While the Spanish and Portuguese were plundering in the New World, Renaissance Europe was in tumult. Similar to how the , the invention and use of the printing press, in about 1439, did not turn out as the Church had hoped. With the advent of the printed word, the Bible was Europe’s biggest bestseller, and the Church hoped to expand its religious hegemony through literacy. It also backfired. By 1500, literacy was growing in England’s nascent middle class, and was becoming more common in Europe. During the 1400s, student enrollment in German universities quadrupled, and it was representative of Europe as a whole. Europe was slowly becoming educated. When Columbus made his way back to Spain in 1493, Europeans began reading of new lands. While Columbus called himself the “,” there were about zero conversions to Christianity among the quickly disappearing Caribbean natives. When Cortés and his mercenaries conquered the Aztecs, however, the Church had its greatest Christian recruitment opportunity ever. In 1524, twelve Christian missionaries came to Mesoamerica to convert the natives that survived the conquest. The mass conversion of Mesoamerica began. The spectacle of baptisms of thousands of natives at a time could be witnessed. Although the conversions were rather compulsory, and burning Aztec books was part of the Christianizing process, and the Inquisition followed closely behind the converting missionaries, the Catholic Church never before had such immediate and massive success in recruiting the sheep to its flock. However, just as the Catholic Church was enjoying its greatest recruiting success, its European downfall began.
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In 1519, the year that Spain began invading the Aztec Empire, , who was Portuguese, tried finding a way across the Atlantic to the Indies and sailed around South America. Although he died fighting the natives in today’s Philippines, his crew made it back to Spain in 1522, with enough cloves obtained in the Spice Islands to make a profit on the world’s first circumnavigation, even when four of the five ships were lost and only 18 of the original 250 men completed the journey.
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The region where Iraq resides has one of the world's richest histories. Iraq is in the region known as the , where a series of events led to what is called civilization. is the earliest known civilization, established about six thousand years ago, sitting largely between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Succeeding the Sumerian civilization was the Babylonian civilization, which in its turn rose and fell. The region has seen civilizations and empires rise and fall for the past six millennia, as the lands and people passed from empire to empire, and names such as Assyria and Mesopotamia described the region at times. The rise of Islam during the seventh century CE eventually brought the region under theocratic control, with the mixed blessings that theocracies have always conferred.
When we jumped out with chants of ‘Brexit Now!’ the entire march was spooked and ground to a halt for about 15 seconds. Realising who we were, the opposition looked at us with utter hatred and the entire crowd started mooing like a heard of cattle “brrrurrrrghOoooOOUrrrboooo”.
After Napoleon's fall, the French title was later revived by Napoleon III, but then in the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War and fall, Otto von Bismarck decided to transfer the dignity to a newly reunited Germany, with the King of Prussia as a new, entirely German and not even Catholic, German Emperor, ruling over Prussia and the three other remaining kingdoms (Saxony, Bavaria, and Württemberg -- Hanover had been absorbed into Prussia).
May 18, 2012 · These days that I am trying to read Gibbon (together with some TV series on ancient Rome to get the visual picture) my preliminary conclusion is that those bloody Roman days were more Yang than what we would deem it necessary—the diametrically opposite to the Empire of the Yin: today’s suicidal West.
The French had a gentler tenure in the New World, but that had more to do with France’s political-economic-demographic situation than benevolent intent. While it is true that the French respected Native American culture more than any other European power did, during the 1760s, when France’s commitment to New World colonization was its greatest, it had fewer than 50,000 people in the New World, while the English had nearly a million members of its “surplus population” in the New World. Hence, France manipulated the native tribes to its ends more effectively than its European rivals did. In 1536, Jacques Cartier impacted the native political situation by kidnapping leaders deemed obstructive to his aims. Although Cartier’s men got and were cured by a native medicine man, an empirical observation that Europe would fail to embrace for the next three centuries, they left behind their calling card. The natives began falling prey to European disease almost as soon as they met Cartier and his men. Cartier began wearing out the native welcome early on, and after his last failed attempt at invasion/settlement, the French left the area and did not return for 60 years.