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Early Modern Times


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Prince Henry
1394-1460 Dom Henrique of Portugal. Conquered the Moroccan port of Ceuta and sponsored a series of voyages down the African coast to enter the gold trade, discover new profitable trade routes, gain insight into Muslim power, win converts to Christianity and make alliances against Muslim with other Christian rulers.
Vasco de Gama
Portuguese mariner who led a small fleet of merchant vessels out of Lisbon to Calicut India which opened the door to maritime trade between Europe and the Asian peoples.
Christopher Colombus (Cristoforo Colombo)
1451-1506: Sponsored by Fernando and Isabel of Spain in 1492 his 3 fleet ship departed Spain and landed three months later on an island of the Bahamas. Had three additional voyages and was the first to start colonizing the Caribbean and America.
Ferdinand Magellan
Portuguese navigator (1480-1521) who was the first to circumnavigate to world under Spanish sponsorship.
James Cook
1728-1779: One of the most important Pacific Ocean explorers. Chartered E Australia & New Zealand, added New Caledonia, Vanuata, & Hawaii to maps and probed the cold waters of the artic.
Cross Staff
A mariners tool to measure latitude. It was used to measure the angle between the sun or pole star and the horizonl.
Volta do mar
A strategy first used by Portuguese sailors and later by other European mariners. Instead of forcing their way agains trade winds, the sailors would essentialy sail out of their way to find a wind going their way. This strategy was much faster, safer and reliable than going against the winds.
Seven Years' War (1756-1763)
Commercial rivalries combined with political differences came to a head in this first sort of world war and resulted in paving the way for the British empire of the 19th century.
Columbian Exchange
The global diffusion of plants, food crops, animals, human populations, and disease pathogens that took place after voyages of exploration by Christopher Colombus and other European mariners.
Sleek, fast, heavily armored ships capable of carrying large cargoes linking the ports of the world.
Martin Luther
1483-1546 A German monk who attacked the sale of indulgences in his published work, including the 95 Theses. Advocated for the closure of monastaries, translation of the bible from Latin to more common languages, and an end to priestly authority.
John Calvin
French lawyer (1509-1564) who organized a Protestant community in Geneva which had a strict code of morality and discipline and was sponsored by local officials. Wrote the Institutes of Christian Religion which systamized Protestant teachings and presented them as a coherent organized package.
Ignatius Loyola
Basque nobleman and soldier - who gained spiritual insight into the Roman Christian way during recovery from wounds in 1521. Founder of The Society of Jesus - a rigorius membership organization of devout Christians, also called Jesuits.
Henry VIII
The first monarch to severe ties with the Roman Catholic church because they would not give him a divorce. In addition he dissolved monastaries and confiscated church wealth in England and in doing so gave more responsibility to the countries government to provide for the poor.
Charles V
The leader of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 to 1556. The empire never gained momentum due to imperial fragmentation, foreign challenges. He gave up his throne becuase of his dissapointement in not being able to suppress the Lutherans.
Louis XIV
reigned 1643-1715, Louis was the epitomy of royal absolutism. He built Versailles and moved his court there, shortly thereafter all the nobles of France moved there. Louis provided the nobles with grand entertainment and in return he ran the state.
Nicolaus Copernicus
Polish astronomer who wrote On the Revolutions of Heavenly Spheres in 1543. The treatise went against popular science and the Ptolemaic universe and stated that the sun rather than the earth was the center of the universe and that the plantes revolved around it.
Galileo Galilei
1564-1642 an Italian mathematician who used the telescope to prove that the "heavens" were not perfect spheres but actually had spots and mountians on them. Father of the terrestrial motion, gravity and inertia.
Isaac Newton
(1642-1727), an English scientist, astronomer, and mathematician, invented a new kind of mathematics, discovered the secrets of light and color, and showed how the universe is held together.
Adam Smith
(1723-1790), is generally regarded as the founder of modern economics. Smith's major book was The Wealth of Nations (full title: An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations). Published in 1776, it was the first complete work on political economy. The book discusses the relationship between freedom and order, analyzes economic processes, and attacks the British mercantile system's limits on free trade. All three aspects are woven together to create a unified social theory.
