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From Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium
The historical background to present-day Europe
- (covering only developments that are deemed relevant to the present character of Europe)
The European heritage
- Ancient Greece
- - the poetry of Homer (the Iliad and the Odyssey)
- - the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle and the concept of democracy as a system of government
- - the mathematics of Euclid and Pythagoras
- - the histories of Acusilaus, Apollodorus, Herodotus, Heraclides, Thucydides and Xenophon
- - the dramas of Aeschylus and Euripides
- The Roman Empire
- The Enlightenment
The development of European nation states
- 1648: Treaty of Westphalia
- 1663: Thomas Newcomen (1663 - 1729) and the development of the steam engine.
- 1689: The Glorious Revolution establishes the duties of the monarchy
- 1690: John Locke Two Treatises on Government - the proposition that government is legitimate only if it is exercised in the interests of the governed.
- 1711: David Hume (1711-1776) Scottish philosopher, economist, and historian. He is considered one of the most important figures in the history of Western philosophy and the Scottish Enlightenment.
- 1713: Treaty of Utrecht
- - separated France from Spain; ceded the Spanish Netherlands to Austria; ceded Gibraltar and parts of Canada to Britain.
- 1723: Adam Smith (1723-1790) Scottish moral philosopher and political economist (1723-1790), a major contributor to the modern perception of free market economics; author of Wealth of Nations (1776)
- 1789: French Revolution - The replacement of the monarchy with a Republic.
- 1791: Thomas Paine's The Rights of Man 
- 1799-1815 Napoleonic Wars - between France and other European countries including Austria, Russia and Britain.
- 1806: Dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire and formation of the Federation of the Rhine.
- 1815: Congress of Vienna
- - redefined the territorial map of Europe following the defeat of Napoleon; including the creation of the Confederation of Germany
- 1818: Karl Marx (1818-1883) philosopher and economist. Creator of a theoretical foundation for Communism
- 1867: Austro-Hungarian Compromise
- - united Austria with Hungary.
- 1914-18 First World War
- 1917: October Revolution
- - the seizure of power by Lenin's Bolsheviks, from the provisional government that had been formed by the revolutionary uprising of of February 1917.
- 1918: The Treaty of St Germain.The collapse of Austro-Hungary, and the proclamation of the separate republics of Austria and Hungary.
- 1919: Paris Peace Conference (1919-1920)
- - concluded the treaties of Versailles (with Germany), St Germain (with Austria), Trianon (with Hungary), Neuilly (with Bulgaria), Sèvres and Lausanne (with Turkey).
- 1929-35: Great Depression
- 1933: Adolf Hitler and Nazi Party takes power in Germany
- 1939-45 Second World War
- 1946: Paris Peace Conference (1946-1947)
- - concluded peace treaties with Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary, Romania and Italy.
The development of a union of nation states
- 1946: The partition of Germany - between West Germany and communist East Germany
- 1949: North Atlantic Treaty - created NATO
- 1953: Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
- 1954: Brussels Treaty - created the Western Union involving Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
- 1957: Treaty of Rome  - created the European Community: a customs union that included Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands
- - for further accessions see the European Union timeline
- 1973: Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe - and the signing in 1975 of the Helsinki Final Act - which created the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe
- 1985: The Schengen Agreement for border crossings without passport checks.
- 1989: Fall of the Berlin Wall - the symbolic destruction of the fortified barrier between east and west Berlin
- 1990: German reunification
- 1991: Collapse of the Soviet Union and the beginning of the Yugoslav Wars
- 1992: Treaty of Maastricht - created the European Union: an extension of the European Community embodying political as well as economic collaboration, and the European Economic and Monetary Union (subsequently referred to as the eurozone)
- -for subsequent treaties see the European Union timeline
- 1994: Opening of the Channel tunnel
- 2008-10: Great Recession
- - see the Great Recession timeline
- 2010: Eurozone crisis - a financial crisis concerning, at first, the fiscal sustainability of the PIIGS members of the European Monetary Union, and subsequently the survival of the eurozone.
- - see the Eurozone crisis timeline
- ↑ Pax Romna
- ↑ Medieval Philosophy, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2009
- ↑ History of the Holy Roman Empire, historyworld.net
- ↑ The Abbasid Caliphs, BBC iplayer, 2006
- ↑ Keith Devlin: The Mathematical Legacy of Islam, American Mathematical Association, 2002
- ↑ Kenneth Clark: Grandeur and Obedience (episode 7 of the BBC series Civilisation, video of the BBC 1969 broadcast)
- ↑ Thomas Paine: The Rights of Man, UShistory.org
- ↑ Napoleonic Wars, Historyof War.org
- ↑ Germany - Two states for 40 years, Germanplaces.com
- ↑ Winston Churchill's Iron Curtain Speechl
- ↑ North Atlantic Treaty, official text]
- ↑ Statute of the Council of Europe, 1949
- ↑ The Brussels Treaty, European Navigator, 2006
- ↑ Treaty establishing the European Community, Rome, 25 March 1957]
- ↑ Signing of the Helsinki Final Act, OSCE.2010
- ↑ The Reunification of Germany and Its Aftermath, German Culture.com
- ↑ Treaty on European Union, Official Journal C 191, 29 July 1992