Wroking on a theory of Euro-history
by Jim Morgan
Let’s see if I can preface this a little bit before I go off on a weird tangent of babbling incoherently…
I don’t think I can… So how about I just start and I will hope that y’all can keep up.
This theory is an expansion of and idea first given to the world by Winston Churchill. He said after the Second World War that the last 300 years were really a war in which the Teutonic people of Europe attempted to gain control of Europe. I can see merit to his statement.
Europe has long been divided into two great powers- the Latins and the Teutons. England and France and England and Spain have long been at each other’s throats for reasons that truthfully escape me.
But as I read Macaulay’s History of England I noticed a small off the cuff sort of statement that got me to thinking. Macaulay noted that the Latins all remained Roman Catholic and that the Teutons all joined the Protestant Camp. France, Spain, Portugal, Italy all remained steadfastly and violently Catholic while the Germans, Scandanavians, English all did the same things only with the designation Protestant.
Over in Eastern Europe the Orthodox Church held sway.
One of the things that baffles me is the enormous power that religion held in politics even after the Age of (supposed) Enlightenment. I have seen pictures from all three branches where monks or priests of some sort led men into battles. Every nation has it’s Richeliu and it’s Rasputin.
Why? Why did the various religions have SO much power?
I may have hit upon an answer. Islam was founded in the late 7th Century and with 500 years not only conquered the Arab world but also most of Europe that bordered the Mediterranean. Spain was controlled by the Moors. Half of Italy was under Muslim control. The Muslims had swept through the Balkans and weren’t stopped until they were at the gates of Vienna in Austria.
This scared the European powers. Stories circulated all across Europe of the savagery of the Muslims. Marco Polo’s travel book written in the late 1200s shows us a Europe in fear of the Saracens (Muslims.)
While this terror was somewhat abated by the freeing of Spain in 1492 Constantiople had fallen to the Saracen hoardes in the 15th Century so the fear never really left. Event the Crimean War of the 1850s was a war with religion at the heart of it.
Now this is a theory in progress so bear with the crudity of it.
The theory goes that three great Christian sects have been vying for control of Europe (and maybe even the world) to determine who is best suited to meet the Islamic threat. The three branches of Christendom may differ in some practices and beliefs but not really enough to warrant the out and out animosity that we have seen in religion since the Reformation. All three sides committed grievous crimes in the name of God. None are blameless.
While money may have been a driving factor in colonisation it is interesting to note that in all the first expeditions a professional clergyman was assigned to go with them. This is even true of the Russians when they colonised Alaska. I know that religious zeal is a big motivator for a lot of actions but being the first person to spread your Gospel in a wild and savage land? Sounds a little overzealous to me. There had to be another reason for bringing along a moneylosing proposition like a clergyman along in those first expeditions.
I think the reason may have been to gain supporters for whatever side. Not only were the colonisers trying to beat the Muslims to the punch but they were trying to beat the other Christians too.
It is interesting to note that Vladimir Putin, a lifelong Communist, converted to Orthodoxy after he became President of Russia. Evangelicalism have a major surge in popularity after the Muslim errorists began working in earnest in the 1980s. We can even notice a upsurge in Catholicism with the combined popularity of Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II.
I am not saying this is the truth as I am still gathering evidence and clarity of thought but it does make the mind smoke a little.