Learn the European History


Europe’s relationship with
culture, even at the most basic level, dates back
to at least 20,000 BCE. The Venus of Willedorf and the cave
paintings of Altamira and Lascaux are examples of the presence of civilization
in Europe thousands of years ago. By 5000 BC, evidence
proves that areas of Europe had begun to show
hierarchical societies and a firm agricultural background had
been formed by many of these societies. While a clear division of
boundaries did not exist back then, the history of
Europe if we go back to thousands of years ago,
during the Neolithic age, can be mainly traced through
their settlements and tools. A strong political and
social era did not emerge before the Roman
and Byzantine period. Thus, Europe’s history began to take form
when the Roman’s empire rose to its glory. Europe has undoubtedly
seen different periods of settlement before
the Roman Empire as well, but evidence, clear
dates and archaeology is at its minimal
during these periods. While many people completely
believe that history is somewhat similar to
story-telling, the only thing that makes a
difference is the presence of facts and evidence
when it comes to history. Every historian has to comb through
each fact closely before choosing what actually happened from what is
being purported as may have happened. Every era had some striking events that
changed the way Europeans led their lives. From periods of anarchy to golden rules and
back to chaos again, Europe, from the time it has known power and
politics, has been controlled and ruled by
many powerful people. The boundaries within which
these events happened may not have been recognized as what
is considered Europe today. At that time, rulers knew their
empires and they knew the regions across which their powers
lay, and as historians try to gather evidence today, we
can finally put the pieces together to understand and study
the great European history. While civilization was gaining
pace in Europe as long back as 5000 BCE and the
presence of a society could be traced way back, the
Greeks still considered most of the Europeans who were not
Greeks to be barbarians. Megalithic tombs came into existence
in Europe by 4300 BC and by 3500 BC, farming was a mainstream occupation
that existed throughout the continent. By the time Europeans entered into
2000 BC, bronze work had been introduced to the people of the
continent by the Wessex culture and by 1860 BC, one of the most impressive
and mysterious architectures of the world – The Stonehenge –
began taking form in Europe. The period of time after
1000 BC to about 500 BC was when the Greek
city state rose to glory. A conflict between Sparta
and Athens led to alliances formed by the two powers as
both grew against each other. Eventually, this friction among
the people of Greece led to the Macedonians gaining
control of all of Greece. As Macedonia rose to power in
Greece, Rome felt threatened and soon Rome extended its
dominion over Greece. Rome also began to expand its control
in the surrounding regions, initially through alliances but also by aggression
for those who wouldn’t comply. Rome wanted to secure a
central role in the region. Rome continued to grow and reached its
zenith during the reign of Augustus. The Augustan period is seen as the
golden age in Rome’s history. The period of stability during the era
encouraged writers and artists to flourish. The Roman Empire collapsed by the 4th
century CE and by then, Rome had driven many forms of urbanization
among its centers and provinces. With international trade and
various forms of banking and commerce gaining pace at this time,
this is a good place to start the history of Europe when
boundaries became more prevalent and Europe’s states and cities
began to gain more attention. This is somewhat the period of
time when Europe’s ancient and modern history can be
differentiated between each other. The end of the Roman Empire marked the
end of an era when Europe’s ancient practices ended and a more modern form
of society and culture started forming. Although it was still difficult to
geographically mark the whole of Europe at that time and many cultures in Europe
mixed very easily with cultures of other continents like those of Italy
and Spain had influences from North Africa while many eastern European states
were influenced by Asian cultures. So as the Roman Empire fell and
its diminishing powers gave rise to stronger local powers and
the barbarians began to unite. Many dynasties were
formed as barbarians rose in power in various regions
throughout Europe. The cultures that grew from
here onwards had a stronger impact on Europe and many of
them bear their mark even today. From art in the form of sculptures,
paintings and poetries to architecture in the many
forms of buildings and structures that dot the cities
of Europe till this day, history plays an important
role in forming any land. Europe has a rich history that
