Chapter 15 - The Age of European Expansion and Religious Wars

    Politics, religion, and war

    1. The SpanishFrench wars ended in 1559 with a Spanish victory, leading to a variety of European wars centering on religious and national issues.
      1. These wars used bigger armies and gunpowder, and led to the need for administrative reorganization.
      2. Religious passions conditioned the mind-sets of all elements of society.
      3. Governments had to use various propaganda devices, including the printing press, to arouse public opinion.
      4. The Peace of Westphalia (1648) ended religious wars but also ended the idea of a unified Christian society.
    2. The origins of difficulties in France (1515-1559)
      1. By 1500, France was recovering from plague and disorder, and the nobility began to lose power.
      2. The French kings, such as Francis I and Henry II, continued the policies of centralization and were great patrons of Renaissance art but spent more money than they raised.
      3. The wars between France and Emperor Charles V--the Habsburg-Valois wars--were also costly.
      4. To raise money, Francis sold public offices and signed the Concordat of Bologna (1516), in which he recognized the supremacy of the papacy in return for the right to appoint French bishops.
        1. This settlement established Catholicism as the state religion in France.
        2. It also perpetuated corruption within the French church.
        3. The corruption made Calvinism attractive to Christians eager for reform: some clergy and members of the middle and artisan classes.
    3. Religious riots and civil war in France (1559-1589)
      1. The French nobility, many of them Calvinist, attempted to regain power over a series of weak monarchs.
        1. While Henry III was involved with his male favorites, his mother, Catherine de Medici, dominated French policy.
      2. Frequent religious riots symbolized the struggle for power in the upper classes and serious religious concerns among the lower classes.
      3. The Saint Bartholomew's Day massacre of Calvinists in 1572 led to the War of the Three Henrys, a damaging conflict for secular power.
      4. King Henry IV's Edict of Nantes (1598) saved France from further civil war by allowing Protestants to worship.
    4. The Netherlands under Charles V
      1. The Low Countries were part of the Habsburg empire and enjoyed commercial success and relative autonomy.
      2. In 1556 Charles V abdicated and divided his empire between his brother, Ferdinand, and his son, King Philip of Spain.
    5. The revolt of the Netherlands (1556-1587)
      1. Calvinism took deep root among the merchants and financiers.
      2. Regent Margaret attempted to destroy Protestantism by establishing the Inquisition in the Netherlands.
      3. She also raised taxes, causing those who opposed the repression of Calvinism to unite with those who opposed the taxes.
      4. Popular support for Protestantism led to the destruction of many Catholic churches.
      5. The duke of Alva and his Spanish troops were sent by Philip II to crush the disturbances in the Low Countries.
      6. Alva's brutal actions only inflamed the religious war, which raged from 1568 to 1578.
      7. The Low Countries were finally split into the Spanish Netherlands in the south, under the control of the Spanish Habsburgs, and the independent United Provinces of the Netherlands in the north.
        1. The north was Protestant and ruled by the commercial aristocracy.
        2. The south was Catholic and ruled by the landed nobility.
      8. Elizabeth I of England supported the northern, or Protestant, cause as a safeguard against Spain attacking England.
        1. The wars in the Low Countries had badly hurt the English economy.
        2. The murder of Dutch leader William the Silent and the Spanish invasion of the Netherlands convinced Elizabeth to enter the war on the Protestant side.
    6. Philip II and the Spanish Armada
      1. Philip II of Spain lived at a monastery called the Escorial; here he had a palace but he spent much time in prayer.
      2. Philip II sought pleasure in his youth but in older age sought prayer--but he did not believe that the state should dictate morals.
        1. As was common in his time, he did not believe in religious toleration.
        2. He failed to crush the Protestant cause because he was preoccupied with the administration of his huge empire.
      3. Phillip II supported Mary Queen of Scotland's plot to kill Elizabeth of England, so he planned an invasion of England.
        1. He wanted to keep England in the Catholic fold.
        2. He believed he would never conquer the Dutch unless he defeated England first.
      4. His plan was hurt by his ill health and fear of Turkish attack.
      5. The destruction of the Spanish Armada of 1588 did not end of the war, but it prevented Philip from unifying western Europe.
      6. In 1609, Philip III agreed to a truce, recognizing the independence of the United Provinces.
    7. The Thirty Years' War (1618-1648)
      1. Protestant Bohemian revolt over religious freedom led to war in Germany.
      2. The Bohemian phase (1618-1625) was characterized by civil war in Bohemia between the Catholic League and the Protestant Union.
        1. The Bohemians fought for religious liberty and independence from Habsburg rule.
        2. Ferdinand II wiped out Protestantism in Bohemia.
      3. The Danish phase of the war (1625-1629) led to further Catholic victory.
      4. The Swedish phase of the war (1630-1635) ended the Habsburg plan to unite Germany.
      5. The French phase (1635-1648) ended with a destroyed Germany and an independent Netherlands.
        1. The Peace of Westphalia recognized the independent authority of the German princes.
        2. The treaties allowed France to intervene at will in German affairs.
        3. They also denied the pope the right to participate in German religious affairs.
    8. Germany after the Thirty Years' War
      1. The war was economically disastrous for Germany.
      2. The war led to agricultural depression in Germany, and a return to serfdom for many peasants.

