Theme 1: Interaction Between Humans and the Environment

(Migration, Disease, Settlement Patterns, Technology)

The Rise of Russia

1613 - 1721

The Grand Princes of Muscovy sought to expand the land under them. After driving the Mongolians out of Russia, they began expanding eastword across central Asia and eventually Siberia. Their expansion was quick and there was little to stop their spread across the northern portion of Eurasia. They would allow peasants to rise in rank by settling previously Mongolian land. This colonial interaction increased Russia's power in comparison to the rest of world significantly.

Theme 2: Development and Interactions of Cultures

(Religions, Belief Systems, Ideologies, Philosophies, Science and Technology, Arts and Architecture)

The Protestant Reformation

1517 - 1648

Furious with the corruption in the Catholic Church, Martin Luther sought to reform the church with a more innovative mindset. Much of northern Europe became Protestant, causing an increase in tension among the countries of opposing Christian denominations. In a way, it was another schism of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church attempted to correct its issues and reassert its authority over Europe. It did a relatively good job, ceasing the selling of indulgences, increasing its inquisition with priests on the local level, and decreased its own hypocrisy.

Theme 3: State-Building, Expansion, and Conflict

(Political Structures and Forms of Government, Empires, Regional, Trans-Regional, and Global Structures and Organizations)

The Fall of Constantinople

April 6 1453 - May 29 1453

The Ottoman Empire successfully captured the City of the World's Desires. This heralded the end of the Byzantine Empire and in turn the last remnant if the Roman Empire of classical antiquity. The empire's dissolution and the Ottoman acquisition of Constantinople solidified Ottoman rule from Egypt to the Balkans. The strength of the Ottoman Empire was exemplified by its own Renaissance under Sulieman the Magnificent. The Ottoman Empire had become a power rivaling that of the Europeans; it would continue to expand until it reached Vienna.

Theme 4: Creation, Expansion, and Interaction of Economic Systems

(Agricultural and Pastoral Production, Trade and Commerce, Labor Systems)

The Colonial Columbian Exchange

1492 - 1776

Coined in 1972 by UT professor Alfred Crosby, this term refers to the exchange of commodities, culture, and diseases between the Old and New Worlds after Columbus's voyages. This was perhaps the largest economic interaction humankind has ever witnessed.

Theme 5: Development and Transformation of Social Structures

(Gender Roles and Relations, Family and Kinship, Racial and Ethnic Constructions, Social and Economic Classes)

American Encomienda

1492 - 1538

During the expansion and imperialistic stage of European powers during the colonial era large labor forces were needed to gather copious amounts of materials to be sent to Europe. As it seemed impossible to hire and afford the labor necessary for connecting these resources, new systems of unfree labor were institute. Slavery was one of these sources of unfree labor, but it existed before this colonialism. The Spanish Encomienda system was one of these unfree labor systems. It established a hierarchical system in which the Spanish colonists were given control over Native American populations. They would be taught of Spanish culture and the Catholic faith, and would also contribute gold, labor, or other commodities to the Spanish Crown. They were a harsh environment and were replaced soon after their construction with the Repartimiento system.

Other Key Historic Events

The Renaissance

1375 - 1650

After the Bubonic Plague ended, there was a resurgence of interest in the artwork of antiquity. This revival, or renaissance, marked the end of the medieval age and proceeded to lead to Europe's Enlightenment. The Renaissance acted as a doorway; its cultural invigoration led to individualism. Individualism led to technological progress, breaking the status quo that seemed to penetrate European life.

The Establishment of Joint Stock Companies

1533 - 1602

Although earlier examples of this economic system exist, the birth of joint stock companies that can be comprehended in the present day began with the Company of Merchant Adventurers to New Lands. Joint stock companies became ideal after trade had reached a potent density. With trade from the New World flourishing, this meant the construction of these companies. In function, a joint stock company allows people (particularly merchants) to unevenly purchase "shares" or portions of a company, getting a return on their purchase, or investment, should the company do well. This allowed merchants to make money with little personal risk, as opposed to the constant gamble to stay out of debtor's prison.

The Scientific Revolution

1543 - 1775

The Scientific Revolution was the rise of scientific thought (And most notably the Scientific Method) to push forward ideas. It was essentially the mechanical element that coincided with the Enlightenment. Francis Bacon described it as a wish to propel society. Leading to the Industrial Revolution, this was a rampant search for reason and knowledge. Ideas such as Heliocentrism and the laws of physics and gravity became elements of this time period.

The Thirty Years' War

1618 - 1648

The Thirty Years' War was one of the longest and bloodiest conflicts in European history. The war originally was over religion.; the Protestant religion had spread far over northern Europe. They fought against the sourthern Catholics, albiet this was not the only conflict addressed in the Thirty Years' War. The quest for familial dominance between the Habsburgs of Austria and the Holy Roman Empire, and the Bourbons of France. Concluded with the Peace of Westphalia, the Holy Roman Empire was decentralized, the Habsburgs shrunk, and the Bourbons far wider in their influence.

The War of the Spanish Succession

1701 - April 11, 1713

A grandson of King Louis XIV of France became the next in line to the Spanish throne in 1700. If he were to become king of Spain, this would allow for a unification of the two imperial powers. The powerful combination would upset the militarian, political, and economic balance in Europe. For this reason, the Holy Roman Empire, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Portugal formed an alliance with the goal of revoking the claim to the Spanish throne. The war was ended by the Treaty of Utrecht, which took gave much of France's Italian holdings to Austria, and Phillip became King of Spain. However, Phillip also had to renounce his claim in the French line of succession, successfully stopping the formation of a Western European superpower.