(1694-1778), was the pen name of Francois Marie Arouet, a French author and philosopher. Voltaire's clear style, sparkling wit, keen intelligence, and strong sense of justice made him one of France's most famous writers during the Enlightenment.
a type of pardon that excused indivivudauls from doing penance for their sins and thus facilitated their entrance into heavan - the Roman Church would sell these indulgences to raise funds for the church.
95 Theses
Matin Luthers first published work condeming the Church's sale of indulgences.
Protestant Reformation
A religious movement of the 1500's that led to Protestantism. It had a tremendous impact on social, political, and economic life, and its influences are still felt today. The movement began in 1517 when Martin Luther, a German monk, protested certain practices of the Roman Catholic Church. About 40 years later, Protestantism was established in nearly half of Europe.
Catholic Reformation
Roman Catholic Church history in the 1500's and 1600's. The Counter Reformation consisted of two related movements: (1) a defensive reaction against the Reformation, a movement begun by Martin Luther in 1517 that gave birth to Protestantism, and (2) a Catholic reform.
Thirty Years War
(1618-1648) was a series of religious and political wars that eventually involved most European nations. The conflict began as a civil war between Protestants and Roman Catholics in the Holy Roman Empire and other territories under the administration of the Habsburgs, the royal family of Austria. But before the war ended, it had become a general struggle for territory and political power.
Spanish Inquisition
An effort by the monarchs of Spain (Ferdinand & Isabel) sponsored by the Roman Catholic Church, to seek out and punish heretics (persons who opposed church teachings). If detected heretics would be burned at the stake or hung from the gallows
A form of government in which one or more persons rule with power unlimited by law. The power of most absolute monarchs is inherited and is supposed to derive from God's will. The monarch may do what he or she wishes. In practice, however, judges, governors, and other officials carry out government functions according to laws, customs, or simply their own judgment.
An economic model that calls for control of the economy by individual households and privately owned businesses.
putting-out system
Capitalist enrepreneurs sidestepped the guilds of the European middle ages by relying on urban workers to produce their goods. They would do this by delivering unfinished materials to rural homes where they family would finish the work. Because workers were plentiful the price of producing the product was decreased.
Enlightenment - Age of Reason
A period in history when philosophers emphasized the use of reason as the best method of learning truth. The period of the Age of Reason began in the 1600's and lasted until the late 1700's.
Hernan Cortes
(1485-1547) A Spanish explorer who conquered what is now central and southern Mexico in 1520. His military triumphs led to 300 years of Spanish domination of Mexico and Central America.
Motecuzoma (Montezuma) II
The Aztec emporer during the time of the Spanish conquests. He died in 1520 during a fight b/w the spanish and residents of the Aztec capitol, Tenochtitlan.
Francisco Pizarro
(1478?-1541), A Spanish conqueror. His conquest of the Inca empire in Peru opened the way for Spain's colonization of most of South America.
The last ruler of the Inca Empire in Peru. In 1532, shortly after he took the throne, Francisco Pizarro and his men landed in Peru. Atahualpa refused to acknowledge King Charles I of Spain as his overlord or to accept Christianity. Pizarro's men then killed more than 4,000 unarmed Inca nobles and imprisoned Atahualpa in the city of Cajamarca.
Cabeza de Vaca
(1490?-1557?),A Spanish explorer in the Americas. In 1527, Cabeza joined an expedition to Florida. After landing, he became separated from the ships. Cabeza and a few companions, including the black explorer Estevanico, sailed on a barge from northern Florida to an island off the Texas coast. They lived with Indians for several years before reaching northwestern Mexico on foot. The explorers' reports that great wealth lay north of Mexico attracted other Spanish explorers to the area, including Francisco Vasquez de Coronado and Hernando de Soto.
European territories in the Americas that became multicultural societies where peoples of varied ancestry lived together under European or Euro-American dominance. Specifically, Mestizos were individuals of Spanish and native parentage.
