Questions tagged [europe]

It is the second smallest continent, forming the Western extension of Eurasia.

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58
votes
17answers
17k views

What were the reasons for the Renaissance / scientific revolution in Europe?

One of the common reasons given for the Renaissance and the subsequent scientific revolution is the rediscovery of classical works by scholars in Europe and the social change that the study of those ...
28
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5answers
5k views

Was the Dutch State independent when the Dutch East India Company was founded?

How were The Dutch able to build a successful trading empire by 1602 (with The Dutch East India Company) if the Dutch State gained independence after the Thirty Year's War in 1648? The war ends in ...
4
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2answers
350 views

How was financial profit viewed in Medieval Europe?

What was the attitude of people in Medieval Europe towards earning money, making a profit etc. I know that in some places Jews were well established as merchants because, from the point of the view of ...
5
votes
3answers
526 views

Written sources that mention Macedonia, prior to the 19th century?

Before the Balkan Wars Macedonist ideas were shared by a limited circles of intellectuals. They grew in significance during the interbellum, both in Vardar Macedonia and among the left-leaning ...
2
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2answers
453 views

Political opposition groups in the Russian revolution?

Ok, so I do understand that there were the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks. In school we learned that Soviets consisted of the peasantry, the industrial workers, and the soldiers. But later on, the ...
17
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6answers
3k views

Was the Napoleonic era cavalry armour effective against firearms?

During the Napoleonic wars in Europe, many heavy cavalry units still retain the use of armours, for example, French Carabiniers-à-Cheval below, How effective were these to protect the cavalryman ...
4
votes
2answers
378 views

What impact did the migration of Germanic tribes have on languages in the rest of Europe?

I am currently looking for information about the migration of the Germanic tribes, and especially it's effects on European languages, or other languages. Google Search provided me information about ...
3
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1answer
523 views

First-hand sources for medieval urban life in central Europe

I am a teacher and I would like to do an exercise with my students concerning the urban life in the Middle Ages. I am looking for original, first-hand sources who describe urban life from the 11th ...
33
votes
3answers
16k views

Why wasn't Monaco unified with France?

Why wasn't Monaco unified with the Kingdom/Republic of France during the unification? I understand France used to be a very decentralized kingdom with many areas ruled by vassal or smaller rulers, and ...
13
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2answers
4k views

What did contemporary countries in Europe call the Ottoman Empire?

In present texts, it is common to call it "the Ottoman Empire", although the name refers to the ruling dynasty rather than the nation, people or the region. This is not the case with other ...
20
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9answers
6k views

Were there ever any libraries in medieval villages?

I know that in towns and cities there might be libraries built, but is it possible or likely that peasants can have access to it as well? I've heard that every village has an least a monastery or ...
7
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2answers
2k views

Were Christian Mediterranean ports open to Muslim traders in the middle ages?

This article talks about Muslim-christian trade in the middle ages 11th-14th century, also referenced in this answer. In brief: Trade greatly intensified after the crusaded and was conducted at ...
7
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1answer
2k views

Did monasteries hold land and collect rent in medieval Europe?

In Ken Follett's series of books about the fictional town of Kingsbridge, the monastery essentially acts as lord over the surrounding area. They collect rent on lands they own, hear cases between the ...
25
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2answers
3k views

Did Muslim states hire Western European knights as mercenaries before the Crusades?

In the book Hattin by John France the following claim is made: The fighting qualities of western knights were widely recognized in the Mediterranean lands, and they were often employed even by ...
10
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2answers
3k views

Why has SACEUR exclusively been an American officer?

After reading this BBC article about the new SACEUR, General Philip Breedlove, United States Air Force, it occurred to me that SACEUR has always been an American officer. Supreme Allied Commander ...
3
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2answers
573 views

Why did the United States want to “make Europe prosperous once more” with the Marshall Plan? [closed]

Was it purely a matter of self-interest, or were there wider economic (or other) reasons that made the United States feel that it had to "make Europe prosperous once more" with the Marshall Plan?
52
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5answers
12k views

How did such a relatively minor event as the assassination of an archduke start World War I?

The assassination of the Austrian archduke was, considered in the context of all Europe's near-explosive politics, a relatively minor event. So how did it cause such a major war?
52
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4answers
61k views

Why were the Romans unable to conquer Germania?

