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European shifts from conflict. Protestant Reformation Scientific Revolution. Warfare was nearly constant in Europe during the early Modern Era. List the wars and examine their economic and human costs. Why were these wars fought and what was the outcome and significance in European history? .

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european shifts from conflict

European shifts from conflict

Protestant Reformation

Scientific Revolution


Warfare was nearly constant in Europe during the early Modern Era. List the wars and examine their economic and human costs. Why were these wars fought and what was the outcome and significance in European history?

  • There was widespread death and destruction of the religious wars of Catholics versus Protestants as well as the internal and international wars of the era.
  • The financial expense of these wars should also be addressed. Despite the enormous costs in human life and money, these wars led to tremendous innovations in weaponry and skill.
  • All states developed armies and navies according to their particular needs.
    • For instance, England, an island nation, had no standing army and a large navy.
    • The continental states had much larger armies than navies.
  • Refinements (rather than revolutions) in technology, in such areas as firearms, shipping, and metallurgy, were important, as were advances in communications and transportation.
  • The development of modern diplomacy was a lasting result of that era of warfare, which was evident in the precarious and shifting balances of power.

How did the European states “pay the piper”? Were politics and warfare related to European economies and economic development from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century?

  • Wars were waged for political gain, and the high cost of warfare demanded further increases in revenue. Monarchs promoted alliances with commercial elites, as well as across religious boundaries. States also began to tax the nobility and raise those taxes directly. Colonialism helped promote economic growth, and government protection and stimulus further increased economic development. On the other hand, Spain is an example of a country that kept increasing its military expenditures without promoting economic development. It also ignored alliances for the sake of religious uniformity and aristocratic privilege.

A statement by the French scholar Loys Le Roy regarding the 1700s was that “he was living at a turning point in world history.” Was Le Roy correct?

  • First, Europe was ascending to power and the Ottoman Empire was declining from power.
  • Second, were the events that contributed to this ascension to power by the Europeans
  • On an intellectual and cultural level, there was the Protestant Reformation that shattered Latin Christian unity, but opened the way for intellectual freedom and encouraged some to challenge traditional ideas.
  • The Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment laid an intellectual foundation for the rise of European world dominance.
  • Next, were the economic and social changes that contributed to European power.
    • The rise of a bourgeoisie and the expansion of maritime trade with the support of government were instrumental in this change.
    • Government support took the form of joint-stock companies and other projects to improve economic conditions.
      • This led to reliance on conquest for control of the trade routes and flow of the bullion and even further production within the country, or the concept of mercantilism.
  • Lastly the European state development and the efforts of European monarchs to consolidate their control were through absolutist policies, therefore we see the Age of Absolutism.
  • The constant warfare of the era also produced positive results for states.
  • These wars inspired the creation of large standing armies, better skilled soldiers, and military hardware.
  • These military improvements proved to be essential in the coming centuries of Europe’s rise to world dominance.

Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire failed to unify Europe while the European royal monarchies centralized their state control in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

  • There were attempts by Charles V to unify Europe under the rule of the Holy Roman Empire.
    • His Hapsburg Empire included the Iberian peninsula and eventually the French catholics.
    • There single minded purpose was to prevent the expansion of Islam into Europe and after the Battle of Mohacs and the defeat of Hungary to the Ottomans, their resolve deepened.
    • Following the death of Charles, the Holy League defeated the Ottomans in a great naval battle at Lepanto in 1571.
  • Although the Ottoman Empire was turned away in 1529, Charles V eventually gave up his goal of European unification after decades of bitter fighting.
  • Spain, France, and England began to build successful states based on political centralization and religious unity.
  • Royal authority was boosted by limiting the authority of the church, although different nations took a wide array of routes to that end.
  • For example, Spain united behind the Inquisition after the Reconquistalsion of the Jews and Muslims from the Iberian peninsula.
  • France switched from Calvinism back to Catholicism following the 100 Years War (“Paris is worth a mass”)
  • England created the Church of England (Henry VIII and Tudors and Stuarts)
  • Monarchs also promoted national institutions, such as standardized national languages and political offices and national armies.

There were disparities among the various social classes in European urban society between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. Who were the bourgeoisie? What conditions did the poorer classes endure?

