-period during which western Europeans experienced a profound cultural awakening, signaling the beginning of modern times; rebirth of Greek/Roman culture.
Foundation of the Renaissance Centered around the city-states of Italy, (see map on page 365) like Florence, Rome, and Venice, important Mediterranean trade centers, serving as the gateway to and from the East.
Wealthy merchants, scholars, and diplomats patronized the arts (e.g.-the most famous merchant family to do this was the Medici family.)
Humanism-movement influenced by ancient Greek and Roman literature that emphasized non-religious concerns; a belief that a person could enjoy life without offending God, enjoy material luxuries, music, and food, and enjoy classical texts.
Learning encouraged people to think for themselves and question authorities (political, spiritual, scientific, and literary). They challenged long-accepted traditions, assumptions, and institutions, especially Church traditions.
Humanists found the classical idea of seeking fulfillment in daily life more appealing than the medieval belief that people should expect little comfort from life on earth.
The Greek idea of an ideal person: one who participated in a variety of activities: politics, sports, art, literature, and music.
Universities relating to the study of humanity were started (schools of history, philosophy, Latin, and Greek).
Humanism inspired new forms of writing/literature, especially about the daily life and feelings of people. New ways of making paper came about. Libraries developed.
Sonnets-short poems (Francesco Petrarca or Petrarch wrote love poems about Laura who had died in the Black Death.)
Auto-biographies: describing one’s life with their own hand (Benvenuto Cellini).
Writings in political science: The Prince analyzed Renaissance Italy by Niccolo Machiavelli. He advised rulers to be prepared to use force and deceit to maintain power.
Drama-William Shakespeare wrote MacBeth & Julius Caesar.
Epic Poems-Dante Alighieri wrote The Divine Comedy, discussing medieval ideas of life after death by describing an imaginary journey from hell to heaven.
Narrative Poems/Comedy-Geoffrey Chaucer wrote The Canterbury Tales, a series that described a group of pilgrims, representing various classes and occupations of people, who told stories to amuse one another on their way to a shrine at Canterbury, England.
Johannes Gutenberg discovered a revolutionary printing technique using movable metal type, causing books to be published more quickly and less expensively-the first printing press. This increased literacy among people. He translated a version of the Bible where more people could read it for themselves.
A new social order developed in which wealth and ability mattered more than aristocratic titles and ownership of land. Wealthy merchants and bankers replaced the landed nobility as the most powerful social and political group-the upper class. Shopkeepers and artisans formed a moderately prosperous middle class. At the bottom were the peasants who worked on the estates of the upper class.
Scientific Discoveries Nicolaus Copernicus proposed that Earth revolved around the sun; the previous thought was that Earth was the center of the universe.
Galileo Galilei invented the telescope, proving Copernicus was correct.
Francis Bacon experimented with steam, which would later lead to the making of the steamship, automobile, and airplane.
Leonardo da Vinci-wrote books on astronomy, mathematics, and anatomy. Illustrations showed designs for parachutes, flying machines, mechanical diggers, and artillery.
Spiritual Discoveries/Political Questioning Martin Luther questioned the authority of the Roman Catholic Church, starting the Protestant Reformation.
Henry VIII started the Church of England, combining Catholicism with the Protestant belief.
Architecture-During the Middle Ages, cathedral architects had pointed soaring arches and spires heavenward for the glory of God. During the Renaissance, there was a return to the classical style with use of domes and columns. Comfort and beauty was sought as buildings were adorned with tapestries, paintings, statues, furniture, and glass windows. (e.g.-Filippo Brunelleschi designed the Cathedral of Florence in 1436.)
Sculpture: Free-standing statues of nude figures sculpted in bronze or marble.
Donatello-David from the Bible.
Michelangelo Buonarroti-David from the Bible; La Pieta which shows the dead Jesus in the arms of his mother, Mary.
Lorenzo Giberti-created 10 New Testament scenes on bronze doors for Florence’s cathedral baptistry.
Painting-portrait painting was popularized. Objects had the appearance of distance-perspective. Fresco painting developed: painting on wet plaster that showed life-like emotions. (Show transparencies.)
Leonardo da Vinci-portrayed the subjects’ personalities, thoughts, and feelings.
Mona Lisa-a portrait of a strangely smiling young woman of Florence.
The Last Supper-a wall painting of Jesus’ last meal with his disciples.
Michelangelo was hired by Pope Julius II in 1505 to paint the Sistine Chapel (in the Vatican) with scenes from the Bible.
I. Fashion-New ideas and trends flowed over to the way people dressed.
Women’s Clothing-The basic garment was a robe/gown: high waist, low neckline, tight (wanted stomach to protrude, padding, skirt (long like a train), corsets.
Men’s Clothing-pourpoint; shirt with high collar, opened at center to flare out, padded for warmth and shaping; men wore hose and knee length robes.
Accessories-hats; shoes with long pointed toes (women wore platforms-helped in their walking); large necklaces; belt with dangled keys; rings with mysterious powers (mood rings).
