The high mark of ancient European history was the civilization of Rome
-between 500 B.C. and 100 A.D. Rome conquered the Mediterranean
world. Its influence reached north as far as Britain
-Greco-Roman knowledge flourished under the stability of the Empire
-Rome was a cosmopolitan city of 1,000,000, and the political, economic,
religious, and cultural center of the empire.
-between 30 B.C. and 200 A.D. Rome enjoyed a period of incredible
stability and prosperity: the Pax Romana
-after 200 A.D. decline set in
-in the 300s the Empire began to divide into 2 separate and distinct
+the Western Empire: Latin and centered in Rome
+the Eastern Empire: Greek and centered in Constantinople
-as the Western Empire continued to decline and rot. It was set upon by
+in 476 A.D. the Western Empire collapsed and all of Western Europe
slipped into the Middle Ages.
-the Eastern Empire continued to flourish. It became the center of the
Greek and Roman legacy.
+while the West became increasingly feudal, the east remained
prosperous and cosmopolitan
+the years since the fall of Rome had seen created a culture different
+Rome and the west: Catholic
Constantinople and the east: Othodox
-by the 1200s the East had begun its own collapse under the strain of the
increasing Ottoman threat. (Sultan Mehmet II)
+the final collapse would come in 1453
-Constantinople fell after a long siege. By the early 1600s the Ottomans
had conquered the whole Balkan peninsula
-the fall of Constantinople would change the history of western Europe
High Middle Ages
After the fall of Rome in 476 western Europe went through a period of isolation.
-People’s lives were centered on their immediate area: manor or village.
-Most people knew nothing of the outside world
-Trade was almost non-existant
-The Catholic Church was the most powerful institution in W. Europe.
Only the Church’s power could reach every corner of the continent.
In the late 1200s things began to stir in Europe; trade began to increase and the
-There was an increasing sense of optimism for the future
Disasters of the 1300s (14th Century)
-the world seemed to come crashing down in the 1300s. It would become a
century in which many thought the world was ending.
+religious chaos in the Church
+famine and disease
-the Catholic Church became increasingly hard to maintain.
+political leaders (kings and emperors) resented the Pope’s influence
over their kingdoms
+they felt the Pope should not involve himself in secular affairs of
-King Henry II of England and Philip IV of France
+Babylonian Captivity (1305-1377) at Avignon
A disastrous climate change in the early 1300s triggered crop failures and famine.
The population dropped.
In 1348 the Black Death struck the continent. It destroyed the social fabric of
-the disease was terrifying because it was so deadly and no one knew how
it was transmitted. There were no treatments or cures.
-we know today that it was carried by rats and fleas that thrived in the filth
of European cities.
-the disease brought out the best and worst in people
+pleasure-seeking (Carpe Diem)
+scapegoating of Jews and witches
-Boccacio’s Decameron chronicled the various reactions to the Black
Death in plague-racked Florence.
-It is estimated that nearly 50% of the Europe’s population perished
The Hundred-Years War (1337-1453) devastated Western Europe. It was really
a struggle between the emerging states of England and France.
-England had long ruled large parts of historic France
-France wanted to assert control over all their territories
-The war introduced new concepts of warfare that helped the Middle
Ages end once and for all.
+armies of peasant soldiers
-Hundred Years war marked the rise of the new nation states.
In the seminal year 1453 three significant events took place that would radically
alter both Europe and the world.
-Ottomans conquered Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire collapsed.
This triggered a migration of scholars from Byzantium to Italy; with them
came long-forgotten knowledge
-The Hundred Years War ended with the rise of both modern France and
-A German printer, Johann Gutenburg, developed the concept of movable
type printing. This launched the revolution of modern literacy and the rise
of the Renaissance.
The Renaissance in Europe
Considered to be the beginning of modern Europe, the Ren. burst onto the scene around
1400. The term is French for “rebirth”
Rebirth of what?
Between approx. 1400-1600, originating in the Italian states and spreading across the
continent, the Ren. marked a major break from the Medieval period.
There was no “Italy”, rather, a collection of separate independent city-states. The Italians
had been unable to for a single unified national government.
Five Major City-States
*each with a strong sense of national identity
Because of their proximity to the Asia trade, the Italian cities had come to dominate trade
and grew very wealthy.
-build up magnificent palaces and public buildings
-patrons of the arts
-Italy was the urban part of Europe
The city was the richest city in Europe. Venetian ships dominated the Mediterranean; its
winged golden lion a symbol of wealth and power
Nicknamed the “Most Serene Republic”, Venice was governed by a Great Council and
the elected Doge.
For centuries Venice had special privileges for trade with the Byzantine Empire. The fall
of Constantinople shook the economy and triggered wars in Europe.
