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Martin Luther was well educated and chose the religious life as an Augustinian monk. As a priest he taught theology at Wittenberg. On a visit to Rome in 1510 he noticed moral corruption and extravagance in the Church. He earned a doctorate and became district vicar. Luther objected to the selling of indulgences to pay for sins, and on October 31, 1517 he criticized them by posting “95 Theses” on a church door. His letter with them was sent to Pope Leo X, and they were printed in Latin and German, beginning a public debate. Martin Bucer supported Luther who was summoned to Rome. Luther sent an appeal to Leo and was protected by Prince Friedrich III who requested a debate. Luther wrote on marriage and called for reforms to help the poor and improve schools. Luther, Karlstadt, and the humanist Melanchthon debated Johan Eck at Leipzig for eighteen days. The rich Fuggers and Welsers helped elect Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in 1520. Universities at Cologne and Louvain condemned Luther’s ideas. Pope Leo condemned Luther and ordered his writings burned.
In August 1520 Luther’s Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation criticized current papal abuses and suggested numerous reforms to improve Church policies, and many copies were quickly sold. Luther’s Babylonian Captivity of the Church came out in Latin in October. He proposed reducing the seven sacraments to baptism, communion, and penance. He denounced rituals and priestly authority while recommending scriptures to people’s own consciences. On the Liberty of the Christian Man was published in November and explained justification by faith with a German edition of the Latin book. Luther believed the Christian is free inwardly while serving everyone outwardly. To be free one must be honest and trustworthy. Luther defended himself against Pope Leo’s bull and asked for a council. Melanchthon married, and Luther began teaching in German instead of Latin. Pope Leo X excommunicated him on January 3, 1521. Charles V invited Luther to the Diet of Worms where he refused to repudiate his books unless he was “convicted by Scripture and plain reason.” The Edict of Worms condemned Luther but gave him time to repent.
While in hiding Luther wrote treatises as Karlstadt, Melanchthon, and others spread the ideas. At Wittenberg preaching replaced the mass. Ulrich von Hutten wanted to use force, but Luther disagreed. He visited Wittenberg, urged monks to return to the world, and opposed destroying images and violence. Yet Karlstadt led a mob that attacked churches. Luther preached sermons in Wittenberg and published his translation of the New Testament into German in 1522. Nuremberg banned his books, and he wrote about not resisting secular authority while following conscience rather than a bad ruler. Luther opposed most wars, helped nuns, and wrote hymns. Franz von Sickingen led Germans willing to fight; but they were defeated, and he was killed in 1523. Nobles were discouraged, but peasants were aroused.
An unusual conjunction of the five planets in Pisces in the year 1524 was predicted to be significant. In July of that year the Peasants’ Rebellion began in the Black Forest. Also Thomas Müntzer presented himself as a prophet, and he joined with other radicals to unite peasants in the city of Mühlhausen. They elected a league in March 1525. Müntzer and Karlstadt criticized Luther. Thousands of peasants rose up and demanded relief from feudal oppression, but most nobles turned against them. The revolt spread in Germany, and 35,000 peasants gathered in Upper Swabia where they agreed to “Twelve Articles” influenced by Zwingli’s ideas. By April about 300,000 peasants had joined the armed rebellion. Luther wrote a response to “The Twelve Articles” pleading for peace and then a pamphlet calling for suppression of the rebels. Melanchthon agreed. Peasants took over Strasbourg in May. Philip of Hesse’s army defeated the peasants at Frankenhausen, killing 5,000. Mühlhausen surrendered, and Müntzer was captured and executed. By the end of 1525 most of the peasants in Germany had been defeated, though rebellion continued a while in Austria. About 100,000 peasants were killed while clergy and nobles suffered losses with princes gaining power.
Luther married a former nun who bore six children. Erasmus believed in free will and opposed Luther’s doctrine of the enslaved will. Most northern Germans became Lutherans. Luther and Melanchthon opposed an offensive war. Melanchthon designed public school systems and promoted universities. In 1529 at Speyer the Lutherans protested the imperial policy of banning Lutheran religion in Catholic territories, and they were called “Protestants.” Luther and Zwingli met but could not agree on the Lord’s Supper. In 1530 Charles V convened a diet that produced the Augsburg Confession written by Melanchthon.
In 1531 Protestants in northern Germany formed the Schmalkaldic League, and in 1532 they agreed with Charles V on the Peace of Nuremberg. Erasmus advised healing the Church with tolerance, and in 1534 Luther publish his German translation of the Bible. In 1538 Catholic princes at Nuremberg formed the Holy League to counter the Protestants, and they agreed on peace in 1539 for fifteen months. This was extended, allowing the Reformation to spread to Schleswig-Holstein. Charles V made concessions in 1544, and Catholics began working on reforms at the Council of Trent in 1545. Luther declined to help Jews, gave up trying to convert them, criticized them, and advised destroying synagogues and homes. In his life Luther preached about 3,000 sermons which replaced rituals. By his death in 1546 more than half of Germany had become Lutheran.
In 1546 the Schmalkaldic War began in Swabia between the imperial army of Charles V allied with Pope Paul III and the Lutheran army, and by July 1547 the Emperor had taken over southern Germany and the Rhineland. France’s new King Henri II supported the Pope against Charles and later in 1552 made a secret treaty with German princes as Moritz of Saxony broke his alliance with the Emperor. In 1548 Charles announced the Interim decree on religion which was rejected by the Protestants and the Pope. In 1553 Charles V left Germany as the neutral Heidelberg Union formed. In 1555 the imperial Diet at Augsburg and the Lutherans meeting in Naumburg agreed to a truce recognizing the religion of each city’s ruler; but imperial cities had to tolerate Catholic minorities, and where a Catholic prince converted and was deposed, Lutherans were allowed. Charles V willed Spain and the Netherlands to his son Felipe II, but his brother Ferdinand succeeded him as Emperor in 1558 and formed the Landsberg League with Catholic Bavaria, Salzburg, and Augsburg. By 1560 Protestants dominated most of Germany, all of Scandinavia, much of England, Poland, and Switzerland, and some of Austria, Hungary, and the Netherlands. Yet Lutherans opposed Calvinists. In 1564 Pope Pius IV ordered Catholics to obey the decrees of the Council of Trent.
Ferdinand was succeeded by Emperor Maximilian II (1564-76) whose army defeated the Turks in 1566. Emperor Rudolf II (1576-1612) refused to guarantee Protestants’ rights in Catholic principalities. Catholics made gains as Protestants were divided into Lutherans and Calvinists. Most Protestants rejected the new Gregorian calendar adopted by Catholics and the Dutch in October 1582. Hamburg promoted trade, and German capitalists made money speculating. Princes ignored the rights of peasants. Catholics founded four universities in Germany. The devil and witchcraft became popular in German literature.
Huldrych Zwingli (1484-1531) earned an M.A. at Basel, became a priest, corresponded with great humanists, and wrote poems satirizing Swiss corruption and mercenaries. In 1518 he criticized indulgences, and he opposed the papacy. Zwingli preached at Zurich, and by 1521 he was a Lutheran. He persuaded the Council to recall mercenaries, and they ended foreign service in 1522. He married and petitioned for clerical marriage. He advocated reducing sacraments and rituals, and he wrote The Clarity and Certainty of God’s Words to encourage Bible study. In December 1522 the Swiss Diet ordered cantons to suppress Zwingli’s new teaching. He wrote 67 Articles criticizing the Roman Church for its papal authority, transubstantiation, worship of saints, purgatory, fasting, pilgrimages, and relics. He urged people to govern their church. In 1522 Erasmus moved to Basel, and reformers Capito and Bucer came to Strasbourg. In 1523 Zwingli debated before 900 men in Zurich. He wrote a treatise on education, and his ideas were implemented in schools. Basel and Bern supported his reforms, and images were removed from churches.
