The study of western civilization has flourished at the University of Colorado Boulder, where the Benson Center for the Study of the West has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to events that celebrate Western tradition. Western culture has a rich and varied history, but the university is a particularly interesting place to study it. There is a vibrant history department, as well as a student society dedicated to the study of the past. Whether you’re just interested in learning about the history of the American West or just interested in exploring the region’s rich history, the Western History Association is sure to please.
The Reformation marked the end of Western religious unity and profoundly changed western culture. The Protestant Reformation began with Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, a collection of protestant and Catholic texts which denounced many Catholic practices, beliefs, and institutions. Luther took inspiration from earlier critics and formulated his own statement on the subject. His 95 Theses have become one of the most influential documents in Western history, changing the course of Western history.
In the 18th century, Western empires began to expand beyond Europe, and many cities grew into big cities. France became the centre of Western civilization. As Christianity gained influence in Europe, the medieval Middle Ages saw the rise of Orthodox Christian Russia. Czar Peter the Great imposed western values on Russia and began the westernization process. In the nineteenth century, the Russians became involved in European politics and divided the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth with Prussia and Austria.
Columbus’ voyage to the New World was a landmark in western history. A Genovese-born mariner, Columbus set out under the Crown of Castile to find an oversea route to the East Indies. He landed in the Bahamas, but before Spain colonized it, he thought he had reached India. Vasco da Gama, another explorer of the Atlantic and Indian oceans, led the first sailing expedition from Europe to India in 1497. This paved the way for trade with the East.
By the 1870s, Americans were settling the Western territories, expanding their influence. By 1912, all of the land within the contiguous U.S. was incorporated into 48 states. White settlement of the West was accompanied by many conflicts with native Amerindians, which led to the displacement of many of the former inhabitants to small reservations. By the end of World War I, whites were the dominant ethnic group in the American West.
Later in the 19th century, Europeans began exploring the interior of Africa. This opened up new areas for further expansion, and the “Scramble for Africa” was a result of this competition among European nations. In 1830, France occupied Algeria, and many Frenchmen settled in the Mediterranean coastal area. Britain annexed Egypt in 1882. Eventually, France conquered most of Morocco and Tunisia, while the Italians and British ruled over Libya and the Italian Low-Countries.