Considered to be the center of the Ren., the city grew rich on trade, textile production,
and banking. The city had been devastated by the Black Death but had recovered by
-a major center of art patronage
Florence was nominally a republic, but was actually dominated by the powerful banking
families, especially the Medici dynasty.
-in 1434 Cosimo de Medici established his family’s control over the city.
-Lorenzo de Medici was the most powerful of the clan’s leaders.
Florence had become the center of art and humanism. All of the most important artists
and writers of the Ren. spent time in Florence.
-Dante’s The Divine Comedy created a literary revolution by abandoning Latin in
favor of the vernacular (Italian)
-Boccacio’s The Decameron shocked readers with his brutal examination of
-Donatello launched a classical revolution in sculpture
-Masaccio did for painting what Donatello had done for sculpture, a classical
-Brunelleschi revived classical architecture with his legendary Cathedral of
-Both da Vinci and Michelangelo will spend some of their most productive years
-the Uffizzi and L’Academia are leading museums of Ren. art
Milan was the dominant power of the northern Lombard Plain. Unlike the other Italian
states, Milan focused north toward Europe, not on the Med. Sea.
The city’s wealth came from trade and production of weapons. The city was a militarily
aggressive state and frequently at war with its rivals. To fight their wars, the Milanese
frequently hired mercenary troops under the command of condottieri. One of these
generals seized control of the city for his family, the Sforzas. After the fall of
Constantinople, the Italian cities battle for control of the shrinking trade market. Faced
with destruction by an alliance of anti-Milan cities, the Milanese invited the French to
support them and end up losing their independence.
After the fall of Rome in 476 A.D. the city fell into poverty and ruin. Only the presence
of the Catholic Church and the Pope kept the city relevant.
-Church wealth kept Rome a center of art and diplomacy.
-The Babylonian Captivity and the Great Schism undermined the position of the
city, but by the early 1400s, the papacy resurfaced and Rome was back.
Ren. Revolution in Thought
The key legacy of the Ren. was the rev. in how man saw himself in relation to God and
-life in this world is short, to be endured
-one should conform, not stand out as unique
-wealth was sinful
-God is the Creator, the source of all things
+art left unsigned
+theology was main course of study in universities
-life in this world is a gift from God, meant to be enjoyed
-God created each individual with unique and special gifts meant to be used,
celebrated, and profited from
-more secular outlook
The Ren. came to celebrate individualism. They appreciated the unique abilities of people
and showered fame on the best of them.
-The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini captured this new sense of power of the
-“Man can do all things”
-The Courtier (1528) Baldesar Castiglione
+etiquette book on Ren. gentleman
+Castiglione described the ideal man; the “Ren. man”
+he would possess the best of Medieval and the new modern man.
Another major idea of the Ren. thought was the notion of humanism, the study of man
and his achievements
Classical works, newly rediscovered in Western Europe, in part due to the fall of
Constantinople, were inspirational to the humanists.
-Greek and Latin were mandatory for scholars
Petrarch, the Florentine author, was considered the “Father of Humanism”
-he wrote only in Latin and labored to perfect his understanding of classical
-letters to Cicero
-The Prince (1513) Nicolo Machiavelli
+first major work of political science, captured the idea of the duty-bound
+Machiavelli argued that a ruler’s first obligation was to serve the state
and the people
+ “It is better to be feared than loved”
+ “The ends justify the means”
-The Prince has been used to justify ruthless and unjust dictatorships. Machiavelli
meant to show that rulers have obligations to serve, not be served.
Women and the Ren.
The lives of most women were untouched by the Ren.
-vast majority of women continued to live lives of hard work and ignorance
-marriage and childbirth were the lot of their lives
-religious life as a nun offered the only escape for most
Only women from the most privileged backgrounds had an opportunity to benefit from
There were few women of notable achievement
-Isabella d’Este, a patron of the arts and co-ruler of Mantua, was classically
educated and cultured.
-Isabella d’Este exercised a strong role in the gov. of the city
-Lucretia Borgia, illegitimate daughter of a Pope, and sister to Cesare Borsia, was
the Dutchess of Ferrara
-Artemisia Gentileschi, an artist in the late Ren. period was one of the few women
to gain note in the arts.
+Judith and Holofernes
The Ren. impacted only the very top level of society
-the lives of the common people, the poor, and women were not directly any
different than before
-the impact on the lives of ordinary people will take place over the next couple
Ren. Architecture and Art
The defining achievement of the Ren. was the art of the period.
-both architecture and art were heavily influenced by the classical civilizations
-the Gothic style had dominated the high Middle Ages
-Ren. architects looked to Greek and Roman ruins for their inspiration
-classical elements of architecture
Cathedral of Florence
Filippo Brunelleschi was commissioned to design a new cathedral for the city of
-his revolutionary design called for the construction of the largest dome since
-the success of his dome triggered a boom in dome architecture
St. Peter’s Basilica
Taking over a century to complete, this was the construction project of the Ren.
