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The Complete Idiot's Guide to European History PDF

464 Pages·2008·2.75 MB·English
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European History by Nathan Barber A member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. European History by Nathan Barber A member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. For Christy, Noah, and Emma ALPHA BOOKS Published by the Penguin Group Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A. Penguin Group (Canada), 10 Alcorn Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4V 3B2 (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd) Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd) Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110 017, India Penguin Group (NZ), cnr Airborne and Rosedale Roads, Albany, Auckland 1310, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd) Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England Copyright © 2006 by Nathan Barber All rights reserved. No part of this book shall be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the publisher. No patent liability is assumed with respect to the use of the information contained herein. Although every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this book, the publisher and author assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. Neither is any liability assumed for damages resulting from the use of information contained herein. For information, address Alpha Books, 800 East 96th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46240. THE COMPLETE IDIOT’S GUIDE TO and Design are registered trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. International Standard Book Number: 1-4362-9406-1 Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 2005937207 Note: This publication contains the opinions and ideas of its author. It is intended to provide helpful and informative material on the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the author and publisher are not engaged in rendering professional services in the book. If the reader requires personal assistance or advice, a competent professional should be consulted. The author and publisher specifically disclaim any responsibility for any liability, loss, or risk, personal or otherwise, which is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents of this book. Publisher: Marie Butler-Knight Editorial Director: Mike Sanders Senior Managing Editor: Jennifer Bowles Senior Acquisitions Editor: Randy Ladenheim-Gil Senior Development Editor: Phil Kitchel Production Editor: Megan Douglass Copy Editor: Ross Patty Cartoonist: Richard King Book Designer: Trina Wurst Indexer: Angie Bess Layout: Ayanna Lacey Proofreading: John Etchison Contents at a Glance Part 1: Climbing Out of the Middle Ages (c.1300–1600) 1 1 The End of the World as We Know It 3 If you think only modern humans have ever considered the end of the world then think again. In this chapter you’ll learn how Europe faced some major disasters and felt as though the world was on the verge of destruction. Needless to say, the world didn’t end then. 2 Civilization Reborn 21 In this chapter you’ll see how society was transformed by the rebirth of ideas from ancient Greece and Rome. The progress and achievement in this chapter are among the greatest in European history. 3 Time for a Change in the Church 39 The emphasis on learning in the Renaissance and the inven­ tion of the printing press encouraged Europeans to think for themselves. Here you’ll learn how the emphasis on learning, reading, and thinking changed religion and in fact the history of the world. 4 Time for an Alternative to the Church 57 Here you’ll discover that there were many alternative reli­ gious ideas that grew out of cries for reform. Though really different in some ways, these new religious views all shared anti-Catholic perspectives. 5 The Catholic and Counter Reformations 75 In this chapter you’ll see how the Catholic Church reacted to calls for reform and to the mass exodus from Catholicism. Part 2: Might Makes Right, Right? (c.1450–1750) 89 6 God, Gold, and Glory 91 Everyone knows the rhyme about Christopher Columbus and the ocean blue. Here you’ll find the rest of the story about him and the other explorers who risked their lives on expeditions including why they went and what they hoped to find. 7 Our Religion Is Better Than Your Religion 107 In this chapter you’ll see firsthand how some Europeans reacted to the rise of new religious ideas. You may be surprised what people did to other people in the name of religion. iv The Complete Idiot’s Guide to European History 8 The Rise and Fall of the Holy Roman Empire 123 The Holy Roman Empire was once one of the greatest political powers in all of Europe. So what happened? In this chapter you’ll learn how a few guys getting tossed from a window eventually led to the fall of the Holy Roman Empire. 9 Am I in Charge? Absolutely! 139 Louis XIV ruled France longer than any other monarch in European history. In this chapter you’ll see what measures he took to keep order and what other rulers like him did to justify their absolute reigns. 10 The Eastern Absolutists 157 Louis XIV wasn’t the only absolute ruler. Eastern European monarchs tried their hand at absolute rule. In this chapter you’ll find out how they stacked up against the Sun King. Part 3: Revolutions Galore (c.1500–1800) 173 11 Revolt of the Scientists 175 Here you’ll discover that much of our current scientific knowledge about the universe actually isn’t that old. This chapter tells the story of a few individuals who questioned traditional knowledge and practices and, in the process, made some amazing earth-shattering discoveries. 12 Enlightening the Public, Not the People 189 Have you ever heard of the philosophes? Not philosophers, philosophes. What’s the difference? You’ll find out here. 13 The Agricultural Revolution and an Expanding Europe 205 What impact on European society could be made by a seed drill and some turnips? You’ll find the answer to that question in this chapter. 14 The French Revolution 219 In this chapter you’ll see what happens when hungry, oppressed people get mad. You’ll also see what happens when absolute power falls into the hands of the wrong people. Fasten your seatbelts for this one. Contents at a Glance v Part 4: You Say You Want More Revolution? (c.1776–1900) 235 15 A “Little” Guy Named Napoleon, a Big Wig Named Metternich 237 Napoleon really wasn’t all that short. He was that important, though. So was a snobby aristocrat named Metternich. Here you’ll see how these two dominated Europe for half a century. 16 The Industrial Revolution 257 Just like today, humans used machines to make their lives better two hundred years ago. In this chapter you’ll see what inventions led to a fully-industrialized society and you’ll get a look at the underbelly of industrialization. 17 Intriguing New Ideologies 275 Intellectuals and workers alike saw industrialization as potentially harmful for the working class people of Europe. They developed some theories about the working class and property that would have an effect even on modern European governments. 18 Nineteenth-Century Growing Pains 291 Europe hit a growth spurt in the 1800s and it wasn’t always pretty. In this chapter you’ll see what problems grew out of the desire for less oppressive governments. You’ll also experi­ ence the miracle of birth as two important nations are born. 19 What a Tangled Web 307 Some people say you can never have too many friends. In this chapter, you’ll find evidence to the contrary. You’ll also see how Europeans competed to grab as much of the world’s land as possible out of a sense of competition with one another. Part 5: Big Wars and Big Bangs (Twentieth Century) 323 20 Turning the World Upside Down 325 The world did get turned upside down during the first 30 years of the twentieth century. In this chapter you’ll see how a world war, a major revolution, and a depression left Europe reeling. 