A German writer named Friedrich Gentz wrote a work named The Origin and Principles of the American Revolution, Compared with the Origin and Principles of the French Revolution. This work emphasized the fact that the American revolution and French revolutions were opposite in nature, in particular when it came to tradition. The American revolution was … Continue reading Friedrich Gentz on the American and French Revolutions
In 1789, King Louis XVI of France was forced to call the Estates General to pay off some of his debts. The Estates General was an assembly which consisted of representatives of three estates: the clergy, the nobility, and common people. The voting was by estate, with each estate having one vote. The Estates General … Continue reading The French Revolution & Napoleon’s treatment of the church
The 18th century saw the rise of Enlightened absolutism. Enlightened absolutists were rulers who ruled in an absolute manner and embraced certain Enlightenment principles. Some of them even corresponded with Enlightenment thinkers. One example of an enlightened absolutist ruler was Frederick the Great of Prussia. Frederick was friends with Voltaire, one of the most prominent … Continue reading Enlightened Absolutism
During the Middle Ages, the scientific understanding of cosmology was a combination of the ideas of Aristotle, Ptolemy, and others. They believed in a fixed, motionless earth at the center of a series of cocentric spheres where there were perfectly spherical planets in circular orbits at a constant speed. This theory is known as the … Continue reading The Heliocentric Model of the Solar System, the Role of Religion, and the Enlightenment.
The condition of the Catholic church on the eve of the Protestant reformation was mixed. Piety and lukewarmness existed alongside each other. People were more attracted to the more dramatic aspects of religion, such as the arrival of popular preachers, high masses on important feast days, feast days of patron saints, and pilgrimages to the … Continue reading The Catholic Church on the Eve of the Protestant reformation & Martin Luther’s 95 Theses
The Black Death was a deadly outbreak of the plague that arrived in Europe in the mid 14th century. The Black death impacted Medieval society immensely, and the outlook of the people was changed permanently. In the words of Boccaccio in his Decameron that: "...practices contrary to the former habits of the citizens would hardly … Continue reading Are the Decameron and the Canterbury Tales closer in outlook to Greek and Roman literature than they are to Hebrew, Christian, and medieval literature?
Many today believe that people in the Middle Ages believed in a flat earth. They say that Christopher Columbus was considered by many people to be crazy because he might fall off the edge of the earth, where there may have been dragons or other fearsome creatures. In reality, people did not believe in a … Continue reading The myth of the Flat Earth & The Central Point of “Questions of Conquest”
Marsilius of Padua was a philosopher who lived in the 13th and 14th centuries AD. He wrote a book called Defensor Pacis, which dealt with political and religious themes. He believed that the state was not subject to ecclesiastical oversight and in the autonomous state. He said that governments should not be subject to any … Continue reading Louis of Bavaria and the teachings of Marsilius of Padua
In Boccaccio’s Decameron, he offered an account of the Black Death in 1348 and described how it affected Florence. Boccaccio said that the origin of the plague was in the east, and that it arrived in Florence even though numerous precautions had been taken by the people. The people of Florence tried to prevent the … Continue reading Boccaccio’s Decameron: His Account of the Black Death Compared to His Stories
After the great Schism, Martin V became the new pope. He cracked down on crime in Rome, and now that the papacy had returned to Rome after the Schism, merchants and pilgrims came back to Rome. During his pontificate and those of later Renaissance popes, local strongmen owned a lot of land that previously belonged … Continue reading The papacy during the Renaissance & Erasmus.