Monthly Archives: December 2014

The Enlightenment


Philosophes– philosophers during the Enlightenment who advocated the use of reason and common sense to reform certain institutions and social conduct.

Immanuel Kant– Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) was a German philosopher. Kant believed that all human beings possess an innate sense of moral duty or awareness which he called a categorical imperative. Kant’s ideas are a central figure in today’s modern philosophy.

Sapere aude– is translated to “Dare to know” from latin. Kant used this phrase as the motto for the period known as the Enlightenment.

Voltaire– Francois-Marie Arouet (1694-1778), also known as Voltaire, was a famous philosopher during the period of the Enlightenment. Voltaire is known for his advocacy of the separation of church and state. During the time, Voltaire attacked the Catholic Church in his several books and essays.

print culture– a culture in which books, journals, newspapers, and pamphlets had achieved a status of their own. During the Enlightenment, a lively world of publication of books, essays, and newspapers had arisen. The increase of literacy rates had driven the need for printed materials.

Isaac Newton– Isaac Newton (1642-1726) is a famous mathematician, physicist, and astronomer. In his book, Principia Mathematica, Newton described the three laws of motion. Newton was also a pioneer in the discovery of calculus.

John Locke – tabula rasa– John Locke (1632-1704) was an English philosopher. Locke is known for his social contract theory. His work has greatly effected modern political science. Tabula rasa means blank slate in latin.

Locke believed that all men were born with a blank slate at birth and all knowledge was gained from the five senses.

Denis Diderot – Encyclopédie– Denis Diderot was a famous French philosopher and writer. Diderot is best known for his contributions to the Encyclopédie. The Encyclopédie was a general encyclopedia published in France during the Enlightenment.

Moses Mendelssohn– Moses Mendelssohn was a Jewish German philosopher. Mendelssohn’s ideas were part of the “Jewish Enlightenment” of the 18th and 19th centuries. 

Lady Mary Wortley Montague– (1689-1762) was an English aristocrat. Lady Mary Wortley Montague is known for her letters to her husband, the British ambassador to Turkey. Her letters describe her experiences in Turkey. After her death, her letters were published. Montague wrote in her letters that Turkey had advanced architecture; nothing like what she saw in western Europe. She also praised the Turks for their practices of vaccination against smallpox.

Cesare Beccaria On Crimes and Punishments– Cesare Beccaria was an Italian politician, criminologist, and philosopher. In his book On Crimes and Punishments, Beccaria criticized the brutal, excessive, and unequal common practices of punishment of that era. Beccaria’s book, On Crimes and Punishments, influenced the founding fathers of the United States.

Adam Smith Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations– Adam Smith is a Scottish philosopher and political scientist. In his book, Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Smith describes what builds a nation’s wealth. The book was published on March 9, 1776.

laissez-faire– is the economic theory which states that the government should not interfere with private economic affairs or businesses.

Charles Louis de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu– Charles Louis de Montesquieu (1689-1755) was a French lawyer and political philosopher. Montesquieu is known for his belief of the separation of powers in a state.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau Social Contract– Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) was a philosopher and writer during the Enlightenment. Rousseau is known for his social contract theory. The belief of social contract theory is that one should give up certain freedoms, for protection and for civil freedom.

Juilie de Lespinasse, Marie-Therese Geoffrin– Marie-Therese Geoffrin (1699-1777) was a wealthy woman who owned a salon which became a gathering spot for many famous writers and philosophes of the Enlightenment.

Mary Wollstonecraft – A Vindication of the Rights of Women– Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) was an English writer and advocate for women’s rights. Wollstonecraft wrote her most famous piece, A Vindication of the Rights of Women, about the rights of women. In the piece, Wollstonecraft responds to the educational and political theories that women should not be educated.

Frederick II of Prussia– Fredrick II (1712-1786) rulled Prussia from 1740 to 1786. Frederick the Great embraced Enlightenment ideas. During his rule Prussia was tolerant of different religions. People of Prussia embraced their tolerant government, which was a contrast to the French government which was not as religiously tolerant.

Joseph II of Austria– Joseph II (1741-1790) was the Holy Roman Emperor and ruler of Austria. Joseph II was the son of Maria Theresa. Joseph II of Austria truly wanted to improve conditions for his country but the result still ended in aristocratic and peasant revolts.

Catherine II of Russia– (1729-1796) was the longest-ruling female leader of Russia. She ascended the throne after the assassination of her husband. During her rule of Russia, Catherine followed Peter the Great’s example by promoting economic development. The time which Russia experienced under the rule of Catherine II was known as the Golden Age of Russia.

Partition of Poland– During the expansion of Russia, under the rule of Catherine II, Russia annexed parts of Poland. Russia’s move into Poland alarmed many European countries.


1. How did the Enlightenment change basic Western attitudes toward reform, faith, and reason? What were the major formative influences on the philosophes? How important were Voltaire and the Encyclopédie in the  success of the Enlightenment?

The Enlightenment changed the perspective and the outlook of people. Philosophers of the Enlightenment wrote about rights for women, economic theories, human understanding, and wrote criticisms of the Catholic Church. People began to look at things differently after writers and philosophers began to question faith and reason. The major formative influences on the philosophes were the thinkers of the Scientific Revolution. The thinkers of the Scientific Revolution greatly impacted the way the philosophes of the Enlightenment thought. Both the ideas spread by Voltaire, and the knowledge spread of the Enclyclopédie were essential to the success of the Enlightenment. Voltaire’s ideas made people think about the ideas of liberty and freedom. The Encyclopédie defined certain terms and definitions. It spread knowledge throughout Europe.

2. Why did the philosophes consider organized religion to be their greatest enemy? Discuss the basic tenets of deism. How did Jewish writers contribute to Enlightenment thinking about religion? What are the similarities and differences between the Enlightenment evaluation of Islam and its evaluations of Christianity and Judaism?

The Philosophes of the Enlightenment believed that religion was their greatest enemy because it stood in the way of progress. Deism is the belief of a rational god who created the universe but does not interfere with every day actions of humans. Many philosophes believed that deism was a rational religion; one without fanaticism and superstition. Many Jewish writers during the Enlightenment wrote about tolerance of religion. Jewish scholars wanted to improve relations between Christians and Jews. As a result people in Europe, especially Prussia, slowly began to accept the Jewish population as equals. The views of the Enlightenment on Judaism and Christianity were that they were both rational. Some philosophers such as Voltaire believed Christianity was a stifling religion which was oppressive. Voltaire also believed that Islam was also oppressive in the same way. Other philosophers believed that Islam was superior to Christianity and Judaism because it was more open and allowed for a freer society.

3. Compare the arguments of the mercantilism with those of Adam Smith in his book The Wealth of Nations. How did both sides view the earth’s resources? Why might Smith be regarded as an advocate of the consumer? How did his theory of history work to the detriment of less economically advanced non-European people?

The main arguments between mercantilism and the theories of Adam Smith in his book The Wealth of Nations, were the two different approaches to economics. According to mercantilism, a country should only trade with one other country. An example was Great Britain only trading with the American colonies. In return Britain gained a vast amount of raw goods. Accordion to Adam Smith,  a country should have several companies which control trade. Adam Smith believed in the separation between the economy and the government. Both sides viewed earth’s resources as unlimited and one can easily benefit from this. Adams Smith’s theory of Capitalism created many companies and corporations who began to explore in search of raw materials and land to sell. This effected non-European residents of the world because Europeans began to expand all around the globe in search of resources for profit.

4. Discuss the political views of Montesquieu and Rousseau. Was Montesquieu’s view of England accurate? Was Rousseau a child of the Enlightenment or its enemy? Which did Rousseau value more, the individual or society?

Montesquieu and Rousseau were both two Enlightenment philosophes who both wrote about politics. The main difference between Montesquieu and Rousseau was their belief of a social contract with the state. Montesquieu believed that a social contract should not exist between the citizens of a state and the state itself. He believed that humans automatically come together for protection from their neighbors. Rousseau believed in the social contract. He believed in a democracy, and if an elected official did not serve the population well the citizens have the power to overthrow him. He believed the social contract was necessary for a state to function. People relinquish some of their rights in order for civil liberty, fairness, and protection. Rousseau was the enemy of the Enlightenment. The era of the Enlightenment was not ready for Rousseau’s radical and completely original thinking. In the 17th and 18th centuries Europe was predominately ruled by monarchies. Europe was not ready for Rousseau’s ideas. Rousseau valued society over the individual. The needs of many outweigh the needs of few.

5. Were the enlightened monarchs true believers in the ideal of the philosophers, or was their enlightenment a mere veneer? Were they really absolute in power? What motivated their reforms? What does the partition of Poland indicate about the spirit of enlightened absolutism?

Enlightenment monarchs were not true believers in the ideal of the philosophers. They agreed with some of the aspects the philosophers wrote about but definitely not all. Some Enlightenment philosophers believed in democracy, and some the separation of church and state. It may seem as though Enlightenment monarchs had absolute power, but they did not. Even the rich and powerful King Louis XIII and XIV did not have absolute power. All of the monarchs had limitations such as money, ability to convince their population that they were the best ruler, and military limitations. The motivation behind the monarchs reforms was to stay in power. They realized that the population was agreeing with the ideas of the Enlightenment philosophers so they decided to react in order to prevent revolts. They changed laws against religious toleration. The partition of Poland showed that the monarchs did not care about the ideals of the philosophes and only about land and power. If the monarchs respected the ideals of the Enlightenment philosophers, then they would have asked the population of Poland wether or not they would like to become part of their country.


Kagan, Donald, Steven Ozment E., Frank Turner M., and A. Frankforter Daniel. The Western Heritage. Combined Volume. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004. Print.

Kagan, Donald, Steven E. Ozment, and Frank M. Turner. The Western Heritage: Since 1300. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007. Print.

Ramírez, Susan E., Peter N. Stearns, Samuel S. Wineburg, and Steven A. Goldberg.Holt World History: Human Legacy. Austin, TX: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2008. Print.

Transatlantic Economies


Mercantilism- is the economic theory in which a countries’ main goal is to maximize exports while minimizing imports. This practice dominated Europe from the 16th to 18th centuries.

Sugar- was a profitable commodity during the 18th century. Sugar was extracted from the sugar cane plant’s juice. During the Middle Ages sugar was expensive, and rare, but after the increase of sugar plantations in the New World, and parts of Indonesia, sugar became less of a commodity and was sold in bulk in Europe.

East India Company- is a English trading company founded in 1600. It was formed to compete in the East Indian spice trade. Previously before the East India Company was formed, Spain and Portugal monopolized trade in the East Indies. In 1588 after the defeat of the Spanish Armada, England had a chance at increasing trade in India.

Compagnie des Indes- is the French East India Company. King Louis XIV created the company with the purpose of expanding trade into the Eastern Hemisphere.

Casa de Contratacion- Casa de Contracion was a sector of the Spanish government whose sole purpose was to oversee the exploration and colonization of oversea territories. It existed from the 16th to 18th centuries and was located in Seville, Castile.

Flota- the Spanish Treasure Fleet. During the 16th century, the Spanish created a convoy system to transport goods from the Spanish Empire back to Spain. Goods brought back to Spain included, gold, sliver, lumber, gems, pearls, spices, tobacco, and silk.

Peninsulares- were people who were Spanish born and lived in territories of Spain. They were the first generation colonists who were born in Spain but traveled to Spanish territories to live.

Olaudah Equiano- (1745-1797) was a freed slave who lived in London during the 18th century. He began and supported a movement to end slavery in the New World territories.

War of Jenkins’ Ear- was a conflict between Great Britain and Spain. The name of the war refers to the incident in which a Spanish vessel boarded the ship of Robert Jenkins. Jenkins’ ear was severed off as a warning to Britain not to try to compete with the Spanish. The war lasted from 1739-1748. The War of Jenkins’ ear was then followed by the War of Austrian Succession.

Treaty of Utrecht 1713- was a treaty signed by several European states, Great Britain, Spain, France, Portugal, and the Dutch republic. The treaty ended the War of Spanish Succession.

The War of the Austrian Succession 1740-1748- was a war fought on the basis that Maria Theresa of Austria was ineligible to succeed to the Habsburg thrones of her father Charles VI. The war ended with the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748. The war of the Austrian Succession was the first intercontinental war as it was fought in many different areas.

Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle 1748- was a treaty which ended the War of Austrian Succession. The treaty was signed on in April of 1748, by Great Britain, France, and the Dutch Republic. During the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, Great Britain becomes allies with Prussia whereas France becomes allies with Austria.

This treaty is part of what is known as the “Diplomatic Revolution” in which the main powers of Europe switched allies.

The Seven Years’ War 1756-1763- was a war between the main great powers of Europe. It affected Europe, North America, Central America, India, and the West African Coast. The Seven Years War was as a result of the switching allies during the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748. The Seven Years war is known as the French and Indian War in the United States. The war was caused by the ever increasing power of Prussia and Great Britain.

The Treaty of Paris 1763- was a treaty signed February 10, 1763 by Great Britain, France, and Spain after the Seven Years War. The treaty marked the end of French domination in North America. The Treaty of Paris temporarily ended hostilities between Great Britain, France, and Spain. The Treaty of Hubertusburg was signed after the Seven Years War between Saxony, Austria, and Prussia.

Stamp Act Congress 1765- was a tax imposed on the British colonies in North America. It required many printed materials in the colonies to be produced using stamped paper that was manufactured in London. This was one of several taxes imposed on the British colonies in North America in order to help pay for the large sum of debt Britain accumulated during the Seven Years War.

Declaratory Act of Parliament 1766- was the nullification of the Stamp Act of 1765 and the lowering of sugar taxes in the British colonies in North America. Parliament decided to lower taxes because several boycotts had hurt trade with the colonies.

Charles Townshend 1767- Charles Townshend (1725-1767) was a British politician. Townshend passed an act increasing taxes on glass, paint, paper, and tea which were being exported to America. These taxes were known as the Townshend Acts.

