The history of Europe explained here collects the main historical events that occurred in a politically fragmented and diverse territory.
He has a degree in History from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (2009) and a Master's in World History from Pompeu Fabra University (2011).
29/05/2019 | Last update: 20/07/2020
The historical period known as the Ancient Age is the period between the birth of writing and the fall of the Roman Empire in 476. It is the first period historically. It includes a very long period and also in the territorial extension, because it is based on the areas of Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Greek and Hellenistic world to end up in the immense Roman Empire. It can be characterized as the era of the birth of cities, social specialization, the birth of most of today's sciences and arts and a huge demographic expansion that led to the creation of great empires. It must not be forgotten that in the same dates a town can still live in prehistory (or protohistory) and another has evolved a lot. The most abundant political regime is the monarchy. Commerce arises as such, with the emergence of the currency and the great routes of exchange.
The medieval or medieval age is the intermediate period of the history of Europe between the ancient age and the modern age. Its beginning and end are marked by two major events: the beginning of the Middle Ages in the 5th century with the fall of the Roman Empire, in 476, and the end in the 15th century with the fall of Constantinople, the 1453, or with the discovery of America in 1492. The name of this period was put by the Renaissance humanists as a derogatory term, because they considered the Middle Ages a dark period after one of the moments of greater cultural splendour, the classical era.
The Early Modern Age, following the traditional chronological division, comprises the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. This period is identified by a specific political or social order or regime (the Old Regime), characterized by the jurisdictional and patrimonial conception of sovereignty and the inequality of men and women before the law; His system of values and beliefs had a widely accepted Christian foundation, and manifested an almost absolute respect towards the tradition and authority of Greco-Roman classics; and it was based on technical resources and forms of organization of production and work that were not radically different from the medieval ones.
The Late Modern History of Europe comprises a period of maximum social, political and economic tensions. The break with the Old Regime and the expansion of capitalism and imperialism marked the nineteenth century. The tragedies caused by the two world wars are the protagonists of the history of the 20th century. From the late eighteenth century, the English industrial revolution and the French Revolution, changed the economic, social and political structures of Europe. The absolute monarchies were replaced by liberal-constitutional regimes in which the national sovereignty resided in the town, represented in the Parliaments (elected with suffrages still very limited). The Old regime, suppressed in almost all of Europe during the nineteenth century, replaced the old structures of power for new liberal states where the subjects became citizens and the expansion of great capitalism took place. But the imperialist anxieties of the 19th century led to the disasters of the 20th century, with the outbreak of the First World War. The victory of the Allied Powers embodied in the Treaty of Versailles opened wounds to the losers, which, as in the case of Germany, were the germ because of the birth of totalitarian ideologies, which manifested their darkest side in the murder of millions of people, mainly Jews, to the camps of Nazi extermination and to a new devastating global war for all Europe. From that war the foundations will be born for the construction of a united Europe and in peace.
World War II had major consequences in the world. Geopolitical alliances were redrawn, and a block division was established for many decades where the two winning allies of the war (United States and the Soviet Union) were confronted. The United States and the Soviet Union represented two totally different worlds. The Americans, representatives of the free market economy, headed the NATO block, where there were the main European countries. The Soviet Union, represented the communist system and gathered within the Warsaw Pact the countries that had remained under its controlling orbit, Eastern Europe.
The events of 1917 were a political process that culminated with the end of the tsarist system and the establishment of a Soviet socialist republic. The revolution was divided into two phases. The first, the February revolution, in which Tsar Nicholas II was overthrown. In the second, October Revolution, it was a revolution of a socialist type in which the Soviets (controlled mainly by the Bolshevik party) took power.
The Industrial Revolution gave rise to the appearance of large masses of workers whose living conditions were very poor. The development of the labor movement coincided with the formulation of a series of political theories that advocated the emancipation of the proletariat and the transformation of society.
The nineteenth century signifies the end of the great systems and the emergence of a plurality of philosophical movements of very different signs (positivism, utilitarianism, Marxism, vitalism, historicism) that suppose a criticism, a revision and a reaction against the speculative vision and systematics of philosophy that had reached its maximum expression in Hegel's absolute idealism.
The European colonization of the Americas describes the history of the establishment of control of the American continent by most of the naval powers of Western Europe from the 16th century.
The nation was founded by thirteen colonies of Great Britain located on the Atlantic coast. They proclaimed themselves states and made the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The rebellious states defeated Great Britain in the war, America's first successful colonial war of independence. The Philadelphia Convention adopted the current U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787; ratification the following year made the states part of a single republic. The Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution, which contains ten amendments on the rights and freedoms of citizens, was ratified in 1791.
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