Posted in 7th Grade, History 7

H7 W36 Review – Summary of Europe

A whole lot can happen in I,277 years: from the end of knighthood to the beginning of Islam, hundreds of men like William Wallace, Martin Luther, and John Knox, and movements like the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Counter-Reformation.  Each of these things had its influence on the modern Europe and Americas we have today.

The year 476 was a big deal – that date was the Fall of Rome, the beginning of the 7th Grade History Class, and the year in which the earliest groundwork for the Reformation was set.  As time progressed, so did the countries: the first French kingdom appears, as does Britain and Italy.  Then all of a sudden, the people of Rus band together, and the Holy Roman Empire, Poland, Bulgaria, Scotland, the soon-to-be Wales, Norway, and the first Spaniards.  As Islam slowly retreats, Hungary, Sweden, Sicily, Spain, Serbia, Greece and a weird country called Knights of the Sword are started or re-started. By 1453, Poland and Lithuania are merged, and Austria, the Swiss Confederacy, Bosnia, Moldavia, Burgundy, and Wales are started.  In a few years, the Netherlands, Genoa, Brandenburg and Prussia are founded.

As the countries come and go, so do movements like the Renaissance and the Reformation.  The Renaissance was started first, and taught that humanity could do anything.  People started climbing mountains for the fun of it, and traveling just to see the sights. The Greek and Roman ways of thinking were revived at this time, as some started to realize that most people’s way of thinking no longer matched that of the Bible.  These people, like Gerhard Groote, Martin Luther, and others became the famous figures in the Reformation, a counter-movement to the Renaissance.  The Reformation was the movement started by the acts of these men and the sweeping faith and Protestantism that came into play.  The Reformation was the last movement I studied this year, and it ended in 1753.

Even though these things had large impacts on Europe, they would be nothing if it weren’t for men like Martin Luther, The Pope, and Petrarch.  Some of the more well known renaissance names are: Petrarch, Leonardo de Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli, Donatello, and Titian.  Most of those were artists though some were scientists too.  The Reformation was a result of the thinking of the people, a rebellion to the evil ways people had developed.  Some of the men who preached in this and the Great Awakening were Gerhard Groote, the all-famous Martin Luther, Desiderius Erasmus, Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin, Willian Tyndale, Johnathan Edwards, George Whitefield, and Cotton Mather.

The Exploration era had a huge influence on Europe today.  The colonies settled by Britain, France, Spain and the Netherlands gained those respective countries vast amounts of wealth to use; Spain gained the most with its massive empire in South America and Mexico and Florida.  Explorers like Christopher Columbus, John Cabot, Henry the Navigator, Ferdinand Magellan, Hernando Cortez, Hernando De Soto, Ponce de Leon, and Francisco Coronado each helped their respective countries gain large tracts of land, like Spain and its conquistadores.  Try to imagine a world map without the Americas, Oceania, or Australia!

The influence of the Renaissance on Europe is greater than that of the Reformation, but both are extremely large.  The Renaissance inspired the ideas of tourism, more realistic art, and improved sciences; the Reformation became the ideas of no more indulgences, and the exploration era colonized America, Australia, and Oceania.  And think of it: all this happened within one thousand, two hundred seventy-seven years of history.

Posted in 7th Grade, History 7

H7 W35 – History of Middle East And Surrounding Regions

              The Middle East has managed, throughout history, to always be having a war with itself or some of the surrounding countries.  The wealth of this area has mostly been controlled by the countries already settled in it, but a few empires have been able to conquer it, and even the most powerful of them, the Ottomans, were only able to subdue it for a short period of time.  The areas of the middle east have changed hands many times, and here are some of the people who held it. 

               The middle east was initially settled by desert nomads and farmers, until they settled down and created the first civilization – Mesopotamia.  As Mesopotamia grew, other regions such as Canaan, Syria, Asia Minor, and Egypt showed up on the map.  These new regions grew, and eventually shrank the glorious Mesopotamia into a much more recognizable civilization called Babylon.  Babylon then split away from the true Mesopotamians, and the Mesopotamians went and reconquered all the areas along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.  As all of this happened, the Persians exploded and wiped out all the civilizations except the newly forming Greece and Nubia.  Some of the first Arabian kingdoms are starting to grow, and  when the Persian Empire shatters like glass, the Arabian kingdoms immediately take out most of the Seleucid kingdoms on the Northeast shore of the Red Sea. 

