Early modern Europe | Wikipedia audio article

Early modern Europe | Wikipedia audio article


Early modern Europe is the period of European
history between the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution,
roughly the late 15th century to the late 18th century. Historians variously mark the
beginning of the early modern period with the invention of moveable type printing in
the 1450s, the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, the end of the Wars of the Roses in 1487,
the beginning of the High Renaissance in Italy in the 1490s, the end of the Reconquista and
subsequent voyages of Christopher Columbus to the Americas in 1492, or the start of the
Protestant Reformation in 1517. The precise dates of its end point also vary and are usually
linked with either the start of the French Revolution in 1789 or with the more vaguely
defined beginning of the Industrial Revolution in late 18th century England.
Some of the more notable trends and events of the early modern period included the Reformation
and the religious conflicts it provoked (including the French Wars of Religion and the Thirty
Years’ War), the rise of capitalism and modern nation states, widespread witch hunts and
European colonization of the Americas.==Characteristics==
The early modern period was characterized by profound changes in many realms of human
endeavor. Among the most important include the development of science as a formalized
practice, increasingly rapid technological progress, and the establishment of secularized
civic politics, law courts and the nation state. Capitalist economies began to develop
in a nascent form, first in the northern Italian republics such as Genoa and Venice and in
the cities of the Low Countries, later in France, Germany and England. The early modern
period also saw the rise and dominance of the economic theory of mercantilism. As such,
the early modern period is often associated with the decline and eventual disappearance
(at least in Western Europe) of feudalism and serfdom. The Protestant Reformation greatly
altered the religious balance of Christendom, creating a formidable new opposition to the
dominance of the Catholic Church, especially in Northern Europe. The early modern period
also witnessed the circumnavigation of the Earth and the establishment of regular European
contact with the Americas and South and East Asia. The ensuing rise of global systems of
international economic, cultural and intellectual exchange played an important role in the development
of capitalism and represents the earliest phase of globalization.==Periodization==Regardless of the precise dates used to define
its beginning and end points, the early modern period is generally agreed to have comprised
the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Scientific Revolution, and the Enlightenment. As such,
historians have attributed a number of fundamental changes to the period, notably the increasingly
rapid progress of science and technology, the secularization of politics, and the diminution
of the absolute authority of the Roman Catholic Church as well as the lessening of the influence
of all faiths upon national governments. Many historians have identified the early modern
period as the epoch in which individuals began to think of themselves as belonging to a national
polity—a notable break from medieval modes of self-identification, which had been largely
based upon religion (belonging to a universal Christendom), language, or feudal allegiance
(belonging to the manor or extended household of a particular magnate or lord).
The beginning of the early modern period is not clear-cut, but is generally accepted to
be in the late 15th century or early 16th century. Significant dates in this transitional
phase from medieval to early modern Europe can be noted: 1450The invention of the first European movable
type printing process by Johannes Gutenberg, a device that fundamentally changed the circulation
of information. Movable type, which allowed individual characters to be arranged to form
words and which is an invention separate from the printing press, had been invented earlier
in China.1453The conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans signalled the end of the Byzantine
empire; the Battle of Castillon concluded the Hundred Years’ War.1485The last Plantagenet
king of England, Richard III, was killed at Bosworth and the medieval civil wars of aristocratic
factions gave way to early modern Tudor monarchy, in the person of Henry VII.1492The first documented
European voyage to the Americas by the Genoese explorer Christopher Columbus; the end of
the Reconquista, with the final expulsion of the Moors from the Iberian Peninsula; the
Spanish government expels the Jews.1494French king Charles VIII invaded Italy, drastically
altering the status quo and beginning a series of wars which would punctuate the Italian
Renaissance.1513First formulation of modern politics with the publication of Machiavelli’s
The Prince.1517The Reformation begins with Martin Luther nailing his ninety-five theses
to the door of the church in Wittenberg, Germany.1526Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor gains the crowns of
Bohemia and Hungary.1545The Council of Trent marks the end of the medieval Roman Catholic
Church.The end date of the early modern period is variously associated with the Industrial
Revolution, which began in Britain in about 1750, or the beginning of the French Revolution
in 1789, which drastically transformed the state of European politics and ushered in
the Napoleonic Era and modern Europe. The role of nobles in the Feudal System had
yielded to the notion of the Divine Right of Kings during the Middle Ages (in fact,
this consolidation of power from the land-owning nobles to the titular monarchs was one of
the most prominent themes of the Middle Ages). Among the most notable political changes included
the abolition of serfdom and the crystallization of kingdoms into nation-states. Perhaps even
more significantly, with the advent of the Reformation, the notion of Christendom as
a unified political entity was destroyed. Many kings and rulers used this radical shift
in the understanding of the world to further consolidate their sovereignty over their territories.