ranges across the many mountains, rivers and lands that it spans from
east to west and north to south. Here the modern European history
will be discussed and the manner in which it left its impact on
the people of Europe till today. From the cultures that were
formed and the lives they lead. The middle ages The middle ages may sound like a
short span of time, but it actually encompassed almost 1,000 years which
began at the time when the Roman Empire began to decline and it is
generally known to come to an end with the Protestant reformation which
took place in the 16th century. When the Roman rule ended,
a political anarchy led to a massive change in the
demographics of Europe. Numerous cities as well as rural estates
were abandoned because of the spread of diseases, the weather conditions and
the lack of an established governance. By the time Europe stepped into the 9th
century, the population had reached an all-time low and Europe began to
regress into a rural, backward region. An Islamic conquest was
successful during the 7th and 8th centuries and they began
ruling most of Spain but in 732, an attempt to enter
France crushed their aspirations when they were defeated
by the Frankish kingdom. Gradually, the weather
conditions became more supportive of agriculture
and population and kings and cities consolidated to rule
over the lands of Europe once again. After 900AD the feudal system of
agriculture was formed which helped in providing Europe with a certain
level of Economic stability. The introduction of horse collar led to
better agricultural methods and commerce aided the growth of many towns in England,
France and the Low Countries of Europe. Monks and peasants began clearing
forests and Eastern Europe and the Baltic region was turned into small
settlement regions by these monks and peasants. The era was marked by a
notable amount of growth and influence by the city
states of northern Italy. In Spain, Christian, Muslims and
Jews co-existed in religious amity. This period of time between 1000AD
to 1250AD was a period of growth and prosperity for Europe and it is often
referred as the High Middle Ages. Once it reached its peak
in 1250, Europe began to notice a decrease in its
prosperity once again. A demographic change began
to take place once again and the population of Europe
gradually began to subside. Conflict between powerful
kingdoms like that of France and England led to a
decline in a peaceful era. The Hundred Years’ War
between the two kingdoms tore Europe and the
spiritual authority of the Christian Church
started losing its charm as it sunk deeper in
financial corruption. The bubonic plague that came
in 1348 shook Europe and led to a massive catastrophe
that lasted for three years. It is estimated that almost one-third
of the Europeans were killed in it. The plague lasted for
long and many felt like it was going to be the
end of the world. Europe began to notice a change as most
of the feudal fiefdoms began to decline. Rulers and nobles were
not seen to be powerful any longer and rich
merchant classes were able to exude more power than the knights
and those who belonged to royal families. The printing press made the
future brighter for common people as literacy became an
easier task for everyone. With literacy came a greater
power to understand religion and take part in
political discussions. This led to conflicts in many countries
while it rendered peace in others. By the 14th century, Christopher
Columbus had sailed to the New World while Martin Luther was gearing
up to challenge the Roman Papacy. All these changes put an
end to the Middle Ages as Europe moved ahead to embrace
a modern era of history. Art and Literature The Middle Ages invigorated many artists
and writers as they got the chance to voice their opinions and showcase
their talents in different ways. Painters like Giotto
helped in understanding the human form more
realistically. While you may find these
paintings to be somewhat primitive when compared
with the paintings of the Renaissance period, for his
time, Giotto gave the human body more understanding
than what they had before. When the Papacy began to lose its
importance, many writers took to Literature to voice their
sense of National consciousness. Writers chose to write in the
national language or in the local language of the people
to make their work available for the public rather than
write in Latin which was considered to be the language
of the higher classes. This is one of the reasons why The
Canterbury Tales written by Chaucer is considered to be one of the
best works of the time because it depicts the life of the people during
the times when they were written exposing the materialistic and
worldly interests of the people. On the other hand Dante’s
works have garnered a lot of appreciation
as well because of The Divine Comedy which was written by
Dante in his vernacular Tuscan dialect. The book is considered an important
