Long ago, Celts and other ancient people populated most of Western Europe. Romans controlled most of the land for hundreds of years. One of the ethnic groups that lived in Western Europe was the Basque, who lived in the Pyrenees. Other early civilizations that populated western Europe were the Celts and Frisians, who arrived in 400 BC. The Frisians were seafaring people who settled in the Netherlands.
During the Middle Ages, 500-1500 AD, Some Germanic people called the Franks, established an empire. They accepted a form of Christianity called Roman Catholicism. The Frankish ruler, Charlemagne, had a system of land distribution which later became the basis of feudalism. His reign lasted from AD 768 to AD 814.
The Holy Roman Empire, which lasted from AD 962 to 1806, was overwhelmed with neverending power struggles. These power struggles were between emperors, nobles, and popes.
In the AD 1000s, European armies fought the Crusades. The Crusades were a series of religious wars. They were fighting these wars to get control of Palestine, the birthplace of Christianity. It was a war between the Christians and the Muslims. The crusades first objective was to take Jerusalem, which had a holy significance to the Christian people. The Crusades had also given rise to the Knights Templar, religious knights
In the 1400s, europeans started to show interest in Greek and Roman culture. This became very popular throughout Europe.
In the 1600s, a conflict arose in territorial and religious rivalries, causing the Thirty Years War. From this war, France emerged as a major power.
In France during the 1700s, the French Revolution overthrew the French Monarchy, and had restored it in 1815, though the kings would never have absolute power again.
During World War 1 (1914-1918), Western Europe was led into the war through disagreements between the Central Powers and the Allied Powers. During the signing of the peace treaty in France, Germany was found guilty for starting the war. It was demanded that Germany make reparations (payment for damages).
“The Crusades.” The Crusades. Published, Middle Ages. 2012. 1/19/2012.
World Geography and Culture. 2012. The Mcgraw hill Companies inc.