As king and barons sought to enlarge their bases of support in the country, the custom grew up of inviting representatives of the shires and boroughs to such meetings.
Edward's successors called Parliament frequently in their need for additional funds to carry on the war in France, as a result of the precedent-setting "Model Parliament" he held in 1295.
The House of Commons and the House of Lords are the two chambers of parliament.
The great barons and clerics of the country-lords sat in the former.
The Commons would eventually have the upper hand in lawmaking, despite the fact that the Lords were the more important house for several centuries.
The king had to turn to Parliament for approval of new revenues, and its members took advantage of that to gain privileges.
In France, the Estates-General voted for a royal income tax without demanding concessions from the monarch.
England's Parliament kept a firm hold on the purse strings because they did not agree with the king.
The control over lawmaking and general administration came slowly.
England was 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 The defeat in France shattered the crown's confidence, and the nobles proceeded to slaughter one another in civil warfare led by the house of York against the house of Lancaster.
Henry Tudor was a relative of the Lancasters.
The nation was in need of peace and unity after he emerged victorious from the wars.
The century of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I saw the end of private warfare, as well as the restoration of law and order.
The rulers of France used Parliament to give legitimacy to their actions, but England used it as a safety valve for grievances.
In the century to come, parliamentary government would replace royal absolutism in government.
Other parts of Europe did not have a strong central government.
Germany and Italy were not unified until 1870.
The failure of the Holy Roman emperors to turn their territories into an effectively governed feudal state during the Middle Ages was the main reason for the Germanic Dynasties Habsburg Dynasty.
Germany lingered on as a patchwork of hundreds of fiefs as Spain, France, and England grew into strong cen tralized powers.
Powerful Church lords, wealthy officials governing "free" cities under imperial charters, and landed nobles with many ranks and titles were some of the things that existed in the past.
The archbishops of Cologne, Mainz, and Trier were the ecclesiastical electors.
The Count of the Rhine, the duke of Saxony, the margrave of Brandenburg, and the king of Bohemia were all lay.
The seven men met to choose the emperor's successor.
The political position of the highest prestige in the West remained even as the power of the imperial office waned.
Dynastic considerations, more than concern for national feeling, guided the politics of central Europe.
The Habsburgs had an influence on the Continent for hundreds of years.
The Holy Roman emperor was a south German prince.
He was a minor figure who could be counted on not to cause trouble for the barons and bishops.
He took his imperial responsibilities lightly, concentrating on expanding his family holdings.
The duchy of Austria and surrounding territories was won by Rudolf in a struggle with a defiant vassal.
Austria became the base of the family properties after he assigned these lands to his sons as imperial fiefs.
When Rudolf died, the electors worried about the Habsburgs' growing power and chose a successor from a less affluent family.
Albert was elected emperor in 1438 after the Habsburgs were passed over for nearly two centuries.
After the end of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, the Habsburgs were able to extend their wealth and power through carefully arranged marriages.
The heir to the throne was a young man named Charles V and his inheritance included lands on the Danube River, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.
In 1526, the death of the king of Hungary and Bohemia, who was related to Charles by marriage, brought him the title to those two kingdoms as well.
This was the largest area of territory ever ruled by a European monarch.
The Ottomans, Muslim rulers of the Balkans as well as the Middle East and northern Africa, were reinforced by the worldwide resources of Spain and the Habsburgs.
Four competing middle-sized powers were given room because of their rivalry: England, France, Poland, and Russia.
Competition for control of the small states of Italy and the Holy Roman Empire, as well as the beginning of religious conflicts that led to the Reformation, could cause this balance of power to be upset.
The aggregation proved difficult to control.
In 1556, the emperor retired to a monastery after an endless series of political, military, and personal grievances.
Charles divided the Habsburg properties into two parts.
Spain, the family's other territories in western Europe and the Mediterranean, and the vast Spanish overseas empire made up the western portion.
The rule of the Holy Roman Empire was included in the eastern portion.
The Habsburgs were strengthened by the division of their territory into more man ageable portions.
The Spanish and Austrian branches of the dynasty dominated Europe for a hundred years.
They fought the Turks to a standstill and organized the Spanish empire in the New World.
The effect of power is still felt by Europe and the world today.
