revoked Edict of Nantes.
Louis XIV's financial advisor, Jean-Baptiste Colbert helped increase size of French empire, tried to manage French war debts.
Louis XIV's grandson, Philip V, inherited the Spanish throne
War of Spanish Succession ensued, other nations hated prospect of Spain-France alliance
Peace Agreement was that Philip V can inherit Spanish throne but can't combine with France.
English Civil War (1642-1649)
King Charles I needed money from Parliament
Charles I signed Petition of Right, limiting his power & giving more power to Parliament, so Parliament could give him money
Charles I got the money he needed and revoked the Petition of Right & reclaimed divinity & absolute authority
Parliament refused to give him money because he reclaimed absolute authority & revoked Parliament's rights
Charles I needed money from Parliament to fight the Irish Rebellion
Irish Catholics resented absolute rule of Anglican Charles I, mounted Irish Rebellion of 1641
Charles I attacked some members of Parliament to get the money he needed
Also, Charles I was Anglican and wanted ornate religious ceremonies with a hierarchy of bishops, unlike his Puritan & Calvinist Parliament members
Parliament organized an army under Oliver Cromwell to defeat Charles I
Oliver Cromwell's army won after English Civil War (1642-49), Cromwell (a Puritan) took the throne. Encouraged Protestants to settle in Northern Ireland as he was religiously intolerant. Gave Parliament more power.
Stuart Restoration (1660)
Oliver Cromwell died
Charles II took over, restored monarchy (Stuart Restoration) (1660)
Glorious Revolution (1689)
Charles II died
James II took over. He was Catholic & unpopular.
Parliament feared James II would make England a Catholic state, so they removed him from office, put his daughter, Mary, & her husband, William of Orange, in power. Known as Glorious Revolution (1689), ensures Anglican future of England & parliament's high power
Holy Roman Empire
Largely decentralized, hundreds of nation-states existed, north was largely Lutheran, south was largely Catholic. Central authority in Holy Roman Empire was loose.
Charles V (Habsburg Emperor) signed Peace of Augsburg (1555), allowed each individual state to adopt their own religion. This peace didn't last long.
Thirty Years' War (1618-1648)
In 1618, Protestant Bohemians challenged central Catholic authority of Holy Roman Empire
Thirty Years' War started (1618-1648). Many nations were involved, France benefited the most (as Richelieu helped). Holy Roman Empire lost 1/3 of its population.
Peace of Westphalia (1648) allowed individual states in Holy Roman Empire to govern themselves
European Age of Exploration:
Motives for Exploration
- Believed in mercantilism, a belief in which all wealth on Earth was fixed and measured in gold
- European nations wanted a higher share of this gold, so they pursued economic ventures
Europeans wanted to trade goods directly with Asia without Muslim intermediaries of the Middle East
Thus, they embarked on sea voyages to find the fastest routes from Europe to Asia
Royal support for these voyages was common as nations wanted more glory by finding the fastest routes to Asia & dominating the most territory
Church lifted its ban on giving loans for interest, so many royal governments gave large sponsorships to explorers to showcase their nation's power & glory
Economic voyages led to the rise of joint-stock companies
Multiple merchants would pool their resources into a few large cargo ships so they all share the profits
Thus, if one cargo fails (robbery, shipwreck, etc.), all merchants can still profit from other cargoes
Successful cargos can yield huge profits for merchants
This system dominated overseas trade during this time
British East India Company & Dutch VOC (United East India Company) were most dominant joint-stock companies
What technology enabled Europeans to venture into the sea?
Maritime innovations like the magnetic compass, lateen sail, astrolabe, and sternpost rudder
Europeans could venture into the open sea without fear of getting lost
Remember Europe acquired all of these innovations through the trade routes of the 13th & 14th centuries?