A subgroup of the Arawak people. They were skilled farmers who made cotton cloth, grouped their dwellings into villages, and had well-developed social and governmental systems. The inhabitants that Colombus discovered on the Caribbean islands.
A system of labor that gave Spanish settlers (encomenderos) the right to compel natives to in their plantations, feilds and minds. In return the encomenderos held the responsibility to look after the natives health and welfare and encourage their conversion to Christianity.
Spaniards who conquered Indian peoples in parts of Latin America mainly during the first half of the 1500's. Conquistador is a Spanish word meaning conqueror. Most conquistadors had little interest in exploration. Nevertheless, they were often the first Europeans to enter the regions they conquered, and some settled in those areas.
Treaty of Tordesillas
In 1494, the Treaty of Tordesillas divided the Americas between Spain and Portugal by a line that ran from north to south about 350 miles (563 kilometers) west of the Azores and Cape Verde Islands.
Repartimiento system
An outgrowth of the encomienda system, it compelled native communities to suppply laborers for Spanish mines and farms, but it provided that laborers would only work a limited periods of time and the employers had to compensate the laborers with fair wages.
The Brazilian word for sugar mill. It represented a complex of land, labor, buildings, animals, capital, and technical skills related to the production of sugar.
Indentured servants
Migrants to the America's that sold a portion of their working life to plantations in return for a safe trip in the hopes that they could start a new when they were free of their obligations after 4-7 years.
Sunni Ali
West African Songhay emporer from 1464 to 1493. Consolidated the empire and ruled important trade cities like Timbuktu. He used governors to rule provinces of the empire as well as a hierarchacal military structure.
Afonso I
A king of Kongo who rained from 1506-1543. He converted to and was a devout Roman Catholic. He tried to convert all his subjects to Christianity as a means to diplomatically pleasing the Portuguese merchants
Queen Nzinga
The Queen of Angola from 1623 - 1663. She led a strong resistance against Portugal control of her country and central Africa.
Dona Beatriz
The founder of the Antonian movement (cult) in 1704 when she proclaimed to have received communication from St. Anthony of Padua. She had a reputation for working miracles and curing diseases. She used her fame to promote Christianity in an African form rather than through European missionaries. Portuguese missionaries convinced the King of Kongo that she was practicing heresy and she was burned at the stake in 1706.
Olaudah Equiano
A native of Benin in west Africa (1745-1797) who was taken during a slave raid on his farm when he ten. He spent the next 21 years as a slave. Upon purchase of his freedom and dedicated the rest of his life working against the slave trade.
Songhai Empire was a black trading state in Africa that reached its peak during the 1400's and 1500's. Songhai began during the 700's, and by the 1400's had more power and wealth than any other west African empire. The state extended from what is now central Nigeria to the Atlantic coast and included parts of what are now Burkina Faso, Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal. Gao, the capital, stood on the Niger River.
Ndongo (Angola)
The Portuguese established bases in Angola during the 1500's. By the early 1600's, Angola had become a major source of slave labor for Portugal's colony in Brazil. In 1641, the Dutch forced the Portuguese out of Angola and took over the slave trade. Portugal regained control in 1648. During the 1800's, after the decline of the slave trade, Portuguese planters began to grow corn, sugar cane, and tobacco in Angola. Angola was sometimes called Portuguese West Africa during Portuguese rule.
Originally a pastoral people, by late 17th c. they had moved into cities and were observing a strict form of Islam. They led several military campaigns, opened schools, to spread Islam throughout west Africa.
Triangular trade
Since European ships undertook three legs during their journey they capitalized on the cargo at each location. Eurpean goods were traded in Africa for slaves who were then traded in the Caribbean for sugar/molasses and then the American produce was brought back to Europe for sale. The entire trip was very brutal on the slaves, starting with the violent raids, to long marchs to the ships, and the middle passage where 25-50% of the passangers died.