    Discovery, reconnaissance, and expansion (1450-1650)

    1. The "Age of Discovery" from 1450 to 1650 ushered in a new age of world history based on European mastery of ocean travel, increased migration, and economic, political, and cultural expansion.
    2. Overseas exploration and conquest
      1. The outward expansion of Europe began with the Viking voyages, and then the Crusades, but the presence of the Ottoman Turks in the East frightened the Europeans and forced their attention westward.
      2. Political centralization in Spain, France, and England prepared the way for expansion.
      3. The Portuguese, under the leadership of Prince Henry the Navigator, pushed south from North Africa.
        1. By 1500 Portugal controlled the flow of gold to Europe.
        2. Diaz, da Gama, and Cabral established trading routes to India.
        3. The Portuguese gained control of the Indian trade by overpowering Muslim forts in India.
    3. Technological stimuli to exploration
      1. The development of the cannon aided European expansion.
      2. New sailing and navigational developments, such as the caravel ship, the magnetic compass, and the astrolabe, also aided the expansion.
    4. The explorers' motives
      1. The desire to Christianize the Muslims and pagan peoples played a central role in European expansion.
      2. Limited economic and political opportunity for upperclass men in Spain led to emigration.
      3. Government encouragement was also important.
      4. Renaissance curiosity caused people to seek out new worlds.
      5. Spices were another important incentive.
      6. The economic motive--the quest for material profit--was the basic reason for European exploration and expansion.
    5. The problem of Christopher Columbus
      1. Until recently most historians agreed with Morison that Columbus was a great hero who carried Christian civilization to the new world.
      2. Now historians note that he enslaved and killed Indians and that he did not discover a new continent; others claim that he destroyed an earthly paradise.
      3. In reality, Columbus was a deeply religious man; he saw a link between the expulsion of the Moors and his task as Christian missionary.
        1. But his principal object was to find a direct route to Asia.
        2. When it was clear that he had not found great new spice markets, he turned to setting up a government in the islands.
        3. Thus he paved the way for Spanish imperial administration.

    Later explorers

    1. The people of Columbus's era believed that he had discovered a "New World."
      1. Spanish exploitation in the Caribbean led to the destruction of the Indian population.
        1. The population of Hispaniola declined from 100,000 to 300; Indians and black Africans were imported to continue the mining.
      2. In 1519 Magellan sailed southwest across the Atlantic for Charles V of Spain; he claimed the "Western Isles" for Spain, and proved the earth was round and larger than Columbus had estimated.
      3. Cortez conquered the Aztec Empire and founded Mexico City as the capital of New Spain.
      4. Pizarro crushed the Inca empire in Peru and opened the Potosí mines, which became the richest silver mines in the New World.
      5. The Low Countries, particularly the cities of Antwerp and Amsterdam, had been since medieval times the center of European trade.
        1. The Dutch East India Company became the major organ of Dutch imperialism.
        2. The Dutch West India Company gained control of much of the African and American trade.
      6. France and England made sporadic efforts at exploration and settlement.
    2. The economic effects of Spain's discoveries in the New World
      1. Enormous amounts of American gold and silver poured into Spain in the sixteenth century.
      2. It is probable that population growth and not the flood of American bullion caused inflation in Spain.
      3. European inflation hurt the poor the most.
    3. Colonial administration
      1. The Spanish monarch divided his new world into four viceroyalties, each with a viceroy and audiencia, or board of judges, that served as an advisory council and judicial body.
      2. The intendants were royal officials responsible directly to the monarch.
      3. The Spanish acted on the mercantilist principle that the colonies existed for the financial benefit of the mother country.
        1. The Crown claimed the quinto, onefifth of all precious metals mined in South America.
        2. The development of native industries was discouraged.
      4. Portuguese administration in Brazil was similar to Spain's.
        1. The crown of Portugal and Spain became one in 1580, and Spanish administrative forms were introduced.
        2. Portugal's mercantilist policies constrained Brazil's growth--but black slave labor led to much cultivation of coffee, cotton, and sugar.
        3. One unique feature of colonial Brazil was the thorough mixture of the races.

