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Renaissance

The Siege of Nürnberg was a battle campaign that took place in 1632 about the Imperial City of Nuremberg during the Thirty Years' War. Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, rather than engage the larger forces of Albrecht von Wallenstein, retreated into the city. Wallenstein immediately laid siege, an action that soon proved difficult for both sides. Despite Gustavus's efforts to...

A watershed event in modern European history, the French Revolution began in 1789 and ended in the late 1790s with the ascent of Napoleon Bonaparte. During this period, French citizens razed and redesigned their country’s political landscape, uprooting centuries-old institutions such as absolute monarchy and the feudal system. Like the American Revolution before it, the French Revolution...

The Thirty Years War (1618-1648) was the most traumatic event to affect Europe prior to the Napoleonic Era and the two world wars of the 20th century. It was centered mainly in the Holy Roman Empire – which encompassed much of modern-day Germany – and its conflicts between Catholic and Protestant rulers. Background to the Battle of...

The Battle of Waterloo, which took place in Belgium on June 18, 1815, marked the final defeat of French military leader and emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), who conquered much of continental Europe in the early 19th century. Napoleon rose through the ranks of the French army during the French Revolution (1789-1799), seized control of the French...

With threats emerging from the Russia and Austria, Napoleon abandoned his ambitions to invade England during the summer of 1805 and turned to deal with these new adversaries. Moving with speed and efficiency, 200,000 French troops departed their camps near Boulogne and began crossing the Rhine along a 160-mile front on September 25. Responding to the threat,...

Charles Darwin’s five-year voyage in the early 1830s on H.M.S. Beagle has become legendary, as insights gained by the bright young scientist on his trip to exotic places greatly influenced his masterwork, the book On the Origin of Species. Charles Darwin didn’t actually formulate his theory of evolution while sailing around the world aboard the Royal Navy...

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