The Early Modern Era


Age of Exploration

1500 - 1700

The Age of Exploration marked the era of discovery. Europeans set out on the race to find new land and many did. Explorers such Columbus who went to extreme lengths to fulfill the wishes of the crown. Other explorers like Vasco de Gama who sailed for the Portuguese to India, and Ponce de Leon who discovered Florida (a Spanish conquistador).

Protestant Reformation

Approx. 1517 - Approx. 1685

A religious revolution that went against the catholic church. It began with Martin Luther and was later continued by John Calvin and others like King Henry continued the reformation. From what started as a man nailing 95 statements of what’s wrong with the church to a king changing rules because he chose to remarry.

Smallpox Epidemic

Approx. 1518

The epidemic spread throughout the native tribes of Mexico and the Caribbean. This caused the deaths of many of the Natives due to their lack of immunity, and called for an increased death toll.

Creation of vice-royalty

1520 - Approx. 1540

This marked the rule of the Spanish colonies. The viceroys allowed for governing in the colonies via representation of the crown.

Council of Trent/ Catholic Counter Reformations

1545 - 1563

The Council of Trent forms in reform of the protestant reformation, the Catholics fight back reasserting their authority in state.

Scientific Revolution

Approx. 1550 - 1700

The scientific revolution gave way to modern science. Great developments were made during this time period in math and science by people such as Sir Issac Newton, and Copernicus.

Age of Absolutism

Approx. 1550 - Approx. 1800

This was a time after the period of exploration when European countries exercised their power overseas and began to strengthen their economies. This was lead by monarchies who used their power to the fullest and used it to their advantage. These rulers were called absolute rulers because they maintained absolute control of their people.

East India Company

Approx. 1600

A dutch trading company who established trade throughout India for spice trade.

Jamestown founded


The first permanent English settlement to form in America. It caused famine and disease among the natives.

First Slaves Shipped to America


The first slaves shipped to Jamestown in order to help with the growth of tobacco in the newly formed colony.