New fast cargo ships: The Portuguese used caravel & carrack, and the Dutch used Fluyt (much faster than the Caravel, allowing Dutch to outperform the Portuguese later on)
Europeans deciphered wind patterns in the oceans & used barometers to predict storms
- Europeans wanted to spread Christianity, which was another reason for exploration
- When Vasco da Gama arrived in India, he said, "I want Christians and spices," showing his desire to convert the Indian population to Christianity
- Especially after Protestant Reformation, nations wanted to spread their newly adopted denomination of Christianity
English sought to spread Anglicanism, Spain zealously preached Catholicism, etc.
Portugal & Spain Start Exploration
- Portugal started European exploration as it is a small country facing the Atlantic & can only expand westward
Portugal had lots of royal support for these journeys
Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal promoted sea voyages down the African coast in mid 1400s
Portuguese built many trade posts on West African coast
In 1488, Bartholomew Diaz became first European to sail around the Cape of Good Hope (the Southern tip of Africa), but he returned home immediately afterward
In 1497, Vasco da Gama became first European to sail to India around Cape of Good Hope
Many others later followed his journey to dominate spice trade from India
In 1492, Spain sponsored Christopher Columbus's journey to find a westward route to Asia
Instead of reaching Asia, Columbus reached some Caribbean islands, thinking they were Japan
It wasn't until 1497 when Spain sponsored Amerigo Vespucci, who traveled to South America, that they realized the land isn't Asia & is another land (named America after Amerigo, first one to realize new land)
English, French, and Dutch Exploration
- English, French, & Dutch also sponsored explorative voyages, but they weren't as zealous as Spain & Portugal
Mostly sought to find the Northwest Passage (a route to Asia via north of Canada
English sought to spread Anglicanism, Dutch sought to spread Calvinism, French sought to spread Catholicism
Exploration to Asia
- In addition to colonizing the Americas, Europeans built trading posts in many coastal Asian cities
Portuguese built many posts on West African coast & Goa (in India)
Dutch established a post in modern-day Indonesia
England & France established posts in India
Spain established a post in present-day Philippines (named after King Philip II)
China & Japan were isolationist, limited their contact with Europeans
List of Major Explorers
Year of Journey
First to round the Cape of Good Hope (Southern tip of Africa). Returned home immediately afterward.
First to land in Americas. Landed in Caribbean islands. Thought they were some islands near Japan.
Vasco da Gama
First to sail to India. Sailed around the Cape of Good Hope to India. Returned to Portugal with lots of spices.
Sailed for England, arrived in present-day New Foundland.
Sailed to South America. First to realize new land is not Asia & is instead a new continent. Named America after Amerigo.
Pedro Alvares Cabral
Discovered Brazil, made claims for Portugal there.
Ponce de Leon
Explored present-day Florida, made claims for Spain there.
Vasco Nuñez de Balboa
Explored Panama. Found Pacific Ocean when traveling overland from Panama.
First to circumnavigate the world. Sailed through a strait near tip of South America. Died in Philippines, his crew returned to Spain.
Giovanni da Verazzano
First European to explore North American coast between Florida and New Brunswick (located in present-day Canada).
Laid claims for France in Canada. Discovered and sailed through St. Lawrence River.
Sir Francis Drake
First Englishman to circumnavigate the world. Discovered Tierra del Fuego (tip of South America). Disrupted Spanish Armada.
Tried to find Northwest Passage, sailed through Hudson river to present-day New York City. Named it New Amsterdam.
