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The followers of the proper Muhammad, known as Muslim, launched a series of wars in southern Europe after his death in AD 632. They conquered much of the Byzantine Empire, without managing to take Constantinople. They also invaded Spain and France in the West. Charles Martel (‘Hammer’) defeated a Muslim army at a battle near poitiers in 732 and they were driven out of France. But Muslim Moors from North Africa settled in Spain, and for hundreds of years southern Spain was Islamic, not Christian. The Muslim ruled Granada right up to 1492, the year Columbus sailed to the Caribbean.

In the 9th century Vikings conquered Ireland, England, France and Italy.

Vikings from the North made trips for trade and adventure along the great Dnieper and Volga River to Kiev, Novgorod and other cities. Kiev also traded with Greeks in the South and it was from the Greeks that the Russians took their Christianity religion. In 988 Grand Prince Vladimir of Kiev was converted to Christianity. Russians adopted an alphabet based on the Greek rather than the Roman alphabet.

Gradually, during the Middle Age, people in Western Europe who spoken different languages began to separate into nations. The first strong, united country was Francia (France) ruled over by Charlemagne (Charles the Great), grandson of Charles Martel. England became a united country even before the Norman invasion of 1066.

Later Spain, Portugal, Sweden and other countries gradually established themselves. Many German-speaking countries were ruled by the Emperor of Austria, who during many centuries used the title Holy Roman Emperor.

In the 13th century (12 - 14) the Golden Hora of Mongol - Tatars conquered Kiev. Tatars came from the Goby-Desert. Mongolia occupied the countries for two hounded and fifty years cutting it off from important era in Europe. The Russian people constantly struggled against Tatars and didn’t allow them to come to Europe. Thus Russians gave an opportunity to develop. {The princess of Moscow gradually beat Mongol - Tatars off and in the 16th century Ivan the Terrible finally defeated the Tatars at Kazan.}

Between the 14th and 17th centuries great advances took place in learning and the arts. Italian artists, sculptors and architects studied the writings and ruined buildings of the ancient Romans and were inspired by the classical civilisation. Their ideas spread all over Europe. Printing made it possible for books and pamphlets to be produced so that more people had the chance of learning to read.

Many people wanted to read the Bible in their own languages and, for this and other reasons, they split from the Roman Catholic Church. This ‘Reformation’ was created by Protestant Churches, which became powerful in northern Europe, particularly in England, Scotland, Sweden and northern Germany. Terrible wars between Catholics and Protestants followed in the 16th and 17th centuries. The Thirty Years War from 1618 till 1648 caused enormous loss of life and damage right across central Europe.

At that time in Russia after Ivan the Terrible`s death Michael Romanov became tsar. The Romanov family ruled Russia from 1613 until they were overthrown in 1917. Michael Romanov`s grandson Peter I was the greatest of all Russian tsars. He opened a window into West by building a grand new capital Peterborough, where the Neva River meets the Baltic.

After the religious wars France emerged again as the strongest European country, but Britain, her oldest rival began to build an empire. In Seven Year War Britain defeated France, India and Canada.

The new inventions of the Industrial Revolution were also helping Britain economically. In 1789 the French Revolution took place and France become a republic.

After a Revolution a French general Napoleon came to power and crowned himself an Emperor. He wanted France to rule all Europe, and between 1803 and 1812 his armies entered Germany, Austria, Italy, Holland, Prussia, Poland, Spain and Russia.

Not long after Catherine’s death in 1796 Napoleon invaded Russia and captured Moscow in 1812. But he couldn’t make the Russians surrender and his army had to refreat. Napoleon was finally defeated at Waterloo in 1815.

During the 19th century most West European countries took over as many colonies as they could. Britain, France and Holland built the biggest empires.

The influence of Europe spread throughout the world. Many Europeans came to feel superior to all other peoples in the America, Africa, India and China. During the l9th century most west European countries took over as many colonies as they could. Britain, France and Holland built the biggest empires. Rivalry between these nations, particularly after the unification of Italy and then Germany, led to war between France and Germany in 1870-1871 and then to the two great world wars.

Реферат опубликован: 2/10/2009