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Time Period 1: 1450 - 1648

General Timeline
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General Maps

Map #1: Europe

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Map #2: European Explorers & Americas

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Course Content



Italian Renaissance

Italian City-States

  • Merchants became really wealthy & led comfortable lives

    • Florence was the wealthiest city-state

    • Most merchants were wealthy bankers

  • Most Northern Italian states were known as communes

    • Ruled by a few wealthy merchants (oligarchy)

    • Only wealthy merchants or people who lived their for a long time could afford to stay

    • Merchants regulated everything, nobles didn't have much power

    • These wealthy merchant rulers built huge courts to display their wealth

      • Important ceremonies would happen there

  • Renaissance created a strong attachment to one city, leading to the growth of major city-states

    • Larger Italian city-states were dominating & absorbing the smaller ones

    • Venice, Milan, Papal States (Rome), Naples, & Florence were  most powerful states

      • Venice was ruled by merchant oligarchy

      • Milan was ruled by Sforza family

      • Spanish Kingdom of Aragon ruled Naples

      • Medici family ruled Florence

  • Dominican Friar Girolamo Savanarola expelled Medicis from Florence

    • Believed Medicis were corrupt as they were secular & corrupt

    • Savanarola organized government according to Christian standards

    • Pope excommunicated him & Medicis retook power as Florentines became tired of his rule


Origins of Renaissance

  • Renaissance refers to a "rebirth" of human achievements & ancient literature

    • Giorgio Vasari first coined the word "Renaissance"​

  • Humanism refers to the study of human achievements

    • Francesco Petrarch uncovered ancient Roman texts, believed those to be valuable

      • Studied Cicero, enjoyed his elegant writing & use of Latin language​

    • Petrarch's revival of ancient Latin classics was known as humanism

  • Believed humans lay in between God & material world

    • Marsilio Ficino believed Plato was precursor of Christ

    • Giovanni Pico della Mirandola believed humans that to excellent things have virtú (virtue)

      • Wrote Oration on the Dignity of Man, detailing how being a man is a really good thing​

    • Believed in studying things in their ideal form

  • Believed education was for the public good as opposed to for private or religious purposes

    • Believed all men should be educated in Latin classics & humanist thought​

    • Didn't believe women should be educated as much

    • Baldassare Castiglione wrote The Courtier (1528), believed men should be educated to gain a higher place in society

  • Niccolo Machiavelli wrote The Prince (1532)

    • Believed rulers should be wise & must preserve security​

    • Believed rulers can do brutal things to maintain power but shouldn't do anything for personal pleasure


Printing Press & How it Helped Renaissance

  • Invented by Johannes Gutenberg in 1440s

    • Used stamps to print letters just like stamps would print symbols on jewelry

  • More books were disseminated via printing press

    • Renaissance thinkers spread their ideas via books​

    • More literacy (because more schools opened) led to a larger audience for books

    • Books were written for secular purposes as well

  • Print houses became common

    • Many people opened these to disseminate the latest Renaissance books

    • People gathered in print houses to discuss the books

  • Literate people would read to illiterate people


Spread of Renaissance Ideals & Renaissance Art

  • Renaissance ideals were shown via art

  • Urban groups & wealthy people commissioned famous artists to make works of art

    • Filippo Brunelleschi designed the Florence dome​

    • Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel of Vatican City, commissioned by Pope Julius II

  • Art showed human ideals as opposed to spiritual ideals

    • Giotto started by sculpting/painting real human figures instead of exaggerated ​​body parts

    • Filippo Brunelleschi also developed linear perspective

      • This can create 3-D depictions on a 2-D surface​

      • Piera della Francesca used linear perspective in his works

    • Donatello sculpted accurate human figures to represent balance instead of exaggeration

  • Artists were patronized for their artistic styles

  • Most artists were trained in workshops

    • Women rarely received full training like men​


Major Renaissance People & Works

Giorgio Vasari

First person to coin the term "Renaissance." Means "rebirth."

Francesco Petrarch

Created humanist thought, Revived ancient Roman classics, promoted the study of human achievements (humanism). 

Marsilio Ficino

Studied Plato, believed Platonic teachings to be the precursor to Christianity. 

