Saturday, November 13, 2010

Information for Europe

** oldest dates come first. If it was a person, I went by when they came to power.
1) Axis Age/Golden Age in Greece
2) Alexander the Great
3) Julius Caesar/Fall of the Roman Republic
4) Constantine the Great
5) Rome Sacked/falls to Barbarians
6) Battle of Tours
7) Charlemagne
8) Great Schism
9) William the Conqueror
10) Crusades
11) Magna Carta
12) Columbus Leaves Spain

Sources Used:

  • World History Textbook
  • Mr. Carleton's notes on website

Great Schism

I was a little confused about what was going on with this whole "Great Schism", so I asked a good friend of mine, Anne. Here's how our conversation went:
Christian Cross

Me: Hey Anne! Would you mind telling me what's going on with the Great Schism? I'm just lost.
Anne: Well, this happened exactly in the year of 1054. The Great Schism is the split between eastern and western Christianity. The western branch of it called itself the Roman Catholic Church, and the eastern branch called itself the Greek Orthodox Church.
Me: Oh, my! Why did this happen?
Anne: For a number of reasons, really. The eastern branch clergy kept the right to marry, as opposed to the western side. Greek was the language of the Greek Orthodox Church, and Latin was the language of the Roman Catholic church. The two sides had different views on a pope and how much power they should receive. Even the usage of icons was something they sparred over! One thing on top of the next happened, and then before you know it, there was a split in the religion!
Me: Why was this quite so important?
Anne: Well, the disagreements between the two different sides set off battles within our empire. It also established grudges that would be held for time! It was kind of a rivalry. Also, the Great Schism gave birth to two new branches of Christianity that I believe will last for a long time. 

Columbus Leaves Spain

Today, I happened to meet Christopher Columbus. It was fantastic to talk with him. Here's how that went:

One of Christopher's Ships: Santa Maria
Me: Christopher Columbus! It's so nice to meet you! Do you have time for some questions?
Christopher: Sure, I do.
Me: Tell me, what have you been up to recently?
Christopher: Well, in 1492, I departed from Spain. I had three ships with me: The Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. On my first voyage, I sailed till 1493 and discovered places like the Canary Islands and various places in what's now called the Bahamas. I didn't even know where I was going or what exactly I discovered! I called the people who were living there "Indians". 
Me: Wait, you went for more than one voyage?
Christopher: Oh, yes. I went on three so far, and I'm heading out for my fourth!
Me: Did anything especially important happen on any of your voyages?
Christopher: Well, I just discovered some more land. Eh, nothing special. You know what was crazy though? People were saying that I actually discovered the Americas for the first time, which would change the world drastically! I'm not quite sure where I went; I just wanted to sail.
Me: Do you think what you did was important?
Christopher: Most definitely. I discovered many new lands where new cultures and settlements would arise! Plus, more land is always a good thing.
Me: Well, I think that's pretty cool. Good luck on your fourth voyage!

Christopher Columbus, although he didn't know it, discovered the Americas. This would change the world forever. 


Today, I met up with my Charlemagne. We chatted for a little while, and here's how it went:

Me: Hey there, Charlemagne! Mind if I ask a few questions?
Charlemagne: I have a little bit of time, so go for it!
Me: Let's start with talking about you. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
Charlemagne: In 768, I became king of the Franks. Did I mention that I'm Charles Martel's grandson? I had a cool grandpa. Anyway, I reunited most of the old Roman empire! In the west, that is. But it was quite the feat; I was fighting often! In 799, my man Pope Leo II asked me for some help against some folks in Rome. I took them down, and he was pretty grateful to me. So on Christmas Day in 800, I was crowned Emperor of the Romans! This was pretty special because I am a big-time Christian. 
Me: Ah, how nice! Tell me about your empire!
Charlemagne: I really, above all, wanted a united Christian empire. Whenever I conquered new lands, I made sure people converted. If they didn't, well, they soon found out that they should have. As for how I ruled, I appointed friends and nobles to rule their little local areas. Of course, I checked in on how things were going frequently. In addition to all of this, I made large advances in the education department. I knew that I had to set a good example for my people, and I could read. I myself looked into Latin learning and founded schools so we could have an educated empire.
Me: Well, you've just done so much! I'm impressed. What were some long-lasting impacts of your empire, would you say?
Charlemagne: I spread Christianity far and near, for one thing. I also blended various cultures together to form our own new traditions! Not to mention what I did for education. My government was solid.
Me: Good answer. Thank you for your time!

