Italian Renaissance

1350 - 1550

The Renaissance occurred because of the emphasis on the rediscovery of Greco-Roman learning and economic/political changes that allowed for art, literature, architecture, and philosophy to flourish.

The Renaissance emphasized secularism (non-religious) and humanism (study of humanity and great achievement).

Northern Renaissance

1450 - 1550

The Northern Renaissance focused on social reform, religious reform, and the natural world, which all can be seen and are depicted through art (a focus on nature, the ordinary, and channeled raw emotion rather than beauty and perfection).

The Age of Exploration

1450 - 1600

A period of time involving European exploration in Africa, Asia, and the Americas; colonization, slave trade, and the Columbian Exchange.

Commercial Revolution

1500 - 1600

A period European economic expansion, colonialism, and mercantilism, which was succeeded by the Industrial Revolution.

Wars of Religion

1556 - 1648

A multitude of European powers for both political and religious reasons. Spain attempted to combat Protestantism in Europe and Islam, French Catholics were against French Calvinists, the Huguenots; the HRE wanted to re-impose Catholicism in Germany; and the Calvinist Netherlands wanted out from under Spanish rule.



Magna Carta


Royal authority officially became subject to law instead of reigning above it

Hundred Years War

1337 - 1453

A war between France and England during the late Middle Ages which was started because Charles IV of France died in 1328 without a son, so Edward III of England believed he had the right to become the new king of France through his mother.

Rise of The Medicis


The Medici family was a wealthy banking family which represented the Florence government and used their wealth to glorify Florence. Cosimo de Medici founded the Medici political rule.

Fall of the Byzantine Empire


Charles V

1519 - 1556

By the late 15th century, the Habsburgs had become the most powerful family in the HRE and Europe and held territory in the HRE, Austria, and Burgundy. Charles V was the most powerful monarch in Europe, and believed that religious unity would bring unity to his territory.

Elizabeth I of England

1533 - 1603

The Queen of England, also known as The Virgin Queen. She governed with stability and prosperity for 44 years and played an important role in the Wars of Religion.

The Supremacy Act of 1534


Parliament officially declared the king to be the head of the Church of England, and the papacy no longer had authority in England.

Peace of Augsburg


It was the first permanent legal basis for the coexistence of Lutheranism and Catholicism in Germany (was the first instance of religious toleration).

Union of Utrecht


The seven Northern Provinces of the Netherlands formed this, declared themselves independent, and formed the Dutch Republic.

Execution of Mary Stuart


Elizabeth I had Mary Stuart executed in order to secure her seat on the throne.

Spanish Armada


Philip II sent the Armadas to the Netherlands in response to Elizabeth's direct action in the Netherlands. It was composed of 130 ships, and Philip's goal was to useit to invade England from the Spanish Netherlands, remove Elizabeth, and conquer the United Provinces. Elizabeth sent 200 English ships which met the Armada and destroyed most of the Armada (which was further damaged by a storm later on).


John Wycliffe


John Wycliffe, founders of the Lollards, translated the Bible into vernacular English, which contributed to the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.

Johann Tetzel

1465 - 1519

Sells indulgences to get money for the building of St. Peter's Church. To sell more indulgences, he told people that by buying indulgences, it was possible to attain salvation and be free of all your sins.

Martin Luther

1483 - 1586

He rejected Church tradition, requirements, and ceremonies which were not directly mentioned in the Bible. He believed that all people were equal because we are all tainted in sin, God is the only one who gives you salvation through grace (through faith), and that the Bible is the only source of religious authority.

95 Theses


Written by Martin Luther in response to the selling of indulgences and exposed the church.

Diet of Worms


Leo X, the current pope, demanded that Luther recant his teachings. The latter refused to, which resulted in him being declared a heretic and Leo X ordering his arrested. However, he was protected by Fredrick of Saxony and hidden.

John Calvin and Calvinism


He created Calvinism, a Protestant religion based on pre-destination, which stated that God is all powerful and all knowing.

Society of Jesus


Brought Catholicism to new territories which fell under the control of Catholic powers. By the 19th century, Christianity had eclipsed it and remains the largest religion to this day.

The Council of Trent

1545 - 1563

25th session goes against the teachings of Luther. Indulgences were restricted, and access of clerical schools were expanded to the poor.

Catholic Reformation

1545 - 1648

Was the Catholic response to the Protestant Reformation.

