The Renaissance


Dante Alighieri

1265 - 1321

Writer of the Divine Comedy

Hapsburg Dynasty

1273 - 1918

Dynastic family going back to a ruler in the 13th century, a German king named Rudolph originally from modern day Austria, where the title of Holy Roman Emperor begins, from 1430-1806.

After the reformation, they see themselves as the preservers of the Catholic faith.

see map #3
Everything in green on map is ruled by the Habsburg Family in 1556, Philip II in Spain also owns all of the New World


1304 - 1374

Poet who wrote in vernacular literature

Giovanni Boccaccio 

1313 - 1375

Writer of the Decameron, written in the vernacular

Geoffrey Chaucer

1343 - 1400

vernacular literature- The Canterbury Tales


1386 - 1466

Italian Artists begin to look at Greek and Roman classical art in a new way
his "David" is the first piece of sculpture made like this in 500 years

Prince Henry the Navigator

1415 - 1456

see map #1
Portuguese maritime explorer


1445 - 1510

"The Birth of Venus": Botticelli uses pagan images but as a metaphor for Catholic purposes
Savonarola made Botticelli burn most of his artwork
3D images on a 2D paper- perspective

Printing Press


The invention of the printing press by Johannes Guttenburg changes the way information is distributed throughout Europe. Before, every book was made by hand, the printing press allowed mass production of books

Cristoforo Columbo

1451 - 1506

Under the funding of the Catholic Monarchs Isabel and Ferdinand of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents. Those voyages, and his efforts to establish permanent settlements on the island of Hispaniola, initiated the Spanish colonization of the New World.

Leonardo da Vinci

1452 - 1519

an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer. His genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal.

Nicolaus Copernicus

1473 - 1543

A mathematician and astronomer who formulated a heliocentric model of the universe which placed the Sun, rather than the Earth, at the center. He was born in Royal Prussia, a region of the Kingdom of Poland.
The publication of Copernicus' book, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), just before his death in 1543, is considered a major event in the history of science. It began the Copernican Revolution and contributed importantly to the rise of the ensuing Scientific Revolution.


1475 - 1564

Sculptor of "La Pieta" and "David" and painter of the Sistine Chapel

Martin Luther

1483 - 1546

German monk, priest, professor of theology and seminal figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517. His refusal to retract all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the Emperor.


1483 - 1520

"The School at Athens"

King Henry VIII

1491 - 1547

King of England from 1509 to his death in 1547. He was lord, and later king, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France. Henry was the second monarch of the Tudor dynasty, succeeding his father, Henry VII.
Besides his six marriages, Henry VIII is known for his role in the separation of the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church. Henry's struggles with Rome led to the separation of the Church of England from papal authority, the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and establishing himself as the Supreme Head of the Church of England. Yet he remained a believer in core Catholic theological teachings, even after his excommunication from the Catholic Church.

Vasco da Gama

1497 - 1499

see map #1
Vasco de Gama- first person to circumnavigate Africa since Egyptian funded Phoenician fleet in 5000BC
Reasons to go to Africa:
1. Gold
2. Slaves
Africa is being approached by East Asian powers too

Charles V

1500 - 1558

The Holy Roman Emperor, son of Juana la Loca and Felipe el Hermoso. Before Charles even began his reign in the Holy Roman Empire, in 1517, Martin Luther initiated what would later be known as the Reformation. At this time, many local dukes saw it as a chance to oppose the hegemony of Emperor Charles V. The empire then became fatally divided along religious lines, with the north, the east, and many of the major cities—Strasbourg, Frankfurt and Nuremberg—becoming Protestant while the southern and western regions largely remained Catholic.

John Calvin

1509 - 1564

an influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism. Originally trained as a humanist lawyer, he broke from the Roman Catholic Church around 1530. After religious tensions provoked a violent uprising against Protestants in France, Calvin fled to Basel, Switzerland, where he published the first edition of his seminal work The Institutes of the Christian Religion in 1536.

95 Theses


Written by Martin Luther, Ninety-Five Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences, is the initial catalyst for the Protestant Reformation. Includes the disputation protests against clerical abuses, especially the sale of indulgences.
On the eve of All Saint's Day, October 31, 1517, Luther posted the ninety-five theses, which he had composed in Latin, on the door of the Castle Church of Wittenberg, according to university custom.

Protestant Reformation

1517 - 1700

initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. It was sparked by the 1517 posting of Luther's Ninety-Five Theses. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to ("protested") the doctrines, rituals, leadership and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led to the creation of new national Protestant churches.

The Price Revolution

1540 - 1660

When the Spanish got to Mexico, they looted huge amounts of gold, discovery of the “Silver Mountain”, Bolivia.
Both these things created a terrible case of inflation in Europe. This is okay for the wealthy who can afford the increased prices, but the peasants and workers got screwed

The Peace of Augsburg


Emperor Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire, wanted to re-catholicize Germany, but the protestants held their own against his forces. A peace treaty is drawn up by the Emperor: “as the ruler, so the religion”

The Huguenot Wars

1562 - 1598

period of civil infighting and military operations, primarily fought between French Catholics and Protestants (Huguenots). The conflict involved the factional disputes between the aristocratic houses of France, and both sides received assistance from foreign sources.