- Exchange of goods, animals, crops, and diseases from Afro-Eurasia to the Americas
First time the ecosystems of Americas & Afro-Eurasia were connected
Potatoes, maize, squash, tomatoes went from Americas to Afro-Eurasia
Led to enriched diet & population growth in Afro-Eurasia
Livestock, fruits, sugarcane, disease went from Afro-Eurasia to Americas
Disease was one of the most influential things that went from Afro-Eurasia to Americas
Indigenous peoples of Americas weren't immune to European diseases → Died in large numbers
Whooping cough, smallpox, measles all killed majority of indigenous American population
Nationalism & French Revolution
Definition of Nationalism
- Force of a common identity among people of a common ethnic, linguistic, or cultural group
- For example, everyone that resides in present-day Italy would feel unified due to their common language and ethnicity
Played a major role in political revolutions and unifications
In Italy & Germany, people of different states felt a common identity & unified their country
In America, Haiti, and Latin America, the colonial subjects felt a common identity, allowing them to unify themselves and strive for independence
Allowed Greeks to declare independence from Ottomans in 1821
Prince Klemens von Metternich of Austria argued at the Congress of Vienna that nationalism was bad
Believed it would persecute minorities
Believed in absolute monarchy as opposed to republic to prevent any nation from becoming too powerful with force of nationalism
Anti-Semitism & Zionism
- People used nationalism to justify that Jews didn't belong as they were ethnically different from other Europeans
- Jews often faced persecution in European society
- Played a major role in political revolutions and unifications
- Theodor Herzl wrote a pamphlet called Judenstaat
- Argued for a Jewish state in which all Jews can peacefully live
- This was known as Zionism
- Eventually, in 1948, Israel was created for all Jews to migrate
Causes of the French Revolution
- France had lots of war debts
- It lost the 7 years' war and the War of Spanish Succession
In 1789, King Louis XVI called a meeting for the Estates General, the parliamentary body that hadn't met since 1614
The nobility, clergy, and commoners each get one vote in parliament, despite that the commoners make up the majority of the population
Commoners wanted social reform → Formed their own constitution, the National Assembly, giving power to the state (as opposed to the king or the people)
Revolutionaries chanted "liberty, equality, fraternity"
Events of the French Revolution
France had lots of war debts from the 7 years' war, American Revolution, & War of Spanish Succession
King Louis XVI called a meeting for the Estates General in 1789 to discuss implementing taxes
The third Estate (commoners) formed the National Assembly, a government that sought constitutional liberties for the people
Adopted Declaration of the Rights of the Man and of the Citizen (1789). Gave constitutional liberties to all free men. Abolished feudalism, still kept monarchy, kept power in nation-state
Peasants feared the military would attack them before getting their reforms, so they stormed Bastille prison to acquire weapons. July 14, 1789
National Assembly members met in an indoor tennis court. Agreed to "Tennis Court Oath," agreed not to disband until they receive constitutional liberties
Ratified new constitution with Louis XVI's approval in 1791.
Wife of Louis XVI (Marie Antoinette) was sister of Austrian emperor. Austria & Prussia declared war on France to restore French monarchy in 1792
Jacobin party (group of Parisian revolutionaries) created a new constitution known as the Convention, declaring France a republic (1792)
Napoleon Bonaparte, a military general in the Directory, overthrew Directory in 1799, established Consulate (consolidated power for himself)
French executed Robespierre on the guillotine. French people created a new constitution called the Directory, which was like a military government (1795)
Maximilien Robespierre created Committee of Public safety to defend against political dissidents & rival nations. Used guillotine to execute dissidents (including Louis XVI). Known as Reign of Terror (1793-1794)
Created Napoleonic Codes, granted civil liberties to men (not women). Reformed agriculture, education, infrastructure
Led army & conquered Spain, Austria, Prussia, Portugal, Italy, Holy Roman Empire by 1810. In 1812, he conquered Moscow but Russian wintertime caused his military to suffer due to a lack of supplies
Sent to exile in Elba (1814), came out of exile later (1815), led French military for 100 days, defeated at Waterloo & sent to exile in remote island of St. Helena (1815). He died in St. Helena (1821).
Compare & Contrast the 4 Constitutions of French Revolution
Power rested in the nation-state, not the king or the people. Adopted civil liberties for men. Still kept a monarchy but later abolished it.
Power rested in the people. This was a republic. Made radical changes (10-day week, turned against religion). Used guillotine. Gave more civil liberties to the people
This was a military government. Power was mostly in the military. This had less civil liberties than the Convention.
