Evidence from mountain glaciers does suggest increased glaciation in a number of widely spread regions outside Europe prior to the twentieth century, including AlaskaNew Zealand and Patagonia. However, the timing of maximum glacial advances in these regions differs considerably, suggesting that they may represent largely independent regional climate changesnot a globally-synchronous increased glaciation.
There has always been a double aspect to such encounters. At an immediate and practical level, conquest, colonization and trade led to modes of domination or coexistence and multi-faceted transcultural relationships. In Europe, such encounters with "otherness" led to attempts to explain and interpret the origins and nature of racial and cultural linguistic, religious and social diversity.
At the same time, observation of alien societies, cultures and religious practices broadened the debate on human social forms, leading to a critical reappraisal of European Christian civilization.
InhaltsverzeichnisTable of Contents Preliminary remarks Now the Great Map of Mankind is unrolled at once; and there is no state or Gradation of barbarism, and no mode of refinement which we have not at the same instant under our View. The very different Civility of Europe and of China; the barbarism of Persia and Abyssinia, the erratic manners of Tartary, and of Arabia.
In the second half of the 15th century, Europe entered an age of discovery which resulted in new, increasingly dense relationships with territories and populations all over the world. This also involved geographical, geological and other discoveries, as knowledge of the shape and layout of the world and the location of resources entered the Western consciousness.
But there was also an important ethno-anthropological aspect to the discoveries, as the variety of peoples and forms of social organization affected European reflections on human society, culture, religion, government and civilization through a continuous interplay between the testimonies of travellers and the work of scholars at home.
The term discovery is controversial as it implies a passivity on the part of indigenous populations, who were "found" by Europeans. This asymmetrical view denies an autonomous existence to indigenous populations before the arrival of Europeans.
Since the early s, historians have increasingly replaced the term "discovery" with "encounter", which is perceived as more neutral and implying a reciprocity rather than the subject-object relationship implied by the term "discovery".
The term "encounter" is also free of the ideological connotations that terms such as "conquest" and "expansion" imply, and "encounter" is compatible with a transcultural approach to global history. The adoption of a more neutral term does not, however, alter the fact that a process of European penetration into regions of the world previously unknown to Europeans did occur, and through this process Europeans "discovered" for themselves new species and ecosystems, and new peoples and societies.
During this process, European perceptions of the encountered "others" were dominated from the outset by a hierarchical perspective. As "encounter" implies a reciprocal, two-way process, the study of these encounters is not complete without considering the non-European perspective.
However, this article will deal primarily with the European side of the encounter. With whom, where and when? For five centuries, the Ottoman Turks remained the primary "other" for Christendom. In all these cases, the "others" were enemies who constituted a direct threat to Christian Europe.
During the early modern period, however, Europeans encounters were the consequence of a process of expansion on the part of dynamic Western societies during their transformation into modern capitalist economies and nation-states. The first wave of expansion during the 15th and 16th centuries focused on three main areas.
Firstly, there was the Atlantic basin from the Atlantic islands and coastal western Africa to the central areas of the American continent.
Secondly, there were the northern seas, stretching eastward from the Baltic to the White Sea and the Siberian coasts and westward to the northern American coasts of CanadaLabradorthe Hudson Bay and the Baffin Island. Thirdly, there was the Oriental seas and northern Asia. The second wave of expansion occurred during the 18th century, mainly in the Pacific region, including AustraliaTasmaniaNew GuineaNew Zealand and the Pacific Islandsand also in the northern seas between Alaska and Siberia.
The third wave witnessed expansion into central Africa by Europeans during the 19th century the so-called "scramble" or "race" for Africa. Each successive wave brought encounters with new "others" for white Europeans, and — reciprocally — brought several peoples in different parts of the world into the sphere of influence of a self-confident, fair skinned "other" equipped with big vessels, firearms and an insatiable hunger for riches and souls.
Together these waves of expansion constitute an age of global plunder which primarily benefitted the Western world, but they also prepared the way for an ever more "transcultural" world. Firstly, they provided a new stimulus to European thinking on nature, man, society, religion, law, history and civilization, and brought into being new areas of intellectual enquiry, such as anthropology, comparative history, linguistics, biology and sociology.
Secondly, they produced an impressive array of printed travel accounts and historical writings, through which the deeds of European adventurers, conquistadores and navigators entered into national historical narratives.
Such publications brought the experience of new worlds into the purview of cultivated Europeans.
European encounters with different races of people had taken place since antiquity, as recorded by Herodotus c. Notable sporadic voyages, and diplomatic and religious missions had been undertaken in the 13th century to eastern Asiato the Mongolian Empire and to the court of the Great Khan, mainly by Italians.
Naval explorations beyond Gibraltar by Portuguese and Italian navigators had seen voyages westward and along the southern Atlantic routes and the western coasts of Africa during the 14th and 15th centuries. But voyages that took place from the s onward had an impact which went far beyond their economic or political significance.
The arrival of the Spanish in the "New World" would also transform life in Europe and the Americas on the material, cultural and intellectual levels, drawing both Europe and the Americas into an increasingly transatlantic and transcultural relationship, producing what has been described as the "Columbian exchange".
In the West and in the East, the Europeans established contact with different kinds of human societies and cultures. The societies and cultures which Europeans encountered in the Caribbean and in continental North and South America were generally viewed as "savagery".
However, Europeans also encountered civilizations which they viewed as more "advanced" in the form of the Aztec, Maya and Inca empires, posing fundamental historical and ethnological questions. In the East, on the other hand, Europeans encountered civilizations that they recognized as ancient, complex and highly structured civilizations, which — unlike indigenous populations in the Americas — did not present them with pliable trade partners or easily subjugated native populations.
The perceived "savagery" and "half-civilized" empires which the Europeans encountered in the Americas invited them to conquer these societies and implant new political, economic and legal systems there, as well as new languages and religions.
During subsequent exploration and expansion, Europeans encountered other indigenous populations during the 16th and 17th centuries in the Americas, South AfricaIndonesiaOceaniaas well as northern and central Asia.
Europeans categorized these as "savage societies" of hunters and fishers, or "barbarian societies" of nomadic herdsmen. From the second half of the 17th century, however, the efforts of Jesuit missionaries and of French, English, and German orientalists led to the discovery of an entirely different, culturally developed kind of "otherness":Compared to great cities like Constantinople, European towns were unsophisti-cated and tiny.
Europe’s largest city, Paris, probably had no more than 60, peo-ple by the year A typical town in medieval Europe had only about 1, to 2, people. Even so, these small communities became a powerful force for change in Europe. Renaissance is a French word meaning “rebirth.” It refers to a period in European civilization that was marked by a revival of Classical learning and wisdom after a .
The Viking Age (– AD) is a period in European history, especially Northern European and Scandinavian history, following the Germanic Iron Age. It is the period of history when Scandinavian Norsemen explored Europe by its seas and rivers for trade, raids, colonization, and conquest.
In this period, the Norsemen settled in Norse Greenland, Newfoundland, and present-day Faroe Islands. The Rise of Europe in the Middle Ages From a lecture series presented by Professor Thomas F.
X. Noble, Ph.D. During the Middle Ages, between about and , Europe experienced one of the longest periods of sustained growth in human history. The Medieval Expansion of Europe 1 Classical discoveries and Dark Age transformations. 2 Europe in the eleventh century.
3 Commerce and the crusades 9 Medieval Europe and North America. IV Europe and the World: c– 10 Scholarship and the imagination. 11 Geography in the fifteenth century. V The fifteenth-century expansion of.
A history of Europe during the Middle Ages including its people, rulers, government, culture, wars and contributions to modern civilization.