European History

European history is marked by renaissance, revolutions, and religion-fueled conflicts. Our study of European history will begin with the Renaissance in the 14th century and continue up to the end of the 20th century. Let's find out how European nations and their relationships with each other transformed throughout this period. 

Get started Sign up for free
European History European History

Create learning materials about European History with our free learning app!

  • Instand access to millions of learning materials
  • Flashcards, notes, mock-exams and more
  • Everything you need to ace your exams
Create a free account

Millions of flashcards designed to help you ace your studies

Sign up for free

Convert documents into flashcards for free with AI!

Table of contents

    European History Map of Europe StudySmarterFig. 1 - 16th Century Map of Europe

    Timeline of European history

    Below are some key events in European history that have shaped the region, and the rest of the world, today.

    1340Italian Renaissance
    1337Hundred Years War
    1348The Black Death
    1400Northern Renaissance
    1439The invention of the printing press in Europe
    1453Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire
    1492Columbus travelled to the "New World"
    1517The Protestant Reformation began
    1520The first circumnavigation of the world
    1555Peace of Augsburg
    1558Elizabeth I was crowned Queen of England
    1598Edict of Nantes
    1688 Glorious Revolution in England
    1720-1722Last outbreak of the Bubonic plague
    1760-1850First Industrial Revolution
    1789-1799French Revolution
    1803-1815Napoleonic Wars
    1914-1918World War I
    1939-1945World War II
    1947-1991Cold War
    1992Creation of the European Union

    Circumnavigation: To sail and navigate around the world; a journey first completed by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521.

    The European history period

    European history did not begin with the Renaissance. There are thousands of years worth of history predating this event, including ancient civilizations such as the Romans, Greeks and Franks. So, why does our study begin with the Renaissance?

    Simply put, it was an age-defining event. Totaling nearly three hundred years between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries, its political, cultural, social, and economic influence on European history is the foundation for most modern European nations.

    Important events in European history: the European Renaissance

    We've mentioned the Renaissance so many times already, but what was it?

    The Renaissance was a widespread cultural movement that most historians agree started in Florence, Italy, in the 14th century. Florence became the epicenter for the Italian Renaissance with its thriving mercantile center and merchant class that helped drive the economy.

    Italian humanists encouraged a rebirth of classic literature and ushered in different approaches to ancient texts. The invention of the printing press in Europe around 1439 helped disperse humanist teachings that directly challenged religious authority.

    The revival movement slowly spread throughout Europe and produced art, culture, architecture, and religious changes. The great thinkers, writers, and artists of the Renaissance believed in reviving and spreading classical philosophy, art, and literature from the ancient world.

    Mercantile: An economic system and theory that trade and commerce generate wealth, which can be stimulated by the accumulation of resources and production, which a government or nation should protect.

    Humanism: A Renaissance cultural movement that focused on reviving interests in studying ancient Greek and Roman philosophies and thought.

    Northern Renaissance

    The Northern Renaissance (Renaissance outside of Italy) started in roughly the middle of the 15th century when artists such as Jan van Eyck began borrowing art techniques from the Italian Renaissance - this soon spread. Unlike Italy, the Northern Renaissance did not boast a wealthy merchant class that commissioned paintings.

    Italian Renaissance Northern Renaissance
    Location: Took place in ItalyTook place in northern Europe and areas outside of Italy
    Philosophic Focus: Individualistic and Secular Socially Oriented and Christian - influenced by the Protestant Reformation
    Artistic Focus: Portrayed mythologyPortrayed humble, domestic portraits - influenced by naturalism
    Socio-Economic Focus: Focused on the upper-middle classFocused on the rest of the population/lower class
    Political Influences: Independent city-statesCentralized political power

    The Protestant Reformation: A religious movement and revolution that began in Europe in the 1500s, started by Martin Luther, to diverge from the Catholic Church and its control. Protestantism collectively refers to the Christian religions that separated from the Roman Catholic Church.

