View Full Version : 20 most important events of european history


Squonk
Sep 10, 2010, 11:48 AM
that form european identity and should be in every european schoolbook. What are they? My list would go about like this

1) ancient greek history (philosophy, Athens vs Sparta, Alexander, diadochoi)
2) roman expansion
3) spread of christianity
4) fall of the roman empire
5) Arabs (and Slavs) attack
6) great schism
7) second wave of spread of christianity (Bulgaria, Moravia, Poland, Ruthenia, Scandinavia)
8) crusades
9) fight between pope and emperor
10) renaissance
11) turkish threat
12) reformation
13) great discoveries
14) englightment
15) french revolution, incl. Napoleon
16) growth of nationalism and socialism
17) ww1
18) ww2
19) cold war
20) EU

Owen Glyndwr
Sep 10, 2010, 12:10 PM
I dunno, those topics are super duper broad. This wasn't so much a events thing as a broad flow of general history, so which do you want? Specific events or general history topics?

bombshoo
Sep 10, 2010, 12:23 PM
What's an "event"? I am sort of confused as to how you can have ~8 things listed for the Middle Ages and yet list almost all of Classical history as a single event.

Gruekiller
Sep 10, 2010, 12:54 PM
If you mean single points, the Battle of Vienna and the Battle of Waterloo are both important turning points. I might also point at the 1st Crusade and the assassination of Franz Ferdinand.

Magnificent One
Sep 10, 2010, 01:06 PM
My list of important European Events.

1) The Persian Empire
2) Alexander the Great
3) Rome VS Carthage
4) The Roman Empire
5) Christianity
6) Fall of West Rome
7) Byzantium
8) Arabian Expansion
9) Founding of Islam
10) Dark Ages
11) Hundred Years War
12) Crusades
13) Teutonic Order
14) The Ottoman Empire + Fall of Constantinople
15) Renaisance
16) Colonialism
17) Napoleonic Wars
18) World War I
19) World War II
20) The Cold War

Squonk
Sep 10, 2010, 03:54 PM
I do not mean singular battles, sorry for not making myself clear. I mean sort of cultural movements, changes in history that made profound, structural influence on it... hm...


What's an "event"? I am sort of confused as to how you can have ~8 things listed for the Middle Ages and yet list all of Classical history as a single event.

I do not.
1) ancient greek history (philosophy, Athens vs Sparta, Alexander, diadochoi) - ANCIENT
2) roman expansion - ANCIENT
3) spread of christianity - ANCIENT
4) fall of the roman empire - ANCIENT
5) Arabs (and Slavs) attack - on the verge of ANTIQUITY

It's 4-5 points, not 1

Magnificent One, why Teutonic Order? When I think of it, its most important influence was cutting Slavs from the Baltic Sea, influencing Lithuania into chosing catholicism over orthodoxy (which's results were overturned by partages etc)... but in general, their influence was regional and not more profound than any other state's.

oh, I forgot Mongols, they made a huge impact on half of Europe. And it is in fact, now that I think of it, the common thing in european and turkish history :)

Why do you put arab expansion before birth of islam, and why are these events separate?

Why 100 yw is so important? It did contribute to the art of warfare I guess... But in fact it only ment expulsion of the English from France, which is a return to a situation that existed before... hm... perhaps it also contributed to existance of a long France vs England feud, but it was one of many in history and not the most important.

Chieftess
Sep 10, 2010, 04:41 PM
Kind of broad list for 20, but here's a quick 5 (with long-lasting consequences) -

1 - Roman Empire - The basis for many languages, and words imported into other languages.

2 - Rise of Christianity - Defined the European culture, and acts as a unifying force.

3 - The Great Migrations - Pressures from China (direct and indirect) forced many seeking Roman lands. These would eventually become countries (as well as provide a monarchial government to Europe) In a way, this made Europe many competing cultures rather than one (like China), which would have importance in the future.

4 - Founding of Islam/Rise of the Arabian Empire - Cuts off direct Europe-to-China trade (unless they wanted to pay a "protection tax"). This would be part of the reason Europe sought a quicker route to China (after finding Africa was so large)

5 - Colonization - A consequence of 3 and 4. It essentially was what Rome was to the Medditeranian area, only as a very loose "alliance" of nations vying for land. This would trigger wars and revolutions in Europe later.

GinandTonic
Sep 10, 2010, 04:41 PM
How are the agricultural and industrial revoloutions not on the lists given they completely changed the lives of every european and the whole political economy of the continent. Twice.