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Giovanni Pico della Mirandola

Wrote Oration on the Dignity of Man, believed mankind is good & men (especially virtuous men) are good people. 

Baldassare Castiglione

Wrote The Courtier, believed men should be educated in order to gain a high status in society. Didn't women should be as educated. 

Niccolo Machiavelli

Wrote The Prince, believed rulers should be wise & can use brutal tactics to maintain rule but not for personal pleasure. 

Thomas More

English Northern Renaissance thinker. Wrote Utopia, believed there lay a utopian land where poverty doesn't exist & all men get humanist education. 

Desiderius Erasmus

Northern Renaissance thinker from Rotterdam. Believed the church should have a Renaissance, promoted reading the Bible & ancient Christian texts. 

Filippo Brunelleschi

Commissioned by wealthy Florentine merchants to make the Florence dome. Known for developing idea of linear perspective. 

Giotto & Donatello

Made sculptures that depict actual human figures as opposed to exaggerated human figures. 

Piero della Francesca

Famous for using linear perspective in his works. 

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Albrecht Dürer

German Northern Renaissance thinker. Made woodcuts (mechanical devices) to aid other artists in using linear perspective. 

Northern Renaissance

  • Northern Renaissance was the spread of Renaissance ideals throughout Europe (north of Italy)

  • Some Northern Renaissance thinkers combined Christianity with Humanism

    • Believed classical values of patience & calmness combine with Christian values of love & faith

  • Thomas More (England) published Utopia (1516)​

    • Believed there lay a utopian land where everyone receives humanist education, & poverty is solved​

  • Desiderius Erasmus (Rotterdam) wrote scholarly books to harmonize humanism with Christianity

    • Believed in inner morality rather than Scholastic theology

    • Believed the church should have a renaissance

    • Promoted reading the Bible & Christian texts

    • Translated New Testament into Latin

  • Northern Renaissance art used oil paintings & wood panels

    • Albrecht Dürer created woodcuts & other mechanical devices to help artists with linear perspective

    • Mannerism developed, where people used oil paintings to exaggerate certain body parts or expressions


Society During Renaissance Time

  • Slavery was somewhat common

    • Africans were regarded as inferior & many Europeans kept Africans as slaves

    • Started in Ancient Rome, but local authorities banned slavery later on

    • Slavery continued later, having slaves signified wealth

  • Most hierarchies were based on wealth

    • Wealthy merchants lived in large houses & sometimes gained political power

    • Still, nobles had higher social status than commoners

    • People did things for honor, regardless of the wealth it provided​

  • Women were regarded as inferior to men

    • Many philosophers wondered why women were inferior​

    • ​Unmarried men were inferior to married men

    • Women needed to be married as they couldn't support a family with their small wage

    • This gender arrangement was the most natural hierarchical arrangement in society


New Monarchies & 16th Century Politics:



Before 1469, Spain was divided into multiple kingdoms

In 1469, King Ferdinand of Aragon married Queen Isabella of Castile

Partially unified Spain

In 1478, Ferdinand & Isabella launched the Spanish Inquisition, a government program intended to attack all non-Catholics

Through Spanish Inquisition, they conquered Muslim Kingdom of Granada in 1492

Thus, Spain was completely unified under Catholic rule. End of Spanish Inquisition

  • Many Jews came to Spain as France & England expelled all their Jews

    • Jews were really good in business

    • High Jewish population led to many Anti-Semitic programs to expel the Jews

    • Most Jews converted, but Spanish Catholics believed they weren't pure Catholics (they still had "Jewish blood")

      • Thus, 75% of Jews in Spain fled​

  • Isabella & Ferdinand's daughter married King of Netherlands & Holy Roman Empire, so their son, Charles V or Habsburgs, had a huge inherited realm (Spain, Netherlands, Germany, etc.)


After 100 Years' War with English, King Charles VII started consolidating French rule. He expelled the English

Charles VII's son, Louis XI, improved French army & conquered Burgundy

Louis XI's son, Louis XII, married Anne of Brittany, bringing Duchy of Brittany into French realm

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Louis XII's son, Francis I, signed Concordat of Bologna (1516) with Pope Leo X, allowing Francis I to elect French bishops.


