Chapter 16 Outline Transformations in Europe 1500-1750

I. Culture and Ideas A. Religious Reformation -In the 1500s, the Latin Church’s central government, or papacy, was gaining money and power, yet at the same time it was suffering from corruption. Due to Europe’s prosperity, larger donations, and heavier taxes, the Pope was able to undertake large and grand building techniques. Pope Leo the 10th was especially known for this, creating the Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. -During this time period, a German Monk challenged the Pope on the issue of indulgences. An indulgence is a pardon or forgiveness, granted by the church for past sins. You could gain this forgiveness from doing something “pleasing” to the church, such as going on a pilgrimage or paying large sums of money to the Church. Martian Luther challenged this practice saying that forgiveness did not come from “doing certain things” but rather from “religious faith”. This disagreement soon sparked a large theological debate, which eventually led to the Protestant Reformation. The “Lutherans” maintained the view that salvation only came from Jesus Christ and that the Bible and Christian traditions made up the belief system in Christianity, not the Pope’s decisions. The Lutherans gained large amounts of support from the Germans due to the printing press, which helped to spread Lutheran ideas. -John Calvin was an influential French Protestant leader who wrote the book: The Institutes of the Christian Religion. He maintained the views of the Protestants, however he had a different view of how salvation was gained. He believed that salvation was too great for man to gain, and that salvation only came to those who predetermined by god. He also believed in a self-governing congregation, and stressed simplicity in all aspects of Christian traditions. His followers became known as Calvinists. -All of the Christian reforms that took place in Europe during this time period were partially motivated by social agendas. One example of this is the fact that the Protestant faith appealed largely to the German-speaking population. The effectiveness of the Protestant Reforms led to reforms within the Catholic Church itself, called the Catholic Reformation. This reformation was brought about when a Catholic Church council met in Trent from 1545 to 1563. They met in order to separate the documents and traditions of the Catholic Church from the Protestants, and in the process the put into effect several new reforms. The first reinforced the authority of the Pope, which had degraded over time due to the corruption in the Church. The Jesuits were also very important to this process. The Jesuits, otherwise known as the Society of Jesus helped to stop the massive tide of followers flowing to the Protestant side; they did so by serving as missionaries and preaching to the population. -Both the Protestants and the Catholics fought each other, sometimes violently, and regularly persecuted each other. This would continue until about 1648. B. Traditional Thinking and Witch Hunts -Despite the wide differences between the Christian groups in Europe, overall they remained untied and shared many ideas and traditions with each other. One of these traditions known as witch-hunting, was widely accepted by both the Protestants and the Catholics, and pretty much most of the Christian world. These