-it was the largest church in the world, most important church in Catholicism
Several important architects will be involved:
-Bramante designed the main portion of the church: the nave, the trancept, and the
apse, as well as the façade
-Michelangelo designed the great dome
-Bernini designed the colonnade that frames the great St. Peter’s Square in front
of the church. He is also responsible for the baldachino that towers above the altar.
-Bramante had designed a very classical structure. Over the years the Baroque and
rococo styles would influence some modifications.
Like architecture, many of the themes and styles of medieval art were rejected by Ren.
artists. There was a natural emphasis on perspective, emotion, nature color, and basic
Giotto and Masaccio were the key artists of the early years of the artistic revolution. Both
pioneered the use of perspective. Some of the key works of the early Ren. include:
-Expulsion of Adam and Eve by Masaccio (fresco)
-The Annunciation by Fra Filipo Lippi
-Birth of Venus by Botticelli
Donatello was the essential figure of early Ren. sculpture
-Salt Cellar by Benvenuto Cellini
By the late 1400s the Ren. was in full swing and some of history’s greatest works were
being created. Some of the key figures of the high Ren. were da Vinci, Michelangelo,
Leonardo da Vinci
-Had an incredible range of talents-he was a painter, a sculptor, an inventor, poet,
architect, and weapons designer.
-kept a detailed Notebook filled with his observations, sketches, and thoughts,
much of it written in mirror writing
-he designed a flying machine (an orinthcopter), a submarine, and a tank
-it is as a painter that he won his greatest fame
+The Last Supper
+Mona Lisa (La Gionconda)
Born near Florence. A child prodigy, he became the leading figure of Ren. art. He was a
skilled sculptor, painter, and architect.
Michelangelo was the greatest sculptor to ever live. His key works include:
His sculpture talents brought him to the attention of Pope Julius II, who commissioned
him to sculpt his tomb in Rome. While working on Julius II’s tomb, the Pope
commanded him to take on the Sistine Chapel ceiling
His key paintings include:
-Sistine Chapel ceiling
-Creation of Man
-Temptation of Adam and Eve
-The Last Judgement
Michelangelo had a strong sense interest in architecture and designed several buildings in
Rome. But, he is best remembered for his design of the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica.
A talented young artist who was also discovered by Pope Julius II and summoned to
Rome to paint frescos in the Holy Father’s private apartments. His key works included:
-School of Athens
-several diff. Madonnas
A talented portrait artist who perfected realistic images in art. His key work:
By the late 1400s the intellectual and artistic revolution going on in Italy had spread
north, especially into Flanders (Belgium) and Germany
Artists and scholars from all over Europe were studying in Italy.
The Nothern Ren. refers to the exp. of the Ren. in the northern parts of Europe.
-N. Ren was centered intellectually on the issues of religion and the efforts at
reform of the Catholic Church.
-N. Ren intellectuals like Erasmus of Rotterdam, Sir Thomas More, and Martin
Luther presented challenges to the authority of the Pope.
-The Reformation will grow out of this challenge
-The N. Ren was less secular than the Italian Ren.
Art of the N. Ren.
Inspired by the Italians but less classical; concentration on the use of light and shadows,
and on the realistic presentation of images.
Jan Van Eyck
Flemish artist famous for his realistic portraits
-The Wedding Portrait
German artist famous for his religious works, woodblocks, and self-portraits
Dutch master of the common, everyday life in the prosperous cities of Holland
-The Moneylender and His Wife
Dutch artist who spent most of his career working in England. He became the official
court painter of Henry VIII. His key works:
-Portrait of Henry VIII
Europe in 1500
By 1500 Europe’s geographical focus began to move away from the Mediterranean Sea
for the first time in history.
-there was growing resentment of the wealth of the Italian cities and Catholic
-there were efforts being made at finding new trade route to Asia
-beginning of overseas exploration
-there were new challenges to the power of the Pope
National monarchies were emerging in Northern and Western Europe and beginning to
form new nations.
-metallurgy helped end knighthood and strengthen kings
Northern and Western Europe
The nation did not even exist until 1492 when the last of the Muslim Moors were driven
out by Ferdinand and Isabella.