J.Hairstyles-tall hair; hair pieces; the ideal woman was blonde with a high forehead (bleaching was common); later, hair was more simple-parted in the middle; lots of makeup and perfume.
K. Ideal Being
Ideal Man-“Renaissance Man” was educated in the classics, had manners, was charming and witty, and athletic (a skilled rider, wrestler, etc.). In the Middle Ages, the ideal man was expected to please women and no more.
Ideal Woman-well educated in music, dance, and writing; inspired poetry but did not write it; had no part in public life; less political, economic, and social influence than medieval women, and expected to please men.
The Reformation-Renaissance values caused widespread criticism of the Catholic Church’s extravagance, thus, called for a reformation, or change, in the Church’s ways of teaching and practicing Christianity. In Germany, church reform led to a split in the Church that produced a new form of Christianity known as Protestantism.
Protestant Reformation -begun by a German named Martin Luther, who in 1505, was nearly struck by lightning in a thunderstorm. Terrified that this was God’s way of punishing him, this law student prayed to Saint Anne, promised to become a monk, and entered a monastery. As a young monk, Luther struggled to ensure his soul’s salvation, confessing sins for hours at a time, but still worried that he was not acceptable before God.
Upon reading Paul’s epistle to the Romans, he came to an understanding of the Bible in a way that he was assured of his salvation. (Romans 1:17-See p. 443 in The Western Experience: To 1715.) He interpreted this passage to mean that a person could be made just, or good, simply by faith in Christ. This idea became known as justification by faith-salvation can be achieved, not by works, but by faith in Christ alone.
Luther became a priest and a professor in Wittenberg, and preached against the sale of indulgences, and said the Church was corrupt. Pope Leo X raised money to rebuild St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome by selling church offices, or positions, to his friends, and also authorized sales of indulgences-certificates issued by the pope that were said to reduce or even cancel punishment for a person’s sins, assuring them admission to heaven. John Tetzel, the Church’s agent in northern Germany, promised peasants that indulgences would relieve them of guilt for future sins. He also encouraged people to buy indulgences for the salvation of their dead relatives.
In 1517, Luther nailed on the door of the Wittenberg Church a plaque with 95 theses, or statements, criticizing the sale of indulgences and attacking other Church policies. Printed copies spread throughout Europe. Pope Leo X tried to persuade Luther to recant, which Luther refused, thus was excommunicated from the Church in 1521. In Worms, Germany, Luther made his final recant and formed the first Protestant faith: Lutheranism.
Teachings of Martin Luther:
Salvation by faith alone-no amount of good works can win God’s approval for salvation, only trust in God’s love and mercy through Jesus Christ.
Religious truth and authority lie only in the Bible.
The Church was not a hierarchy of clergy, but a community of believers, in which all could serve God through whatever vocation, or calling, they were in.
John Calvin-Born in France in 1509, Calvin studied Latin, logic and philosophy at the University of Paris. In 1533, Calvin (known as the father of Presbyterianism) became convinced of the truth of Reformation ideas which stressed man’s direct relationship with God. The cornerstone of his theology was the belief that God possessed all-encompassing power and knowledge, directing all of history-past, present and future. He argued that God determines the fate of every person-a doctrine called predestination (God preordains everything, including who will be saved). In 1536, he visited Geneva, Switzerland, and was asked to lead the Protestant Reformation there. His influence grew when the Council of Geneva accepted his “Articles.” Geneva became the center of the Reformation in Europe. Calvinism required citizens of Geneva, Switzerland to attend Reformed church services several times each week. Homes were inspected to make sure no one broke laws that forbade drunkenness, gambling, card playing, and dancing. Calvinism gave the local church control, later encouraging moral people to overthrow tyrannical rulers and contributing to the revolutionary movements of the 1600s and 1700s.
Huldreich Zwingli-a Swiss priest who broke with the Catholic Church traditions completely, who believed in salvation by faith alone.
In western Europe, Anabaptists (rebaptizers) initiated the practice of baptizing only adult members. They believed that only people who could make a free and informed choice to become Christians should be allowed to do. Catholics and other Protestant beliefs baptized infants. Anabaptists denied the authority of local governments to direct their lives. They refused to hold office, bear arms, or swear oaths, but lived separate from a society they saw as sinful. They were often persecuted, but remained peaceful, but fanatical in their beliefs. In 1534, radical Anabaptists seized power in Germany and burned books, seized property, practiced polygamy (practice of more than one spouse), and were crushed by Lutherans and Catholics. Many then left for North America during the 1600s promoting two ideas that would become crucial in forming the United States of America:
Separation of church and state.
Reformation in England Reformation ideas were introduced in the 1500s, when a serious quarrel broke out between King Henry VIII and the pope over the succession to the throne.
Henry’s wife Catherine of Aragon had only 6 children, with only one, Mary surviving. Henry wanted to leave a male heir.