In late 1524 peasants revolted in Switzerland. Zwingli opposed Anabaptists, and their leaders were imprisoned. Zwingli wrote On the True and the False Religion, and Zurich broke away from the Pope and the Bishop of Constance. Zwingli urged banning serfdom. Zurich delegates were excluded from the Swiss Diet, and the inquisitor Eck accused Zwingli of heresy. In January 1528 Zurich, Bern, and Constance formed the Christian Civic League, and Basel joined in March. Erasmus satirized European conflicts in his colloquy “Charon.” The Zurich Bible was published based on Luther’s German. Opposed cantons formed the Christian alliance with Austria in April 1529, and Swiss civil war began and ended by mediation in June. Zwingli considered the blood and body symbolic, but Luther did not and opposed him. More Swiss cities joined the reformers. Catholic cantons refused to grant freedom of religion, and economic sanctions were imposed against them, provoking war. Catholics had 7,000 soldiers and defeated 2,000 from Zurich, killing 500 including Zwingli on October 11, 1531. Zurich and Bern capitulated with guarantees of independence and Catholic rights, and reformers had to pay for the war.
Conrad Grebel went to universities, studied with humanists, and then returned to Zurich to study with Zwingli. Grebel believed he was born again spiritually in 1523, and he was upset that Zwingli accepted state authority over the church. William Reublin was the first priest in Zurich to oppose infant baptism, and he was arrested. Grebel and others wrote to Thomas Müntzer urging him to renounce violence. In January 1525 Grebel began the Anabaptist movement by baptizing the priest George Blaurock at the home of Felix Mantz. Grebel baptized dozens of people. After losing a debate to Zwingli in November, the three were imprisoned. Grebel died in a plague. In 1527 for being rebaptized Blaurock was expelled, and Mantz was executed. Balthasar Hubmaier supported the peasants’ war and was burned in 1528. Michael Sattler wrote the Schleitheim Confession for the congregation of Swiss Brethren. Like Jesus, most Swiss Anabaptists refrained from fighting and were persecuted, but many in Germany followed Hubmaier’s use of force by the government.
The Huguenots began with those in Geneva supporting the Confederation against Savoy. Geneva joined with Bern and Fribourg and fought Savoy until the cantons mediated peace in 1530. Guillaume Farel preached reform in Bern, Neuchatel, and Geneva, and his followers destroyed images. In 1535 Geneva became a Protestant republic, and ordinances enforced religious behavior. They started a public school, and Jean Calvin (1509-64) published Instruction in Faith. Paracelsus (1493-1541) studied medicine and traveled to many universities. He lectured on diseases and herbs, founded toxicology, used opium to stop pain, and based his medical theory on philosophy, astrology, and chemistry. Jean Calvin studied with humanists, challenged Catholic doctrines, fled from France, and published his famous Institutes of the Christian Religion in 1536, expanding it in later editions to create systematic Protestant theology. He and Farel wrote a Confession for the Council of Geneva. Calvin taught in Strasbourg for three years, wrote books, and was recalled to Geneva where his reforms were adopted, using ministers and elders for church discipline. Calvin imposed strict morals and even opposed dancing. Many who broke his rules were punished, and some were executed, including Miguel Serveto in 1553. Calvin welcomed refugees, and Geneva accepted 5,000. In 1561 his Ecclesiastical Ordinances were published. Heinrich Bullinger carried on the ideas of Zwingli until his death in 1575. Calvinists were also called “Reformed,” “Huguenots,” and “Puritans.” Geneva had several plagues and executed 68 people as witches. Five Catholic states in Switzerland united in the Golden League in 1586 and allied with Spain.
In 1519 much gold helped Maximilian’s 19-year-old grandson get elected to succeed him as Emperor Charles V. The Turks besieged Belgrade in July 1521, and in August Charles V and England’s Henry VIII confirmed their alliance. Ferdinand, younger brother of Charles, ruled Austria and Tyrol. After the Ottoman Turks defeated the Hungarians in August 1526, Ferdinand was elected king of Bohemia, Hungary, and Croatia. His army defeated the Hungarians, and the Turks were unable to take Vienna in 1529. In 1531 Ferdinand was elected King of the Romans, and Protestant princes in Germany formed the Schmalkaldic League. In 1533 the Turks were stopped, but Hungary was divided. The Fuggers loaned Charles V money. In 1538 the Catholics formed the League of Nuremberg, and in 1542 Moritz of Saxony joined them. Ferdinand paid tribute to the Turks to maintain peace. The imperial army of Charles V defeated the Protestants in 1547; but in 1552 the Protestants allied with France’s Henri II, and Moritz helped them defeat Charles at Innsbruck. Ferdinand became Emperor in 1556 and was succeeded by his son Maximilian II (1564-76). The Catholic League defeated the Turks’ armada at Lepanto in 1571. Maximilian II tolerated Protestants, and he was succeeded by his son Rudolf II (1576-1612). Jacob Hutter became an Anabaptist in 1526 and led a peaceful community to Moravia but was executed in 1536. Peter Ridemann explained the Hutterites’ peaceful ways.
In 1516 Lajos II became King of Hungary. Turks attacked Hungary in 1521, and its revenues declined. In 1526 the Turks killed Lajos and took away 100,000 captives. In 1529 Sultan Suleiman invaded Hungary with 200,000 men and was allied with Zapolya. In 1538 Ferdinand and Zapolya agreed to divide Hungary. Suleiman gave eastern Hungary to Janos II, and it became Transylvania. People had to pay tax to the Ottoman Empire, Hungary, and the Church. Transylvania became independent in 1568. Reform spread in Hungary, and Calvinism became popular.
Lajos II came to rule Bohemia in 1522, and Ferdinand succeeded (1526-64). He urged the Catholics and Utraquists (Hussites) to get along, but the latter became more Lutheran. Ferdinand made peace with the Ottoman Empire in 1545. Prague demanded religious liberty, but Ferdinand began suppressing it in 1547. Ferdinand became Emperor in 1558, and his son Maximilian was made King of Bohemia in 1562 and Emperor two years later. Maximilian II’s son Rudolf became King of Bohemia in 1575 and Emperor the next year, moving his court to Prague in 1583.
Zygmunt I ruled united Poland and Lithuania 1506-48. Muscovites invaded Lithuania in 1520 but made peace in 1522. Poland fought the Prussians, and Catholic Zygmunt punished Lutherans. Danzig (Gdansk) traded with Denmark. Zygmunt attacked leaders of reform in Danzig, but by 1540 the King had accepted Lutherans. Poland and Lithuania developed new law codes. Nobles dominated, and in the 1520s Lithuania suffered inflation. Zygmunt welcomed immigrants from Austria. In 1533 Poland agreed to a treaty with the Turks. Muscovites invaded Lithuania again in 1535, but they negotiated an armistice in 1537. Zygmunt recognized the rights of the Parliament and freedom of the press. Many Poles were educated in Italian universities. Copernicus studied medicine, law, economics, religion, and astronomy. In 1533 he presented his heliocentric theory with the Earth as an orbiting planet to Pope Clement VII, but his book was not printed until the day of his death in 1543.
Zygmunt II was Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1529 and ruled Poland 1548-72. He was Catholic but tolerated reformers. Poland made peace with the Turks in 1553. Modrzewski was influenced by Cicero and wrote On the Reform of the Republic. He emphasized ethics and humanistic education, and he advocated electing kings and international Church councils. Zygmunt II tried to annex Livonia but came into conflict with Russia. Poland allied with Denmark against Russia and Sweden. In 1564 Zygmunt II allowed Lithuania to have a parliament equal to Poland’s Sejm. Russia defeated Poland-Lithuania in 1567, but Zygmunt II made peace in 1570. Poland and Lithuania formed an equal union in 1569. Mikolaj Rej wrote poetic dramas and philosophical books, and the writings of Jan Kochanowski proposed religious harmony and exposed deforestation and war. The Sejm ended religious executions, and Mennonites and Czech Brethren were given refuge, enabling Socinians to flourish. In 1564 Zygmunt II released imprisoned Jews. Hosius promoted Catholic reform, and only a dozen Protestants were executed in Poland during the counter-reformation.