piece of Literature to this day. Art and Literature became more popular
once the feudal Lords began to decline and a more open and advanced form
of government began to replace it. Once literacy began to increase
among common people, they began taking notice of the works
that were available to them, but the society continued to
accept oral culture as the most accepted form of culture
for a long period of time. This is why works of very few
authors exist from the Middle Ages. The Hundred Years’ Wars The complex war that was
fought between France and England raged on
from 1337 to 1453. The main reasons for the war
was control over the Gascony region in France, the
rebellions supported by Britain in the cloth production towns
of France and the claims of England to the French
throne when Charles IV died. The war that began after the
death of Charles IV gradually converted into a complex
and multi-faceted war. This included three
major wars in which the English were victorious
but they were unable to subdue the armies of Southern France
which was relatively richer than England. Eventually, the French won the war because
of the financial conditions of England. These three major battles were
Crecy, Poitiers and Agincourt. Rise of Trade and Commerce The Middle Ages was a time when trade
and commerce flourished in Europe. As new trade routes were
established around other regions, long distance trade became
easier for the people in Europe. Craftsmen took advantage of the situation
and moved to the growing centers of trade. Trade and commerce helped
towns to forms leagues and communities which
helped them fight against crime and also prevent
monarchies and nobilities from trying to take control
over the craftsmen. It also forced the nobles and
Lords to reduce their control over the serfs and offer more
lenient terms to the peasants. The peasants were able to claim freedom
in return for an annual payment to the Lords and this helped many peasants to
free themselves and boosted agriculture. During the High Middle Ages, Crusaders who
returned from the Middle East also brought back spices, materials, fruits and drugs
that were produced in foreign countries. This helped in enhancing
the trade opportunities as Europeans craved
for better products. The End of the Middle Ages The Middle Ages was a period
of time when the church practiced dominion over the
people in all respects of life. The church claimed that it was
the provider of salvation. The deathly plague was one of
the reasons why people began to lose faith in the church being
able to provide salvation. This began to reduce the church’s hold over
the people and movement and people began to challenge the authority
of the church and the Papacy towards the end
of the Middle Ages. From the free spirits who
advocated mysticism and felt that the church was not capable of
meeting the spiritual needs of the people to John Wycliffe
who was an English priest and a professor at Oxford who
founded the Lollard movement. According to the Lollards, salvation
did not come from the pope and they believed that the king
was more important than the pope. John Wycliffe’s teachings
showed that reading the Bible was important
to the religion and the manner in which it was interpreted
by the priests was not as important. On the same lines of preaching as that of
John Wycliffe, Jan Hus in Bohemia tried to bring reforms in the manner in which the
church practiced dominion over the people. While many people did not agree
to his teachings, Jan Hus still had a group of followers who
called themselves the Hussites. Jan Hus was invited in 1413 to a
council which claimed to help in the reformation of the church but he was
arrested for his views once he came. While a trial did take place
to prove him guilty, his guilt was proven at the moment when
he had stepped in the council. He was burned on the stake for going
against the church on July 6, 1415. Renaissance The 13th and 14th centuries were
a period of enlightenment when Europe experienced a revival
of art, education and society. The Italian Renaissance
marked the beginning of a new era as
it spread through the whole of Europe creating a renewed
interest in science and experimentation. The importance of leading a good life
rather than depending on afterlife for a happy life started settling
in among the people of Europe. Earlier the church stressed
on salvation and afterlife. The Renaissance introduced new
techniques and fundamentals as artists removed the shroud of the colder and
darker styles of the Middle Ages. With such a burst of art and
culture, this period marks the time when Europe stepped
out of backwardness into a more modern era and embraced
trade and exploration along with gaining insight
to its own art and culture. While the Middle Ages was
a phase that gave rise to some modern institutions
which have their roots in the institutions created
during the Middle Ages, Many changes took place during
