Hundred Years War

1337 - 1453

France and England grappled with each other for the succession of the French throne.  In the war’s later stages, mutual and willing self-destruction became worse due to the introduction of gunpowder and the invention of heavy artillery. Was not a single century of war but several wars over the same subject.

Black Death

1346 - 1353

Killed 2/5ths of the population in a few years. Government used the plague as a war tactic against certain social groups such as the poor and jews. It was a way of turning the blame onto someone, which led to more horror and fear. However, there were social and economic consequences. Farms began declining, peasant revolts, and cities rebounded.

Discovery of New Empires


As the Northern Renaissance occurred, European countries began to expand their voyages in search of new land to conquer. The discovery of the Americas changed the economic and cultural dynamics of Western Europe. Beginning with the Portuguese and Spanish voyages expanding their commercial dominance through the Mediterranean and Baltic seas, global and international expansion and trade boomed.

Witch Hunts

1400 - 1700

Rise of witch hunts due to the rise and influence of different religions. Protestantism caused an uproar in Europe and lead to witch hunts and death in Europe. New sciences that were beginning to emerge also caused an uproar. Any women who were intellectuals or craftsmen were killed in the name of Witchcraft.

Commercial Revolution

1500 - 1799

After the Europe began its voyages of discovery, a trading empire became its main source of income. Although trading had been around since the 11th century, new spices and materials appeared from the Americas, leading to slavery and forced labor in order to feed Europe.
Europe began to focus on new practices such as mercantilism and colonialism. Economic systems such as mercantilism led to nations within Europe becoming dominant. Colonialism led to more nations being conquered and enslaved in order to suffice mercantilism. The commercial revolution is marked by the increase in general commerce and the uprising of banks, investments, and loans.

Ancien Regime

1500 - 1789

Describes life in France before the revolution in 1779. France was divided by feudal systems; classes in which citizens did not leave or marry out of usually. It is characterized by the patterns of social, political, and economic relationships in France before 1789; broadly, the life and institutions of pre-revolutionary Europe. Aristocrats had many more privileges than the other classes, and often had control over the lives of the lower classes.

Aristocratic Resurgence

1500 - 1700

Europe wide reaction to the threat of expanding powers from monarchies. Aristocrats struggled to keep their privilege unattainable to others. They fought to be excused from taxes and leverage existing noble-controlled institutions. They also fought to make certain spots only available to the nobility such as military and council positions, government appointments, church positions, etc. They also raised rent and protested taxes.

Baroque Art

1550 - 1750

Due to the religious conflicts in Europe during the 16th and 17th century, art began to change. Art styles began to differ from those of the Renaissance forms of art. Catholics favored the baroque art style, which was a dramatic style that was bold and displayed energy. However, protestants favored minimalist art, which displayed the simplicity of life and their religion.

The Peace of Saint-Germain-en-Laye

1562 - 1570

On April 1562, the first french war of religion occured due to the Duke of Guise assassination. The assassination raised hostilities through the already thickening accusations between religions in France. On March 1563, this war ended;however it was not over. From 1567 to 1568, hostilities returned and created mass hysteria. This led to the bloodiest of all conflicts that took place from 1568 to 1570. Huguenot leadership was passed on as their leader was killed and many deaths occurred as a result. Finally in 1570, the Peace of Saint-Germain-en-Laye was passed. It ended the third war and acknowledged the power of protestant nobility. It granted huguenots religious freedom within their territories and the right to fortify cities.

French Wars of Religion

March 1562 - April 1598

After the Europe began its voyages of discovery, a trading empire became its main source of income. Although trading had been around since the 11th century, new spices and materials appeared from the Americas, leading to slavery and forced labor in order to feed Europe.
Europe began to focus on new practices such as mercantilism and colonialism. Economic systems such as mercantilism led to nations within Europe becoming dominant. Colonialism led to more nations being conquered and enslaved in order to suffice mercantilism. The commercial revolution is marked by the increase in general commerce and the uprising of banks, investments, and loans.