The Jagiellonian dynasty ended in 1572. The nobles in Poland elected Henri Valois king, and the Diet at Warsaw granted religious freedom. Henri swore to this and other conditions respecting the Parliament, but he ruled only four months before leaving to be King of France. In 1575 about 100,000 Tartars took 35,340 nobles from Ruthenia as slaves. Finally Transylvania’s ruler Stefan Batory became King of Poland in 1576. Danzig resisted but was besieged by the Polish army until they accepted him in December 1577. Chancellor Zamojski reduced fraud while becoming rich. Batory ordered war against Moscow and strengthened the army. He promoted a university in Wilno and helped Catholics in Livonia and Lithuania while tolerating all sects. Marcin Czechowic was an Anabaptist who advocated nonviolence in his Polish Christian Dialogues.
Vasily III ruled Moscow 1505-33 and claimed an ancient dynasty. Fedor Karpov, Maxim the Greek, and Nil Sorskij criticized absolute rule, and Maxim was arrested. After Vasily’s death his wife Elena had Vasily’s brothers killed. After her death in 1538 Shuisky princes ruled until Ivan IV came of age at 15 in 1545. Maxim advised him to rule justly. They reformed laws in 1550 and modernized the army. Trade with England began through the port of Archangel in 1555. Russians fought off invading Crimean Tatars, annexed Astrakhan in 1556, took over Kazan by 1557, and occupied the Crimean peninsula in 1558. That year Russia made a 7-year truce with Sweden, and Ivan ordered an invasion of Livonia.
After Ivan’s beloved wife Anastasia died in 1560, he became more cruel, executing many without trials. He invaded Lithuania in 1562 with 280,000 men and captured Polotsk, though the Russians were defeated in 1564. The next year Ivan created the oprichnina district for himself and his servants. After battles and executions 600 families were forced to move from Pskov and Novgorod in 1569. The next year tens of thousands were killed or died of starvation. In 1571 about 120,000 Tatars burned Moscow, plundered the area, and took away thousands of slaves. The next summer the Russian army defeated the Turks at Molodi. Novgorod lost four-fifths of its population. Russia made a truce with Poland in 1582 and with Sweden in 1583. Ivan IV killed his son Ivan in 1581 and died of a stroke in 1584. His son Feodor became king but depended on advisors. Boris Godunov led the regency council and by 1588 had become the ruler.
Kristian II ruled Denmark, Norway, and Iceland 1513-23 and allied with Charles V by marrying his sister. Kristian also claimed Sweden; but the Danes were defeated by Sten Sture’s army in 1518, and Pope Leo X’s legate Archemboldus went over to Sweden’s side and became Archbishop of Uppsala. Denmark’s army with mercenaries invaded Sweden in 1520, and Stockholm capitulated to Denmark’s fleet. Kristian II became King of Sweden and had 82 prominent Swedes beheaded. Kristian helped the poor and promoted education. Gustav Vasa led resistance to the Danes in Sweden and in 1521 was elected King of Sweden at Stockholm. In 1523 Jutland revolted against Kristian II and forced him to abdicate in favor of his uncle Frederik. He allowed Norway freedom and became their king. He also restored the Catholic religion. Exiled Kristian became a Lutheran, got 30,000 Germans, and fought a civil war. Frederik tolerated Lutherans, kept revenues previously sent to Rome, and ordered monasteries closed. In 1530 Kristian became Catholic again and got aid from Charles V, and his forces attacked Norway. Kristian went to Copenhagen on a safe conduct, but he was imprisoned until his death in 1559.
Frederik died in 1533, and a revolt to make Kristian II king again failed. Frederik’s son Kristian III ruled Denmark from 1534 to his death on January 1, 1559 and Norway from 1537. He removed the bishops in 1536, and the Crown gained half the property in Denmark. The Council cancelled Norway’s independence. The university was revived. Denmark made a treaty with Sweden in 1541. In 1550 the first Bible in Danish was published. Kristian III’s son Frederik II ruled Denmark and Norway 1559-88. Denmark made a treaty with Russia’s Ivan IV in 1562 and went to war against Sweden over part of Estonia in 1563 that went on until 1570. Danish commerce increased as the Hanseatic towns declined except for Hamburg. King Frederik II helped Tyco Brahe advance astronomy. Frederik enforced 25 articles of religion and dismissed a Calvinist. He was a heavy drinker and died in 1588.
Sten Sture the Younger and Gustav Vasa led Swedes who opposed Denmark’s Kristian II. Gustav Vasa went to Denmark as a hostage, and Sture was killed fighting the Danes in January 1520. Kristian II was crowned King of Sweden and had about 600 Swedes put to death. Gustav Vasa escaped and returned to Sweden to lead its liberation army, and a national meeting appointed him regent. Lübeck merchants competed against Danish trade and supported Sweden. In 1523 a council elected Gustav Vasa King of Sweden. He urged church services to use Swedish instead of Latin. In 1526 the Riksdag decided that bishops’ property should go to the King, and Gustav limited how many armed men bishops could have. Olaus Petri began printing Lutheran writings, and the Riksdag gave Gustav revenues and control over churches. In 1531 he declared that Sweden was Lutheran. Sweden taxed church bells but still could not pay its debt to Lübeck. Gustav aided Kristian III in his civil war. In 1541 the Bible was published in Swedish. Nils Dacke led a rebellion that was crushed in 1543. The Crown increased its share of Sweden’s economy fivefold. In 1555 Gustav led the fight against Russia and made peace at Moscow in 1557.
Gustav’s son Erik XIV was well educated and was the first to inherit the Swedish throne. He protected the burghers’ privileges, but his Livonian campaigns cost 3.5 million marks. His brother Johan plotted against him and was imprisoned. Erik presided over many executions. In 1563 Sweden went to war against Denmark, Poland, and Lübeck and invaded Norway. Sweden’s navy won battles. In May 1567 Erik attacked the Sture clan and became mentally unable to govern. Erik resumed ruling in January 1568 but was imprisoned by his brothers in September. Johan III ruled Sweden 1568-92 and after 1576 imposed his confusing views on religion. In 1581 he had 7,000 Russians put to death. After marrying a Protestant in 1584 he allowed freedom of religion. He was extravagant, and the Swedish economy suffered.
Norway was under Kristian II and Frederik of Denmark, and so was governed by the Norwegian Council. Frederik’s son Kristian became Duke of Norway, and Frederik promoted the Reformation in Norway, secularizing the monasteries. In 1531 Kristian II left the Netherlands with warships, invaded Norway, and was proclaimed king at Oslo. Denmark sent a fleet with an army of 6,000 men who destroyed Kristian’s ships. Kristian II went to Denmark and was imprisoned, and the Council affirmed Norway’s union with Denmark with its rights. Norway accepted Kristian III as another absent king after some rebels were put down. Gypsies were persecuted, and Archbishop Engelbrektsson fled to the Netherlands. In 1537 the Lutheran Church was established in Norway, and half the tithes went to Kristian III. The Norwegian Council was replaced by the Danish Council. Monasteries were secularized by 1555. Norway exported timber, and trade increased through Amsterdam. Frederik II became King in 1559, and during the Seven Years War between Denmark and Sweden, Norway was invaded by the Swedish army. In 1566 most of the Danish-Norwegian fleet was destroyed as 6,000 men died. Swedes took over southeastern Norway, and people burned Oslo to keep it from them. The Swedes withdrew, and in 1570 Norway reverted to Denmark. In 1572 Frederik II appointed Povel Huitfeldt viceroy of Norway.
Iceland was also under Denmark’s kings. They traded with English and German merchants until 1560 when Iceland began to trade with the Danish too. The Catholic churches dominated religion until 1538 when Kristian III sent the new code of Lutheran church laws to Iceland. Kristian III sent governors to enforce the new laws. Bishop Jon Arason struggled to maintain the Catholic faith, but in 1550 he and his two sons were condemned as traitors and beheaded. Monasteries were secularized, and the King took one-fourth of church tithes and fines. The first Icelandic Bible was printed in 1584.