    Naturalism: The philosophical belief that everything arises from natural properties and causes and excludes any supernatural or spiritual explanations.

    Leonardo da Vinci

    Leonardo da Vinci was an iconic figure of the Renaissance. As an architect, inventor, scientist, and painter, da Vinci touched every sphere of the movement.

    As an artist, his most famous work was the "Mona Lisa," which he completed between 1503 and 1506. Leonardo also flourished as an engineer, designing a submarine and even a helicopter.

    European History, Mona Lisa, Fig. 2 - Mona Lisa

    European History: European Wars

    While there was cultural transformation, there was also war caused by social, economic, and demographic crises.

    Name and dates of the conflictCausesNations involvedResults
    Hundred Years War(1337- 1453)Rising tensions between the monarchs of France and England over the monarch's right to rule were at the core of the war. FranceEngland Eventually, the French won while England entered near bankruptcy and lost territories in France. The impact of the war caused rippling social unrest as waves of taxes affected both French and English citizens.
    Thirty Years War(1618-1648) The fragmented Holy Roman Empire saw a deep divide between Protestants and Catholics. The Peace of Augsburg temporarily quelled conflict but did nothing to resolve religious tensions. Then in 1618, Emperor Ferdinand II imposed Catholicism over his territories, and in response, Protestants rebelled.France, Spain, Austria, Denmark, and SwedenThe war killed millions of people and ended with the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, which recognized full territorial rights to states of the empire; the Holy Roman Emperor was left with little power.

    The Holy Roman Empire: An Empire of the European middle ages that consisted of a loose confederation of German, Italian, and French kingdoms. Spanning much of the region of present-day east France and Germany, the Holy Roman Empire was an entity from 800 CE to 1806 CE.

    European History Battle of White MountainFig. 3 - Battle of White Mountain, Thirty Years War

    European History: Age of Exploration

    Europe's Age of Exploration started in the fifteenth century under Portuguese leader Henry the Navigator. Going further than any prior European exploration, the Portuguese sailed around the coast of Africa. Economic and religious motives drove many European nations to explore and set up colonies.

    Henry the Navigator

    A Portuguese prince who voyaged in the hopes of acquiring colonies


    A country or region under the total or partial political control of another country, usually controlled from a distance and occupied by settlers from the controlling country; colonies are typically established for political power and economic gain.

    European History, Henry the Navigator,Fig. 4 - Henry the Navigator

    Why Did Europeans Explore and Settle Overseas Territories?

    European nations sought luxury goods, territorial acquisition, and the spread of religion throughout the fifteenth century. Before European exploration, the only viable trade route was the Silk Road. Mediterranean trade routes were available but controlled by Italian merchants. Therefore, an all-water course was needed to gain direct access to luxury goods.

    The rise of the economic theory of mercantilism throughout Europe influenced nations to spread out and acquire colonies. Established colonies then provided robust national trade systems between the mother country and colony.

    Silk Road

    An ancient trade route that linked China with the West, silk went to the West while wool, gold, and silver went east

    What is Mercantilism?

    Mercantilism is an economic system in which a nation or government accumulates wealth through:

    • direct control of raw materials
    • the transport and trade of those materials
    • production of resources from the raw materials
    • trade of finished goods

    Mercantilism also brought about protectionist trade policies - such as tariffs - so nations could maintain trade and industry without economic interference from other countries. It became the dominant financial system in Europe during the Renaissance.

    England's mercantile system of the late 1600s and early 1700s is a good example.

    • England would import raw materials from its colonies in America, produce finished goods, and trade them to other European nations, Africa, and even back to the American colonies.
    • England's protectionist policies included only allowing English goods to be transported on English ships.
    • These policies brought enormous wealth to the island nation, expanding its power.