Boston Massacre- was an incident which occurred on March 5, 1770 in which several British infantry men fired upon a crowd of protesters. Five people were killed in the incident. The soldiers were stationed in Boston in order to protect and impose the unpopular taxes.

Boston Tea Party 1773- was a political protest in which protestors disguised as American Indians destroyed an entire shipment of tea sent by the British East India company. The British government responded with more taxes and harsh legislation which soon escalated into the American Revolution.

Intolerable Acts 1774- was the name given to the harsh laws imposed on the British colonies in North America by Great Britain after the Boston Tea Party in 1773.

Battles of Lexington and Concord 1775- were the first military conflicts of the American Revolutionary War. The two battles were fought the the towns of Lexington and Concord.

Thomas Paine’s Common Sense- Thomas Paine (1737-1809) was an English American political philosopher. His book Common Sense helped inspire many colonists in the British colonies to fight against the British rule.

“Wilkes & Liberty”- John Wilkes was a British politician. He published a newspaper called The North Briton. In one of his issues he highly criticized Earl of Bute’s peace negotiations with France. He later fled the Britain after his work had been outlawed. In 1768, Wilkes was reelected to British Parliament but was denied his parliamentary seat even after being reelected three more times. The chant “Wilkes and Liberty” was used chanted in areas of Britain and the British colonies because it showed how unfair the British Parliament was.

Articles of Confederation 1788- was a document signed by the thirteen British colonies which established the United States of America as a confederation of sovereign states. It was signed on March 1, 1777. The original document now resides in the National Archives in Washington, D.C.


1. What were the fundamental ideas associated with mercantile theory? Did they work? Which European country was most successful in establishing a mercantilist empire? Least successful? Why?

Mercantilism is the economic theory in which a countries’ main goal is to maximize exports while minimizing imports. This practice dominated Europe from the 16th to 18th centuries. Many countries participated in this economic theory. Many countries which followed the theory of mercantilism became wealthy, powerful states in Europe. Mercantilism helped nations grow and prosper but it did not make them powerful. Only with the money gained could a country then invest it into its military. Mercantilism was soon replaced by the more modern capitalistic economic theory. Spain was the most successful country at procuring the ideal of mercantilism. Spain had a large powerful navy to help conquer territories. Spain also created the Flota. The Flota was an efficient way of transporting the rare commodities and valuable metals and stones gathered from Spanish territories. The least successful country at establishing mercantilistic economic theory was Russia. Peter the Great attempted to install mercantilism into the Russian economy but ended up failing. Russia’s large class divide between peasants and nobles, and lack of a large merchant class made it difficult to establish mercantilism. Russia also lacked the necessary industrial base for mercantilism to work successfully.

2. What were the main points of conflict between Britain and France in North America, the West Indies, and India? How did the triangles of trade function between the Americas, Europe, and Africa?

The main points of conflict between Great Britain and France during the Seven Years War were in North America, the West Indies, and India. In North America, areas of conflict were near the cities of Montreal and Quebec. Other areas included the Ohio River Valley. In the West Indies, France and Britain fought over trade. The main areas of conflict in the West Indies were the small trading islands in the Caribbean off of the northern coast of Brazil. In India, the cities of Madras and Calcutta were the most heated areas of conflict. The triangular trade was a series of trade routes between Europe, the Americas and Africa. Manufactured goods from Europe would be sent south to Africa in exchange for slaves. The slaves would be sent to the Americas. The cheap labor force in the Americas allowed for the greater production of raw goods such as sugar, tobacco, and cotton to be sent to Europe. The triangular trade route was also shaped by the prevailing winds. The triangular trade route went hand in hand with the mercantilistic theory in Europe.

3. How was the Spanish colonial empire in the Americas organized and managed? What changes did the Bourbon monarchs institute in the Spanish Empire?

The colonization and exploration of the territories of Spain was managed by the Casa de Contracion. The Casa de Contracion was a sector of the Spanish government whose sole purpose was to oversee the exploration and colonization of oversea territories. It existed from the 16th to 18th centuries and was located in Seville, Castile. The Casa de Contracion would also create highly detailed and accurate maps of their territories. The Bourbon monarchs of Spain kept close ties with France. The reforms of the Bourbon monarchs hindered the mercantile economy of Spain and shrunk the middle class. Spain also experienced the separation of the lower and upper classes during the rule of the Bourbon. The Bourbon Monarchs also made the Spanish government more secular. The Bourbon reformed the Spanish Empire but it still this was not enough to save it. This ultimately led to the decline of the Spanish Empire, which had once been a very powerful nation.

4. What was the nature of slavery in the Americas? How was it linked to the economies of the Americas, Europe, and Africa? In what respects was the plantation system unprecedented? What was the plantation system, and how did it contribute to the inhumane treatment of slaves?

Slaves were sold in the Americas as a commodity. African slaves were used on plantations as a cheap labor force in order produce raw goods which would be eventually sold to Europe. Slaves were not seen as humans. African slaves were chosen over the Native Americans because the African slaves were immune to the European diseases and were seen as stronger. The sale of African slaves was linked to the Triangular trade which encompassed Europe, Africa, and America. Manufactured goods from Europe would be sent south to Africa in exchange for slaves. The slaves would be sent to the Americas. The cheap labor force in the Americas allowed for the greater production of raw goods such as sugar, tobacco, and cotton to be sent to Europe. The plantation system was unprecedented because it had never existed previously in Europe. The closest model to the plantation system was the existence of serfdom in Europe in which the serfs worked the land for their local lord. The plantation system was the division of captured territory which were then given to private owners. Plantations produced the necessary raw materials for Europe’s manufactured goods. Slaves were necessary for the operation of a plantation. The cheap labor force allowed plantations to produce large amounts of raw goods and make substantial profits on them. The plantations would overwork the slaves and mistreat them. The Triangular Trade fed the need for more slaves in the Americas.

5. The Seven Years’ War was a major conflict with battles fought around the globe. What were the results of this war? Which countries emerged in a stronger position and why?

The result of the Seven Years War was a shift in power in Europe. New alliances were formed between Great Britain and Prussia. France and England struggled for power but eventually England won and ended up gaining more power and territory in the Americas. The Treaty of Paris ended the Seven Years War, and this marked the end of French domination in the New World. The pendulum of power swung away from France into Great Britain’s direction.

The winners of the Seven Years War were Great Britain, Prussia, and their several allies. The main losers of the Seven Years War were France, Austria, Russia, Spain, and Saxony. England and Prussia emerged stronger because of their increased power in Europe and abroad. England now controlled the vast majority of trade in the Americas and India.

6. Discuss the American Revolution in the context of European history. To what extent were the colonists influenced by European ideas and political developments? To what extent did their actions in turn influence Europe?

The American Revolution was the uprising of a smaller much less powerful colony against the powerful Great Britain. The American colonies were influenced by the prevailing European thought of the period. European writers such as Adam Smith, and John Wilkes, heavily influenced the American Revolution. Adam Smith introduced the theory of Capitalism to the thirteen colonies, a new different approach to the mercantilistic British Empire. John Wilkes exposed the British Parliament as an unfair, undemocratic, corrupted institution to the colonists. These are just a few of the ideas and political developments the Americas were influenced by. The success of the American Revolution changed the way Europeans looked at Great Britain. The revolution undermined Britain’s credibility as a dominant world power. The end of the American Revolution marked the peak of the British Empire’s rule.


Kagan, Donald, Steven Ozment E., Frank Turner M., and A. Frankforter Daniel. The Western Heritage. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004. Print.

Kagan, Donald, Steven E. Ozment, and Frank M. Turner. The Western Heritage: Since 1300. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007. Print.

Ramírez, Susan E., Peter N. Stearns, Samuel S. Wineburg, and Steven A. Goldberg.Holt World History: Human Legacy. Austin, TX: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2008. Print.

The Scientific Revolution


Ptolemaic System- was an astronomical theory of the universe, named after the Greek

astronomer Ptolemy. He assumed Earth was the center point of a ball shaped universe composed of three layers: heaven, earth, hell.

Nicholas Copernicus- was a mathematician, astronomer, and scholar who formulated the heliocentric model of the solar system. In his heliocentric model he placed the sun at the center of the system, not the earth.

Tycho Brahe/Johannes Kepler- Tycho Brahe was a Danish astronomer known for his accurate planetary and astronomical observations. Johannes Kepler is known for his laws of planetary motion. Johannes Kepler and Tycho Brahe both worked together in Prague. Kepler was Brahe’s student and apprentice.

Galileo Galilei- was a Italian astronomer and engineer. Galilei is known for improving the optics of primitive telescopes during his time. He he first discovered the moons of Jupiter and named them after the children of the Medici family. Galilei openly spoke out against the Catholic Church which led to his house arrest.

Isaac Newton- was an English mathematician and physicist. Newton formulated the three laws of motion in his book Principia Mathematica. Isaac Newton also explained the laws of planetary motion and astrophysics. He shares credit for developing calculus with Gottfried Leibniz.

Francis Bacon/Empiricism- Francis Bacon was and English philosopher and scientist. Francis Bacon has been called the father of Empiricism. Empiricism is a theory which states that knowledge only comes from our senses. Instead of receiving knowledge from god, humans begin with a clean slate at birth and gain knowledge throughout life. Bacon also developed the Scientific Method.

Rene Descartes/deduction- Rene Descartes was a French philosopher and mathematician. Rene Descartes is sometimes called the father of geometry by using the Cartesian coordinate system. Rene Descartes created the deductive approach of the Scientific Method by breaking a problem down into parts and making a conclusion.

Blaise Pascal – Wager- Blaise Pascal was a French mathematician and physicist. He made

very important discoveries with fluids. It is a better bet Pascal argued, to believe in god and to place everything on his mercy than not to do so. This is because if god does exist, the believer will gain everything whereas if god does exist little would be lost for the believer. Pascal was a Jansenist.

Jansenists- were followers of Jansenism. Jansenism appeared in the 1630s, and followed the teachings of St. Augustine, who stressed the role of divine grace played in human salvation. Jansenists were opposed to Jesuits.

Cunning folk- are a group of people in England who helped the “common folk” with disabilities and diseases by using magical powers.


1. Copernicus, Brahe, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton: who do you think made the most important contributions to the Scientific Revolution? Why?

Copernicus, Brahe, Kepler, Galileo, Newton were the main influential figures of the Scientific Revolution. They all contributed to the era of knowledge known as the Scientific Revolution. Of all of the scientific discoveries made by the people stated above, only one of which’s do we use every day. Isaac Newton’s breakthrough with the the discovery of calculus and the formulation of the laws of motion has allowed us build and go places humans would not have other wise been able to. Without the discovery of astronomical and orbital calculations humans would not have been able to launch and retrieve objects from space. Newton discovered the mathematics of change: calculus. Without it we would not know how to model objects in motion with math.

2. Compare and contrast Bacon’s empiricism with Descartes’ method of scientific deduction.

There are many differences between Bacon’s empiricism and Descartes’ method of scientific deduction but they do share similarities. Both men wanted a new and improved way of gathering and discovering new science compared to the sloppy older way of doing so. Bacon and Descartes rejected Aristotle’s scientific assumptions. Bacon and Descartes both believed that without the evolution and gain of knowledge man kind would perish. The largest difference between Bacon empiricism and Descartes’ method of scientific deduction. Bacon stressed that humans should experiment and observe to gain intellect. Descartes thought that humans should use human reasoning to gain intellect.

3. How would you define the term scientific revolution? In what ways was the event truly revolutionary? Which is more enduring, a political revolution or an intellectual one?

The term scientific revolution is best described as a period of vast intellect and learning. The scientific revolution left behind knowledge which would have not been otherwise discovered. A scientific revolution has a more enduring affect on society and the population compared to a political revolution. A political revolution only effects the population in that given country whereas a scientific revolution affects the entirety of society of a vast region. An intellectual revolution allows the people of the future benefit from past discoveries. An intellectual revolution is much longer and has more of a profound effect.

4. What factors prevented women from fully participating in the new science? How did family relationships help some women become involved in the advance of natural philosophy?

Women were prevented from fully participating in the scientific revolution due to lack of rights and education. Most women during this time did not have access to education. The thought process of the period was that an education would be wasted if given to a woman. Also during the era of the scientific revolution women did not have equal rights compared to men. Family relationships helped some women become involved in the advancement of natural philosophy. Wealthy families who believed in the education of their daughters would sometimes set up a woman with the proper resources in order to contribute to science. Margaret Cavendish was a philosopher during the scientific revolution who was able to contribute to science by her wealthy and political position by being married to the duke of Newcastle.

5. What were the chief factors accounting for the condemnation of Galileo? How did Pascal seek to reconcile faith and reason? How did English natural theology support economic expansion?

The chief factors leading to the condemnation of Galileo was the fact that he openly accused the church of begin incorrect with their conservative teachings. Galileo’s radical heliocentric theory questioned the Catholic Church’s teachings. Pascal sought to reconcile faith and reason by formulating Pascal’s Wager. He said it is a better bet Pascal argued, to believe in god and to place everything on his mercy than not to do so. This is because if god does exist, the believer will gain everything whereas if god does exist little would be lost for the believer.

He tried to use reason to contribute to the teachings of faith. English natural theology supported economic expansion. The belief of English natural theology was that god had placed humans onto earth to learn and discover. People thought human beings were meant to improve the world. This belief provided religious justification of the economic improvement of the western world.

6. How do you explain the phenomena of witchcraft and witch-hunts in an age of scientific enlightenment? Why did the witch panics occur in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries? How might the Reformation have contributed to them?

Although we see the era of the scientific revolution as a time of great knowledge among all people this is simply not true. Only a minuscule fraction of Europe’s population had a direct impact on contributing to the scientific enlightenment. Most of Europe’s population was living in ignorance and believed in folk stories of witches, dragons, and magic. Witch panics occurred in Europe in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries because of the ignorance and fear. This combination of the two made a volatile concoction which led to the death of over 100,000 people who were accused of practicing magic. The period of turmoil and violence during the Reformation and the Wars of Religion carried over into the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The fear and violence associated with the Wars of Religion led to the violent witch hunts of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.