witch-hunts were fueled by not only the folklore and stories passed down the generations, but also by stories in the Bible describing evil magic and devils. Like most of the early world, the European Christians blamed natural events or things they could not understand on supernatural causes. They also attributed humanachievements to the supernatural and God. In the late 1500s and 1600s, over one hundred thousand people were tried for practicing witchcraft-and over ¾ of them were women. Although some were acquitted, over half of them were executed in very gruesome and brutal ways. The Church or persecutor would often torture and badger the victim until they would admit to practicing the “evil arts,” even though most times it was not true. This horrible practice was fueled by the Reformations, which led to a great fear of the devil. The reason why many women were tried lay within the women’s status. Women were in charge of taking care of children and livestock, so when either fell ill the women would also become as suspect. C. The Scientific Revolution -During this time period, the educated relied on the writings of the Greco-Romans and the Bible for their scientific and mathematical knowledge. Aristotle teachings about the elements was widely accepted and printed; it sparked many new ideas about what the earth and space was made up of. The mathematical theorems of Pythagoras were also tested, leading to though about how the planets were shaped and how they orbited in outer space. The main idea of the scientific revolution though, was the idea that everything could be explained by natural causes. This idea helped to bring about the theory that the planets orbited around the sun instead of the earth, explaining the seemingly irregular movements of the stars in the night sky. Other astronomers elaborated on this theory, leading to the now accepted theory that planets orbit in an elliptical shape, not circular. One of the greatest astronomers of all times, Galileo Galilee existed during this time period. His brilliant though process led him to creating the first telescope, which allowed him to magnify his view by 30x. This discovery helped made him realize that the planets were not perfectly round as Aristotle predicted, but instead filled with mountains and valleys. These ideas and theories were not accepted at first though, because it not only challenged the popular knowledge of that time, but also because it challenged some statements found in the bible such as: “the sun stood still (not the earth)…for about a day”. This scared the general population because it questioned their whole religion and philosophy. -Many intellectual and religious leaders, as well as entire organizations encouraged government authorities to suppress these new ideas because it challenged their own knowledge and theology. The Protestants and Jesuits ridiculed and mocked the astronomers, going as far as to banning their books. Despite the protests, the astronomers and scientists printed their ideas and it helped to make other scientists question their own knowledge. Scientists like Isaac Newton and Robert Boyle questioned the early ideas of the Greeks and tested their own theories involving gravity and chemistry. These great thinkers were often condemned though, because their ideas challenged those of the Church and other intellectuals. D. The Early Enlightenment -The Scientific revolution and Reformations in religion helped to create a mindset for many great European thinkers known as Enlightenment. These thinkers questioned everything from agricultural methods to theological ideas, and they suffered because of it. Their works were often banned and burned, and most of these thinkers spent their life running from unhappy leaders and groups. Although

Enlightenment was very unpopular, it sparked enthusiasm and it helped people to question the whole social society in Europe. II. Social and Economic Life A. The Bourgeoisie -Changes in Europe’s economy led to a rapid increase in cities and the general population. Trade, finance and manufacturing helped to a hike in cities’ wealth, and the Bourgeoisie led this movement. The Bourgeoisie class was equivalent to the modern-day entrepreneurs, spending long hours working and investing in their own businesses, then taking their profits and putting them into another business. They often lived very comfortably, in large houses or manors. The Bourgeoisie manufactured large varieties and amounts of goods, and they not only spurred financial wealth in cities, but also new technologies in different fields of industry. -During this century, Amsterdam served as Europe’s financial center, with large, secure banks and many wealthy individuals who helped keep the banks financially secure. The banks would take the deposited money and invest it in real estate and loans, helping other people start up their own businesses. -Maritime trade expansion created the need for new merchant ship designs. The Dutch led this technology, using imported wood to create large cargo ships. Two types of Dutch ships were especially successful; the flyboat (a large cargo ship with a small crew) and the East Indiaman (A large powerfully armed ship) The Dutch were also excellent mapmakers. European merchants relied on family and ethnic networks to help their trade, just like the Muslims did in India. The Bourgeoisie would try to align themselves and get into the good graces of the Monarchs, who would in return help them by undertaking large public works projects, like building huge water-ways. -The stock exchange also became very important the businessmen in Europe, not only helping businesses but also the individual investor.

