The church alone directed and conducted education in medieval Europe. Unless destined for the priesthood, young men of the upper classes had little formal schooling, though the family chaplain often taught them to read and write. Young women usually had less education. But the monastic schools educated future monks and priests, and the Cluniac reform, stimulated study and the copying of manuscripts.
Critics have often accused European royalty of ruinous expenditures on palaces, retinues, pensions, mistresses, and high living in general, and yet such expenditures were usually a relatively small part of government outlays. War was really the major cause of disastrous financial difficulties for modern governments. Henry VIII’s six wives, his court, his frequent royal journeys did not beggar England; the wars of Charles V and Philip II did beggar Spain.
By 1815 the British recognized that colonies occupied largely by settlers from the British Isles would most likely move toward independence, and therefore they sought to control the pace and nature of this movement in order to assure continued loyalty to the concept of a Greater Britain.
The colonies of settlement were originally rather thinly inhabited lands. The Europeans were not settling virgin land, however, and they had to displace a resident population. Though the settlers saw themselves as “civilized” and the indigenous population as “savages,” these were relative terms.
The English did not immediately follow up the work of the Cabots. Instead, they put their energies into breaking into the Spanish trading monopoly. In 1562 John Hawkins started the English slave trade; his nephew, Francis Drake, reached the Pacific and claimed California for England under the name of New Albion.
By 1500 B.C. the Kassites in southern Mesopotamia, the Hurrians with their kingdom of Mitanni in northern Mesopotamia, smaller states in southeastern Anatolia (modern Turkey), and the Hittites in the remainder of Anatolia had emerged as rivals both to Babylon and to Egypt. All of them had strong Indo-Aryan ethnic elements. All were ruled by kings, but their kings were neither agents of god nor deified monarchs.
The Greek revolt was part of the general movement of the Balkan nations for emancipation from their Turkish overlords. During the last quarter of the eighteenth century many peoples of the Balkan peninsula were awakening to a sense of national identity under the impact of French revolutionary and romantic ideas. They examined their national past with new interest and put particular stress on their native languages and on their Christian religion, which separated them from the Islamic Turks.
The Italian states of the fifteenth century have been called “the school of Europe,” instructing the rest of the Continent in the new realistic ways of power politics. Despots like Il Moro, Cesare Borgia, Lorenzo the Magnificent, and the oligarchs of Venice might well have given lessons in statecraft to Henry VII of England or Louis XI of France.
In the year 378 at Adrianople, the Visigoths defeated the Roman legions of the Eastern emperor Valens, who was killed in battle. More and more Goths now freely entered the Empire. Unable to take Constantinople or other fortified towns, they proceeded south through the Balkans, under their chieftain Alaric, ravaging Greece and then marching around the Adriatic into Italy. In 410 they sacked Rome itself. Marie died soon afterward, and his successors led the Visigoths across Gaul and into Spain.
The earliest account of Jesus (by Mark) comes from about A.D. 70, and the account by John is from the end of the same century. These accounts are Gospels, that is, statements about the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, written so that those teachings would not be lost. They indicate that Jesus was born in Palestine sometime between the years we now call 8 and 4 B.C. and was crucified probably in A.D. 29 or 30 in the reign of Tiberius.
The revolutionary wave of the 1830s confirmed two major political developments. First, it widened the split between the West and the East already evident after the revolutions of 1820. Britain and France were committed to support cautiously liberal constitutional monarchies both at home and in Belgium.
On the other hand, Russia, Austria, and Prussia were more firmly committed than ever to counterrevolution. In 1833 Czar Nicholas I, Metternich, and King Frederick William III formally pledged their joint assistance to any sovereign threatened by revolution.