170 years later, Rome has taken over Egypt, Greece, Asia minor, Judaea, and Syria.  This leaves Parthia, the Arabian kingdoms, Nubia, the Scythians and Armenia to play defense to the rest of the world.  They slowly lose grounds against the powerful armies of the Romans, but the Romans are weakening.  Arabia itself is finally formed, as well as Ethiopia.  The Persian empire expands and turns into the massive Islamic caliphate.  The Caliphate pushes the Byzantines back and expands into Africa after conquering all of Arabia and Yemen, but Oman is left alone on its little peninsula.  The Caliphate quickly fragments, splitting into the old countries with some under new names:  Persia under the Buyid Emirate, Egypt under the Fatimid Caliphate, and a little studied country called Transoxiana under the Saminid Emirate.  Asia Minor falls to the Sultanate of Rum, Persia became the Empire of the Kwarism Shah, and Egypt becomes the Ayyubid Sultanate.  The Crusader States are just a borderline including Jerusalem, and the Ayyubid sultanate has conquered Arabia.  The Ayyubid then becomes the Mamluq and conquers Nubia while the Black Sheep Turks are over in Iran/Iraq. 

The Ottomans slowly creep into the picture, and they immediately take out the Mamluq Sultanate.  The Ottomans free Yemen, and take out the Black Sheep Turks, who have become the Safavid Empire and still hold Iran.  Now everything except Crete, Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Ethiopia, Funj and the Safavids are under the Ottomans.  The first Saudi Kingdom splits away from Arabia, and Kuwait secedes from the Ottomans.  Crete has been conquered, and the Safavids have become the Persians again.  Afghanistan joins the game, taking the Persians from behind, while Oman sits quietly in its little corner of the world.  The Egyptian viceroyalty is started and secedes from the Ottomans, and immediately goes and conquers Saudi Arabia.  Oman is still untouched. 

The Ottomans take Saudi Arabia and most of Arabia away from the Viceroyalty of Egypt as the Russians cut off the Ottomans from the Northeast.  Bahrain is started by the British just off the coast of Ottoman land.  Emissaries from Bahrain head over to Egypt, take over the government, and make it British Egypt.  As the British take over that area, the Italians take the area right next to Egypt’s modern day West boundary in a shape a lot like Nevada.  The Ottomans are shrinking as the Russian Empire expands, and Persia shrinks with the Ottomans.  Britain soon loses its colonies in Egypt, Sudan, Muscat, Oman, and Yemen.  The Italians lose their colonies too.  Persia becomes Iran, and Iraq separates from Iran.  The Ottoman Empire is gone, replaced by a fully intact Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Turkey, and Yemen.  Nothing really changes between 1960 and 2005, except that Yemen has conquered another British colony, and Syria has come back to life.  That’s all the last map shows in 2005. 

               The area of the middle east has changed hands so many times it’s impossible to count.  Some countries waited out the wars, like Oman and Ethiopia.  Other took large part in it, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Iran.  All of it has played a big role in the shapes and strength of countries we have today. 

Posted in 7th Grade, History 7

H7 W33 – The French and English Kings

         As the colonies were being developed, the other side of the world was having its developments too: the rules were changing for many different countries, like France and England.  Some kings were resistant to that and wanted their power back; others simply took it into account and did what the were then allowed to do.  Some of these kings were the English Georges and the French Louis. 

          George I was one of two English kings who reigned under Parliament. George I tried to resist the shrinking of the power of the King and tried to reverse some of it.  As he did this, he had lots of trouble with the Anglican establishment over what religion was official, and of course a few struggles with parliament.  His home, currently modern Germany, which was at the time called Hanover and was in the HRE, was also the home of his son, George II.  George II was the last in many ways – the last king to be born outside Britain, the last to lead an army into battle, and the last to have been brought up outside of Britain.  He spent more time at home in Hanover where he had more power, than in Britain. 

          Louis XV was the great-grandson of the famous French Sun King Louis XIV, but never had a high point like his great grandfather.  The boy reached the throne at age five and had a regent over him for much of his reign.  When he reached maturity he immediately had a cardinal over him to direct his reign.  His grandson also had a bad reign, despite his attempts to erase land tax, end serfdom, and increase religious freedom.  This was because whenever he did something, either the nobles counteracted it, or the people misunderstood it.  Because of this, the reforms led to a financial crisis that instigated the French revolution.  The beheading of Louis XVI marked the beginning of the French revolution and the beginning of French Parliament.

          These four kings are remembered negatively because the winner writes the history, but despite that they played huge roles in the beginning of the parliamentarian era and the formation of our current government.