Charles from Ghent ruled Spain as Carlos I 1516-56. He sent his brother Ferdinand to govern the Netherlands and formed an alliance with England’s Henry VIII and Pope Leo X. The Cortes at Valladolid met and improved the judicial system and taxes which provided for a standing army. Charles went to Aragon in 1518 where the Cortes voted him more money. In 1519 he inherited Hapsburg lands in Austria, Tyrol, and Germany, and one million gold florins got him elected Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. He appointed viceroys to govern Aragon, Catalonia, Valencia, Navarre, Sardinia, Sicily, Naples, and Peru and New Spain in America. He refused to reform the Inquisition. Although Magellan was killed in the Philippines, one of his ships was the first to sail around the world. Charles V made a treaty with the Swabian League and returned to Castile. In 1520 Comuneros demanded representatives in the Cortes and revolted with a Junta, but in 1521 and 1522 the Comuneros suffered defeats. Thousands of farmers and workers were punished, though only 23 were executed. In the north 2,000 Germanias were killed in battle, and in the south the royalists killed more than 2,000 rebels. After hearing Martin Luther at Worms, Emperor Charles V forbade him to preach and condemned him as a heretic.
Pope Adrian VI allowed Charles V to appoint bishops, but the Medici Pope Clement VII cancelled that. Charles used the Inquisition against Jews, Muslims, Lutherans, and Illuminists. In 1525 France’s King François was captured at the battle of Pavia and was detained at Madrid for a year. Charles was betrothed to Mary Tudor but married Isabella of Portugal in 1526. Spain was opposed by an alliance of France with Pope Clement and Italians. In 1527 a French army attacked imperial forces from Genoa and Milan, and Spain’s imperial army plundered Rome, imprisoning Pope Clement for six months. Charles gave Seville a monopoly on trade with Spanish colonies in America where Hernan Cortés had led the conquest of Mexico in 1521. During the reign of Charles the population of Mexico was reduced from 25 million to 3 million. In 1529 Charles made treaties with the Pope and France.
While Charles V visited Italy and the Netherlands, Empress Isabella approved Pizarro’s expedition to Peru that conquered the Inca empire, gaining much treasure. After returning to Castile and Aragon, Charles led the imperial forces that regained Tunis from the Turks in 1535, freeing thousands of Christian prisoners. Charles met with Pope Paul III, but his call for a general council was rejected by the Schmalkaldic League who wanted it in Germany. The French ruled Milan, and Spanish forces invaded Provence in the summer of 1536. Spain’s league with Ferdinand, Pope Paul III, and Venice was defeated in 1538 by the Turks who took 3,000 prisoners. Charles made a 10-year truce with King François. The Cortes confirmed tax exemptions for nobles and hidalgos while burdening others. Revenues under Charles increased 50%, but prices went up twice that. Despite annual revenues of one million ducats, Castile borrowed 39 million ducats. In 1540 a law forced vagrants to work without pay. Charles visited François, Ferdinand in Brussels, and his sister Mary who governed the Netherlands. Ghent was rebelling, and Charles punished the city and gave it a new constitution. Efforts by Emperor Charles V and Pope Paul III failed to reconcile Catholics and Protestants. Spanish ships attacking Algiers were devastated by a storm. Despite much bullion from America, Spain’s military and wars were making the country poorer.
In 1543 Charles V sent the imperial army to invade the Netherlands again. That year Charles left Spain and did not return until he was no longer King in 1556. He wrote instructions to his son Felipe who ruled Spain as regent. At the Diet of Speyer in 1544 the Emperor gathered an army of 40,000 men, and he promised not to persecute anyone for their religion. Pope Paul III offered 500,000 ducats for the imperial army from Church lands in Spain. Imperial and papal forces met the Protestant Schmalkaldic League in August 1546. Italians left for the winter, and disease cut the imperial army in half. In April 1547 Protestant forces were defeated at Mühlberg. Felipe met Charles at Brussels in 1549 and was made heir of the Low Countries. In 1550 Felipe banned subversive literature and ordered the Inquisition to punish Protestants. Gold and silver from America provided 3 million ducats for Charles in Germany. He ordered heresy suppressed with severe punishments. During his reign about 50,000 people were executed for their religious beliefs. Charles also collected 24 million ducats from the Netherlands. Yet in 1551 he had to borrow 4 million ducats to fight France. His imperial forces were driven out of Germany in 1552. At Passau he promised to tolerate Lutherans. Charles spent 4.3 million ducats in 1554, and interest soared to 43%. He made peace with the Lutherans at Augsburg in September 1555. By January 1556 Charles V had abdicated all his lands to Felipe, and in August he gave the imperial throne to Ferdinand. During his reign wages in Spain had decreased about 20%, and he left Felipe with a debt of £5,000,000.
Felipe had married England’s Queen Mary in 1554, but he went to the Netherlands in September 1555. After the French invaded Italy, King Felipe II raised an army of 47,000 men in Flanders. In 1557 Spain and the Netherlands declared bankruptcy. The Duke of Alba led the imperial army and defeated the French at Saint-Quentin. Pope Paul IV proclaimed Naples free of Felipe, but Alba’s soldiers defeated the papal army. In 1559 Spain made treaties with England and France, and Felipe married Henri II’s daughter Elisabeth. Felipe ordered anyone reading banned books burned. From 1559 to 1566 the Inquisition put to death more than a hundred people in Spain, and in the Netherlands imperial forces killed ten times as many. The Spanish Index was extended to ban 670 books. Felipe expelled foreigners from the University of Louvain and prohibited Spaniards from studying in foreign universities. Spain lost 60 ships and 5,000 prisoners to the Turks in 1560. Even Pope Pius IV objected to the Spanish Inquisition in Italy, and Felipe relented. He imposed strict justice, and many criminals were enslaved in the galleys until their sentence ended. Spanish oppression provoked a Dutch revolt, and Felipe had to recall Cardinal Granvelle in 1564.
Although people asked for exile for repentant heretics, Felipe II insisted on death sentences. In 1565 about 35,000 Turks attacked the island of Malta, and both sides suffered heavy losses. Nobles petitioned to abolish the Inquisition, and this motivated the Dutch to oppose the Spanish government and the Catholic religion. Preachers drew large crowds in the Low Countries, and people began pillaging churches. Regent Margherita wrote her brother Felipe to abolish the Inquisition. She showed tolerance, but Felipe raised more soldiers. Calvinists rose up in Antwerp; but they were crushed by imperial forces, and other towns capitulated. The Duke of Alba punished rebels, and Margherita resigned and advised a general pardon. In 1568 nearly 2,000 Spaniards were lost at Heiligerlee, but Felipe mobilized 70,000 men in the Netherlands. About 1,100 people were executed while 9,000 had their property confiscated.
During Felipe II’s reign (1556-98) about 40,000 people were executed for heresy and sexual crimes. After 1570 the Inquisition turned back to Jews and Moriscos (Muslims in Spain) who were ordered to convert or depart. By then 368 Moriscos had been condemned in Granada in the previous seven years. At the end of 1567 about 30,000 Muslims revolted in Granada and killed 6,000 Christians, but they were suppressed by 1569. In 1571 Felipe ordered all Moriscos to leave Granada, and 80,000 refugees went to Castile as about 20,000 died. Their property in Granada was given to 60,000 Christian settlers. Felipe’s son Johann of Austria commanded the Christians who defeated the Turks at Lepanto in October, killing 30,000 Turks and capturing 3,000. In 1572 Spain had 60,000 men in the Netherlands as Spain’s military spending was more than half of annual revenues. The imperial forces defeated the Dutch rebels at Mons in Hainault. In 1575 Felipe II declared bankruptcy. In 1576 unpaid soldiers mutinied and sacked Antwerp as 7,000 people died. Governor Johann of Austria agreed to the Pacification of Ghent. America sent two million ducats in bullion, and Felipe borrowed five million from Italy.
Treasure coming to Seville from America increased from 35 million ducats in the 1570s to 64 million in the 1580s. In 1580 the imperial army invaded Portugal and made Felipe II king there in 1581, but he let the Portuguese Council govern. In 1585 Felipe II began a trade embargo against the English and the Dutch. Spain’s war in the Netherlands was still costing two million ducats a year. In the summer of 1588 the Spanish armada of 130 ships with 33,000 men was defeated by the English navy and storms, costing 15,000 lives and ten million ducats.