Kagan, Donald, Steven Ozment E., Frank Turner M., and A. Frankforter Daniel. The Western Heritage. Combined Volume. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004. Print.

Kagan, Donald, Steven E. Ozment, and Frank M. Turner. The Western Heritage: Since 1300. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007. Print.

Ramírez, Susan E., Peter N. Stearns, Samuel S. Wineburg, and Steven A. Goldberg.Holt World History: Human Legacy. Austin, TX: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2008. Print.

The Old Regime


Old Regime- is a term usually applied to the pattern of social, political, and economic relationships that existed in Europe before the French French revolution. The old regime is an era leading up the the French Revolution of 1789 in which absolutist monarchies were suffering from food shortages.

Nobles of the Sword/Nobles of the Robe- the Nobles of the Sword and the Nobles of the Robe were two different types of nobility that existed in France. The Nobles of the Sword referes to the old traditional type of nobility which gained their power through militaristic achievements and dedication for the king. In return for loyalty the king usually awarded a title and land to those who proved themselves in battle. Nobles of the Robe were given their power through purchasing it. Usually Nobles of the Robe were scholars or judges who often wore robes. The Nobles of the Sword were threatened by the Nobles of the Robe and thought them as inferior because they did not inherit their power through military dedication.

Vingtieme, corvee, taille- was the tax of France which was shortly abolished after the French Revolution. It exempt all royals and nobles from the tax.

Pugachev’s Rebellion- were a series of rebellions by the surfs against the monarchy of Russia. Pugachev promised the serfs land of their own with freedom from their lords. Southern Russia was in turmoil until the Russian government brutally suppressed the rebellions.

Family economy- throughout Europe, most of the population was a participant of some form of a family economy. The family economy was the basic unit of production and consumption. Everyone in a household worked to support the family. All goods produced by the family went to help the family survive a poor harvest or dips in the economy.

Agricultural Revolution- was a time in Europe in which food production increased. It was a d increase of agricultural productivity which eventually led and helped begin the industrial revolution. During the Agricultural Revolution, several inventions and techniques were introduced in order to increase crop productivity.

Jethro Tull- was and English engineer, and inventor. He improved upon traditional sowing methods by creating the horse drawn seed drill. His invention helped grow crops quickly compared to previous methods and allowed the crops to produce more crop yield.

Charles “Turnip” Townsend- Charles “Turnip” Townsend was an English agriculturist. He created the system of crop rotation and the effect it has on crop production and yield.

Enclosures- were closed off areas of land to deter sheep and cattle from grazing on land. By enclosing land the uses of the land become solely restricted to the owner of the pasture.

Industrial Revolution- was a period of time in Europe when the quality of life, quantity of goods, and means of transportation all increased. Many inventions such as the Newcomen steam engine and improved methods of refining iron were introduced.

Josiah Wedgewood- Josiah Wedgewood was a potter who created fine pottery and china at a lower cost for the middle class in England during the 18th century.

Domestic or Putting Out system- was a widespread economic system in Europe during the 17th century. Craftsmen, and store workers made products inside of their homes.

Spining Jenny – James Kay- the spinning jenny is a device used to reduce the work needed to produce yarn. A worker could make eight or more spools of yarn at once. James Kay helped improve the technique used to make yarn out of flax.

Water Frame-James Hargreaves- the water frame is a device which harnesses the power of moving water to spin yarn.

Steam Engine – James Watt- the steam engine created by James Watt was an improvement on the steam engine from the previous Newcomen Engine. Watts’ engine was two times more efficient than the Newcomen engine.

Puddling Process – Henry Cort- the puddling process was created by Henry Cort in 1784. It allowed the for the creation of higher grade iron with less impurities.

Patterns of urbanization – know some population trends!- during the 17th century, at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, people began to move into cities. Cities began to grow. Between 1500 and 1750, larger cities that were already established grew in size. After 1750, the pattern changed and smaller cities and new cities began to grow.

Social classes – middle class and artisans- In the 17th century, the middle class began to grow. As people began to move into cities their incomes began to increase. The middle class was made up of bankers, merchants, and trades people. Artisans were the largest single group in a city. Artisans were part of the middle class.

Ghettos- are separate living communities designated for the jewish populations. Jews were required by law to live in the ghettos. The ghettos were usually walled off from the rest of the city.


1. Historians like to think about continuity, chance, and change. Can you describe these processes in the 18th century?

The 18th century saw society and the political structure of the old world trying to adapt to modern times. Continuity was experienced only in the upper classes of society. The upper class still owned vast amounts of land and wealth. The political structure in Europe stayed the same until the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789. Many of the inventions created in the 18th century changed the quality of life for the average population. Changes in transportation and energy production changed the way humans interacted and worked. It was by chance that England had coal reserves and forests before the Industrial Revolution. Without the necessary energy to feed the Industrial Revolution, continuity would have stayed in Europe.

2. What kind of privileges separated European aristocrats from other social groups?

The upper classes in Europe benefited from their vast amounts of land and resources. The upper classes were allowed to hunt freely on their land. During this era, game laws were enacted and this made it difficult and sometimes impossible for the peasant class to hunt on the land they had been doing so for hundreds of years. Aristocrats benefited from having more money and power. The nobility in France had some political power over the Monarch. The aristocracy had absolute power over the land they controlled. After the invention of the seed drill and other devices for agriculture many people who once had worked on the land of the nobles were now unemployed. In Russia, the Nobles owned the people living on the land. Surfs in Russia could not leave without consent of the lord, and had to work long hours in grueling conditions.

3. What caused the Agricultural Revolution? Explain causes for peasant revolts in the 18th century.

Many of the peasant revolts in Europe during the 18th century were caused by the rising bread prices. The lower classes depended on the affordable price of bread to survive. If it was a choice between starving at home, or rioting for bread, many of the peasants chose to participate in the revolts. If a baker made the price of bread too high there was danger of a revolt. This danger kept the bakers and grain merchants not get too greedy with their prices. Other riots during the 18th century were caused by political and social reasons. People would revolt against poor leaders. Towards the end of the 18th century, revolts shifted away from the rising food prices, but to more politically centered revolts.

4. Describe population trends in the 18th century. How did population growth contribute to changes in consumption?

During the 18th century the population trend began to grow. Child mortality rates began to decrease. The quality of life for people during the 18th century began to improve with the help of the Industrial Revolution. Agricultural inventions helped with producing more food. With food being more abundant, people began to multiply. More food led to increased survival rates of children. With more food for mouths, population rates increased. Changes in consumption occurred when more people were able to consume. People wanted more products for themselves so they bought more from producers. With increased demand producers of agriculture and merchandise began to increase their production rates. This cycle kept growing through the end of the 18th century.

5. Assess the causes of the Industrial Revolution of the 18th century. Why did Great Britain take the lead? How did the consumer contribute to the IR?

The Industrial Revolution gradually began with inventions such as the Newcomen steam engine, and the seed drill. As manufacturers realized that they could produce more supply with these new inventions, they Industrial Revolution took off. Instead of families working at home in the domestic system, producing small goods, factories took their place and began producing much more that the previous domestic system could. Great Britain was the epicenter of the Industrial Revolution due to its abundant resources. Britain contained vast coal reserves to fuel the new steam engines. It also had large forests and running rivers that could be used by factories. Many rivers exist in England, and they can used to power a water wheel for grain mills, or water frames.

6. What changes had taken place in the distribution of populations in cities and towns? Compare the lifestyle of the upper class with that of the middle and lower classes. What were some of the causes of urban riots?

During the 17th century, at the beginning of the industrial revolution, people began to move into cities. Cities began to grow. Between 1500 and 1750, larger cities that were already established grew in size. After 1750, the pattern changed and smaller cities and new cities began to grow. The upper classes lived wealthy, lavish lifestyles. They engaged in many parties, and went to many shows and concerts. The middle class, which consisted of bankers, financiers, merchants, and factory owners, worked in the cities to maintain a decent lifestyle. The poor, urban, lower classes worked in factories with undesirable conditions. Many were overworked and underpaid. The urban riots during the 18th centuries were caused by rising bread prices. Bread was a staple among the lower urban class and when it became unaffordable, riots soon ensued. Later, towards the end of the 18th century, the riots began to sway being caused by food prices, to the political motives of the state. When people became angry with politics and society, people would riot.


Kagan, Donald, Steven Ozment E., Frank Turner M., and A. Frankforter Daniel. The Western Heritage. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004. Print.

Kagan, Donald, Steven E. Ozment, and Frank M. Turner. The Western Heritage: Since 1300. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007. Print.

Ramírez, Susan E., Peter N. Stearns, Samuel S. Wineburg, and Steven A. Goldberg.Holt World History: Human Legacy. Austin, TX: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2008. Print.

Constitutional and Absolute Monarchies


Absolutism- the principle of absolute government where the ruler has limitless power of the state.

Constitutional Monarchy- a form of government in which a parliament balances the power of the king.

parlements- regions in France that were given enough power by Louis XIII to deal with local issues.

James I (r. 1603-1625)- king of England who gained rule to the throne unopposed after the death of Elizabeth I. James I was son of Mary Queen of Scots. Unified England, Ireland and Scotland due to his family line which allowed him to do so. Puritans- English Protestants who wanted simpler forms of church ceremony and stricter practices in the church.

King James Bible- is an English translation of the Christian Bible for the English Church. Work began in 1604 and ended in 1611 on the King James Bible.

Charles I (r. 1625-1649)- was king of England, Scotland, and Ireland. During Charles’s reign, he was struggling with the English parliament for power. In 1649, Charles was tried, convicted, and executed by the English parliament for treason.

Petition of Right- was a document signed in 1628, made the king of England consent parliament before taxation, said no free man could be imprisoned without due process, and troops cannot be billeted in private homes.

ship money- was a tax on certain coastal areas of England which the king of England could tax without the consent of parliament.

The Short and Long parliaments- The Short Parliament lasted from April to May of 1640. Charles dissolved parliament after the rebellion in Scotland due to insufficient funds for war against Scotland.The Long Parliament met from 1640 to 1660. Many factions of England were represented in the Long Parliament. It represented the landowners and merchant classes who resented the king’s financial policies.

War with Scotland 1640- War between Scotland and England broke out in 1640 when the Scots rebelled against the English who had tried to enforce religious conformity. The Puritan English wanted to impose Anglicanism on the Presbyterian Scots.

Courts of Star Chamber and High Commission-The Court of Star Chamber regulated the nobility and kept fair enforcement of the law so that the nobility could not bribe the judges of the court. The Courts of Star Chamber was dismissed in 1641. The High Commission enforced uniformity through the English Church.

Grand Remonstrance Dec. 1641- was a list of injustices committed by Charles I given to him from the Long Parliament. This document was an instigator of the English Civil War.

Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan- was a major work published during the Scientific Revolution. This work refers to the structure of modern society and government. The Leviathan was published in 1651.

Roundheads- were the members of parliaments and were opponents of the Cavaliers. The Roundheads earned their name from their so called short haircuts.

Oliver Cromwell 1599-1658- Oliver Cromwell was an English politician and political leader. Cromwell conquered Ireland and Scotland and unified Great Britain. Cromwell was a religious man and the leader of the Puritan Republic.

New Model Army- the New Model Army established a full time professional army for not only England, but Scotland and Ireland. It was formed in 1645 by the English Parliament and with the help of Oliver Cromwell.

Puritan Republic 1649-1660- was England controlled by Oliver Cromwell from 1649 to 1660. The Puritan Republic gained control over Scotland and Ireland. Oliver Cromwell was the leader of the Puritan Republic. After Cromwell died in 1658 England was ready to switch back to its previous traditional government.

Charles II- Charles II (1630-1685) ascended the throne in 1642 after the rule of Oliver Cromwell. Charles II restored the traditional monarchy back to England.

Restoration- Charles II restored the traditional monarchy back to England by making people adhere to the Book of Common Prayer and The Thirty-Nine Articles. He also tightened his grip on the rich English colonies in North America.

Treaty of Dover 1670- The Treaty of Dover was a secret treaty between England and France in order to fight against the Dutch.

Test Act- the Test Act barred Roman Catholics from office by requiring royal officials to swear oaths against the Catholic Church.

James II (r 1685-1688)- was the son of Charles I. James II dismissed the Test Act by openly appointing Catholics to high government positions. James II scared English Protestants by the birth of his Catholic son. Days after the birth of James’ son members of parliament agreed to invite William and Mary to invade England and establish a new monarchy.

William and Mary- William and Mary were offered the English throne by the English Parliament in 1688. William and Mary replaced their predecessor, James II, who had fled to France during the Glorious Revolution.

The Glorious Revolution- was the change in power from James II to William III of Orange and Mary. William III successfully invaded England with his Dutch Fleet and Army which led to his ascendance to the English throne.

Act of Settlement 1701- The Act of Settlement signed in 1701 by parliament settled the succession of the English and Irish thrones. The act was created after the William and Mary did not produce an heir to the throne.

John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government- John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government defended the idea that government resided in the approval of those governed. Locke claimed that the relationship between a king and and his people was a mutual contract. If the king broke that contract the people had the power to overthrow him.

Henry IV & Sully- Henry IV (r. 1589-1610) came to the throne at the end of the French wars of Religion. Henry IV gained more power and control of the French nobles. The Duke of Sully was Henry IV’s finance minister. Sully succeeded in expanding the authority of the central government.

Louis XIII- (r. 1610-1643) was the son of Henry IV. Louis XIII was the monarch of France during the beginning of the 17th century in France. Louis XIII depended on Cardinal Richelieu to help rule France.

Cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642)- Cardinal Richelieu was the chief advisor of Louis XIII. Richelieu was a devout Catholic. Richelieu helped implement centralized government in France. Richelieu suppressed the Huguenots by taking them out of key government positions.

