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European Thought, Invention, Exploration

European Thought, Invention, Exploration

Europe has led for millennia in the power of intellect, political thought and exploration. From the ancient Greeks and the Roman Empire to our modern day, Europe leads in the generation of ideas.

Philosophy & Logic

Philosophy the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind and language was started in Greece. Philosophy = love of wisdom in Greek. In the West, logic, the use and study of valid reasoning, was established as a formal discipline by Aristotle, who gave it a fundamental place in philosophy. The study of logic was part of the classical trivium, which also included grammar and rhetoric.

The Renaissance

Renaissance, literally “rebirth,” the period in European civilization immediately following the Middle Ages and conventionally held to have been characterized by a surge of interest in Classical scholarship and values. The Renaissance started in Italy and witnessed the discovery and exploration of new continents, the substitution of the Copernican for the Ptolemaic system of astronomy, the decline of the feudal system and the growth of commerce, and the invention or application of such potentially powerful innovations as paper, printing, the mariner’s compass, and gunpowder.

Discovery of America

An Italian Financed by Spain

The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus’s 1492 transatlantic maritime expedition changed the world forever. He became the first Christian European to make landfall in the Americas. Columbus, was an Italian navigator sailing for the Spanish Crown.


During the Enlightenment (or Age of reason 1620-1780), European politics, philosophy, science and communications were radically reoriented, emphasized reason, analysis, and individualism rather than traditional lines of authority. Enlightenment thinkers in Britain, in France and throughout Europe questioned traditional authority and embraced the notion that humanity could be improved through rational change. The Enlightenment produced numerous books, essays, inventions, scientific discoveries, laws, wars and revolutions. The American and French Revolutions were directly inspired by Enlightenment ideals.

The European Union

Following the two most devastating wars the world has ever seen (WW1 and WW2) a group of European thinkers, political leaders and philosophers founded what we now know as the European Union. Since the 1950s Europe has been living in peace with the exception of Civil Wars and nationalist struggles. After the Balkan Wars of the 1990s, the countries of the former Yugoslavia are joining the EU and living in peace.

Europe is a global governance and peace success story without precedent. The EU won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2012.

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