The expansion of Europe was the culmination of the outward political, cultural, and religious thrust of European civilization that dated back to the tenth century.
Since the fall of the Roman Empire, the gradual strengthening of Europe's links with other civilizations has been going on.
The other changes that took place toward the end of the Middle Ages contributed to the creation of it.
The need to respond to the renewed challenge of Islam, the vision of ever-growing markets and fathomless riches supplied by capitalism, and the rivalries of powerful centralized governments in western Europe all provided incentives for exploration and empire building in distant continents.
Technical progress provided ships, navigation instruments, and weaponry for exploration, as well as printed books and maps to publicize the explorers' discoveries and stir up public opinion for yet more voyages.
The Western civilization of the 15th century were not ripe for sustained exploration that would lead to domination of distant parts of the world.
The landing by the Norwegian Leif Ericson made a small impression in Europe.
The fifteenth-century non-European venture, in which the Mings of China sent several powerful emperor fleets ranging across the Indian Ocean from the East Indies to the African coast, came to nothing.
Europe was hungrier than ever before for contact with the outside world in the 15th and 16th centuries.
The result of the far flung encounter between Europe and other continents was the most fateful in the history of world relations.
Europeans have benefited from membership in the wider community since the rise of Islam.
They had tasted sweets, spices, and other luxuries from afar, they had enjoyed exotic pastimes such as card games and chess, and they had made use of non-European knowledge and inventions such as Arabic numerals, paper, and printing.
Europeans have known little or nothing of the distant lands from which these things came.
They were excited about the lands beyond the Middle East.
They were familiar with the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.
There were many fanciful suggestions about the world.
Sailors, fearful of the unknown, hugged the coasts in their tiny vessels.
European knowledge of the outside world began to change in the 13th and 14th centuries.
The rise of the intercontinental empire of the Mongols was the main reason.
The Eastern Hemisphere's civilizations were drawn together.
Europeans were able to visit the lands beyond Islam for the first time.
After establishing trading relations with the Mongol empire in western Asia, members of the Polo family decided to travel to the far side of the empire.
The caravan took them from the Black Sea to Beijing, where the ruler of the Mongols held court.
Marco stayed there for many years before returning to Southeast Asia and the lands of the Indian Ocean.
After returning to Italy, he wrote about his travels and showed Europeans the wealth of the Orient.
Europe received the same revelation about another part of the world that it did indirect business in--West Africa.
There was a large Italian trading community in Cairo when the ruler of the powerful Islamic empire of Malian traveled to Mecca.
The news that the wealthy pilgrim had given out so much gold by way of gifts caused the gold-based Egyptian coinage to lose 25% of its value.
The ruler, his empire, and its resources were reported more than once.
Europeans began to get a distinct idea of the distant lands and peoples of the Eastern Hemisphere, together with the uncomfortable but attractive feeling that they were part of the intercontinental family of civilizations to which they belonged.
The decline in prosperity and trade was caused by the Black Death in Asia, Africa, and Europe.
The rise of the Turks and the gradual collapse of the Mongol empire were caused by disagreements among the successors of Genghis Khan.
The western end of the overland routes to the Far East were blocked.
Europe and the Orient had a lot of trade through Egypt.
The door to the outside world was partially closed as Europe recovered from the Black Death.
The effect was to increase their hunger for contact with distant lands.
Competition to control the chief remaining link with the Orient grew more intense among the Italian city-states that had traditionally dominated the routes to the Middle East.
The victory of Venice came after a series of wars between the two largest cities.
Europe's main gateway to the rest of the world was that city.
Venetian strongpoints and harbors were scattered along the coasts and islands of the eastern Mediterranean, guarding the sea routes, attracting the commerce of neighboring areas, and creating a Venetian trading monopoly in the region.
New resources were also developed by the Venetians.
Gangs of slaves imported from countries to the north of the Black Sea were used to grow Middle Eastern-sourced sugarcane in the Venetian-owned island of Cyprus.
Venice set an example of empire building and colonial exploitation that was carefully studied by the countries of western Europe, even though they envied the city's newfound monopoly of links with the East.
Genoa was limited to the western Mediterranean and the sea routes leading from there to the lands of Europe's Atlantic coast.
Venice's rival city was where Christopher Columbus came from.