-the Moors had dominated Spain for nearly 700 years
-this history left a strong Islamic imprint on the Spanish
-the Reconquista was completed by the fall of Granada in 1492
-this historic reality left a strong xenophobic mark on Spanish character
+all non-Catholics were expelled
-Inquisition-court w/ weapons of torture
Ferdinand and Isabella’s victory over the Moors finally freed them to finance the voyages
-by 1500 Spain was emerging as a dominant power on the continent
-Ferdinand and Isabella strategically married off their children
+Joanna of Castile (Joanna the Mad) married Philip of Austria (Hapsburg)
+their son was Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
+Catherine of Aragon married Henry VIII of England
+their daughter was Mary I (Bloody Mary)
France finally unified as a nation after its victory in the Hundred Years War (1453)
Following its defeat in the H.Y.W., England slipped into a long civil war, the War of the
-The House of York v. The House of Lancaster (white v. red)
-the war ended at the Battle of Bosworth Field when Richard the III was killed by
Henry Tudor who crowned himself Henry VII (1485-1509). Henry established the Tudor
dynasty in England
Holy Roman Empire
This was the dominant state in central Europe, centered in what is present-day Germany.
-an emperor who was historically a member of the Hapsburg family ruled the
The Ottomans did not stop their advance into Europe with the fall of Constantinople in
1453. Over the next hundred years they conquered most of the Balkan Peninsula.
-the Ottomans were a threat to the Christian world for the next 200 years.
The Reformation of the Church
The term “reformation” refers to the efforts at reforming the Catholic Church that
eventually led to the shattering of Christian unity of W. Europe.
For over 1500 years the Cath. Church had wielded great power in W. Europe. With the
exception of a small Jewish minority, everyone was a Catholic.
-the Pope was the most powerful figure in Eur.
-Cath. bishops and cardinals served as advisors to every monarch
-the Church owned huge tracts of land all over the continent and was the richest
institution in the world
The Church faced growing problems and challenges.
-monarchs resented the power of the Church within their states. They felt the Pope
interfered with their temporal affairs.
-monarchs also resented the wealth of the Church in their states. The Church
owned huge amounts of land and did not pay taxes.
-Ordinary Catholics were dissatisfied with poorly trained, often immoral priests
and other clergy. They resented the heavy tithes and complicated dogma.
-there was widespread anger and disillusionment with several corrupt Church
Early Efforts at Reform
In the 1300s and 1400s, efforts were made to reform the Church from within. Some
Catholic clergy challenged certain Church practices and advocated change.
-some translated the Latin Vulgate Bible into the vernacular so that it would be
more accessible to people.
-John Wyclif translated the first English bible
-John Hus translated the first Czech bible…he was burned at the stake.
-Savanarola, an Italian monk, led a populist crusade in the city of Florence against
excessive Church wealth. He too was burned at the stake.
In the early 1500s, a new reform movement, the Christian Humanists, attempted to
reform the Church from within.
-the C.H. favored simplified Church services. They were Catholics and wanted to
reform the Church, not leave it.
-they were advocates of education and vernacular Bibles. They believed educated
Christians were better Christians
The two main Christian Humanists leaders were Erasmus of Rotterdam and Sir Thomas
-Erasmus was a highly educated priest who won fame due to his intellect and
-In Praise of Human Folly
-Erasmus criticized the Church and desired reform, but he loved the Church and
would not leave it. He was an inspiration to those who would.
-Sir Thomas More was one of the most powerful men in Tudor England and a
close friend/advisor to Henry VIII.
-More was also a close friend of Erasmus and shared his vision of reform within
the Church through education.
-Henry VIII executed him when he refused to recognize the king’s break with
The Christian Humanists failed as a movement because:
-the leadership of the Church was too powerful/unwilling
-Christian Humanists were too conservative
-real motivation was to mend Church, not break away; wanted to keep status quo
There was a line that Erasmus and the other C.H. would not cross. A German priest
named Martin Luther had no such reservations. He would lead a religious revolution that
shattered the unity of the Church.
Luther and Lutheranism
Martin Luther was born in the region of Saxony. He became a priest who taught religion
at the University of Wittenburg.
He was a popular teacher but was obsessed with the question of how to save his soul
from the fires of Hell. He began to question the Church’s teachings on salvation.
-Cath. Church taught that salvation came from both faith and good deeds
-Luther could not determine what types of works could possible be enough to
merit God’s mercy.
-His quest for an answer led to a unique interpretation of a single line of scripture.
+”The just shall live by faith and faith alone.” (Romans 1:17)
Luther’s new concept grew into the idea that faith alone could lead to salvation; there
were no works that could do it.
This new reality led to his confrontation with the Church.
Indulgence Scandal of 1517
In 1517 Albrecht von Hohenzollern borrowed money from the Fugger bankers in order to
purchase the office of Archbishop of Mainz.
-to pay back the Fuggers he asked the Pope for permission to sell indulgences in
-the Pope needed to raise money to help pay for the construction of the new St.
-Johann Tetzel was hired to run the sale
+ “As soon as coin in coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs”
Luther got angrier and angrier as the sale neared his home in Wittenburg.
-he wrote the 95 Theses as a challenge to the whole concept of indulgences
-they were written in Latin. He wanted to start debate among German clergy.
