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Major Events

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Perhaps the easiest way to divide European history into manageable chunks is by the major events, be they revolutions or socio-cultural changes like the Reformation.
  1. French Revolution
  2. Industrial Revolution
  3. Russian Revolution
  4. The Reformation
  1. The Renaissance
  2. Interwar Germany: 1918 - 1939
  3. The Enlightenment
  4. Colonialism / Imperialism

French Revolution

Library of Congress

Beginning in 1789, the Revolution affected every aspect of France and much of Europe, often being called the start of the modern era.

Industrial Revolution

The second half of the 18th century, scientific and technological changes began to radically change the world. Mechanization and factories altered the nature of economics and society, while urbanization, and industrialization reshaped both the physical, and mental, landscape.

Russian Revolution

Library of Congress

In 1917 two revolutions convulsed Russia, leading to civil war and the creation of a communist government. The events of this period helped transform the world and remain in evidence today.

The Reformation

Library of Congress

The Reformation was a split in the Latin Christian church during the sixteenth century which introduced Protestantism to the world and created a major division which lasts to this day.

The Renaissance

Library of Congress

The Renaissance was a cultural and socio-political movement of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries which stressed the rediscovery of texts and thought from classical antiquity.

Interwar Germany: 1918 - 1939

Adolf Hitler; Source: Getty Images

Imperial Germany collapsed at the end of World War 1, and Germany experienced a tumultuous time which climaxed with the Nazis and World War 2.

The Enlightenment

Library of Congress

The Enlightenment was an intellectual and cultural movement of the 17th and 18th centuries which stressed reason and criticism over faith and superstition.

Colonialism / Imperialism

Library of Congress / Library of Congress

Europeans have conquered, settled and ruled a huge proportion of the earth’s land mass, and the effects of these overseas empires are still felt today.

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