Treaty of the Pyrenées 1659- the Treaty of the Pyrenées was a document signed as an agreement to end the French and Spanish war from 1635 to 1659. Louis XIII and Philip IV of Spain sent their chief advisors to sign the treaty.

raison d’état- “means reasons of state” in French. Cardinal Richelieu understood the importance that the French population would understand and accept the “reasons of the state”.

Louis XIV- Louis XIV ruled France from 1643-1715. Louis XIV succeeded Louis XIII. Louis’s religious policy was to crush the protestants in France with the help of the Catholics. Louis XIV strived for supremacy in foreign affairs.

Divine right of kings- was the belief of monarchs that they were appointed by god to be the ruler of their lands.

Versailles- was the home of Louis XIV on the outskirts of Paris. Versailles is grand structure. If was a temple to royalty which showed the extent of Louis XIV’s power.

Jansenists- are followers of the teachings of St. Augustine, who stressed the role of divine grace and predestination.

Jean-Baptist Colbert- Jean-Baptist Colbert was a French politician who served France under the rule of Louis XIV. Colbert is known for creating a strong manufacturing economy for France during the late 17th century.

mercantilism- is an economic theory where the main goal is to acquire wealth by maximizing a country’s exports and minimizing its imports.

War of Devolution 1667-1668- was the first foreign war for Louis XIV. French forces fought against the Habsburgs in the Spanish controlled Netherlands.

Revocation of Edict of Nantes 1685- the Edict of Nantes established the Huguenots as an acceptable religion in France. Louis XIV drove the Huguenots out of France by the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685.

League of Augsburg and Nine Years’ War- the league of Augsburg included Spain, Sweden, Saxony, England, Palatinate, and Emperor Leopold. From 1689 to 1697 the League of Augsburg fought in the Nine Years’ War in Europe.

Wars of Spanish Succession- was a war that occurred in Europe from 1701-1714. The war was fought between European powers and Spain over who had the right to succeed to the throne after Charles II of Spain.

Treaties of Utrecht and Rastatt- were two peace treaties between Charles VI and France to try to end the Wars of Spanish Succession.

Pragmatic Sanction & Marie Theresa- the Pragmantic Sanction was and document issued by Charles VI in 1713 to ensure that the Habsburg territories were to be inherited to by his daughter, Marie Theresa.

Frederick, the Great Elector- was the Duke of Prussia (r. 1640- 1688). Fredrick William, The Great Elector created a centralized bureaucracy and strict army to mold the scattered lands into a powerful state. The pressing threat of invasion from Sweden and Poland motivated Prussia to evolve into a powerful state.

Junkers- were the nobles of Prussia. They demanded absolute obedience from the surfs on their land in return for their support of the Hohenzollerns.
Peter the Great- Peter the Great was a successful ruler who turned Russia into an mighty economic and militaristic power in Europe. Most Russians view Peter as a reformer.

Streltsy & Boyars- were the two political parties of the Russian Empire.

The Great Northern War- was a war fought by Peter the Great to establish a warm water port in the Baltic Sea for Russia. The war was waged between Russia and Sweden. The war resulted in Russia gaining warm water ports that stayed free of ice, and opened the door to Europe.

St. Petersburg- established by Peter the Great in 1703 in the Gulf of Finland. The construction of the city by Peter the Great showed his seriousness to open Russia to western influence.

Table of Ranks- in 1722 Peter the Great established the Table of Ranks. It made the rank in the bureaucracy or military not hereditary linage. This was a major reform from the previous tsars.


1. What were the sources of Dutch prosperity and why did the Netherlands decline in the eighteenth century? Why did England and France develop different systems of government and religious policies?

The most significant sources to the Dutch prosperity during the 17th century can be attributed to its urbanized cities and its merchant economy. Dutch ships moved much of the trade of Europe.

Shipbuilding in the Netherlands was a highly lucrative industry for the Dutch. The Dutch provided herring to all Europe. Shareholders in Europe funded companies such as the Dutch East Indies Company, which gained control of the Asian spice trade. The Dutch were tolerant of religion which gave them a significant advantage. While some states were prioritizing wars of religion the Netherlands focused and invested into their own economy. The decline of the Dutch can be sourced to a variety of reasons. After the death William III of Orange in 1702, the separate provinces of the Netherlands refused the rise of another monarch, and the Dutch suffered from the lack of a powerful monarch. The Dutch economy soon slowed and the fishing industry began to decline. Naval supremacy shifted from the Dutch to the English at the beginning of the 18th century.

England and France developed different systems of government because of religious and political factors. Louis XIV eliminated protestantism in France for religious uniformity. In England, powerful protestants called puritans limited the English monarchy. People in France followed Louis XIV, while in England four Stuart monarchs, who acted on impulse, had a difficult time making the English population trust them. The French population allowed the gradual development of an absolute monarchy while the English people were hesitant and instead slowly created a parliamentary monarchy. The English parliament and the monarch of England struggled for power in the early 17th century.

2. Why did the English king and Parliament quarrel in the 1640s? Was king or Parliament more to blame? What role did religion play in the conflict?

The English king and Parliament quarreled in the 1640s due to rising tensions against the king and how much power he was allowed in government. Charles I and Parliament struggled for power during the early 17th century. Charles I imposed tariffs and import duties without the consultation of parliament. This made members of parliament furious. In 1649, parliament tried Charles I for high treason against the state of England. Charles was executed in 1649. Charles I and parliament were equally to blame for the long struggle for power. Charles could have prolonged his demise by trying to compromise with parliament.

During the power struggle between Charles I, and parliament, parliament accused Charles of wanting to strengthen ties with the Catholic Church after he

created peace between England and Spain in 1630. Charles had to end war with Spain because he did not have enough funds from parliament to wage war.

3. What was the Glorious Revolution and why did it take place? What kind of settlement emerged from the revolution?

The Glorious Revolution, also known as the Bloodless Revolution was the shift in power from James II, who was overthrown by parliament, to William and Mary. The revolution occurred because the belief that James II’s newborn son who was Catholic would restore Catholicism to England after James II. William III successfully invaded England with his Dutch Fleet and Army which led to his ascendance to the English throne. The Glorious Revolution was not a mass movement like some revolutions, it established a framework for a government. Parliament only represented the upperclass, but it still controlled the power of the monarchy. The settlement that emerged from the Glorious revolution was that parliament claimed that the relationship between a king and and his people was a mutual contract. If the king broke that contract the people had the power to overthrow him.

4. Why did France become an absolute monarchy? How did Louis XIV consolidate his monarchy? What limits were there on his authority? What was Louis’ religious policy? What were the goals of his foreign policy? How did he use ceremony and the royal courts to strengthen his authority? What features of French government might Europeans outside of France have feared?

During the 17th century France’s kings gradually took power away from the nobility, and enforced religious uniformity. King Louis XIV (r. 1643-1715) said “one king, one law, one faith”. Louis XIV consolidated his monarchy by establishing local parlements; small provincial governments. There were not limits on Louis XIV’s authority except money. Louis XIV had lavish ceremonies to flaunt his power. He dressed as Apollo, the sun god, because the sun is the center of the solar system. Louis XIV sought attention and respect.
He used his lavish ceremonies to express his power and wealth which helped strengthen his authority because people would look up to such a man.

During the 17th and 18th centuries France had the largest army in Europe; over 400,000 soldiers. Other powers in Europe feared the powerful nation.

5. How were the Hohenzollerns able to forge their diverse landholdings into the state of Prussia? Who were the major personalities involved in this process and what were their individual contributions? Why was the military so important in Prussia? What major problems did the Habsburgs face and how did they seek to resolve them? Which family, the Hohenzollerns or the Habsburgs, was more successful? Why?

The Hohenzollerns like the Habsburgs, controlled many scattered lands which they controlled through feudal ties. Fredrick William, The Great Elector created a centralized bureaucracy and strict army to mold the scattered lands into a powerful state. The pressing threat of invasion from Sweden and Poland motivated Prussia to evolve into a powerful state. The military of Prussia was essential to it’s survival. At the beginning of Fredrick William’s rule he knew that Prussia’s army wasn’t strong enough to threaten it’s neighbors.

Fredrick William make the army larger and made it stricter. Fredrick William ended up creating one of the most powerful armies in Europe.

There were several major problems that faced the Habsburgs. The territories ruled by the Habsburgs did not have a uniform religion or language. This made ruling those territories extremely difficult. The Habsburgs also faced the threat of the Ottoman and French armies. Even though the treat of the two nations was great the Habsburgs managed to hold them off. The Hohenzollerns were more successful at establishing a powerful bureaucracy and army. The Habsburgs could not gain total control over their lands.

6. How and why did Russia emerge as a great power but Poland did not? How were Peter the Great’s domestic reforms related to his military ambitions? What were his methods of reform? How did family conflict influence his later policies? Was Peter a successful ruler?

Russia emerged into the European political scene after the Peter the Great increased his power in the 17th century.

Poland failed at becoming a powerful political state because parts of it were controlled by the Habsburgs. Poland was squeezed together between Prussia, Russia, and the Habsburg territories. This ensured that it would never fully develop as a powerful nation state.

Peter the Great’s domestic reforms were to strengthen the Romanov Dynasty’s rule and gain leverage against other political parties. He gained control of the boyars and streltsy. Peter the Great brought the Orthodox Church under state control. Peter the Great’s military reforms were to strengthen the military and create a powerful navy. By the end of Peter’s rule there were over 300,000 soldiers in his military. Both Peter the Great’s domestic and military ambitions shared the goal of empowering Russia as a great economic and political power in Europe. Peter the Great’s successor Catherine the Great followed Peter’s military and economic ambitions by gaining control of small eastern territories and Crimea, from the Ottomans. Peter the Great was a successful ruler who turned Russia into an mighty economic and militaristic power in Europe. Most Russians view Peter as a reformer. According to the Russian poet A. S. Pushkin, Peter the Great “cut out the window into Europe”


Kagan, Donald, Steven Ozment E., Frank Turner M., and A. Frankforter Daniel. The Western Heritage. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004. Print.

Kagan, Donald, Steven E. Ozment, and Frank M. Turner. The Western Heritage: Since 1300. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007. Print.

Ramírez, Susan E., Peter N. Stearns, Samuel S. Wineburg, and Steven A. Goldberg.Holt World History: Human Legacy. Austin, TX: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2008. Print.

Age of Religious Wars


Counter Reformation- was the sixteenth century movement in the Catholic Church to recover regions lost to Protestantism. The Counter Reformation made the Catholic Church stricter in its practices.

Baroque Art- was a period of artistic style that exaggerated color, light, shading, and the figures in the piece, making them exceptionally ornate.

Politiques- a ruler in a position of power who puts the success and well-being of his or her state above all else.

Michel de Montaigne- was an important writer during the French Renaissance. Montaigne became famous by his ability to seamlessly and effortlessly merge his serious works with anecdotes. He influenced many other famous writers in history.

Huguenots- were the French Protestants, named after Besancon Hugues, the leader of the revolt that won Geneva its freedom at that time.

Theodor Beza- was a French Protestant Christian who played an important role in the Reformation. Beza was a disciple of John Calvin and lived most of his life in Switzerland.

Catherine de Medici- was the daughter of Lorenzo II de Medici. Catherine de Medici was Queen of France from 1547 to 1559. She balanced the power of France and aligned with the protestants to gain power against the powerful Guises. She also served as a regent for her son, King Charles IX.

Peace of Saint-Germain-en Laye- was a treaty signed of August 5, 1570 at the royal Chateau of Saint-Germain-en-Laye ending third French Wars of Religion. The Peace of Saint-Germain-en- Laye strengthened the Huguenots, which made Catherine de Medici switch sides to the Guise and plot against the Protestants.

St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre- on August 24, 1572, a wave of Catholic mob violence, killed over 20,000 Huguenots. The massacre was thought to be coordinated by Catherine de Medici.

John Knox’s First Blast of the Trumpet against the Terrible Regiment of Women- is a political work written by John Knox published in 1558. The work attacks female monarchs saying that rule by a female is against the bible.

Henry III politique?- Henry III of France was a politique who attempted to compromise with the warring religions to save France.

Peace of Beaulieu 1576- also known as the Edict of Beaulieu, was signed by Henry III of France on May 6, 1576. The Peace of Beaulieu granted Huguenots almost complete religious and cicil freedom.

Henry of Navarre/Henry IV politique?- Henry of Navarre was a politique. He converted to Calvinism to please the masses of France. He also kept the Spanish from invading and converting Northern France to Catholicism.

The Edict of Nantes 1598- was signed by Henry IV of France on April 13, 1598. The Edict of Nantes ended the civil wars of religion and on May 2, 1598, the Treaty of Vervins made peace between France and Spain. It confirmed a promise of toleration that Henry IV to the Huguenots. It came close to slitting parts of France into Huguenots and Catholics.

hegemony- the influence or authority over a country, or a group of people.

The Escorial- The Escorial, Philip II’s massive palace which is northwest of Madrid. Built between 1563 and 1584 it was a monumental piety and power of the king.

The Holy League 1571 Venice, Spain, Papacy- was arranged by Pope St. Pius. It was intended to end the Ottoman Turk’s control over the Mediterranean. The Holy League won a crushing victory at teh Battle of Lepanto off of the Greek western coast.

Ali Pasha and the Battle of Lepanto 1571- Ali Pasha was the Turkish officer of the Ottoman Fleet that was destroyed at the Battle of Lepanto. The Battle of Lepanto was the largest naval battle of the sixteenth century. Off the Gulf of Corinth of October 7, 1571, the Holy League Fleet engaged the Turkish Fleet. By the end of the Battle over 30,000 Turks had died.

Cardinal Granvelle & The Netherlands- Granvelle was appointed by Philip II of Spain to be the regent in the Netherlands. Granvelle played a major role in the Netherlands’ revolt against Philip II’s rule. His rule made him clash with Dutch Leaders, William of Orange.

William of Nassau, Prince of Orange/ William the Silent- (1553-1584)William of Nassau/ Prince of Orange/ William the Silent was a politique who considered the political autonomy and well being of the Netherlands to be more important than the allegiance to religious creeds.