Middle Passage
The trans-Atlantic journey of slaves aboard filthy crowded ships. Slaves traveled below deck in quarters with enough room to stand or sit. Many slaves refused to eat or revolted.
runaway slaves that formed their own self-governing communities in mountains, forested and swampy regions. They often raided plantations for arms, tools, provisions and slaves.
Emporer of the manchu Qing dynasty from 1661 to 1722. He was a Confucian scholar as well as enlightened ruler.He oversaw the conquering of Taiwan, Mongolia, central Asia, and Tibet. Helped the Manchus consolidate their hold on China.
Kangxi's grandson and emporer of the Qing dynasty from 1736-1795. His reign marked the height of the dynasty through expansion into Vietnam, burma, and Nepal. A sophisticated and learned man. During his reign the treasury was expanded and taxes were cancelled several times.
Zheng He
A eunuch admiral under Emperor Yongle's rain who led seven expiditions throughout the Indian Ocean basin between 1405-1433. These were the last maritime voyages sponsored by the Chinese government as they put strict controlls over trade.
Matteo Ricci
A prominent Jesuit missionary whose goal was to convert all of China to Christianity starting with the emporer Wanli. He learned to speak and read Chinese classics and immersed himself in Confucian literature while trying to entice the high court with mechanical objects. Few converts were found but they mechanical objects, like the ringing clock, became very fashionalbe in Chinese society.
Tokugawa Ieyasu
Unified the shoguns of Japan by implementing a military government known as Tokugawa bakufu (tent government). He had each shogun (military govenor) stabilize each thier relm by controlling the daimyo (landed lords) by requiring each daimyo to maintain their families at the capitol Edo (Tokyo) and spend every other year there.
Ming Dynasty
ruled China from A.D. 1368 to 1644, a period of Chinese rule between two foreign conquests. It was preceded by the Mongol Empire and followed by the Manchu dynasty. Ming rulers restored traditional institutions, such as the civil service, which the Mongols had suspended. During the Ming period, Chinese authority extended into Mongolia, Korea, Southeast Asia, and the Ryukyu Islands.
Great Wall (of China)
Originally built in 400 BC the Ming Dynasty brought it back to protect their relm from the Mongols. Starting in the 1400's and lasting until the late 1500's thousands of workers expanded upon the wall.
Forbidden City
A vast imperial enclave in Beijing, where emporers in the Ming Dynasty retreated from government affairs, sometimes for decades on end.
Qing Dynasty
In 1644, the Manchu people of Manchuria invaded China and established the Qing dynasty. The Manchus ruled China until 1912. Like the Mongols, the Manchus were foreigners. But unlike the Mongols, the Manchus had adopted many elements of Chinese culture before they gained control of the empire. The Manchus strongly supported Neo-Confucianism and modeled their political system after that of the Ming.
Appointed by the Chinese emporer in the Qing dynasty, they performed the day-to-day governance of the empire. Most came from the scholar-gentry class which had required them to pass civil-service exams.
A custom originating in the Song dynasty but became popular in the Ming and Qing dynasties. The practice of binding the feet demonstrated that women needed to be supported.
Combined the moral standards of traditional Confucianism with elements of Buddhism and Taoism. The philosopher Zhu Xi was largely responsible for this new Confucianism. The Song dynasty established Neo-Confucianism as the official state philosophy, and all later Chinese dynasties continued to support it except for the Mongols.
Tokugawa shogunate
A military govenor of the Japanese Tokugawa bakufu system. They were charged with stabilizing their relm and preventing the return of civil war by controlling the daimyo or powerful lords.
Floating worlds (ukiyo)
Entertainment and pleasure quarters where teahouses, theaters, brothels, and pubilc baths offered escape from social responsibilities and rigid rules of conduct during the 1600's
Mehmed the Conqueror
Ottoman emperor from 1451 to 1481 who captured the last Byzantine city of Constantinople in 1453 and deemed it Istanbul. Led a tightly centralized, absolute monarchy and expaneded the empire into southeastern Europe.
Suleyman the Magnificent
The greatest leader of the Ottoman empire who rained from 1520-1566. He expanded the empire further into Europe and southwest Asia. He was known for expanding the naval power of the empire and attacking Christian and European ships and port cities in the Indian Ocean and Red Sea.