The fifteenth century saw a change in western European attitudes towards Islam.
Now that western Europeans have a better idea of what lies beyond the Muslim world, the connecting link between Europe and other civilizations of the Eastern Hemisphere is no longer an irksome obstacle.
The Turkish drive into eastern Europe left no doubt that Islam was a stronger and more dangerous enemy of Christendom than it had ever been.
In Portugal, Spain, France, and England, dreams began to grow of acquiring the luxuries of the Orient direct from the producers, and paying for them with the gold of West Africa, obtained in return for European goods also sold on the spot.
The profits of Venice and Islam would be eliminated in this way, going into the pockets of the western European nations.
There could be powerful Christian rulers in the world who would join Europe's fight against the followers of the Prophet if they converted to Christianity.
To get around Venice and Islam, it would be necessary to find new routes through the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
The development of three-masted sailing ships and cannon, as well as the improvement of aids to navigation, gave the western European countries the knowledge and technical abilities they needed.
The race to find sea routes between western Europe and the Far East began in the 15th century.
Europeans were aware that there was no water passage between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean.
The plan was conservative since ships could hold close to land.
Africa and the Indian Ocean were not on existing maps of the world.
Geographers agreed that China must lie on the far side, but they didn't know what distances or barriers would have to be crossed.
The prizes to be won by the person who solved the geographical riddles were very nice.
The merchants of each western European nation hoped to win control of any newly discovered sea route, just as Venice did with the existing Mediterranean route.
Merchants were reluctant to finance voyages of exploration on their own, because the alternative routes were costly and risky.
The Venetian example shows that setting up commercial routes and bases requires political and military power.
The monarchs of western Europe were ambitious.
They hoped that by bringing wealth to their lands, they could strengthen the economic base of their countries and give them their own personal power and glory.
The Church had the blessing and encouragement of the kings.
The clergy were eager for new converts and supported the idea of finding non European allies against Islam.
In the European religious turmoil of the 16th century, both Catholic and Protestant churches and religious orders tried to get the maximum number of converts.
The desire of the clergy to combat Islam, the ambition of the monarchs for power and glory, and the hunger of the merchants for gold--all combined to launch the brave sailors and their ships.
The expansion of Europe spread so quickly because of that.
The voyages of exploration produced many surprises.
Africa was thought to be a small part of the Southern Hemisphere, but it turned out to be much larger.
The world as a whole showed itself to be much larger and more accessible than anyone had thought.
Portugal took the lead in sponsoring exploration.
When Muslims were kicked out of the Iberian peninsula, it had only a short history of independence.
Portugal had been a fief for a while, but in the 12th century its count proclaimed himself a king.
Lisbon, the capital of the Portuguese monarchy, reached the height of its power in the 16th century.
The Portuguese exploited vast territories and peoples overseas.
The early model of Western imperialism was Portugal.
It would be possible for ships to hold close to land so that they could fill their holds with food and water when they ran out.
It promised to make direct and profitable contact with the wealthy people of West Africa.
The African coastline proved far longer than expected and the Portuguese rulers had many other concerns besides sponsoring exploration.
The Madeira Islands and the Azores were occupied by Portuguese forces who opened trade for gold, ivory, and slaves along the coast of West Africa.
Bartolomeu Dias sailed farther southward than any other Porues tuge sailor, and turned back after the coastline turned, giving him good reason to hope that he had found the way around the continent.
The son of a weaver in Genoa dreamed of fame and fortune.
The first era of Westernled globalization was in the early 16th century.
Portuguese explorers sailed round Africa, spread out across the Far East and began building an intercontinental network of trading footholds.
The coastlines of the Americas, across the Pacific, and eventually around the world were all inspired by Columbus's dream of a shortcut to the Indies.
The New World territories were conquered by the least wealthy and powerful of the Old World's civilizations.
He accompanied captains on voyages down the African coast.
He gained access to the royal court of Portugal by marrying a daughter of the governor of Madeira.
The royal advisers said Columbus' plans were not sound when he asked for ships and provisions.
They didn't think that Columbus would fall off the edge of the flat earth.
The knowledge of Greek philosophy and science was brought back to Europe after contact with the Muslims.
China was thought to be about 3,000 nautical miles west of Lisbon, just enough for a ship to arrive without food and water.