For instance, many of the Germanic states (as well as English Reformation) converted
to Protestantism in an attempt to slip out of the grasp of the Pope.
The intellectual developments of the period included the creation of the economic theory
of mercantilism and the publication of enduringly influential works of political and social
philosophy, such as Machiavelli’s The Prince (1513) and Thomas More’s Utopia (1515).==Reformation==The Protestant Reformation was a reform-oriented
schism from the Roman Catholic Church initiated by Martin Luther and continued by John Calvin,
Huldrych Zwingli, and other early Protestant Reformers. It is typically dated from 1517,
lasting until the end of the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) with the Peace of Westphalia
in 1648. It was launched on 31 October 1517 by Martin Luther, who posted his 95 Theses
criticizing the practice of indulgences to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg,
Germany, commonly used to post notices to the University community. In was very widely
publicized across Europe and caught fire. Luther began by criticizing the sale of indulgences,
insisting that the Pope had no authority over purgatory and that the Catholic doctrine of
the merits of the saints had no foundation in the gospel. The Protestant position, however,
would come to incorporate doctrinal changes such as sola scriptura and sola fide.
The Reformation ended in division and the establishment of new church movements. The
four most important traditions to emerge directly from the Reformation were Lutheranism, the
Reformed (also called Calvinist or Presbyterian) tradition, Anglicanism, and the Anabaptists.
Subsequent Protestant churches generally trace their roots back to these initial four schools
of the Reformation. It also led to the Catholic or Counter Reformation within the Roman Catholic
Church through a variety of new spiritual movements, reforms of religious communities,
the founding of seminaries, the clarification of Catholic theology as well as structural
changes in the institution of the Church.The largest Protestant groups were the Lutherans
and Calvinists. Lutheran churches were founded mostly in Germany, the Baltics and Scandinavia,
while the Reformed ones were founded in Switzerland, Hungary, France, the Netherlands and Scotland.The
initial movement within Germany diversified, and other reform impulses arose independently
of Luther. The availability of the printing press provided the means for the rapid dissemination
of religious materials in the vernacular. The core motivation behind the Reformation
was theological, though many other factors played a part, including the rise of nationalism,
the Western Schism that eroded faith in the Papacy, the perceived corruption of the Roman
Curia, the impact of humanism, and the new learning of the Renaissance that questioned
much traditional thought.There were also reformation movements throughout continental Europe known
as the Radical Reformation, which gave rise to the Anabaptist, Moravian and other Pietistic
movements.The Roman Catholic Church responded with a Counter-Reformation initiated by the
Council of Trent. Much work in battling Protestantism was done by the well-organised new order of
the Jesuits. In general, Northern Europe, with the exception of most of Ireland, came
under the influence of Protestantism. Southern Europe remained Roman Catholic, while Central
Europe was a site of a fierce conflict, culminating in the Thirty Years’ War, which left it devastated.===Church of England===The Reformation reshaped the Church of England
decisively after 1547. The separation of the Church of England (or Anglican Church) from
Rome under Henry VIII, beginning in 1529 and completed in 1537, brought England alongside
this broad Reformation movement; however, religious changes in the English national
church proceeded more conservatively than elsewhere in Europe. Reformers in the Church
of England alternated, for decades, between sympathies for ancient Catholic tradition
and more Reformed principles, gradually developing, within the context of robustly Protestant
doctrine, a tradition considered a middle way (via media) between the Roman Catholic
and Protestant traditions.===Consequences of the Protestant Reformation
