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Western European Timeline, Research Paper Example

Pages: 5

Words: 1272

Research Paper

Western European Timeline

The Reformation 1517-1648

This is a significant event in Western European History because it is the first movement that separated church and state.  The church practices indulgences, which were pieces of paper that the church sold to excuse people for their sins.  Essentially the government was making money off of the church by selling forgiveness.  Martin Luther unknowingly started the reformation when he nailed the list of 95 propositions, or theses, to the door of the great Church.   The purpose was intended to reform some of the practices and doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, however it resulted in the establishment of a new practicing religion, that of the Protestant Churches.  This is the first documented history where the church and the state were separated.   A great significance for separation of power that has continued on to modern day practices.

The Peace of Westphalia ends the Thirty Years’ War 1648

The Peace of Westphalia was the closing of the Thirty Year War.  In this agreement, the Dutch Republic and Switzerland’s independence was recognized.  It also allowed German state the authority to make alliances and treaties, alliances further weakening the authority of the Holy Roman emperor.  Along with the Peace of Augsburg, it expanded the religious affairs to include Calvinists, as well as Catholics and Lutherans.  The Holy Roman empire was broken into a number of independent states, which moved the emperor’s hope of restoring power through the Catholic faith further away.  The Peace of Westphalia with the Treaty of the Pyrenees established France as the most powerful on the European continent.  This event holds historical significance because there were so many different parties involved and the treaty was made up of multiple treaties.  Compromise was difficult but after six years of attempts, it was finally complete.

The American Revolution 1775-1783

The American Revolution, also known as the American War of Independence, was a conflict between the American colonist and the British Empire. This war is where the slogan “No Taxation without Representation” came about.  As a result of Britain implemented high taxes, Americans rebelled.  Britain’s European rivals joined the Americans in the war.  Britain had other battles taking away from the American Revolution.  In 1783, the Treaty of Paris was signed, recognizing the thirteen colonies as independent.   Britain also signed treaties with Dutch, Spain, and France.   This event holds historical significance because it is the first attempt to balance national government with personal liberties.  It was the starting point for democracy that has continued to evolve.

The French Revolution 1789

The French Revolution holds vast historical significance because it marks a point where France turns from a monarchial state to a modern nation with social structure.  The causes of the war are controversial.  It has been attributed to the poor living conditions, lack of food, and the overall weakness of the monarchy.  The French Revolution has historical significance because it defines the start of a new political culture that basis is built on core values of the nation, citizens, justification of politics, and a democracy.  This Revolution is also notable for its victory of capitalism over feudalism.

The Communist Manifesto 1848

The Communist Manifesto is still to-date a historically significant document.   The views are reflective of being an advocate of socialism and a critic to capitalism.  This publication surfacing at the end of the Revolutions, it significance is highly imperative in historical value.  The publication defines the characteristics and likelihood of a communistic country, along with many other writings aimed against capitalism.   It is an essential guidebook for any socialist serious about overthrowing capitalism.  This was the basic foundation for developing political and legal systems of state rule, ideology, with cultural lives and the norms of social behavior.

The Panic and the Long Depression Begins 1873

The Panic of 1873 triggered an international economic depression in both the United States and in Europe.  After the Franco-Prussian war, silver demand fell after Germany abandoned the silver standard.  As a result, the Vienna Stock Exchange crashed, bankruptcy rose, and unemployment grew.  This is one of the first known economic crises that have hit internationally all industrial nations, affecting the government, economy, and the people.  The recovery was much quicker in Europe than in the United States.  The historical significance is this is the turning point for industrialism.  The Nation began moving towards industrial manufacturing opposed to agricultural.  This depression was accompanied by violent strikes, free silver political crusades, the climax of Populist, and the continued transformation of the countries economy.

World War I 1914-1918

World War I, also referred to as the Great War, was a battle that spread across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East killing over eight million people.  Historically, this is the battle that set the standard of what war truly consisted of.  This event began with when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, and then quickly spread to include other countries.   After a large number of lives were lost, and a deadly outbreak of influenza, the war ended in the late fall of 1918.  Germany was the last to sign, and under the Treaty of Versailles was punished with damaging economic reparations, strict limits on military development, and territorial loss.  The greatest significance if this war is that it represented the need for militia as well as the need for federal government to enforce its law.

World War II 1939-1945

World War II began when the Nazi’s invaded Poland.  The war was inevitably a result of Hitler’s desire for war and racial domination.  World War II in Europe was fought on three main areas consisting of the East, the West, and Italy.  This war had historical significance due to the extreme life loss, and racial profiling that left innocent people struggling to survive.  The death camps and mass executions left twelve million people dead.  The war ended with Germany’s surrender.  World War II has historical significance because it was the biggest struggle of humankind.  The entire world felt the effects of this war, and more than 50 countries took part.  It was a perfect example of the detriments of communism and its powers.

Tearing Down of Berlin Wall 1989

The Berlin Wall was the symbol of communism.  It was put up as a means to keep people from moving East to West after the war ended.  The wall was a physical boundary between democracy and communism.  President Reagan made a Speech to persuade Germany to tear down the wall.  On November 9, 1989, after intense East German protest, the door was open for the first time.  By the end of the year, the instructions to dismantle the wall were given.  This signified the ending of the Communist government of Eastern Europe, and eventually the Soviet Union, the wall coming down was a turning point in history.   It symbolized the end of the cold war and the collapse of communism.

The European Union Takes in the Former Communist East 2004

On May 1, 2004, the European Union takes in eight foreign communist societies.  In order to join the European Union, the state has to fulfill certain political and economical conditions, called the Copenhagen criteria.  This requires a stable democratic government along with its corresponding freedoms and institutions.  This is a historical turning point of putting Europe back together at the end of the communistic reign.  The goal was to take the ideals of Western Civilization including markets, democracy, and civil rights.   This is significant because it’s intended to spread peace and economic growth throughout the entire country.  It is also significant because it shows the collapse of one of the strongest communistic societies in history.

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