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Mad Monarch Series - SPECIAL ROYALTY
"Series of short biographies of the personal lives of history's mad monarchs, sadistic Sultans, terrible Tsars, crazy caesars, deranged dukes." Thoughtful examination of peculiar behavior patterns and little known physical handicaps of royalty from antiquity to the 1800's. Beats 90210 or Melrose Place by a wide margin and proves truth is definitely stranger than fiction.
Pre-Enlightenment Europe - SPECIAL ESSAY
Analytical essay on the historical developments of the seventeenth century and history of ideas preceding Age of Enlightenment. France, Prussia, Austria, and even Russia. Useful links to The Wars of Religion. and what Divine Right of Kings was all about.   "European history throughout the 17th and 18th centuries took a variety of contradictory turns...The two centuries that bracket the Enlightenment saw the development of absolute monarchies and more tightly-centralized governments...Because of this growth in absolute and centralized power of the national government and the monarchy, this age in European history is generally called the Age of Absolutism (1660-1789)." Important to work through the entire site.
Twelfth - eighteenth centuries . "The early modern period was a time in which being a woman could be a crime in and of itself - a crime often punishable by death." Serious investigative site that leaves no stone unturned. Comprehensive, passionate and artistically presented."Documents of the Witch Craze, Magic, Spells, and Potions, Modern Parallels, People of the Witchcraze, Punishment, Torture, and Ordeal, Traits of the Witches.





Botticelli - Sandro
Botticelli's painting the "Allegory of Fortitude." This painting introduced Florence to this young and gifted artist of the Renaissance Era. Quite amazing that this painting was created to be the back of a tall chair in a Court.  And HERE.
Byzantines in Renaissance Italy
Role of Byzantine immigrants in Italy. Reasons for immigration, the kind of people that immigrated, their contributions as labourers, artisans, scribes, and Greek scholars.
Renaissance Dante in Print(1472-1629)
Dante's poem,"the Divine Comedy,"relating his heavenly ordained journey through Hell, Purgatory and Paradise enjoyed immediate success. More than 600 surviving manuscripts of the Divine Comedy produced during the 14th century attest to the work's popularity. Dante was one of few that produced literally works during the High Middle Ages. A fine page.
La Renaissance
"The term Renaissance, adopted from the French equivalent of the Italian word rinascita, meaning literally 'rebirth,' describes the radical and comprehensive changes that took place in European culture during the 15th and 16th centuries, bringing about the demise of the Middle Ages and embodying for the first time the values of the modern world. The consciousness of cultural rebirth was itself a characteristic of the Renaissance. Italian scholars and critics of this period proclaimed that their age had progressed beyond the barbarism of the past and had found its inspiration, and its closest parallel, in the civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome." Useful links to the Renaissance in Italy, The Netherlands, Germany, France.  Renaissance art.
Fifteenth Century and the Renaissance
Florence during the 15th Century and the rise of the Renaissance era. Economic and political uprisings, political growth, new tax systems, families and power. Artistic contributions of Italians to the world of art and architecture. Pictures of amazing architectural buildings in Florence, the "Rennaissance City 'Par Excellent.'"  
States of Italy During the Renaissance
Renaissance as a time of changing, of "rebirth" in Italy. Scientists with newfound interest mathematics, physics, and astronomy. Artists and scientists studying the human body with great precision; and artists using these studies to create artwork emphasizing the true human form. Human beings valued as individuals. People no longer seen as drifting souls through society who waited for their time to die. How the change and hunger for knowledge undermined the Church. Despite the Church's efforts to take control of the phenomena, the Renaissance spread throughout Italy and Europe.
Map of the Major Powers in Renaissance Italy Political Subdivisions in 15th Century
Masaccio - Famous Artist Known as Founder of Renaissance Painting.
Michelangelo Buonarroti
The Italian painter, sculptor, and poet and some of his most famous works of art.
Renaissance Faires: The Basic Site
"Renaissance Faire is an amalgam of many things. Partly a craft fair, partly historical reenactment, partly performance art." Fair locations and time. Tips on reenactment including clothing styles, material, and dyes and recommended patterns for clothing and makers of clothing; Elizabethan accents, vocabulary, and list of literary works; and period names and professions. Brief history of Elizabethan period and Elizabeth's household.
Virtual Classroom: The Renaissance
Basic facts about the Renaissance.  Although intended primarily for elementary students, includes infomation vignettes, and excellent links. "About 1450, European scholars became more interested in studying the world around them. Their art became more true to life. They began to explore new lands. The new age in Europe was eventually called "the Renaissance." Renaissance is a French word that means "rebirth." Historians consider the Renaissance to be the beginning of modern history.   The Renaissance began in northern Italy and then spread through Europe. Italian cities such as Naples, Genoa, and Venice became centers of trade between Europe and the Middle East. Arab scholars preserved the writings of the ancient Greeks in their libraries. When the Italian cities traded with the Arabs, ideas were  xchanged along with goods."
WebMuseum: La Renaissance
"The term Renaissance, describing the period of European history from the early 14th to the late 16th century, is derived from the French word for rebirth, and originally referred to the revival of the values and artistic styles of classical antiquity during that period, especially in Italy. In the 18th century Renaissance in Italy was classified as one of the great ages of human cultural achievement. In the 19th century, it became a distinct historical period heralding the modern age, characterized by the rise of the individual, scientific inquiry and geographical exploration, and the growth of secular values." In the 20th century the term was broadened to include other revivals of classical culture, such as the Carolingian Renaissance of the 9th century or the Renaissance of the 12th Century. No single philosophy or ideology dominated the intellectual life of the Renaissance.
Women Philosophers of the Renaissance
Women philosophers of the Renaissance era. Short paragraphs on some of the most influential women of that time period. Catherine of Siena, Saint Teresa of Avila, Christine de Pisan, Julian of Norwich, and Birgitta of Sweden. For example, Catherine of Siena made an impression on history because of her involvement in the Church. Thought of as the "true mystic" of the Renaissance. Informative and a good place to get the reader's attention about women involved in the Renaissance.


The Essays of Francis Bacon
Philosopher, statesman, lawyer and essayist, Francis Bacon was intellectual giant of late 16th/early 17th century. Do not let longest site address in universe fool you. Wonderful, wide-ranging compilation of short, concise essays - covering everything from nature of truth to "The True Greatness of Kingdoms and Estates." Evidence of explosion of thought during Renaissance/Enlightenment.
Sir Francis Bacon's Advancement of Learning
Playful exploration of life and work of Renaissance intellectual giant Francis Bacon (1561-1626), with an eye towards proving Bacon wrote Shakepeare's plays. Preposterous but fun.

Concise pages give good overview of  Prince of Humanists and why he became a towering figure in his time.
Erasmus Text Project
Known as "Prince of Humanists," Desiderius Erasmus (1469? - 1536) was one of driving forces of Renaissance intellectual thought. Site is devotee's translations of Erasmus' earthshaking writings about "men, manners and things." Creator's enthusiasm is infectious.
Desiderius Erasmus
"Erasmus may now be said to have reached the acme of his fame; he was in high repute throughout all Europe, and was regarded as an oracle both by princes and scholars." Fully detailed treatise of Erasmus' evolution. The literary war with Martin Luther. Concisely reiterates his contribution to New Testament scholarship, his Textus Receptus.  
Three Prayers
"Grant us that we, who have through baptism been reborn in thee, have put aside our old selves, and been made new creations, might never slip back to our old ways." Translation of three prayers by Erasmus.
Rene Descartes (1596-1650)
Brilliant scientist, mathematician and philosopher, Rene Descarte's ability to correlate philosophy and science was a major influence on western thought. Famous for his paradigm shifting phrase: "I think therefore I am." Site also links to his texts and explanations of his discoveries. Good biographical web site.
Descartes and Mathematics
"We may consider Descartes as the first of the modern school of mathematics."
Sir Thomas More (1478-1535)
Excellent Chronology of Thomas More - humanist, philosopher, saint. Link to his book Utopia, a term he coined for his perfect society of communistic democracy but gopher server seems down all the time. Alternative site with less information about More but a good link to Utopia is here.
The St. Thomas More Web Site
Writings, biographies, pictures.  Central site for the "Man for All Seasons."  As Samuel Johnson wrote:  "He was the person of the greatest virtue these islands ever produced."

