Chapter 17:

 The Transformation of the West, 1450- 1750

Italian Renaissance- Started in Italy during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries as individuals challenged medieval ideas and styles. The movement was stimulated by Italy's urban commercial economy and competitive state politics. This period also included literature and art with distinctly more secular priorities than those of the Middle Ages such as love and pride. 

Niccolo Machiavelli- Was born on May 3, 1469 in Florence. He was the author of “The Prince” (16th century) and emphasized realistic discussions of how to seize and maintain power; thus, he became one of the most influential authors of the Italian Renaissance. In order to gain the favor of the Medici family, Machiavelli wrote the pamphlet "The Prince." Machiavelli is often associated with the idea of a totalitarian government. 

Humanism- Was one of the most stressed themes of the Italian Renaissance. It focused on humankind as center of intellectual and artistic endeavor. The method of study that emphasized the superiority of classical forms over medieval styles, in particular the study of ancient languages.

Northern Renaissance- Began after 1450 when Italy began to decline as the center of the Renaissance. Although the Northern Renaissance was centered in France, Low Countries, England, and Germany, it also affected Hungary and Poland in east central Europe. The Northern Renaissance was different from the Italian Renaissance because it featured greater emphasis on religion and tried to blend secular interests with continued Christian devotion.  

Francis I- king of France in the 16th century specifically from 1515 to 1547. Francis I was a patron of arts and often encouraged many fine artists. On top of that, he also imported many Italian sculptors and architects to create their classical style palaces. In order to have a strong military he allied with Ottoman Sultan against the Holy Roman Emperor. He imposed new controls on Catholic church.

 Johannes Gutenberg- Introduced the movable type to Western Europe in 15th century and is credited with greatly expanding the availability of printed books and pamphlets. By doing so, he helped expand the audience for Renaissance writers and disseminate religious ideas. 

European-Style Family-  Is a pattern that originated in 15th century among peasants and artisans of western Europe, featuring late marriage age, emphasis on the nuclear family, and a large minority who never married. The objective of this pattern was to limit family birth rates. These changes emphasized the importance of husband-wife relations and linked the family to individual property holdings.

Martin Luther- Is a German monk who started the Protestant Reformation by nailing a document containing 95 theses to the door of the castle of church Wittenberg in 1517. His protests challenged many Catholic beliefs and the authority of the pope; thus, he emphasized the primacy of faith over works stressed in Catholic church. Luther believed that the state should control the Church.  

Protestantism- is general wave of religious dissent against Catholic church. It urged state control of the church as an alternative to papal authority which had political appeal. It was generally held to have begun with Martin Luther's attack on Catholic beliefs in 1517 and included many varieties of religious beliefs.

Anglican Church- was established by Henry VIII with himself as head, in part to obtain a divorce from his first wife. He did this in order to challenge the papal attempts to enforce his first marriage, which failed to produce a male heir. It was a form of Protestantism set up in England after 1534 and became increasingly Protestant following Henry's death.


Jean Calvin- French Protestant/theologian (16th century) who stressed the doctrine of predestination. He established the center of his group at Swiss canton of Geneva. Calvanists encouraged ideas of wider access to government and wider public education. Calvinism spread from Switzerland to northern Europe to North America and became accepted in Germany, France, Netherlands, England, and Scotland.


Catholic Reformation- Was a restatement of original Catholic beliefs in response to Protestant Reformation (16th century) that established councils that revived Catholic doctrine and refuted Protestant beliefs. It attacked the popular superstitions and remnants of magical belief. 


Jesuits- was a new religious order founded during the Catholic Reformation that became active in politics, education, and missionary work which helped regain some parts of Europe for the church. Jesuit fever sponsored missions to South America, North America, and Asia.

Edict of Nantes- was a grant of tolerance to Protestants in France in 1598; however, in the next century French kings progressively cut back on Protestant rights. It granted only after lengthy civil war between Catholic and Protestant factions [faction- a group of people forming a minority within a larger body, especially a dissentious group]. 

Thirty Years Warlasted from 1618 to 1648. It was a war that broke out Germany in which German Protestants and allies (Sweden, Denmark, France) fought against the Holy Roman Empire. It ended in 1648, after great destruction, with the Treaty of Westphalia. It left Germany devastated by reducing its power and prosperity for a full century; thus, cutting the population down by as much as 60 percent in some regions.  

Treaty of Westphalia- ended Thirty Years' War in 1648. It granted right to individual rulers within the Holy Roman Empire to choose their own religion which was either Protestant or Catholic. Therefore, it finally settled a rebellion of the Protestant Netherlands against Spain. 

English Civil War- conflict from 1640-1660. It featured religious disputes mixed with constitutional issues concerning the powers of the monarchy. Ultimately, it ended with restoration of the monarchy in 1660 following execution of previous king which was King Charles I. However, full resolution only came in 1688-1689 when limited religious toleration was granted to most Protestant and not to Catholics.

Proletariat- Is a class of working people without access to producing property who were typically manufacturing workers, paid laborers in agricultural economy, or urban poor. In Europe, it was a product of economic changes of 16th and 17th centuries. Proletarians were blamed by many wealthy people. Wealthy people claimed that Proletariats fail morally, which produced a tough attitude towards poverty. 

Witchcraft hysteria- reflected new resentments against the poor, who were often accused of witchcraft by communities unwilling to accept responsibility for their poverty. The witchcraft hysteria was particularly common in Protestant areas. Between 60,000 and 100,000 suspected witches were accused and killed between 1590 and 1650. The hysteria also revealed new tensions about family life and the role of women, who were the most common targets of persecution. 