Squonk
Sep 10, 2010, 04:46 PM
I didn't put economic events on the list. Maybe I should.

Owen Glyndwr
Sep 10, 2010, 05:36 PM
I still don't really understand the point of this thread. From here it looks like all we're doing is outlining what chapters there would be in a Euro-history textbook. I think individual events would be much more interesting, and much more prone to discussion that what this is supposed to be.

Quackers
Sep 10, 2010, 06:25 PM
inb4 accusations of eurocentricity

I would say the French and Russian revolutions are worth mentioning.

Louis XXIV
Sep 10, 2010, 07:13 PM
Since the thread says events, I'm going to pick an event that's symbolic of a broader change.

1. The First Punic War, Rome conquers Sicily (or the establishment of the Roman Empire generally).
2. Caesar's Conquest of Gaul (original unifying culture of Europe)
3. Constantine ends persecution of Christianity (more or less representing Christianity spreading in the Empire)
4. Odoacer overthrows the last Roman Emperor in the west (barbarian migration period, fall of the Roman Empire)
5. Charles Martel halts the advance of Islam
6. Charlemagne crowned as Roman Emperor (reestablishment of political unity, uniting Western Europe in allegiance to the Pope).
7. Investiture Controversy (dominance of the Papacy, ending of the church as personal property)
8. Crusades (defining the boundaries of Europe, intellectual reawakening due to rediscovering Greek sources).
9. The Plague! (demographic shifts, mercantile revitalization).
10. Gutenberg invents the Printing Press
11. Discovery of America (change in economy of Europe).
12. 30 Years War (end of Papal dominance, rise of European political balance).
13. Locke, Voltaire, Adam Smith, and others publish their works (height of the Enlightenment)
14. The French Revolution (rise of Nationalism and spread of ideals of liberty).
15. Congress of Vienna (Concert of Europe and policies that followed until World War I).
16. Unification of Germany
17. World War I (destroyed three Empires).
18. Bolshevik Revolution (rise of the Communist movement in Europe).
19. Potsdam Conference (post-World War II East/West divide. I considered the fall of Berlin and the bombing of Hiroshima as other possible events)
20. Establishment of the European Economic Community

That was quite fun. A couple of other events I would have loved to have included if I could fit more.

Arriaga II
Sep 10, 2010, 08:17 PM
Here's 20 of the most important single events in European history, several of the events did not occur in Europe.

1. The migrants that introduced agriculture in Europe.
2. Whatever the hell happened that triggered the Bronze Age Collapse.
3. Cyrus creates an empire in Mesopotamia.
4. Philip V allies with Carthage.
5. Attila has a nosebleed.
6. The invention of the stirrup.
7. The invention of Greek Fire.
8. The death of Ogedei Khan.
9. Genoese traders from Kaffa land at Messina.
10. The utilization of paper in Europe for the first time.
11. Luther refuses to recant at the Diet of Worms.
12. Atahualpa invites the party of strangers to meet at Cajamarca.
13. Galileo learns about the newly invented telescope.
14. The death of Elizabeth I of Russia.
15. Watt develops his modified steam engine.
16. The flight of Louis XVI.
17. McClellan pulls a McClellan after Special Order 191 is discovered.
18. Louis Pasteur demonstrates his metholodogy via milk.
19. Ludendorff lets Lenin pass through Germany to Russia.
20. Einstein is persuaded to write a letter to FDR.

Louis XXIV
Sep 10, 2010, 08:55 PM
Cool list, but why Greek Fire?

Arriaga II
Sep 10, 2010, 09:15 PM
Cool list, but why Greek Fire?

I'm no expert on the Byzantines, so I tried to think of the most obvious event that would symbolize their ability to avoid the fate of the Sassanid Empire.

Thus, checking the expansion of Islam into Europe for 600 years (except Spain).

taillesskangaru
Sep 10, 2010, 09:20 PM
1. Development of philosophy in Ancient Greece
2. Rise of the Roman Empire
3. Rise of Christianity and Christianization of the Roman Empire
4. Germanic/Barbarian Migrations
5. Rise of Islam
6. Eastern Roman revival under the Macedonian and the Komnenoi dynasties
7. Great Schism
8. The Crusades
9. The Black Death
10. The Renaissance
11. The Printing Press
12. Rise of the Ottomans
13. Rise of the Habsburg
14. Conquest of the New World
15. The Reformation
16. The Enlightenment
17. The Industrial Revolution
18. World War I
19. Bolshevik Revolution
20. World War II

Masada
Sep 10, 2010, 09:55 PM
I'm no expert on the Byzantines, so I tried to think of the most obvious event that would symbolize their ability to avoid the fate of the Sassanid Empire.