During reign of Henry IV, aristocrats in government fought for power. Henry VI took power later, which weakened power of monarchy

Edward IV of York helped reconstruct the English monarchy. He used methods suggested by Machiavelli in The Prince (cruelty, wisdom, etc.). 

Henry VII distrusted nobles & kept small landowners in government positions

Protestant Reformation:


Martin Luther & Creation of Protestantism

  • Martin Luther, a theology professor at the University of Wittenberg in Germany, believed the Catholic church was corrupt
What was Wrong with the Church?
  • Luther believed people go to heaven by way of god rather than through the Catholic church

  • Luther hated the sale of indulgences (Catholic church sold forgivenesses of sins to people)

  • Luther hated that the Bible was only available in Latin as opposed to regional and common languages

  • Hated pluralism (a practice where some clergymen held multiple leadership positions)

Hover for the Answer

  • In 1517, Luther wrote 95 Theses, a pamphlet with 95 arguments against the church & nailed it to the door of Wittenberg Church

  • Pope Leo X excommunicated him in 1520

  • At Diet of Worms (1521), Luther refused to recant his ideas

    • Luther's refusal to recant his ideas led more people to hear about his ideas

  • Protestant Church was created at Diet of Speyer (1529)

    • Believed god initiated salvation​

    • Religious authority rest in the Bible alone

    • Only approved religious practices that can be supported by the Bible or other scriptures

      • The Sacraments were rejected as the scriptures didn't write about them

  • Ulrich Zwingli, a Swiss man, helped Luther spread his ideas

    • Believed in only using the New Testament, as it contained the true words of god​


Spread of Protestant Reformation

Appeal of Protestantism

  • Protestant ideals spread quickly via the printing press

    • Humanists liked Protestantism because of its idea of leading simple lives based on faith

  • Luther & Zwingli appointed pastors in local cities to help spread Protestantism

  • A group known as "Radicals" wanted a religious institution separate from state & mounted revolts

    • Known as anabaptists as they baptized adults

    • Didn't believe in a state church, wanted church to be separate from state

    • Peasants got angry due to crop failures & confiscation of property by government, so they led a massive rebellion

      • They wanted church-state separation

      • Government crushed this, 75,000 died

  • Protestants believed all women should be married

    • Hated prostitution, forced brothels to close

    • Believed clergymen should marry, and their wives would have respectable positions as pastors' wives

    • Believed marriage represents spiritual equality of men & women

    • Forced monasteries/covenants to close

    • Women could not be members of clergy

  • Charles V, ruler of Habsburg domain, signed Peace of Augsburg (1555)

    • Charles V acquired this land through family marriages, ruled large area from Austria to Spain

    • Called Diet of Augsburg (1550) to promote Catholicism & stop religious division

    • Protestants mounted coalition against him, so he signed Peace of Augsburg (1555)

      • Allowed each st​ate to choose its own religion (Catholicism or Lutheranism)

  • Protestantism appealed in Scandinavia

    • King Christian III of Denmark-Norway (union of the two states) adopted Lutheranism

      • Spread easily in Denmark & slowly in Norway & Iceland​

    • King Gustav I of Sweden adopted Lutheranism

      • Later altered Lutheran doctrine slightly to create their own church

  • Czechs in Bohemia first partially embraced Lutheranism but then reconverted to Catholicism

  • Poland-Lithuania (joint government) first initially had some converts to Lutheranism & Calvinism, but later reverted to Catholicism after counter reformation

  • Hungarians hated Germans so they didn't embrace Protestantism

    • After Ottoman invasion of Hungary, part of Hungary became Lutheran

    •  In late 1600s when Ottomans retreated & Habsburgs retook power, Catholicism became dominant again


Creation of Anglican Church

  • King Henry VIII created Church of England

    • Was married to Catherine of Aragon, daughter of rulers of Spain

    • Catherine was the widow of Henry VIII's brother, but their marriage was against Christian law

    • Catherine's nephew, Charles V (Habsburg ruler), besieged Rome & kept Pope Clement VII as a prisoner, but Charles V disapproved the divorce

    • Thus, Henry VIII proclaimed autonomy from papal authority & created Anglican Church

