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Christmas Trees – American holidays

By |2017-08-14T14:26:19+00:00August 14th, 2017|North America, Northern Europe, Religion|

Christmas Tree in Germany (late 1700s, by Joseph Keller) Because Christmas is related to old celebrations of the winter solstice, evergreen trees have always been popular decorations in northern countries at Christmastime. They're green when everything else is dead and white. In the time of the Roman Empire, people sometimes hung small bits of metal from trees at this [...]

Restoration England – British history

By |2018-04-24T10:40:56+00:00August 14th, 2017|History, Modern Europe|

Charles II of England Oliver Cromwell tried to leave his job as Lord Protector to his son Richard when he died in 1658, but Richard was so useless that two years later Parliament invited Charles I's son, Charles II, to come be king in England after all: historians call this the Restoration, because it restored the [...]

Modern European religion

By |2018-04-09T23:07:35+00:00August 7th, 2017|History, Modern Europe, Religion|

A Catholic bishop marries Napoleon and Josephine Even though by 1802 Napoleon had opened up the Catholic churches again, French people kept their freedom of religion, and the Catholic Church had much less power in France. Soon Catholics and Protestants lost power in other European countries too. In 1803, the Catholic Church lost its land [...]

Jesuits after 1700 – History of religion

By |2018-04-08T21:33:36+00:00August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, Religion|

Jesuit teachers in Brazil By the 1700s AD, the Jesuits owned a lot of farms and mines in countries all over the world. The governments of these countries started to worry that the Jesuits were too powerful. Also, the governments wanted to get their hands on all the money the Jesuits were making. The Enlightenment was making a [...]

History of the Jesuits – Catholicism

By |2018-04-24T09:23:19+00:00August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, Religion|

History of the Jesuits: Ignatius of Loyola, who started the Jesuits Ignatius of Loyola In the early 1500s AD, the Protestants were the new thing in Europe. Protestants were getting more and more popular. A few students at the University of Paris in 1534, led by Ignatius of Loyola, wanted to make it cool to be a Catholic again. [...]

European religion – history of religion

By |2018-04-24T09:16:15+00:00August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, Religion|

Catholic monks and nuns In 1500 AD, most people in Europe were Christians. A fair number of Europeans were Jewish, and some were Muslims, especially in Eastern Europe. The Christians were split into two big groups - the Orthodox Christians, who mainly lived in Eastern Europe, and the Catholics, who mainly lived in Western Europe. During the [...]

Enlightenment – European religion

By |2017-08-07T09:21:04+00:00August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, Religion|

René Descartes All this fighting about religion meant that people in Europe spent a lot of time thinking about what they really believed. So by 1630 AD, some people got some new ideas about God. This was the beginning of the Enlightenment. In 1630, Rene Descartes wrote that people should only believe things that had been proven to [...]

European writing – books, poetry, Bibles

By |2018-04-11T18:19:12+00:00August 6th, 2017|History, Modern Europe|

Reproduction of a press from Gutenberg's time The invention of the European printing press with moveable type in northern Europe in the late 1400s AD was no accident: publishers had set out to find a way to create a lot of books cheaply, because there was a new market for the books. More and more European families [...]

Protestant Reformation – Early Modern Europe

By |2018-06-20T13:11:49+00:00August 6th, 2017|History, Modern Europe|

Catherine de Medici ruled France during the Protestant Reformation What was the Reformation? By the time Francis I of France and Henry VIII of England both died in 1547 AD, attacks by the Ottoman Empire were less of a problem. But civil war within Europe was more of a problem. All of Europe was beginning to fall into the Wars [...]