Humanism (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
Great humanists of the Renaissance era, such as Petrarch Dante, and Boccaccio. The character of the Humanist Movemen. Erasmus of Rotterdam.
Humanism: From the Vatican Hall
What was Humanism? Explains how humanists created new classical scholarship while at the same time trying to understand the works of the Greeks and Romans. Both officials and wealthy families hired humanists to teach their children how to write elegant, classical letters, histories, and propaganda in the style of classical morality. Humanist movement could not reform the church because of its double standard of supporting the Church and challenging it at the same time. Good links to Classical Scholarships, Humanist Theology, Ciceronianism.
Humanism: An Introduction
"The intellectual and social movement which historians call humanism is what lies at the base of the period we call the Renaissance. Humanism and its ideals came to pervade the art, literature, learning, law, and civic life, first in Italy, then in all of Europe. But what is humanism? Scholars are still debating this issue, but there is a consensus on a basic definition. Simply put, humanism is a rediscovery and re-evaluation of the aspects of classical civilization (ancient Greece and Rome) and the application of these aspects to intellectual and social culture."  What is humanism? Why did it start in Italy? Who was the first humanist? Concise site for a quick insight into Humanism.


DaVinci's Short Biography
"Leonardo da Vinci was one of the greatest inventor-scientist of recorded history. His genius was unbounded by time and technology, and was driven by his insatiable curiosity, and his intuitive sense of the laws of nature."  His designs, scientific accomplishments, masterpieces.
Leonardo da Vinci Museum:  Leonardo's Home Town
Amazing site! Notes on Leonardo's home town of Vinci, its history, includes beautiful pictures. Leonardo's biography and some images of his art work. A look at the museum and the artwork contained on each floor of the building. Gorgeous pictures of Italy and colorful images.  
Leonardo Home Page
Wonderful site! Explore this "remarkable Renaissance man . . . this fascinating scientist, inventor, and artist." Brief biography with images, his curious habit of writing in reverse, his way of looking at the world, and some of his futuristic inventions. "He was a terrific role model for applying the scientific method creatively in every aspect of life including art and music. Although he is best known for his dramatic and expressive artwork, Leonardo also conducted dozens of carefully thought out experiments and created futuristic inventions in a time before modern science and invention had really begun." "There has never been an artist who was more fittingly, and without qualification, described as a genius." A true Renaissance man, excelling in science, botany, architecture and engineering, art. Stunning graphics.
Leonardo:  The World in One Man
"In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace. And what did they produce? The cuckoo-clock." -Orson Welles in "The Third Man." Leonardo's art, science, engineering, inventions,  impact. "What do helicopters, submarines, speech and anatomy have in common? Leonardo thought about or worked with each one in his life. Most people first associate Leonardo with art, but in reality he did the same, if not more work, with science and engineering. . . . Leonardo was an exceptional thinker and wanted to know about everything and how it worked. All his studies are still visible in his thousands of pages of notes and drawings. Leonardo dug up graves to obtain cadavers for his exploration of anatomy. He made little paper models of his inventions (such as the flying machine) to see if they worked. Believe it or not, some of Leonardo's works did fly! . . . Many of da Vinci's ideas were related to war. These include shrapnel, gas bombs and tanks among others. Come along and look at some of these sketches!"  Another good site, Leonardo Bookmarks.  And the amazing Think Quest, Why is the Mona Lisa Smiling?
WebMuseum: Leonardo da Vinci
Beautiful! Some of famous paintings by Leonardo including "Last Supper" and "Mona Lisa." Click on miniature paintings to see them in screen size. What is so great about his paintings? What to look for in his paintings? Explanations on a few paintings. Links to Renaissance and other great painters of that period, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, Rembrandt.


ILTweb: Digtial Classics: Machiavelli: The Prince - In translation
Machiavelli:  Patriot and Political Genius
"Machiavelli had been unfairly attacked all of his life because of a bad reputation. But it only got worse after he died. He was continually blasted for his "support" of corrupt ruling. In fact, Machiavellian now means corrupt government. Only recently has his true personality come to light. . . a patriot and a political genius."
Nicolo Machiavelli: Power for Good or Bad
Shows how we can interpret Machiavelli's view on politics as both good and bad. Ends with the thought of how world rulers we like to hate (ie. Hitler) used Machiavelli's book as inspiration. Extensive site.
Niccolo Machiavelli
"Born in Florence when it was under the rule of the Medicis, Machiavelli initiated his career in the Florentine civil service in 1498 during the period when the Medicis were out of power, replaced by a republican government. He rose to important diplomatic posts within the government, but was forced into retirement when the Medici family came back to power in 1512. He never gave up hope of returning to favor, and he wrote his most famous work, The Prince (1513), in part as an application to the Medic rulers for a job in the Florentine government. The book has since become a classic treatise in political theory, above all for the way that it divorces politics from theology and metaphysics. "
How Machiavellian Are You?
Quiz that let's visitors decide how Machiavellian their thinking is!
Niccolo Machiavelli , Italian Statesman and Political Philosopher
"The Father of modern political theory."
A Child's Machiavelli - REALLY GREAT
Very clever spoof showing what would have happened if Antoine St. Exupery's The Little Prince had been written by Machiavelli!
Niccolo Machiavelli 1469-1527
"Renaissance Italy was the turbulent setting for Machiavelli's political analysis. Artistic creativity (Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael) and intellectual curiosity was running fast. There was renewed interest in Greek philosophy. The spirit was "virtu vince fortuna" - mens' wisdom and efforts bring about change. . . Machiavelli draws lessons from the power plays of history and his own observation. He reflects on how thngs actually are rather than offering a wish list of ideal. He reflects that those who seek to act virtuously in all things are undone by those how are not virtuous. Whilst not sanctioning mindless violence and cruelty, betrayal and treachery for their own sake, he advises Princes to be feared (not hatred) and loved - a difficult combnation but Machiavelli is pessimistic about ungrateful, fickle, greedy human nature."
Medieval Sourcebook: Machiavelli: The Prince [excerpts] - Short Excerpts.



Chronology of Voyages of Exploration, 1486-1522
Simple tool that accounts for the exploratory voyages during the Age of Discovery. Explorers, dates of exploration and significance.
European Voyages of Exploration
Splendid site from the University of Calgary.  "The modern world exists in a state of cultural, political, and economic globalization. During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries two nations, Portugal and Spain, pioneered the European discovery of sea routes that were the first channels of interaction between all of the world's continents, thus beginning the process of globalization in which we all live today." . . . "The two pioneering nations [Spain and Portugal], their motivations, their actions, and the inevitable consequences of their  colonisation."  General introduction to exploration in the 15th and 16th centuries.   Then considers the Iberian Peninsula, the Portugese with Prince Henry, the Atlantic Islands, Africa, Asia, and Brazil, the Spanish with the Carribean, Christopher Columbus, and Latin America, and the "geographical, technological, economic, political, and cultural patterns of that era." Knowledge and Power, Cartography, Shipbuilding and Navigation, European Maritime Superiority, European Way of War, Communication, Religion and Exploration, Trade: Sugar and Slaves.
Welcome to 1492: An Ongoing Voyage
Library of Congress Exhibition examines the first sustained contacts between American people and European explorers, conquerors and settlers from 1492 to 1600. During this period, in the wake of Columbus's voyages, Africans also arrived in the hemisphere, usually as slaves. All of those encounters, some brutal and traumatic, others more gradual, irreversibly changed the way in which peoples in the Americas led their lives.
Mariners' Museum - Newport News, Virginia
Covering maritime history from the ancient world to the eighteenth century. In the Age of Discovery it focuses on the exploits of people, covering Prince Henry, Vasco Da Gama, Christopher Columbus, Magellan's circumnavigation of the earth, the Cabots, Sir Francis Drake, Jaques Carter, Henry Hudson, and James Cook. Also some information on ships, maps and cartography, navigational techniques in the 15th century, a glossary, and interesting student activities, such as how to build your own navigational instruments.
Columbus Navigation Homepage
"Examining the History, Navigation, and Landfall of Christopher Columbus." Extensive information regarding the 4 voyages of Christopher Columbus. Wonderful site about early map making and navigational tools. Interesting bits of information regarding how the early explorers found their way and measured distance traveled per day.
Uncovering the Real Columbus
Certainly more information than you ever learned in school about Christopher Columbus. His marriage, his children and the controversy that surrounded him. Excerpts from a 1992 book.
Sir Francis Drake
"Pages focused on Sir Francis Drake, and in particular on his "Famous Voyage" - the circumnavigation of the world in the sixteenth century, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth.Packed with material. The Famous Voyage was a mystery before it began; only a handful of the men who set out from England on the Golden Hind in 1577 had any idea of the journey's original destination, and perhaps not even Sir Francis. The mystery continued after the voyage ended; secrecy fostered confusion and, as will be seen on these pages, the confusion persists to this day.
Ferdinand Magellan
It was only a generation after Columbus that Magellan's tiny fleet sailed west, via his strait, then on around the world. No one could be sure how wide the ocean was. "I would not care to sail to the Canaries in such crates," wrote the Portuguese consul in Seville, with obvious pleasure. "Their ribs are soft as butter."
European Voyages of Exploration - Prince Henry the Navigator
"Henry was somewhat of a paradox: a dreamer, a scholar, and a monk who nevertheless possessed the instincts of a businessman." Prince Henry had a role in the Portuguese slave trade, though his intention was mainly to convert them to Christianity. His thirst for warfare and exploration led to an interesting life. A wealth of information on this brave and determined man.
Henry The Navigator
Founder of the Portuguese empire, Prince Henry of Portugal was a patron of explorer. One of the earliest geographers. In honor of the discoveries he inspired, he came to be called Henry the Navigator.
Pirates Legends: Pirates & Privateers
You cannot study the Age of Discovery without taking a good look at the pirates who ravaged ocean explorers during this time. Numerous links to both Facts and Fiction pages, but check out Blackbeard, Drake, and Gráinne O'Malley. Royalty in Europe worked with one another to carefully define ocean routes, but it is believed by many historians that Queen Elizabeth secretly encouraged piracy. This explains the classic image of a pirate as a weathered old tyrant with a suspiciously British accent.
Pirates: Wild Women and Salty Dogs
"Pirates were thieves and looters and hard drinkers. They loved wild women. Some times they were wild women." Originally a Discovery Channel Online site. It is down, but read about two of the most infamous pirates of the 18th century, both of them women! Site includes the origins Anne Bonny and Mary Read and the story of these two vicous pirates.