Believing that Catherine could not have more children, the king decided to marry Anne Boleyn, and asked the pope for a divorce between himself and Catherine. Her nephew was Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, and did not want Catherine to lose her influence, thus, encouraged the pope to deny the request.
Henry broke ties with the Catholic Church; in 1534, Parliament created the Church of England and declared Henry the head. The new church granted the divorce.
Henry married Anne Boleyn. After she gave birth to a daughter, he had Anne beheaded for treason.
Henry’s third wife, Jane Seymour, gave birth to a son, Edward, but she died 12 days after his birth.
Henry married 3 more times.
Edward VI succeeded his father at 9 years old, but was sickly, and died young.
In 1553, Mary, Henry’s Catholic daughter, became queen and tried to restore Catholicism by burning hundreds of Protestants at the stake, hence her name, “Bloody Mary.”
In 1558, Mary’s Protestant half-sister took the throne, becoming Queen Elizabeth I, making the English church Protestant, with Catholic features, known as Anglicanism. Other Protestants insisted on removing all Catholic rituals, becoming known as Puritans.
The Catholic Reformation Feeling a threat of Protestantism, in 1536, Pope Paul III established a reform movement with three goals:
Introduce a rebirth of faith among its followers.
Reassess the Church’s principles.
Halt the spread of Protestantism.
In 1542, the Church held an Inquisition, a church court based in Italy, to find, try, and judge heretics, especially Protestants. The purge was to restore the pope’s authority.
At the Council of Trent, official doctrine was defined:
Salvation, could not be achieved by faith alone, but only by faith and works together.
The Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible was made the only acceptable version of scripture.
The church hierarchy alone could interpret Scripture.
Selling of indulgences were forbidden.
Seminary training was required for the proper education of priests.
Renewed religious enthusiasm for the arts, sparking a new style of art and music called baroque, employing asymmetry and exaggeration for dramatic effect, whereas Renaissance art demonstrated symmetry, order, and restraint.
The Church became involved in a missionary effort. Ignatius Loyola, founded the Society of Jesus, later known as Jesuits, who pledged three things:
Absolute obedience to the pope.
Wear the black robes of monks.
Live simple lives but not withdraw from the world.
Results of the Reformation-By 1545, Europe was divided between a Protestant north and a Catholic south, causing tensions that would lead to religious wars from 1545 to 1600.
Age of Exploration (late 1400s-mid 1600s) Three effects the Renaissance had on Exploration.
The Quest for Spices-Remember, the Crusades had introduced Europeans to spices from other lands. Italian merchants had a monopoly on the spice trade and controlled the Mediterranean area, causing western Europeans to seek new routes to Asia and get a share of the profits from the spice trade.
The Spread of Christianity-This was one of the goals of the Crusades. Europeans continued the effort of conquering Muslim territory of Northern Africa.
The Use of new technology made exploration possible.
caravel-new ship with three features.
Triangular sails for sailing into the wind.
Square sails for faster traveling.
Ship built to allow sailing through stormy waters.
astrolabe-determined the location of stars/sun and marked degrees in altitude.
Compass-used to indicate direction, developed by the Chinese.
Maps-Cartographers are mapmakers: early on, they knew very little, but in 1400, they knew Europe and Southern Asia. By 1700, practically the entire world had been mapped. Before maps, the myth was that the earth was flat with the possibility of falling off. See p. 395.
Financial System of 1600s
Mercantilism-policy of European nations of accumulating wealth, establishing colonies, and developing industry to achieve power.
used bullion (gold and silver)
created a balance of trade (they exported more than they imported; bullion received from exports was greater than paid for imports.)
Explorers once relied on a nation’s government to pay expenses; later, they relied on wealthy families and bankers.
Needed money to pay for goods/supplies of the journey (to last over a period of years).
Needed money to pay for the captain and crew.
Joint-stock companies were created. Wealthy individuals combined money. They sold shares (stock) in the venture, then shared the wealth/loss. This allowed numerous people to invest.
Entrepreneurs were created. (Entrepreneur-a single person who raised capital (money) for a voyage, organized and assumed the risk for a business venture hoping to make a profit.)
Where did they explore?
Portuguese (leaders in exploration) explored the east coast of South America and the coast of Africa.
Spain-North America and the coast of South America.
Slave Trade-Colonies based their economy on agricultural products, needing labor, resulting the use of enslaved Africans.
Triangular Trade-This was used to describe the slave trade. Ships sailed a triangle formed by Europe, Africa, and the Americas. (Ships left Europe carrying goods, reaching Africa and trading goods for slaves, then bringing enslaved Africans to the Americas to be sold; money was used to purchase sugar and tobacco. Ships then returned to Europe with the goods.)
Middle Passage-The middle leg of the triangular trade, covering 3,000 miles. Slaves were packed together as tightly as possible. Each slave had a space of 5 feet long and 3 feet high. They were chained together, not standing, but lying at full length. Conditions were dark and hot. Many died of suffocation and disease; 1 in 5 did not survive. Many committed suicide by jumping overboard. Once in America, they were auctioned for a life of hard labor (worked long hours and had a short life). Europeans thought Africans were well-suited for the job of hard labor in hot, humid conditions.