Council of Blood

1567 - 1574

Philip II of Spain sent in the Duke of Alva to the Netherlands, and used the council to take property from Protestants, enforce heavy taxes on the Dutch, and kill thousands of Protestants.

Dutch Revolt

1568 - 1648

successful revolt of the northern, mostly Protestant Seven Provinces of the Low Countries against the rule of the Roman Catholic King Philip II of Spain, hereditary rules of the provinces. This originated from a number of incidents that led to increasing tensions.

St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre


Catherine di Medici used the massacre as a way to decapitate the Protestant leadership who were gathered in Paris to celebrate the marriage of Henry of Navarre. Thousands of Huguenots and Coligny were killed, and Henry of Navarre converted back to Catholicism. This conflict only created more civil war in France.

Edict of Nantes


Signed by Henry VI of France and granted the Calvinist Protestants of France substantianal rights in the national, which were considered primarily Catholic at the time.

Twelve Years' Truce

1609 - 1621

Partitioned the Netherlands into the Spanish Netherlands (Catholic) and the Dutch Republic (Catholic and Protestant).

Thirty Years' War

1618 - 1648

Began as a local religious conflict between the Catholic Holy Roman Emperor and his Protestant subjects in Bohemia, but grew into a continent-wide political conflict over the Balance of Power in Europe. It was divided into four phases: Bohemian, Danish, Swedish, and French.

The Edict of Restitution


Declared that all secular territorial churches were to return to Catholicism

The Peace of Westphalia


Renewed the Peace of Augsburg and added Calvinism. Secular states were not forced into Catholicism, borders of the HRE declared themselves as independent


Francesco Petrarch

1304 - 1374

Known as the "father of humanism". He preached the value of the "here and now" and valued classical antiquity.

Giovanni Boccaccio

1313 - 1375

A poet and humanist, most known for his study of the classics and a strong supporter of using the vernacular in literary texts.

Renaissance Art

1350 - 1550

Focused on realism, realistic expression, linear perspective, revival of classical antiquity, symmetry/balance, individualism (free-standing figures and glorifying oneself), geometrical rearrangement of figures, and the use of light to shadow/soften edges.

Printing Press


A revolutionary invention that allowed for the mass dissemination of texts and knowledge, which resulted in the spread of humanism and religious ideas and an increased literacy rate.

Desiderius Erasmus

1466 - 1536

Classical scholar, Dutch humanist, friend of Sir Thomas More, and writer of Praise of Folly, a book where Folly, the personification of foolishness, argues that all people are her followers, exposes the Catholic Church, claims that fortune is on her side, and also claims that Christianity bears many similarities to her. Believed that education was a means to reform, preached Christianity, and was often seen as a religious reformer.


1520 - 1580

A style in European art that focused on dissonance and discord, emotion, imagination, instability, bold colors, crowded people, hanging figures, and distorted bodies. Used most during Renaissance.

Grammar Schools

1580 - 1640

hundreds of grammar schools were founded in England, new colleges were established at Oxford and Cambridge, and French colleges combined grammar schools with university


Prince Henry the Navigator

1394 - 1460

Portuguese monarchy offered strong support for exploration through monetary support and schools of navigation/cartography. Focused on African exploration and circumnavigating the continent.

Bartholomew Dias

1450 - 1500

A Portuguese explorer whose expedition rounded the Cape of Good Hope, which proved that Africa could be circumnavigated.

Christopher Columbus

1451 - 1506

A Spain explorer who "discovered" the Americas

Vasco de Gama

1460 - 1524

A Portuguese explorer who successfully made it Calicut India in 1497, and brought spices and wealth home which inspired future expeditions to open direct trade routes with India and the East Indies.

Columbian Exchange


The interchange of plants, animals, and diseases between the Old World and the Americas following Columbus' arrival in the Caribbean in 1492.

Treaty of Tordesillas


Pope Alexandar VI divided the Atlantic in half, splitting it between Spain (West) and East (Portugal).

Ferdinand Megellan


Successfully circumnavigated the globe, which took three years.

Spanish and Silver

1590 - 1600

The Spanish discovered a great deal of silver, gold, and other precious metals in the Americas and imported them into Spain. The 16th century has often been called Spain's golden century, but the wealth gained from the precious metals had also largely contributed to the country's demise due to inflation and failure to establish a nation-centered and mercantilistic economy.

East India Company


The destruction of the Armada gave England supremacy of the sea.


1600 - 1800

an economic theory and practice that emphasizes competition between nations for wealth and stresses the importance of national self-sufficiency and the preservation of national wealth through a balance of trade