Revolt in the Netherlands

1566 - 1648

Cardinal Granvelle wanted to check protestant gains through church reforms. However, William of Orange saw this as corrupt and would prefer religious toleration and freedom before the deaths of citizens in the Netherlands. He found Granvelle and had him removed from the church. William of Orange fought for Lutherans, Calvinists, and Protestants but was a renowned Calvinist. William of Orange was later exiled, however he continued writing and documenting his beliefs and emerged from exile later on. Unification led to further resistance from the Netherlands and revolts from the religious people of the Netherlands. In 1648, peace was recognized as Netherlands became independent shortly before.

Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre

August 24, 1572

After a fatal error in planning, Catherine Medici convinced everyone there was a huguenot coup afoot after her assassination of Coligny failed. On Saint Bartholomew’s Day, Coligny and 3,000 other huguenots were slaughtered in Paris. Within three days of coordinated attacks, 20,000 huguenots were slain.

Edict of Nantes

April 13, 1598

Henry IV publishes a document that granted huguenots religious toleration and freedom to practice their religion on their own land. This ended the religious wars in France but hostilities still remained. Henry IV was later assassinated.

Academic Societies

1600 - 1700

The scientific revolution threatened vested academic interests which made it slow to gain ground in universities. Academic societies were formed so that students could learn the new sciences from the scientific revolution without the competition with their universities. Once students began attending these academic societies, the new sciences began to make their own universities. Several famous academic societies are: Royal Society of London, Academy of Experiments, French Academy of Science, Berlin Academy of Science.

Thirty Years War

1618 - 1648

began as a religious civil war between the Protestants and Roman Catholics in Germany. It engaged the Austrian Habsburgs and the German princes. The war soon developed into a devastating struggle for the balance of power in Europe. The results were catastrophic and led to a large number of casualties with neither side being victorious.

Treaty of Westphalia

Approx. 1648

A treaty that resolved all hostilities within the Holy Roman Empire. Not only that but it ended the eight (80) year conflict between Spain and Dutch and the Germans.

English Game Laws

1671 - 1831

English landowners had an exclusive right to hunt game legally. This displayed the privilege of aristocrats as they usually owned land and serfs. Gentrys were hired to keep poachers from hunting; illegally killing game became a capital crime, punishable by death. However, amongst peasants hunting was a way of feeding their families. A black market for poached animals and meats rose up. In 1831, English lawmakers changed the law to allow others to hunt with permission.

Agricultural Revolution

1700 - 1800

The main goal of European families was to maintain a stable food supply. Farming met this goal and was used to produce food for families in Europe. European citizens resisted change from anything that could endanger food supplies as they were vulnerable to changes in supplies. Any changes in food supply could lead to death, famine, and an increase in price for goods.
Because many families relied on agriculture to survive, new technology was created to help the agriculture. Innovations such as the cotton jenny, seed drill, crop rotation, and animal breeding became commonplace and advanced Europe. Enclosures provided space for animals to roam freely, providing better quality meat.

War of Jenkins Ear

1739 - 1748

Began as Spanish and English competition over the West Indies. Jenkins was a captain on an English ship. Spanish pirates invaded and cut off Jenkins ear. It was not important until hostilities became stronger, leading Britain to declare war on Spain. It was a minor war but it opened Europe up to other major wars.

War of Austrian Succession

1740 - 1748

Occured in central and eastern Europe after Prussia invades Habsburg, Silesia. France and Spain allied with Prussia while England allied with Austria. Maria Theresa maintains Habsburg as a major political empire, providing it with power and wealth. In 1748, the treaty of Aix--la-Chapelle ended the hostilities. Prussia retained Silesia while Spain renewed Treaty of Utrecht with Britain so they could import slaves from Spanish Colonies

Industrial Revolution

1750 - 1850

Introduction of industrialization throughout Europe led to virtually uninterrupted economic growth. Industrialization provided the services to create the largest manufacturization of good throughout Europe. Although it cost a lot at the time, it eventually destroyed rampant poverty.
The industrial revolution led to a commercial revolution, where europeans had more disposable income to spend on products manufactured from the industrial revolution. Iron and textile production became steadier and provided economic stability for Europe. Several innovations led for Europe to have new perspectives in the future and become prosperous.