Empires-Monarchs were strengthened, practicing absolutism-a political theory stating that monarchs hold supreme (unlimited) power and are responsible for their actions to God alone (divine rights theory).
Spain-most powerful monarch in Europe: Hapsburgs. Philip II was Catholic and an enemy of Protestants. At one time, he had supported Elizabeth, but became jealous and planned to invade England with a force of 130 ships and 33,000 sailors, known as the Spanish Armada. The English had faster ships and defeated the Spaniards. Then, the Hapsburg power declined.
England-Tudor dynasty used Parliament rather than an absolute monarchy. Henry 7th was the first Tudor; then, Henry 8th: Daughter, Mary, married Philip II of Spain (she died childless). Elizabeth took throne (not married). England’s victory after being attacked by the Spanish Armada established England as a power. With no heir, James of Scotland became king, becoming James I, founding the Stuart dynasty, uniting Scotland and England.
Louis XIII inherited the throne at 9; his mother, Marie de Medici, convinced him to give power to Cardinal Richelieu, who sought to make France the supreme power in Europe, strengthening the army and the economy.
Louis XIV was the most powerful monarch, reigning 72 years, known as the Sun King, around whom the nobility of Europe revolved. His extravagances ruined the country financially.
Seven Years’ War-1756 to 1763-a worldwide conflict in which Great Britain was in competition with France for an overseas empire (involved Prussia, Austria, and Russia.)
French and Indian War was the struggle between Great Britain and France in North America. (They also fought in India.) At the Treaty of Paris in 1763, France gave up most of its lands east of the Mississippi River to Great Britain.
German states (Austria/Prussia): Hapsburgs were the ruling monarchs.
1618-Thirty Years’ War began in Bohemia, a continuation of conflict between Protestants and Catholics. 1635-France (Richelieu) took up arms against the Catholic Hapsburgs to keep them from becoming too powerful. After 13 years, the war ended in 1648, with France emerging as Europe’s leading power.
First woman ruler: 23-year-old Maria Theresa succeeded Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor with no political training, but introduced services such as public health, prisons, and roads.
Russia-was rather isolated.
The most powerful of the tsars was Ivan IV (1533-1584), known as Ivan the Terrible for killing thousands for treason. He assumed the throne at 3 years old. Later, he used his army to expand Russia’s borders.
Peter I (1689), known as Peter the Great, nearly 7 feet tall. Since Russian knowledge of the outside world was quite limited, he took an 18 month study tour of England, then tried to Europeanize Russia. He sent Russians abroad to study shipbuilding; invited foreign experts to train Russians; and built a new capital called St. Petersburg. A split occurred among Russians as some accepted European ways, but many clung to traditional values.
Catherine the Great(1762), born Catherine II; seized the throne from her husband, Peter III. Common people of Russia had fewer rights than those in any other part of Europe. She allowed nobles to treat serfs as they pleased. She continued to expand Russia’s borders. By the end of her reign, new ideas of liberty and equality had spread throughout western Europe, bringing an end to absolute monarchs.
The American Revolution
Colony-an area of the world that is owned and controlled by a major country located elsewhere in the world.
The first successful PERMANENT English settlement in the New World was Jamestown, Virginia (1607).
Over the next 150 years, England established 13 colonies in the New World. 13 Original Colonies:
Citizens living in these 13 colonies were citizens of England as much as if they had been living in London, England-3,000 miles away across the Atlantic Ocean.
Government Structure for each of the 13 colonies:
The King of England appointed an official to rule or govern each colony-Governor.
The Governor appointed a group of advisers to help him rule each colony called a Council.
This council played 2 important roles in the government of each colony:
They served as the highest court of each colony.
They served as one (1) house (i.e. group of officials) of each colony’s lawmaking body.
*The other house in each colony’s lawmaking body was called a legislative assembly which the people of that colony elected. *This was the group of officials that the people truly respected and saw as being the true government having the right to rule them.
Colony’s Government Structure
Governor-appointed by the King
Governor’s Council-1 house of lawmaking body
The English colonists have very different ideas about the role and function of government. They brought these ideas and principles with them to the New World.
Four (4) Main Principles/Ideas About Government Transplanted from England to the 13 colonies.
Limited Government-Rulers or leaders in government should NOT have total control over people and their freedoms. Most Kings/Queens in England’s history wanted to be absolute monarchs; however, powerful & rich citizens of England, such as the nobles, wealthy landowners, etc.-the aristocracy, constantly fought to keep this from happening and even forced some kings into granting “contracts” of freedom to the people. (e.g.: in 1215, nobles forced King John into granting certain freedoms in a contract called “Magna Carta”-e.g.: guarantees trial by a jury of peers.)