Shah Ismail
Founder and leader of the Safavid Empire in Persia from 1501-1524. Forced the religion of Twelver Shiism on his pupils and used Turkish military techniques to keep enemy's at bay.
Shah Abbas (the great)
Reigned 1588 to 1629 for the Safavid empire. Me was known for revitalizing the empire by encouraging trade and reforming the aministrative and military institutions. He allied with Europe to obtain superior weapons and by the end of his reign had conquered much of Iran, the Caucasus, and Mesopotamia.
Babur (Zahir al-Din Muhammed)
(1483-1530) A Turkish prince who founded the Mughal Empire in India. He ruled from 1526 until his death. During his reign, the empire took over most of northern India.
Considered a brillian and charismatic ruler of the Mughal empire from 1556-1605. Created a centralized administration and conquered the Hindu kingdom in India. Introduced the "divine faith" syncretic religion that focused on the emporer as a ruler common to all the religious, ethnic, and social groups of India.
Mughal dynasty ruler from 1659-1707 who pushed the boundreis of the empire to all of India, except for the very southern tip. Ended the religious toleration of previous rulers by imposing a tax on Hindues and demolishing several temples.
Was the most powerful empire in the world during the 1500's and 1600's. At its height, it controlled what is now Turkey and parts of northern Africa, southwestern Asia, and southeastern Europe. The empire began about 1300 and lasted until 1922. The Ottomans were nomadic Turkish tribes that migrated to the Middle East from central Asia. The term Ottoman comes from Osman, also called Othman or Uthman, the founder and first sultan (ruler) of the empire.
The main rivals of the Ottomans were the Safavids in Iran. The Safavids, originally Sufis from northwestern Iran, rose to power as the leaders of Shiite Turks. Under Shah Ismail I in the early 1500's, Iran, formerly a Sunni country, converted to Shiism. Through the middle of the 1600's, the Ottomans and Safavids fought each other in a series of devastating wars. The wars ended in a costly stalemate that drained the resources of both empires. Safavid kings ruled Iran until 1722.
ruled most of India in the 1500's and 1600's. Life in Mughal India set a standard of magnificence for its region of Asia, and the empire had order and stability. The centralized government of the empire provided a model for later rulers of India. A distinctive culture developed that blended Persian and Indian elements, and the Persian language became widely used.
the term used in the Ottoman Empire, meaning Muslim religious warriors.
"New troops" - a term used in the Ottoman empire that described soldiers who were actually captured young Christian boys put through training and forced to convert to Islam. The "new troops" were known for their comradery, loyalty to the sultan, and readiness to employ new military technology.
Twelver Shiism
The religion of the Safavid empire that held that there were 12 religious leaders after Muhammad, beginning with the prophets son-in-law Ali. The 12 leader had gone into hiding and was assumed to still be alive and the government propoganda proclaimed Ismail that leader.
Followers of the Twelver Shiism in the Safavid empire. They wore red hats with 12 pleats in remberance of the 12 religious leaders after Muhammad. They believed, Ismail, their ruler was one of the 12 leaders and would make them invincible in battle.
Combined elements of Hinduism and Islam a religion of India. Its believers call themselves Sikhs, which means disciples. Sikhs follow the teachings of 10 gurus (spiritual teachers). The Sikh holy book, the Adi Granth (First Book), includes the teachings of some of these gurus and other Sikh teachers, hymns, and poetry. About 14 million Sikhs live in India, the majority of them in the northern state of Punjab.
Taj Mahal
The most famous Mughal empire monument. Built as the final resting place for the wife of Shah Jahan, it took 18 years and 20000 workers to erect.
Ivan IV (the terrible)
Reigned 1533-1584 and married into the Romanov dynasty starting at the age of 16. He embarked on a series of administrative reforms such as seeking council and meeting with assemblies of the land but was most notable known for his political police who terrorized nobles, merchants, and peasants. Ivan's laws helped bind many peasants to the land as serfs. In the 1580's, Russia's Stroganov family sponsored the conquest of western Siberia and gave it to Ivan to add to the realm.