Emperor Augustus ordered his army to subdue the Germanic tribes in what is modern Germany. This was promptly achieved and by 6 AD the Romans controlled Germany up to the river Elba. The Romans were ...
4
votes
1answer
228 views

Who are the people on the cover of James Joll's Europe since 1870?

I see Hitler, Churchill, Marx, Queen Victoria, a well-known photograph of a newsboy after France, England, New Zealand and Australia declared war on Germany on 3 Sept. 1939. That's as far as I get...
2
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1answer
264 views

The history of toys: Who invented the first porcelain dolls?

I've been reading about the history of toys online, as part of a personal project. One thing that surprised me was that every article I've found lists porcelain toys as having been invented by ...
8
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3answers
2k views

Did Charlemagne's Christian conquest of Germany cause the Vikings to hit back at Britain?

A documentary on The Dark Ages says that Vikings invaded the British isles after Charlemagne of France conquered some of Germany and forced the Germans to convert or die in the years 783-804. The ...
54
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2answers
8k views

Why was the Scout movement so successful?

I find it amazing how fast the scout movement spread after its creation. What I got from Wikipedia: Robert Baden-Powell became famous (rightly or not) at home for his activity in the British Army. ...
16
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2answers
2k views

Early medieval urban development

Does anybody know of research papers or academic resources that study the full development and growth of medieval cities? I mean, from village stage to city stage. Or maybe cities did not develop that ...
4
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3answers
2k views

Did the Moors and Arabs, “Muslims,” who invaded Europe, ie “Spain,” help the evolution of civilizations of Europe? [closed]

Were the Muslims viewed as barbarians similar to the Mongols, and as a people who only specialized in war? Or, were Muslims advanced enough to teach Europe scientific advancements? Did they invent any ...
8
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4answers
3k views

How “religious” was the average person in the Middle Ages?

During Europe in the Middle Ages, how religious was the "average Joe"? Looking at the large scale politics of the time it seems religion was a major part of the elites' lives, with treaties with the ...
8
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3answers
3k views

Did French people in 19th century not bathe every day?

I am currently watching Ikoku Meiro No Croissant episode 4. In this episode, Yune tried to take a bath, but it didn't work out nicely. So in the next morning, Claudel-san said that: Only rich ...
6
votes
1answer
315 views

Were pregnant women regarded as particularly attractive in 19th century Europe?

I have now read two books from the 1800s in which single young men flirt with married pregnant women. (The first was Anna Karenina, in which Veslovsky flirts with Kitty Levin. The second was ...
26
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4answers
22k views

Why wasn't San Marino unified with Italy?

Why wasn't San Marino unified with the Kindom of Italy during the unification process? Were there plans or efforts at the time to unify the two states? Did either government at any time try to annex ...
20
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1answer
1k views

How common was it for monasteries to attack other monasteries in the early medieval period in western Europe?

Recently, I saw this passage in M & H. Whittock, ‘The Viking Blitzkrieg’ (referring to Ireland) of the 113 attacks on monasteries between 795 and 820, only twenty-six were carried out by ...
6
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2answers
569 views

How widespread was literacy in classical Greek in Europe during the medieval period?

How widespread was literacy in classic Greek in Europe during the medieval period? I assume "every" (?) educated person, such as clerks, monks, nobility, judges, doctors and similar knew Latin at the ...
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0answers
141 views

Where did Metternich say Asia/the Balkans begin at the Landstrasse/Rennweg? Does anyone have a source? [duplicate]

I have found several variations on this, but always the source has been unattributed (or attributed to a source that itself has no attribution!)# So - can anyone provide a contemporary source, and ...
10
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6answers
956 views

Who would have a good or fair command of Latin in medieval Western Europe?

This answer to this question states Latin was the language of diplomacy in medieval Western Europe, but this does not imply that royalty or nobility themselves knew Latin: it would suffice that a few ...
13
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2answers
606 views

Has being a single mother been always stigmatized?

Being a single mother was obviously a big economic disadvantage. And in the times when the Christian church morality dominated every day life, being a single mother was obviously a proof of a sin. But ...
24
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9answers
4k views

Who taught Russian in Eastern-bloc satellite countries?

