Last Revised December 28,1999
Raymond J. Jirran
The theme for the first third of HIS 101 is chaos, chaos between truth and politics. The theme for the second third is order based on truth. The course goal for this topic is to motivate students to study.
B. Political Developments
In Topic Sixteen, The Making of Western Europe, 1500 marks the date at which Western Europe regains parity with the rest of its neighbors. During the early Middle Ages, from about 500 to 900 AD Europe leaned to take advantage of its geographic environment within a context of the incompatible inseparables.
In Topic Seventeen, Nationality, Europe organizes particular differences into a continental whole. This organization requires historians first to recognize their own biases, politics and, second, to overcome those biases with truth. On page 185 the different ways Chambers treats civilization and culture are located. On page 193, where Chambers mentions Saint Patrick, the professor examines how reliably one may assert that Saint Patrick was a slave, as distinct from a captive.
In Topic Eighteen, Byzantium, Europe is contrasted with the remains of ancient Rome. In the Sixth Century, Justinian gave Byzantine its greatest extent. In the Seventh Century, Muhammad began the great Muslim conquests, which eased in the early Sixteenth Century, with blows from which the Muslims never recovered.
In Topic Nineteen, Medieval Russia, the importance of Russia and Eastern Europe to the development of the West is presented. The Norse ruler of Novgorod, Vladimir I, accepted Christianity by 989. In 1223, Genghis Kahn defeated the Russians.
C. Government and Institutions
Topic Twenty is about the western opposite of Russia, England. William the Conqueror took England in 1066. Henry II (1154-1189) institutionalized what William had done. In 1215, King John was forced to grant the Magna Carta.
Topic Twenty-one is about the great unifier of the West, the Church. Under pressure from the Emperor, the 325 Council of Nicaea unified Christian doctrine. Gregory the Great and Gregory VII with Innocent III (1200) effectively worked the transition into the middle ages.
Topic Twenty-two links the east and the west through the Crusades. The main Crusades lasted from 1095 until 1270. Innocent III ruled 1198-1216. Politics and war tested commitment to the truth on the part of the Church.
Topic Twenty-three, Mary, brings England back into the picture. Chaucer, who died in 1400 wrote Canterbury Tales toward the end of his life. Mary Tudor, for whom this lecture is named, ruled from 1553 to 1558. Stuart England lasted from 1603 until 1714. The professor brings his thoughts on peasantry together in Section F. Peasantry.
E. General Aspects of Western Europe
Topic Twenty-four, The Middle Ages, moves back to generalizations about Western Europe. The Decretals of Gratian were written in 1142; the Magna Carta in 1215. Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote his Summa Theologica in the Thirteenth Century. The professor notes differences in Chambers between the use of peasant, serf, and villein in the "Comments" section. Chambers does index Peasant, Peasantry, Peasants, and Peasant-warriors on page I-48.
Topic Twenty-five, Capitalism and Demography, uses statistics to form some generalizations. World population estimates are: 1 AD, 0.25 billion; 1650, 0.50; 1850, 1.0; 1930, 2.0; 1975, 4.0. 6.35 billion is predicted by 2000. The technological revolutions of 8-7000 BC, 4000 B.C., and 1750 AD helped cope.
Topic Twenty-six, Commerce, is about the Tenth to the Fifteenth Century involvement of merchant capital in the development of the wool trade between England and the Netherlands; the growth of Florentine cloth production; the development of Venice; the Sicily of Frederick II; Genoese shipping; and papal splendor.
Topic Twenty-seven, Towns, is about the beginning of urbanization in Europe. European trade closed to its all-time low about 800. The modern horse collar, tandem harness, and horse shoes were perfected in the Ninth Century. About 1000 towns began to reappear in full significance.
Topic Twenty-eight, Medieval France sets the stage for the third section of the course, Conceptualization of modern times. Philip Augustus (1180-1223) was a modern king. Philip the Fair expelled the Jews in 1306. Charles VII (1422-1461) was the king rescued by Joan of Arc.
Anticipating measuring up to other students in the following Formal Review is designed to motivate students much as presenting these thoughts against the measurement of the world on the web motivates the professor. Just as a dealer taps the cards together before beginning to shuffle, so did the politics of Western Europe tap truths together before beginning to shuffle into modern times.
Topic Twenty-five, Capitalism and Demography, Comments on Chambers locates places where truth versus politics are set out.
Topic Twenty-eight, Medieval France, G. Marriage, the October 28, 1999 edition, locates everywhere marriage is treated in these lectures