The Duke of Alba- the Duke of Alba is a Spanish title of Nobility. The Duke of Alba became known as the Council of Blood in the Netherlands when the Duke of Alba sent 10,000 men to restore order and make an example of the revolutionaries. The Duke of Alba became more hated than Granvelle or the radical Calvinists.

The Pacification of Ghent 1576- signed on November 8, 1572, was an alliance of the provinces of the Netherlands who all had the common goal of driving out the Spanish troops out of their country.

Perpetual Edict 1577- was signed in February of 1577 by Don John of Austria, which provided the removal of Spanish Troops from the Netherlands.

The Unions of Arras and Utrecht- the Union of Arras recognized Don John of Austria as the leader of the Netherlands and expressed loyalty to King Philip II of Spain. The Union of Utrecht was a treaty that unified the northern provinces of the Netherlands.

Bloody Mary & Marian Exiles- Queen Mary I (1516-1558) also referred to as Bloody Mary was a devout Catholic. Queen Mary was known for burning protestants at the stake during her five year rule, which earned her the name Bloody Mary. The Marian Exiles were Protestants who fled from England to North America to escape religious prosecution from Queen Mary.

Elizabeth I 1553-1603 politique?- Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. She built a strong monarchy and focused more onto foreign relations instead of religion. Elizabeth I established the Church of England; separate from the Catholic Church in Rome.

Act of Supremacy 1559-the Act of Supremacy was a declaration by the Parliament in 1534 in England that made Henry VIII the head of the Church of England, not the pope. This was a step away from the Catholic Church in Rome. The money from the Church in England stayed in England instead of being sent off to Rome. This was a political move by Henry VIII as much as it was a religious one. After the Act of Supremacy, in 1536-1538 Parliament dissolved the monasteries. The Act of Supremacy was a step away from the Catholic Church and made Henry VIII more of a Protestant king.

Thirty Nine Articles 1563- were the official beliefs of the Church of England. The articles established a moderate form of protestantism in England. The Thirty Nine Articles separated England from the Catholic Church.

Mary Queen of Scots- (1542-1587) Mary Stuart, was the daughter of King James V of Scotland and Mary of Guise. Mary Queen of Scots grew up in France but later returned to rule Scotland. Elizabeth I beheaded Mary Queen of Scots in 1587.

Presbyterians- Presbyterians were Puritans who favored a national church of semiautonomous congregations governed by elected representatives.

Congregationalists- Congregationalists were more extreme Puritans who believed every congregation should be autonomous, a law unto itself controlled by neither bishops nor presbyterian assemblies.

The Conventicle Act of 1593- also known as the Religion Act of 1593 was enacted by the Parliament of England. The Act would imprison anybody over the age of sixteen who failed to attend church or anyone who denied Queen Elizabeth I’s authority in religious matters.

Sir Francis Drake & John Hawkins- Sir Francis Drake (1540-1596) was an English privateer, navigator, sea captain, and politician. John Hawkins (1532-1595) was as an English naval commander, merchant and navigator. Both participated in the Spanish Armada of 1588.

James VI of Scotland/James I of England (Stuart)- James VI of Scotland (1566-1625) was the son of Mary Queen of Scots and Henry Stuart and King of Scotland.

The Armada 1588- the Spanish Armada was the Spanish fleet of 130 ships and 25,000 men with the goal of invading England. The Spanish Armada was defeated, which was a devastating loss for the Spanish. The Spanish never fully recovered. The decline of Spain led to the emergence of France, England and the Netherlands as the most powerful countries in Europe.

Maximilian of Bavaria & the Catholic League- Maximilian of Bavaria (1573-1651) was a Wittelbach ruler of Bavaria and a prince elector of the Holy Roman Empire. The Catholic League in Germany was a loose group of Roman Catholic States that formed on July 10, 1609 to resist the Protestant Union.

The Bohemian Period- was the first of four periods during the Thirty Years War. The Bohemian period (1618-1625) began when a revolt in Bohemia triggered an international war.

The Danish Period- the Danish Period was the second period of the Thirty Years War. The Danish Period is called the Danish Period due to the Danish involvement into the Thirty Years War.

Albrecht of Wallenstein 1583-1632- was a Catholic General who fought in the Thirty Years War during the Danish Period.

The Edict of Restitution 1629- was passed eleven years into the Thirty Years War. The Edict of Restitution was Ferdinand II’s attempt to revert the Peace of Augsburg to restore religious and territorial settlements.

The Swedish Period- The Swedish Period (1630-1635) was the third period of the Thirty Years War. Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden converted to protestantism. The Swedish King reversed the course of the war by winning a monumental victory a Breitenfeld in 1630.

King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden 1611-1632- King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden was a Lutheran monarch and military genius. He changed the course of the Thirty Years war at the Battle of Breitenfeld.

Peace of Prague 1635- the Peace of Prague in 1635 was a treaty between the Habsburg Emperor Ferdinand II and the Protestant states of the Holy Roman Empire. The Peace of Augsburg ended the civil war in the Holy Roman Empire but tensions and fighting between Spain, Sweden and France still carried on until 1648.

Swedish French Period- The Swedish French Period was the fourth and final phase of the Thirty Years War. The French openly entered the war in 1635 prolonging it for until 1648. Over one third of the Holy Roman Empire’s population was dead by the end of the Swedish French Period.

The Treaty of Westphalia- The Treaty of Westphalia ended the Thirty Years War in 1648. The Peace of Augsburg was reasserted. By the end of the war Switzerland and the Netherlands became sovereign. The end of the war left France with considerable territory gains.


What part did politics play in the religious positions of the French leaders?How did the king decide which side to favor? What led to the infamous Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, and what did it achieve?

Religion and politics were synonymous to people during the sixteenth century. Only the most intelligent political philosophers of the time could discuss the difference between religion and politics. Politics played a huge role in the religious positions of the French leaders. The ruler of France would choose the side that he or she thought would benefit most from. At first, Catherine de Medici aligned with the Protestants to balance power against the Guises. She decided to do this because she thought it was the best way to maintain power for herself and her posterity. Then later, Catherine de Medici tolerated Catholicism instead of Protestantism because she was afraid that the Protestants would persuade her son to invade the Netherlands which would have led to war with Spain. Henry of Navarre chose to pick sides with the Protestants due to the fact that he was almost assassinated during the Saint Bartholomew’s Day massacre by a Catholic extremist. The infamous Saint Bartholomew’s Day massacre began with the gathering of French in Paris for the wedding between Henry of Navarre and Marguerite of Valois. Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre was a turning point in the French Wars of Religion. The Huguenot religious political movement was damped by Saint Bartholomew’s Day massacre.

How did Spain achieve a position of dominance in the sixteenth century? What were its strengths and weaknesses as a nation? What were Philip II’s goals? Which was he unable to achieve and why?

During the course of the sixteenth century Spain gained significant political, military, and economic dominance throughout Europe. Spain was one the first country to spread across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas. Through conquest of the Americas Spain became extremely wealthy. The conquests in the Americas brought precious metals like gold and silver back to Spain. The Spanish were also powerful during the sixteenth century because the Kings of Spain were part of the Habsburg family which controlled the most territories in Europe at the time. The Kingdom of Naples, the Netherlands, and parts of Northern Italy belonged to the Habsburg family. The strengths of Spain were its vast amounts of territories. The large amounts of land that the Spanish controlled only helped Spain become powerful during the sixteenth century. Some of the power of Spain also came from the Americas. The plentiful resources that lied in the Americas fueled the powerful monarchy through the sixteenth century.

The main weaknesses of Spain were its rulers. Philip II, Philip III, Philip IV, and Charles II did not assert themselves powerfully and this led to Spain’s decline over the end of the sixteenth and beginning of the seventeenth century. Philip II goals’ were trying to deal with an ever protestant Europe. Philip II had too many problems to deal with during the sixteenth century. His large monarchy was starting to deflate due to the Ottoman Empire threatening Habsburg territories in the Mediterranean, the Dutch Revolution in the Netherlands, and the extremely large territory in the Americas. Some of the goals that Philip II did not achieve was the goal of the Spanish Armada. The Spanish Armada’s goal was to try to invade the Protestant country of England. After the Spanish Armada Fleet was destroyed by the English Spain never fully recovered.

Henry of Navarre (Henry IV of France), Elizabeth I, and William of Orange were all politiques. Define the term and explain why it applies to these three rulers.

The term politique is defined as a ruler in a position of power who puts the success and well-being of his or her state above all else. All of these people: Henry of Navarre, Elizabeth I, and William of Orange were all politiques because of what they did for their state. Henry of Navarre was a politique who switched his religion several times to please the masses of France. Henry of Navarre was also religiously tolerant when in 1598 he signed the Edict of Nantes, which gave Huguenots religious freedom. Henry of Navarre closely escaped assassination during the Saint Bartholomew Day’s massacre. Elizabeth I was also a politique for what she did for the state of England. Elizabeth focused on keeping the state of England united and strong. Elizabeth’s armies kept England safe from Spanish invasion by defeating the Spanish Armada. Elizabeth placed the well being of the state over religious matters. William of Orange was a successful leader and politique. He drove the Spanish out of the Netherlands. William of Orange was a politique who considered the political autonomy and well being of the Netherlands to be of greater value than religious matters. William of Orange like Henry of Navarre, switched his religion for the benefit of the state several times. First he was a Catholic who then converted to Lutheranism. After the Saint Bartholomew Day’s massacre, he then converted to Calvinism. Henry of Navarre backed the French state’s wellbeing against religious matters. All of these rulers were politiques who cared for the placidity and stability of their state.

Discuss the background to the establishment of the Anglican Church in England. What were the politics of Mary I? What was Elizabeth I’s settlement, and how difficult was it to impose on all of England? Who were her detractors and what were their criticisms?

The Anglican Church in England began in 1534 with the Act of Supremacy declared by Henry VIII. The Anglican Church began after a number years in which England was unhappy with its relationship with the Catholic Church. Henry VIII was not in accord with the vast amount of monies being sent to the Catholic Church in Rome. Henry VIII declared himself of the the Church in England. By doing this, Henry VIII kept the revenue produced by the local churches in England for the state. Henry VIII’s daughter Mary I was a devout Catholic and realigned with the Catholic Church after Henry VIII’s death in 1547. Mary I imposed strict penalties for anyone who was not Catholic. Mary I earned her name Bloody Mary after the mass slaughterings of Protestants.

Elizabeth I reverted back against the Catholic Church like her father Henry VIII. Elizabeth I chose to create the Anglican Church which was a moderate form of Protestantism. Elizabeth’s settlement was to create a mild Protestant Church. Some of the devout Catholics wanted Catholicism and the Puritans wanted to end the system of episcopal government. Queen Elizabeth struggled to impose the Anglican Church. To combat the Catholics and the Puritans Elizabeth I passed the Conventicle Act of 1593 which gave Puritans and Catholics who did not believe in the Anglican Church the option of conforming with the practices of the Church in England or face exile or death. The main detractors of Elizabeth I were the Puritans who wanted to have many semiautonomous churches that practiced the same religion and practices. The Puritans wanted to rid the religious hierarchy in the Anglican Church. The Puritans thought that the Anglican Church should not be ruled by the Queen or bishops.

Why was the Thirty Years War fought? To what extent did politics determine the outcome of the war? Discuss the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. Could matters have been resolved without war?

In the second half of the sixteenth century, the Holy Roman Empire was comprised of 360 different autonomous political cities and states. The Peace of Augsburg in 1555 made all of the autonomous states have power to decide which religion to choose. “Cuius regio, eius religio” meant whose realm, whose religion. This statement was part of the Peace of Augsburg that ended the religious struggle in the Holy Roman Empire sixty years before the Thirty Years War, that began in 1618. The Thirty Years War was fought due to several reasons. Several countries saw the situation of political turmoil in the Holy Roman Empire as an advantage to seize territory. Other countries saw it as a way to stomp Protestantism and spread Catholicism. The main reason why countries became involved in the Thirty Years War was because they acted thinking that they could gain political power as a result of gaining territory in Germany during the war. The Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 ended the war in the Holy Roman Empire but it still left Germany fragmented. In the Treaty of Westphalia, Calvinism was added to the acceptable list of religions to be practiced in the Holy Roman Empire. The Treaty of Westphalia also reconfirmed some of the key concepts stated in the Peace of Augsburg in 1555. The Thirty Years War could not have been resolved without war. For the past 130 years in Europe tensions had been rising between Catholics and Protestants. Wars of religion have killed millions of people since the beginning of history. The religious differences between the Catholics and the Calvinists started the Thirty Years War. Eight million people died as a result of the Thirty Years War in the Holy Roman Empire. The Thirty Years War was too heated to have been resolved without war.


Kagan, Donald, Steven Ozment E., Frank Turner M., and A. Frankforter Daniel. The Western Heritage. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004. Print.

Kagan, Donald, Steven E. Ozment, and Frank M. Turner. The Western Heritage: Since 1300. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007. Print.

Ramírez, Susan E., Peter N. Stearns, Samuel S. Wineburg, and Steven A. Goldberg.Holt World History: Human Legacy. Austin, TX: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2008. Print.

The Reformation


Brothers of the Common Life- is a religious community formerly existing in the Catholic Church that was founded in the Netherlands in the 14th century by Gerard Groote. Luther studied under the Brothers of the Common Life at Magdeburg.

Vernacular- vernacular is the language or dialect that is spoken in a region. Benefices- are properties which one entity owns but another uses for benefit.

Sale of indulgences- the sale indulgences were given by a priest to a fellow christian for the forgiving of their sins. Luther posted his ninety-five theses in protest of indulgences. Indulgences made the release from purgatory something that could be bought or sold.

John Tetzel (1465-1519)- was a German Catholic priest who is known for starting the sale of Indulgences. Tetzel was also the Grand Commissioner for indulgences in Germany.

Martin Luther- Martin Luther was a German Catholic priest and one of the most important figures of the German Reformation.