In 1517 the Portuguese had 4,000 soldiers in Asia, and overseas trade provided 68% of Portugal’s resources. Joao III ruled Portugal 1521-57. Portugal’s colonies extended to Brazil, Ceylon, the Spice Islands, India, and the Molucca Islands. By 1544 Portugal owed 1,946,000 gold ducats, mostly from Joao’s family expenses such as his sister Isabella’s dowry of 900,000 when she married Charles V in 1526. Military spending cost 1,140,000 ducats. Spain persuaded Portugal to establish the Inquisition in 1536, and from 1543 to 1684 records showed that 19,247 people were condemned, and 1,379 were burned. The population of Portugal was about 1,400,000. More than twenty colleges began during the 1530s and 1540s, and Jesuits started coming in 1540. In 1541 Portuguese were prohibited from taking degrees from foreign universities. Gil Vicente (1470-1540) wrote poetry and satirical plays. Francisco Xavier converted people in India, Ceylon, Malacca, Indonesia, and Japan before dying on his way to China in 1552. By 1582 the Jesuits claimed that 150,000 Japanese Christians attended 200 churches, but in 1587 Toyotomi Hideyoshi ordered the missionaries expelled. In 1575 the Portuguese increased its slave trade in Angola and began shipping 5,000 slaves a year to Brazil. Joao III’s widow Catarina governed Portugal from 1557 to 1562 when Cardinal Henrique became regent. At age 14 in 1568 Sebastiao began ruling as King; but he was killed fighting in Morocco in 1578 with 8,000 others as 15,000 Portuguese were made slaves. Then Henrique appointed five governors, but in 1580 three of them asked Spain’s Felipe II to be king. Dom Antonio claimed the throne, but the Spaniards defeated his army. The Cortes proclaimed Felipe King in April 1581, and he stayed two years as reforms were enacted. From 1583 to 1593 Cardinal Albrecht and the Council of Portugal governed. Camoens published his epic poem The Lusiads in 1572 about the legends and history of Portugal.
Juan Luis Vives (1492-1540) had Jewish parents who had converted. He learned Latin and Greek and studied at the University of Paris. Influenced by the pious Devotio Moderna, he taught Christian ethics. Vives was a humanist and friends with Erasmus, Budé, and Thomas More. In England he taught More’s daughters and Mary Tudor for whom he wrote On the Education of Christian Women. He recommended liberal education and humanist studies. He opposed most corporal punishment. In his popular Introduction to Wisdom Vives criticized the crimes of war. In 1526 he wrote On the Relief of the Poor and dedicated it to magistrates of Bruges because of their relief program. Relieving poverty prevents social disorders and corrupt morality. He urged Europeans to unite against the Turkish threat. In 1529 he dedicated On the Concord and Discord of the Human Race to Charles V and advised him that humans can prevent wars. Vives sent his essay “On Peacemaking” to Spain’s General Inquisitor as he called for tolerance, freedom, and democracy. In 1531 he sent a letter to Henry VIII advising him not to go to war against Charles V. That year Vives published his comprehensive On Education describing the learning process to develop reasoning, sense perception, memory, imagination, and judgment. He wrote Spiritual Exercises for the Mind in 1535, and in 1538 explained human psychology in On the Soul and Life. His last book On the Truth of the Christian Faith compared Christianity with Judaism and Islam.
Francisco de Vitoria studied and taught theology at the University of Paris, and from 1526 he taught at the University of Salamanca until his death in 1546. He lectured on the rights of natives in the Indies, and in 1542 they were put under the protection of the crown. Vitoria was the first to write extensively about international law. Based on God’s natural law, his principles began with not stealing, not killing an innocent person, and not doing harm to anyone. He believed states had the authority to protect people and provide for the general welfare. He derived the law of nations from natural law and argued that the whole world could create international laws to preserve justice for all persons. He rejected Spain’s imperial claims. He held that the Emperor is not lord of the world, and the Pope has no authority over those with different beliefs. Vitoria justified defensive warfare and retaliation for wrongs, though he noted that Jesus did not. Vitoria believed a war could not be just on both sides, and it is unlawful to fight against the just side.
Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) was a soldier and was wounded. While recovering he read a Life of Christ, other spiritual books, and The Imitation of Christ that changed his life. He became a pilgrim and wrote his Spiritual Exercises. He studied and attended the University of Salamanca. He was accused of heresy but was acquitted. He earned his master’s degree at the University of Paris where he befriended Francisco Xavier. They and Pierre Favre with four others dedicated themselves to ministering in poverty. Ignatius traveled to Venice and Rome. The group visited universities in Italy in pairs and called themselves the Company of Jesus. His Spiritual Exercises became their guidebook. They prayed and examined their consciences every day. Ignatius settled in Rome and issued the Formula of the Institute ofthe Society of Jesus in 1539. Pope Paul III confirmed them in 1540, and Ignatius was elected superior general. He sent Xavier to the East and students to Paris. Called Jesuits, they started a hundred colleges before the death of Ignatius in 1556. Several missionaries from Portugal went to India and Brazil. The First General Congregation approved the Constitutions in 1558. As soldiers of God they took vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience. The humanists’ emphasis on liberal education was a big part of the Protestant Reformation, and the Jesuits promoted education in the Catholic religion.
Michael Servetus (1509-53) learned six languages, had broad knowledge, and rejected the trinity dogma, infant baptism, and Luther’s justification by faith alone. In 1546 he wrote Restoration of Christianity, criticizing popes and Protestants. He advocated the unity of God as did Jews and Muslims. He was a Platonist and believed that the human spirit is a spark of the Divine Spirit, that the ideal Christ is eternal, and that God and humans are free. He believed in faith and good works but considered love greater than knowledge and faith because God is love. In 1553 Calvin turned over letters from Servetus to the Inquisitor Ory. Servetus was arrested in Vienne but escaped to France and Geneva where Calvin had him arrested and prosecuted him. The Council had Servetus burned at the stake.
Teresa of Avila (1515-82) became a Carmelite nun, prayed, and neglected prayer for many years. After reading Augustine’s Confessions in 1555, she awakened and began to hear inward voices and to see visions. She wrote an account of her life and completed it in 1566. She urged everyone to pray and warned against distracted thoughts. She described the stages of prayer leading to union and the rapture. Next Teresa wrote The Way of Perfection, advising unceasing prayer and living in poverty to develop detachment and charity. In 1567 she met the priest Juan de Yepes, and they worked for reforms and founded new convents. She was elected prioress of the convent at Avila and in 1572 experienced spiritual marriage. She described their reforms in her Book of Foundations. In October 1577 nuns who voted for Teresa for prioress were excommunicated, and Juan was imprisoned in December. That year Teresa wrote The Interior Castle to help Carmelite nuns, describing seven stages of their development as prayer and meditation, good conversation and study, tests and discipline, discernment and love of God, oneness with God and loving neighbors, rapture or ecstasy, and finally spiritual marriage and perfect peace. Teresa died in 1582, and most of her writings were published in 1588. In 1622 Pope Gregory XV canonized Ignatius of Loyola, Francisco Xavier, and Teresa of Avila as saints.
Juan de Yepes (1542-91) studied at the Jesuit College before joining a Carmelite monastery in 1563. He attended the University of Salamanca and was ordained a priest. When he entered Teresa’s Discalced Carmelite Order in 1568, he took the name Juan de la Cruz. In 1572 he became Vicar and confessor at her convent. While in prison for seven months he wrote his “Spiritual Canticle.” In 1579 Juan founded and became rector at Baeza. In the next six years he wrote The Ascent of Mount Carmel and Dark Night commentaries on his poem. He advised freeing oneself from appetites to seek contemplation and union with God. He warned against vanity, temporal joys, and even natural beauty as well as the seven sins of pride, greed, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth. He recommended love of God, love of neighbor, obedience, chastity, poverty, attendance at choir, penance, humility, mortification, prayer, silence, and peace.