===The following outcomes of the Protestant Reformation
regarding human capital formation, the Protestant ethic, economic development, governance, and
“dark” outcomes have been identified by scholars.===Historiography===
Margaret C. Jacob argues that there has been a dramatic shift in the historiography of
the Reformation. Until the 1960s, historians focused their attention largely on the great
leaders and theologians of the 16th century, especially Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli. Their
ideas were studied in depth. However, the rise of the new social history in the 1960s
look at history from the bottom up, not from the top down. Historians began to concentrate
on the values, beliefs and behavior of the people at large. She finds, “in contemporary
scholarship, the Reformation is now seen as a vast cultural upheaval, a social and popular
movement, textured and rich because of its diversity.”===Age of Enlightenment===
The Age of Enlightenment refers to the 18th century in European philosophy, and is often
thought of as part of a period which includes the Age of Reason. The term also more specifically
refers to a historical intellectual movement, The Enlightenment. This movement advocated
rationality as a means to establish an authoritative system of aesthetics, ethics, and logic. The
intellectual leaders of this movement regarded themselves as a courageous elite, and regarded
their purpose as one of leading the world toward progress and out of a long period of
doubtful tradition, full of irrationality, superstition, and tyranny, which they believed
began during a historical period they called the Dark Ages. This movement also provided
a framework for the American and French Revolutions, the Latin American independence movement,
and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth Constitution of May 3, and also led to the rise of liberalism
and the birth of socialism and communism. It is matched by the high baroque and classical
eras in music, and the neo-classical period in the arts, and receives contemporary application
in the unity of science movement which includes logical positivism.==Difference between ‘early modern’ and the
Renaissance==The expression “early modern” is sometimes
used as a substitute for the term Renaissance, and vice versa. However, “Renaissance” is
properly used in relation to a diverse series of cultural developments; which occurred over
several hundred years in many different parts of Europe—especially central and northern
Italy—and span the transition from late Medieval civilization and the opening of the
early modern period. The term early modern is most often applied
to Europe, and its overseas empire. However, it has also been employed in the history of
the Ottoman Empire. In the historiography of Japan, the Edo period from 1590 to 1868
is also sometimes referred to as the early modern period.==Diplomacy and warfare==The 17th century saw very little peace in
Europe – major wars were fought in 95 years (every year except 1610, 1669 to 1671, and
1680 to 1682.) The wars were unusually ugly. Europe in the late 17th century, 1648 to 1700,
was an age of great intellectual, scientific, artistic and cultural achievement. Historian
Frederick Nussbaum says it was: prolific in genius, in common sense, and in
organizing ability. It could properly have been expected that intelligence, comprehension
and high purpose would be applied to the control of human relations in general and to the relations
between states and peoples in particular. The fact was almost completely opposite. It
was a period of marked unintelligence, immorality and frivolity in the conduct of international
relations, marked by wars undertaken for dimly conceived purposes, waged with the utmost
brutality and conducted by reckless betrayals of allies.The worst came during the Thirty
Years’ War, 1618-1648, which had an extremely negative impact on the civilian population
of Germany and surrounding areas, with massive loss of life and disruption of the economy
and society.===Thirty Years’ War: 1618–1648===The Reformation led to a series of religious
wars that culminated in the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648), which devastated much of
