The Early Modern Era 1450-1750


People who played an importan role from 1450-1750

Zheng He

1371 - 1433

A Muslim sailor commissioned by Emperor Yongle to partake in voyages to Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, Somalia, and the Swahili coast

Prince Henry the Navigator

1394 - 1460

Portuguese navigator who saw the opportunities that the Saharan trade routes offered; is regarded as the patron of Portuguese exploration for being responsible for early European exploration and maritime trade


1398 - 1468

a German printer and publisher who was the first European to use moveable type printing; increased the spread of ideas and innovations

Mehmed II

1432 - 1481

known as Mehmed the Conqueror at the age of 21 he conquered Constantinople and brought an end to the Byzantine Empire

Christopher Columbus

1451 - 1506

An explorer, navigaor, and colonist who, under the orders of the Spanish monarchs Ferdinand and Issabella, discovered the Americas; initiated the Spanish colonizaion of the Americas

Bartolomeu Dias

1451 - 1500

a Poruguese explorer and nobleman of the royal household; sailed around the southernmost tip of Africa in 1488

Vasco de Gama

1460 - 1524

Portuguese explorer who took part in the first voyage from Europe to India; his voyage paved way for the Portuguese to colonize parts of Asia and profit from the spice trade

Sunni Ali

1464 - 1492

king of Songhai; under his rule, cities were captured and fortified, such as Timbuktu (1468) and Djenne (1475); bulit a fleet to patrol the Niger river


1466 - 1520

Aztec emperor killed during the Spanish conquest of Mexico, by Hernan Cortes; under his rule, the Aztec empire reached its largest size


1469 - 1527

an Italian philosopher and humanist living in Florence during the Renaissance; is the founder of modern political science


1473 - 1543

a mathematician and astronomer of the Renaissance who formulated the heliocentric model of the universe with the Sun in the center of the universe

Vasco de Balboa

1475 - 1519

A Spanish explorer, conquistador, and governor; founded the settlement of Santa Maria la Antigua del Darien, the first permanet European settlement on the mailnland of the Americas; was also the first to cross the Isthmus of Panama to reach the Pacific Ocean


1476 - 1541

a Spanish conquistador who conquered the Inca Empire

Ferdinand Magellan

1480 - 1521

under the direction of King Charles I of Spain, this Portuguese explorer was sent to find a route to the spice islands; his exploration was the first from the Atlantic to the Pacific; did not finish his voyage, as he was killed during the Battle of Mactan in the Philippines

Martin Luther

1483 - 1546

a German Catholic monk who began the Protestant Reformation; wrote the 95 thesis, protesting the sale of indulgences and was excommunicated by the Pope


1485 - 1547

a spanish conquistador who conquered the Aztec empire; began the first phase of Spanish colonization in the Americas

Shah Ismail

1487 - 1524

the founder of the Shia Safavid dynasty


1491 - 1556

a priest and a theologian who founded the Society of Jesus(Jesuits); emerged as a religious leader during the Counter-Reformation


1494 - 1566

known as Sulieman the Magnificent; he longest reigning emperor of the Ottoman Empire; led Ottoman armies in conquering the Christian strongholds of Belgrade, Rhodes, and most of Hungary


1497 - 1533

the last Incan emperor; captured by Fancisco Pizarro and used to control the Incan empire, but later executed

John Calvin

1509 - 1564

a French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation; developed the christian theology of Calvinism; broke from the Catholic Church in 1530


1542 - 1605

the third Mughal emperor who asserted his power and brought all the parts of northern and central India under his control

Tokugawa Ieyasu

1543 - 1616

the founder and the first shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate, which remained in place from the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 until the Meiji Restoration in 1868

Metteo Ricci

1552 - 1670

an Italian Jesuit priest, one of the main Christian figures in China in the 17th-18th centuries


1564 - 1632

an Italian astronomer and philosopher of the Scientific Revolution; was suspected of heresy by the Catholic Church and forced to recant his writings of the geocentrism of the universe.


1588 - 1679

an English philosopher know for his works in political philosophy; published the book 'Levithian' which concerns the structure of society and government


1632 - 1704

an English philospher and influential Enlightenment thinker; postulated that the mind was a blank slate and knowledge is achieved through experiences

Louis XIV

1638 - 1715

became ruler of France after the death of Cardinal Mazarin; was an adherent to the divine right of kings and coninued to work to create a cenralized French state; put in place a system of absolute monarch rule in France that lasted until the French Revolution


1652 - 1722

the longest reigning Chinese emperor in history; suppressed the Revolt of the Three Feudatories; forced the Kingdom of Tungning in Taiwan to submit to Qing rule; blocked Tsarist Russia on the Amur River; expanded the empire into the northwest.

Peter the Great

1672 - 1725

ruled the Tsardom of Russia and later the Russian empire; successfully expanded the Tsardom of russia and led a cultural revolution that replaced the medieval system with a modern European sysem


1694 - 1778

a French hisorian and philosopher of the Enlightenment; famous for his attacks on the Catholic Church, and his advocacy of freedom of religion and separation of church and state


1711 - 1799

early in his reign , China saw an era of prosperity; abdicated the throne in favor of his son


1712 - 1778

a Genvan philosopher and writer who works influenced the French Revolution; made advancements in modern political, sociological, and educational thought


1723 - 1790

a key figure in the Scottish Enlightenment; a moral philosopher who published "The Theory of Moral Sentiments' and 'An Inquiry into the Naure and Causes of Wealth of Nations'

Catherine the Great

1729 - 1796

the longest female ruler of Russia; revialized Russia after the Seven Years War; ruled during the Catherinian Era, which is considered the golden age of Russia


Governments and Empires that had influence between 1450-1750


Major events that brought about change from 1450-1750

Columbian Exchange


began immediaely after Columbus' voyage to the Americas; the exchange of animals, plants, culture, human populations, and disease between the Americas and he Afro-Eurasian landmass

Protesant Reformaion


an attempt by Catholic reformers to reform the Catholic Church; led to the creation of many Protestant Churches; began when Martin Luther posted his 95 thesis

joint stock company


a business entity which is owned by shareholders; earliest one known was put into practice by the English through the East India Company

East India Company


an English company formed with the hopes of trading with the East Indies; traded mainly in cotton, silk, indigo dye, salt, saltpetre, tea and opium

7 Years' War

1754 - 1763

a war that took place in North America; was caused by bitterness beween Great Briain and the Bourbons of France and Spain; resuled in the following treaties: Treaty of Saint Petersburg (1762), Treaty of Hamburg (1762), Treaty of Paris (1763), Treaty of Hubertusburg (1763)