This site is 100% ad supported. Please add an exception to adblock for this site.

European People


undefined, object
copy deck
Peter the Great
Expanded power of state and czars by establishing a powerful standing army, a civil service, and an education system based on western ideas. Imposed much of the costs and social restrictions on peasants. During his reign Russia became a major power.
Henry of Navarre (IV)
A Huguenot who claimed French throne around 1600. Though he converted to Catholicism, issued the Edict of Nantes, guaranteeing civil and religious freedom to the Huguenots.
William and Mary
Agreed, as a condition of their reign, to the Bill of Rights. The Glorious Revolution increased Parliament's power over the monarchs. Birth of guaranteed individual rights and democracy.
John Locke
Two-way street between governments and the governed. In "Two Treatises on Civil Government" conceptualized the consent of the governed, the social contract, and the right to revolution. Translated Newton's natural law into a conception of a government.
Maria Theresa and Joseph II
(1740-1780 and 1780-1790) Enlightened Despots of Austria; tried to strengthen Hapsburgs by centralizing the government, promoting commerce, and limiting the power of nobles. Joseph guaranteed freedom of press and religion, reformed judical system, made German the official language, and abolished serfdom.
The Medici Family
Powerful and influential ruling family of Florence. Banked and gave loans with interests to governments and people. Patronized illustrious creators in the arts.
Leonardo da Vinci
Renaissance man; commanded almost all the realms of knowledge and had several masterpieces.
Did art for the Pope; helped the competition between Italian city-states; his artworks' developments reflect change over time
Religious artist; somewhat anti-Renaissance.
From N. Europe; depicted common life and religious events.
Niccolo Machiavelli
Wrote "The Prince": about secularism of the government and governments acting in their own self interests. Said it is better to be feared than loved by subjects, since people are basically selfish and will take advantage of you. Paved way for authoritarianism and was anti-Enlightenment.
Invented printing press
Desiderius Erasmus
His book, "The Christian Gentleman", personified Christian humanism. He wanted subtle and gradual changes to correct the Church's abuses. Somewhat opposite of Martin Luther.
Sir Thomas More
Wrote "Utopia", a book criticizing the abuses of various institutions and offered a blueprint for a perfect society. Believed that people were basically good and the desire for property made them bad; first communist.
Martin Luther
Radical reformist, especially opposed to the sale of indulgences; nailed his "95 Theses" to the door of Wittenburg Church.
Huldreich Zwingli
Established Protestantism in Switzerland
John Calvin
Established a model theocracy in Geneva based on his idea of ideal Christianity; extremely strict.
Louis XIII
Due to corruption and mismanagement, appointed Cardinal Richelieu as prime minister. He centralized the government further by increasing the tax base, strengthening the military, and invoking the intendant system, which weakened the power of regional nobility.
Elizabeth I
1558-1603. The last and greatest of the Tudor monarchs. Led a return to Protestantism, but did not force her beliefs upon others. Allied with Dutch against Spanish, who retaliated by trying to put Mary Stuart on the throne, but the Armada was defeated. The Golden Age of British Literature.
Preached against injustice and bigotry and for human rights and science. Believed in God but not organized religion, prayer and miracles. Evils caused by straying from natural laws.
His work, "Spirit of the Laws", outlined the system of checks and balances of the powers of government which served as blueprint for the US Constitution.
Comte de Saint-Simon
"From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." Proposal for a planned economy. Utopian socialist.
Otto von Bismarck
Killed democracy in Prussia, said Germany could be united through "Blood and Iron." Though there was a legislature, the Reichstag, democracy took a backseat to autocracy. To get socialist subversive, sponsored a series of social reforms; workmen's comp, pensions, and medical coverage.
Louis XIV
1643-1715. The Sun King. With the credo "L'Etat, c'est moi" Louis became the most absolutist king. Used theory of divine right of rule. Golden Age of French Culture: best agriculture and industry, first modern army, almost constant warfare, French language and art became symbols of European cultural refinement. However, he exhausted the treasury and revoked the Edict of Nantes. The fact that the Third Estate had to pay off his debts planted the seeds for the French Revolution.
Jean Baptiste Colbert
The Father of French Mercantilism. Abolished internal tariffs and made France a free trade zone. Subsidized vital manufacturing and built up the military (Louis opted for army over navy, and so Britain became the world's greatest power).
James I
Took throne because Elizabeth had no heirs; started Stuart dynasty. Devoted to the divine right of rule and bad at dealing with Parliament: Gunpowder Plot (1605).
Rene Descartes
"Cogito ergo sum". Skeptic who said everything material is subject to investigative method while everything spiritual can only be examined by deductive reasoning. Tried to reconcile religion with science, but the skepticism he used to do this with was used against him.
Jean Jacque Rousseau
1712-1778. Founder of the Romantic movement. Argued that civilization itself corrupts people; property, more valued than people, causes social injustice, "The Social Contract". Said children should be raised more kindly in "Emile".
Frederick the Great
1740-1786. Enlightened despot of Prussia who made it a major power in Europe; patronized Voltaire, improved education, codified laws, fostered industry, invited immigration, extended religious toleration.
Napoleon Bonaparte
Young general who happened to be in Paris to put down a riot; was rewarded with command of French army. Did so well in wars, gained more power. Signed Concordat (got church property), codified laws (Code Napoleon), made state-sponsored education for the masses, created meritocracy, created independent peasantry.
Thomas Malthus
Poverty exists because population increases at a geometric rate while agriculture increases at an arithmetic rate. First to explain why people did not benefit from natural laws of economics.
Camillo di Cavour
Decided Italy could only be united through force. To gain support, weakened papacy, invested in public works, abolished internal tariffs, encouraged growth of industry, emancipated peasantry, and made a progressive consitution.
John Knox
Established Protestantism in Scotland- the Presbyterian church. Made councils that could challenge the church and government- elements of democracy.
Charles I
1625-1649. Because he needed money for continental wars, agreed to Petition of Right. Parliament gained more power, and when Charles tried to stop them, they seized the army and the Civil War broke out.
Adam Smith
Economic liberalism; free competition, limited government regulation, supply and demand market.
Isaac Newton
1642-1727. Tested the notion of God's intervention in human affairs and established the ascendancy of science in the modern world. Proved natural laws that are unchangable and predictable.
Governments were created to protect people from themselves; justified monarchies; somewhat anti-Enlightenment.
David Ricardo
Iron Law of Wages: the natural wage is that which maintains a worker's subsistence.
Karl Marx
Communist Manifesto, solutions to dilemma of mass poverty, and Das Kapital, analysis of capitalism. Theories included: Hegelian dialectic, dialectical materialism (society is a reflection of economics), class struggle (dominant class is a thesis with an antithesis), Inevitable Revolution (when proletariat can no longer afford manufactured goods), and Communism (after the revolution, a withering of the state and utopia will result.)
Ivan the Terrible
Autocratic expansionist, limited power of boyars (nobles) and solidified the role of czar. Last ruler before the Romanovs. His death began the "Time of Troubles"

Deck Info