The Early Modern Era in Europe started with a continuing epic of wars between religions from the previous era but by the end of the 1700s things were looking up in some ways for a chance at democratic rule in England. Religion became less and less important in military conflict as single rulers, Monarchs, became the law of the land. They were from within families such as the Hapsburg Dynasty and the Tudor Dynasty who’s Kings became powerful enough to compete for power and riches. (Perry 468). Finally one country, England, successfully implemented a Bill of Rights to give power to a parliament which the monarch was forced to respect. (Perry 468).
The early Modern Era saw the last of the great continental battles over religion draw to end as Monarchs became the most powerful placing themselves at the top of the political hierarchy (463). Charles I, King of Spain was one and the same as Charles V the Holy Roman Emperor (465). He used military warfare to try to unify the regions of Germany.
Finally he abdicated his throne and entered a monastery. Religious diversity was the winner when he approved the “princes’ right to choose Catholicism or Lutheranism” (465). (Perry 463-5).
English, French and Spanish Kings and Queens subjugated religion within the power structure so that the religious orders became a part of the political hierarchy with the nobility and bourgeoisie (465). (Perry 465)
In 1658 though the English King Charles had been executed and Oliver Cromwell, a Puritan general of the English Civil War ruled until he died in 1685 (Perry 465). But Cromwell did not share power with Parliament either and at his death the monarchy was reinstalled which led to more conflict “The Bloodless Revolution of 1688.” The Bill of Rights of 1689 was accepted and the monarch was forced by law to frequently call the parliament (Perry 465). (Perry 465).
In 1690 John Locke’s Second Treatise of Civil Government was published. He reminded people, “that absolute monarch(s) are but men”1 and not the vessel of the divine spirit. And “That in the state of nature everyone has the executive power of the law of nature” (Locke Sect.13). His work reflected the general atmosphere of the times. (Locke Sect. 13).
The Christians defeated the Muslims of the Ottoman Empire for the rule of Europe.
But costs of fighting international wars were great which is clear from the devastation of the population and the economy caused by The Thirty Year war from 1618 to 1648. (Perry 468).
Then the European Christians started fighting each other in the name of religion, Roman Catholicism vs. Lutheranism in Germany and the Anglican Church in England, for example. But religious wars between Europeans were never ending and finally transformed into military conflict between monarchs and princes for regional power. England was the only European country which successfully placed a Parliament with real powers solidly into the government to join the Monarchy.
Locke, John. The Second Treatise of Civil Government. 10th ed. (1690). Sect. 13.
Project Gutenberg. e-book. Jan. 2005. Web. 5 Oct. 2005.
Bulliet, Richard and Pamela Crossley, Daniel Headrick, Steven Hirsch, and Lyman Johnson. The Earth and Its Peoples, Volume II. 2010. Cengage Wadsworth Publishing; 5th edition. Chapter 17. Print.