A History of Eastern Europe: Crisis and Change (1998) by Robert Bideleux

By Robert Bideleux

A historical past of japanese Europe: hindrance and alter is a wide-ranging unmarried quantity background of the "lands between", the lands that have lain among Germany, Italy, and the Tsarist and Soviet empires. Bideleux and Jeffries research the issues that experience bedevilled this area in the course of its imperial prior, the interwar interval, lower than fascism, less than communism, and because 1989. whereas often concentrating on the fashionable period and at the results of ethnic nationalism, fascism and communism, the booklet additionally deals unique, notable and revisionist insurance of: * historic and medieval instances* the Hussite Revolution, the Renaissance, the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation* the legacies of Byzantium, the Ottoman Empire and the Hapsburg Empire* the increase and decline of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth* the influence of the region's strong Russian and Germanic neighbours* rival ideas of "Central" and "Eastern" Europe* the Nineteen Twenties land reforms and the Thirties melancholy. offering a thematic historic survey and research of the formative methods of switch that have performed the paramount roles in shaping the improvement of the region, A heritage of japanese Europe itself will play a paramount position within the reviews of eu historians.

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While it is commonly accepted that the Protestant parts of Europe attached much greater importance to mass education and allowed a greater latitude for debate, enquiry and dissent than did the states that remained Roman Catholic, it is less widely appreciated that, for all its authoritarianism, bigotry and fear of popular education, the Roman Catholic Church continued to attach much more importance to scholarship and to the education of its own clergy and the ruling classes than did the Eastern Orthodox Church, which tolerated quite abysmal levels of ignorance and blind prejudice among clergy and laity alike.

European feudalism—far from constituting an exclusively agrarian economy—was the first mode of production in history to accord an autonomous structural base to urban production and exchange’ (Anderson 1979:21). There was also an influx of precious and semi-precious metals (initially from Germany and East Central Europe and later from the New World) which increased the money supply and price levels, facilitated trade with Asia, encouraged the commercialization of agriculture and accelerated the dissolution of serfdom, mainly between 1450 and 1620.

It is based neither on ignorance nor on ill-will, and it is not nearly as disparaging and offensive as many of the statements made by the champions of ‘Central Europe’ about the Eastern Orthodox peoples and cultures of the Balkans and Russia. More important, as mentioned above, it would be a disservice to East Central Europeans if the ardent desire to (re)integrate into the European mainstream were allowed to obscure the magnitude of the social and cultural as well as economic adjustments they have yet to make.

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