The picaresque novellaLazarillo de Tormesdescribing poverty in Spain was first published in 1554 and was translated into five languages by 1560. Lazaro de Tormes tells how his mother gave him to a blind beggar. He helped the beggar steal and was punished. Then he served a priest and was fed little. Lazaro left and begged door to door. He worked for a man who attended funeral banquets, for a friar, then for a pardoner who sold indulgences, for an artist, and then for a priest for four years, and for a constable. Finally he became a town-crier, married, and raised a family.
Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) was wounded three times at the battle of Lepanto in 1571 and considered his maiming an honor. He was captured by Turks in 1575 and was enslaved for five years. His play The Siege of Numantia was produced in 1582. In 134 BC a Roman army led by Scipio besieges Numantia in Spain for fourteen months. Spain is portrayed as a woman who says she will be revenged against the Romans. The Spaniards destroy their valuable things so that the Romans will not get them. War appears as a woman with Pestilence and Hunger, and she looks forward to the glorious era of Felipe, Charles V, and Ferdinand. All the Numantians kill themselves, and Scipio recognizes their heroic virtue. Yet the oppression by imperial Rome foreshadows Spanish imperialism, and the revenge may have been the sacking of Rome in 1527.
After Charles of Burgundy became King of Spain in 1516, he appointed Marguerite of Austria regent over the Low Countries which she governed again until her death in 1530. Emperor Charles V took Tournai back from the French in 1521, and taxes increased for his war against France. Ghent refused to pay in 1525, and lower classes in Tournai rebelled. Utrecht’s guilds took over the city but were defeated by the nobles and clergy, and Charles V let Utrecht have its own provincial Hof in 1529. Marguerite warned Charles not to use their taxes for his Empire. Erasmus supported Luther’s reforms, and Luther’s writings were banned by 1521. The burning of martyrs began in 1523 at Brussels.
Charles V had his sister Mary of Hungary (r. 1531-55) reorganize the Low Countries’ government. Charles and Mary regulated treatment of the poor and insisted on punishing Lutherans, but the States General rejected a standing army in 1535. The next year war against France resumed. In 1537 some in Ghent were arrested for not paying taxes, and in 1540 Charles V used 4,000 troops to force Ghent’s paying and fined them. Guelders allied with German Protestants in 1541, but in 1543 an imperial army defeated the Guelders. Protestant religion was banned in the Low Countries, and the Netherlands became part of the Hapsburg empire. From 1552 to 1559 the war with France was fought on the borders of the Netherlands which was charged with loans that reached 7 million florins a year in 1555 when Regent Mary resigned and Charles V abdicated.
In 1529 the empire decreed death for all Anabaptists. In 1530 Melchior Hoffman brought the Anabaptist movement to the Low Countries. After Amsterdam had 3,000 Anabaptists, executions began in 1534. Jan Matthys spread Anabaptism in Münster, and he and thirty others were killed on Easter in 1534. Jan van Batenburg led raids on monasteries and churches, and he was executed in 1537. In the next ten years about 30,000 Anabaptists were killed in Holland and Friesland. Even 100 pacifist Davidites were put to death in 1539, but by 1558 people stopped executions for heresy in Holland. Menno Simons (1496-1561) opposed capital punishment and violence. He renounced his Catholic priesthood, married, and published The Foundation of Christian Doctrine in 1539. Regent Mary and Charles V put a price on his head. Peaceful Anabaptists called themselves Mennonites. In the Cross of Christ Menno criticized Christians who killed thousands and plundered the poor. Dutch Mennonites refused to fight in the revolt against Spain that broke out in 1572, though they raised money for Willem of Orange who exempted them from guarding with weapons.
In 1555 Spain’s Felipe II appointed a Council of State and Duke Filiberto of Savoy governor-general of the Netherlands with Willem of Orange as his lieutenant. The imperial army defeated the French at Saint-Quentin in August 1557. Ghent and Friesland resisted war taxes while Holland and Brabant opposed inquisitors. In 1559 Felipe made his half-sister Margaret of Parma governor with Bishop Granvelle advising her. Spanish soldiers left the Netherlands in 1561. Many Calvinists came from Geneva and France. Granvelle became a cardinal, and many protested the Catholic religion he imposed. In 1562 Willem of Orange and Count Egmont organized a league against Granvelle who was recalled and left in 1564. Nobles Marnix and Willem’s brother Louis of Nassau led Calvinists and opposed the Inquisition but were loyal to King Felipe II who ordered heresy laws enforced, provoking bread riots. Willem, Egmont, and Hoorne left the Council and opposed the imperial edicts. In 1566 protests persuaded Margaret to suspend the edicts. Outdoor preaching reached more people and spread, and crowds began destroying images in churches. Margaret agreed to an Accord that allowed preaching if people did not carry arms nor interfere with Catholic services. As Spain sent imperial troops to the Netherlands, Protestants armed themselves in defense. In 1567 Egmont sided with the government, but Willem at Antwerp opened the arsenal to defenders and proclaimed freedom of religion. Willem of Orange resigned and fled to Germany.
In August 1567 about 10,000 imperial forces led by the Duke of Alba arrived in Brussels. Alba set up the Council of Troubles, and his regime tried 12,000 people, many of whom had fled, and confiscated their property, executing more than a thousand. About 60,000 people left the Netherlands. Willem of Orange raised money from German Protestants and led the revolt, publishing his Justification in 1568. Louis of Nassau led an army that defeated the Spaniards in April, but in July Alba’s army devastated the rebels who suffered 7,000 casualties. Willem’s army of 25,000 German mercenaries was also defeated in October. New Catholic bishops were installed, and town councils controlled Latin schools. The first synod of Calvinists in the Netherlands met in 1571. Taxes were imposed to raise a standing army of 11,000 Spaniards, Italians, and Walloons. Hundreds of books were burned. Spaniards had difficulty collecting taxes. Rotterdam rebelled in April 1572, followed by other towns. Louis of Nassau invaded Hainault with Huguenots and took over Mons. In the north only Amsterdam was not liberated. Orange crossed the Rhine with an army of 20,000 men and captured several towns. The States of Holland assembled and named Willem Protector of the Netherlands. The Duke of Alba hired an army of 40,000 men and attacked Mons, and Willem led 16,000 men into Brabant. Alba’s imperial army killed hundreds of people, and his son Fadrique ordered 3,000 citizens of Naarden massacred in their church. The people of Haarlem nearly starved before they surrendered in 1573, and Alba had the garrison’s 2,000 men killed.
In 1573 Calvinists controlled education in Holland. Felipe II recalled Alba who left in December. Spain’s war in the Netherlands would not end until 1648. About 30,000 imperial forces defeated 15,000 men raised by Willem and Louis in 1574. Protestants began a university at Leiden in 1575. The next year Holland and Delft formed a federation and gave power to Willem of Orange. Unpaid imperial soldiers mutinied and sacked Antwerp, killing some 8,000 people. The States General made a truce with Holland and Zeeland, recognizing Orange. The Pacification of Ghent expelled Spanish troops and protected Catholics except in Holland and Zeeland. In 1577 the States General formed the Union of Brussels, uniting sixteen provinces, but Holland and Zeeland withdrew from the States General. Antwerp expelled Spanish soldiers, and Willem lived there for six years. Calvinists took over Ghent, Amsterdam, and several other towns. Yet Catholics from Hainaut and Artois replaced Calvinists in Arras.
In January 1579 Catholics from Walloon provinces, Hainaut, Artois, and other towns formed the Union of Arras and agreed on no foreign troops. That month delegates from Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Friesland, and Guelders formed the Closer Union of Utrecht. Calvinists removed Catholics. A Spanish army besieged and plundered Maastricht. Willem removed radical Calvinists from power in Ghent. The religious civil war continued with the Spanish forces fighting for the Catholics. In 1580 Orange summoned a States General. In 1581 the Duke of Anjou arrived with an army of 11,000 to fight against the Spaniards. The States General of the United Netherlands met at Amsterdam in May with Orange as their sovereign. In 1582 the imperial army increased to 61,000 and invaded Guelders which had banned Catholic worship. Farnese’s imperial army captured Ypres, Ghent, and Bruges in 1584 as Protestants fled. A Catholic assassinated Willem of Orange on July 10. Brussels and Antwerp surrendered to Farnese in 1585. England’s Queen Elizabeth sent soldiers to fight for the Protestants in 1586, but Oldenbarnevelt objected to the strategies of the Earl of Leicester.
