Dynasties, Wars and Nations—The Political Evolution of Europe From Feudalism to Monarchy to Democracy

Alternate Tuesdays • Noon-2 p.m. • Mackey Auditorium

September 19 • October 3, 17, 31 • November 14 • December 5

As medieval Europe emerges from the ancient period in the ruins of the Roman Empire, the need for political stability will evolve into Feudalism and Manorialism with power going to local land barons. Eventually, Feudalism collapses into monarchies as kings belonging to powerful dynasties usurp the power of the landed nobles. These dynasties include the Tudors, Stuarts, Hapsburgs, Bourbons, Romanovs and others. Finally, beginning in England with the rise of Parliament, we find a challenge to absolute monarchy and Europeans will begin to identify themselves politically as members of a nation. This pattern will bring about the modern nations of England, France, Spain, Germany and Russia. Each nation will add its own unique variation of the same pattern. We will also visit the religious, social, economic and philosophical forces that helped shape all of the above. This should make your next trip to Europe more interesting.

Instructor : Ed Woodson     Coordinator : Barry Escoe