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Western Europe Ap Essay

923 words - 4 pages

In regard to the rest of the postclassical world, Western Europe was well behind politically, economically and technologically. It chose to adapt the advancements of other civilizations rather than creating its own. Yet because of their geographical position and lack of political unity, Western Europe was not required to be as advanced as the rest of the postclassical world. Instead, Western Europe was defined by a desire to emulate the Roman Empire, Christian authority, learning and philosophy and political and economical systems based on relations between different classes.
Throughout the majority of the postclassical period in Western Europe, there was really only one major empire, under Charlemagne. At the height of this empire, he was given the title of Roman Emperor by the pope, one step in completing his quest to recreate the powerful Roman Empire. In Document 5, he is described by his closest friend as sending his children to learn liberal arts, and when they came of age, for the boys to learn the art of war and the girls to learn cloth making. This would suggest that he was attempting to educate his sons so that they might be able to carry on his empire. He is also described as filling the treasury of the Holy Roman Church “with a vast wealth of gold, silver and precious stones.” This was suggest that he is doing what he can to help the religion Roman Empire, another step on his quest to bring it back. In regards to drinking in the Western Europe during the postclassical period, Document 14 also says that “the consensus was that alcohol was necessary to maintain good health, while the consumption of water was absolutely dangerous.” This is a view originally adopted in the Roman Empire when wine was made in abundance and was consumed constantly due to a lack of access to drinkable water.
Christianity, one of the world’s major religions still today, held the hearts, minds and courts of Western Europe. Document 10 features excerpts from the Magna Carta, a document issued to limit the power of the king, and two of these excerpts are dedicated to ensuring that the “English church shall be free,” suggesting that Christianity held significant importance. Not only did the Christian Church hold importance but it also held authority. Document 11 describes the power of the Catholic Inquisition. In attempting to try a man for heresy, they killed him by means of torture. Not only did they have the judging authority, but they could kill men without consequence. The greatest minds of Western Europe were captivated by Christianity as well. Document 13 describes Thomas Aquinas, one of the best thinkers of the Christian postclassical world, in his use of science to try to determine the right and Christian...

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