II. Representative Government-This means that the citizens themselves should have the right to pick their own leaders. This idea is very much represented by the formation of England’s lawmaking body born in the 1200s called Parliament. There are 2 houses: the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The House of Lords started out as a group of advisers to the King. The Knights and townspeople used to come and watch the meetings, and over time, this group of spectators developed into the House of Commons.
*Today in the U.S., this principle of representative government is very evident. Representative Government in the U.S.-We elect almost all of our officials in the U.S. (National-President, Congress; State-Governor, General Assembly; Local-Mayor, County Judge Executive, etc.) Most of our lawmaking bodies, like Congress, the General Assembly, etc., are patterned after Parliament-the 2 house structure (bicameral legislature). (e.g.: Congress is divided between the U.S. Senate (patterned after the House of Lords) and the U.S. House of Representatives (patterned after the House of Commons).
III. Rule By Law-the people (citizens) would rather live under a government system with laws passed by officials they have elected, rather than live under a government system where rulers can pass their own laws to keep them in power and do their own thing. The second point is that people would rather live in a justice system set up & established by laws of lawmaking bodies, than leave decisions to one ruler.
IV. Individual Liberty-Each person has rights.
e.g.: Magna Carta-one cannot be imprisoned without being found guilty in a trial by a jury of peers.
e.g.: 1628 Petition of Rights-King cannot tax unless approved by Parliament.
e.g.: 1688 English Bill of Rights-guarantees many personal freedoms=one has the right to bear arms, a speedy and public trial, the right to bail (it must not be excessive), the right to petition, etc.
Really, for 150 years, the English citizens in the 13 colonies “had it made.” Being 3,000 miles away from England, these colonists enjoyed a lot of self-governing freedom, paid little tax to England, but yet, enjoyed the protection from England. (This situation existed all the way up to the 1760s.)
*”Salutary Neglect”-a policy of England toward the 13 colonies before the 1760s. This policy did 3 things.
England pretty much “let the 13 colonies rule themselves” as long as they:
Kept sending raw materials/resources over to England’s factories;
Kept buying England’s products; and
Remained loyal English citizens.
*What happened to ruin this 150 year peaceful relationship and cause tension to grow between the 13 colonies and their mother country of England?
1754-“French & Indian War”-in the New World. The French and Indians together were fighting the British for the control of territory. The war spread to Europe (“Seven Years War”). England eventually won, but these wars drained England’s treasury.
England won the war against France and a treaty was signed: Peace Treaty of Paris of 1763. This ended the war between England & France. The treaty gave the French land in the New World as well as some land from France in other parts of the world to England. This was both good and bad for England. It was bad because it would take more money to protect and rule this new territory.
Citizens living IN England were complaining to Parliament and the King about how the 13 colonies were NOT paying enough taxes. They were not paying their way.
*4. In the 1760s, a harsh 22-year-old King ascended to the throne of England. King George III encouraged Parliament to pass tougher laws and policies over the 13 colonies which they would detest.
In the 1760s, the 13 colonies had no representatives serving over in Parliament. The colonists (English citizens) didn’t believe Parliament had the right to tax them. The only government officials that colonists believed had the right to tax them was their elected legislative assembly.
Policies/Acts by King George III & Parliament which infuriated the 13 Colonies
Stamp Act of 1765-placed a tax on most printed material (e.g.: marriage licenses, calendars, newspapers, playing cards, letters, etc.)
*Colonists protested saying they had no representatives serving in Parliament, thus, they couldn’t be taxed. What they had was “taxation without representation.” (“we have no representatives in Parliament.”)
13 Colonies Response to Tax They had a meeting in New York called the Stamp Act of Congress.
*2. They decided to place a BAN on England’s products.
Ban-means one refuses to buy or use a product as a form of protest.
*The BAN worked; caused English storeowners (i.e. merchants) to complain to Parliament and King George III about their sales being cut in half (1/2).
*Parliament repealed (did away with) the Stamp Act.
***Lesson learned by the Colonists: If the 13 colonies united together as one, they could resist what they saw as abusive, unfair policies coming over from England.
Townshend Acts of 1767-Parliament placed a “Sales Tax” on a variety of goods such as glass, paint, tea, etc.
The Colonists’ Response:
They tried another BAN on England’s products.
Officials from Massachusetts sent a protest letter to Parliament and King George III.
Response from Parliament and King George III: This time, England did not back off. King George III sent more British soldiers over to the 13 colonies, especially to Boston, Massachusetts.
1770-Tension was growing between the colonists and the patrolling soldiers. The tension came to a climax in Boston, Massachusetts-what is known as the Boston Massacre: Five colonists were killed by British soldiers being threatened by the mob. The violence of the Boston Massacre helped ease tension between England and the 13 colonies. Parliament repealed all of the Townshend Acts for sales tax on all products except one-the tax on tea. The Colonists lifted the BAN on England’s products.
Tea Act of 1773-This granted special rights to only one tea company (the East India Company of London) to be the only one that had the right to sale tea in the 13 colonies. (This angered the colonists, especially in the port cities.)