    Overseas Empires

    Portuguese Established networks on the African Coast, East and South Asia, and South America
    SpanishEstablished colonies in the Americas, the Pacific, and the Caribbean
    France England Netherlands Competed with Spain and Portugal for dominance by beginning their colonial empires
    EuropeTrade competition led to conflicts among European nations

    Exchange of Ideas and the Expansion of the Slave Trade

    Throughout Europe's Age of Exploration (15th-17th century), contact between the Old World (Europe, Africa, and Asia) and the New World (the Americas) provided completely new goods and opportunities for wealth for European nations. This process of trading was called the Columbian Exchange.

    Columbian Exchange

    Every new plant, animal, good or merchandise, idea, and disease traded - voluntarily or involuntarily - between the Old World of Europe, Africa, and Asia and the New World of North and South America

    With the flourishing new system of trade routes, the slave trade quickly expanded. By 1444, enslaved Africans were being bought and shipped by the Portuguese from West and North Africa around the Mediterranean Sea and other regions. As Portugal established colonies in the Americas during the Age of Exploration, sugar plantations became a core part of their economy. Portugal again turned to west Africa to provide a cheap source of labor to these plantations and colonies. This source of labor caught the attention of other European nations, and soon the demand for enslaved Africans drastically increased.

    New colonial empires ushered in an economy based on the plantation system - profitable for Europe but detrimental to those enslaved.

    Christopher Columbus

    European History, Portrait of Christopher ColumbusFig. 5 Christopher Columbus

    Christopher Columbus Facts


    October 31, 1451


    May 20, 1506

    Place of Birth:

    Genoa, Italy

    Notable Achievements:

    • First European explorer to make meaningful and consistent contact with the Americas

    • Took four voyages to the Americas, the first in 1492

    • Was sponsored by Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain

    • His last voyage was in 1502, and Columbus died two years after returning to Spain.

    • First hailed as a celebrity, he would be later stripped of title and authority and most of his riches due to the conditions of his crew and treatment of the Indigenous Peoples.

    • Columbus died still believing he had reached a portion of Asia.

    History of Europe and religion

    The Protestant and Catholic reformations began in Europe in the 16th century and critically altered the public's attitude towards wealth, culture, theology, and religious organizations.

    European History, Painting of Martin Luther and 95 theses

    Fig. 6 - Martin Luther Nailing His

    95 Theses

    Protestant Reformation

    In 1517, a German priest named Martin Luther nailed a list of 95 theses to the door of a church in Wittenberg detailing issues he had with the Catholic Church and propositions for debate - mostly around indulgences. For most, this is the symbolic beginning of the Protestant Reformation.

    This period saw a split from the Roman Catholic Church and the development of Protestantism which denounced the authority of the Pope, and developed ideas based on Christian Humanism. This meant it focused on religious teachings of individual faith and freedom, the importance of happiness, fulfilment, and dignity, instead of devoutness to the institution of the church.

    So, what issues did Martin Luther and his followers have with the Catholic Church?

    • Many of the Church's practices began to erode the moral foundations of Catholic teachings, putting the authority of the Church into question.
    • For example, the Catholic Church used the practice of indulgences- payments made to the Church to ensure one's salvation.
    • Martin Luther saw this practice as corrupt, and that only one's own divinity and happiness could ensure one's salvation.

    Several modern Christian religions were created from the Reformation, such as Lutheranism, Baptism, Methodism, and Presbyterianism.

    Did you know? One of the problems with the Catholic church was clerical immorality! Clerics were often known for living extravagant lives and having multiple concubines and children!

    European History Comparison of Protestant and Catholic ViewsFig. 7 - Comparison of Protestant and Catholic Views

    Catholic and Counter-Reformation

    In response to the Protestant Reformation, the Catholic Church began a counter-reformation in 1545. Pope Paul III attempted to fix some of the problems with the Catholic Church, but the changes came too slow, and members continued to leave. As a result, new religious orders like the Jesuits (Society of Jesus) came to reform the Catholic Church. The Jesuits, along with the Council of Trent, succeeded in reviving the Church but cemented the deepening divide amongst Christianity.

