The Transformation From Medieval To Early Modern

2105 words - 9 pages

The year is 1750 and European power has spread to every far corner of the world. The British and French occupy most of the Hudson Bay and North Atlantic territories, while the Spanish and Portuguese have established massive sugar plantations and mining companies throughout South America and the Caribbean. The Dutch Republic has also started growing it’s imperial, nationalistic, and economic boundaries to the new world as well. How did the Europeans push their way to global influence and dominance over the world? The answer lies in the early 14th century as Europe emerged from the darkness of the Middle Ages. European states began to prosper through the developing global economy, growing populations, breakdown in religious unity, and dramatic competition amongst regional states. Not only did Europe begin to expand its political sphere, but it also increased its knowledge through the re-introduction of Hellenistic and rationalistic ideologies of the once great Roman and Greek civilizations. These ideas propelled Europe into the Enlightenment and the scientific revolution which cause more separation from previous religious beliefs. All of these factors caused an enormous influence on European economies, religious beliefs, modern scientific and mathematical discoveries, and vicious competition between powerful national states.. Despite being their own individual aspects in European history, they all play a giant role into the formation of the early modern world. We must also keep in mind that all of these aspects of European development are occurring simultaneously throughout history The initial factor to European dominance was the establishment of powerful state building. The European states were the center stones for the rest of Europe’s history and is the ultimate cause of the early modern era.
In 1500 we can see the beginnings of the regional states in Germany, Spain, France, and England thanks to the crumbled remains of the Holy Roman Empire. States had initially been run by the regional kings who had authority over the small populations that resided around them. However in 1517, Martin Luther and his ninety-five thesis created the ground works for states to become their own individual power. Before the reformation we can see that European states were all united by one religion under the Roman Catholic Church, but after the Protestant break Kings and Lords gained an excuse to become an individual power. King Henry VIII for example, created his own church called the Church of England because he came into conflict with the pope. By 1560 England had become Protestant and left the Catholic Church on a dispute over divorce. In France, John Calvin had also started a religion fire storm that took influence throughout the Low Countries, Scotland, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. The Calvinist movement had spread so fast that by then of the 15th century, religious unity in Europe was nothing more than a distant memory. What made state building...

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