His critics said the figure was too far for a ship to sail without supplies.
Columbus was not going to give up.
The last of the Muslims from the Iberian peninsula were being driven by the Spanish rulers.
The commission of experts rejected his proposal for the same reason that the Portuguese had advanced.
When the queen learned that Columbus was going to offer his plan to the French king, she called him back and agreed to fund his expedition.
He invested some of his own money in the venture.
His tiny vessels carried with them a high faith in the individual and a passion for wealth, power, and glory.
He was brought to the "discovery" of the New World by his courage, but he didn't understand the true nature of what he found.
He was convinced that his geographical theories and calculations were correct.
The admiral would have returned to Spain empty-handed or sailed on to his death if he had not discovered the new continent.
He claimed Hispaniola as well as Juana.
Spain's claim to the Western Hemisphere was strengthened on three subsequent voyages.
He believed he had opened a westerly route to Asia.
After 1500, most people believed that Columbus had not reached Asia but had stumbled across a hitherto unexplored area.
Amerigo Vespucci, a Florentine adventurer and mapmaker who was once connected with the banking firm of the Medici, was among them.
The "land of Amerigo," or America, was soon being discussed by literate people after they received copies of his letters.
There were disagreements over the overseas claims of Spain and Portugal.
The monarchs of the two countries agreed to draw a line between their interests to avoid trouble.
The Spaniards believed that this division would give them all the lands in the area of Columbus's discoveries.
Brazil reached into the Portuguese zone.
Lisbon gained a claim in the Western Hemisphere.
Europeans realized that beyond the New World lay another great stretch of water after seeing the Pacific Ocean from the Isthmus of Pan ama in 1513.
The Spanish were disappointed that Columbus didn't reach the Orient, but still hoped that some of it would fall within their treaty sphere.
Ferdinand Magellan set out in 1519 to find a route to the Pacific through which he could sail to Asia.
A fleet of five ships was guided down the coast of South America by a Portuguese in the service of Spain.
He sailed from the southern tip of the continent into the Pacific and then into the greatest of oceans.
After a frightful crossing of about one hundred days, his men lived on leather and rats on the island of Guam.
He claimed the Philippine Islands for Spain with fresh provisions.
The expedition demonstrated that the earth was round and gave a truer idea of the globe's size.
The northwestern countries of Europe did not want to be left out when Spain and Portugal shared the overseas world.
The English, the French, and the Dutch wanted to trade with the Orient.
In 1497, the English sent a Genoese mariner to seek a "Northwest passage" to the Indies.
Giovanni da Verrazano went to the North Atlantic coast for the king of France.
The search for another water passage led to a closer look at the eastern shores of the hemisphere.
The French and English took steps to settle the northern lands after the hope of finding a shorter passage was abandoned.
There was a network of Portuguese harbors and citadels along the coastlines of the powerful peoples and states of the Old World.
The Portuguese won the race to the Orient when their ship arrived in India.
They had seen their goal and used it to their advantage.
They had a monopoly over the richest trade in the world for more than a century.
When the Portuguese arrived in India, they found a fabulously wealthy territory, which was not unlike Europe in that it comprised many different peoples and states, most of whom were held together by a common civilization and religion.
The peoples of India had only been united by one government for a short time.
After the tenth century a.d., the conquerors consisted of armies from either the Turks or the Mongols.
Delhi's power was smashed by another raider, Tamerlane (Timur), when it was controlled by a Muslim sultan.
After the landing of the Portuguese in 1498, India was once again divided into a number of separate kingdoms and was torn by hostility between Hindus and Muslims.
The local rulers were too strong for the Portuguese.
The newcomers were able to exploit the local turmoil so as to establish permanent trading settlements along the western coast.
The Portuguese wanted to control the trade in luxury goods from the Indian ports to the Middle East and Africa.
The expansion of europe entered the ports of China and Japan after seizing much of the trade from the Arabs.
They wanted to gain control of the commerce in goods such as silks, lacquer, and spices.
By 1530, the coastlines of the Eastern Hemisphere from western Africa to the Far East were dotted with Portuguesecontrolled harbors, naval bases, and trading stations.
It was a repeat of what Venice had done in the eastern Mediterranean, only on a larger scale, and to the great disadvantage of the Italian city.