      • Had some Catholic elements like ornate ceremonies, hierarchical clergy, but was mostly Protestant​

      • Confiscated property of monasteries & distributed them to upper class

    • Irish were Catholic & England had some rule over Ireland

      • Irish Catholics revolted, but English confiscated their land & forced them to convert

    • Thomas Cranmer (archbishop of Canterbury) wrote Book of Common Prayer (1549), which became official book of Anglican Church


Creation of Puritan Church & Post-Anglican England

After King Henry VIII's death, Mary of Tudor (Henry VIII's daughter with Catherine of Aragon) took power in England

Mary of Tudor married a Catholic, so Anglicans went to exile in mainland Europe

Other Anglicans in England assassinated Mary of Tudor

Elizabeth altered the Anglican doctrine to something between Puritan & Catholic ideologies, but it was more Protestant than before

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Anglicans in exile came back to England, created Puritan church (wanted to purify Anglicanism of all its Catholic elements)

Elizabeth (King Henry VIII's daughter with his other wife) took over & became monarch

Spanish Armada (1588)

King Philip II of Spain married Mary of Tudor, hoping to make England Catholic

This plan ended when Mary of Tudor was assassinated by Anglicans

Another Mary, Queen of Scotland, (a Catholic) had another opportunity to kill Elizabeth. She was Elizabeth's cousin

English troops easily defeated Spanish armada, forcing them to retaliate

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Philip II then sent navy troops (Spanish Armada) to England to restore Catholicism there (1588)

Elizabeth imprisoned Mary of Scotland, and English later executed Mary of Scotland

Creation of Calvinism

  • John Calvin converted to Protestantism, created his own denomination of Protestantism in Geneva

    • Believed God had chosen a group of people for salvation (an idea known as predestination)

      • That group was known as "the elect"​

    • Believed that people should work hard as it portrays that they were among "the elect"

    • Believed all sovereignty is in god, no importance for human beings

    • Executed all heretics to Calvinism

  • Scotland later created Presbyterian Church, modeled on Calvinism

    • Many Scottish nobles supported Protestantism while the king & queen were Catholic

    • Scottish man John Knox convinced Scottish Parliament to abandon papal authority

      • Wanted religious leadership of a council of ministers (known as Presbyters)

    • Created Presbyterian Church of Scotland, which was Calvinist & had a simple doctrine


Religious Wars

Religious War in France

King Francis I of France needed to raise taxes to pay for Habsburg-Valois wars. Signed Concordat of Bologna (1516) with Pope Leo X to gain ability to appoint French clergymen himself

Calvinism became popular among French nobility. Gained popularity in countryside. French Protestants were known as Huguenots

King Henry II died in 1559, so his 3 sons took over & had weak leadership. French nobles adopted Calvinism to weaken French rule. King Henry III became main leader among the 3 sons

Henry of Navarre (Henry IV) took over after Henry III died. Issued Edict of Nantes (1598), allowing Huguenots to practice their religion in 150 cities. 

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King Henry III's sister, Margaret (Catholic), would marry Protestant Henry of Navarre. Intended to reconcile Protestants & Catholics, but instead, Huguenot attendees were massacred (St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre). 

Many fights occurred between Huguenots & Catholics in French countryside. Huguenots destroyed Catholic images as they didn't believe in sacred images 

War in Low Countries & Creation of Netherlands

Charles V (ruler of Habsburgs) abdicated throne in 1556, giving Spain & Low Countries (Netherlands, Belgium) to Philip II

Lutherans in Low Countries respected Philip II, but Calvinists hated it as they were taught to oppose ungodly governments

10 southern provinces (Belgium) joined Spain, became Catholic. 7 northern provinces (Netherlands) declared independence, became United Provinces (Calvinist). England helped them gain independence from Spanish

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King Philip II sent troops to maintain order in Low Countries

King Philip II raised taxes for Calvinists because they hated his government

Calvinists revolted & destroyed Catholic images (iconoclasm)

Thirty Years' War (1618-1648)

  • War between Catholics & Protestants of Holy Roman Empire

  • Treaty of Augsburg (1555) was signed between Lutherans & Catholics

    • Allowed each ​German state to choose their own state religion

  • Treaty of Augsburg was deteriorating as people kept converting to other branches of Christianity