Charlemagne unified the Christian empire. He died in 814. 


Well, I met Pope Urban II today. It was quite the ordeal. Here's how our interview went:

Me: Hey there! Mind if I ask a couple of questions?
Pope Urban II: Nope, go for it.
Me: First, tell me a little bit about yourself and what you've done!
Pope Urban II
Pope Urban II: I was born around 1042. I was a Roman Pope at the time when Alexius I asked me for some help to fight the Muslim Turks. Now, I know that he was a Byzantine emperor, but I had some of my own motives in my head. I wanted more power. So anyway, I helped this dude out a little bit. In 1095, I called for a crusade to get the Holy Land of Jerusalem back at the Council of Clermont. I received lots of support, and the first crusade was launched!
Me: So how did they go?
Pope Urban II: We weren't hugely successful in conquering what we wanted to conquer, but one good thing came out of these crusades. We brought Europe out of the Dark Ages! When the Crusaders returned, they brought with them knowledge. After so many years of living like barbarians, we finally started to get our culture back to where it was in ancient Rome! Art, architecture, science, math, and things like that started improving. That was the major effect of the Crusades. Without them, we would not have moved on from the Dark Ages for a much longer period. 
Me: Well, that's wonderful! Thank you for your time. 

Pope Urban II was responsible for starting the first Crusades. They continued for over 200 years, and were brutal. The good thing that came out of them was knowledge. Pope Urban II died in 1099. 

Magna Carta

I ran into King John today, and got the pleasure of asking him a couple of questions. Here's how that went:

Me: Hey there, John! Mind if I ask you a couple questions?
King John: I go by King John, thanks. 
Me: Sorry, King John. Anyway, please tell me a little bit about yourself and what you've done!
King John: I'm a son of Henry II. Now, I didn't have the easiest reign, and that's an understatement. I fought with Pope Innocent II, King Philip II of France, and even my own people!
King John
Me: Well, what happened with each of these people?
King John: I lost some land to King Philip II. Now, I had a little scuffle with the pope as well. And let me tell you, he's not the kind of guy you want to get into a scuffle with. We fought over selecting a new archbishop of Canterbury. When I rejected his guy, he got kind of mad at me and stopped all church services in England. This wasn't a good thing, so I had to give in to his demands. And then the nobles I also had an issue with. They got mad at me for too many taxes. But I mean, can you really blame me? I needed money! So what if it was their life's savings? Anyway, in 1215, they tracked me down and forced me to sign the Magna Carta. 
Me: What's that? 
King John: It's this piece of paper that said that recognized that the nobles had certain rights. Over time, this would go for all English citizens. It also recognized rights of the Church, and normal citizens. It gave people some legal rights, and formed what everyone's now calling 'due process of the law'. Some other principles were things like no person can be held in prison without first being charged of a crime, and it protected folks from arbitrary arrest. I, as a king, was not above the law. Parliament came to be later, which was a council that I had to run things through. They had the power of the purse. 
Me: That's not a bad thing, right?
King John: Whatever.
Me: Okay, well, thanks for your time! It was nice talking with you!

King John was not a good king of England, but many good things came out of his reign, such as the Magna Carta. It would forever change the English government. King John died in 1216.

Battle of Tours

I was walking down the street when I ran into Charles Martel! Who would have thought I'd run into "The Hammer" at the market? I got a brief interview in with him though, and here's how it went:

Me: Hey Charles! Do you have time for a couple questions?
Charles: Sure, go right ahead!
Battle of Tours Map
Me: Tell me a little bit about yourself and what you've done.
Charles: Well, I was quite stressed when I heard of these Muslim invasions across Europe. These guys were led by a man by the name of Abd-er Rahman were really rolling. It freaked me out, so I got my rally on, and raised an army of warriors. We were called the Francs. Now, these folks weren't exactly trained, but I did what I could in the time I had. We were truly dedicated to winning this battle.
Me: So how did it go? What happened?
Charles: This actual battle took place in 732. They were mounted, and we were not. However, we had the advantage of terrain. We also had the power of willpower. The battle really ended when we captured and killed their leader. Once that happened, they lost steam and retreated.
Me: What was the effect of this battle?
Charles: I am basically the saver of Christianity. If my Francs and I didn't win this battle, Islam would have spread throughout France, and potentially could have taken over completely. So, if you see a Christian in the future, you tell them that they have me to thank.

Charles "The Hammer" Martel earned his nickname for his courageous win at the Battle of Tours. He died in 741.