    Changing attitudes

    1. The wars of religion had bred confusion, uncertainty, and insecurity; it was an age in which sexism, racism, and skepticism began to take on modern forms.
    2. The status of women declined.
      1. Literature on women and marriage called for a subservient wife, whose household was her first priority, and a protective, firmruling, and loyal husband.
        1. Catholic marriages could not be dissolved, while Protestants held that divorce and remarriage were possible.
        2. Women did not lose their identity or meaningful work, but their subordinate status did not change.
        3. Elizabeth Hardwick's success in real estate illustrates that some women became rich and powerful.
      2. Prostitution was common, and brothels were licensed.
      3. Protestant reformers believed that convents were antifeminist and that women would find freedom in marriage and sex.
      4. With the closing of convents, marriage became virtually the only occupation for upperclass Protestant women.
    3. A great European witch hunt lasted for a century
      1. A "witch" was defined as a person who worked for the devil and could mysteriously injure other people or animals.
      2. Extreme religious thought and inability to explain everyday misfortunes led to a rise in the belief in the evil power of witches.
      3. The thousands of people executed as witches represent society's drift toward social and intellectual conformity.
      4. Witchhunting reflects widespread misogyny and a misunderstanding of women.
    4. European slavery and the origins of American racism
      1. Black slavery originated with the end of white slavery (1453) and the widespread need for labor, particularly in the new sugarproducing settlements.
      2. Beginning in 1518 Africans were brought to America to replace Indian slavery; this was promoted by the missionary las Casas, who wished to protect Indians.
      3. African kings and dealers sold black slaves to European merchants; the first slaves were brought to Brazil.
      4. Settlers brought to the Americas the racial attitudes they had absorbed in Europe from Christianity and Islam, which by and large depicted blacks as primitive and inferior.

    Literature and art

    1. Religious war and overseas expansion is mirrored in an explosion of intellectual and artistic activity.
    2. The origins of modern skepticism is found in the essays of Montaigne.
      1. Skeptics doubt whether definitive knowledge is ever attainable.
      2. Montaigne is the best representative of early modern skepticism and a forerunner of modern attitudes.
        1. In the Essays he advocated openmindedness, tolerance, and rejection of dogmatism.
        2. He rejected the claim that one culture may be superior to another, and he inaugurated an era of doubt.
    3. Elizabethan and Jacobean literature
      1. Shakespeare's understanding of human psychology was rooted in his appreciation of classical culture, individualism, and humanism.
        1. His "history plays" were very popular.
        2. His tragedies--Hamlet, Othello, and Macbeth--explore human problems such as ambition, sin, and revenge.
      2. The Authorized Bible of King James I (King James Bible) is a masterpiece of English vernacular writing.
    4. Baroque art and music
      1. In the late sixteenth century, the papacy and the Jesuits encouraged the growth of an emotional, exuberant art intended to appeal to the senses and kindle the faith of ordinary churchgoers.
      2. The baroque style took definite shape in Italy after 1600 and developed with exceptional vigor in Catholic countries.
        1. Rubens developed a sensuous, colorful style of painting characterized by animated figures and monumental size.
        2. In music, the baroque style reached its culmination with Bach.


You just read "". Keep learning!

How to cite this note (MLA)

Shah, Shalin. "" MiddleSchoolNotes.org. MiddleSchoolNotes, Inc., 10 Jan. 2013. Web. <http://middleschoolnotes.org/social-studies/european-history/chapter-15-the-age-of-religious-wars-and-european-expansion.php>.