    History, Council of Trent,

    Fig. 8 -

    Council of Trent

    Conflicts Amongst Religious Groups

    The Reformation resulted in a deep divide within Christianity that led to numerous religious conflicts. Wars of religion spread across France and Spain that overlapped the state's political and economic motives. The French Wars of Religion resulted in a feudal rebellion that placed the nobility in direct confrontation with the king. The French War lasted for forty years and led to the Edict of Nantes in 1598, which gave Protestants certain rights.

    Edict of Nantes

    An edict (official order) granted by Henry IV of France that gave Protestants religious freedoms and ended the French Wars of Religion

    Fig. 9 - Massacre of Sens, French Wars of Religion

    Fig. 9 - Massacre of Sens, French Wars of Religion

    Revolution and its central role in European History

    From the Glorious Revolution in 1688 to the Revolutions of 1848, European governments changed dramatically in just over 150 years. Monarchs had long-held absolute rule over Europe. Now they would be subject to laws or have their roles abolished altogether. This period also saw the rise of the middle class, who didn't fit into the roles of peasant or nobility.


    When a monarch rules in their own right, with total authority

    The Glorious Revolution

    In 1660, the English Parliament restored the monarchy by inviting Charles II to the throne. The English Civil War had removed the monarch from the English throne with the execution of King Charles I. His son, Charles II, lived in exile until a convention of Parliament placed him on the throne. When James II followed Charles II in 1685, he came into conflict with Parliament and attempted to dissolve it to consolidate his power.

    The existing Parliament sent a letter of support to the king's son-in-law, William of Orange, who was already planning to invade England from the Netherlands. After many of his armies turned against him, James II fled to France for his safety. Parliament declared that James II had abandoned his country and instated William and his wife Mary as rulers when they agreed to a Bill of Rights protecting free speech and election in Parliament.

    European History, painting of William of Orange's army landing on the shore of Brixham, StudySmarterFig. 10 - William of Orange Lands in Britain

    The French Revolution

    The French Revolution was a strong contrast to the Glorious Revolution. Instead of a bloodless transition to a constrained monarchy, the king and queen were beheaded by guillotine. The revolution lasted from 1789 to 1799, fueled at first by a poor economy and lack of representation under the monarchy, before turning to paranoia with the Reign of Terror. Eventually, Napoleon seized control of the country in 1799 and ended the revolutionary era.

    Reign of Terror: The Reign of Terror was a period of political violence in France that lasted for almost a year between 1793 and 1794. Tens of thousands were executed by the French government as enemies of the Revolution. The Reign of Terror ended when its leader, Maximilian Robespierre, was arrested and executed due to fears of his continued

    European History, A color image of French Revolutionaries burning the royal carriage, StudySmarterFig. 11 - French Revolutionaries Attack Royal Carriage

    Age of Enlightenment

    A common theme of this revolutionary period was law. It was thought that people should no longer be governed solely by religion or the will of a single individual but by reason and ideas developed through debate.

    Thinkers of this time period developed radical new ideas on human relations, government, science, math, etc. They developed laws for humans and discovered laws of nature. Their thinking inspired political revolutions of the time in America and Europe.

    The Enlightenment: A philosophical movement in the late 1600s and early 1700s that focused on reason, individualism, and natural rights rather than tradition and authority

    Famous thinkers of the Enlightenment include Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire, and Isaac Newton.

    Industrial Revolution

    From the middle of the eighteenth to the middle of the nineteenth century, it wasn't only political life that was changing.

    In addition to the spread of new ideas and philosophies and the creation of new nations, new technologies drove dramatic changes in economies and societies. The Industrial Revolution was characterized by the increasing mechanization of production and resulting social changes.

    Industrialization had its roots in agricultural improvements, preindustrial societies and economics, and the growth of technology.

    • The Agricultural Revolution: The Industrial Revolution first has its roots in the agricultural improvements of the early 1700s. Crop rotation and the invention of the seed drill result in increased productivity and, thus, more revenue and more food for a growing population. These demographic changes created a labor force for factories and a market for manufactured goods.