This was a dictatorship. Power was in Napoleon and his army. Gave civil liberties to men though Napoleonic Codes. Reformed education & infrastructure.
Prince Klemens von Metternich & Congress of Vienna
- Austrian prince Klemens Von Metternich led Congress of Vienna (1814-1815)
- All major European nations invaded by Napoleon attended
- Decided that balance of power was needed to prevent rise of another dictator
- Restored France to pre-Napoleon borders
- Restored Monarchy in Spain, France, Netherlands, etc.
- Didn't grant Enlightenment or revolutionary ideals to French people, essentially erasing all of the French Revolution
How Britain Started the Industrial Revolution
Why did the British lead the Industrial Revolution?
Lots of water access, good for transporting resources like coal, also good to operate water wheels
Had lots of natural resources, like coal
British had a central bank that could finance development of industrial capital
Due to British lead, British government banned the exportation of industrial technology to maintain British economic dominance
List of Major Inventions
First Industrial Revolution (1760-1830)
Invented by John Kay (1733), used to speed up cotton weaving
Invented by James Hargreaves (1764), used to spin cotton
Invented by Paul Arkwright in 1768, uses water power to spin cotton
Invented by Eli Whitney in 1793, separates cotton seeds from cotton fiber
Invented by Eli Whitney in 1798, a concept that multiple factory workers can make individual parts of an item & join them together
Invented by Thomas Newcomer, James Watt improved it in 1769. Uses burned coal to generate steam to turn a wheel and generate power
Invented by Robert Fulton in 1807, uses steam power to power a ship
Invented by George Stephenson in 1814, uses steam to power a train
Enclosure made public lands privately owned. New plowing, seeding, and harvest-reaping machines made farming easier.
Second Industrial Revolution (1870-1914)
Bessemer Converter (Makes Steel)
Internal Combustion Engine
Transformations of Lifestyle
More agricultural innovations
More people worked in factories
More people could pursue their own interests & leisure activities
Families split up: Women often stayed at home, children worked separately
More migration to cities
Less people needed in farmlands
Creation of new middle class
- In factories, people had hazardous & intense working conditions
- People worked almost 16 hours a day, 6 days of week
- Low pay & close supervision from managers, so if work was bad, worker would be beaten or fired
- Repeating same job over again was hazardous for the muscles
- Sometimes the air was toxic
- Many children were forced to work, sometimes even in the coal mines as their fingers could fit into the crevasses of the mine
New Economic and Social Ideologies
Adam smith believed in free-market (laissez faire) economics
Believed in no government intervention in trade & economics
At this time, many European governments regulated economies & colonial trade
Smith wanted more private enterprises to do colonial trade, like the British East India Company
Also believed in abolishing trade guilds as they restrict free economics
Karl Marx believed that the working class (proletariat) had good opportunities that were taken away by the emergence of capitalism
Believed proletariat were exploited by the capitalists (bourgeoisie)
Believed competition between capitalists further exploits proletariat
Believed leisure activities and religion distract the proletariat from their true subordinate position in society
Believed that eventually, the proletariat will revolt and dominate society
Believed all instruments of power (police, government) were on the side of the capitalists
Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels wrote The Communist Manifesto (1848) with these ideas
Labor Unions & Social Reforms
People formed labor unions to campaign for better rights
Wanted limited working hours, better conditions at the factory
Some reformers formed utopian communities to show how society should be like
Limited working hours, provided education for the youth, made work only by desire as opposed to coercion
All of these communities eventually disbanded due to high operating costs
In 1800s, a group called Luddites protested factory conditions in England
Destroyed factories at night, eventually got arrested
British Factory Act (1883) limits working hours in factories, restricts children's work, and makes conditions safer
Later, mandatory education laws were passed for children
All of these reforms led to a higher standard of living and eventually the abolishment of slavery
How Nations Acquired Natural Resources
European nations colonized other nations