the Renaissance period. Social Order and Cultural Change Florentine Social Divisions The people of Florence were divided
into four main classes which in simple words were the rulers, the merchants, the
smaller businessmen and the paupers. A successful revolt in 1378 known as the
Ciompi Revolt led the paupers who were also known as the Popolo minuto against
the rulers and the rich merchants. The revolt helped the
popolo minute to reign over Florentine for a
period of four years before Cosimo de’ Medici came into power
and helped Florence regain its stability. The plague created a void in
many households where women had to take up work to continue
supporting their families. This helped in the creation of more
favorable working conditions for women. Underclass When the Renaissance began, the underclass
people were often treated as criminals. Many women who belonged to the underclass
were unable to find respectable jobs and found prostitution to
be the only means of survival. Business Trade and commerce suffered when Europe
was going through the Hundred Years’ War. An overall decrease in
trade caused businessmen to suffer a lot of
losses after the War. Renaissance helped in
uplifting the society and helping Europe move towards
a more open society. With humanists trying to educate the
people about the stereotypes that people must let go of and the
importance of leading a life that is
virtuous and humane. Many Renaissance scholars
helped in reviving the concepts in
classical books and in ancient learning helping people get
a better insight of their scriptures. Some of the humanists of the era
were Francesco Petrarch, Giovanni Boccaccio, Pico della Mirandola, Sir
Thomas More and Desiderious Erasmus. The Renaissance period also saw an
explosion of talent when it came to art. One of the best masters
during the Renaissance was Leonardo da
Vinci of Florence. Some of his most famous paintings are
The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. He was a very talented person and his
expertise was in more than one areas. This is one of the reasons why
he is still remembered as one of the most prominent figures
from the Renaissance period. Michelangelo was another artist who helped
in the revival of arts and sculptures. He adorned the walls of
the Sistine Chapel and is known for his monumental
sculpture, David. Another artist who got a lot of recognition
during the Renaissance period is Raphael. He was a painter and architect who
created some very popular paintings. The period of Renaissance is known mainly
for the explosion of art and culture in Europe which helped people lead better
lives and enter a more modernized era. The age of exploration The 15th and 16th centuries saw
a lot of sea voyages which is why everyone calls it the
time of exploration for Europe. This is when sea voyages was at
its peak and a huge exchange of cultures and new trading
opportunities began to build. When the sea voyages began,
many of them were started so that explorers can find
shorter routes for trading. Better ship designs and new technology
during the time helped the explorers of Spain and Portugal to travel
longer distances and find new routes. In 1415, Portuguese explorers
claimed certain cities on the region that is recognized as
the Kingdom of Morocco today. When the marriage of Ferdinand
and Isabella united their crowns and formed
the Kingdom of Spain, Christopher Columbus set sail on
their behalf in 1492 and reached Bahamas thinking that he had
discovered a route to the East Indies. Very soon, European countries,
especially those of Spain and Portugal, began to compete for
more land and new expeditions. Some of the most prominent explorers
were Prince Henry who was also known as “The Navigator” who supported
numerous voyages financially, Bartolomeu Dias who was the first European
to sail around the Cape of Good Hope, Vasco da Gama who sailed to India, Pedro Alvares Cabal who discovered Brazil, Ferdinand Magellan who set on
an expedition to circumnavigate the globe but sadly died before
the voyage could be completed, Francis Xavier who was a
missionary who travelled extensively to many
countries around the world. While these were Portuguese explorers
who helped discover some very important lands, there were Spanish explorers
who led important expeditions too. Some of the most prominent
Spanish explorers were Francisco Pizzaro who claimed a huge part
of South America for Spain, Christopher Columbus who
discovered the Caribbean Islands and led to
the Grand Exchange, Vasco Nunez Balboa who founded the
colony of Darien in Panama and Hernando Cortes who
successfully conquered the Aztecs and looted large
amounts of Aztec gold. Among the English explorers
the most popular ones are Sir Francis
Drake and John Cabot. There were French and
Dutch explorers too who started on many expeditions
helping spread their religion, exchanges cultures, enhance trade
and commerce and explore new lands. As a results, the age of