-he posted the 95 Theses on the door of the Cathedral of Wittenburg on Oct. 31,
1517 (All-Saints Day)
The 95 Theses created a sensation. They were quickly translated into German and soon
-sale collapsed. Tetzel wrote 122 Theses. It bombed.
-German people felt cheated by the Church
-German princes/rulers admired Luther’s courage
As Luther’s impact began to impact Church finances and others began to echo his
sentiment, the Church finally responded.
-HRE Charles V was asked to charge Luther with heresy and put him on trial.
Luther was a citizen of the empire
-At the Diet of Worms (1521) Luther was forced to appear before the Emperor
and leading Church officials of the Empire.
-He was asked to recant his heretical views.
-Luther refused and was condemned to death. He was given a year to reconsider.
He went into hiding.
-“Here I stand, I could do no other.”
Charles V issued the Edict of Worms which proclaimed Luther a criminal. Over the next
few years Luther’s views grew increasingly radical. He denounced the Church and the
Pope as evil. He married a former nun and fathered children.
-Germans embraces his ideas of faith alone and priesthood of all believers.
-German princes admired his courage and shared his mistrust for the Church.
They protected him from the Emperor.
-Luther designed a new religious service that was simple, vernacular, and
centered on music.
+”A Mighty Fortress Is My God”
By the 1520’s Luther’s new faith had swept across northern parts of Germany and
Scandinavia (areas far from Rome’s reach). He attracted support from every social class.
He was branded as a criminal and had a price on his head. His followers also had
sometimes conflicting views. This would lead to his first crisis.
Peasant’s Revolt of 1525
The peasants of Swabia rose up in a violent revolt that targeted the nobles and wealthy
landowners. Horrible atrocities were commited. The peasants expected Luther’s
support…They were wrong.
-Luther felt some sympathy for the peasants, but he did not support social
revolution. He also felt loyalty to the princes who had protected him.
-Luther condemned the revolt. The peasants were mercilessly crushed, and
thousands were killed. (40,000)
-Against the Robbing and Murdering Hordes of Peasants
-Luther’s actions lost him support among many of the peasants, but the faith
stabilized as the dominant religion in northern Europe.
Luther’s challenge to, and break with Rome inspired many other reformers. Many of
these embraced the thought of reform, but came to see their own path.
Zwingli was a Swiss priest and a chaplain to mercenary troops. A student of Erasmus, he
was inspired by Luther’s challenge. He initially embraced Luther’s reformation, but came
to his own revelation that caused a break.
-Catholic dogma on communion is that during the Mass the bread is miraculously
transformed into the body of Christ (transubstantiation)
-Even after his break with the Church, Luther continued to accept the idea of
-Zwingli argued that it was merely symbolic. He called his concept
-He and Luther debated, in the Marburg Colloquy, the idea publicly and afterward
broke into separate sects.
Zwingli’s faith gained followers in Switzerland, hated and attacked by Lutherans and
Catholics. Zwingli died while defending the city of Zurich against religious attack.
The most important reformation after Luther, Calvin was born in France. He converted to
Lutheranism at the age of 20.
-it was considered treason in France to accept Protestantism and Calvin was
forced to flee into exile.
-he eventually settled in Geneva, Switzerland, and established a theocracy
-thousands of young Protestants went to Geneva to study and returned to their
homelands to spread the faith.
Calvin developed his own version of the reformed Church that gained acceptance in
many parts of Europe.
Institutes of the Christian Religion (1536)
-he accepted Luther’s idea of faith alone but with a special twist-Calvin developed
the concept of “predestination”; that God predetermined salvation
-those chosen for salvation were the “elect”
-he denounced Catholic “idolatry” and encouraged his followers to smash idols
Calvin’s followers could be found in many places
-Scotland (John Knox and the Kirk Party) (Presbyterian)
-parts of France (Huguenots)
Each schism triggered new ones. Religious groups, often based on a single line of
Scripture, appeared in many corners of the continent.
-the term “Anabaptists” was used as a common slur against all of them. It meant
those who were baptized as adults
-both Catholics and Protestants persecuted Anabaptists
+Amish, Mennonites, Quakers, Unitarians
Henry VIII and the Church of England (Anglican)
When Luther had publicly broken with the Church and was condemned by the Diet of
Worms, Henry VIII had sided with the Pope.
-In Defense of the Seven Sacraments
-the Pope named him a “Defender of the Faith”
-Henry’s break with the Church was political, not religious.
Henry VIII was only the second Tudor to sit on the English throne. He feared that his
family’s hold on the crown was not secure.
-He and his wife, Catherine of Aragon, had only one surviving child: a daughter,
-Henry felt he needed a male heir
-In the late 1520s, Henry decided to seek an annulment of his marriage. He
needed the Pope’s agreement.
The Church regularly granted annulments to monarchs with similar circumstances to
Henry. He was certain his request would not be denied. He was disappointed.
