Chapter 16: Transformations in Europe, 1500

Chapter 16: Transformations in
Europe, 1500 - 1750
By Matt Ferra
Culture and Ideas
• Religious reformation
– Pope Leo X: Medici family, oversaw the design
and financing of new Saint Peter’s Basilica in
Rome. Raised financed by indulgence.
– Martin Luther: professor of scripture who objected
Leo’s indulgence.
– A contest led to Luther burning the papal bull and
to the Protestant Reformation
Culture and Ideas cont.
• John Calvin
– The Institutes of the Christian Religion
– Agreed with Luther, but denied that human faith
could merit salvation
– Calvinists elected their own governing committees,
councils, dress codes, life styles, and worship
Culture and Ideas cont.
• Witch hunts
– Believed that natural events were the cause of the
– Believed ¾ of women practiced witchcraft
– Both the accusers and the accused believed in
– Widows ad independent-minded women =
Culture and Ideas cont.
• Scientific Revolution
– Aristotle: believed that everything was comprised
of the four basic elements
• The Earth was made of earth and water. The atmosphere
was made of air and fire
- Pythagoras: a^2 + b^2 = c^2
Culture and Ideas cont.
• Nicholas Copernicus (1473-1543): first to develop
heliocentric (sun-centered) theory of the solar
– Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler, and Galileo Gallilei
strengthened this theory
– Intellectual and religious leaders wanted authorities to
surpress these ideas because they contradicted with the
– Scholars like Robert Boyle and Isaac Newton
continued to experiment and continue with Galileo’s
theories of physics
Culture and Ideas cont.
• Enlightenment
– A scientific movement by “enlightened”
individuals over laws, religion, and social
– Voltaire: “No opinion is worth burning your
neighbor for.”
Social and Economic Life
• The Bourgeoisie: the urban class in France that
dominated finance activities (burghers, town
– Able to buy exotic luxuries
Caribbean and Brazilian sugar and rum
Mexican chocolate
Virginia tobacco
North American furs
East Indian cotton textiles and spices
Chinese tea
Social and Economic Life
• Bourgeoisie countries
– Netherlands: manufacturers, craftsmen, Dutch
textile industry
– Amsterdam was a major port an Holland’s largest
city, as well as its financial center
Social and Economic Life
• Dutch pioneered joint-stock companies, giving
the Dutch East and West India Companies
monopolies over trade to the East and West Indies
• France and England had their own companies too
• The companies sold their shares to individuals to
raise large sums for overseas enterprises
• Stock exchanges- Italian innovation, transferred
to Europe in the 16th century
Social and Economic Life
• Some bourgeoisie members used their wealth
to raise their social status to gain entry in the
– Retired businessmen
– Loaned money to peasants
– A family could avoid taxation by living in the
gentry for 3+ generations
• Or purchasing a title from the king
Social and Economic Life
• Peasants and Laborers
– Europeans continued to depend on serfs, but kept them
at a distance
– Improving agriculture hadn’t really improved since
– Little Ice Age: temperatures dropped slightly but
caused problems for crops; starvation
– Men made livings as miners, lumberjacks, and
charcoal makers
– The growing want for wood fuel caused serious
Social and Economic Life
• Women and the Family
– Status and work were tied to their husbands and
– No arranged marriages – chose own partners
Political Innovations
• State development
– City-states and principalities like the Holy Roman
– Tried to build a powerful European empire – failed
– Charles V – Holy Roman emperor
• Hoped to centralize imperial power and lead a Christian
• Halted Ottoman Empire in 1529
• Gave up dream of unification in 1546
Political Innovations
• Religious policies
– Spanish and French rules defended Catholic
tradition against Protestants
– King Philip II brought in Spanish Inquisition to
stop all who oppressed him
– King Henry VIII used his power to disband
monasteries and convents
Political Innovations
• English Civil War
King Charles I
Ruled 11 years without Parliament
Raised funds with “loans” from wealthy subjects
A rebellion forced him to summon a Parliament to
approve new taxes
• Charles refused to grant certain guarantees
• Ordered arrest of critics in House of Commons
• War commences
Political Innovations
• A similar struggle in France
– Estates General represented traditional rights of
clergy, nobility, and towns
– Asserted rights during French Wars of Religion
– Raised funds by selling appointments to high
government offices
Political Innovations
• Warfare and diplomacy
– Warfare was almost constant in early modern Europe
– Monarchs expended vast sums of money, causing
widespread devastation and death
– Thirty Years War: caused long-lasting depopulation
and economic decline
– Improves skills in weaponry
– Cities built fortifications for command structures
– England rose as sea power under King Henry VIII
– Balance of power: major European states formed
temporary alliances to prevent one state from
becoming too powerful
Political Innovations
• Heavy costs
– European rulers increased revenues
– Expensive wars caused treasury to default under
King Philip II
– Silver and gold bullion filled Spain’s treasury
Political Innovations
• Dutch revolt
– Netherlands rises as economic power
– King Philip imposes heavy sales tax and Catholic
– 2 revolts: 1566 and 1572
– Emerged as dominant, commercial power after
long war
– Caused England to enlarge government’s role in
managing the economy
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