Germany, killing between 25% and 40% of its entire population. Roman Catholic House of
Habsburg and its allies fought against the Protestant princes of Germany, supported at
various times by Denmark, Sweden and France. The Habsburgs, who ruled Spain, Austria, the
Crown of Bohemia, Hungary, Slovene Lands, the Spanish Netherlands and much of Germany
and Italy, were staunch defenders of the Roman Catholic Church. Some historians believe that
the era of the Reformation came to a close when Roman Catholic France allied itself with
Protestant states against the Habsburg dynasty. For the first time since the days of Martin
Luther, political and national convictions again outweighed religious convictions in
Europe. Two main tenets of the Peace of Westphalia,
which ended the Thirty Years’ War, were: All parties would now recognise the Peace
of Augsburg of 1555, by which each prince would have the right to determine the religion
of his own state, the options being Roman Catholicism, Lutheranism, and now Calvinism
(the principle of cuius regio, eius religio). Christians living in principalities where
their denomination was not the established church were guaranteed the right to practice
their faith in public during allotted hours and in private at their will.The treaty also
effectively ended the Papacy’s pan-European political power. Pope Innocent X declared
the treaty “null, void, invalid, iniquitous, unjust, damnable, reprobate, inane, empty
of meaning and effect for all times” in his bull Zelo Domus Dei. European sovereigns,
Roman Catholic and Protestant alike, ignored his verdict.Scholars taking a “realist” perspective
on wars and diplomacy have emphasized the Peace of Westphalia (1648) as a dividing line.
It ended the Thirty Years War (1618-1648), where religion and ideology had been powerful
motivating forces for warfare. Westphalia, in the realist view, ushered in a new international
system of sovereign states of roughly equal strength, dedicated not to ideology or religion
but to enhance status, and territorial gains. The Catholic Church, for example, no longer
devoted its energies to the very difficult task of reclaiming dioceses lost to Protestantism,
but to build large-scale missions in overseas colonial possessions that could convert the
natives by the thousands Using devoted members of society such as the Jesuits. According
to Scott Hamish, the realist model assumes that “foreign policies were guided entirely
by “Realpolitik,” by the resulting struggle for resources and, eventually, by the search
for what became known as a ‘balance of power.’Diplomacy before 1700 was not well developed, and chances
to avoid wars were too often squandered. In England, for example, King Charles II paid
little attention to diplomacy, which proved disastrous. During the Dutch war of 1665-67,
England had no diplomats stationed in Denmark or Sweden. When King Charles realized he needed
them as allies, he sent special missions that were uninformed about local political, military,
and diplomatic situations, and were ignorant of personalities and political factionalism.
Ignorance produced a series of blunders that ruined their efforts to find allies. King
Louis XIV of France, by contrast, developed the most sophisticated diplomatic service,
with permanent ambassadors and lesser ministers in major and minor capitals, all preparing
steady streams of information and advice to Paris. Diplomacy became a career that proved
highly attack attractive to rich senior aristocrats who enjoyed very high society at royal courts,
especially because they carried the status of the most powerful nation in Europe. Increasingly,
other nations copied the French model; French became the language of diplomacy, replacing
Latin. By 1700, the British and the Dutch, with small land armies, large navies, and
large treasuries, used astute diplomacy to build alliances, subsidizing as needed land
powers to fight on their side, or as in the case of the Hessians, hiring regiments of
soldiers from mercenary princes in small countries. The balance of power was very delicately calculated,
so that winning a battle here was worth the slice of territory there, with no regard to
the wishes of the inhabitants. Important peacemaking conferences at Utrecht (1713), Vienna (1738),