  • Lutherans formed Protestant Union (1608), Catholics formed Catholic League (1609)

  • Started out as Catholic Bohemians challenged Protestant rule of Holy Roman Empire

  • War is divided into 4 phases

  • War ended with Peace of Westphalia (1648)

    • Recognized independence of over 300 German states

    • Allowed each state to worship Lutheranism, Calvinism, Catholicism

    • Mostly Northern German states were Protestant & Southern states were Catholic

Bohemian Phase (1618-1625)

Civil War in Bohemia among Protestants & Catholics. Catholics defeated Protestants at Battle of White Mountain (1620)

Danish Phase (1625-1629)

King Christian IV of Denmark led Protestants against Catholics (led by Albrecht Wallenstein). English King Charles I (Protestant) allied against France & Spain but failed. Habsburgs issued edict of Restitution, allowed Catholics to regain land they lost. 

Swedish Phase (1630-1635)

Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus supported Protestants. French minister Cardinal Richelieu supported Swedish. Adolphus died in war. 

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French Phase (1635-1648)

French feared Catholic Habsburgs would gain power, so French declared war on Catholic Spain (Spain supported Habsburgs). Peace was achieved in 1648, but Spain was harmed miserably. 

Developments Within Catholicism

Council of Trent (1545-1563) & Catholic Counter Reformation

  • Pope Paul III called Council of Trent (1545-1563) to reform Catholic doctrine

    • Sought to reconcile all of Christianity​

    • Banned sale of indulgences

    • Required all bishops to reside in their dioceses

      • Bishops thus can only hold one office, ending practice of pluralism

    • Required stricter education & stricter selection process for clergymen

    • Made scriptures the true source of religious authority

    • Still kept Latin as official language of church


Other Developments Within Catholicism

  • Ignatius Loyola founded Society of Jesus (1534)

    • Followers were known as Jesuits

    • Had rigorous training standards

    • Believed in asceticism, seclusion, & prayer

    • Appealed to many people, got many Protestants to convert back to Catholicism

  • Witch-hunting became common

    • People tried & executed those who they believed worshipped the Devil​

    • Believed they wanted to overthrow Christianity

    • People would accuse others whom they believed were witches, mostly women

    • 45,000 supposed witches were executed

    • Witch-hunting was done in mass (witch panics) after a natural disaster

      • People would blame multiple people for horrible things, often because one witch would give the names of other witches


European Age of Exploration:


Origins of Exploration

Pre-Exploration Situation

  • Trade was popular in Silk Road, Indian Ocean, and trans-Saharan trade routes

    • Mongols connected China to the West

    • India & Southeast Asia became wealthy from Indian Ocean

    • West Africa became wealthy from gold trade

  • Before European exploration, Venice & Genoa dominated European trade

    • Venice would acquire luxury goods from the East & trade with the rest of Europe for huge profits

    • Genoa would look west & help with finance

  • Venice & Genoa were crucial for European exploration

    • Venice dominated slavery in Black Sea region​

    • Genoa dominated slavery in North Africa, Iberia, and Canary Islands

    • Both were crucial in bringing slavery to the New World

    • Genoa's finance techniques were used to finance exploration in the New World


Causes of Exploration

  • State-sponsored exploration was very common

    • States wanted glory for their nation, so they sponsored voyages of exploration​

  • States wanted to spread Christianity

    • After Spanish reconquista, where they Spanish conquered all non-Catholic kingdoms in Iberia, they wanted to spread Catholicism throughout the world

    • Other Protestant nations wanted to spread their denomination of Christianity

  • Technological innovations made travel easy

    • New ships (caravel, carrack, fluyt) made travel easier as they were sturdier & could withstand rough winds

    • Lateen sail (triangle-shaped) could catch winds on both sides

    • Sternpost rudder helps with maneuverability

    • Astrolabe determines latitude

    • Magnetic compass determines direction

    • Barometer determines air pressure & can detect a storm

    • Other innovations in deciphering wind currents helped sailors take advantage of wind currents

  • Rivalries among European nations sparked exploration

    • European nations wanted to conquer more land than others



First Explorers

  • Portugal started European exploration

    • It's unique location (facing westward into Atlantic & blocked eastward by Spain) made it necessary for Portuguese to expand westward