    • Preindustrial Societies: As agricultural products became more available, it strained the preindustrial economy and society. Cottage industry practices could not keep up with the gross production of wool, cotton, and flax, creating a need for the development of machinery to produce more textiles more efficiently.

    • Growth of Technology: By the mid-1700s, ingenuity and technology began to match agricultural output. The invention of the spinning jenny, water frame, interchangeable parts, the cotton gin, and the organization of factories created an environment for rapid industrial growth.

    The Industrial Revolution begins in earnest in Great Britain. The economic and political climate of the nation and its connected wealth of natural resources gave the island nation a distinct advantage over others to quickly adapt to these industrial changes occurred. Though it began in Britain, the Industrial Revolution soon spread worldwide.

    • France: Delayed by the French Revolution, subsequent wars, and sparse urban centers conducive to a large factory labor force, the industrial revolution took root as the attention and capital of the French elite recovered from these factors.

    • Germany: The unification of Germany in 1871 brought the industrial revolution to the now powerful nation. The political fragmentation before this time made connectivity of labor, natural resources, and transportation of goods much more difficult.

    • Russia: The delay in the industrialization of Russia was primarily due to the vast size of the country itself and the creation of a transportation network to get the raw materials to the urban cities of the nation.

    European History, black and white photograph of industrial workers in Oldham,  StudySmarterFig. 12 - English Industrial Workers

    The Revolutions of 1848

    1848 saw a wave of revolution sweep across Europe - revolutions occurred in:

    • France
    • Germany
    • Poland
    • Italy
    • Netherlands
    • Denmark
    • Austrian Empire

    Peasants were angry over a lack of political say, personal freedoms, and failing economies overseen by indifferent monarchs. Despite the strength of the revolutionary tide in Europe, the revolutions largely failed by 1849.

    What is Nationalism?

    Nationalism was a unifying force. Ethnic, cultural, and societal similarities of small communities threatened the expanse of multicultural nations across Europe as they mixed with the philosophies of self-government, republicanism, democracy, and natural rights. As nationalism spread, people began to create national identities where none had existed before. Revolution and unification spread worldwide.

    Listed below are several of the major revolutions and unifications of the period:

    • American Revolution (the 1760s to 1783)

    • French Revolution (1789 to 1799)

    • Serbian Revolution (1804 to 1835)

    • Latin American Wars of Independence (1808 to 1833)

    • Greek War of Independence (1821 to 1832)

    • Unification of Italy (1861)

    • Unification of Germany (1871)

    European History: Political Developments in Europe

    From around the start of the 19th century to 1815, a series of conflicts known as the Napoleonic Wars saw France take over much of Europe. Several coalitions were formed to oppose France's expansion, but it would not be until the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 that Napoleon was finally stopped. Areas that had been under French control got a taste of life without a monarchy. Although kings were returned to power, new political ideas rose in their lands.


    A new political idea arose in the late nineteenth century: Realpolitik. Realpolitik emphasized that morals and ideology were unimportant; all that mattered was practical success. By this philosophy, states did not have to worry about whether actions aligned with their values, but only if political goals were accomplished.

    Otto Von Bismarck popularized realpolitik as he sought to unify Germany under Prussia using "blood and iron".

    European History, black and white photograph of Otto vion Bismarck, StudySmarterFig. 13 - Otto Von Bismarck

    New Political Theories

    The second half of the nineteenth century was a breeding ground for new political ideas. More people than ever were engaged or sought to be involved with the political process. Thinkers focused on exploring personal freedoms, meeting the basic needs of the ordinary people, or emphasizing a shared heritage and culture.

    Popular Political and Social Theories of the Late Nineteenth Century

    • Anarchism
    • Nationalism
    • Communism
    • Socialism
    • Social Darwinism
    • Feminism

    European History: 20th-century global conflict in Europe

    By the turn of the twentieth century, the pieces were in place for a century of conflict. Otto Von Bismarck's Realpolitik had succeeded in unifying a German empire. Metternich's preoccupation with stability would prove to be of some foresight as instability in the Balkans threatened the whole of Europe. Since the Napoleonic Wars, various alliances had been drawn up, and horrifying new weapons of war developed.