Aix-la-Chapelle (1748) and Paris (1763) had a cheerful, cynical, game-like atmosphere
in which professional diplomats cashed in victories like casino chips in exchange for
territory.==Major states=====France===The Ancien Régime (French for “old regime”)
was the political and social system of the Kingdom of France from the about 1450 until
the |French Revolution that started in 1789. The Ancien Régime was ruled by the late Valois
and Bourbon dynasties. Much of the medieval political centralization of France had been
lost in the Hundred Years’ War, and the Valois Dynasty’s attempts at re-establishing control
over the scattered political centres of the country were hindered by the Huguenot Wars
(or Wars of Religion). Much of the reigns of Henry IV, Louis XIII and the early years
of Louis XIV were focused on administrative centralisation. Despite, however, the notion
of “absolute monarchy” (typified by the king’s right to issue lettres de cachet) and the
efforts by the kings to create a centralized state, Ancien Régime France remained a country
of systemic irregularities: administrative (including taxation), legal, judicial, and
ecclesiastic divisions and prerogatives frequently overlapped, while the French nobility struggled
to maintain their own rights in the matters of local government and justice, and powerful
internal conflicts (like the Fronde) protested against this centralization.The need for centralization
in this period was directly linked to the question of royal finances and the ability
to wage war. The internal conflicts and dynastic crises of the 16th and 17th centuries (the
Huguenot Wars between Catholics and Protestants and the Habsburg’s internal family conflict)
and the territorial expansion of France in the 17th century demanded great sums which
needed to be raised through taxes, such as the land tax (taille) and the tax on salt
(gabelle) and by contributions of men and service from the nobility. Tne key to this
centralization was the replacing of personal patronage systems organized around the king
and other nobles by institutional systems around the state. The creation of intendants—representatives
of royal power in the provinces—did much to undermine local control by regional nobles.
The same was true of the greater reliance shown by the royal court on the “noblesse
de robe” as judges and royal counselors. The creation of regional parlements had initially
the same goal of facilitating the introduction of royal power into newly assimilated territories,
but as the parlements gained in self-assurance, they began to be sources of disunity.===England===This period refers to England 1558–1603.
The Elizabethan Era is the period associated with the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558–1603)
and was a golden age in English cultural history. It was the height of the English Renaissance,
and saw the flowering of English literature and poetry. This was also the time during
which Elizabethan theatre grew. William Shakespeare, among others, composed highly innovative and
powerful plays. It was an age of expansion and exploration abroad. At home the Protestant
Reformation was established and successfully defended against the Catholic powers of Spain
and France.The Jacobean era was the reign James I of England (1603–1625). Overseas
exploration and establishment of trading factories sped up, with the first permanent settlements
in North America at Jamestown, Virginia in 1607, in Newfoundland in 1610, and at Plymouth
Colony in Massachusetts in 1620. One king now ruled England and Scotland; the latter
was fully absorbed by the Acts of Union 1707.The tumultuous Caroline era was the reign of King
Charles I (1625–1645), followed by his beheading by Oliver Cromwell’s regime in 1649 . The
Caroline era was dominated by the growing religious, political, and social conflict
between the King and his supporters, termed the Royalist party, and the Puritan opposition
that evolved in response to particular aspects of Charles’ rule. The colonization of North
America continued apace, with new colonies in Maryland (1634), Connecticut (1635), and
Rhode Island (1636).==Other political powers==
Ottoman Empire Early Modern Italy
Papal States Republic of Florence, Duchy of Florence, Grand
Duchy of Tuscany Republic of Venice
