History of Europe
The history of Europe describes the human events that have taken place on the continent of Europe. From prehistoric to modern times, Europe has had a turbulent, cultured, and much-documented history. In politically correct descriptions, the topics of Europe or Europeans (Whites) with their history are often described extremely negatively, one cause of White guilt. Another major characteristic of politically correct history is race denialism.
European pre-history began with the settlement of homo erectus, the Neanderthals, and modern humans. Recorded history begins with the Classical period and the Hellenistic culture of Greece, culminating in the conquests of Alexander the Great. Power subsequently shifted to the Roman Empire, which stretched from Turkey to Spain and North Africa to Scotland. The Roman expansion through their invasion forces led to the start of a new empire the likes of which had not been seen in Europe. Until the death of the emperor Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Empire which lasted from 27 BC to 476 AD knew few rivals in the world, although never conquering Germania. Rome, on the other hand, was conquered by Germanic tribes (German: Eroberung Roms), and eventually began to contract, with its small power centre moving from Rome to Constantinople.
The Middle Ages were characterised by the re-establishment of organised society, chiefly on feudal lines, and the domination in the West by the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. In the East, Alexius I's appeal to Pope Urban II for mercenaries to help him resist Muslim advances into territory of the Byzantine Empire triggered the Crusades, which ironically, led to the collapse of the Empire as well as deeper incursions into Europe by various Muslim Empires.
The Middle Ages were followed by the Renaissance, a rediscovery of classical learning and values, which overlapped with the Reformation, a religious and political movement which saw much of Northern Europe break decisively with the Roman Catholic Church, redefining culture and alliances across the continent. This period overlapped with the growth of colonial expansion, strengthening the Atlantic states of Britain, France, Portugal and Spain, and extending European influence into the Americas, Africa, India and the Far East. This period in turn overlapped the Industrial Revolution and the intellectual period known as the Enlightenment. From the 17th century, various states of Europe became involved in a series of revolutions, of which the most significant is considered to be the French Revolution, which ushered in the conquests of Napoleon.
Napoleon's destruction of existing states and the subsequent reorganisation of Europe under the Congress of Vienna assisted growing nationalism, eventually resulting in the creation of Austria-Hungary, the second German Empire (after the Franco-Prussian War), the unification of Italy, and tensions in the Balkans, as well as stimulating reforms in the Russian Empire. With Britain and France, and to some extent Turkey, these nations were known as the Great Powers. Unresolved tensions in the Balkans, and a system of alliances known as the Triple Alliance (1882) and the Triple Entente were key causes of the First World War, itself triggering the Russian Revolution, and only ending with the entrance of the United States of America into European affairs. The Armistice left Germany saddled with a heavy burden of reparations, which, coupled with the Great Depression, created conditions in which Adolf Hitler's National Socialist party was able to take control, creating the Third Reich and assisting the rise of nationalist parties in Spain, and Southern Europe. Hitler's invasion of Poland, Belgium and France signalled the beginning of the Second World War.
Allied victory in Europe and the surrender of Japan saw power in Central Europe shared by the Soviet Union, Great Britain, the United States of America and France. However, this quickly coalesced into the East-West blocs of the Cold War, where the Soviet-dominated Warsaw Pact faced NATO across the so-called Iron Curtain, visibly symbolised by the Berlin Wall. Western Europe was able to go through a prolonged period of economic development, aided by the creation of the European Economic Community and subsequently the European Union, but the Warsaw Pact countries languished, eventually resulting in Russian Perestroika, the collapse of the Pact and the destruction of the Berlin Wall. Europe's post-cold war experience has seen the rise of ethnic conflict again in the Balkans, notably in Serbia, Bosnia and Kosovo, with subsequent intervention by NATO.
As a consequence of the defeat of National Socialist Germany, Europe began a decline, most represented in the falling birth rates followed by the displacement of Europeans with the influx of foreign Third World immigrants.
The bones of the earliest Europeans are found in Dmanisi, Georgia, dated at 1.8 million years ago. The earliest appearance of anatomically modern people in Europe has been dated to 35,000 BCE. Some locally developed transitional cultures (Szletian in Central Europe and Châtelperronian in the Southwest) use clearly Upper Paleolithic technologies at very early dates and there are doubts about who were their carriers: H. sapiens, Neanderthal or the intermarried population.
Nevertheless, the definitive advance of these technologies is made by the Aurignacian culture. The origins of this culture can be located in what is now Bulgaria (proto-Aurignacian) and Hungary (first full Aurignacian). By 35,000 BC, the Aurignacian culture and its technology had extended through most of Europe. The last Neanderthals seem to have been forced to retreat during this process to the southern half of the Iberian Peninsula.
Around 24,000 BP two new technologies/cultures appeared in the southwestern region of Europe: Solutrean and Gravettian. The Gravettian technology/culture has been theorized to have come with migrations of people from the Middle East, Anatolia, and the Balkans. Around 20,000 BP the oldest known era of the first proto-Germanic tribes (German: Ur-Germanen) has been documented.
Around 19,000 BP, Europe witnesses the appearance of a new culture, known as Magdalenian, possibly rooted in the old Aurignacian one. This culture soon supersedes the Solutrean area and the Gravetian of Central Europe. However, in Mediterranean Iberia, Italy and Eastern Europe, epi-Gravettian cultures continue evolving locally.
Around 12,500 BP, the Würm Glacial age ends. Slowly, through the following millennia, temperatures and sea levels rise, changing the environment of prehistoric people. Nevertheless, Magdalenian culture persists until circa 10,000 BP, when it quickly evolves into two microlithist cultures: Azilian, in Spain and southern France, and Sauveterrian, in northern France and Central Europe.
Evidence of permanent settlement dates from the 7th millennium BCE in the Balkans. The Neolithic reached Central Europe in the 6th millennium BCE and parts of Northern Europe in the 5th and 4th millennium BCE. The Cucuteni-Trypillian culture 5508-2750 BCE was the first big civilization in Europe and among the earliest in the world. Starting from Neolithic we have the civilization of the Camunni in Valle Camonica, Italy, that left to us more than 350,000 petroglyphs, the biggest site in Europe.
Also known as the Copper Age, European Chalcolithic is a time of changes and confusion. The most relevant fact is the infiltration and invasion of large parts of the territory by people originating from Central Asia, considered by mainstream scholars to be the original Indo-Europeans, although there are again several theories in dispute. Other phenomena are the expansion of Megalithism and the appearance of the first significant economic stratification and, related to this, the first known monarchies in the Balkan region. The first well-known literate civilization in Europe was that of the Minoans of the island of Crete and later the Mycenaens in the adjacent parts of Greece, starting at the beginning of the 2nd millennium BCE.
Though the use of iron was known to the Aegean peoples about 1100 BCE, it didn't reach Central Europe until 800 BCE, giving way to the Hallstatt culture, an Iron Age evolution of the culture of the Urn Fields. Probably as by-product of this technological peculiarity of the Indo-Europeans, soon after, they clearly consolidated their positions in Italy and Iberia, penetrating deep inside those peninsulas (Rome founded in 753 BCE).
- Ripley, Professor Dr. William Zebina, The Races of Europe – A Sociological Study, London, 1899 (edition New York 1915)