Catholic Encyclopedia: The Reformation
Causes, original ideas, spreading methods and countries, forms, results, consequences. Seen through the eyes of the Catholic Church.
Calvinism and Arminianism
Two religious faiths, Calvinism and Arminianism and how they correlate with each other. John Calvin's first edition of Institutes of the Christian Religion and how the Romanists responded. By the 17th Century Calvinism superceded Lutheranism as the most important representative of Protestantism. Arminianism and its origins and effects. The many religious faiths that branched out from Catholicism.
Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences.  Commonly Known as 95 Theses
Lists all 95 theses written by Martin Luther, which brought on accusations of heresy and eventually led to his excommunication and the reformation of the church.
Life and Times of Martin Luther
Timeline of Luther's career as a reformist including pictures of Luther and significant events during time period. Briefly explains origins of the Reformation.
Models for Reformation: Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England (1599-1658)
Biography of Oliver Cromwell and how he changed the political institutions of England. Cromwell, a staunch Puritan, prayed and fasted often and believed in going down to local taverns to involve the patrons in singing hymns! Cromwell's forcefulness and determination appealed to the Puritans and they chose him as the leader of the Independent Party, as well as representative to Parliament. Persecution of the Puritans, civil war between the King and the Puritans. Oliver Cromwell as responsible for leading the Puritans into battle and successfully overthrowing the King of England, even though the Puritan forces were greatly outnumbered. Cromwell as "Lord Protector." Cromwell managed to produce what is known as a brief " Golden Age" in history. Further link in understanding the Reformation Movements that Europe experienced throughout the years.
Pope Paul III
Focus on one of the most important high priests of the Counter-Reformation, Pope Paul, who created the Society of Jesus, appointed men into the College of Cardinals, assembled the Council of Trent. His fondness for works of Michelangelo and other Renaissance artists.
A Reformation Gallery
Several pages of art produced during the Reformation, including many of Martin Luther during different time periods. If you are a Martin Luther fan, this site is for you! Pictures of significant places as well as other important people of this time period.
The Reformation and Counter-Reformation
History of the Reformation and the Roman Church's strategy against it. Compares and contrasts Protestant reformers to Roman Catholics ideals in art and architecture. Site's "Aftermath" explains the effects of the Reformation on modern day life and religion.  The catalyst? "At the beginning of the sixteenth century, the Catholic church, modeled upon the bureaucratic structure of the Holy Roman Empire, has become extremely powerful, but internally corrupt. From early in the twelfth century onward there are calls for reform. Between 1215 and 1545 nine church-councils are held with church reforms as their primary intent. The councils all fail to reach significant accord. The clergy is unable to live according to church doctrine, and the abuse of church ceremonies and practices continues."
Reformation Theology
Explanation of the theology of the reformists as well as concise definitions and some history on the Reformation. Defines T U L I P, also known as the five points of Calvinism: Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited (or Definite) Atonement, Irresistible Grace, Perseverance of the Saints.

Barred from Heaven?
"At the base of the altar, we see an angel tearing pages out of a book." Sculpture of John Huss and Martin Luther being thrown out of heaven by Mary. It is Ignatius Loyola's tomb. "John Huss was a student of John Wycliff, who translated the Bible into English in 1382. Wycliff advocated the right of the common man to read the Bible in his own language. Both Wycliff and Huss believed scripture to supercede the dogmas and ordinances of the church and both declared the Papacy to be the AntiChrist foretold in scripture. John Huss was burned alive at the stake in 1415 for his "heresy" and rebellion against Catholic authority. Wow!
Fire That Was Kindled
"The smoke blinds him, the flames are circling above his head. The flames wrap him round, his head falls on his breast. The fire does its work, and a heap of ashes is all that remains. Yet the voice goes on." Great treatise of an unpopular martyr. "The priests and bishops and Pope have got rid of John Huss. Have they? By no means. It is only the beginning of their troubles with him, for the people of Bohemia resent his death. It is the beginning of a terrible war, which lasts many years, and drenches the land with blood." Essay with passion including detail as well as capturing fascination. Good for martyr sympathizers.
John Huss, Priest and Martyr
"The Council, having just narrowly succeeded in uniting Western Christendom under a single pope after years of chaos, was not about to have its work undone." Behind historical scenes look at discords neighboring John Huss' situation. Brief excerpt of his life. Delightful reading. From "Bibiliographic Sketches of Memorable Christians."
Persecutions in Bohemia
In depth coverage of Huss, including others persecuted in Bohemia. Good material. Long reading, needs undivided attention. From Fox's Book of Martyrs.



Reformation: Religious Wars
"The latter half of the 16th century and the beginning of the 17th century brought about one of the most passionate and calamitous series of wars that Europe had ever experienced...The final result of these struggles would be the overthrow and execution of Charles I in England in the middle of the 17th century, an historical earthquake that permanently changed the face of Europe."  These struggles "would eventually shatter the European monarchical traditions themselves."


The Hundred Years War
Causes, Course, Conflict
Hundred Years War
"The Hundred Years War, lasting from 1337 until 1453, was a defining time for the history of both England and France. The war started in May 1337 when King Philip VI of France attempted to confiscate the English territories in the duchy of Aquitaine (located Southwestern France). It ended in July 1453 when the French finally expelled the English from the continent (except for Calais) by force. The Hundred Years War were a series of plundering raids, sieges and naval battles interspersed with truces and uneasy peace."
Hundred Years War - Final Phases
"The final phase of the Hundred Years' War encompassed the obviously dramatic, first effective employment of gunpowder weapons (aside from the Hussite Wars of 1413-36) in Western Europe. What was special to the French artillery was not a secret technology."
The Beginning and the End of the War
From a fifteenth-century manuscript of the chronicle of Jean Froissart, a contemporary of Chaucer's, and a poet as well. Froissart, who was French, was usually partisan towards Richard II because Richard favored a peace treaty with France.
The Hundred Years War Game - Play it For $6 a Month!
Maps of the Hundred Years War
Map timeline of France of development of the war. Helpful in conveying the areas involved in the war, and what was won and lost.


The Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years' War (1618-1648).  Spain, France, Sweden, Bohemia, The Netherlands, and the Holy Roman Empire were embroiled in a continuous war between Catholics and Protestants. The war itself was divided into Bohemian Period (1618-1625), Danish Period (1625-1629), Swedish Period (1630-1635), and Swedish - French Period (1635-1648). Essay focuses on Bohemian King Ferdinand II (Catholic). The peace of Westphalia (October 24, 1648) put an end to all fighting when all countries were exhausted. "The real losers in the war were the German people. Over 300,000 had been killed in battle. Millions of civilians had died of malnutrition and disease, and wandering, undisciplined troops had robbed, burned, and looted almost at will. Most authorities believe that the population of the Empire dropped from about 21,000,000 to 13,500,000 between 1618 and 1648. Even if they exaggerate, the Thirty Years War remains one of the most terrible in history.
The Thirty Years War - The Players
Thirty Years War 2
Brief capsule information on Gustavus Adolphus, Wallenstein, Cardinal Richelieu of France, and the Hadsburg Dynasty. "The Thirty Years War persuaded everybody that neither the Protestants nor the Catholics could be completely victorious and dreams of an empire, united under a Catholic Church had to be abandoned." Series of European conflicts lasting from 1618 to 1648, involving most of the countries of western Europe, and fought mainly in Germany. The war was one of the most destructive conflicts in European history.
The Peace of Westphalia
Which ended the War. "The treaty guaranteed the religious and political constitution of the Holy Roman Empire, giving the German princes the sovereign right to settle the religious question in theirrespective territories. France also achieved its main war aim because the costly war and the concessions to the princes effectively stopped the Habsburgs from transforming the Holy Roman Empire into an absolutist state under their direction.
Wars of the Roses
Wars of the Roses is a name given later to a series of battles fought by two rival branches of the Plantagenet dynasty for control of the English throne in the 15th century. Each family had a rose as its emblem - white for the York family, red for the House of Lancaster. Clear and easy-to-follow survey of the Wars of the Roses including the major players and important battles.