exploration many new trade routes were established from Europe
to other parts of the world. However, the Europeans caused the end
of many native tribes in places that they explored as they fought for land
and tried to conquer new places. From 1580 to 1640, Spain gained
the right to rule over Portugal. Under the Spanish leader
Philip II, Spain became more powerful and helped the Papacy
fight against reformation. But countries soon began
to challenge the powers of Spain and the country started
losing its authority. The Reformation Religion was the most powerful thing
in Europe for a long period of time. Christian religion had been able to
bring all the European countries together even though there were a lot
of differences in their cultures. However, churches began to misuse their
authority and began growing corrupt as they started to accumulate wealth and
coerce their dominion over the people. During the time when the church
started getting corrupt, it began purchasing numerous offices and
selling forgives from God. This was a practice that was
questioned the morality of the priests and those who
were a part of the church. Abusing the powers vested in
the priests for accumulating wealth became one of the biggest
reasons for reformation. Many people wanted to change
the manner in which the church exuded its authority
over common people. Even some clergy and monarchs resented
the tithes that had to be paid by them. Even the Latin use of the Bible made it
difficult to understand and interpret. People began to protest as they wanted
the church to use the local language to preach so that they can understand
the message of God in a better way. When John Wycliffe began the translation
of the Bible to English, many people took this to be the point
from where the Reformation began. What started as a religious
movement soon gained political grounds and had an impact that
was social as well as economic. Some of the most important figures
during the Reformation were: Martin Luther Martin Luther was a young German
monk who openly questioned the works of the church and took up the issue
of immorality of the church. His ideology formed a new set
of followers and according to Lutheranism, education was
necessary for males and females, although it stressed on men controlling
the household while the women controlled the economy and stayed at home
and took care of the household needs. Luther’s doctrines also said that
the church was wrong in believing that good works alone can be the
reason why a Christian enters heaven. According to him, humans are
flawed so they can only rely on the grace of God when it
comes to entering heaven. He also drove the fact that the
Bible was supreme authority and all the Christians should be able to
read and interpret the Bible. This also led to the
translation of the Bible into German by Luther
when he was in hiding. Ulrich Zwingli Zwinglianism was introduced
by Ulrich Zwingli in Switzerland who
enforced similar beliefs as Martin Luther and it
rejected the elaborate rituals indulged by
the Catholic Church. His doctrines also advocated
reform through education. John Calvin John Calvin was a young
reformer who wrote the Institutes of the Christian
Religion at the age of 26. He had a huge impact on the
people with his works and it led to the founding of Calvinism
in Geneva, Switzerland. The beliefs of those who
followed the doctrines of Calvin were different
from those of Luther and Zwingli although
they all bore contempt towards the corruption
of the Catholic Church. With these reformations taking
place in various parts of Europe, the Catholics decided to restore
their control over Europe and a counter-reformation began
taking place as the Catholic Church tried to amend and
make changes to its policies. While the core beliefs remained
the same, the Church worked to defend its ideologies and
reform some of its doctrines. The church in its attempt to reform, took
to Baroque art which was used to help the church put through versus of the Bible in
the form of art for the common people. It also sent missionaries
around the world so that the religion can
gain more attention and finally the church decided to remove
all books that were considered heretical. Enlightenment After a period of chaotic
reformations, there came the era of Absolutism when rulers throughout
Europe had power on their nations. The war of religions had
ended by now and the current state of affairs asked
for a balance of powers. With an era of
absolutism, many rules throughout the continent
had absolute power. This era also marked a period of
enlightenment for the continent when many new concepts and doctrines were
introduced to the European society. Absolutism slowly began
to be replaced with the enlightenment period
which brought rulers like Fredrick II the Great Hohenzollern of
Prussia and Joseph II Hapsburg of Austria. Catherine II who was the
Great Romanov of Russia was also considered to be a