The Colonists Reaction: This is known as the Boston Tea Party. About 60 colonists dressed up as Indians, boarded 3 East India Company tea ships, and dumped over 300 crates of tea into Boston Harbor.
The Response by England to the Boston Tea Party: King George III were INFURIATED.
Parliament passed a series of punitive (means to punish) acts/laws to punish the colonists in Boston; Colonists thought they were so abusive, they called them the INTOLERABLE ACTS.
Intolerable Acts They passed the Quartering Act-housed soldiers in colonists’ homes against their will.
They closed the Boston Harbor until the tea was paid for.
They suspended the Massachusetts legislative assembly.
Colonists Response to the Intolerable Acts:
They had a meeting (1774)-the First Continental Congress placed a BAN on England’s products.
They sent a major protest letter to Parliament and King George III demanding a repeal of taxes and more rights for the colonists.
They even sent representatives over to England to meet with Parliament and King George III. Many were ridiculed and many were denied an audience.
*1775-King George III sent over more British troops to Concord and Lexington, Massachusetts to accomplish two tasks:
They arrested John Hancock & Samuel Addams.
They confiscated the colonists’ weapons.
April 1775-A group of Massachusetts militia (citizens’ army) came out to intercept and stop the British soldiers. Gunfire broke out. This was the first battle of the American Revolutionary War-the war the 13 colonies fought with England to become a free country. (The war lasted from 1775 to 1781.)
Advantages of Great Britain:
They outnumbered the colonists.
They had a well-trained army.
They had more money.
They had more supplies-goods, ammunition, weapons, food, clothing.
They had more experience; they were professionally trained.
Advantages of the Colonists:
They were familiar with the home territory and knew the land.
George Washington, Commander of the Continental Army, had fighting experience from the French and Indian War. (He married into a wealthy Virginia family.)
The French aided the colonists, seeking revenge against the British.
Colonists were fighting for what they believed in-independence.
May 1775-3 Weeks later-Delegates met from all 13 colonies (in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) to decide what to do about the terrible conditions with England. This group of delegates became known as the Second Continental Congress. (This group will actually serve as the first government of the U.S.) ***This group made major decisions that led to the formation of the United States and its form of government. The president of the Second Continental Congress was John Hancock.
Major Decisions by the Second Continental Congress
*1. The Congress decided to break away from England and have the 13 colonies form one united country.
2. They appointed a Committee of Five to write a document explaining why the colonies felt “forced” to break away and thus announce our independence from England. Thomas Jefferson wrote most of the Declaration of Independence. This document is the Declaration of Independence-the document which declared the 13 colonies to be a free independent country (issued July 4, 1776-the day our nation was born). 13 Colonies are now 13 States.
The Declaration of Independence is often referred to as “Birth Certificate of America.”
Thomas Paine-wrote “Common Sense.” He said it was silly for a continent to be ruled by an island.
Thomas Jefferson-wrote the “Declaration of Independence.” All men have rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
John Locke-influenced Jefferson with his Social Contract Theory, which said that all men have the right to life, liberty, and property.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Frenchman whose political theory saw the relationship between the ruler and subjects as a contract that could be broken if the subjects were not happy.
Turning Point in the American Revolutionary War:
1777, New York: Battle of Saratoga. With this victory, colonists began winning more battles with French aid. At Yorktown, Virginia, Great Britain’s troops under Lord Charles Cornwallis surrendered.
Treaty of Paris, 1783: The United States received unconditional independence with boundaries being drawn: North-Great Lakes; South-Florida; West-Mississippi River; and East-Atlantic Ocean.
While the Declaration of Independence was a great document, it was NOT a plan of national government.
*As the American Revolutionary War was being fought, the Second Continental Congress appointed yet another committee to write the first plan of national government for the United States. This first plan of government was/is called the Articles of Confederation (1781-1789) and it failed!
(King George III and the events of the day were on the writer’s mind; he represented a strong central government (that is, power at one place, in one person’s hand). They feared creating a strong centralized government that could rule the 13 states. (The Articles of Confederation was a terrible plan of national government, particularly regarding national unification.)
Remember, the Articles of Confederation was being written as the colonists were fighting the American Revolutionary War. These events surrounding them had a definite influence on its writers. Because we were fighting King George III who represents CENTRALIZED POWER (i.e. power at one point). The writers wanted to assure that the first plan of national government for the United States would be nothing like a king (monarchy) or centralized power in one groups’ hands like Parliament.
Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation
The country had no President or national leader (because one would remind them of King George III).
Congress had no power to tax (because citizens would be reminded of the Stamp Tax and the Sales Tax).
*3. Congress nor any national government agency had the power to regulate (control) trade among the states. (This caused the new states to be involved in many trade disputes.)
*4. There was no national army. (Each state had its own militia.)
5. There was no uniform currency system. Each state made its own money.
6. Congress had little power to pass laws. (Each state had 1 vote & 9 states had to agree to pass a law)-very difficult to pass laws.
There was no national court system.
There were no law enforcement officials (no U.S. Marshals, FBI, etc.)
