In northern and central Europe, reformers like Martin Luther, John Calvin and Henry VIII challenged papal authority and questioned the Catholic Church’s ability to define Christian practice. They argued for a religious and political redistribution of power into the hands of Bible- and pamphlet-reading pastors and princes. The disruption triggered wars, persecutions and the so-called Counter-Reformation, the Catholic Church’s delayed but forceful response to the Protestants.
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European politics, philosophy, science and communications were radically reoriented during the course of the “long 18th century” as part of a movement referred to by its participants as the Age of Reason, or simply the Enlightenment.
Agricultural revolution, gradual transformation of the traditional agricultural system that began in Britain in the 18th century. Aspects of this complex transformation, which was not completed until the 19th century, included the reallocation of land ownership to make farms more compact and an increased investment in technical improvements, such as new machinery, better drainage, scientific methods of breeding, and experimentation with new crops and systems of crop rotation.
a period during which predominantly agrarian, rural societies in Europe and America became industrial and urban.
The war of independence waged by the American colonies against Britain influenced political ideas and revolutions around the globe, as a fledgling, largely disconnected nation won its freedom from the greatest military force of its time.
one of the basic charters of human liberties, containing the principles that inspired the French Revolution. Its 17 articles, adopted between August 20 and August 26, 1789, by France’s National Assembly, served as the preamble to the Constitution of 1791.
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
After the death of Louis XVI in 1793, the Reign of Terror began. Marie Antoinette. She had been imprisoned with her children after she was separated from Louis. First they took her son Louis Charles from her
five months after Napoleon I’s first abdication and completed its “Final Act” in June 1815, shortly before the Waterloo campaign and the final defeat of Napoleon. The settlement was the most-comprehensive treaty that Europe had ever seen.
The war originated in the Cuban struggle for independence from Spain, which began in February 1895. Spain declared war on the United States on April 24, followed by a U.S. declaration of war on the 25th, which was made retroactive to April 21. The ensuing war was pathetically one-sided, since Spain had readied neither its army nor its navy for a distant war with the formidable power of the United States.