After the USSR gained many satellites countries in central/eastern Europe in 1945, Russian became obligatory at school. It seems those Russian courses were highly unpopular and only a small minority ...
16
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2answers
1k views

Should the Great Schism of 1054 be taken to be 1204 (or 1182) instead?

It seems that 1054 wasn't such a big deal: forty years later Pope Urban and Emperor Alexios were on such good terms that a crusade was initiated to save Constantinople and the Holy Lands; even in 1136 ...
6
votes
2answers
672 views

How economically profitable for Nazi Germany were the occupied countries in Western Europe?

Despite the invasions costs, there were at least short-term economic gains as a result of plundering and the confiscation / taking over of resources and factories. Were those benefits so evident in ...
5
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1answer
979 views

How long would it take a Victorian to travel from central Germany to the UK?

Specifically from Lauscha in 1862, does anyone know how extensive railways were then?
3
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5answers
534 views

Why was most of Europe against communism right from the start?

In "Dark Continent" by M. Mazower, I read the following with regards to the 1920s: In the first place, democracy’s international backers were less supportive as time passed. Woodrow Wilson’s legacy ...
10
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4answers
779 views

Who were the first people to get divorced in Western* Christendom?

*By Western Christendom I mean non-Orthodox, non pagan, non-schismatic, non-Muslim controlled societies. So everywhere from Lagos to Lapland. By divorce, I mean that the law recognises that two ...
20
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1answer
4k views

In medieval Europe, were children born in an annulled marriage automatically illegitimate?

I know that under modern laws (even within the Catholic Church), children born in a marriage that is later annulled are still considered legitimate, because they were born of a putative marriage. Was ...
12
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3answers
434 views

What, if any, celebrations or commemorations were done in 1000 AD?

By the 9th century, the Anno Domini system was the most widespread year numbering in medieval Europe. Humans like patterns. Surely people must have thought it significant when "999 AD" became "1000 ...
7
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3answers
506 views

Under European feudalism, were the distribution of armies (vassals and fiefdoms) based on a coherent idea?

The context is High Medieval, (c. 1001—1300). The concept of feudalism is as understood in Europe. I'm not looking for an answer to cover all European empires or dynasties during this period -- which ...
6
votes
2answers
523 views

Are there equivalents of the Domesday Book for other (French or German) duchies?

Is the Domesday Book a one-off census in the wake of the Norman conquest? One can imagine that William wanted an accurate feudal picture of his new kingdom but was it the norm? Did other dukes and ...
11
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2answers
1k views

Did the Romans see Africa as a black continent? Was there a perception of a divide between Africa and Europe?

Nowadays the Western world perceives Africa as the continent of the black people and hence a standard African person as a black individual. How did the people in the Roman empire perceive the African ...
6
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3answers
318 views

Early counterparts of scholarly journals

If I'm not mistaken, universities in Europe originated in the middle ages. Today, the way of making new discoveries known to the learned community is publication in scholarly journals, or more ...
14
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4answers
4k views

In what European countries did non-hereditary nobility exist? (XVII-XIX centuries)

In Imperial Russia a person of simple birth could be granted "personal nobility"(non-hereditary), by state service or even by some noble deeds out of it (traders got it this way). The whole system ...
15
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2answers
2k views

What was the cultural background of Burgundians?

In the Middle Ages there was a big country in Europe between France and German kingdoms, Burgundy. What language did they speak there? Were they more German or French in origin?
6
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4answers
476 views

How do I differentiate ancient ceramic from today's junk?

I've been to London's River Thames, a famous place where it is relatively easy to find ceramics and other relics of the past. I found something but I have no idea how to distinguish ancient stuff ...
4
votes
1answer
281 views

Was a Žaltys a real snake?

The Wikipedia article on Žaltys says (in its entirety): A žaltys is a household spirit in the Lithuanian mythology. As sacred animal of the sun goddess Saulė, it is a guardian of the home and a ...
32
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6answers
12k views

Where does the name of the country “Belarus” come from?

I've read the German and English Wikipedia on this topic as well as the translated Belarussian version and some sites I googled. They all seem to argue that the 'Rus' part stems from the Region called ...