They are the 2 largest countries and their access to

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they are the 2 largest countries, and their access to resources, ports, and trade routes have helped them to build productive economies French culture is strong in France and Monaco; German culture is strong in Germany, Austria, and Liechtenstein Switzerland and the Benelux countries ( Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg ) have their own cultures In 50 B.C., the Roman Empire had conquered most of what is today France ( French is one of the Romance languages that derived from Latin, the language of ancient Rome ) However, the Romans never conquered the Germanic tribes that lived in what is today Germany, so they retained their own Germanic languages There are also differences in religion; in 1517, a man named Martin Luther published 95 statements that criticized practices of the Catholic Church that he believed were wrong this started the Reformation the period when some Christians broke away from the Catholic Church and started Protestant Churches Today, France is mostly Catholic; the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Germany contain about an even number of both Catholics and Protestants
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II. THE RISE OF NATION-STATES A) Nationalism During the Middle Ages (Medieval Period) from the 5 th to 15 th centuries, different nation-states developed in Europe independent nations of people with a common culture Over time, strong kings gained power, and nationalism evolved Nationalism the belief that people should be loyal to their nation and the people with whom they share land, culture and history This led to different groups forming their own countries, with France being one of the first By the late 1600s, French kings held absolute power, which they often used to benefit themselves, not the people In 1789, the French people began to rebel and overthrew the king the French Revolution They formed a republic, but in a few years, an army officer named Napoleon Bonaparte seized power. In 1804, he declared himself emperor, and tried to conquer all of Europe ( he would ultimately be defeated and exiled out of Franc e)
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The last king of France, Louis XVI, was publicly executed in 1793 by guillotine
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II. THE RISE OF NATION- STATES (continued…) A) Nationalism (continued…) The nation-states of Europe become strong rivals From the 1600s to 1945, wars repeatedly broke out between France and Austria or between France and different German states ( Germany would not become a unified country until 1871 ) Western Europe also experienced industrial growth in the 1800s Industrialism caused European nations to set up colonies in other lands in the Americas, Africa, and Asia in order to gain raw materials and markets Many European nations saw each other as rivals in the race to gain colonies
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II. THE RISE OF NATION- STATES (continued…) B) Modern Conflicts Nationalistic rivalry and competition for colonies among European nations helped caused World War I ( 1914-1918 ) The Allied Powers ( France, Great Britain, Russia ) fought against the Central Powers ( Germany, Austria-Hungary )
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