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.