A Summary of Developments in Europe

This is the essay for the 36th week of the 7th Grade Ron Paul Curriculum. It’s A Summary of the Developments in Europe.


We started this school year with the fall of Rome in 476 AD. Then we ended this school year at the battle of Jumonville Glen in 1754. I shall now summarize the developments that Europe has gone through during the 1278 time period that has passed.

When the Roman Empire collapsed it was chaos in most of Europe. There were tribes all around the place, but none of them really qualified as a country. The only place that was a country was the Eastern Roman Empire, also known as the Byzantine Empire. Over time tribes started grabbing up the free land, which eventually turned to countries. One of the first was France with Charlemagne’s Kingdom. Eventually, all the space was owned by other countries and countries had to start fighting each other for land.

During this time the Christian Church was growing and it was adopted by almost all the countries in Europe. But it wasn’t the only religion that the church brought with it. It brought stability after the collapse of the Roman Empire. And it gave people a place to go to in a time of need. But Christianity wasn’t the only religion that was spreading quickly.

There was also Islam. Islam was founded by Muhammad, but his full name is Abū al-Qāsim Muḥammad. It spread quickly through the Middle-East and Africa. It even made its way into Iberia. Islam gave way to one of the most powerful empires in the middle-east, the Ottoman empire which eventually took over the Byzantine Empire. The Muslims took over the Jewish and Christian capital of Jerusalem.

This caused the Crusades to start. There were 9 crusades in total. The first started in 1096 and the last one ended in 1291. The crusades lasted 195 years. But there were long years of breaks between the crusades, so the actual fighting only lasted 42 years. Several Kings and Countries participated in the crusades. Only a handful of the crusades were successful, most of them were disasters. Only one of them was completed with negotiation, so no fighting. There is also the unofficial Crusades, like the Children’s Crusade which legitimacy is being debated.

The Renaissance is when people realized that the Church wasn’t a saint and caring for everybody else like they thought. They were just as greedy as they were. They had practices to make good money from people. One of these was Indulgences, which meant that they would forgive somebody for their sins. People realized this and started doing other stuff, like sculpting, painting, inventing stuff and other stuff. Many great painters come from the Renaissance.

Some people disapprove of this and they wanted to people focus more on the church. So they thought to change the ways the Church worked. They wanted to get rid of shady practices, like indulgences. This became the movement known as the Reformation. It caused a new form of Christianity to form, Protestantism. At first, it was met with great disapproval. Countries called the people who followed it heretics and it was heavily persecuted. Several wars were fought for the religion. Eventually, some countries become Protestant entirely, like England. During this time religion was also very important in politics.

There were also other things going on at the same time, like the Act of Supremacy. It was declared by King Henry VIII. It is also known as the Divine Right of Kings. Which meant that he was chosen by God, not the pope or anybody else, that he didn’t need parliament’s permission for anything and that he could anything he wanted. This caused hatred in the Parliament and in the people. Several kings followed the Divine Right of Kings. It also caused several wars in countries

The Exploration came to a start in 1492, when Columbus “discovered” the New World. The reason that I put discovered in these “” is because several other people had found it before him only Columbus brought a lot of attention to it. Several explorers and Countries started exploring the New World. Countries, like Spain, Portugal, England, France and maybe even the Netherlands. But somebody had yet to start a colony on the New World. They have only been exploring and destroying the current civilizations on the continent.

That all changed in 1620 with the first permanent settlement in America was made. It was Jamestown in Virginia an English Colony. It was for a long time the capital of Virginia until it changed to Williamsburg. After that several other countries, like Spain, Portugal, France, even the Dutch and Swedish a little bit. Spain and Portugal took over South America. Spain also conquered the Caribbean, Central America and a lot of North America too. The British settled the Thirteen Colonies. Which, include, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Hampshire and New Jersey. France was able to get to Canada. The Dutch originally had New York, but they traded it with the British for Sri Lanka. Eventually, in 1781 the US became an independent country. But it wasn’t only the New World getting colonized. There was Africa, Asia, and Oceania.