***Under the Articles of Confederation, our nation was more like 13 little separate countries living side by side, rather than 1 united country.
Why did the Articles of Confederation fail as our first plan of national government?
***It did not give the officials on the NATIONALLEVEL of government the power necessary to run the 13 states as one unified nation.
By 1787, many of the states were involved in disputes. Several of our founding fathers were afraid our new nation might fall apart or end up in civil war, etc., if something wasn’t done to strengthen the Articles of Confederation.
The Second Continental Congress approved the idea for a meeting to be held at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from May to September of 1787, with the purpose of revising and strengthening the Articles of Confederation as a more effective plan of national government. The name of this famous 1787 meeting was the Constitutional Convention. Only 12 states sent delegates to the Constitutional Convention. There were 55 delegates in all. (Rhode
Island, suspicious of the possible changes of the government form, refused to attend.) Here, the delegates
made 3 Quick Major Decisions at the Constitutional Convention.
They picked George Washington to preside over the meeting.
They agreed to a code of secrecy on all discussions; nothing left the building.
***3. They abolished (did away with) the Articles of Confederation and decided to write a brand new more effective plan of national government for the United States and UNITE all 13 states.
***In a very short time, these 55 delegates composed the world’s most successful plan of government for a democratic REPUBLIC. The second plan of national government for the United States, written in 1787 and still in effect today, is the United States Constitution. Our government was established as a federal system-a form of government in which power is divided between a central authority and a union of states that retains some power. Three branches of government were created: legislative, executive, and judicial.
The U.S. Constitution was written in 1787, however, it did not begin operating as our 2nd plan of government until 1789. It took 2 years to get enough states to officially approve or ratify the U.S. Constitution. 9 out of 13 states had to approve it.
1787-Constitutional Convention is held; U.S. Constitution is written.
1789-Year the U.S. Constitution began operating as the 2nd plan of government.
Why the 2 year delay?
It took that long to get enough states to ratify it;
*Original form of the U.S. Constitution (7 articles) did NOT have a list of guaranteed freedom for citizens-no bill of rights. Some states refused to ratify the U.S. Constitution until a list of rights were added. By 1789, 9 states ratified the U.S. Constitution with the promise that a list of rights would be added quickly.
***1791-The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution which contain the majority of civil rights for all U.S. citizens were ratified and added to the U.S. Constitution. These are the BILL OF RIGHTS. The Bill of Rights contain the majority of the civil rights we have today.
*The main result from the American Revolution: a government with its source of power coming from the people.
III. The French Revolution
While the American colonies were struggling in their fight for independence, the absolute monarchy in France was at its height.
Old Regime-time period before the French Revolution before 1700. All French people were divided into 3 estates.
First Estate-Roman Catholic Clergy (1% of the population)-controlling 5 and 10% of the land and enjoyed many privileges. (Some of the lower clergy, the parish priests, identified themselves with the Third Estate and resented the higher clergy.)
Second Estate-Nobility (2% of the population)-controlled about 25% of the land.
Third Estate-the largest social group (97% of the population)-peasants and artisans, the bourgeoisie (middle class; professionals); these worked hard, but had no political rights. Their cost of living increased while wages stayed the same, causing unhappiness and angry feelings.
King Louis XVI (1774-wife, Marie Antoinette) inherited a love for very extravagant living.
Due to a growing financial crisis (country was in debt due to previous wars, as well as providing support for the American Revolution), he felt his only choice was to tax the nobility and the clergy; both refused.
By 1786, banks began to refuse to lend money to the ailing government. Crop failures caused bread shortages in 1788 and 1789. The economy was hurting.
When the privileged classes refused to aid the government, Louis summoned the Estates-General (made up of delegates representing each estate), which had not met since 1614. The king hoped they would agree to new taxes for the 1st and 2nd estates.
Estates General’s support leaned toward the Third Estate, rather than the king. Delegates wanted to do three things:
weaken the king’s power;
protect the rights of those in the Third Estate;
gain more control in the government.
Refusing the king’s demands, the Third Estate members were eventually locked out of the Estates-General. They named themselves the National Assembly and gathered at a nearby indoor tennis court demanding a written constitution for France and vowed not to disband until they had it-Tennis Court Oath.
This spirit of rebellion resulted in the king increasing the number of soldiers around the Versailles palace.
Fearing that the king planned to put down the rebellion and halt reforms, citizens focused on surrounding the Bastille, a Paris prison, in order to capture weapons stored there in order to defend themselves against government troops. This occurred on July 14, 1789, the beginning of the French Revolution.
After this, “Great Fear” spread throughout France as peasants’ fear turned into violence, causing them to break into manor houses, rob granaries, and destroying feudal records swearing to never again pay feudal dues.
Constitutional Government-the National Assembly worked to create a new French government. On August 4, 1789, the nobles gave up their privileges. In a session that lasted until 2 a.m. the National Assembly did away with feudalism in France.