Elizabeth I
"Elizabeth's reign from 1558 to 1603 is considered by many to be a Golden Age, but there were many dangers present throughout her life. When Elizabeth was two years old her mother, Anne Boleyn, was beheaded by her father, Henry VIII, and the young princess was brought up in the care of governesses and tutors at Hatfield House. However her life came under threat when her half-sister, Mary I, became queen in 1553. Mary was determined to re-establish Catholicism and viewed the Protestant Elizabeth as a direct threat, briefly imprisoning her in the Tower of London. When Elizabeth succeeded to the throne in 1558 one of her priorities was to return England to the Protestant faith and, between 1559 and 1563, introduced the acts which made up the Church Settlement."  Excellent article.
Elizabeth I - An Overview
"Elizabeth I is considered one of the country's most successful and popular monarchs. Clever, enigmatic and flirtatious, she rewrote the rules of being Queen. But what was Elizabeth really like? And was her success down to her own skill and judgement - or an intuitive grasp of public relations?"  Read on in this far ranging BBC site that covers the issues of Elizabeth..
Elizabeth I (1533-1603)
Superb site on this remarkable monarch.   Quotes, life and works, essays, articles, gallery. "Much suspected by me, Nothing proved can be, Queen Elizabeth prisoner."  From from tower to retirement."This makes me that I do not so much rejoice that God hath made me to be a Queen, as to be Queen over so thankful a people."
The History of the Spanish Armada
Fine comprehensive site. "The defeat marked the turning point between the era of Spanish world domination and the rise of Britain to the position of international supremacy. Thus this battle began the decline of Spain and the ascent of Britain -- a sea change event." and "For Philip II it was the Great Enterprise. For Elizabeth I it was reason to "commit ourselves to armed multitudes, for fear of treachery." It rocked the balance of power in Europe at a time of great intrigue, discovery and development. it shook the foundations of religion and echoed the best and worst of the social condition of the period. It was woven into every art form. It carried the martial and maritime arts to an untested extreme. It showcased the great personages of its time. The death counts are staggering in light of the actual scenario. There may be no other event in our history that bears more markedly the imprint of the impact of the hand of nature."
The BBC Spanish Armada Site
"The threat of invasion by Spain loomed large for much of Elizabeth I's reign, culminating in the launch of the Armada in 1588. The failure of this attack enhanced the queen's popularity with her people, but did great damage to the standing of Philip II. What were the reasons behind the Armada, and did it bring an end to the Anglo-Spanish war?"  Learn the stages of the controversy.
The Invincible Armada - What Were Phillip's Grievances?
Excellent summary.
The Spanish Armada - How Could Weak England Beat Strong Spain?  A Miracle?
"King Philip II of Spain was the most powerful and (seemingly) wealthy man in Europe in the latter half of the 16th century. His territories in the New World brought him enormous wealth, though the expense of administering that far-flung empire meant that Spain was heavily in debt to foreign bankers. England, by comparison, was a relatively small nation, and not a particularly powerful or wealthy one. Why then would Philip spend the money to assemble the largest - and most expensive - naval force ever seen against his island foe?"
Well presented, but quite undeveloped. Records of 130 ships in the Armada. Reasons for invading England, the invasion plan, the two opposing fleets, the method of naval battle, and the grisly fate of the Spanish Armada.
Spanish Armada 1588 - The Invasion That Nearly Succeeded - How The Army of Flanders Almost Conquered England
"Did Spain want to conquer England? It is fairly certain that Spanish king Philip II did not want or intend to rule England as part of the Spanish empire - or to make English people speak Spanish. As a zealous Catholic, his deepest wish was to return England to the "true church", to restore Church lands and property stolen by Henry VIII, reopen the monasteries, and restore Catholic forms of worship. The Pope had agreed to support an invasion. He excommunicated the English Queen Elizabeth, absolved her subjects from any duty to obey her, and offered financial help and papal blessing for an invasion. Philip, subject to the Pope's approval, would choose a new ruler pledged to restore the Catholic faith."
The story of Spain's great naval invasion of England - and how it all went terribly wrong.  The threat of invasion by Spain loomed large for much of Elizabeth I's reign, culminating in the launch of the Armada in 1588. The failure of this attack enhanced the queen's popularity with her people, but did great damage to the standing of Philip II. What were the reasons behind the Armada, and did it bring an end to the Anglo-Spanish war?
The Defeat of the Spanish Armada
"The Spanish Armada was a fleet assembled and dispatched by King Phillip II of Spain in attempt to invade England in 1588. His attempt was unsuccessful. Queen Elizabeth I of England held the defeat of the armada as one of her greatest achievements, assisting the decline of the Spanish Empire. The armada had a mission of both political and religious aims. King Phillip, the leader of the Roman Catholic Spain, was not able to stop a revolt in of his Protestant subjects in the Netherlands, a revolt which began in 1566, aided by Protestant England. By 1586, Phillip had decided that he could not defeat the Dutch until he had defeated England first. Long time religious rivalry between Spain and England was hoped to be resolved by King Phillip in the dethroning of Queen Elizabeth, reconverting England to Catholicism. The plan for conquering had begun. This plan consisted of the coordination of a fleet to sail from Spain and an army from the Netherlands to create a simultaneous invasion of England. His force of 130 ships and more than 30,000 men."
Queen Elizabeth Speaks Against the Spanish Armada
"One of the most powerful women who ever lived was Queen Elizabeth I of England (1533-1603). The daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, and wknown as the Virgin Queen or Good Queen Bess. 25 years old when she became Queen and ruled England for 44 years until age 69. Tall and slender with fair skin and had curly red hair. In the 1500s there was an ongoing rivalry on the sea between the ships of England and Spain over control of trade in the New World. King Philip II of Spain decided to settle the question and put an end to English attacks on his ships by invading and conquering England. Philip assembled a huge fleet of warships known as the Spanish Armada and in 1588 sailed into the English Channel. During the nine-day battle, the smaller, more maneuverable English ships met the Spanish Armada and inflicted terrible losses. The Spanish ships that escaped ran into bad weather and only a few returned to Spain. Following the defeat of the Spanish Armada, England became the dominant world power and remained so for centuries." Queen's powerful, strong, confident speech when she visited her troops as they prepared for battle.
Phillip II - King of Spain
"Philip II was born in 1527 and he died in 1598. Philip II became king of Spain in January 1556. He governed Spain in her so-called 'Golden Age.'However, his reign saw the economic decline of Spain, her bankruptcy and a disastrous decade from 1588 to 1598 which included the disaster of the Spanish Armada. Philip II considered himself to be a traditional Spanish man - he had a love of music and art. He had a wonderful collection of masterpieces at the Escorial - his palace outside of Madrid. Philip II was a cultivated man who read widely and was good at History and Politics but poor at languages. He was passionate about collecting rare books and works of art. He was a deeply religious man and the Escorial was the home for a Hieronymite monastery and church. Even though the Escorial is considered Philip's palace, his rooms were spartan and contained few pieces of furniture. It would have surprised visitors expecting to see the palace of Europe's richest man."  Click to the Pen Portrait.
Philip II, King of Spain 1556-1598, (1527-1598)  - Good Summary
Poverty in Elizabethan England
"Elizabethan England faced a mounting economic problem as the poor became poorer, and a growing army of vagabonds and beggars roamed the streets and countryside. In an attempt to curb the problem, the government passed a series of strict Poor Laws. But what effect did all this have on the country's towns and villages?"
London - What Was This City Like?
"It is hardly surprising that, with so many people flocking to the towns, London was by now the biggest city in Europe with between 130,000 and 150,000 inhabitants. It was a colourful metropolis and contained the best and worst of city life. The streets were filled with alehouses, gambling dens and brothels, and the public was entertained by street performers, playhouses, and spectacles such as bear baiting. London was filthy but intriguing, lively but dangerous. And, in addition to its own poor, the city acted as a magnet for beggars, thieves and tricksters from across the country."