Themes. Also, disunity in the Islamic world itself.

cubsfan6506
Sep 10, 2010, 10:18 PM
1. 1900-2000
2. 1700-1800
3. 500-600
4. 400-500
5. 1800-1900
6. 0-100
7. 100-200
8. 200-300
9. 600-700
10. 700-800
11. 800-900
12. 1600-1700
13. 2000-pres
14. England
15. 1200-1300
16. 1500-1600
17. 1300-1400
18.1000-1100
19. 1100-1300
20. Dday

All dates are C.E, nothing happened important before then.

taillesskangaru
Sep 10, 2010, 10:56 PM
All dates are C.E, nothing happened important before then.

You mean A.D., and not even Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome?

Plotinus
Sep 11, 2010, 07:58 AM
I do not.
1) ancient greek history (philosophy, Athens vs Sparta, Alexander, diadochoi) - ANCIENT
2) roman expansion - ANCIENT
3) spread of christianity - ANCIENT
4) fall of the roman empire - ANCIENT
5) Arabs (and Slavs) attack - on the verge of ANTIQUITY

It's 4-5 points, not 1

"Classical" does not mean the same thing as "ancient". Of the five topics you give here, only the first two could be considered "classical".

And I agree that it's pretty absurd to just label the whole of "ancient Greek history" as a single "event". By that logic, I can list the most important events in European history like this:

(1) European history.

You mean A.D.

CE is the standard scholarly form. And we are not going to have that argument again, at least not here.

taillesskangaru
Sep 11, 2010, 08:06 AM
And I agree that it's pretty absurd to just label the whole of "ancient Greek history" as a single "event". By that logic, I can list the most important events in European history like this:

(1) European history.

Well, it's difficult to compress 3000+ years of European history into 20 dot points.

CE is the standard scholarly form.

Since when did that become standard?

Masada
Sep 11, 2010, 08:39 AM
I think it depends on where you are and what you publish in.

Louis XXIV
Sep 11, 2010, 09:01 AM
For Ancient Greek influence, I was originally going to list the foundation of the Delian League as my first point (it was the point that let Athenian Democracy form into what we know it as). Then I thought about it and decided that Roman influence was just far more important than Greek. Greek influence came in two forms. The first was the Roman absorption of Greek culture, the second was the importation of Arab copies of Greek sources. While both were important, the second was far more important than the first (our incomplete understanding of Plato needed to get surpassed by Aristotle and better info about Plato). Then all of it got shot down with people like Galileo and then more modern philosophies that followed.

Plotinus
Sep 11, 2010, 09:43 AM
Since when did that become standard?

The last twenty or thirty years, I'd say. It's not the exclusive standard though, even now, but I think it is certainly the more common scholarly convention.

Squonk
Sep 11, 2010, 09:49 AM
"Classical" does not mean the same thing as "ancient". Of the five topics you give here, only the first two could be considered "classical".


Which still would mean he was wrong.

And I do think that "classical period" of greek history does not equal "classical history"


And I agree that it's pretty absurd to just label the whole of "ancient Greek history" as a single "event". By that logic, I can list the most important events in European history like this:

(1) European history.


I did mention the most important sub-points, didn't I?

Dachs
Sep 11, 2010, 01:55 PM
Most important as relating to what? The formation of some kind of European identity? What the poster thinks is relevant?

Tank_Guy#3
Sep 11, 2010, 02:01 PM
"Classical" does not mean the same thing as "ancient". Of the five topics you give here, only the first two could be considered "classical".

And I agree that it's pretty absurd to just label the whole of "ancient Greek history" as a single "event". By that logic, I can list the most important events in European history like this:

(1) European history.

That might cover a few of the events in European history....only a few though :mischief:

Squonk
Sep 11, 2010, 05:39 PM
Most important as relating to what? The formation of some kind of European identity? What the poster thinks is relevant?

hm, do it both ways, that'd be more interesting. But yes, I was thinking about european identity.

GinandTonic
Sep 11, 2010, 06:11 PM
hm, do it both ways, that'd be more interesting. But yes, I was thinking about european identity.

Which just makes the agricultural and industrial revoloutions all the more the two most significant "moments".

Shaping not only the livers of the people but the very landscape.

Squonk
Sep 11, 2010, 06:34 PM
so make your list including them