Peter I (the Great)
Reigned from 1682-1725 and instituted a policy of forced and rapid modernization. Peter was greatly influenced by ideas of commerce and government then popular in Western Europe. A powerful ruler, he improved Russia's military and made many important conquests. During Peter's reign, Russia expanded its territory to the Baltic Sea in the Great Northern War with Sweden. In 1703, Peter founded St. Petersburg on the Baltic, and he moved the capital there in 1712. After traveling throughout Europe, he introduced Western-type clothing, factories, and schools in Russia, and reorganized Russia's government to make it run more efficiently.

Peter forced Russia's nobility to adopt many Western customs. He also increased the czar's power over the aristocrats, church officials, and serfs. He dealt harshly with those who opposed these changes. Under Peter, the legal status of serfs further deteriorated.
Catherine II (the Great)
(1729-1796) was born a German princess and ruled as empress of Russia from 1762 until her death. During her reign, Russia expanded greatly. Catherine promoted European culture (such as ideas from the Enlightenment) in Russia. She sought to devise policies that would improve her subject's lives without detracting from her own power and authority. This philosphy ended when her power was challenged and the French Revolution started at this time she adopted policies much like China, Japan, and Islam.
Vitus Bering
A Danish navigator commissioned by Russian officials for two voyages (1725-1730 and 1733-1742) in search of a northeast passage to Asian ports. He sailed through the Arctic Ocean and the Bering Strait that seperates Siberia from Alaska.
Patriarch Nikon
The leader of the Orthodox Christian reform party in the mid 17th century and served as the spiritual head of the Russian Orthodox church. Established schools and academies that offered instruction in Latin and Greek as well as Church Slavonic and built churches of Byzantine style.
A priest of the Old Belief that feared the new church reforms taking place in Russia. They associated all evil with the tsar, who a supporter of the reform act. Avvakum was condemned by the tsar in 1681 and forced to live, along with all other Old Beliefers in the barren lands of Siberia.
Peasants recruited by Ivan III to live in conqured lands as free men if they pledged their loyalty to him. They played a big role in the expansion of the empire by undertaking their own campaigns of expansion into the Volga River valley and parts of Siberia.
The elite Russian military aristocracy comparable to the fuedal knights in western Europe and the samurai of Japan. Ivan the Terrible was known for treating boyars who tried to extend their power with severe and cruel punishments.
An important city of fur trade that had strong ties with Poland and Lithuania which led to its unwilling incorporation into the Russian empire by Ivan III.
A new aristocracy who settled on redistributed lands, created by Ivan IV (the terrible) for the lands he confiscated from the boyars. Wore black and an insignia displaying a dog's head and broom protraying their determination to hunt down treason and sweep it out of Russia. They were responsible for the destruction of several civilian populations, including those living in the city of Novgorod.
Law Code of 1649
A law code developed by the Russian government that placed serfs under strict control of their landlords. They were not considered slaves, but during the 17 & 18 centuries landlords increasingly sold them as if they were private property. The Law Code also tightened state control over the Russian labor force by establishing a rigid, castelike social order. Under this code upon birth children were registered under the father's occupation and could not enter into any other profession.
The Pale of Settlement
Jews also suffered from anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe. Unlike the Jews of Western Europe, those of the east had never been emancipated. In Russia, Jews were crowded in an area along the western border called the Pale of Settlement. If they wished to move they had to obtain official permission. Beginning in 1881, many Jews were killed in a series of massacres called pogroms. The pogroms caused hundreds of thousands of Jews to flee to the United States. Some fled to Palestine.
Under the encouragment of Catherine the Great of Russia, an intellectual class of writers and critics. Although no legal status they enjoyed recognition as an unofficial social estate and worked hard to influence public opinion and state policy. They communicated through "thick journals", monthly compodia with news of the latest advancments. The journals were loosely censored by the government, as the censors themselves found the content intriguing.

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