21 World War: Second Verse, Worse Than the First 345 This chapter will explain how the First World War never really ended but just got put on hold while a few ruthless dictators rose to power. If you thought the First World War was rough, just wait till you read this. 22 The Cold War Era 365 Two unlikely sides cooperated to defeat the enemy in World War II but the two sides weren’t friends. Here you’ll see how the drama unfolds as the two sides give each other the cold shoulder for a generation. 23 Changing Millennia 383 Whoever said “All good things must come to an end” should have said “All Communist things must come to an end.” That’s exactly what happens in this chapter as democracy triumphs over communism and then creates a whole new set of challenges for our children and grandchildren to sort out. Appendixes A Major Events in European History 401 Everything that ever happened in European history is in this timeline. Actually, that’s not true but many of the landmark events are here in order so you can see how the whole story fits together. B Online Resources for Further Research 407 Here you’ll find a collection of just a few of the best websites available for the subjects covered in each chapter. Index 417 Contents Part 1: Climbing Out of the Middle Ages (c.1300–1600) 1 1 The End of the World as We Know It 3 Introducing the Middle Ages ........................................................4 The Bubonic Plague ......................................................................5 Fleas and Rats ..............................................................................5 Sicily First, Then All of Europe ....................................................5 The Black Death ..........................................................................6 After the Plague ..........................................................................6 The 116 Years’ War ......................................................................7 The Original Hatfields and McCoys ............................................7 Chivalry Is Dead ..........................................................................8 England’s Fleeting Victory ............................................................9 Joan of Arc ................................................................................10 From Two Kingdoms to Two Nations ........................................11 The Church’s Black Eye ..............................................................12 The Crusades ............................................................................13 Babylonians in Europe? ..............................................................14 The Great Schism and the Conciliar Movement ..........................15 Why Didn’t God Stop the Madness? ..........................................16 When Peasants Are Hungry and Taxed ......................................17 The Jacquerie ............................................................................17 The Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 ....................................................18 2 Civilization Reborn 21 Introducing the Renaissance ......................................................21 Why Italy? ....................................................................................23 The Commercial Revival ............................................................24 The Power of Banking Families ..................................................24 Communes, Republics, and City-States ........................................26 Balance of Power Politics ............................................................27 The Isms ......................................................................................27 Humanism ................................................................................27 Secularism ................................................................................29 Individualism ............................................................................30 viii The Complete Idiot’s Guide to European History How Great the Art ......................................................................30 Changes in Artistic Techniques ..................................................30 The Changing Status of the Artist ..............................................31 The Hall of Fame ......................................................................32 The Printing Press ......................................................................33 Gutenberg’s Invention ................................................................33 The Effects of the Printing Press on Europe ................................34 Better Late Than Never: Northern Renaissance ......................34 Renaissance with a Twist ............................................................35 The Christian Humanists ..........................................................35 Art in the North ........................................................................36 3 Time for a Change in the Church 39 Introducing the Reformation ......................................................40 Mumblings and Grumblings About the Church ........................40 John Wycliffe and the Mumblers ................................................41 Jan Hus ....................................................................................43 A Plethora of Problems ..............................................................44 The Monk with a Mission ..........................................................46 Luther’s Early Days ..................................................................46 Luther Struggles with Salvation ................................................47 Tetzel Ticks Him Off ................................................................48 Luther vs. the Church ................................................................49 Just the Beginning ....................................................................50 The Worms Diet and Its Undesired Results ................................51 Protestant Thought vs. Catholic Dogma ......................................52 The Far-Reaching Effects of Luther’s Ideas ..............................53 Peasants Pick Luther ..................................................................54 Princes Pick Luther ....................................................................55 Luther and the Status of Women ................................................55 4 Time for an Alternative to the Church 57 The Reformation Goes International ........................................58 Instituting a New Form of Protestantism ..................................59 Welcome to Geneva ....................................................................59 Another Would-Be Lawyer Chooses Religion ..............................60 Calvin’s Theocracy ......................................................................60 TULIP ......................................................................................61 From Scotland to Geneva and Back Again ................................62 Knox and Presbyterianism ..........................................................62 Becoming the Scottish National Church ......................................63

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