    One day the great European War will come out of some damned foolish thing in the Balkans. - Otto von Bismarck

    World War I

    In 1914, Serbian Nationalists assassinated Arch Franz Ferdinand of Austria. This set off a chain of events that caused the web of alliances in Europe to become activated and converge into two sides of the First World War - the Central and Allied Powers.

    From 1914 to 1918, around 16 million people died due to brutal new weapons such as poison gas and tanks and the rat and lice-infested conditions of trench warfare.

    Combat ended with an armistice in 1918, before the Treaty of Versailles officially ended the war. Although some called it "the war to end all wars," the blame, reparations, and lack of international diplomatic power Germany was forced to accept under the Treaty of Versailles would lead to the next conflict.


    An agreement made by participants in a conflict to cease fighting for a period

    The Central PowersThe Allied Powers




    The Ottoman Empire

    Great Britain







    The United States

    European History, black and white photograph of french soldier in a trench during World War I, StudySmarterFig. 14 - French Soldiers WWI

    World War II

    Not long after the aftermath of World War I, Europe and the world found themselves in an economic crisis resulting in the Great Depression of the 1930s and on a path that would lead to the outbreak of World War II.

    Causes and Effects of World War II



    • Rise of Nazism in Germany: After WWI, the monarchy of Germany was replaced with the Weimar Republic, which struggled due to economic issues. Adolf Hitler emerged as the leader of the Nazi party.

    • The Axis Powers: Hitler created alliances with other Fascist-leaning nations. In 1936 the Rome-Berlin Axis was created between Germany and Italy, and an alliance with Japan soon followed.

    • Appeasement: Many of the European nations were still recovering from the aftermath of World War I so attempted to avoid military intervention - making compromises to appease Hitler.

    • Conflict over Poland: The policy of appeasement ended as Hitler turned to invade Poland. As preparations for invasion were being made, Britain and France declared their defense of Poland.

    • World War II was the most devastating war in human history.

    • The war changed people's thoughts about racism, imperialism, and international relations.

    • With the use of Atomic weapons by the United States on Japan in 1945, the world entered the age of nuclear weapons which profoundly changed international politics, military strategy, and domestic politics.

    • The United States came out of the war as a global superpower, changing the geopolitical landscape for the 20th century.

    • The end of the war set up the ideological battle between the United States and the Soviet Union that would shape global affairs for the next fifty years.

    Germany was not the only instigator of World War II. Starting in 1931, Japan colonized portions of the Chinese mainland and Korea. By 1937, Japan controlled much of Manchuria and Korea. Tensions escalated into armed conflict with China in 1937, beginning World War II in Asia two years before Hitler invaded Poland.

    European History, black and white photograph of a British war ship and crew during WWII, StudySmarterFig. 15 - British Navy WWII

    The Cold War

    At the Potsdam Conference in 1945, the United States, the USSR, and Britain divided up the post-war world. Europe had paid a high cost for WWII, and actors who had dominated the continent, such as Germany, France, and Britain, found themselves caught in the struggle between two superpowers.

    The United States to the West and the USSR to the East now vied for influence over the continent. The two sides were divided up yet again into two alliances: NATO (The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) and the Warsaw Pact.

    During the Cold War, many of the nations which had been European colonies, such as Vietnam, became centers of conflict as the world realigned between Capitalism and Communism.

    European History, black and white photo of Harry Truman, Joseph Stalin, and Clement Atlee at the Potsdam Conference, StudySmarterFig. 16 - Potsdam Conference

    European History: Globalism in Europe

    After WWII, the world was more integrated than ever as the two international economic systems of Capitalism and Communism defined international relations. European leaders quickly realized that political, economic, and military integration as one block was necessary.