Created the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (inspired by the Declaration of Independence) said that all men were created equal under law. Guaranteed 4 things:
protection against unfair arrest and punishment
Assumed responsibility of the national debt.
Confiscated all lands belonging to the Church and assumed Church expenses (supporting clergy and aiding poor). The Civil Constitution of the Clergy allowed each parish elect their own priest.
The Constitution of 1791
kept the monarchy (king) but limited his powers.
Set up a unicameral (one-house) legislature, elected by the people.
Allowed voting by men who owned land and paid taxes.
Capitol moved to Paris.
As political groups became more divided, France entered a tumultuous period.
Royalists-supported the king, wanting the king to have all power.
Moderates-favored a limited monarchy, limiting the powers of the king.
Radicals-wanted a Republic, with no king; took the extremist view of a republic where all males could vote regardless of property or taxes.
Moderates prevailed for a time. Louis XVI tried to flee to Austria, but was recognized and the escape plan foiled, being brought back to Paris and forced into the limited monarchy.
Birth of a Republic
1792-1795: the National Convention met in Paris to create a republic (new government) and end the monarchy, writing the first democratic constitution in France, creating:
a single legislature (lawmaking body).
A system where all males could vote.
A system of weights and measurements known as the metric system.
They also decided the fate of Louis XVI.
charged him with being an enemy of the people.
Beheaded on the guillotine-a killing machine the revolutionaries had adopted as a humane means of execution. This caused much rejoicing for there was no turning back; the republic would remain.
Debate about the Republic
Jacobins (JAK uh bins) formed the Mountain, so called because its members sat on high benches at the rear of the hall-defenders of the people, led by Maximilien Robespierre.
Girondists (juh RAHN duhsts) came from a region in southwestern France, the Gironde; wanted to protect the wealthy middle class.
Plain-seated between the two rivals on the main floor; undecided; eventually supported the Jacobins.
Republic faced opposition from the monarchs of Great Britain, the Netherlands, Spain, Sardinia, Austria, and Prussia, as they worried about democratic revolutions in their own countries resulting in the end of their own monarchy.
The Committee of Public Safety formed to deal with opposition against the Revolution. This committee adopted conscription-the draft; forcing all men (1 million) between the ages of 18 and 45 to serve in the military. This had 2 results:
many were killed, many being peasants and common people.
People did not trust the government.
Robespierre is the dominant leader, a radical, who set out to crush all opposition within France, killing 17,000, including Marie Antoinette; this most violent period is known as the Reign of Terror. It only ended after Robespierre was beheaded by his followers, who started to fear for their own lives.
Accomplishments of the National Convention:
stabilized the value of money.
Established a system of national education.
Land confiscated from the Church was given to the poor.
Passed the most democratic constitution ever in France.
Enabled the French Revolution to go on.
1795-a new constitution was written, ending slavery and stated that only citizens who owned property could vote. This constitution brought the government under the control of the wealthy middle class.
The Directory was established-an executive council of five men called directors, who ruled over a two-house legislature; ineffective, and was overthrown.
Overthrown by a Coup d’etat (kud-a-ta), a sudden take over of power by a group of people led by the French army who were tired of war and revolution.
Napoleon Bonaparte-a young general in the French army (26), who ordered the coup and proclaimed a new constitution in 1799 theoretically establishing a republic, but actually setting up a dictatorship, becoming First Consul among a group of three, later naming himself emperor (1802).
Napolean’s Reforms-domestic policy was very good.
Napoleonic Code-a system of laws that protected individual rights; property and religion.
System of education-started the University of France.
Government and the Church shared power.
Established a banking system that helped business, especially the middle class.
Public works-built roads and buildings.
great military leader
Within 15 years, Napolean conquered all of Europe except England, but by 1815, he lost everything. Why?
Napolean’s Continental System (meant to discourage trade with England) failed because of Great Britain’s aggressive control of the seas.
People living under Napolean’s rule resented paying taxes to France igniting a feeling of nationalism, the yearning for self-rule and restoration of their own customs and traditions.
Invasion of Russia-May, 1812; long French march toward Moscow began, but Russians refused to give up, adopting a scorched-earth policy; if Napolean conquered anything, it would be worthless because it had burned (Moscow was destroyed). Napoleon’s efforts beset by the harsh Russian winter in which the Russians took advantage of. 4/5 of Napoleon’s army, about 500,000 men died in battles or blizzards.
March, 1814-Napoleon forced to surrender, abdicating the throne, and exiled to the island off the coast of Italy, Elba.
He returned to France on March 1, 1815 for the Hundred Days, trying to regain his rule, but was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo by the armies of Prussia, Great Britain, and the Netherlands, who placed Napoleon under house arrest on the island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic.
He died of stomach cancer in 1821 at the age of 52.
Congress of Vienna met in Austria (September 1814) to restore Europe to the way it had been before the French Revolution; led by Austria’s chief minister, Prince Klemens von Metternich. However, the spirit of nationalism among European people would not die, setting the stage for a world at war.