Witchcraft Documents [15th Century]
Intense period of persecution of witches in the late 16th and 17th centuries. "Witches and witchcraft, were very real to the writers of the 15th century and later. Their writing tells us much about their thought worlds, and also their attitudes towards women. . . Whether or not there were real groups of witches, many women and a few men, suffered intense persecution and death as a result of intolerance."
Ten Common Errors and Myths about the Witch Hunts,  Corrected and Commented
Veryyyyyyy Important.  Do not miss this.
Ten General Historical Theories about the Origins and Causes of the Witch Hunts
"The "theories" for the causes of the Witch Hunts listed below are drawn from what various historians have suggested. They are called theories, because they are based on reasonable information (or were, when they were first proposed), and make some sense in explaining the phenomena. Each theory below describes the main idea briefly, and after "BUT" lists some of the problems in applying the theory to witch hunts. None is perfect, some are better than others, and a few are now supported by only few historians. "
Documents of the Witchcraze
"Fair is foul, and foul is fair. Hover through the fog and the filthy air!" - - Macbeth
Links to folklore, actual individual experiences during this era, misogyny and why women shed sexuality in order to survive, as well as fictional look at what could happen if a witch-hunter was "alive and well" today. Check them out and see for yourself.
The People of the Witchcraze
"Learn the tragic fate of 13th century German freedom fighters; Judaism and Conspiracy Theories; Edmond Robinson - a lazy little boy turned story-teller and witch-hunter; From the Mouths of Babes - sometimes Hansel and Gretel were the wicked witches; The Witch-Hunters - Matthew Hopkins, Cotton Mather, and other nice friendly chaps (plus one woman)
Punishment, Torture, and Ordeal
"Before the opinions of philanthropists held sway, torture was a necessary part of most trials. The witchcraft trials were no exception." Ordeal By Water, Stoning, The Shin-Vice, The Spider, The Heretic's Fork, to only name a few. Truly unbelievable! Amazing what could happen to anyone alleged to be a witch, not to mention it was all justified by the Church. Definite eye-opener!
Traits of the Witches
"How to identify a witch - Jesus Christ himself couldn't pass all these tests." How witches sold their souls; lists fo alternate terminology for witchcraft; Cannibalism and witchcraft; lists of gods and goddesses believed to lead the Wild Hunt -  "group of witches, demons, and souls flying through the air and the streets at night terrorising the people below." Wow! Truly hard-to-believe information!
The Witch Hunts: The End of Magic and Miracles
"And do you not know that you are an Eve? The sentence of God on this sex of yours lives in this age: the guilt must of necessity live too. You are the devil's gateway: you are the unsealer of that tree: you are the first deserter of the divine law: you are she who persuaded him whom the devil was not valiant enough to attack. You destroyed so easily God's image, man. On account of your desert that is, death even the Son of God had to die" - Tertullian, Church Father. Teeming with quotes reflecting the mindset and popular opinion that instigated the witch-hunts. Provides overview of history of witchcraft in relation to Christianity and implicates the usefulness of heresy and witchcraft as a viable method of profit for the Church. And many resources on the Hunt in Early Modern Europe. "The Reformation did not convert the people of Europe to orthodox Christianity through preaching and catechisms alone. It was the 300 year period of witch-hunting from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century, what R.H. Robbins called "the shocking nightmare, the foulest crime and deepest shame of western civilization," that ensured the European abandonment of the belief in magic. The Church created the elaborate concept of devil worship and then, used the persecution of it to wipe out dissent, subordinate the individual to authoritarian control, and openly denigrate women."


African Slave Trade and European Imperialism
Critical site, put up by a Central Oregon Community College student, tracks through a detailed timeline the progress of the African Slave Trade throughout history and offers links for more information on specific events. Don't miss it!  And HERE.


Welcome to the Baroque
"The Baroque was a time of a great intensification of past forms in all the arts: painting saw the works of Vermeer, Rubens, Rembrandt, and El Greco -- in literature it was the time of Molière, Cervantes, Milton, and Racine -- modern science came into its own during this period with the work of Galileo and Newton. In music, the age began with the trail-blazing works of Claudio Monteverdi, continued with the phenomenally popular music of Antonio Vivaldi and the keyboard works of such composers as Fran&cced;ois Couperin and Domenico Scarlatti, and came to a close with the masterworks of two of the veritable giants of music history, Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel."
Web Museum - Baroque
"Baroque period, era in the history of the Western arts roughly coinciding with the 17th century. Its earliest manifestations, which occurred in Italy, date from the latter decades of the 16th century, while in some regions, notably Germany and colonial South America, certain of its culminating achievements did not occur until the 18th century. The work that distinguishes the Baroque period is stylistically complex, even contradictory. In general, however, the desire to evoke emotional states by appealing to the senses, often in dramatic ways, underlies its manifestations. Some of the qualities most frequently associated with the Baroque are grandeur, sensuous richness, drama, vitality, movement, tension, emotional exuberance, and a tendency to blur distinctions between the various arts."
Renaissance and Baroque Architecture: Architectural History
Put yourself in Europe during the Late Middle Ages with the fabulous gallery of Renaissance and Baroque Architecture! Don't miss the links on "Italy in the 17th Century--The Baroque's Beginnings," "Some Baroque Projects and Masters,"  and "Buildings in the Land and a Land of Buildings."  Much  aesthetic appeal. Covers 15th-18th centuries.
Johann Sebastian Bach
An extensive biography, tour of Bach's life.
The Mozart Project
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is often referred to as the most brilliant composer ever known. Not only is his work highly regarded today, but was admired by his contemporary peers, like the eloquent Ludwig van Beethoven, who once summed it up concisely, saying, "Mozart is good and admirable." Biography, compositions, essays.


Mannerism 1525 to 1600
"The Italian Renaissance had run its course, artists were looking for a new style, and...No one style dominated art...Sometimes this period is called the Late Renaissance.. . .Mannerism was an art style that focused on the human form, depicted in intricate poses and in exaggerated, not always realistic settings. The term Mannerism was derived from the Italian word maniera, translated as "style." It developed in Florence and Rome between 1520 and 1600, as a style that rejected the balance of the Renaissance period in favor of a more emotional and distorted point of view. This art style reflected the tension in Europe at the time of its popularity. The movement eventually gained favor in northern Italy and most of central and northern Europe."
Mannerist movement began in 1520 and lasted through the 16th century. While preceding movements of the Renaissance looked to nature to find their style, Mannerists looked to the styles of the High Renaissance and Roman sculpture to find their manner of working.Excellent examples of this art form with informational descriptions.



"Absolutism in the Seventeenth Century"
Absolutism: political situation in which a monarch controls all aspects of government with no checks or balances. Differing political systems within France and England led to acceptance of absolutism in France and failure in England. System introduced in England by James I and Charles I unsuccessfully. In France, Louis XIV took absolutism to extremes, claiming to be servant of God and dissolving France's only general assembly.
The Age of Absolutism
"The political and cultural history of France from 1498 to 1661 can be divided into three major phases. The first phase looked to Italy as a land ripe for conquest and as an inspiration for France's own Rennaisance. The second saw the realm convulsed by eight civil wars. In the third phase the last rebellion of the feudal nobility was suppressed, the framework and mechanisms of absolute monarchy were in place, and only the arrival of Louis XIV was needed to complete the scene. "