“Justification by faith alone”- or Sola Fide was a Catholic teaching that if one believes in god he will go to heaven. Luther did not believe in this statement and taught that good deeds must be done over a lifetime and then one will go to heaven, instead of saying “I believe” and then doing as one wishes.

Charles V – HRE- was first ruler of Spain as Charles I, but then was elected by the seven imperial electors of the Holy Roman Empire. Charles I then took on the name of Charles V when he became the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire in 1519.

Pope Leo X- was the the pope of the Catholic Church from 1513 to 1521. Pope Leo X was the successor to pope Julius II. Pope Leo X is best remembered for granting indulgences for those who helped donate for the reconstruction of St. Peter’s Basilica.

Diet of Worms- was held from January to May of 1521. The main events of the Diet of Worms pertaining to Martin Luther and the charges of heresy against him took place from April 16th to 18th, 1521. Martin Luther was asked to recant his ninety-five theses which denounced the Catholic Church for the sale of indulgences and other actions that Luther did not believe in.

Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation- is a book written by Martin Luther which stated that the sale of indulgences would not end until religious leaders could find another way to profit from religion.

Habsburg – Valois Wars- were a series of regional wars by European rulers to try to gain control of the small independent states of Italy.

The Peasants’ Revolts – 1524-25- were when the peasant followers of Luther revolted against their landlords in 1524-1535 in Luther’s name. Luther deemed the peasants “un-christian” and urged the princes to to crush the revolt. Thousands of peasants between 70,000 and 100,000 died during the revolt.

Ulrich Zwingli- Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531) was a Swiss Protestant leader during the Reformation. Zwingli credited Erasmus instead of Luther for setting him in the direction for reform. Zwingli, like Luther, was also against the Church sale of indulgences. Zwingli is known for bringing the Reformation to Switzerland, which in turn united the region as a whole.

The Marburg Colloquy 1529- was when Philip of Hesse brought Luther and Zwingli, the two main figures of the Reformation, to his castle in Marburg in 1529 to work out the differences in their believes. The Marburg Colloquy separated the theology of the Protestant Reformation. The Colloquy dampened the Protestant Reformation because it separated the ideas of the Reformation.

Anabaptists in Munster- Anabaptists were protestants who thought that adult baptism only conformed with the Bible. The Anabaptist in Munster during 1534 forced all other religeons to either convert to Anabaptism or emigrate. Then Munster was transformed into an Old Testament theocracy, that allowed polygamy. This shocked Europe and the Protestants and Catholics unified to crush the radical Anabaptists.

Anti-Trinitarians- a group of radical Protestants that were in opposition to Calvinism and believed in predestination.

John Calvin- John Calvin was an influential figure during the Reformation. He was the creator of Calvinism. Calvinism replaced Lutheranism as the main Protestant religious ideology. Calvinists believed strongly to predestination.

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1904) Max Weber- is a book written about economic sociology and is considered a founding text in economic sociology. The book was written by Max Weber in German but then was later translated into English in 1930.

Denmark, Sweden, Poland- the population of Denmark, Sweden, and Poland were primarily Lutheran Protestants during the Reformation.

Peace of Augsburg – 1555- the Peace of Augsburg was a treaty between Charles V and the Princes of the Princes of the Holy Roman Empire. It ended the religious struggle between in the Holy Roman Empire, and decided that the ruler of the land can decide the Religion in the region.

Cuius regio, eius religio- means “whose realm, his religion” in latin. This was agreement that Charles V and the princes of the Holy Roman Empire that ended the religious struggle between the Catholics and the Protestants in the Holy Roman Empire.

Henry VIII and the Act of Supremacy 1534 Protestant or Catholic king?- the Act of Supremacy was a declaration by the Parliament in 1534 in England that made Henry VIII the head of the Church of England, not the pope. This was a step away from the Catholic Church in Rome. The money from the Church in England stayed in England instead of being sent off to Rome. This was a political move by Henry VIII as much as it was a religious one. After the Act of Supremacy, in 1536-1538 Parliament dissolved the monasteries. The Act of Supremacy was a step away from the Catholic Church and made Henry VIII more of a Protestant king.

Sir Thomas More & Utopia- Sir Thomas More’s Utopia was a satire on contemporary society of the 16th century. Utopia depicted an imaginary society based on reason and tolerance without political and social injustice.

Thomas Cranmer / The Book of Common Prayer- The Book of Common Prayer was a book written by Thomas Cranmer in 1549. The book was a series of Prayers for the English Anglican Church that were written in English instead of Latin.

“Reformation Parliament” – 1529- In 1529, the English Parliament came together for a seven year period known as “Reformation Parliament”. During this time Parliament passed legislation that harassed the clergy. This was a step towards the passing of the Act of Supremacy which made Henry VIII the leader of the Church in England.

Edward VI- Edward VI was the son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour. He was the successor to the throne after Henry VIII at ten years, under protectorships of Somerset and Northumberland.

Catholic Reformation- also referred to sometimes as the Counter Reformation was led by conservative forces whose goal was to reform the church and to secure the Catholic theology against the theology of the Protestant Reformation. The Counter Reformation stopped the sales of indulgences and in forced celibacy within the clergy.

Council of Trent 1554 – 1563- the Council of Trent made the Catholic Church stricter in its practices. It strengthened the power of the local bishops so they could enforce the religion in their regions. The Council of Trent ended the sales of indulgences and made the priests and bishops become more educated, and practice stricter rules of celibacy. The Council of Trent met in the Italian city of Trent to decide how to react to the rise of Protestantism.

Ignatius of Loyola Spiritual Exercises- the Spiritual Exercises are a series of Christian prayers, written by Ignatius of Loyola one of the founders of the Society of Jesus.


1. What was the social and religious background of the Reformation?

Before the Reformation in Europe, the Catholic Church was a corrupt entity. The Church did not follow what is was teaching to the people. Throughout the Middle Ages the Catholic Church was the center of Europe and had significant political and religious power. During the Middle Ages the Catholic Church was undermined during events like the Avignon Papacy, which was a time of confusion because there was more than one pope in office at the time. The Renaissance had an effect on the Reformation because it stirred up ideas that were not always aligned with the church. The invention of the printing press was a monumental event for the Reformation because it allowed the circulation of printed works and ideas of the Reformation be spread throughout Europe. Pamphlets became increasingly available to the population because of the printing press. Because of the printing press, literacy rates increased in Europe and people became more educated. Greater education among the population led to the questioning of the Catholic Church’s policies and rules. The bible was increasingly being printed the the vernacular which let the common people decide and interpret what the holy text meant instead of having it interpreted by the Catholic Church.

2. Why did Martin Luther challenge the Church? Was he a revolutionary?

Martin Luther challenged the Church because he thought it was corrupt. In Martin Luther’s ninety-five theses he denounces the Catholic Church’s practice of selling indulgences. Martin Luther never wanted to split away from the Catholic Church he just wanted to reform it. The Church practice of selling indulgences did not appeal to Luther. Luther saw that the money from the selling of indulgences went to funding the Catholic Church. The corruption in the Church was the reason why the Protestant Reformation began. The ideas of Luther caught on like wildfire middle Europe. Luther was a revolutionary because he created a separate denomination that was different from the views of the Catholic Church. Luther is the most well known figures during the Reformation. He was the leading figure that started the Protestant Reformation. He started the push for reform in the Church and began the official era of the Reformation.

3. Was the “new” religion established by Henry VIII truly protestant? What problems did his successors face as a result of Henry VIII’s move?

The Anglican religion established by Henry VIII was not purely Protestant. Henry VIII created Anglicanism as a way to separate from the Catholic Church for political reasons. Henry VIII was a devout Catholic but at the time in the early 16th century he was in desperate need of a male heir to the throne to secure the rein of the Tudor dynasty. To do so he need to divorce his current wife at the time, Catherine of Aragon. The Catholic Church would not let him do this so he had the marriage annulled which let him divorce Catherine, daughter of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile. Henry VIII then passed the Act of Supremacy, which declared Henry VIII the ruler of the Church in England. This allowed him to gain the power of the Church in England. Although Henry VIII’s move to become the ruler of the Church in England may have been a step away from the Catholic Church in Rome, Anglicanism was still very closely related to Catholicism, except that Henry VIII was the head of the church in England instead of the pope. This proved to be difficult for Henry VIII’s successors because they did not know wether to align with the Catholic Church or to stay Anglican or become Protestant. In 1553, Mary Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, restores the Catholic Doctrine restoring Catholicism in England and began a series of gruesome public executions of members of non- catholic faith, which earned her the name “Bloody Mary”. Then after Queen Mary I’s death in 1558, she was succeeded by her half sister, Elizabeth, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Queen Elizabeth I reverted back to Anglicanism severing ties once again with the Catholic Church.

4. Identify the different factions of Protestants and the extent to which the Reformation was uniform. What were the similarities and differences between the Lutherans, Zwinglians, and the Calvinists?

There were several denominations of Protestants in Europe during the Reformation. There were the Lutherans, who followed the teachings of Martin Luther, the Anglicans in England, Anabaptists, and Calvinists, who followed the teachings of John Calvin. All of these denominations of Protestants wanted change from the Catholic Church. The Reformation was uniform in the fact that all the Protestants wanted to end corruption in the Church. The most significant difference between the denominations of the Protestants was how radical they were in their beliefs. The Anabaptists believed in adult baptism and thought the Lutherans were not radical enough from the Catholic Church. Lutherans and Zwinglians taught that people must believe in god themselves. The main difference between Zwinglians and Lutherans was the theological differences, especially over the nature of Christ’s presence in the Eurcharist. Lutherans and Zwinglians both practiced infant baptism. Calvinism replaced Lutheranism as the main Protestant force in Europe during the latter half of the 16th century. Calvinists believed in both divine predestination and to follow god’s plan. The main difference between Lutherism and Zwinglism to Calvinism was that Lutherans and Zwinglians both believed that man has control over some aspects of his life whereas Calvinism believed that man has a predestination given by god.

5. Evaluate the impact of the Reformation of European society between the 15th and 16th centuries.

The Reformation in Europe had a great impact on society. The Reformation improved education within Europe. Many Protestant reformers in Germany, France, and England were humanists. The humanists of the Reformation believed strongly in the teaching of language and the arts. The humanistic ideas of the Renaissance were carried on into the Reformation. When people in Europe became more intelligent and could read they began to think for themselves and were able to analyze religious texts. Luther said, “Every man is his own priest”. This was one of the fundamental changes that was brought to society during the Reformation, that any man can interpret the bible for themselves without a priest, bishop, or pope to do it for them. The Reformation separated all of the population by religion. Europe was once mostly Catholic but because of the Reformation Christianity became splintered into many different denominations. Much of the power the Catholic Church once had was lost after events like the Act of Supremacy, Peace of Augsburg, and the splitting of Catholicism into several denominations. The Reformation had a significant impact on the society of Europe during the 16th century.

6. Assess the changing role of women and the family as a result of the Reformation.

The Reformation helped change the role of women and the family. The Reformation helped change the old ideas of degrading women in the Middle Ages. The reformers of the Reformation viewed their wives as companions instead of child bearers. Luther wrote: “Imagine what it would be like without women. The home, cities, economic life, and government would virtually disappear. Men cannot do without women Even if it were possible for men to beget and bear children, the still could not do without women.” (p. 161) Ideas like these encouraged the education of women. The literacy rate among women rose because of the Reformation. When women could read, they saw that they were equal to men by reading passages from the bible. The Reformation changed how society viewed women. Protestants stressed the value of family and marriage. The Reformation changed the way society viewed women and in the future.


Lundeen, Joel W. “Table Talk.” Luther’s Works. Philadelphia (Pa.): Fortress, 1967. N. pag. Print. Kagan, Donald, Steven E. Ozment, and Frank M. Turner. The Western Heritage: Since 1300.

Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007. Print.

Ramírez, Susan E., Peter N. Stearns, Samuel S. Wineburg, and Steven A. Goldberg.Holt World History: Human Legacy. Austin, TX: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2008. Print.

The Renaissance


Renaissance- a cultural movement that lasted from the 14th to 16th century in Europe that originated in Italy and then later spread north.

Petrarch- (1304-1374) Francesco Petrarca also known as Petrarch is considered the “father of humanism.” Petrarch was a writer and poet known for his Italian poetry.

popolo grosso- (big people) the wealthy merchant class of Florence.

Cosimo de’ Medici- (1389-1464) was the wealthiest Florentine. Cosimo de’ Medici controlled the government of Florence behind the scenes. He was the first of the Medici political dynasty.

Humanism- An intellectual movement of the Renaissance which focused on secular thoughts. In Humanistic thought is a theory that often times rejects the belief in god. Scholars still debate the true definition of Humanism.

studia humanitatis- an area of liberal arts that embraced grammar, rhetoric, poetry, history, philosophy, and politics.

Leonardo Bruni- an Italian humanist who gave the name “humanitas”, or “humanity” to the humanistic writings and thoughts of the Renaissance.

Dante- Dante Alighieri was one of the most well known poets of the Renaissance. His most well known literary work called the Divine Comedy is one of the great works to emerge from the Renaissance.

Pico della Mirandola- Giovanni Pico della Mirandola was a philosopher during the Renaissance. He was a humanist philosopher who wrote the famous work On the Dignity of Man.

Civic Humanism- refers to the development of moral, social, and political philosophy that developed in fourteenth and fifteenth century Italy.

chiaroscuro- the technique in painting when the artist uses lighting and shading in a work to give it perspective and a sense of volume to objects and figures.

Leonardo da Vinci- (1452-1519) was a painter, engineer, mathematician, inventor, and sculptor. Leonardo is best known for his paintings Mona Lisa, and The Last Supper. Leonardo was a true Renaissance man he harbored all the qualities of one.

Raphael- (1483-1520) Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino was an Italian Renaissance painter. Raphael is best known for his painting The School of Athens.

Michelangelo- (1475-1564) was a sculptor and painter during the Italian Renaissance. He is best known for painting the Sistine Chapel Cieling and sculpting the sculpture David.