    • Prince Henry (Henry the Navigator) sponsored voyages down the African west coast

    • Portuguese built trading posts on African west coast & forged alliances with African kingdoms

    • Conquered many African islands in the Atlantic

    • Bartholomew Diaz sailed around Southern Tip of Africa in 1488 but returned immediately to Portugal

    • In 1497, Vasco da Gama sailed around the Southern Tip of Africa to India & came back to Portugal with lots of spices

  • Christopher Columbus sailed westward to Americas in 1492

    • Sponsored by Spanish, sought a westward route to Asia

    • Landed in Bahamas, thought it was Japan

    • Confiscated gold from local Taíno people & enslaved them

    • Sent letters to Spain, Rapidly spread news about the land

    • Still believed the land he found to be Japan or China

  • In 1497, Amerigo Vespucci sailed to Brazil & realized that the land is a New World & isn't Asia

    • Thus, the New World was named America after him

  • Spain wanted a sea route to Maluku spice islands of Southeast Asia, so they employed Ferdinand Magellan

    • In 1519, Magellan sailed through a strait in the tip of South America (now named after him) & died after a physical argument in the Philippines​

    • His crew returned to Spain in 1522

  • Spain continued its expansion in the Americas as it was jealous of Portuguese success in India

  • Jacques Cartier sailed for France & landed in Montreal

    • Traded beaver fur with natives & acquired lots of fish

      • Fish was popular as other meat was prohibited by Church on special days


List of Explorers



Year of Journey


Bartholomew Dias



First to round the Cape of Good Hope (Southern tip of Africa). Returned home immediately afterward. 

Christopher Columbus



First to land in Americas. Landed in Caribbean islands. Thought they were some islands near Japan. 

Vasco da Gama



First to sail to India. Sailed around the Cape of Good Hope to India. Returned to Portugal with lots of spices. 

John Cabot



Sailed for England, arrived in present-day New Foundland. 

Amerigo Vespucci



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Sailed to South America. First to realize new land is not Asia & is instead a new continent. Named America after Amerigo. 

Pedro Alvares Cabral



Discovered Brazil, made claims for Portugal there. 

Ponce de Leon



Explored present-day Florida, made claims for Spain there. 

Vasco Nuñez de Balboa



Explored Panama. Found Pacific Ocean when traveling overland from Panama.  

Ferdinand Magellan



First to circumnavigate the world. Sailed through a strait near tip of South America. Died in Philippines, his crew returned to Spain.

Giovanni da Verazzano



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First European to explore North American coast between Florida and New Brunswick (located in present-day Canada). 

Jacques Cartier



Laid claims for France in Canada. Discovered and sailed through St. Lawrence River. 

Sir Francis Drake

Henry Hudson





First Englishman to circumnavigate the world. Discovered Tierra del Fuego (tip of South America). Disrupted Spanish Armada. 

Tried to find Northwest Passage, sailed through Hudson river to present-day New York City. Named it New Amsterdam. 

Colonial Expansion

Conquest of Aztecs

In 1519, Hernan Cortes led Spanish army into Mexico. Entered Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan. 

Cortes allied with local tribe leaders that resented Aztec rule

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Smallpox aided Cortes as the native Aztecs weren't immune to it, so many Aztecs died, allowing Cortes to easily take over. 

Cortes led an army into Tenochtitlan & killed Aztec leader Montezuma (1520)

Cortes plundered Tenochtitlan, starved the city to death. Fully took over in 1521. 

Conquest of Incas

In 1532, Francisco Pizarro led Spanish army into Peru

Called all Inca rulers under pretext of a conference. Seized & killed them all except for Inca ruler, Atahualpa

Seized all of Atahualpa's gold, then killed him. Later seized all of Cusco's gold

Allied with local tribal leaders that resented Inca rule. Also used loss of authority from the existing civil war between ruling brothers Atahualpa & Huascar to seize power. Smallpox also helped him kill the Incas

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Consolidated control by 1540. Conquered last corner of Inca empire by 1572