-Catherine of Aragon fought his petition.
-Catherine’s nephew was HRE Charles V, the most powerful and feared man in
-Charles put pressure on the Pope to deny Henry.
Mary I(1553-1558) attempted to reestablish the Catholic faith in England. At first she
was successful, but she pushed too far.
Mary’s reign was a missed opportunity for a full Catholic restoration. People initially
welcomed the return of the old faith; however, the violence turned them against it.
-Mary’s loss of the city of Calais to the French made things even worse.
-she made an unpopular marriage to her consort, Philip II
-when she died, childless, in 1558, there was a sense of relief and excitement at
her sister’s ascension to the throne.
Elizabeth’s rise marked the final victory of Protestantism in England. She wanted to settle
the matter once and for all, and avoid the violence beginning to engulf other nations in
-Act of Religious Settlement(1559)
This law promised toleration to any Englishman so long as they swore loyalty to the
crown first. It did not solve everything, but it kept a general religious peace.
Elizabeth’s decision to declare as a Protestant made her an enemy of Catholic Europe.
She would face several attempts on her life and many foreign threats.
Her former brother-in-law, Philip II of Spain, was her most dangerous enemy. He was a
passionate Catholic and as the ruler of the strongest country in Europe he could fight the
Church’s battles. Elizabeth and Philip fought on several different fronts. Over the years
their hatred grew.
-Elizabeth supported several pirate campaigns
-she also gave military and financial aid to Dutch Protestants who were battling
Philip in the Netherlands.
In 1587 Elizabeth executed her cousin and heir, Mary Stuart. Mary was a Catholic.
The Catholic Reformation/Counter-Reformation
The Catholic Church was slow to respond to the Protestant challenge. That response
would take 2 different forms.
-The Catholic Reformation was a remarkable series of internal reforms
-the counter-Reformation was an aggressive military effort aimed at undoing the
Protestant Reformation on the field of battle.
The Protestants forced some deep soul-searching on the part of the Church. Many of the
reforms suggested by the Christian Humanists years earlier will finally be embraced.
-a better-trained priesthood was developed
-the Church paid much more attention to the needs of the faithful
+schools were established
+hospitals and orphanages were set up
-Missionary priesthoods began new efforts at winning souls for the Church in the
New World and Asia, but also in Europe.
Dynamic new religious figured appeared
St. Theresa of Avila
A Spanish Carmelite nun, she led an exemplary life of service and prayer
-The Way of Perfection (1523)
St. Ignatius of Loyola
Spanish priest who established the new religious order known as the Society of Jesus
-Jesuits became one of the most forceful orders in the Church. They specialized in
education and set up schools all over the world.
-missionaries all over the world
-The Spiritual Exercises
The Church finally recognized the need to make formal changes.
Council of Trent(1545-1563)
This was the most important meeting in Church history. The council made profound
changes in every area of Church life.
-required priests to be well-educated
-ended the sale of indulgences, simony, and pluralism
-standardized the Mass in Latin
-reaffirmed all basic Catholic beliefs such as the sacraments, papal authority, and
There would be no compromise with the Protestants on core religious issues. The
Catholic Reformation also triggered an incredible burst of artistic fervor. The art of the
Baroque would come to dominate the late 1500s and early 1600s.
This style kept the essence of classical techniques but with more detailing/colorful
-Palace of Versailles
A highly ornamented style that was concerned with the use of balance and harmony and a
-“Judith and Holofernes” Gentilischi
-“St. Teresa in Ecstacy” Bernini
-“The Calling of St. Matthew” Caravaggio
-“The Laughing Cavalier” Hals
-“The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulp” Rembrandt
-“St. Francis of Assisi” De Zubaran
-“Las Meninas” Velasquez
-Paradise Lost John Milton
The Church had a hard time organizing a military response to the Protestant threat. It
would need the assistance of every major Catholic monarch in Europe, many of whom
had their own agendas.
-Catholic monarchs hated the Protestants, but did not want to make the Pope any
-many of the Catholic rulers hated one another too, and frequently were at war
-HRE Charles V and King Francis I of France were old foes
-Charles V was also at war with the Ottoman Empire and needed the support of
his Protestant subjects to keep the Turks back.
Holy Roman Empire
The Empire was ground zero of the Reformation. Luther lived there and his faith had
loyalty in the northern half of the nation.
-the Edict of Worms had made Luther a criminal with a price on his head…but
Charles had made no effort to get him.
-Charles V’s top priority was fighting wars with the French and the Ottomans, not
a religious civil war.
-Luther’s death in 1546 gave Charles V the first opportunity to destroy the new
religion. Charles attacked the Prot. states; it quickly became a violent civil war.
-“I do not make war on dead men”
Charles’ attacks went well at first. But, the Prot. received help from the French. After
nearly 10 years of brutal fighting, the Empire was as religiously divided as ever.
