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

Life in Cromwellian England & The Glorious Revolution

After King Charles I of England was beheaded in 1649, the Puritans took control. Eventually, Oliver Cromwell was named Lord Protector of England. Cromwell and the Puritans wanted to foster piety and morality in England, and made several rules and regulations the English had to follow. Theaters were shut down, music was frowned upon (unless … Continue reading Life in Cromwellian England & The Glorious Revolution

The French Wars of Religion and Elizabeth I of England’s Religious Policy

After the Protestant Reformation, a sizeable minority of Protestants known as the Huguenots began to grow. There were repressive measures against them under kings Francis I and Henry II, but they were defied by the Huguenots. Under the young king Francis II, there were even more repressive measures. The Huguenots and the Catholics began fighting … Continue reading The French Wars of Religion and Elizabeth I of England’s Religious Policy

Charles V, Philip II, and the Dutch Revolt

Charles V was king of Spain from 1516-1556. He was born in the Low Countries and did not originally speak Spanish. When he became king, he came to Spain with many other officials to rule with him. These people looked down on the Spaniards, which made many of them angry. When Charles was elected Holy … Continue reading Charles V, Philip II, and the Dutch Revolt

The English, German, and Catholic Reformations

The German Reformation began in 1517 when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the door of the castle church in Wittenberg. Luther challenged many of the teachings of the Catholic church, such as indulgences, papal authority, and devotion to the saints. His teachings began the Protestant Reformation, which divided Western Europe religiously as had … Continue reading The English, German, and Catholic Reformations

Martin Luther’s On the Freedom of a Christian & John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion

In 1520, Martin Luther wrote a book called On the Freedom of a Christian. Luther continued discussion on the doctrine of justification by faith, which said that faith alone justifies people so they can have eternal life. Luther said that good works, or good actions that we do, can not get us to heaven. Only … Continue reading Martin Luther’s On the Freedom of a Christian & John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion

The Catholic Church on the Eve of the Protestant reformation & Martin Luther’s 95 Theses

The condition of the Catholic church on the eve of the Protestant reformation was mixed. Piety and lukewarmness existed alongside each other. People were more attracted to the more dramatic aspects of religion, such as the arrival of popular preachers, high masses on important feast days, feast days of patron saints, and pilgrimages to the … Continue reading The Catholic Church on the Eve of the Protestant reformation & Martin Luther’s 95 Theses