Diplomatic Revolution

January 1756

France and England argue over the territory New England in the New World. Great Britain allies with Germany in the Convention of Westminster. France and Austria agree to a defensive alliance, providing protection for each other.

Seven Years War

1756 - 1763

Frederick II (the great) began war by invading the Garmany state of Saxony. A shift in alliances occurs, with England backing Prussia and France backing Austria. Britain, led by William Pitt the Elder’s trounces France in North America in an event known as the Colonial Theatre. In 1763, the treaty of Paris resolved hostilities and made Britain into a world power.

Steam Engine


James Wyatt, a scottish engineer and machine maker, provided Europe with an invention that led for major changes. The steam engine, released in 769, provided Europeans with basically unlimited and steady uninamted power. It was not dependant on nature and was portable. It was the first of its kind and was very useful during the industrial revolution.

Pugachev's Rebellion

1773 - 1775

Peasants in all of southern Russia revolted after Pugachev promised to free the serfs from their masters. It was such a large revolt that it created mass hysteria and panic amongst nobility. Eventually, Catherine crushed the revolts and set strict limitations on the serfs.

American Revolution

1775 - 1783

America, funded by Europe, rebelled in 1765 by refusing to pay taxes or participate in the mercantilism system. Colonies of America stated that they would not be taxed without representation. Several works were published that encouraged the rebellion as the colonies continued to avoid paying Europe. This demonstrated the power and influence of freedom to Europeans; it proved that a government without kings was possible. This led to a revolution in Europe later on.


Focused on Northern and Eastern Europe. It changed Medieval Europe to become wealthy and focus on political centrilization. It created humanism and people began to focus more on themselves rather than religion. Art and culture flourished.

Italian Renaissance

1375 - 1527

Initially caused by the death of Petrach and Boccaccio. Was focused in the Italian city-states: Milan, Florence, Venice, Papal states, and Naples. These city-states became propsperous and wealthy hubs of trade and commerce. The Italian Renaissance was also characterized by the spread of "civic humanism" and the flourishing of art and culture.

Leonardo Da Vinci

1452 - 1519

Painter. Exhibited  the Renaissance ideal of a universal persona. He was thought of as one of the greatest painters and advised Italian princes and the French King Francis I. Approached work empirically, as a modern scientists. He used dissection and botany to learn anatomy and science.

Treaty of Lodi


Peace agreement between Naples, Milan, and Florence signed in 1454 at Lodi. Helped to end Italy's decline by creating an agreement between the city states of Italy. Instead of fighting with themselves they would support Italy and fend for each other.

Michelanglo Buonarroti

1475 - 1564

Earlier works include: The Statue of David, which stood in the great square of Florence, which showed the devotion to symmetry, form, and proportion. The Frescoes of the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel, painted during Pope Julius II and took four years to paint. Later works marked the end of the High Renaissance. He painted in a new style called mannerism (reached its peak in the 17th and 18th century).


1483 - 1520

Famous painter due to his extreme kindness. Painted a giant fresco in the Vatican, The School of Athens, which showed renaissance technique. Depicts Plato and Aristotle surrounded by other philosophers and scientists.

Italian Decline

1494 - 1527

Italy relied on itself and surrounding countries for protection and peace. This was cooperation was maintained during the second half of the 15th century because of the Treaty of Lodi with the Turks.

Northern Renaissance

1497 - 1550

Occured in Northern Europe and basically when it began to spread outside of Italy. Had the same principles but focused on technology rather than art and culture. This also led to several reformations, and a spread of new ideas.


The 16th century religious movement that sought to reform the Roman Catholic Church and led to the establishment of protestantism. The reformation broke out in free imperia cities in Germany and Switzerland, and from there spread. While social and political aspects influenced the Reformation, social and political leaders did not fully approve. Certain people fought and believed in the Reformation such as the guilds.
The cause of the reformation can be traced back to several separate events that all led to the Reformation. The corruption and wealth of the church led to middle class grievances. Papal influences began to lessen. Martin Luther released the “95 theses” which was a call out to the corruption of the church. All of these events eventually led to the reformation.

Causes of Reformation

1517 - 1648

Corruption of power was prominent in the church in the 16th century. People like Martin Luther and Zwingli fought to give the people their power back. This led to a schism in the church, leading to oa revolution that we now know of as the “Reformation”.