    European History Flag of Europe StudySmarterFig. 17 - Flag of Europe

    European Union

    The first moves toward union began in the 1950s with trade agreements between individual countries. In the 1960s, economic and political cooperation increased as the European Economic Community (EEC) was formed. The European Union would be the ultimate expression of this movement toward integration.

    The EU was created in 1992 as a bloc with a single currency. Throughout the 1990s, former Soviet Bloc countries joined the EU and modernized their economies. Struggles came with this, however, as resentment toward integration between economically stronger and weaker nations increased nationalist criticism of European integration.

    European History - Key takeaways

    • The Renaissance was a widespread cultural movement that was a rebirth of classical literature. The movement spread throughout Europe and produced changes in art, culture, architecture, and religion.
    • Europe's Age of Exploration began in the 15th century. European nations sought luxury goods, territorial acquisition, and the spread of religion. Mercantilism influenced countries to spread out and acquire colonies.
    • The Protestant and Counter Reformations influenced drastic religious changes.
    • European governments changed dramatically with several revolutions, such as the Glorious Revolution and the French Revolution.
    • New political ideologies erupted in the 19th century, including anarchism, communism, nationalism, socialism, feminism, and social Darwinism.
    • Europe endured two world wars that had detrimental consequences. The first war saw 16 million people die. The blame, reparations, and lack of international diplomatic power led to the rise of Nazi political power and the start of World War II.
    Frequently Asked Questions about European History

    When did European history begin? 

    The study of modern European history generally begins with the Renaissance in the late 1300s and early 1400s. 

    What is European history? 

    European History is the study of the nations, societies, people, places, and events that shaped the economic, political and cultural landscape of the European continent. 

    What is the most important event in European history? 

    There are several important events in European History: The Renaissance, the Age of Exploration, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, The Industrial Revolution, the French Revolution, and the Global conflicts of the 20th century. 

    When did Europe's history begin and why? 

    The study of modern European history generally begins with the Renaissance in the late 1300s and early 1400s. It is during this time that the cultural, economic, and political foundations of many of the modern European nations were formed. 

    What is important about European history? 

    European history is the source of many of the philosophical, economic, political, social, and militaristic movements, events, and people that influence not just Europe but the development of the rest of the world. 

    Test your knowledge with multiple choice flashcards

    Who was the founder of Modern Zionism?

    In the late 19th & early 20th centuries, antisemitism in Europe was on the rise.

    Zionists believe that there needs to be an official Jewish Nation in order for the religion to survive. 


    Discover learning materials with the free StudySmarter app

    Sign up for free
    About StudySmarter

    StudySmarter is a globally recognized educational technology company, offering a holistic learning platform designed for students of all ages and educational levels. Our platform provides learning support for a wide range of subjects, including STEM, Social Sciences, and Languages and also helps students to successfully master various tests and exams worldwide, such as GCSE, A Level, SAT, ACT, Abitur, and more. We offer an extensive library of learning materials, including interactive flashcards, comprehensive textbook solutions, and detailed explanations. The cutting-edge technology and tools we provide help students create their own learning materials. StudySmarter’s content is not only expert-verified but also regularly updated to ensure accuracy and relevance.

    Learn more
    StudySmarter Editorial Team

    Team History Teachers

    • 24 minutes reading time
    • Checked by StudySmarter Editorial Team
    Save Explanation Save Explanation

    Study anywhere. Anytime.Across all devices.

    Sign-up for free

    Sign up to highlight and take notes. It’s 100% free.

    Join over 22 million students in learning with our StudySmarter App

    The first learning app that truly has everything you need to ace your exams in one place

    • Flashcards & Quizzes
    • AI Study Assistant
    • Study Planner
    • Mock-Exams
    • Smart Note-Taking
    Join over 22 million students in learning with our StudySmarter App
    Sign up with Email

    Get unlimited access with a free StudySmarter account.

    • Instant access to millions of learning materials.
    • Flashcards, notes, mock-exams, AI tools and more.
    • Everything you need to ace your exams.
    Second Popup Banner