Spanish & Portuguese Colonialism

  • Treaty of Tordesillas (1494) set rules for Spanish & Portuguese colonization

    • An imaginary line was drawn in Atlantic Ocean: Spain could have all lands west, Portugal could have all lands east​

  • Spain had direct rule over its colonies from the Spanish Crown

    • Two viceroyalties: New Spain (Mexico), New Castile (Peru)

    • Viceroy was Spanish representative to the colonies & governed all colonial affairs

    • Audiencia was a council below the viceroy that would support him & report any power abuses to the king

    • Corregidores were local governors that would govern local affairs in parts of colonies

  • Spanish had many innovative labor systems

    • Established encomienda system, where Spanish encomendores would look after indigenous American laborers in exchange for giving them shelter & food

    • Later used hacienda system, where indigenous laborers would work on Spanish plantations

    • In Mit'a system, each village would send 1/7 of its men to Spanish silver mines to work

    • Many indigenous Americans died of overwork

  • Spanish dominated silver trade in Americas

    • Had two silver mines: Zacatecas (Mexico), Potosí (Peru)

    • Would use indigenous & slave labor to work in them

    • Manila galleons would transport silver from Mexico to Philippines, where Spanish would sell them to China for Chinese luxury goods

  • Due to high silver production, Spain had severe inflation

    • Spanish expelled Muslims & Jews during reconquista, which were its best businessmen, which caused Spanish economy to decline​

    • As silver in New World declined, Spain had severe inflation & lost its influence in the New World

    • Spain's wealthy landowners raised rent, causing peasants to leave, leading to lower agricultural production

    • Spanish kings didn't care much about the internal problems, leading to a decline in Spanish power

    • Spain lost Franco-Spanish War & signed Treaty of Pyrenees (1659), giving all extensive territories to France

    • Spain recognized Portuguese independence in 1688

  • Portugal also had direct rule from Portuguese crown

    • Would give land grants to Portuguese nobles to settle in the New World to established Portuguese presence

  • Spanish & Portuguese established Christianity in New World

    • Many Dominican, Franciscan, Jesuit missionaries came

    • Virgin of Guadalupe became a symbol of Christianity in Mexico

      • Formed a Virgin Mary appeared on a hill near Mexico City

    • Some missionaries learned about American native culture to better understand how to teach them Christianity


English, French, & Dutch Colonialism

  • English established many colonies in present-day US

    • First was Roanoke, established in 1585

      • It's settlers lost contact with Britain

    • Virginia was founded in Jamestown in 1607

    • Plymouth was founded by pilgrims on Mayflower 1620

    • Puritans settled in Massachusetts in 1630

    • Catholics settled in Maryland in 1632

    • Quakers settled in Pennsylvania in 1681

    • Mostly wanted to avoid religious persecution in England

    • Mostly governed by local councils as opposed to direct governance by English crown

  • Samuel de Champlain created permanent French settlement in Quebec in 1608

    • Founded Montreal later on

    • French sailed throughout St. Lawrence river

    • French traded fur with indigenous people

    • French reached Louisiana & Gulf of Mexico via Mississippi River

    • French acquired many colonies & islands in Caribbean & put sugar/tobacco production there

    • French also mostly had local governance instead of direct governance from the French crown


Dutch Preeminence in late 1500s

  • Dutch took over Portuguese prestige in Indian Ocean​

    • Dutch ship (fluyt) was faster than Portuguese caravel, so Dutch were able to take over Portuguese ports

    • Dutch East India Company (VOC) was established in 1602

      • Got trading concessions in Indonesia in exchange for assisting local Indonesian kings in shirmishes​

      • Expelled Portuguese from Ceylon & other islands

      • Dominated spice trade


Slave Trade

Triangular Trade


Raw materials cultivated by slaves


Manufactured goods 

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Slave Treatment in the Americas

  • Europeans allied with African kingdoms to get slaves

    • African kingdoms would raid other kingdoms to capture slaves and would receive guns from Europeans

    • African kingdoms would use these guns to capture more slaves & would then acquire more guns from Europeans

    • The cycle is endless, which caused certain African kingdoms to become super powerful by acquiring guns

  • Slaves first had to travel the middle passage from Africa to Americas

    • Hundreds of slaves crammed into one deck

    • 25% of slaves died in this passage

    • Sick slaves would be thrown overboard to prevent the spread of disease on board