Slavery in the Renaissance- when we think of the Renaissance we usually do not think of slavery. During the Renaissance most slaves were domestic house servants. Owners of the slave had full rights of the slave.

Treaty of Lodi- the treaty of Lodi was a peace agreement between the three Italian city states of Milan, Naples, and Florence. The treaty was inacted on April 9, 1454; it put to an end the long struggles of power between the city states.

Charles VIII- (1470-1498) ruled France from 1483 to 1498. Charles VIII entered Italy in 1494 and entered Florence without resistance.

Pope Alexander VI & the Borgias- Pope Alexander VI was known to be the most corrupt pope ever to be in Papal office. Pope Alexander used his power and wealth to help his son Cesar Borgia become the Duke of Romagna.

Pope Julius II- The Warrior Pope- succeeded Alexander VI to the Papal throne in 1503. Pope Julius II used his power as the pope to make the Catholic Church one of the most powerful diplomatic and militaristic powers in Italy during the time. He was one of the most secular and militaristic popes which branded him the name “The Warrior Pope”.

Niccolo Machiavelli- was born on May 3, 1469 in Florence. Machiavelli was a diplomat and humanism philosopher. Machiavelli is best known for his political work The Prince. In the his book The Prince, Machiavelli describes how to be a successful ruler. He writes that a ruler must be ruthless to stay in power and the end justifies the means.

Estates General- Estates General was the medieval French parliament that was a general assembly of the three classes in France. The Estates General was comprised of three groups; clergy, nobility, and the commoners. The last meeting of the Estates General was in 1789.

Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain- the marriage of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile in October of 1469 unified Spain and made it one of the powerful monarchies in Europe during the Renaissance. The marriage between the two led to the emergence of exploration in the late 15th century to early to mid 16th century.

The Inquisition- the inquisition was responsible for the jailing, tourture, and execution of “heretics” in Spain. The inquisition helped end the feudal monarchy and helped jumpstart the emergence of Spain as a monarchy in Europe.

Richard III- was king of England for two years from 1483 to 1485. Richard III usurped the throne from Edward’s son who was 12 years old at the time. Richard III was highly protested by the Tudor dynasty.

Henry Tudor – Henry VII- was the first of the new Tudor dynasty that would rule england throughout the 16th century. Henry VII married Edward IV’s daughter, Elizabeth of York. This brought the two royal families together. Henry VII also figured out a way to discipline the nobility through a special instrument of the royal will known as the Court of Star Chamber. The Court was much more regulated because the nobility could not bribe the judges of the court any more.

The Golden Bull 1356- was an agreement that established a seven member electoral college consisting of the archbishops of Mainz, Trier, and Cologne. The group also functioned as an administrative group that elected the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

Northern Renaissance- was stimulated by the Italian Renaissance. There were a variety of influences that contributed to the Northern Renaissance. One of them was the printing press. Created by Johann Gutenberg in 1468, the printing press allowed for a cheap and quick way to print books. The Northern Renaissance occurred in the European countries north of the alps. Universities and the printing press helped spread knowledge and learning in the northern European countries.

Printing Press- the printing press was created in 1468 by Johann Gutenberg. The printing press allowed for the cheap and efficient printing of books during the Renaissance. The printing press allowed knowledge and learning be more accessible to the people during this time. When the printing press was created literacy rates in Europe increased this led to more people being able to read the bible in their own vernacular. This led to the Reformation.

Erasmus- was one of the most well known humanists of the Northern Renaissance. Erasmus was a dutch humanist, priest, teacher, and writer. Erasmus made clear that many loyal Catholics wanted major reforms in the church. Erasmus was highly critical of the corruption in the Catholic Church.

Thomas More’s Utopia- in 1516 Thomas More wrote Utopia a work of fiction and political philosophy.

Index of Forbidden Books- the index of forbidden books was a list of books that were heretical or against the Catholic church and therefore banned by the Church. At one point all of Thomas More’s books were banned by the Catholic Church.

Prince Henry the Navigator- before Christopher Columbus set foot in the Americas Prince Henry the Navigator captured, Ceuta, a North African city. He wanted to spread Catholicism and he was also on a quest for gold. This started the Portuguese exploration of the African coast.

Columbus’s voyage- after departing the Canary islands Columbus arrived at Watling’s Island in the caribbean. Columbus thought he had landed at an outer island of Japan. Columbus’s voyages marked the beginning of more that three centuries of a vaster Spanish empire in the Americas.

Las Casas- Bartolome de Las Casas was a clerical critic of the Spanish conquerors. He said to the Spanish that the religious conversion of the natives was possible without the conquering of their land. The result of Las Casas was that in 1550 new royal regulations were enacted to protect the native indians.

Conquistadors- Conquistadores were the Spanish conquerers of the New World. The two most famous of Conquistadores were Francisco Pizarro who conquered the Incan Empire and Hernán Cortés who conquered the Aztec Empire.

Encomienda- was a grant given by the Spanish crown to colonists in the New World of a certain amount of indian laborers. The encomienda then went into decline by the mid 16th century because the Spanish crown feared that the colonists might become too powerful.

Inflation- a situation in which more money becomes available without an increase in production and services, causing prices to rise. Inflation happened in Europe after the voyages of discovery because the influx of spices and precious metals. Prices in Spain doubled by 1550, and then quadrupled by 1600.

Fuggers/Medicis/Habsburg/Bardi/Peruzzi- the Fuggers, Medicis, Habserg, Bardi, Peruzzi families were all powerful, capitalistic families in Europe during the Renaissance. All were very wealthy and controlled controlled the governments in Europe.


1. Explain why the Renaissance began in Italy.

The Renaissance began in Italy because of Italy’s central location. As we know from Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel, we know that cultures get ahead of one another because of their geography. Italy was at the crossroads of trade between Europe and the Middle East. Italy is between the Adriatic and Mediterranean Seas thus giving it the central location. Italy had a constant flow of money because of it location for trade. Since Italy is a central location, people from different cultures and countries came to Italy. Ideas of mathematics, astronomy, art, and medicine came to Italy before and during the Renaissance. The new ideas that people brought through cultural interaction ignited the Renaissance. Many merchants in Italy became wealthy because of trade. With the extra money the merchants made from trade they could now fund the artists that lived in Italy. Because of Italy’s central location and wealth, the Renaissance began in Italy.

2. Describe Renaissance humanism.

Renaissance humanism is a collection of secular ideas and teachings. Renaissance humanism was a movement during the 15th and 16th centuries in Europe. Humanism writers and philosophers broke the medieval tradition that thought that all works of literature and art should have religious themes. Humanism writers and philosophers thought more of secular and worldly subjects instead of more religious ones. Humanism writers treasured the individual. Renaissance humanism spread throughout Europe. Humanism writers were more secular and their writings did not have religious bias. The ideas of humanism improved education in Europe. Humanism valued education because humanism writers believed that education helped the individual by giving him more power. Baldasar Castiglione was a Renaissance humanist writer who wrote The Courtier, which discussed how to be a “perfect courtier” or Renaissance man. According to Castiglione one must be well educated, well mannered, and must have a certain nonchalance [sprezzatura]. Renaissance humanism was the congregation of secular ideas and thoughts that many philosophers and writers during the Renaissance would write about and discuss.

3. Is the Renaissance a break with the Medieval past?

The Renaissance was a time of change between the ideas and thoughts of Medieval Europe and the new and emerging ones of the Renaissance. The Renaissance was a time of innovation, art, and learning. The introduction of the printing press in Europe rose literacy rates in Europe. The humanism thinkers valued education and learning. Before the Renaissance in Europe, and during the Middle Ages education was not as valued as it became during the Renaissance. Books were not as plentiful as they became after the conception of the printing press. The Middle Ages was a time of doldrums in Europe compared to the Renaissance. The Renaissance was a revival of culture in Europe. The contrast between the period of the Medieval Middle Ages to the period of the Renaissance is so stark that the Renaissance is known as the distinguishing break between that ended the Middle Ages.

4. Evaluate the achievements of two or more Renaissance artists and characterize their work.

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) was a painter, engineer, mathematician, inventor, and sculptor. Leonardo is best known for his paintings Mona Lisa, and The Last Supper. Many of Leonardo’s paintings either had a religious theme because the Catholic Church had commissioned Leonardo to paint a religious painting, or did not have a theme at all and only focused on a figure. Most historians believe that Leonardo was atheist and did not believe in a god but Leonardo knew that if he was openly atheist he would be labeled a “heretic” by the Catholic Church. This is why historians believe Leonardo painted many religious works. Sandro Botticelli was a painter during the Renaissance who lived and worked in Florence, Italy. Botticelli’s work is more focused on the pagan mythology of Ancient Rome. For the time Botticelli’s work was audacious and radical because at the time most artists were painting religious pieces for the church. Botticelli is best known for painting pagan mythology. His paintings seemed to bring back to life the gods and goddesses of pagan mythology. The reason why Botticelli could paint such radical pieces was because he had the backing of the powerful ruler of Florence, Lorenzo de Medici. During the rule of Lorenzo de Medici, Lorenzo helped finance the artists and sculptors in Florence. Botticelli was more radical because he didn’t paint religious scenes but instead mythological ones. Botticelli was in a city were these types of paintings were more accepted whereas Leonardo da Vinci was not in such a city and had to paint more religious themes to not be labeled as a “heritic”.

5. Explain the reasons and the results of the French invasion of Italy in 1494.

There were many reasons for the French invasion of Italy in 1494 and results of it as well. The war began in 1494 when the French king Charles VIII invaded Italy shattering the Peace of Lodi. Before that tensions between Papal States and the city states of Italy were on the rise. The causes of the war were that there was hostility between France and the Holy Roman Empire. When the French invaded Italy it brought the Italian Renaissance to France. The invasion instigated educational and religious reform in France. The humanism thoughts of Italy were brought to France after the invasion of Italy in 1494. These thoughts and ideas that were spread from Italy to France led to the beginning of the reformation in the Catholic Church.

6. Summarize the political theory of Machiavelli in The Prince. Explain the historical context.

Machiavelli’s The Prince is a political guide for a ruler. The political philosophy of The Prince is that the ends justify the means. Machiavelli writes that a ruler must do anything in his power to retain power, even if this means to lie, cheat, steal, or murder. Machiavelli wrote The Prince from experiences he saw. Machiavelli was a diplomat during the Renaissance and he was in close contact with one of the most powerful men at the time Cesar Borgia. Cesare Borgia was a real threat to the city states of Italy because he had a strong military and he also had the powerful political backing of pope Alexander VI. After Cesare died in 1507, and failed to unite all of Italy (which wouldn’t be done until 1861), Machiavelli wrote the prince, which is almost a how to guide for a ruler. Machiavelli writes that it is better to be feared than to be loved because fear of survival is a much reliable way to control a population, where as having a population who is loyal to you. The Prince written because Machiavelli saw the things Borgia did wrong and wrote a book for rulers on how to stay in power and how to gain it. The Prince is a work of political philosophy, which obtained it’s inspiration through the political mistakes of Cesare Borgia.

7. Compare and contrast the Italian and Northern renaissances.

There were significant differences between the Italian and Northern renaissances. The Italian Renaissance began in the 14th century and lasted until the 16th century. The Northern Renaissance began soon thereafter the Italian Renaissance. The Italian Renaissance had more of a classical influence; the paintings and sculptures showed what life was life during the Ancient days of Rome or Greece. The painting by Raphael “The School of Athens” is a prime example of this. Raphael showed the classical architecture of Ancient Greece. The Italian Renaissance painters focused more on classical and aristocratic themes.

A painting, by the Northern Renaissance artist Peter Brugal, called “Haymaking” showed the day to day lives of Northern European people. The paintings of the Northern Renaissance were more focused on portraits, and home interiors whereas the Italian Renaissance paintings were focused on classical mythology and religious scenes. The Northern Renaissance was fueled by the many universities that were being founded and the efficiency of the printing press. The Italian Renaissance was fueled by the humanist ideas and teachings that were brought to Italy through cultural interaction by trade.

8. Assess the rule of two or more Renaissance monarchs. What were their goals? How far did they succeed in creating a nation-state?

The goals of Charles VII and Henry VII were both similar in that fact that they were both striving to end the feudal monarchies in their countries and trying to achieve a unified nation state. In France, Charles VII created a permanent professional army. This helped drive out the English during the 100 Years War and also gave more power to Charles and helped him achieve more power in France against the nobles. When Charles drove out the English from France this gave the French people a sense of nationalism. Charles came close to creating a nation-state but still did not completely unify France. Not until Charles’s son Louis XI would France gain power of Burgundy, which was one of the last steps to achieving a nation-state, would France become a true nation-state. In England Henry VI was also following the same similar steps to try to gain control over the nobles to achieve a nation-state. Henry VII married Elizabeth of York which brought together the two rival families of The War of Roses. This unified England and also made sure Henry VII had a uncontested heir to the throne. Henry VII implemented a new court system called the Court of Star Chamber which cracked down on the nobility who would bribe and intimidate to receive favorable court rulings. This let Henry VII gain more control over the nobility. Both Renaissance monarchs Charles VII and Henry VII both redirected their countries onto the paths to becoming powerful nation-states.

9. Why is the Holy Roman Empire an exception to the norm when it comes to the rise of nation-states? Long-term consequences for Germany?

The Holy Roman Empire was and exception to the rise of the nation-state compared to England and France because it saw the power of the many outweigh the power of the one. The Holy Roman Empire unlike England or France was separated by many small sovereign territories. By the 15th century the Holy Roman Empire was separated by many small territories. In 1356 there was an agreement between the archbishops of Mainz, Trier, Cologne, the duke of Saxony, margrave of Brandenburg, court of Palatine, and the king of Bohemia to create a system where the seven would elect a single governing emperor. It may have seemed that the emperor would have more power against the seven members but during each election of the emperor his powers were renegotiated. Once again the powers of the many outweighed the one.

10.What factors led to the voyages of discovery?