Absolutism in France
Absolutism, in general and in particular, was symbolized by Louis XIV (1638-1715) the "Sun King." A flourishing of French culture  punctuated Louis's reign. His excesses, grandeur and grasp defined the era, and overawed his contemporaries. Good grasp of subject, worthwhile contextual background visit. Simplistic opening page belies the site's clarity and detail.
Accounts of Louis XIV [Contemporary]
I particularly like Saint-Simon's Portrait of Louis XIV. For example, "Louis XIV's vanity was without limit or restraint; it colored everything and convinced him that no one even approached him in military talents, in plans and enterprises, in government."
Chateau of Versailles
Visit the home of King Louis XIV, the famed Sun King. Beautiful site with links to the Museum of French History. Find a typical "Day with the Sun King" under the heading "Past and present life." Whatever you do, don't miss the 360 degree panoramic views of The Court of the Château, The Hall of Mirrors, and The King'sChamber. Downloads can be lengthy depending on your system capabilities.
France. Welcome to Le Poulet Gauche
"A guide to the history, culture, and daily life of 16th century France." Connect to the The Wars of Religion links for indepth coverage of the wars of the 16th century including the first seven wars, The War of the Three Henries, and The Wars of the League. "The religious wars began with overt hostilities in 1562 and lasted until the Edict of Nantes in 1598. It was warfare that devastated a generation...Although religion was certainly the basis for the conflict, it was much more than a confessional dispute." Well researched site with hours worth of historical material.
A Day with the Sun King
Spend a day with Louis.  If you click to all the opportunities, you will KNOW the life and times of the court.  And at the end, the Did You Know That?:  (with a few examples of that site) *In the early days of Versailles, fountain guards were ordered to whistle when Louis XIV approached, so that the fountains could be fully turned on. *Louis XV ordered mechanical tables for the dining rooms in the Petit Trianon. They were designed to rise, completely set and served, from the kitchens below. * A secret passage (still partly extant) ran from the queen's private cabinets to those of the king. It enabled Marie-Antoinette to escape revolutionary rioters in October 1789.
The Remarkable Louis XIV
"Louis XIV of France ranks as one of the most remarkable monarchs in history. He reigned for 72 years, 54 of them he personally controlled French government. The 17th century is labeled as the age of Louis XIV. Since then his rule has been hailed as the supreme example of a type of government - absolutism. He epitomized the ideal of kingship. During his reign France stabilized and became one of the strongest powers in Europe."
Louis XIV:  The Sun King
Brief, tight summary of Louis and his times.  "Though praised within his country, outside of France Louis had a vicious reputation. He allowed his armies to commit atrocities, and countries were reduced to slave states. Although credited with bringing France to the status it achieved, his policies concerning religion, his isolation of the throne at Versailles and his last will combined to lead to the downfall of the monarchy."
Marie Antoinette:  A Paragon Among Queens
A biography and "information, as to the happenings of others during the period which affected Marie Antoinette's life and the fall of the monarchy."  Marie:  A daughter of the house of Hapsburg, Archdutchess of Austria, Queen of France. Daughter of Maria Theresa, Empress. Queen of Austria and Hungry & Francis 1 Holy Roman Emperor.
"The economic prosperity that she(France) enjoyed during the XVIIIth century and the renown of French Art throughout the world originated then with the creation of Versailles." Take a virtual tour through the the Château, the Gardens, the Park of Trianon, or anywhere on the palace grounds. The garden is an magnificent place, full of beautiful statues. A surfer fond of sculpture could get lost for hours here. There is an in-depth history describing the creation of palace and the incredible art within.


Catherine the Great
Born Sophia August Frederika in 1729 in a small principality in Germany,  Catherine the Great married the future Tsar Peter III and ascended to the throne when her husband was deposed in 1762. Her long reign was marked by dramatic social/imperialistic progress that completed Russia's change into a modern nation-state. Follow the story of a larger than life person written by a true admirer. 
Catherine the Great 2
"Catherine the Great helped make her popularity grow by minimizing her European connections and focusing on her support of Russia. Yet, while Catherine the Great sought to minimize her connections to Europe, she also tried to continue westernizing Russia as Peter the Great had done. She wanted to bring the Enlightenment to Russia and admired the French philosophers. Catherine attempted to create a progressive law code and created the Great Instruction to work towards this goal. She presented the Great Instruction to a group called the Legislative Commission who were supposed to codify laws. However, the Legislative Commission was unsuccessful in creating laws and when war broke out in Turkey Catherine disbanded the group. She also read authors such as Voltaire, Diderot and Montesquieu and incorporated their theories into her ruling ideas. Catherine also encouraged the publishing of numerous books and periodicals, including satires on Russian court life and the nobility. Catherine was a patron of the arts."
Catherine the Great 3
"Catherine's achievements were many. She left Russia much stronger, more prosperous and beautiful than she had found it. That she failed in much she had set out to do had less to do with her and more to do with human nature. Catherine was unable to transform Russia through her will alone. Since she was unwilling to use terror or force to transform society, she chose a more patient path, hoping to gradually raise the level of culture by legislation, education, and example. She single-handedly grafted onto Russian rootstock the bud-wood of western culture, which was taken and remolded two generations later into something marvellous."  Another point of view that is a bit too positive.
Empress Ekaterina II: Russia in the Period of "Enlightened Absolutism"
Although certain aspects of her rule remain controversial, Empress Ekaterina II (Catherine the Great) remains one of history's outstanding female players. A good discussion of the political quagmire that is Russia and how Catherine's poliices demonstrated some success in coping by winning the sympathy of her subjects. Although attempts were made to introduce 'enlightened' concepts, most did not permeate into Russian culture. However, the best of the enlightenment was passed onto subequent generations of the Russian intelligensia.
The Habsburg Dynasty - History
Short history on how the Habsburgs got control of Austria, imposed Catholicism after the counter-reformation resulting in the 30 years' war... all the way to how it became a modern state during the reign of Maria Theresa. Another site - Hungary and the Limits of Habsburg Authority - analyzes the politicies implemented by the Habsburgs contributing to their success.
Peter I - the Great
Brief biography of Russia's first emperor highlighting his contributions towards the transformation of Russia from lethargy into a modern power in Europe. And to HERE: "Peter I, known as Peter the Great, b. June 9 (N.S.), 1672, d. Feb. 8 (N.S.), 1725, tsar of Russia (1682-1725) and the first Russian emperor (from 1721), was an unusually powerful and prepossessing ruler; his military achievements and westernizing reforms of the Russian government, army, and society laid the foundation of the modern Russian state."
The Romanovs - Peter and Catherine
Czar Peter the Great - and His City - St. Petersburg


The Glorious Revolution of 1688
England's Glorious Revolution of 1688 bloodlessly supplanted the converted Catholic King James II with his Protestant son-in-law William of Orange. Once and for all defined England as a citadel of Protestantism. Site contextually examines history and economic impact and causes of the issues and actions  that made this a world-shaking event.
Castles and the Civil War
History of castles in Wales including their role in the English Civil War, information on their builders and owners. Also current day information such as location and photographs.
English Civil War Resource Core
History, tactics,  battles, people.
English Civil War 
"When civil war erupted in England in 1642, it quickly involved every level of society throughout the British Isles. On one side the King  and his supporters fought for traditional government in Church and State. On the other the supporters of Parliament sought radical changes in religion and economic policy, and a greater share of power at the national level." Special article, definitive.  "The English Civil War was as much the response to the effects of the Reformation as it was a response to the needs of the rising middle classes, the landed gentry. The war itself involved the king, Parliament, the aristocracy, the middle classes, the commoners, and the army. The War tested the prerogative of the king and challenged the theory of divine right. War raged between Parliamentarians, Royalists, Cavaliers and Roundheads and every religious sect in England."
The Georgian Age - 1714-1830
Focus on culture and society in England, including royalty. Also a very useful timeline of the Georgian Age through the French Revolution, 1714 - 1830.  "What is the Georgian Age? The first four Georges were on the English throne from 1714 to 1830, but we don't regard the latter period as strictly Georgian. A case can be made that the Georgian Age ended with the French Revolution, which changed the whole mood of the times, and that is the definition I use here. England in the Georgian age was the vibrant center of the agricultural and industrial revolutions, which set the stage for the immense wealth and power of Britain in the nineteenth century."
History English Seventeenth Century
Good records of the Parish of Rowner near Portsmouth. Records of inhabitants: history of the Brunes, owners of the Manor, Parish register, wills and inventory of possesions, muster lists, their calendar and holidays, and population demographics. Description of lands: the Grange farm, a survey of Henry Brune's lands, and maps of the area. Financial records: the mortgage of a farm, land rents, coinage, and prices of goods. Also activity at Portsmouth Harbor, military costs and equipment, and Portsmouth's role in the English Civil War. Illustrated by reenactors.
17TH Cen Reenacting and Living History Resources
Declarations, reports, and propaganda from the different sides participating in the English Civil War and the Thirty Years' War. Ballads for civilians, royalists, and the restoration. Links to reenactors, sites on the new world, scholarly articles on the plague in England from 1539 to 1640, Oliver Cromwell and a database of sixteenth century string music.
1689: The English Bill of Rights
Foundation for a constitutional monarchy. "Precursor to the American Bill of Rights, sets out strict limits on the Royal Family's legal prerogatives such as a prohibition against arbitrary suspension of Parliament's laws. More importantly, it limited the right to raise money through taxation to Parliament."



The Astrolabe
In the summer of 1125, how would you find the time of day or night? The time of sunrise or sunset? The answer is the Astrolabe. Introduced to Europe in the early 12th century, it was the "most popular astronomical instrument until about 1650" when more accurate methods were used. Rather interesting site.
Mathematicians of the 17th and 18th Centuries
Endless and descriptive accounts of the lives, works, and contributions of mathematicians of the 17th and 18th centuries. Learn about their amazing lives and world changing discoveries.
Revolution in Timekeeping
Even during the Middle Ages, time was an issue. How to tell time accurately and easily. Large mechanical clocks eventually replaced simple sundials. Those clocks, hard to regulate and huge, were then replaced by the invention of the spring powered clock sometime between 1500 and 1510. "These advances in design were precursors to truly accurate timekeeping." More information to be had at this site!
The Scientific Revolution:  Paradigm Lost
"Understood as an historical reality, it is not at all clear that there was a single or unitary 'scientific revolution,' any more than there was but one 'renaissance,' or that 'the sixties' has any historical coherence. What is clear is that a profound and enduring transformation occurred between Copernicus and Newton. In coming to grips with this change, specialized scholarship has slowly silenced the simplest clichés, just as the New Eclecticism has raised challenging questions and enlivened the tempo of debate. In the end, the Scientific Revolution may refuse to be reduced to an 'idea,' an 'event,' or an 'episode,' or, for that matter, to yield to conceptual or social analysis." And an excellent summary from Boise StateUniversity.