B. Peasants and Laborers -A peasant’s life was not an easy one. While the practices of serfdom and slavery had declined, the competition in the labor field had risen significantly. This meant that all of the wages for the workers were cut across the board. Their working conditions weren’t much better, as they had not changed much during the 1500 and 1600s. The Columbian Exchange helped to prevent many of these peasants from starving, as maize and potatoes became a staple crop for the poor. The ironic thing about this is that most of the peasants worked on plantations, many of them growing wheat; however these peasants were too poor to afford the wheat they were growing, and the wheat seed needed to grow their own. Instead this wheat was exported to Western Europe, although some of it returned through the beer brewed and sold to the poor. -Other industries that the peasants worked in were mining, logging, and iron working. Deforestation became a huge problem in Europe due to the growing Iron industry. (Wood was used as a fuel for the fires) Wood became so scarce at one point that the government set regulations because of the fear that there wouldn’t be enough wood for their navy ships. This prompted the use of coal, which spurred along the mining industry. Coke (refined coal) eventually also replaced charcoal when it became too expensive and scarce. The peasants really suffered form the deforestation as they had used the woodlands to hunt and gather food. -Some people moved to the cities to try and help themselves and their status. However they were not successful most of the time and many were forced into become beggars and prostitutes in order to barely scrape along. This created unrest within the lower class and often people revolted. C. Women and the Family -In Europe during the 1600s, a good marriage was key to a good status in society. In fact a women’s status was often tied closely to their husband’s, so a women who married a wealthy male would be far better of than the same women who marries a poor craftsman. There was a lot of freedom in marriages of the lower class, many of them the choices of the man and women not the family. Arranged marriages were more common in the upper classes as the families would carefully plan out their family tree in order to try and improve their status even more. The business class also allowed for freedom in the children’s marriages, however there were instances of marriages made to improve business connections. Young males who did not belong to wealthy families often served long apprenticeships with craftsmen of businessmen, and women did a similar thing, except it would be domestic work for their parents. Often times both spouses would hold off the marriage until they had a sufficient dowry, or financial capability to move in together and start a new life independent of their parents. -Many businessmen would often times send their children abroad to study law and languages which would be useful in business. Girls and women were often banned from these universities, which explains why they did not play a large role in the Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution. II. Political Innovations A. State Development -In the 1500s, Europe was experiencing a very diverse political system. There was a mixture of monarchies, decentralized governments, and imperialistic governments. A very prominent one was the Holy Roman Empire ruled over by Charles the Third, who despite his attempts was not able to unite Europe. This was largely due to the fact that the Ottoman Empire kept up vigorous attacks on

the Holy Roman Empire, forcing Charles to divert troops and attention from his original goal. The Germans also opposed Charles goal eventually forcing him into open warfare. -While this was happening, the governments of Spain, England, and France were growing in power because of their centralized and religiously united state. The Spanish would even go as far as round up all of those who would cause trouble for them and convict them of heresy. In France the Catholic government was fighting Calvinists and in Europe, the Protestant king used his power to shut down churches and seize land for his own purposes. B. Monarchies in England and France -The 1600s in Europe was a fierce time in which the Parliament butted heads with the King over power. The king did not want to have to call parliament into session, as they would most likely not approve of what he was doing; the king was raising taxes and undermining the churches power. This led to a civil war, forcing the king to agree to sign a rights bill, which made him have to give up some of his power and made it mandatory for him to call parliament into session. A similar thing happened in France when the King rejected the power of the upper class nobles. C. Warfare and Diplomacy -All of the constant civil wars and external conflicts led to some of the best military in the world at that time. The states would sponsor large military programs that would help provide superiority during warfare, yet as all of Europe attempted to do this, it just made it so that the technology led to longer standoffs between countries. This made ground as well as naval superiority key. On the ground, the government would often drill and train troops together and use propaganda to forge a strong sense of comradeship and loyalty, which often strengthened the armies. Because the armies grew immense in size, the command chain had to become more efficient and tactics had to change. New methods of signaling also led to troop efficacy, because the commanders could control their forces better and faster. In order to defend themselves from naval and land-based bombardment, governments began constructing fortifications and forts out of reinforced materials, which could standup to the fierce cannons. This however, led to a even greater standoff time because one side would hide out in these fortifications and the other side would not be able to break through the walls. This meant that a strong navy would be more important than ever. -The governments and leaders of European countries strongly endorsed their navies, but England especially. King Henry VIII spent large sums of money on shipbuilding and he encouraged the use of domestic iron smelting for cannons and cannon balls. Soon after England had become Great Britain, they surpassed the rest of Europe in ship building techniques and naval size. Great Britain’s excellent ship design was largely borrowed from the Dutch. All of this warfare technology and might created a balance in power, in which states would forge temporary alliances to prevent any one nation from becoming too strong.

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