Duchy of Milan Republic of Genoa
Kingdom of Naples Habsburg Spain, Bourbon Spain
Kingdom of Portugal Dutch Republic
Holy Roman Empire Kingdom of Bohemia (Czech)
Habsburg Monarchy (Austria) Early Modern Germany
Duchy of Prussia, Kingdom of Prussia Duchy of Bavaria, Electorate of Bavaria
Electorate of the Palatinate Tsardom of Russia, Russian Empire
Early Modern Sweden Denmark-Norway
Early Modern Romania Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
Kingdom of Hungary==
Gender=====Spain===
Much like the rest of Europe in the early modern period Spain followed clearly differentiated
gender roles. These roles came from many places, such as biblical references, church practices,
and in the case of women, manuals such as Fray Luis de León’s La Perfecta Casada.===England=======Knights and Tournaments====
Under the rule of Elizabeth, gender dynamics were altered. The masculine tournaments of
Henry VIII’s rule were “transformed into a vehicle for spectacular display and expanded
the masque-like elements.” It was generally regarded as a show rather than an actual military
practice as they were viewed under Henry.==See also==
Renaissance International relations 1648-1814
Early Modern warfare Scientific Revolution
Age of Discovery Protestant Reformation
Catholic Counter-Reformation Thirty Years’ War
Age of Enlightenment==References====Referred literature==
Rice, Eugene, F., Jr. (1970). The Foundations of Early Modern Europe: 1460-1559. W.W. Norton
& Co. John Coffey (2000), Persecution and Toleration
in Protestant England 1558-1689, Studies in Modern History, Pearson Education
Benjamin J. Kaplan (2007), Divided by Faith. Religious Conflict and the Practice of Toleration
in Early Modern Europe. Cambridge University Press
Joseph S. Freedman (1999), Philosophy and the Arts in Central Europe, 1500–1700: Teaching
and Texts at Schools and Universities Aldershot: Ashgate==Further reading==
Black, Jeremy. European International Relations, 1648–1815 (2002)
Blanning, T. C. W. The Culture of Power and the Power of Culture: Old Regime Europe 1660–1789
(2003) Cameron, Euan. Early Modern Europe: An Oxford
History (2001) Dorn, Walter L. Competition For Empire 1740-1763
(1940) online Gatti, Hilary. Ideas of Liberty in Early Modern
Europe (2015). Gershoy, Leo. From Despotism To Revolution:
1763-1789 (1944)online Gouges, Linnea de. Witch hunts and State Building
in Early Modern Europe (2018) Hesmyr, Atle: Scandinavia in the Early Modern
Era(2017). Hill, David Jayne. A history of diplomacy
in the international development of Europe (3 vol. 1914) “history+of+diplomacy”&ots=EUa-HD_xPO&sig=CIpD9AhDDo2swDhsshccFUh-ctM#v=onepage&q=hill%20%22history%20of%20diplomacy%22&f=false
online v 3, 1648-1775 Jacob, Margaret C. Strangers nowhere in the
world: the rise of cosmopolitanism in early modern Europe (2017).
Kennedy, Paul. The rise and fall of British naval mastery (1977)
Langer, William. An Encyclopedia of World History (5th ed. 1973), very detailed outline
Lindsay, J. O. ed. New Cambridge Modern History: The Old Regime, 1713-1763 (1957) online
Merriman, John. A History of Modern Europe: From the Renaissance to the Present (3rd ed.
2009, 2 vol), 1412 pp Mowat, R. B. History of European Diplomacy,
1451–1789 (1928) 324 pages online Nussbaum, Frederick L. The triumph of science
and reason, 1660-1685 (1953), Despite the narrow title is a general survey of European
history. Petrie, Charles. Earlier diplomatic history,
1492–1713 (1949), covers all of Europe; online
Petrie, Charles. Diplomatic History, 1713–1933 (1946), broad summary online
Rice, Eugene F. The Foundations of Early Modern Europe, 1460–1559 (2nd ed. 1994) 240pp
Schroeder, Paul. The Transformation of European Politics 1763–1848 (1994) online; advanced
diplomatic history Scott, Hamish, ed. The Oxford Handbook of
Early Modern European History, 1350-1750: Volume I: Peoples and Place (2015); Volume
II: Cultures and Power (2015). Wiesner, Merry E. Early Modern Europe, 1450–1789
(Cambridge History of Europe) (2006) Wolf, John B. The Emergence of the Great Powers,
1685-1715 (1951==External links==
Discussion of the medieval/modern transition, from the introduction to the pioneering Cambridge
Modern History (1903) Society for Renaissance Studies

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