The Spanish looked on as the Portuguese excelled.
Columbus's failure in the west had destroyed their dream of breaking through from that direction because of the delimitation treaty of 1494, which tied their hands east of the dividing line.
Spain was able to reach across the Pacific and acquire the Philippines as a foothold in Asia thanks to the arrival of Magellan.
The New World appeared to be an obstacle to the Spaniards' ambitions.
The Caribbean natives were peaceful, but they didn't offer much to ropean traders.
The only hope for the Spanish explorers was to find a store of wealth.
They did it in a way that surprised the soldiers of fortune.
Hernan Cortes struck it rich.
He built a small expeditionary force in Cuba because of rumors of wealth on the mainland.
He sailed off without authorization from his superiors and made for Mexico, where he had his soldiers proclaim him the legitimate ruler of the land, subject to the king of Spain.
He scuttled his ships so that his men wouldn't be able to escape.
The conquest of the Aztec empire was both daring and cruel.
The Aztecs were a civilized people who boasted rich cities, splendid temples and palaces.
In the Caribbean islands, the Spanish destroyed and looted, but in Mexico they faced an organized power capable of resistance.
The Aztecs had serious disadvantages.
They lacked horses and cattle, and could not make iron utensils or weapons.
The government was threatened by tribal unrest.
The Aztecs lacked resistance to the deadly germs that the invaders brought with them because they had not been exposed to European diseases.
The natives were scared by the cannon that Cortes drew up, so he set one tribe against the other.
He succeeded in overthrowing the emperor in the face of constant personal danger.
The Aztec capital was destroyed and a new one built on the old site, which later became Mexico City.
None of his rivals surpassed him as a conquistador.
Francisco Pizarro was the most notorious adventurer.
He organized an expedition to learn about gold and silver.
Pizarro discovered that the empire was torn by internal unrest and that its soldiers were resistant to the disease.
He made the most of the situation.
Pizarro's men captured the ruler and held him for a large amount of money.
After receiving tons of gold and silver, Pizarro had his prisoner convert to Christianity and then had him murdered.
He took over the empire in 1534 after plundering the capital of Cuzco.
The efforts of the English, French, and Dutch to explore, trade, and colonize overseas were overshadowed by the success of Portugal and Spain.
The southwestern countries were just as ambitious as the northwestern European countries.
The rulers, nobles, and merchants of France and England were all eager to make money overseas.
The Dutch rebelled against Spanish rule in the second half of the 16th century.
The Netherlands became the most dynamic commercial nation of Europe after forming their own republic.
Three competitors could not be kept out of the picture.
The English, French, and Dutch bled for a share of world trade and world empire as the 16th century drew to a close.
They searched the coastlines of North America and northern Europe for sailing passages that would take them to the Indies.
The trade and territories held by the Spanish and Portuguese themselves were invaded by the new competitors.
The era of "world wars" began when European armies fought for control of distant overseas lands.
England, France, and the Netherlands succeeded in taking over Portugal and Spain by the end of the 17th century.
Most of Portugal's possessions are now in the hands of the Dutch or English, as they dominated the trade of the Far East.
Dutch ships carried much of the trade of the Portuguese and Spanish empire in South and Central America, as the northwestern countries drove the Spanish from much of the Caribbean.
English, French, and Dutch colonies in North America were thriving with tens of thousands of settlers.
The northwestern countries fought as hard for trade and empire as they did with Spain and Portugal.
Britain was the name for the union formed by England and Scotland after the Dutch were exhausted by wars in Europe.
The American and French revolutions are included.
The two most powerful western European nations were involved in a worldwide conflict.
Despite the loss of its American colonies, Britain came off better by the end of the 18th century.
The world's leading commercial and imperial nation was going to be kept down to the twentieth century.
The European discoveries and conquests were to have a huge impact on the world.
Changes at the center of the system were felt in far-off places as Europe became the heart of an expanding system.
The impact of the Europeans was felt in the Western Hemisphere.
The European conquest of the Americas was the most devastating invasion of recorded history.
The killing, burning, looting, raping, and enslaving were not new.
There was a psychological shock arising from the clash of very different cultures.
The suddenness and strangeness of the encounter made the trauma worse.