The Heliocentric Model of the Solar System, the Role of Religion, and the Enlightenment.

During the Middle Ages, the scientific understanding of cosmology was a combination of the ideas of Aristotle, Ptolemy, and others. They believed in a fixed, motionless earth at the center of a series of cocentric spheres where there were perfectly spherical planets in circular orbits at a constant speed. This theory is known as the … Continue reading The Heliocentric Model of the Solar System, the Role of Religion, and the Enlightenment.

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Peter the Great & Frederick William “The Great Elector”

Peter the great was the tsar of Russia from 1682-1725. Peter favored the westernization and modernization of Russia. He tried to impose Western customs and ideas on the Russians. Peter thought that the Russian people were backward and superstitious and needed to be opened up to foreign customs. Peter declared that all Russian men had … Continue reading Peter the Great & Frederick William “The Great Elector”

Art after the High Renaissance

The High Renaissance ended in 1527 with the Sack of Rome by the mutinous troops of the Holy Roman Emperor. After the Renaissance ended, art entered the era of Mannerism (c. 1520-1600). The Mannerists did not try to top the illustrious artists of the High Renaissance. The Mannerists tended to focus on succeeding in what … Continue reading Art after the High Renaissance

Mercantilism & the wars of Louis XIV

Mercantilism is an economic philosophy that aims to make a country wealthier by promoting exports and suppressing imports to a certain country in the name of “a favorable balance of trade”. Mercantilism was influential from the 16th to the 18th centuries. A common aim of the mercantilists was to keep the gold and silver in … Continue reading Mercantilism & the wars of Louis XIV

Constitutionalism and Absolutism

Contrary to what most may think, Constitutionalism doesn’t necessarily involve a written document. The key idea of constitutionalism is limiting the power of the king. Constitutionalism is based in the fact that the authority of the government comes from some fundamental law. Constitutionalist thinkers usually said that political sovereignty resided in the people, not the … Continue reading Constitutionalism and Absolutism

Cardinal Richelieu’s Political Goals in France & The Decline of Spain

Cardinal Richelieu came to power as chief minister of France in 1624; during the reign of King Louis XIII of France. Richelieu strove to make France a centralized country by subduing any traces of medieval feudalism and other threats to the French throne. Richelieu also subdued the Huguenots in La Rochelle, which ended the political … Continue reading Cardinal Richelieu’s Political Goals in France & The Decline of Spain

Was More risking persecution by the church because of Utopia?

In his work Utopia, Sir Thomas More wrote about a mythical island which had a near-perfect society. In Utopia, the government holds all things in common and there is no private property. Everyone has to work, but due to Utopia’s productivity the total work day is only six hours. The cities of Utopia do not … Continue reading Was More risking persecution by the church because of Utopia?