The French had regained control over Milan in 1515. Spain’s Carlos I was made Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in 1519 and claimed Naples. He opposed Luther and allied with Pope Leo X, promising him Parma, Piacenza, Ferrara, and Naples. They defeated forces from France and Venice to take over Milan and Pavia. Leo took over Perugia before he died in December 1521. Swiss mercenaries unpaid by the French were defeated and went home, but the French army had regained Milan. Spaniards plundered Genoa. Imperial forces controlled most of Italy by removing French garrisons and reinstated Francesco Sforza in Milan. Pope Adrian VI had tutored Charles and became his ally, but he died and was replaced by Pope Clement VII (1523-34). Charles Bourbon defected from France to Charles V, and Venice also fought for the empire against the French. King François led the French army but was defeated and captured at Pavia in February 1525 as unpaid imperial forces pillaged the town. Italians paid off imperial forces, and famine and plague wiped out half of the Milanese. François signed a treaty at Madrid but when freed renounced it. Clement and Italians allied with France and England against Spain. The Colonnas raided the Vatican, but Pope Clement pardoned them and sent mercenaries against them. He promised to pay imperial troops but then dismissed many of them. Bourbon’s imperial army invaded the Papal States and sacked Rome in May 1527. Bourbon was killed, and the Colonnas with 40,000 peasants also pillaged, killing 12,000 people. Clement paid a ransom and secretly left Rome in December. About 30,000 people died of disease before imperial forces departed in February 1528. Fighting for Genoa resulted in its becoming an oligarchic republic. The imperial army defeated the French in 1529, and they signed a treaty. These wars killed off a large portion of Italy’s population.
Florence was devastated by a plague and was defeated by the imperial army in 1530. Pope Clement VII and Charles V allied with several Italian cities in 1533. Sforza died in 1535, and Milan became an imperial city supplying the army. In 1537 aristocrats took over Florence, and Cosimo de’ Medici governed until his death in 1574. Pope Paul III mediated a truce between Charles V and François in 1538. The Milanese refused to accept Spain’s Inquisition in 1547 and 1563. Pope Julius III agreed to a two-year truce in 1552 with France’s Henri II which Charles V accepted. Yet from 1552 until 1559 the French and Spanish fought over Siena. In 1554 Charles assigned Milan and Naples to his son Felipe. Pope Paul IV (1555-59) opposed Spain and allied with France in 1556. Spain’s army from Naples invaded the Papal States and defeated the French at St. Quentin in August 1557. Venice mediated a peace treaty ratified by Spain’s Felipe II who made peace with Henri II in April 1559 as the French withdrew from most of Italy.
The Medici Pope Leo X used indulgences to raise money to pay for St. Peter’s Basilica, and in 1520 he condemned the ideas of Luther. He proclaimed Charles V the “Catholic King.” Pope Adrian VI imposed austerity and reforms but allied with Charles V and Italian cities against France. Pope Clement VII was also a Medici, but he allied with France and Venice against Charles V. The humanist Alfonso de Valdes argued that Rome was sacked for its vices and because the Popes did not heed the advice of Erasmus and Luther. Clement approved the Capuchin reformers who helped the sick. He also allied with Charles V and raised money to fight the Turks, but by 1534 the Catholic Church had lost England, Denmark, Sweden, and parts of Germany and Switzerland. Pope Paul III (1534-49) continued these policies, and he punished Perugia for refusing to pay a salt tax. In 1542 he revived the Inquisition, and he summoned a council at Trent in 1545. In 1546 he recognized the Ursuline nuns and formed a Catholic league against the Protestants. Paul III favored his sons and brothers as did Pope Julius III who also allied with Charles V against France. They burned books in Rome in 1550, and he ordered Jewish books burned in 1553.
Pope Paul IV promoted reform, opposed Spain’s imperialism, and gave Naples to France; but they were defeated by the Spaniards, and he submitted. He made the Inquisition more strict and confiscated property of Jews, restricting their rights. His nepotism was exposed, and Italy was dominated by Spain. The Index of Prohibited Books began in 1559. Pope Pius IV was a Medici and favored Spain. He moderated the Inquisition but punished corrupt prelates. In 1563 the Council of Trent finally completed its reforms to make clergy more responsive to the people. Felipe II received large revenues from the Church. The ascetic Pope Pius V made the Inquisition more severe again, made sure Felipe got his revenues, and expelled all Jews from the Papal States in 1569. Pope Gregory XIII (1572-85) promoted colleges, carried out reforms, pardoned criminals, helped the sick and the poor, reduced military spending, and corrected the Julian calendar in 1582. Pope Sixtus V made punishment strict again and sold offices.
The Republic of Venice included Padua with its popular university. Venice often avoided war by using diplomacy. Turks conquered Cyprus in 1570, but the next year the Christians with better guns defeated the Ottoman navy at Lepanto. Spain ruled Naples; but Charles V promised to guarantee their rights, and they rejected the Inquisition in 1547. Naples fought off the French in 1528, and a revolt against Spain failed in 1547. Spain also ruled Sicily with viceroys while barons had local power and put tax burdens on poor workers. When the poor revolted, the aristocrats put them down. Spaniards suppressed Sicilian revolts against the viceroys.
Francesco Guicciardini wrote histories of Italy and Florence and served as an ambassador for Florence and a governor for Pope Leo X. His wisdom was published in his Ricordi in which he warned against those seeking power for self-interest. He aimed at the liberation of Italy from barbarians and wicked priests. He advised ambassadors to be discreet. Popular government seeking justice can provide security for all. Thorough debate leads to peace, and nothing costs more than war. The greatest good is to harm no one and help others.
Giovanni della Casa was papal nuncio to Venice and wrote Galatea on polite behavior in 1558. He valued generosity, loyalty, and moral courage above polite manners which are also beneficial. One should consider the feelings of one’s companions with discretion and avoid unpleasant things, lying, boasting, flattery, gossip, correcting others, and various vices.
Giordano Bruno studied philosophy and based his memory system on the ideas of Ramon Llull. He opposed the trinity and was accused of heresy in 1576. He taught astronomy and traveled. He became a Calvinist in Geneva and taught theology at Paris. In 1582 he published On the Shadows of Ideas about Platonic ideas. He used Nicholas of Cusa’s coincidence of opposites. At Oxford he lectured on the heliocentric theory of Copernicus. He wrote dialogs on cosmology and morals, and he wrote books explaining his theory of the infinite but unified universe. He considered justice essential to the good. In his ethical dialogs he satirized Catholic and Calvinist morals while emphasizing conscience and the Inner Light. He noted that many philosophers accepted reincarnation. He believed laws can be moral guides and that the state is obligated to provide justice. Wealth using violence resists justice. In 1585 he wrote about the Cabala. In The Heroic Frenzies Bruno discussed love and intelligence. He taught at Wittenberg but was excommunicated by Lutherans. He wrote his Essay on Magic and in his last book discussed twelve principles. He went to Venice where Mocenigo denounced him to the Inquisition in 1592. He renounced his errors but was sent to Rome where the Holy Office kept him in dungeons for seven years. Finally he refused to retract two propositions and was burned as a heretic in 1600.
Pietro Aretino (1492-1556) wrote satirical letters, dialogs, poems, and plays. His lampoons made him famous, but his “Lewd Sonnets” caused a scandal in Rome. He moved to Venice for the rest of his life. In 1528 his poem asked François to save Italy from Spanish domination. Ariosto called Aretino “the Scourge of Princes.” Aretino’s letters revealed his bisexuality. His writing extended from pornography to religious works and historical fiction about saints. His six plays are about a homosexual man, a courtier, a prostitute, a hypocrite, a philosopher, and the tragedy about the Horatii and the Curiatii.
Angelo Beolco wrote comedies about the peasant Ruzzante. His popular play Ruzzante Come Back from the War showed the misery caused by the wars of the 1520s. The anonymous Venetian Comedy portrayed the sexuality in the city dedicated to Venus. During the 16th century the stock characters of the improvisational Commedia dell-Arte developed in Italy.