William Shakespeare

1564 - 1616

an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. His works are considered some of the first evidence of modern English and his use of historical figured like Julius Caeser shows his classical knowledge


1564 - 1642

an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in the Scientific Revolution. His achievements include improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations and support for Copernicanism.
His contributions to observational astronomy include the telescopic confirmation of the phases of Venus, the discovery of the four largest satellites of Jupiter (named the Galilean moons in his honour), and the observation and analysis of sunspots.
He was tried by the Inquisition, found "vehemently suspect of heresy", forced to recant, and spent the rest of his life under house arrest.

Revolts in Netherlands

1566 - 1609

Series of revolts in the Netherlands, ruled by a Habsburg, namely Philip II (Spanish Catholic Emperor)
1555- Charles V retired and was succeeded by Philip II. He decides to stamp out all protestants in the Netherlands. Leader of the protestants- Prince William I of Orange, Sends conquistadors to the area, calls it the Council of Blood. Prince William had a strong hold over Northern Netherlands but is shot to death.

The Eighty Years War

1568 - 1648

Began as a revolt of the Seventeen Provinces against Philip II of Spain, the sovereign of the Habsburg Netherlands.
After the initial stages, Philip II deployed his armies and regained control over most of the rebelling provinces. However, under the leadership of the exiled William of Orange, the northern provinces continued their resistance and managed to oust the Habsburg armies, and established the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. The war ended in 1648 with the Peace of Münster, when the Dutch Republic was recognised as an independent country.

St Bartholomew's Day Massacre


Part of the Huguenot Wars, after the signing of a Peace Treaty: Huguenot Prince agrees to marry the Catholic sister of the reigning Catholic King of Paris.

Catholic dowager queen (Catherin de’ Medici) would not allow the marriage of a Catholic princess to a Huguenot. On the day of the supposed wedding the Catholics murdered 10,000 Huguenot leaders

The Spanish Armada


Elizabeth, who sought to advance the cause of Protestantism where possible, had supported the Dutch Revolt against Spain. In retaliation, Philip II (who had proposed marriage to Elizabeth and was denied) planned an expedition to invade England and overthrow the Protestant regime of Elizabeth, thereby ending the English material support for the United Provinces - the part of the Low Countries that had successfully seceded from Spanish rule – and cutting off English attacks on Spanish trade and settlements in the New World. The king was supported by Pope Sixtus V, who treated the invasion as a crusade, with the promise of a subsidy should the Armada make land.
Spain is defeated and from this point, Spain becomes less and less powerful, reducing the power of the Catholic Church

Oliver Cromwell

1599 - 1658

1636 King Charles I and his allies are defeated, King surrenders and is restored to power, which is strongly opposed by the Puritans
1649- Charles I is publicly beheaded transforming England into a common wealth lead by Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell is the head of Protestants, military general, and eventually named Lord Protector of England
-invaded Ireland and left the only place where Catholics could live freely in Ireland on the western side of Ireland "To Hell or to Connacht"
Tyrant- illegal monarch, attempts to establish a dynasty
Common wealth- implies a sharing of the resources without an aristocratic head

The Thirty Years War

1618 - 1648

A series of wars principally fought in Central Europe, involving most of the countries of Europe. It was one of the longest and most destructive conflicts in European history, and one of the longest continuous wars in modern history. Initially, it was fought largely as a religious war between Protestants and Catholics in the Holy Roman Empire, gradually, it developed into a more general conflict involving most of the great powers of the time.

The Peace of Westphalia


see map #5
A series of peace treaties that ended the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648) in the Holy Roman Empire, and the Eighty Years' War (1568–1648) between Spain and the Dutch Republic, with Spain formally recognizing the independence of the Dutch Republic.
"The enemy of my enemy is my friend"
Begins the slow decline of the Habsburg Dynasty

Great Plague of London


the last major epidemic of the bubonic plague to occur in the Kingdom of England. It happened within the centuries-long time period of the Second Pandemic, an extended period of intermittent bubonic plague epidemics which began in Europe in 1347, the first year of the "Black Death" and lasted until 1750.
The Great Plague killed an estimated 100,000 people, about 20% of London's population.

Great Fire of London


swept through the central parts of the English city of London, from Sunday, 2 September to Wednesday, 5 September 1666. The fire gutted the medieval City of London inside the old Roman City Wall. It is estimated to have destroyed the homes of 70,000 of the City's 80,000 inhabitants.

Eastern Europe and Middle East

Sultan Mehmet II

1451 - 1481

See map #2
Ottoman Turkish Sultan

The New World

The Aztec Empire

1428 - 1521

The Empire was defeated by the Spanish conquistadores and its native allies under Hernán Cortés in 1521.

Hernan Cortez

1504 - 1548

sets sail for Hispaniola in 1504. Leads the battle against Montezuma and is responsible for the demise of the Aztec Empire

The Spanish Conquest of Aztec Mexico

1519 - 1521

The Spanish Conquest of Inca Peru

1532 - 1540

led by Francisco Pizarro González, Marquess

San Agustín


(Florida) The oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement and port in the continental United States. Founded by Spanish admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, and subsequently served as the capital of Spanish Florida for two hundred years.


Maunder Minimum

1650 - 1700

see map #4
Coincided with the middle—and coldest part—of the "Little Ice Age", during which Europe and North America were subjected to bitterly cold winters Low solar flare activity, as noted by astronomers of the time, there were very few sun spots.
during the 17th century, Giovanni Domenico Cassini carried out a systematic program of solar observations at the Observatoire de Paris, thanks to the astronomers Jean Picard and Philippe de La Hire. Johannes Hevelius also performed observations on his own.