New Religions

1517 - 1648

The Reformation questioned the standard religion of Christianity and made room for new branches of religion. As scholars questioned the corruption of Christianity, leaders of the Reformation created new religions. Zwinglian, Lutheran, Anabaptists, Spiritualists, Calvinists, and Anglican branches of the christian religion. This caused the death of many but allowed religious toleration to become a reality in the near future.

Luther and the Indulgence Controversy

31 October 1517

In the 16th centuries, the corruption of the church led to citizens being able to buy indulgences; pay away their sins and buy their way into heaven. Several people fought against this, but a man named Luther fought the church completely. He wrote down everything wrong with the church and indulgences into a document that is now known as “the Ninety-Five Theses”. In these he described the corruption of the religious leaders and indulgences. He posted it onto the church’s door. From there, it was translated and spread through different groups.

Scientific Revolution

The scientific revolution was characterized by the coming of age ideas and philosophies that changed the view of the universe. Although many ideas were cultivated and presented as “new”, few ideas were actually new. Scientists and philosophers in the 16th and 17th century spent time reexamining and evaluating theories. The new scientific concepts and the methods became the standard for assessing knowledge and its validity in the West.
However, the Scientific Revolution was not a immediate movement. It was complex and faced many errors and false starts. Although people would present incorrect information, this information proved to be useful in the future of science. People began to focus on nature and its complexity to evaluate the universe. Scientists also began using more logical methods of assessing knowledge rather than religious.

Nicolaus Copernicus

1473 - 1543

A polish priest and astronomer who believed that the universe was heliocentric (sun centered). His theory was the first documented theory of the universe. He fought against the aristotle and ptolemy models of the universe. Although his theory was no more correct than the others it furthered the scientific revolution. Copernicus is also known for his book “ On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres” and it was released after he died.

Tycho Brahes and Johanne Kepler

1546 - 1630

Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) was a Danish astronomer who rejected the copernican model of the universe. Tycho Brahe worked in studying the universe with his assistant, Johannes Kepler (1571-1630). Together they recorded vast amounts of data from the universe. Johannes Kepler had different theories of what the universe was centered on and supported the copernican model. He also believed planets moved in an elliptical fashion rather than circular.


1564 - 1642

Renowned astronomer and physicist who invented the telescope. this was the invention of the time as the scientific revolution required new technology. With this invention he discovered four moons of Jupiter. He conducted several experiments in physics. The Catholic Church tried to force him to recant his views and knowledge, however Galileo mocked them and all of his enemies in the pursuit of knowledge

Isaac Newton

1642 - 1727

Was an renowned physicists who discovered and explored the laws of physics throughout his life. He explained that all objects in the universe move through natural attraction, which is what we now know of as gravity. He explained gravity mathematically and also used physics to explain how planets orbit. He later published works that explained his theory, Principia Mathematica, in 1687.


Intellectual movement in the 17th century that challenged philosophers and religion in an attempt to reevaluate. The enlightenment is characterized by the logical and philosophical reexamination of religion, economy, culture, and education. During this time, several philosophies became popular and known for their innovative views.
Religious toleration and equality became an important factor during the enlightenment. Europe’s genocide of the native americans was evaluated.Unlike the renaissance, european philosophers looked towards the future rather than the past. They began to test out different methods and ideas scientifically.

The Philosphes

1650 - 1815

The philosophes were people who favored change, championed reform, and advocated toleration. Supported expansion of trade, improvement of agriculture and transportation, invention of new manufacturing industries while attracting wealthy supporters. They could be found at universities being educated or at coffee houses, discussing their views.


1689 - 1755

Montesquieu is best known for his work, Spirit of Laws. He concluded that no set of laws or limitations could apply to all people, at all times, in all places. He believed that this where the government was incorrect. He theorized that the government should be decided on the country’s morals, population, ethnicity, etc. Finally he believed that the powers of the government should be separated.