Scientific Revolution- culminated in 17th century. It was a period of empirical advance associated with the development of wider theoretical generalizations, which resulted in change in traditional beliefs of Middle Ages. 

 Copernicus- Lived from 1473- 1543. He was a Polish monk and astronomer in the 16th century. Copernicus based his findings on mathematics. He disproved the Hellenistic belief that the Earth was at the center of the universe and discovered that the planets moved around the sun. 

Johannes Kepler- Lived from 1571-1630. He was an astronomer and mathematician who was a prominent figure in scientific revolution. Kepler was from a poor family which was unusual for a major researcher. He resolved basic issues of planetary motion using the work of Copernicus and his own observations. He also worked on optics, practiced astrology, and casted horoscopes for wealthy patrons. 

 William Harvey- was an English physician (17th century) who demonstrated circular movement of blood in animals, with the heart as the central pumping station.  

Rene Descartes- Was a French mathematician, philosopher  and scientist who established importance of skeptical review of all received wisdom (17th century). He argued that human reason could develop laws that would explain the fundamental workings of nature.

 Isaac Newton- Is an English scientist during the 17th century who is the author of Principia Mathematica. In this work, he drew the various astronomical and physical observations and wider theories together in a neat framework of natural laws. He established principles of motion and defined forces of gravity in mathematical detail.

Deism- concept of God current during the Scientific Revolution. Some Intellectuals believed that the role of the divinity was to set natural laws in motion, not to regulate it once the process was begun.

John Locke- Was an English Philosopher who argued that people could learn everything they needed to know through their senses and reason; faith was irrelevant. He reasoned that the power of government came from the people, not the divine right of kings. Ultimately, his reasonings offered possibility of revolution to overthrow tyrants. 

Louis XIV- was a French monarch of the late 17th century who personalized absolute monarchy. He became a major patron of the arts, giving government a cultural role beyond any previous levels in the West. His academies encouraged science and worked to standardize the French language.


Mercantilism- Is an economic theory that stressed governments' promotion of limitation of imports from other nations and internal economies in order to improve tax revenues. It was popular during 17th and 18th centuries in Europe. 


Glorious Revolution- Was produced as a final political settlement of the English civil wars in 1688 and 1689. When the English overthrew James II in 1688, it resulted in affirmation of parliament as having basic sovereignty over the king. The parliament no longer depended on the king to convene and gained the rights to approve taxation which allowed it to monitor or initiate most major policies. 

 Frederick the Great- Was a Prussian king of the 18th century. He built on the military and bureaucratic organization of his predecessores to introduce greater freedom of religion while expanding the economic functions of the state.  He also attempted to introduce Enlightenment reforms into Germany. His government actively encouraged better agricultural methods and enacted laws promoting greater commercial coordination and greater equity. 


Enlightenment- Was a New movement that started after the Scientific Revolution. It is an intellectual movement centered in France during the 18th century. It featured scientific advance and the application of scientific methods to study of human society. It centered around the belief that rational laws could describe social behavior as well as physical behavior. 

Adam Smith- Was a Scottish philosopher who was the author of his classic book Wealth of Nations (published in 1776) He established liberal economics. He argued that people act according to their self-interest but, through competition, promote general economic advance; thus, he stated that the government should avoid regulation of economy in favor of the operation of market forces.

Mary Wollstonecraft- Was an Enlightenment feminist thinker in England. She argued that new political rights and freedom should extend to women. 

Indulgences- Is the forgiveness of the punishment due for past sins, granted by the Catholic Church authorities as a reward for a pious act. Martin Luther's protest against the sale of indulgences is often seen as touching off the Protestant Reformation.

Predestination- Is the belief that there is a prior determination of those who would be saved by God. Calvinism insisted on God's predestination (prior determination) of those who would be saved.

Parliamentary monarchy- Originated in England and Holland, 17th century, with kings partially checked by significant legislative powers in parliaments. 


Theme Discussions: 

The most expressed theme in Chapter 17 is theme number 2: Development and Interaction of Cultures. In Chapter 17, many different religions were created and many different philosophers expressed new ideas about society. During the Italian Renaissance, ideas shifted from the old conventional to the contemporary. The idea of Humanism became prevalent and humankind was believed to be the center of intellectual and artistic endeavors. During the Northern Renaissance, religion was more emphasized and secular interests were blended with continued Christian devotion. Niccolo Machiavelli wrote The Prince to express his ideas about a perfect government, which is a totalitarian government. Johannes Gutenburg introduced the moveable type; therefore, he indirectly helped the spread of religion and ideas through improved technology. Moreover, Martin Luther challenged the commonly held beliefs of the Catholic Church and the authority of the pope; thus, he spread the idea of a state controlled church. Many astronomers such as Galileo and Newton were able to come up with innovative ideas that forever changed not only the culture of the west but also the widely held beliefs of science. Ultimately, Chapter 17 revolved significantly on the changing ideas, technologies, religions, arts, and belief system of the West.

The second most expressed theme in Chapter 17 is theme number 3: State-Building, Expansion, and Conflict. In Chapter 17, two wars broke out because of religious and governing disagreements. The Thirty Years War broke out in germany in 1618, pitting German Protestants and allies against the Holy Roman emperor, who were backed by Spain. Then, the war ended with the Treaty of Westphalia, which agreed to the territorial tolerance concept. Some Princely states and cities chose one religion, some another. In 1640s the English Civil War broke out because of religious issues combined with other problems, particularly in a battle between the claims of parliament to rights of control over royal actions and some rather tactless assertions of authority by a new line of English kings. This shows that fighting occurred because people were not happy of the forms of governance that were used; thus, by fighting, new political structures and agreements were made to satisfy the opposing factions. 

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