Thursday, July 06, 2006

Important Events of the 16th century (Part I)

Today is history day and since I have a passion for listing and have blogged for close on to two months. Here goes (not in any order):

1. The Spanish Armada. England 1 Spain 0. Good old Francis Drake and Lord Howard.

2. Battle of Lepanto. Holy League defeats Ottomans. Christianity breathes once again. Don Juan of Auastria is the hero.

3. Sulamein the Magnificent’s conquest of Hungary. If its not the Turks its the Austrians. Story
of Magyar history.

4. The Voyage of Magellan. He dies (killed in the Phillipines) but crew finishes voyage around the world.

5. Cortes destroys Aztec Empire. A bleak time in humanity's history.

6. Pizzaro conquers the Incas. Dark Ages for S. America begin.

7. Galileo falls foul of the Inquistion. He agreed with Copernicus that we are not the center of the Universe. Some people still haven't figured this out.

8. Henry VIII and Francis I negotiate at the Cloth of Gold (Great name). English and French speak as opposed to kill one another.

9. Henry VIII breaks from the Catholic Church. They wouldn't give him a divorce so he tells them to go to #$!&. Good King Hal festablishes Anglican Church and makes himself head (well somebody had to be in charge).

10. Martin Luther pins 95 Theses to church door at Wittenberg. Beginning of the Reformation in force. E-mail would never have had such an effect. Irony is that Henry VIII initially opposed Martin Luther, wrote a treatise against the German monk and was later given the Title Defender of the Faith by the Church.

11. War of the Three Henry’s in France. Henry of Navarre wins out over Henry III and Henry of Guise to become the eventual king of France. Henry of N. will convert to Catholicism, form Bourbon dynasty, institute religious freedom for Protestants before being killed by a religious fanatic (so much for toleration).

12. Charles V becomes Holy Roman Emperor. With Spain, Burgundy, Austria. parts of Italy, the Netherlands under his control, Charles was the most powerful person in Europe since the Old Emperors of Rome. OK maybe not more than Charlemagne.

13. Meeting of the Council of Trent: Beginning of the Counter reformation. The Catholic Church strikes back. Nuns and monks on the run.

14. Formation of the Jesuits. The religious troops of the church driven by Ignatius Loyola to spread the word of Rome. They pop up everywhere.

15. Birth of Calvinism a church reform similar to that of Lutheranism but only more serious. Pre-destination is a biggie.

16.Clashes in Switzerland between Pro-Catholic and Anti-Catholic Cantons. Death of reformer Ulrich Zwingli. Yes peaceful Switzerland was once a site of bloodshed. I visited Zwingli's church when I visited Zurich. The climb up the tower was intense.

17. Michelangelo completes Sistine Chapel (took him four years working on his back). Expensive project is a hit with the cultural elites but not Luther and co.

18. Luther called before Diet of Worms. No this was not an exotic delicacy but Martin Luther's stance before the German Parliament (Diet) at Worms where he refused to recant his beliefs. Charles V was not pleased. Local Nobles back Luther so that he comes out unscathed.

19. Abdication of Charles V in favour of his brother and son in 1556. Old Chuckie was 'sick and tired' of being Europe's power monger after 25+ years on the job so he handed over control of Spain to his son Philip II gave Austria and its domains to his brother Feredinand II (the next Holy Roman Emperor) and headed for a monastery to spend the last years of his life. Fighting the Reformation will do that to you every time.

20. Wars between Venice and Turks. These two always seemed to be fighting (They were trade rivals in the Mediterranean Sea). Neverthless this did provide the backdrop for Shakespeare's play Othello.
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