The Italian Renaissance followed on the heels of the Middle Ages, and was spawned by the birth of the philosophy of humanism, which emphasized the importance of individual achievement in a wide range of fields. It eventually spread to the rest of Europe.
Italian Renaissance man, known for his works "The Last Supper" (1498) "Mona Lisa" (1505) and more.
Dutch Renaissance humanist, best known for "The Praise of Folly"(1511).
(1516) Charles V takes power in Spain, followed by his accession to the Holy Roman throne. Habsburgs control a majority of western Europe.
The Protestant Reformation was the 16th-century religious, political, intellectual and cultural upheaval that splintered Catholic Europe, setting in place the structures and beliefs that would define the continent in the modern era.
Martin Luther (1483-1546) posts his 95 Theses on the door of Wittenburg Cathedral, in protest at the Catholic doctrine of indulgences and formally begins the Protestant Reformation.
The marriage of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon is declared null and void by Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury in defiance of the Catholic church. Henry later marries Anne Boleyn.
The Act of Supremacy makes Henry VIII supreme head of the Church in England, which separates from the Roman Catholic Church.
From 1536-1540, Henry VIII disbands monasteries, convents, priories and friaries in England, Wales and Ireland.
John Calvin (1509-1564) publishes (in Latin) his work of Systematic Theology: Institutes of the Christian Religion.
Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) founds the Society of Jesus (Jesuit) order as part of the Catholic counter-reformation.
Council of Trent (1545-1563) was the 19th Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church is held to reform and clarify doctrine. It repudiated Protestantism and led to the issuing of a Catechism in 1566.
A treaty grants toleration to Lutherans within the Holy Roman Empire .
The 39 Articles of the Church of England are first published, giving a summary of Anglican doctrine and practice. They were prceeded by the 42 Articles of 1552, written largely by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556).
The seven provinces that became the United Provinces of the Netherlands emerged as a nation after rebelling against Spain in 1572. The constitutional crisis in England that followed Elizabeth’s reign and continued until the end of the seventeenth century had a lasting impact on Western political life. Oliver Cromwell reinstated executive authority, though under a different title and only with military backing. With the death of Oliver Cromwell in 1658, Charles I’s son Charles II ascended the bloodstained throne with Parliamentary sanction and initiated the Stuart Restoration. When his brother James II confirmed the family’s Catholic sympathies, Parliament quickly and peacefully dispatched James and called upon his son-in-law and daughter, William of Orange and Mary, to be the sovereigns of England. Meanwhile, the French monarchy had achieved its goal, becoming the sole national institution. Royal ministers such as Richelieu and Mazarin wielded enormous power and left in their wake a well-ordered governmental structure ready-made for the absolutist training of Louis XIV.
The seven provinces that became the United Provinces of the Netherlands emerged as a nation after revolting against Spain in 1572. The United Provinces supported religious toleration and republican government.
French Protestants (Huguenots) are granted toleration by Henry IV in the Edict.
The constitutional struggle cost Charles I his head, and in the end, Parliament emerged the victor. Oliver Cromwell reinstated executive authority, though under a different title and only with military backing. With the death of Oliver Cromwell in 1658, Charles I’s son Charles II ascended the bloodstained throne with Parliamentary sanction and initiated the Stuart Restoration. When his brother James II confirmed the family’s Catholic sympathies, Parliament quickly and peacefully dispatched James and called upon his son-in-law and daughter, William of Orange and Mary, to be the sovereigns of England.
Louis XIV was called France's Sun King, and had the longest reign in European history (1643-1715). During this time he brought absolute monarchy to its height, established a glittering court at Versailles, and fought most of the other European countries in four wars. The early part of his reign (1643-61), while Louis was young, was dominated by the chief minister Cardinal Mazarin. In the middle period (1661-85) Louis reigned personally, but the last years of his personal rule (1685-1715) were plagued by problems.
Versailles is a symbol of King Louis XIV's absolute monarchy.
Louis XIV (1638-1715) revokes the edict, leading to an exodus of Protestants from France.