REVIEW SHEET ONE – GROWTH OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION
General questions to think about:
What was the
What were the “revolutions” and developments that brought about massive change in
politics, in society and societal relations, in culture, and in the everyday lives of Europeans; that
moved Europe forward from the Middle Ages into the early modern period?
In what ways did Europe as a continent and Europeans as a people move forward? In
what ways did Europe begin to define “progress” and to spread its ideas of progress to other parts
of the world?
Were developments throughout Europe similar or were there differences between
eastern and western Europe and between individual European nation-states?
Between Martin Luther’s initial protest against Church policy and abuses in 1517 and
1815, when Napoleon was finally defeated by an alliance of European powers, how had the lives
and culture of Europeans changed?
The Break with Traditional Society – Europe in the 16
Characteristics of Europe and of European society on the eve of the modern era; emphasis upon
local; spiritual/material worlds of ordinary Europeans; expanding mental world; commercial
revolution – growth of trade, of market relations, of urban society, increased capital (causes
thereof), increased demand for goods (why); demographic changes (what causes these population
changes); agricultural revolution; birth of modern state.
serfs, Junkers, guilds, cottage industry, putting-out system, joint stock, enclosures,
feudalism; the commercial revolution; Tulipmania (website)
Intellectual and artistic developments; shift in ideas and in cultural values;
characteristics of the Renaissance; self-named development – a “rebirth – revival of admiration
for the Classical Age and the achievements of the Greeks; emphasis on Humanism,
individualism, secularism; new ideas of “beauty” and of the role of the artist; who or which
group(s) supports/funds the cultural aspects of the Renaissance, why? What was the impact of the
Renaissance on European culture?
Humanism, Classicism; secularism; Leonardo da Vinci (as one of several examples), the
“Dark” Ages (what we refer to now as the Middle Ages)
The Protestant Reformation
: Structure and doctrine of Catholic Church in 15
abuses of the Church; Luther’s concept of salvation in comparison to that of the Catholic Church;
Luther’s complaints about the Church; “second wave” of Protestants (example, Calvinists);
Catholic Church’s counter-reformation; Reformation’s profound impact on European society,
culture; political implications of the Reformation; many German princes, for example, saw
opportunity in lessening the power of the Catholic Church and, perhaps, wrestling away land.