Maria Gaetana Agnesi
Maria Gaetana Agnesi, celebrated eighteenth century mathematician, responsible for developing mathematical equation of the curve called "Witch Agnesi." "She was recognized as a child prodigy very early; spoke French by the age of five; and had mastered Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and several modern languages by the age of nine. In her teens, Maria mastered mathematics." Examines how Italians encouraged women to develop intellectually.  Details Maria management of her father's household of twenty children following her mother's death. During this period Maria published complex natural science and philosophy essays (1738). Maria undertook her most important work, "Analytical Institutions" (1748) originally intended as a textbook for her brothers. Establishes Maria's greatest contribution -- "brought the works of various mathematicians together in a very systematic way." Examines Maria's great success when nominated to Bologna Academy of Science and offered a professorship, serving until her father's death. All sources well cited. Links to biographies of women mathematicians.
Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle
Do you think all significant scientific work in the 17th Century was performed by men? Think again! Step into the world of Margaret Cavendish, a published author, philosopher, and astronomer. Cavendish fought against Scientific societies, that denied her membership and questioned the validity of her discoveries, to attack the "empiricist approach to scientific knowledge." Read an "Epistle" which is essentially her autobiography.
The Copernican Revolution
From the 16th-18th centuries, Astronomy grew by leaps and bounds despite the efforts of the Church to prevent the development of this field. Simple timeline to guide the surfer through the important developments of the Scientific Revolution. All our favorite "heretics" are here from Tycho Brahe, Kepler, and Galileo to Halley and Newton.
Nicolaus Copernicus
Until Copernicus, the teachings of Greek astronomer Ptolemy were considered gospel truth. Because the Ptolemaic system enjoyed the endorsement of not only scholars, but also of the church, Copernicus, in fear of trial for heresy, long hesitated to announce his heliocentric view.
Galileo Project
Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) was a brilliant scientist/astronomer whose cosmological discoveries deeply upset the eccelesiastical establishment of his time. Maps, writings, resources clearly explain this brilliant man's revolutionary discoveries, and illuminate the threat they caused.
Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778)
All-encompassing profile of eighteenth century Swedish naturalist Carolus Linnaeus (a.k.a. Carl Linne), whose scientific naming of plants and animals established the international language of nature. Linnaeus' life including his establishment and standardization of binomial nomenclature for plant and animal species still used today. Accurate portrayal of "the greatest botanist of all time." He differentiated and named over 8,000 species of plants, 4,400 species of animals, including Homo Sapiens. Comprehensive website for U.C. Berkeley's interactive Internet Natural Museum of History. Numerous sources providing accurate depiction of Linnaeus' contributions. Excellent Swedish links available for further research.

Rene Descartes and the Legacy of Mind/Body Dualism
French mathematician, philosopher, and physiologist to whom we owe the first systematic account of the mind/body relationship. "During his meditations, he was struck by the sharp contrast between the certainty of mathematics and the controversial nature of philosophy, and came to believe that the sciences could be made to yield results as certain as those of mathematics. By drawing a radical ontological distinction between body as extended and mind as pure thought, Descartes, in search of certitude, had paradoxically created intellectual chaos." Fascinating narrative on the life of Rene Descartes and brief account of his theories.  "While the great philosophical distinction between mind and body in western thought can be traced to the Greeks, it is to the seminal work of René Descartes (1596-1650), French mathematician, philosopher, and physiologist, that we owe the first systematic account of the mind/body relationship."
Émilie, Marquise du Châtelet-Laumont (1706-1749)
"Judge me for my own merits, or lack of them, but do not look upon me as a mere appendage to this great general or that great scholar, this star that shines at the court of France or that famed author. I am in my own right a whole person, responsible to myself alone for all that I am, all that I say, all that I do. it may be that there are metaphysicians and philosophers whose learning is greater than mine, although I have not met them. Yet, they are but frail humans, too, and have their faults; so, when I add the sum total of my graces, I confess I am inferior to no one." Splendid overview of high-spirited Émilie Marquise du Châtelet-Laumont, wealthy, educated French aristocrat, mathematician and philosopher. Timeline and her contributions to Voltaire's work. Emilie translated Newton's "Principie Mathematica" from Latin to French, authored "Institutions de Physique," "Published "Elements de la philosophie de Newton" (officially attributed to Voltaire). Remarkable woman!

Isaac Newton
"Isaac Newton is popularly remembered as the man who saw an apple fall  from a tree, and was inspired to invent the theory of gravity. If you have grappled with elementary physics then you know that he invented calculus and the three laws of motion upon which all of mechanics is based. More fundamentally, Newton's mathematical approach has become so basic to all of physics that he is generally regarded as the father of the clockwork universe: the first, and perhaps the greatest, physicist." Read about this "first scientist," "alchemist," and a "natural philosopher."
Sir Isaac Newton
"Newton was of the most fearful, cautious and suspicious temper that I ever knew." Informative biography.
Newtonia "Isaac Newton (1642 -1727)
"It was occasion'd by the fall of an apple, as he sat in contemplative mood. Why should that apple always descend perpendicularly to the ground, thought he to himself. Why should it not go sideways or upwards, but constantly to the earth's center." It was this well known story of the apple falling off the tree which led to the revolution of physics and mathimatics to this day.  

Blaise Pascal
Biography of Blaise Pascal. "At once a physicist, a mathematician, an eloquent publicist in the Provinciales... Pascal was embarrassed by the very abundance of his talents. It has been suggested that it was his too concrete turn of mind that prevented his discovering the infinitesimal calculus, and in some of the Provinciales the mysterious relations of human beings with God are treated as if they were a geometrical problem. But these considerations are far outweighed by the profit that he drew from the multiplicity of his gifts, his religious writings are rigorous because of his scientific training..."

The Scientific Revolution
"The Scientific Revolution is a time in which many people look away from the church and towards logic and objectivity for the answers to their most fundamental questions about life, death, and the universe." Compiled reports on several scientists including Isaac Newton, Galileo Galilei, Rene Descartes, Francis Bacon, Albert Einstein, and Grace Hopper. "Of all the changes that swept over Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the most widely influential was an epistemological transformation that we call the "scientific revolution." In the popular mind, we associate this revolution with natural science and technological change, but the scientific revolution was, in reality, a series of changes in the structure of European thought itself: systematic doubt, empirical and sensory verification, the abstraction of human knowledge into separate sciences, and the view that the world functions like a machine. These changes greatly changed the human experience of every other aspect of life, from individual life to the life of the group. This modification in world view can also be charted in painting, sculpture and architecture; you can see that people of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries are looking at the world very differently."


British Art and Origins of Modern Childhood - 1730 to 1830
"The roots of many contemporary attitudes surrounding children can be found in Georgian Britain. This period (1714 to 1837, named for the first four King Georges) stands out as one of tremendous change, as society reorganized itself in ways that we have come to define as modern: the advent of industrial economies; increasing emphasis on domestic life; the cult of individuality. Nowhere is this change more evident than in family relationships, as the family came to be based for the first time on bonds ofaffection rather than economics. The child, once at the periphery, moved to the center of family affections." Superior art exhibition from UC Berkeley museum. A must for anyone who enjoys art. Features and explains paintings focused on the family and children. Teaches how children finally became a significant part of the family during the Georgian society.
King James Version of the Bible
Read it yourself. Seriously. Its the whole KJV version, internet style. With seventeenth century thee's and thou's!
Lineage of the KJV
"The names of the earlier versions of which the King James Version drew its incorruption from." Exhaustive manuscript evolution of KJV. Abundance of dates.
English Literature: Early 17th Century
Part of the elegant Luminarium series, site explores the "other" (other than Shakespeare) English writers of the early 17th C.- considered the golden age of English Lit. Biographies, writings and quotes from giants like John Donne, Ben Jonson and John Milton. Unique, in that the format truly serves the subject.
Jean Jacques Rousseau
Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), philosopher and writer whose naturalist, primitivist approach was embraced by the idealists of the French Revolution. Not unlike the modern German philosopher Nietzsche, Rousseau was a misanthrope who projected his alienation onto human society. Site created by the Rousseau Association, a bilingual society devoted to the study of Mr. Rousseau and his works. Contains his writings, biographical detail and even a recording of some music he wrote.
17th Century Architecture
And then on to Versailles.
Web Museum: Rembrandt
Dutchman Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669), a giant in the history of art. "His consummate mastery of technique, subject and composition made his painting, drawing and etching the apex of his era."  Unique and skillful use of light and shadow has come to symbolize the Enlightenment.