1694 - 1778

Voltaire is recognized as the first public philosopher. After being arrested in France for offending the church, Voltaire was exiled. Once he was exiled he began releasing public printed works for other philosophes. In 1733, Letters on the English, was published and praised the British for their freedoms, especially of religion, and criticized the French. In 1738, Elements of the Philosophy of Newton, popularized the theories of Newton after his death. He released several works over his life, contributing his opinion to society and shaping Europe.

Print Press

1700 - Present

Printing presses flourished and written media became more popular. The volume of printed material increased and included books, magazines, journals, and daily newspapers. Printed media became more secular which led to criticism from the church. Public opinion became more well spread and less of a taboo subject. It was talked about in the home, workplace, and leisure spots. Government now had to answer to the people.

Jean Jacques Rousseau

1712 - 1778

Rousseau is remembered by his works and radical critiques of modern society. Through his public works, he voiced his opinion on the perfect society; rather the materials of a society. His many published works include: Discourse on the Moral Effects of the Arts and Sciences (1750), Discourse on the Origin of Inequality (1755), and The Social Contract (1762).

Adam Smith

1723 - 1790

Wrote the Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations and published it in 1776. It was the most popular piece of literature in the Enlightenment. He was the founder of laissez faire economic thought, which was a limited role of government in the economy. He also had a four stage theory that classified human societies as: hunting and gathering, pastoral or herding, agricultural, and commercial (society at its highest levels).


1738 - 1794

Beccaria wrote on Crimes and Punishment in 1764. He believed that trials should be quick and that punishments should be used to deter from crime rather than to encourage. Beccaria was against capital punishment as he believed that the law was there to protect the citizens and make them happy.



Book published in 1751 that discussed 18th century economic and social life, including culture. IT was collective work of over 100 authors who aimed to secularize learning. The encyclopedia was edited by Denis Diderot and Jean Le Rond d’Alembert and between 14000-16000 copies were sold before 1789.

French Revolution

The French Revolution ended the ancien regime and created a new wave for all of Europe to follow. Feudalism was dissolving already however peasants wanted to terminate the last parts of it that lingered in their culture. Peasants now owned land and could recieve education yet were still treated poorly.
The French Revolution brought an end to absolute monarchy, destroying the power that the nobility had. The nobility had been corrupt for quite some time but by destroyed the absolute monarchy in which france was run by, the nobility had no power. Finally, the citizens of France demanded equal representation within government. This led to equal power to be distributed throughout FRance.

Estate Voting Debate

1787 - 1788

The classes of citizens were divided by estates; third estate were the serfs, second estate the nobles and the first estate was the clergy. The assembly of notables argued for their right to have each person count as one vote; third estate had more people meaning it would be more fair to vote one per person. However the first and second estate argued for one vote per an estate; they would automatically overthrow the third estate.

Third Estate Victory


The royal council decided that the third estate would be allowed to have twice as many representatives than the first or second estate in December of 1788. Although many citizens of the first and second estate fought this, liberal clergy and nobles believed that this was a fair decision. WIth this, the third estate obtained a little more power; just enough to start a revolution.

Overthrow of the Bastile

1788 - 1789

The storming of an ancient prison, also known as the BAstille, is symbolically known as the start of the French Revolution. Citizens stormed the BAstille searching to arm the militia but found nothing but 7 prisoners. Several people were killed.

The Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizens


The storming of an ancient prison, also known as the BAstille, is symbolically known as the start of the French Revolution. Citizens stormed the BAstille searching to arm the militia but found nothing but 7 prisoners. Several people were killed.

Cahiers de Doléances


The Cahiers de Doleances was a list of grievances from the estates addressed to the king. The grievances were similar to those of the third estate; demanding equality. Among these grievances, free press was encouraged. This would preserve the innocence and unbiased news that was needed in Europe at this time.

Tennis Court Oath

June 20, 1789

After being locked out of an important assembly, members of the Third-Estate roomed in an empty indoor tennis court and began to write their oath. They vowed not to seperate until they received justice and equality. Soon after, members from all three estates join together and gain recognition from the king.

Storming of the Bastille

July 14, 1789

The storming of an ancient prison, also known as the BAstille, is symbolically known as the start of the French Revolution. Citizens stormed the BAstille searching to arm the militia but found nothing but 7 prisoners. Several people were killed.