Europe

Some of Europe’s most famous leaders govern in the early modern period. Napoleon, Peter the Great, and Charles XII change and challenge Europe. Religion and religious ideas are transformed as new ideas move across Europe developing science, economics and culture, all of which are covered in this section. Read more

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  • The Flight to Varennes

    Article

    On the night of 20 June 1791 a portly middle-aged man, dressed inconspicuously in brown, with a dark green overcoat and his hair covered by a grey wig, walked out of the Tuileries palace past the guards. For the past 12 nights the Chevalier de Coigny, dressed in a similar...

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  • The Monarchies of Ferdinand and Isabella

    Article

    On 12 December 1474, the news reached the Castillian city of Segovia, north-west of Madrid, that Henry IV, king of Castile, had died. After the proper ceremonies had been conducted in memory of the deceased monarch, his sister, Isabella, was proclaimed queen of Castile in that place. There was much...

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  • Radicalism and its Results, 1760-1837

    Article

    Radicalism with a large "R", unlike Conservatism with a large "C" and Liberalism with a large "L", is not a historical term of even proximate precision. There was never a Radical Party with a national organization, local associations, or a treasury. But there were, and there are, "Radicals", generally qualified...

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  • Podcast Series: The Spanish Golden Age

    Multipage Article

    An HA Podcasted History of the Spanish Golden Age featuring Dr Glyn Redworth of Manchester University and Dr Francois Soyer of the University of Southampton.

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  • Interpretations of the French Revolution

    Article

    The French Revolution raises many questions not least: What sort of Revolution was it - one of "poverty" or "prosperity" ? a bourgeois revolution that overthrew feudalism?  A national struggle for liberty, democracy, or "eternal Justice" ? or, again, a criminal conspiracy against the old social order? What did it...

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  • Scottish Diplomatists 1689-1789

    Article

    The object of this pamphlet is to show the gradual penetration of Scotsmen after the Union into a particular branch of the public service - what may be conveniently though not very accurately described as the diplomatic service. This essay makes a study of the actual negotiations conducted by Scottish...

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  • Podcast Series: Thomas Paine

    Multipage Article

    In this set of podcasts Emeritus Professor W. A. Speck of the University of Leeds looks at the life and ideas of Thomas Paine.

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  • Ideas on the Shape, Size and Movements of the Earth - Pamphlet

    Article

    This classic pamphlet takes you through some of the key ideas on the shape, size and movements of the Earth as they changed over time from classical cosmology to the work of Galileo and Isaac Newton.

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  • Podcast Series: The Renaissance

    Multipage Article

    In this podcast Dr Gabriele Neher of the University of Nottingham provides an introduction to the Renaissance.

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  • Podcast Series: The History of Science

    Multipage Article

    In this series of podcasts we take a look at the history of the Royal Society and the influence it has had on the history and development of science. This series features: Keith Moore, Head of Libraries and Archives at the Royal Society, Dr Jordan Goodman, Dr Patricia Fara of...

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  • Podcast Series: The Reformation

    Multipage Article

    An HA Podcasted History of the Reformation featuring Professor Peter Marshall, Dr Henry Cohn, Dr Penny Robert and Professor Beat Kümin of Warwick University.

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  • Podcast Series: Origins of the European Financial Markets

    Multipage Article

    In this podcast Dr Anne Murphy of the University of Hertfordshire looks at the early origins of the European financial markets from the Italian Renaissance to the present day. Dr Murphy also provides a useful introduction to finance, the stock market and the bond market.

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  • Polychronicon 150: Interpreting the French Revolution

    Article

    For most of the last two centuries, historical interpretations of the French Revolution have focused on its place in a grand narrative of modernity. For the most ‘counter-revolutionary' writers, the Revolution showed why modernity was to be resisted - destroying traditional institutions and disrupting all that was valuable in an...

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  • The role of Devon's militia during the Spanish Armada crisis

    Article

    The precise role of Devon's militia during summer 1588 has, until recently, been shrouded by the recurrent tendency of historians to misinterpret the primary function of the militias in the southern maritime counties. The basic idea put forward has been that their main role during the Armada crisis was to...

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  • The Great Powers in the Pacific

    Article

    This pamphlet covers a very large period of history in a very important region with great detail and focus. Themes that are covered include the transition of power and dominance in the pacific region, the conflicts that frequently arose in the struggle for pacific dominance throughout the centuries, as well...

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  • Enlightened Despotism

    Article

    This pamphlet covers the often confused concept of Enlightened Despotism (also known as Enlightened Absolutism). The essential nature of Enlightened Despotism and its origin are discussed, as well as the development and character of Enlightened Despotism in various governments, followed by a judgement of its' achievements and significance. Catherine the Great,...

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  • The Armada Campaign of 1588

    Article

    Between 1585 and 1588 a state of undeclared war existed between England and Spain. During the course of those years, Philip II devised a plan for the 'Enterprise of England'. It was probably  the most ambitious military operation of the sixteenth century: a massive invasion to be mounted jointly by...

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  • The Undergrowth of History

    Article

    We can do all kinds of things with the past - examine it analytically, or question whether it ever existed, or churn it up inside ourselves until it turns into personal experience. We can dream it as we lounge amidst a heap of ruins, or petrify it into a museum;...

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  • Catherine de Medici & the Ancien Regime

    Article

    Catherine de Medici is one of the most controversial figures of the early modern period. Her name has come to symbolize her age and both have long retained an exceptionally powerful emotive force. Consequently they have attracted many writers primarily seeking to apportion blame for the sombre events of the...

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  • Copernicus and the Reformation of Astronomy

    Article

    During the past four centuries, the processes of nature have come to be viewed in a new light through the progressive acquisition of the systematized, verifiable knowledge that we call science. The associated advances in technology have profoundly affected the circumstances of our daily lives, and have revolutionised the mutual...

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