History 11

Europe at the beginning of Modern Times  

 

    In the Late Middle Ages (roughly1300-1500) kings were able to gain more power than they had in feudal times and to unite large areas into what we call NATIONS.  The map of Europe began to look somewhat like it does today.  England, France, and Spain, for example, were united nations by 1500.

    People in Europe were becoming more aware of the rest of the world.  Major geographical discoveries were taking place:

-Marco Polo had discovered China before 1300

-Columbus had reached America by 1492

-by 1521, men from Europe had sailed completely around the world

                  -the nations of Europe were eager to claim colonies around the world to make themselves richer.               

    Cities, trade, manufacturing, and banking were growing rapidly in Europe, making many people more prosperous.

 

    Knowledge, education, and literacy were becoming more widespread, along with a better understanding of science and nature.  The first universities were established.

 

    Religious strife ran rampant between Roman Catholics and Protestants, causing years of religious wars.