powerful ruler of the period. The period of Enlightenment was
marked with leaders who believed in their position based on
their usefulness to the state. These rulers helped in bringing unified
laws to the society and they repressed the authorities of the nobles and the church
and they usually acted at a fast rate. Many rulers tried to end
feudalism and created equal punishment and
taxation for all. The period of Enlightenment was
noted for the explosion of science and technology which
helped Europe grow further. Some thought leaders who
helped in the growth of science and
technology are Descartes and Bacon who came up
with deductive reasoning and inductive reasoning
respectively. Even Astronomy saw some notable
progress in the field. Luminaries like Johannes Kepler,
Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton boosted the advancements of science
and technology during the period. The field of medicine saw
progress with minds like Andreas Vesalius and William
Harvey during the period. People had a better idea of
life and religion because of the studies and researches
conducted during the period. A well-developed lifestyle and a
society that wanted to learn ideas. Enlightenment brought the ideology that
we were capable of unlimited progress and ideas related to atheism and deism
became very prominent during the period. Even the European markets
experienced a change with Adam Smith’s concept of
free market capitalism. Education and literacy got a much
needed boost and the people began to realize the importance of intellectual
freedom of speech and thought. While many ideas that sprung during this
period challenged the ideology of the Church, it must be noted that this period
did not mark conflicts with the church. Instead, the rulers
promoted religion tolerance which helped the
people in many ways. French revolution An important event in
the history of France and Europe is the French
Revolution of 1789. France, at that time,
was being ruled by King Louis XVI who was
seen as a weak ruler, Queen Marie Antoinette was
believed to be a lavish queen and the people felt that they led a
luxurious life in Versailles. The French Revolution
resulted partly because of the concepts of the
Enlightenment period according to which governments
that do not respect and represent their people
well should be overthrown. When France went through
a massive food shortage and the continuous war
over inequalities grew, a weak king and queen
were unable to suppress the growing concerns of
the people effectively. A harsh winter caused
a huge problem and with dwindling food
supplies, poverty, death and destruction spurred the anger of the
people and led to the French Revolution. The tax laws of France exempted
the nobles from paying any taxes, and all attempts of
Louis XVI to tax them failed. This created a period of financial
crisis and France went into a lot of debt from the Seven Years War and
by helping the American Revolution. With rising concerns like
these, the king decided to call the Estates
General for assistance. The Estates General is
made of three estates. The first estate consisted of the
clergymen, the second estate consisted of the nobles while the
third estate was made of commoners. This third estate found rebelled and after
three days the members of the third estate took the Oath of the Tennis Court and drew
up a list of grievances against the king. This sparked a rebellion and
soon the king along with the royal family were forced to leave
Versailles and go to Paris. The next four years was
spent in utter misery as the royal family led
a life of imprisonment. They were stripped of their royal
names and were nicknamed the Carpets. The king was charged with treason and
sentenced to death while the queen, now known as the ‘Widow Carpet’
had her children taken away from her and after spending
four years in imprisonment, she was found guilty of treason and
executed on October 16th, 1793. The revolutionaries in France
led to the establishment of a new government
according to their desires. The members of the third estate became
members of the National Assembly. They helped in the establishment of
equality of rights and the freedom of religion, taxation of equality and
freedom of expression and the press. A directory was formed which
was the first constitutional republic which had an executive
body of five directors. This was along with a bicameral
legislative which consisted of the Council of Ancients
and the Council of 500. When the elections were held a
majority of royalists were elected. People began to grow
fearful of the possibility of a return of terror
from the monarchist rules so when Napoleon Bonaparte
and Abbe Sieyes headed the coup of 18
Brumaire in order to bring an end to the directory
and establish a consulate then it faced
very little opposition. Napoleon Napoleon was sent by the
members of Bourgeois to take control of the situation and