  • In Americas, slaves were forced to do harsh work

    • Often whipped or beaten for working poorly

    • Mortality was high, which caused a greater demand for new slaves from Africa

  • In the Americas, slaves often harmonized their culture with American culture

    • They harmonized African religion with Christianity

    • Harmonized rituals & dances from different parts of Africa among all the slaves they met

  • Ideas about race helped justify slavery

    • Europeans regarded Africans as racially inferior to Europeans, which allowed them to enslave them​

    • Michel de Montaigne & William Shakespeare wrote about topics related to racism

  • Slaves cultivated sugar & other cash crops in Americas

    • Slaves cultivated sugar, tobacco, indigo, rice, cotton in Americas, which were all sent to Europe

    • In Europe, some of these were used to make manufactured goods

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Commercial Revolution

  • Mercantilist principles developed in Europe

    • Mercantilism is the idea that there is a fixed amount of wealth in the world

    • The wealth in the world is measured in gold, and Europeans want a higher share of this wealth

  • Joint-stock companies emerged

    • Many merchants would pool their resources to finance enormous trading expeditions to yield huge profits

    • All merchants would share the profits & losses

    • Successful voyages would yield huge profits

    • European governments adopted laws in favor of these merchants

    • Dutch VOC & British East India Company yielded huge profits from trade with India & Indonesia


Columbian Exchange

  • Exchange of goods, animals, crops, and diseases from Afro-Eurasia to the Americas
    • First time the ecosystems of Americas & Afro-Eurasia were connected

    • Potatoes, maize, squash, tomatoes went from Americas to Afro-Eurasia

      • Led to enriched diet & population growth in Afro-Eurasia

    • Livestock, fruits, sugarcane, disease went from Afro-Eurasia to Americas

  • Disease was one of the most influential things that went from Afro-Eurasia to Americas

    • Indigenous peoples of Americas weren't immune to European diseases → Died in large numbers

    • Whooping cough, smallpox, measles all killed majority of indigenous American population


Developments in Europe in 1600s


Worsening Life of Peasants

  • Peasants lived very poor lives

    • Many were landless & lived on shared community farms​

    • Some peasants had their own land & could sell produce on the market

    • Most ate bread for nearly all of their meals

  • Little Ice Age of 1600s led to lower crop yields & famine

  • Monarchs consolidated all power, giving none to peasants

    • Monarchs claimed "divine right" (the idea that god allowed them to rule)

    • Peasants had no voice in government


Baroque Art

  • Emotional & exuberant art style

    • Instead of realist works (like Renaissance), they'd glorify & exaggerate certain figures

    • Had lots of emotion, tension, animation, contrast

    • Often glorified monarchs or religious figures

    • Wanted paintings to appeal to the senses of ordinary people instead of only the wealthy (like Renaissance)

  • Baroque art was often used in churches & Catholic buildings

  • Baroque Music came later

    • Johann Sebastian Bach wrote both secular & religious pieces with lots of emotion & tension​



The Italian Renaissance was a revival of ancient Roman classics & the revival of the admiration of human achievements. Humanists would value and portray humans whom they believed were very virtuous & did excellent things. Also, wealthy people would commission artists to make large works of art for them to depict their power & wealth. New developments in art were the linear perspective (a way to make figures look 3-D on a 2-D surface) and humanist art (the idea of depicting humans in their natural forms without any exaggeration of certain parts). The Northern Renaissance was the spread of Renaissance ideas north of the Alps (throughout Europe), and it was more religious and a revival of ancient religious texts like the New Testament. 

New Monarchies & 16th Century Politics

In the 16th century, Spain, France, and England became more centralized, setting them up for the Age of Exploration later on. Spain became unified when King Ferdinand married Queen Isabella in 1469, both rulers of large Spanish kingdoms. Ferdinand & Isabella combined their holdings into one unified Spanish state & continued the Spanish inquisition to retake Granada from the Muslims. France started consolidating power after expelling English from the 100 years' war. In England, the kings reconstructed & consolidated the power of the monarchy. All of these set the stage for these 3 nations to become major European powers later on. 

Protestant Reformation: