Monday, March 14, 2011

Is there such a thing as European History?

Is there such a thing as European History? Considering the title of this blog, it would be nice if there were. But the case can be made that an history of Europe that does not include an appreciation of events, trends and developments outside of Europe would fail to explain certain aspects of its history.

Examples are plentiful. Take the French Revolution. Many of the immediate causes of the Revolution can be found outside of Europe. The French emptied their coffers on the 7 Years' War, much of which took place outside of Europe, and on the subsequent American War of Independence. Also the intellectuals and philosophes in the French Revolution got much of their inspiration from the American Revolution. Thus, a proper understanding of the French Revolution would include an understanding of extra-European events.

Everything has a context, and to understand something is to understand it in its proper context. Therefore, the concept of European History as I think of it with regards to this blog is pretty loose. Future topics will for that reason not exclude events taking place outside of Europe.

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