Charles was now a tired old man. In 1555 he decided to divide his dynastic holdings
between his son and his brother.
-His brother became HRE Ferdinand I. The new emperor made peace with the
The Peace of Augsburg (1555)
This allowed each state within the Empire to select its own religion, Catholic or Lutheran.
The ruler’s faith would be that of all those ruled.
-this only applies to the HRE
-the Peace of Augsburg restored an uneasy religious peace to the HRE; it was
really just a truce.
Charles V abdicated his Spanish throne in 1556 in favor of his son.
Philip II. (1556-1598)
Philip II was a devout Catholic who believed it was his destiny to fight to restore
Catholicism on the continent.
-Philip had the wealth of the New World to support his efforts.
One of the richest regions in Philip’s empire, in the 1550s Calvinist missionaries began to
convert the Dutch to the reformed religion.
-Philip responded with rage and force
-He sent in thousands of soldiers under the command of the Duke of Alba with
orders to restore religious order.
-Council of Blood (form of the Inquisition)
-“Massacre of the Innocents” Peter Breugal
The Dutch resisted Alba. Led by William the Silent the Dutch Prot. battled for their
religious liberty. Elizabeth I sent aid to the Dutch.
Spanish brutality did not break the Dutch. By 1581 the Spanish had been driven out of
Holland. The Spanish refused to accept the defeat as permanent. The southern part of the
region remained under Spanish rule.
France was overwhelmingly Catholic. In the 1550s Calvinist missionaries began to win
-Huguenots (France only)
-by the 1560s the Huguenots made up roughly 10% of the population, esp. in the
Violence broke out between Catholics and Huguenots in the 1560s. It grew into a full-
fledged religious civil war.
-The French Valois monarchy was too weak/unstable to control the situation.
-The Catholic League was formed to battle the Huguenots.
Valois Dynasty (ruling years)
Francis I (1515-1547)
Henry II (1547-1559) m. Catherine d’Medici
Francis II (1559-1560) Charles IX (1560-1574) Henry III (1574-1589) Elizabeth of
France m. Philip II Margot Valois m. Henry of Navarre (cousins)
In August 1572 Catherine d’Medici, the “Queen Mother” agreed to help Henry Guise,
leader of the Catholic League, in an act of treachery against the Huguenots.
St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre (1572)
A marriage was arranged between Henry of Navarre (Bourbon), the leader of the
Huguenots, to Margot Valois, sister of King Charles IX.
-on the day of the wedding the Catholic League massacred thousands of
Huguenots who had gathered to celebrate the wedding.
-the massacre did not end the war as hoped. It enraged the Huguenots and divided
The bloodshed continued until 1589 when one more act of treachery ended it. In 1589
King Henry III had Henry Guise assassinated. A Catholic fanatic later killed Henry III,
bringing Henry of Navarre to the throne as King Henry IV.
-he was a Huguenot. France would not accept a Prot. monarch, and fighting
-in 1593 Henry IV converted to Catholicism. He earned the support of moderate
Catholic leaders and the politiques, who wanted the fighting over.
-“Paris is worth a mass”
In 1598 Henry IV felt secure enough to issue the Edict of Nantes.
-it granted the Huguenots full religious tolerance.
-the Huguenots were given control of 200 fortified cities around the nation to
ensure their security.
-the Edict of Nantes finally restored religious peace to the nation.
By the early 1600s most of the worst religious fighting had ended in Europe, but the
worst was still to come. Religious differences were about to erupt into the most brutal
war in history…to this point.
Exploration and Scientific Revolutions
At the same time as the Ren. was thriving in Italy and the Ref. was tearing the continent
apart, incredible things were happening in exploration and science.
Roots of Exploration
The new nation-states of western Europe (Portugal, Spain, France, Holland, and England)
resented the Italian hegemony in the Asia trade.
-they wanted to find alternative routes to the riches of Asia.
Technological advances in shipbuilding and navigation made deep ocean voyages
-caravel, sextant, astrolabe, and backstaff
The Portuguese were the early leaders in the exploration of the Atlantic Ocean and the
west coast of Africa.
Prince Henry the Navigator financed several voyages in the 1300s
-the Port. were hoping to find riches in Africa and perhaps even an alt. route to
-Prince Henry also est. a school of navigation at the observatory at Sarges.
-the Port. compiled detailed star charts and maps of the African coast.
Port. explorer who discovered the Cape of Good Hope in 1488. There was a way around
-“We explore…to bring light to those in darkness…and to grow rich.”
Vasco de Gama
Port. explorer who sailed all the way around Africa and all the way across the Indian
Ocean to India (1497-99).
-His voyage proved that one could sail to Asia and that the opportunity for riches
While riding the Atlantic current looking for a faster route to India, Cabral discovered the
coast of Brazil.