Age of Enlightenment - Historical Background and Sites
Click to just about anything you could wish to know.
The Age of Enlightenment in the paintings of France's National Museums
Age of enlightenment in the paintings of France's national museums. Up to 1750, painting was imbued with pleasure, fable and light-heartedness. But, in the second half of the century, painters found themselves faced with a choice. Were they to be charming or instructive? Site gives examples of numerous artists and their works from the time period between 1715 to 1799. "In the domain of the arts, the aging Louis XIV hoped to see childhood instilled in everything." Site, though small in appearance, may take you hours to completely peruse.
European Enlightenment - THIS IS THE KEY SITE
Identifies the central events of European Enlightenment history and their relation to one another. Designed as a learning module for students. Good information source.
The Enlightenment
"Although the intellectual movement called "The Enlightenment" is usually associated with the 18th century, its roots in fact go back much further. But before we explore those roots, we need to define the term. This is one of those rare historical movements which in fact named itself. Certain thinkers and writers, primarily in London and Paris, believed that they were more enlightened than their compatriots and set out to enlighten them. They believed that human reason could be used to combat ignorance, superstition, and tyranny and to build a better world. Their principal targets were religion (embodied in France in the Catholic Church) and the domination of society by a hereditary aristocracy."
John Locke:  The Philosopher of Freedom
The eighteenth century was tremendously influenced by the epistemology and psychology of Locke. Epistemology is a theory of knowledge in which all ideas are derived from experience. As the seventeenth century drew to a close, it made way for philosophers like Locke who wrote: "Good and evil, reward and punishment, are the only motives to a rational creature: these are the spur and reins whereby all mankind are set on work, and guided."
Locke Versus Hobbes
" Locke and Hobbes were both social contract theorists, and both natural law theorists (Natural law in the sense of Saint Thomas Aquinas, not Natural law in the sense of Newton), but there the resemblance ends. All other natural law theorists assumed that man was by nature a social animal. Hobbes assumed otherwise, thus his conclusions are strikingly different from those of other natural law theorists. In addition to his highly unconventional conclusions about natural law, Hobbes was fairly infamous for producing numerous similarly unconventional results in physics and mathematics. The leading English mathematician of that era, in the pages of the Proceedings of the Royal Academy, called Hobbes a lunatic for his claim to have squared the circle."  Great Comparison sheet.
The Philosophies of Hobbes and Locke
"A discussion on the opinions of Hobbes and Locke regarding natural law, mankind's natural characteristics, and the purpose and structure of government."
The ‘State of Nature’ and ‘Contract’: Two Concepts in Hobbe’s Leviathan and Locke’s Second Treatise of Civil Government
Comparing Hobbes and Locke
"Two men, mere philosophers, wrote their ideas for the world to see and have influenced world leaders and the modern world. Thomas Hobbes came into the world on April 5, 1588 and quickly became a well-educated young man who eventually became a well-known philosopher. John Locke arrived midway through Hobbes’ life, on August 29, 1632. Both men lived the majority of their lives in their home country, England. Though they began life in much the same way, they grew up to agree and disagree with each other’s ideas of philosophy and politics."
Age of Enlightenment--Scientists
List of sixteen hyperlinks to different scientists who worked during the Age of Enlightenment. Find out who was the first woman to be elected to the Academy of Arts, who discovered Uranus, and much more!
The Philosophes
" The European Enlightenment developed in part due to an energetic group of French thinkers who thrived in the middle of the eighteenth century: the philosophes. This group was a heterogenous mix of people who pursued a variety of intellectual interests: scientific, mechanical, literary, philosophical, and sociological. They were united by a few common themes: an unwavering doubt in the perfectibility of human beings, a fierce desire to dispel erroneous systems of thought (such as religion) and a dedication to systematizing the various intellectual disciplines."
Russia in the Age of Enlightenment: An Overview of 18th Century Russian Life
"The Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century marks the beginning of a new era in Russia's social history. The development of national cultures and increased relations with Europe brought much change to Russian society, education, science, literature and art. In these aspects Russia entered into a full exchange with the rest of Europe. The monarchy played a major role in this move toward more modern times in Russia, actively participating in the transitions taking place in Russian social, cultural and political life. One of the most important changes which came about because of this increased interaction and exchange within Europe was the shift from feudal orders to a capitalist system. This change paved the way for further social developments in Russia, which in turn stimulated the intellectual elite in Russia. There were few intellectuals, artists, scientists, or writers who did not try to contribute to solving the social problems of the day." Site is broken down into three sections-Imperial, intellectual, and peasant life.


The Dizzying Grandeur of Rococo
Rococo, the art of the enlightenment, evolved out of Paris, then the art center of Europe. Rococo style derived from the Baroque of the 17th century and revealed elegant and refined lines. Most important aspect was in decoration, tending to be of free and asymmetric, irregular lines, emphasizing curves and counter curves. Some describe the Rococo as feminine, suggesting that the age was dominated by the taste and social initiative of women. Best examples, lie in the interiors of palaces (e.g., Residenz, Wurzburg) and ther German/Austrian churches (e.g. Wieskirche, Vierzehnheiligen). Painters of the period include Fragonard, Watteau, Boucher, Gainsborough. Themes of love and Arcadian happiness are evident in paintings of the period. Do not miss section on the 'Six Marvels in a Nutshell' with clickable enlargeable illustrations. A splendid site.
Eighteenth Century Art Resources
Great site established by Rutgers University, which contains a broad display of resources. Look at drawings and paintings in exhibitions, museums, or archives. Fascinating links to architecture, gardening, and historic buildings of the 18th century. Maps, photographs, plans, paintings, and more!
French and Italian Painting of the 18th Century
The National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., one of the world's great repositories of art, offers through its webside, 'the collection', exhibitions of paintings by the 18th century French and Italian artists associated with the Rococo style. "Selected Tours" include: 1. Boucher and Fragonard, 2. Chardin, 3. Watteau. The Tour of 18th and 19th Century France is a fabulous exhibition including Neoclassicist style examples, including the "icon" of Napoleon by Jacque Louis David. Each painting has separate commentary.


Catherine The Great:  Empress of All Russia
One of the few prominent female rulers in earlier times, Catherine overthrew her own husband with the help of the Russian Imperial Guard. Brief introduction to her life and achievements.



EuroDocs: Western European Primary Historical Documents
Hill Monastic Manuscript Library
One of most comprehensive sites in world of medieval and renaissance sources. Global information network for organized access to electronic resources in medieval studies. Medieval texts and current research. Reference point for all medieval studies on the web.
HyperHistory On-Line
Fantasic site for those who need to learn through visualization. Incredible time-line from 100-1900 and historical maps with clickable links to important information on events of the period. Recomend printing time-line and keeping it handy.
The Labyrinth
The Labyrinth: Resources for Medieval Studies, sponsored by Georgetown University.
Medieval and Renaissance History Resources
Some choice resources.
Medieval Sourcebook
Wonderful, wonderful 36 page sourcebook for students, faculty, scholars, just plain fascinated folks. A section of the Online Reference Book for Medieval Studies. Sources are meant to take the place of expensive published sourcebooks students often required to buy. Fairly short classroom sized extracts, and the full documents. Hard to find any area not fully documented.
NetSERF - The Internet Connection for Medieval Resources
Remarkable site.  Over 1000 links sorted by catagory and presented in outline format.  Research center and the wonderful "random medieval site" button.
ORB: Online Medieval and Classical Library
Academic site, "written and maintained by medieval scholars for the benefit of their fellow instructors and serious students. All articles judged by at least two peer reviewers. Encyclopedia of original essays, medieval sourcebook, syllabi, links, reference shelf.


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   KF, 2009


The Special Western Civilization Series

Professor KF


 <--- Return To PART I

   Internet Book and Site Created, Designed, Executed
By Dr. KF, Professor of History/Political Science and the online Foohill College students. Renewed, periodically.
Author, Hitler's Death Camps: The Sanity of Madness.
Full Copyright, Dr. KF
Internet Books and Sites on loan to Foothill College for Web Courses.
I created this site for folks in the Web World who enjoy history as much as I do: the "public," history buffs, families, students of all ages, elementary and high school teachers, university faculty.  We have tried to be intensely aware of others' work and respect copyrights. We don't think we have violated anyone's work - and only highlighted the special efforts of others. If anyone feels to the contrary, contact me and we will change it immediately. Also I would like to have the name of the artist who designed those 3 stunning major category graphics - to give you special recognition - if you are out there somewhere! I wanted this site to be available for public use, personally or in a classroom - and as a resource for teachers at all levels.  Thus no passwords are required. I only ask that if you refer your students to this site, that you credit us properly for the work this entailed.