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A timeline (or several) relating to Europe.

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 rule of law and Pax Romana[1]:
- the poetry of Virgil (the Aeneid)
- the teachings of Augustine of Hippo and the other patristic philosophers[2]: a doctrine of passive obedience to authority
- the politics of the Holy Roman Empire[3] and the reign of Charlemagne
- the mathematics and poetry of the Abbasid culture[4][5],
- Omar Khayyam.
- the cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Florence in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe.
- the art of Michelangelo and Benini [6]
The Enlightenment
- the philosophical writings of Denis Diderot, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau that gave priority to the power of reason over the claims of authority.
- the scientific method: Galileo on the importance of observation, and Isaac Newton on the rules of reasoning.

The development of European nation states

1648: Treaty of Westphalia
- created the Westphalian System[1] of European sovereign states.
1663: Thomas Newcomen[2] (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[3]
- 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 [7]
1799-1815 Napoleonic Wars[8] - 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[4].
1815: Congress of Vienna[5]
- 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[6]
- 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[7].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)[8]
- concluded peace treaties with Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary, Romania and Italy.

The development of a union of nation states

1946: The partition of Germany[9] - between West Germany and communist East Germany
Winston Churchill's Iron Curtain speech[10] - the east/west division of Europe
1949: North Atlantic Treaty[11] - created NATO
Treaty of London (1949) - created the Council of Europe[12]
1953: Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
1954: Brussels Treaty[13] - created the Western Union involving Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
1957: Treaty of Rome [14] - 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[15] - 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[16]
1991: Collapse of the Soviet Union and the beginning of the Yugoslav Wars
1992: Treaty of Maastricht[17] - 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