By the early 1500s the Portuguese has established the first trading outposts along the
African coast as well as Goa in India and Malacca in S.E. Asia. The Port. had a
monopoly on the African trade missions and on the eastern route to Asia. All others
would have to find alternatives.
After the 1492 defeat of the Moors at Granada the Spanish were finally able to turn their
national face outward.
Italian-born Columbus had spent years seeking a sponsor for a western route across the
Atlantic to Asia.
-His theory was based on several inaccuracies.
Ferdinand and Isabella financed the voyage in Aug. 1492.
-Columbus’ first voyage took over 6 months. When he returned to Spain, he
asserted that he had made it to Asia. It was several years before others became convinced
that he had actually discovered something brand new.
Columbus’ voyages panicked the Port. who feared they were losing their advantage in the
Asia trade. Their rivalry nearly led to war for control of the lucrative trade passage.
Treaty of Tordesillas (1494)
The Pope intervened and negotiated an agreement, the ToT, to preserve the peace.
-the treaty split the world between the 2 Iberian powers.
-the Port. kept the African possessions, and the eastern route to Asia
-the Spanish got all possessions to the west.
The ToT excluded all other powers.
Columbus’ voyages began a major Spanish effort at exploring and conquering the
Vasco de Balboa
Balboa discovered the Pacific Ocean, but did not realize the magnitude of the discovery.
Magellan was the first to successfully circumnavigate the globe. (1519-1522)
Conquistador of the Aztec Empire of Mexico (1519-1521)
conquistador of the Inca Empire of Peru (1531-1534)
Spain’s conquest of the New World radically altered life in the Old World.
Every year massive amounts of silver and gold poured into the Spanish treasury. The
1500s became known as the “Golden Century of Spain”. Spanish armies, Catholicism,
and Spanish wealth were felt over all parts of Europe. The huge influx of bullion from the
Americas had unexpected consequences on the Spanish economy.
-Spain had expelled some of its best farmers (Muslim Moors) and craftsmen
(Jews). This crippled the economy.
-Spanish goods were too expensive to compete with foreign competitors. So,
much of the imported gold and silver wound up in foreign hands.
-Prices of goods soared and inflation destroyed the Spanish economy. The
Spanish government was bankrupted several times.
Slavery became widespread to satisfy labor shortages in the colonies of the New World.
-Native Americans died out by the millions, most due to disease.
The other major European powers got into the race to explore later than the Portuguese
The first English attempt was the voyage of John Cabot in the late 1400s. Because he
found no gold the English lost interest until the early 1600s.
-Roanoke Island 1587
It was not until the early 1600s, after their independence from Spain that the Dutch really
could begin to claim their own empire.
The French began to explore the northern parts of North America in the 1530s. They
claimed the St. Lawrence River Basins and Quebec and did the first exploration of the
Great Lakes region and the Mississippi River Basin. By the late 1700s all the major
regions of the world had been discovered/explored. During the 1800s most of the known
world was divided up by the Europeans into the empires that would remain until the mid
The Renaissance had created a new sense of intellectual freedom, not just for artists, but
for scientists as well. Most scientific knowledge remained based on the works of the
ancient Greeks and Romans. The two sciences most impacted by this new spirit were
astronomy and anatomy.
Interest in astronomy revived in the 1400s due to the demands of navigation and
exploration for accurate star charts. In the 1400s most astronomers still accepted the ideas
of the ancient Greek, Ptolemy, that the earth was the center of a perfect and stable
The Church supported Ptolemy’s views.
Copernicus was a Polish astronomer who was the first to argue that the sun was the actual
center of the universe.
-On the Revolution of Heavenly Bodies 1543
Copernicus was not entirely correct in all of his assertions but he moved science in the
Bruno was a Spanish priest who was burned at the stake for heresy when he supported the
ideas of Copernicus. Challenging Church teachings and authority was risky.
Kepler was a German student of Tycho Brahe and the official astronomer of the HRE.
Using mathematics he proved the central ideas of the heliocentric theory of Copernicus.
He discovered the elliptical orbits of planets.
-New Astronomy 1609
Italian astronomer and friend of Kepler, Galileo supported the idea of heliocentrism.
Galileo was the first to work with the aid of a telescope. With it, he observed craters and
valleys on the moon, “canals” on Mars, moons of Jupiter, and sunspots.
-Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems 1632
The Church charged him with heresy. Galileo was forced to publicly recant.
“But it does move.”
Galileo did work with the science of motion and disproved Aristotle’s theory of velocity
Sir Issac Newton
Newton was an English scientist and considered the greatest mind of his age. He
developed the concept of universal science.
-the entire universe is governed by the same physical laws
His scientific interests covered a wide range of subjects, including mathematics, optics,