Western Europe


Location: western part of EUROPE along Atlantic & Mediterranean

Coastline: irregular - good harbors - wealth from trade

Agriculture: favorable, climate + many rivers = food surplus


Ancient Greece: city- state because of mountains/islands

Democracy: Athens; direct (all citizens vote on laws)

Philosophers: meaning of life; Socrates, Plato, Aristotle

Ancient Rome: from, Republic to Empire

Law: 12 Tables written laws protect; Senate represented patricians

Engineering: practical use of knowledge; roads, aqueducts, arch, dome

Pax Ramona: 200 years of peace; Empire grew.   

Religion: polytheistic; persecuted Christians, and then tolerated (Edict of Milan), then official religion.

MIDDLE AGES. (MEDIEVAL) (500 - 1500)

Dark Ages: period of chaos, danger after fall of Rome: no central authority.

Feudalism: social, political, economic system: land ownership: local lords more powerful than king; rigid classes: serfs bound to land.

Roman Catholic Church: only unifying force: preserved learning.

Crusades: wars to win Holy Land from Muslims; failed; brought back spices, silk

Towns/trade: grew with demand for spices: weakened lords: kings stronger.


"rebirth" of interest in ancient Greece & Rome

Italy: wealthy through trade. Patrons (deMedici) supported artists

Masters: Michelangelo (Sistine Chapel): daVinci (Mona Lisa)

Humanism: belief that humans are important - secular (non-religious)

Questioning Spirit: in science (Galilee); led to questioning religion


attempt to correct abuses' of the R. Catholic Church

Martin Luther: GermanrnpI1k; 95 Theses: Lutheran Church.

Movement grows: spreads across Europe; Henry VIII (Eng), John Calvin (Switzerland)

End of religious unity: civil wars, international wars about religion

Decline of RC Church: Pope and Church lost power

AGE OF EXPL0RATION (1450 - 1750)

Demand for goods: led to search for all-water route to East

Columbus: 1492: sailed west to get to Asia; "discovered" New World

Atlantic Ocean: replaced Mediterranean as chief trade route.

Commercial Revolution: trade led to wealthy middle class who looked for new investments; rise of capitalism (private ownership); mercantilism: colonies exist to benefit mother country (materials & markets)


Kings united their countries

France: absolute monarchy: divine fight: Louis XIV made France powerful, but ran up debts by wars, & extravagance.  

England: become more democratic through revolution/evolution

Magna Carta: 1215 - King must obey the law; trial by Jury

Limited Monarchy: Parliament makes the laws

Evolved, unwritten constitution: laws based on customs


Natural Laws: laws of nature also apply to society: man has "natural rights"

John Locke: govt is based on the "consent of the “governed"; people give power

Voltaire: freedom of speech & religion

Rousseau: majority should rule      

Montesquieu: no one should be too powerful; 3 branches of govt: Executive, Legislative& Judicial should check & balance each other.


Inspired by the American Revolution

Old Regime: abuses: absolutism, taxation, 3 Estates

Bourgeoisie: middle class (3rd Estate) overthrew Louis XVI

Moderate-Radical-Moderate:" stages of revolution - Reign of Terror

Napoleon: seized-power

Napoleonic Wars

Code Napoleon

Results: ideas of nationalism, (Liberty, Equality, Fraternity) spread through Europe; middle class became powerful political force.

Industrial Revolution

Change:  from domestic system (in house) to factory System

England: had resources, $$, labor force

Good & bad: More production, lower prices - terrible factory conditions

Laissez Faire: Adam Smith; govt should stay out of economy

Karl Marx: Communist; class struggle; workers should unite & take over

Middle class: became wealthy & politically strong


Africa & Asia: for raw materials & markets; couldn't defend (Bur. weapons)

Mercantilism: colonies exist for mother country (support industries)

Conflict: race for colonies led to tension, wars

Social Darwinism: "White Man's Burden"; "superior" races conquer weaker ones

WORLD WAR I (1914 - 1918)

United Germany & Italy upset balance of power

MAIN Causes: Militarism; Alliances; Imperialism; Nationalism (assassination)

Sides: Allied Powers (Britain, France, Russia - US) v. Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Empire)

Types of Warfare: trenches; airplanes; submarines; chemical

Treaty- of Versailles: established League of Nations; punished Germany: war guilt, reparations, and loss of colonies

New Countries: based on ethnic lines: Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Yugoslavia

 WORLD WAR II (1939 - 1945)           

Rise of Dictators:

Mussolini (Italy) establishes Fascism;

Hitler (Germany) promises to return Germany to glory


Violation of Treaty or Versailles

Anschluss with Austria;




Appeasement: giving in to demands to avoid war.

Munich Agreement

Totalitarianism: total control of every aspect of life       

Nazi Party: German Fascist Party - nation (state) is all-important

Anti-Semitism: hatred of Jews; blamed for defeat in WW I

Holocaust: genocide (murder of race of people); 6 million Jew; 6 million others.

US involvement: Pearl Harbor (Japan); joined Allies v Axis; D-Day, Hiroshima

Nuremberg Trials: Nazis guilty of "crimes' against humanity"

MODERN EUROPE: 1945 to Present

Cold War: Superpowers (US & USSR); war of words, spies

Iron Curtain: USSR made "satellites" of Eastern Europe; imposed communism

NATO v. Warsaw Pact: Democracies v. communists; defensive alliances

End of Colonial Empires: Britain & France weak; colonies win independence,

Containment & Marshall Plan: US policy to stop spread of Communism, rebuild Europe

United Nations: international forum to settle problems

Northern Ireland: civil war; Catholic minority v. Protestants; IRA terrorism

European Economic Community (European Union): outgrowth of Common Market; economic cooperation among members; some want political union.

Eurodollar has gone into effect a common currency for all members of the European Union.