There were several factors that led to the voyages of discovery; many of them originating in Spain. The marriage of Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon unified Spain. The union made Spain a wealthier and more powerful nation-state. To gain more power and a larger sphere of influence both Spain and Portugal increased trade and began the conquering of foreign lands. Slowly, Spain and Portugal shifted their eyes away from the Mediterranean. In 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed to the Americas landing at Watling’s island in the Caribbean. The voyages of discovery soon became voyages of conquest and plunder. During this time spices were a valuable commodity and in the Americas spices were easily grown. In the Americas the Spanish could easily enslave the population. Also in America there were significant precious metal deposits. The financial benefit that Spain received during the conquests of America led to other countries starting their own campaigns in the Americas.


Kagan, Donald, Steven E. Ozment, and Frank M. Turner. The Western Heritage: Since 1300. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007. Print.

“English Definition of “currency Inflation”” Currency Inflation. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Sept. 2014.

Late Middle Ages


Black Death- a disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia Pestis that spread through Europe in the fourteenth century that killed millions.

Great Schism- a period of time between 1378 and 1415 when there was more than one pope in Europe.

Lollards- a group of people who followed John Wycliffe and questioned the authority and privileges of the pope and church.

boyars- wealthy land owners and nobility of Russia.
Hussites- a group of people who followed John Huss and questioned the Catholic teachings of

the Eucharist: eating bread and wine in church.

Estates General- the parliament of France during the Middle Ages until the Napoleon revolution.

Jacquerie- the revolt of peasants in France against the state called “Simple Jack”.



During the late Middle Ages, a bacterium called Yersinia Pestis swept throughout Europe. From 1347 to 1353 it left more than two fifths of the population dead. The disease contributed to altering the political, social, and religious aspects of Europe. People only started calling it “The Black Death” afterwards in the 16th century when its name was invented. Why was this disease so virulent and lethal? How did it affect European society? These are the questions I will answer in this essay.

The Black Death first arrived Constantinople in 1346 and spread to Sicily in 1347. It spread on infected fleas on the backs of rats that were on ships traveling from Asia to Europe. It is believed to have originated in Mongolia and spread on the silk road. The Black Death hit Europe at it’s worst. During this time in Europe there were more people than food for them to eat. Between 1315 and 1317 crop production was at its lowest and this produced the greatest famine during the Middle Ages. Densely populated areas sustained the most casualties during the plague. Poor sanitation, famine, malnutrition, and lack of medical knowledge all contributed to the spread of the disease. Sneezing, coughing, and direct contact between people also quickly spread the disease. Physicians used smoke and herbal medications to the sick. This helped by

lowering the number of infected fleas. Some extreme measures to try to rid the disease were purposefully whipping one’s self in belief that it would bring divine help. Instead this had the opposite effect, and the blood from the whipped bodies spread the disease.

Industrial, urban centers where affected the greatest with the most casualties. In cities the disease spread quickest because of closer contact with infected people. Cities were hit much harder than rural country sides. In cities it was not uncommon for over 50% of the population to perish. This was because people in cities interacted with more people and increased their likelihood of contracting the disease. Some small rural areas of France were completely sparred by the disease. In the rural countryside, because people were more spread out, only up to 20% of the population perished. Large rural areas, like the majority of Poland, were completely saved from disease. Parts of Scandinavia were not as greatly affected because of the cooler climate made it tougher for the disease to survive and spread.

The disease took a toll on European society during the Middle Ages. Entire villages disappeared during the Black Death. The large death toll resulted in a smaller labor supply and decreased the value of the land nobility controlled. When the labor supply decreased, the wages of the remaining workers increased. Agricultural prices fell because of low demand but the prices of high quality goods produced by artisans rose. The nobility that owned the land had a decrease in power because they no longer had a large, cheap labor force to work on in their fields. To hold on to power some landowners converted their land into wool producing, sheep pastures instead of the high labor costs of grain production. As peasant wages increased governments increased taxes for the peasants and forbid them to leave their masters’ lands. This ended in the peasant revolt of 1381 in England. The same happened in France and it this instigated the French peasant uprising known as the Jacquerie. Even though the plague hit cities the hardest soon cities began to flourish after the effects of the plague. The plague helped free surfs from their masters’ land and helped turn Europe away from feudalism. After the plague luxury goods such as, jewels, fine clothing items, and manufactured goods became more expensive which encouraged people from the countryside to migrate to city-centers to work and produce these items. The disease killed nearly one third of the church clergy. The decline in the church caused the pope to move from Rome to Avignon in southern France. The Black Death changed the social structure of Europe by helping to end feudalism and cause peasant revolts in England and France. This changed the way the society of Europe functioned.

The Black Death had a significant impact on the history of Europe. The plague indirectly caused the Avignon Papacy. It also gave more equality to peasants working for wealthy landowners. It took power away from the nobility in Europe. It turn it helped strengthen the waning economy of Europe by increasing the price of luxury and manufactured goods. People soon moved to cities to work and learn from skilled artisans. Without the Black Death Europe would not have progressed quickly. The Black Death ignited change and without it, Europe would still be two hundred years behind the rest of the world. I think the Black Death was a significant part in shaping history. It made Europe come out of an economic depression and instilled progress. If the Black Death had never been introduced in Europe there would not have been a Renaissance or Scientific Revolution. The greatest change comes through adversity.


The Hundred Years War was a series of conflicts between the English and the French that lasted from 1337 to 1453. The English and French conflict instilled a sense national sentiment in both nations and led to the modern nation state. The war led Europe away from chivalry and feudalism. The conflict became known as the Hundred Years War because it began in 1337 and ended in 1453. What were the underlying and precipitating causes of the Hundred Years War? What advantages and disadvantages did the English and French have during the war? How did the French eventually drive out the English from their mainland? These are the topics I will highlight in this essay.

The war may have been started when King Edward III, the grandson of Philip the Fair of France, claimed power the power to rule England and France. When all of Philip the Fair’s male heirs died leaving no one to the throne, King Edward of England decided to try to claim power of France. The French were not about to let the fifteen year old King claim rule over France. Instead the French instilled the first cousin of Charles IV(the son of Philip the Fair), Philip of Valois to become the King of France. The English and French also argued for Flanders; an area on the French mainland. Although Flanders is on the French mainland and is part of France, Flanders had close economic ties to England. Flanders was the provider of English wool, an important material for England’s textile industry. These two arguments: who ruled France and who controlled Flanders instigated the Hundred Years War; a War that was a struggle for land and national pride.

During the war both sides had their advantages and disadvantages. The English were significantly outnumbered and were fighting in a foreign land. The French had a much greater population compared to the English during the war. Although it seems as if the French could have easily and quickly defeated the English, the French lacked the technology, strong monarch and strong military the English had. The French were not unified due to social conflict. The French were still trying to transition from feudalism to more of a centralized government with a powerful monarch. The French also lacked a Parliament which the English already had established. The Magna Carta gave a little more power to the people and limited the King’s Power.
France also had a parliament; Estates General which consisted of three separate groups: clergy, nobility, and commoners. Estates General did not have as much power as the English Parliament did. The French also lacked the English military superiority. The English infantry was much more dedicated than the French infantry. The English also had the powerful long bow which was much more powerful than the French crossbow. The longbow could easily pierce through the armor of the French Knights and proved to be extremely effective in battle.

At the peak of the war when the English controlled a majority of France things looked bleak for the French. Then, Joan of Arc a peasant from eastern France recaptured Orléans a key city. This was the beginning of the end of the Hundred Years War. Joan of Arc gave French soldiers a sense of national pride. The English became terrifide of Joan of Arc because she won several battles against the French. In 1430, Joan of Arc was captured and then later burned at the stake as a heretic by the English. She became a symbol of national pride and identity. Joan of Arc was a key factor in driving out the English from France. Without Joan of Arc there might have not been a France today.

The Hundred Years War left France decimated. The English had killed nearly half of the country’s population. Even though the English lost the war, England was left enriched by the

plundering of France for many years. The Hundred Years War marked the end of feudalism and chivalry because no longer were people willing to die for their local lords. When the war had ended it gave both the people of France and England a sense of nationalism. No longer were the people France divided. It brought the people living in France together because they now shared history with one another. The same was for England. No longer did people feel as divided because now they had a common history. The end result of the Hundred Years War was national pride and the modern nation state.


•Pope Innocent III becomes pope of Catholic Church (1198-1216)
•Pope Innocent III strengthens the Church into a more secular power
•Catholic Church becomes a strong political power
•Pope Innocent III elaborates doctrine of papal plentitude of power
•Pope Innocent III weakens the spiritual aspect of the Catholic Church by making it more secular •Pope Urban IV (1261-1264) establishes Rota Romana: Catholic Church’s court system

•By end of 13th century the Papacy became a powerful, political position that usually dealt with secular activities
•Church clergy protests the undercutting of their of their powers by the pope
•Pope Boniface comes to rule

There were significant changes in the Catholic Church from 1200 to 1450. The Catholic Church had become more secular by getting involved with secular political actions. No longer was the Catholic Church a purely spiritual institution. The Catholic Church tried to recapture Jerusalem from the Muslims through the Crusades. What was the Catholic Church’s response to the rising power of monarchs? How great an influence did the church have on secular events? The Catholic Church had to respond to the growing power of monarchs to maintain power in Europe.

The Catholic Church had significant power over secular political events that were going on during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The pope had the power to excommunicate any ruler who did not act under the pope’s consent. Up until the Renaissance and Middle ages the Catholic Church had somewhat of an unlimited power. During the Middle Ages no King was installed without the pope’s consent (most of the time). The Catholic Church was extremely wealthy due to its ability to tax the people to fund its operations. The Hundred Years War between the English and the French discredited the Catholic church because France and England were both part of the Holy Roman Empire. No one thought that there could be a war between two nations of the Holy Roman Empire.

The Catholic Church during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries was extremely corrupt. The Church sold indulgences and pardons for people’s sins. The corruption in the church resulted in the Wycliffe, and Hussite anti-ecclesiastic movements. The corruption in the church also sparked the protestant reformation with Martin Luther.

As Kings gained more land from the nobles and lords, their power also increased. This built up tension with the Catholic Church. Kings began to question the power of the Catholic church. In 1302 Pope Boniface III issued the Unam Sanctam to try to regain control of state controlled churches in France. In this document Pope Boniface III declares that royal power was subject to spiritual power of the Roman Catholic Church. After the issuing of Unam Sanctam in

November of 1302, the French denounced Boniface as a heretic and a common criminal. In 1303 the French capture Boniface and beat him up, almost killing him. Soon afterwards Boniface dies from sickness in 1303.

After Boniface, no pope dared to threaten powerful leaders in the state. The balance that was once tilted in the favor of the church was now tilted more towards the state. Religion was no longer solely in the hands of the Catholic Church. Religion was now swayed toward the powerful state monarchies.


The Avignon Papacy was a period of time between 1309-1377 when the papacy was in Avignon, France. This period of time has sometimes been called the “Babylonian Captivity”. In March of 1309, Pope Clement V moved the entire Catholic Church to Avignon. The Avignon Papacy was a chaotic time for the Church in which there was more than one pope at a time in Europe. During the time of the Avignon Papacy, England and France were in a state of political unrest. How did the Papacy get moved to Avignon in the first place? How was it reunited in Rome? In this essay we will explore these topics and discuss them.

The Avignon Papacy began when Pope Clement V moved the Catholic Church to Avignon, France in 1309, to escape the political pressure from King Philip of France, and to leave Rome which was in political turmoil. During the Avignon Papacy the Catholic Church was under great influence of France. Many of the cardinals in the Church were French, and this led to the election of many French Popes. Also during this time England and France were at war with each other in the Hundred Years War. When the Papacy was moved to France in March of 1309 this increased tensions between England and France before the war. Since the Catholic Church was no longer in Italy, where it received most of its funds the Catholic Church had to find other ways of funding its operations. One of the ways the Catholic Church did this is when Pope Clement VI began the practice of buying and selling of pardons and indulgences. This is when a person can buy repentance for their sins or the sins of a deceased family member. This practice sparked the religious movements of John Wycliffe and John Huss.

The conciliar movement was a religious movement which followers believed that the pope of the Catholic Church was not above the people. The conciliar movement discredited the pope because no longer did the state and some people believe that the papacy was a holy position. This was a setback for the papacy because the pope lost political and spiritual power of Europe. This was also the beginning of the state controlled church. No longer did the powerful state monarchies need to consent with the Catholic Church. During the Avignon Papacy, France elected antipopes who were popes elected to be the competition of the legitimately elected pope. Europe during the Avignon papacy saw up to three popes at a time. This was known a the Great Schism. It was a time in which Europe saw more than one pope at a time and the Catholic Church was divided. The Avignon Papacy was a part of the Great Schism because there were popes in Rome at the same time there were popes in Avignon, France.

After 67 years of the Avignon Papacy, Pope Gregory XI moved the papacy and clergy back to Rome. This was the end of the Avignon Papacy. During the Avignon Papacy the Church became more divided because there was more than one pope in Europe. When the Catholic Church returned to Rome it became reunited. The Avignon Papacy showed Europe that the Catholic Church was no solely a spiritual institution.

The power struggle for the papacy was between the French supporting it in Avignon and the English and italians supporting it in Rome. After the Avignon Papacy the Catholic Church loses much of its power to the nation states of Europe.


During the fourteenth and fifteenth century often times the Kings of nation states would appoint the bishops and cardinals of the Catholic Church. This made it easier for Kings to elect which pope they wanted. During this period, kings would attack the Catholic Church by electing more than one pope at a time. This was called the Great Schism when the Church was divided because more than one pope at a time thought they were the legitimate pope of the Holy Catholic Church. The France succeeded in controlling when the Church moved to Avignon. The state knew if they controlled the church they could get consent from the church for all of their actions. The corruption of the Church discredited the actions of the pope. In the long run, the secular states were too powerful for the medieval church.


Kagan, Donald, Steven E. Ozment, and Frank M. Turner. The Western Heritage: Since 1300. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007. Print.