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Unformatted text preview: T OPIC II: S UCCESSFUL G RADUALISM AND R UPTURE FROM B ELOW ? B RITAIN AND F RANCE ... Pocock: WHAT DO WE MEAN BY EUROPE? Contemporary debate about the meaning of Europe, whether it extends beyond Poland, must be placed in historical context, is tied to current political economic and intellectual preoccupations but has behind it a long history of the use of language in presenting and controlling human experience. Originally, what was referred to as Europe was only a small area (close to the Aegean Sea). Europe as a continent created in the last group of Roman provinces after the disintegration of the unified Roman Empire, Mediterranean world (not Scandinavia, Spain, and Germany which were added later). Definition of a continent not fully applicable as there is no clear geographical boarder to Asia (such as an ocean or mountains) -> External events had a defining role (e.g., formation of the Ottoman Empire) ; the continent migrated further to the West. That is, the geographical concept of Europe has moved west. The countries to which the term Europe originally applied have become in our minds only marginally European (Thrace, Macedonia, Illyria, Bulgaria, Albania, Serbia, and Greece). History of Europe refers to the history of the political and religious culture that arose in the far western Latin-speaking provinces of the former Roman Empire. Europe as a civilization: Western culture (feudal, papal, monastic, Latin-speaking) began to expand aggressively in the 11 th and 12 th centuries westward at the expense of Celtic people, eastward at the expense of Slavic and Finno-Ugrian peoples, beyond Saxony into the heartlands of the European peninsula and south-eastward at the expense of the Byzantine Empire. The lands called Europe originally past from Greek orthodox to Muslim control (Ottoman conquest 1526). Rise of powerful multiple monarchies who controlled their own resources, pursuing their own policies and acting independently of the papal church, led to states system whose raison dtat and jus gentium (law of nations, international law) took over political theology of the empire and became the definition of Europe itself. Monarchies disappeared in 1918 only. System constituted a confederation of states held together by treaties to which wars were merely auxiliary and by a common system of civilized manners communicated everywhere by commerce; civilization of states, commerce and manners. 18 th century historians of the enlightenment (Voltaire, Hume et al.) defined Europe as secular civilization, neither ancient and Roman nor medieval and papal. Writing history used as a weapon against the Church. Writers primarily French; centre moved from the Church Universal to the hegemonic Kingdom of France....
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This note was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course POLI 211 taught by Professor Sabetti during the Spring '08 term at McGill.

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