bring down the Directory. However, he took advantage
of the situation and after the Brumaire coup, he took
control of the nation. He began leading the nation by taking it
through some Enlightenment reforms which helped the country get freedom of religion,
uniform law codes and equality of rights. Napoleon was seen as a
military dictator and he remained undefeated by
Austria, Russia and Prussia. He took control of many
regions in Europe but he was unable to take
control over England. Napoleon then employed the
continental system of economic warfare through which he
prohibited trade with the British but this did not work
as effectively because they were still able
to smuggle their goods and trade with the
other British colonies established in Asia
and United States. When Alexander I of Russia chose
to withdraw the Continental System, Napoleon invaded Russia
but failed in his attempt. He quickly raised a new army but
he was defeated once again by an alliance formed by England,
Austria, Russia and Prussia. His defeat from the alliance
in 1813 in the battle of Nations led to his exile
to the island of Elba. However, Napoleon managed to
escape and returned in 1815. He was crushed by the same
Quadruple Alliance once again and was exiled to
the Island of St. Helena. He spent the rest of the days of his
life here till he died in 1821. World Wars With increasing German nationalism,
Germany was progressing vigorously when it came
to trade and industry. It even challenged Great Britain
which was, at that time, considered to be the premier
industrial nation of the continent. This heralded rivalries that bore many
facets between Britain and Germany. Britain and France sought
an alliance with each other so that they can balance
the power of Germany. Germany had also allowed the lapse
of an alliance with Russia which led to the development of hostile
nations around the country. Germany’s foreign policies were one of the
reasons for the outbreak of World War I. There are many historians who suggest
that Germany had willed the war while others feel that the war was
a result of a poor leadership. The war erupted in 1914
with the assassination of Archduke Franz
Ferdinand and it ended when allied troops broke through the
German fortifications on September 1918. On November 11, 1918, an
armistice agreement was signed by the Germans which
ended the First World War. With Europe losing an
entire generation of young men, the war had cost more
than just money and land, it had led to a huge loss of
lives and an imbalance in the social and economic lives
of the people of Europe. The continent was devastated
from the effects of the war. The German, Austrian and
Russian monarchies ended as democratic and revolutionary
governments took its place. The alliances that were
victorious in the war quickly blamed Germany for
the devastation and took to punishing the nation
through the Treaty of Versailles which came
down harshly on Germany. The Treaty gave rise to resentment
among nations like Germany, Italy and Hungary who felt that they did
not get anything out of the Treaty. This led to aggression once
again and Germany left the League of the Nations in 1934
and tried to annex Austria. Soon the nations began to feel guilty of
their treatment of Germany in the Treaty. Germany annexed Austria in 1938
and in 1939, it annexed Poland which led Great Britain and France
to declare war against Germany. This led to the Second World War
with the signing of a Tripartite Treaty by Germany, Italy and Japan
who formed the Axis powers. On the other hand, the rest of
the Allies joined hands and after an immense bombing campaign
in 1943, Germany weakened. On May 8, 1945 Europe celebrated
victory as the Russians took Berlin. Two major conferences, The Yalta
Conference and the Potsdam Conference helped in terminating
the war successfully. After World War II,
Europe entered a period where peace and prosperity
has grown notably. With the dawn of the 21st
century, the nation has embraced modern cultures
and new ideologies. Europe has strengthened its
economy and formed rules that can help the government progress with
the advancements of the world. Today, Europe boasts of a
stable economy and a stronger government with nations
who sustain themselves on a well-established society
leaving behind the norms of the past and the inequalities that
their ancestors have known. The industries and the
economy has gone through a substantial facelift and
Europe has been able to recover from the world
wars building itself into a continent that is stronger
than it was before. Today, Europeans boats of
a rich culture, religious tolerance, leading companies
and great luminaries. It is home to art and culture
that is recognized by the world and it has led its people
into leading a life that not only helps them advance to
modern ways, but also ensures that the teachings of the past
help in building the future.

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