  • The contrasts in wealth in Europe were startling.
  • The new well-off class of urban dwellers, referred to by the French as the bourgeoisie, got its wealth from manufacturing, finance, and trade.
  • Its connections to the monarchy and the monarchy’s need for revenue were important.
  • There were many contrasts of the new wealthy class with the rural aristocracy, as well as contrasts between the urban poor and the artisan classes, in areas such as marriage, education, and child rearing. Although serfdom had been on the decline in Europe for a long time, the peasantry lived under worse conditions as a result of constant warfare, economic conditions, and environmental problems. By 1700 the introduction of American crops improved the diet by providing potatoes and corn to peasants. Deforestation hit the peasantry hard as it eliminated a big resource for the peasantry of lumber and wild game as well as nuts and berries. Many peasants were forced to move to the urban areas where they became beggars, prostitutes, and criminals. The misery of these people erupted in uprising and mob violence.
describe the experiences of women in seventeenth and eighteenth century europe
Describe the experiences of women in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe
  • There are some of the basic difficulties of explaining the experiences of women. First, women generally lived in patriarchal societies and therefore ranked below men throughout the world.
  • However, social class played an extremely important part in defining their life experiences.
  • Women of the elite class enjoyed a life much different from those of the lower classes.
  • Most European women married and their lives were defined by their husbands’ status and their children.
  • Widowed and single women had lower status.
    • Single women had few opportunities open to them; however, becoming a nun was one of the few respectable options for a single life.
    • There continued to be a tradition of arranged marriage versus romantic marriages among Europeans.
      • Among the elite classes arranged marriage remained important, but among the lower classes romantic marriage became fashionable.
    • These changes had important demographic results.
    • Delaying marriage also resulted in the rise of brothels and rape in society.
  • Education was also determined as much by class as gender.
    • Some women of the elite or bourgeois class were educated; in fact, Europe led the world in female literacy.
    • Men and women of lower classes did not have access to education.
  • Witchcraft issues were gender issues as well.
    • The Christian belief that women were morally inferior to men led accusers to assume that women, especially widows and single women, were more susceptible to the devil’s temptations.
    • Women also performed the function of midwife as well as healer where they influenced life and death.
    • This role made them likely to be accused over men as well.

How can one explain the witch-hunts that swept through Europe in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries? Who were the victims? Why were so many of the accused women?

  • The minds of most Europeans were shaped by a mixture of Christian and folk traditions.
  • Europeans believed in supernatural and magical causes for events. Disasters such as crop failures could be construed as punishment for sin or considered due to evil magic.
  • In the seventeenth century, authorities tried over a hundred thousand people, three-fourths of them women, for practicing witchcraft.
  • Many were tortured until they confessed to casting spells and using evil magic, and many were executed.
  • The Christian belief that women were morally inferior to men led accusers to assume that women, especially widows and single women, were more susceptible to the devil’s temptations.
  • Women also performed the function of midwife as well as healer where they influenced life and death.
  • This role made them likely to be accused over men as well.
  • Explanations for these witch-hunts vary.
    • Some believe that women who were outside of male authority, such as widows, were accused because of their potential independence and power in society.
    • It is also posited that the witch-hunts were a violent reaction to the social tensions, rural poverty, and environmental strains.
    • Finally, historians also consider that some of the accused were actually practicing witchcraft against their enemies.

Describe the intellectual revolution of the Scientific Revolution. Why did it begin? Who were some of the notable minds responsible for this revolution? Was there widespread acceptance of their ideas?

  • The origins of the Scientific Revolution emerging out of the Renaissance rediscovery of Greek thought.
  • In the sixteenth century some great thinkers began to challenge the discoveries of the Greeks, particularly Aristotle, and begin a movement to explain the workings of the universe based on natural causes and mathematics.
  • The contributions of Copernicus, Brahe, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton all combined to alter the way of thinking established by Aristotle.
  • The heliocentric theory of the universe was intertwined with the Age of Discovery and Exploration.
  • Galilieo was condemned for his writings.
  • The scientific method also made contributions to social thought, which, along with economic and political changes, resulted in the Enlightenment.

How did the basic tenets of Lutheranism and Calvinism differ from those of Catholicism? What was the Catholic response to the Protestant Reformation?

  • These differences hinged on the differing emphases on the path to salvation—the Catholic belief in salvation through good works, the Lutheran emphasis on faith, and the Calvinist belief in predestination.
  • The different philosophies regarding church ornamentation and hierarchies were also prominent.
  • The “Catholic Reformation” addressed the Protestant challenge at the Council of Trent.
  • While many Catholic beliefs were clarified, the council mostly reaffirmed papal and church power.