Giulia Bigolina’s romance Urania describes a virtuous woman who teaches other women the value of using intelligence and being virtuous, but her book was not published until 2002. Benvenuto Cellini described his life as a soldier and a goldsmith in his famous Autobiography which circulated in manuscript but was not printed until 1728. Torquato Tasso (1544-95) wrote a Discourse on the Art of Poetry and the pastoral drama Aminta, but his life work was the epic poem Jerusalem Liberated about the first crusade in 1099 blended with romance and mythic characters. He also wrote the tragedy King Torrismondo.
François I ruled France 1515-47. His army defeated Swiss mercenaries in 1515 to take over Milan, but the war put France heavily in debt. In 1517 Chancellor Duprat sold offices to raise money. François spent money on bribes but did not become emperor. In 1521 professors at the University of Paris condemned the ideas of Martin Luther. French forces gained Fuenterrabia but lost Tournai and Milan to the Spaniards. In 1522 France faced Spain and Pope Adrian VI, and its debt increased. Duke Charles of Bourbon quarreled with François and fought against France with imperial forces in 1524. Humanist Lefevre d’Etaples translated the Bible into French, and François banned discussion of his works. François led the invasion of Italy; but they were defeated at Pavia in 1525, and he was captured by imperial forces and taken to Madrid. France’s Parlement began persecuting religious dissent. François signed a treaty with Spain and was released, but then he refused to give up Burgundy. In 1526 he allied with Pope Clement VII, Venice, Florence, and Milan. François became supreme judge and punished corruption. French forces invaded Lombardy, and in 1528 France and England declared war on Charles V. The French army occupied Naples but suffered disease. In 1529 France and Spain agreed to peace at Cambrai as François gave up his claims. Their war had cost 200,000 lives.
In 1533 France allied with Pope Clement VII as Prince Henri married the Pope’s niece Catherine de’ Medici. François promised to punish heresy, and 24 Protestants were burned. In 1536 François took over Savoy, and Charles V invaded Provence and captured Aix. In 1537 François reclaimed Flanders, Artois, and Charolais, and his army occupied Piedmont, wars costing 15 million livres. In 1538 Pope Paul III, Charles V, and François made peace; but in 1542 François declared war on Charles V, and the next year England and Charles V went to war against France. In 1544 Charles made peace with France which gave up Savoy and Piedmont. In 1545 François agreed to pay Henry VIII annually to get Boulogne back, and by 1546 the war had cost France 30 million livres. France banned the works of Calvin, Luther, Melanchthon, Dolet, and the poet Marot. France persecuted the Vaudois (Waldenses), and in 1545 about 2,700 people were killed. Before his death in 1547 François admitted he went to war without good reasons.
King Henri II (r. 1547-59) sent an army to Scotland that captured St. Andrews and John Knox. Pope Paul III made a defensive alliance with France, and in 1548 Henri II led his army into Italy. That year French peasants rebelled against new salt taxes and were subdued by the army. In 1549 Henri declared war on England and invaded the Boulounnais. The next year they made peace, and England gave back Boulogne. Henri II enforced laws against heresy, and during his reign about 10,000 people fled to Geneva. Yet he also supported Protestants and stopped church money from going to Rome. In 1551 Henri II declared war on Charles V and invaded Toul and Metz, which was besieged by 55,000 imperial troops. Henri even asked Sultan Suleiman II to send his fleet to Italy. French troops went to Siena in 1552 and left in 1555. Three French armies briefly invaded the southern Netherlands in June 1554. The next year French forces won victories in northern Italy, and Pope Paul IV granted Naples and Milan to sons of Henri; but Spanish forces defeated the French at Saint-Quentin in 1557, the year France lost its credit. A French attempt to start a colony in Brazil failed in 1558. Henri summoned all eight Parlements to ask for money. The Duke of Guise captured Calais, and Dauphin François married Mary Stuart. In 1559 France made treaties with England and Spain, losing nearly 200 fortresses. Parlement rejected the Inquisition, but Henri increased the penalties for heresy. Calvinists held a secret synod in Paris. Henri II died after being wounded jousting.
François Rabelais learned Greek and Latin, was ordained a priest, earned a degree in medicine, and worked as a physician. He wrote his famous novel Gargantua and Pantagruel from 1532 to 1553. Parlement censored his writing, but King François let him publish. The tales of the two giants by Rabelais are witty, ribald, and entertaining. He describes an abbey in which the only rule is to do what you wish. Gargantua advises his son on what to read and study. They seek advice on whether to marry or not. They visit islands with different customs. Rabelais suggests that all experience is beneficial and that life is to be enjoyed, but he also believes in God’s guidance and in loving your neighbor.
Marguerite of Angouleme (1492-1549) learned six languages, became Duchess of Berry, and promoted religious reforms. In 1527 she married the King of Navarre, and at the court of François her influence patronized the poor and writers. After François began persecuting religious dissent in 1535, she went back to Navarre so that she could support humanists and reformers. In 1531 she wrote the religious poem, The Mirror of the Sinful Soul. In her last years she wrote the 72 tales of the Heptameron which is similar to Boccaccio’s Decameron, but her stories are more about women and autobiographical with characters representing her mother Louise, her husband Henri, and herself. The poet Clément Marot opposed war and favored humanistic reform. While imprisoned for heresy he translated the Roman de la Rose. He published his work as Adolescence Clémentine by 1532 and later translated the Psalms.
Nostradamus studied Greek, Latin, Hebrew, astrology, herbs, and medicine. He was an apothecary and a physician and helped plague victims. He refused to bleed patients and advised running water and fresh air. He wrote Almanachs and predicted future events in quatrains in his time and for centuries since then.
In 1559 Catherine de’ Medici briefly governed France with help from the Guise brothers. The Protestant Huguenots became more aggressive, and her son François II began ruling, granting amnesty to religious prisoners. Royal troops defeated rebels, arresting 300 and executing 56 nobles. People demonstrated against the Guises, and the King summoned the Estates-General but died of illness. Catherine became Regent again for 10-year-old Charles IX. She released prisoners and stopped heresy cases but banned Protestant worship. Yet Calvinists gathered and attacked Catholic churches. Debates were held. Pierre Ronsard (1524-85) criticized the folly of war and the abuses of the Church by greedy priests.
Civil war began in 1562. When Calvinists threw stones at the Duke of Guise, his men killed thirty people. A riot broke out in Paris. Louis de Condé’s Protestant rebels seized Orléans and other towns. Parlement outlawed Protestants. Catherine recruited 6,000 Swiss soldiers, and her Catholic armies fought back. Protestants gave Le Havre to England for 6,000 troops, but 30,000 Catholic forces besieged Rouen. King Antoine of Navarre was killed, but his Queen declared the kingdom Calvinist. Civil war continued until March 1563 when a treaty guaranteed religious freedom while increasing nobles’ rights. The French army besieged Le Havre for eight months, and Queen Elizabeth let France keep Calais for 120,000 crowns. Charles IX persuaded Parlement to register his peace declaration, but many kept their weapons. For two years the royal court toured France with 10,000 people. Royal judges took over civil jurisdiction and banned corruption.
In 1566 Spain’s army invaded French territory on its way to the Netherlands, and Charles IX hired Swiss mercenaries. Huguenots gathered forces, killed eighty people at Nimes, and seized Orléans again. Pope Pius V sent money and soldiers to Catherine. Both sides ran out of money and made peace in March 1568. Charles IX banned Reformed religion, and a Protestant army attacked Poitou. Huguenot leaders were outlawed, and their forces slaughtered hundreds of peasants. The Pope, Florence, and Spain aided the royalists who defeated the Protestants at Moncontour in October 1569, but Coligny’s Protestants won battles and marched on Paris. They agreed to end the third civil war in August 1570. Protestants were given security in designated towns, and their rights were restored. Two years later Charles IX ordered an attack on Huguenot leaders, and Coligny was murdered. On St. Bartholomew’s Day pillaging and murdering continued for a week even after the King ordered it stopped, killing 3,000 people in Paris. The slaughter spread, and thousands of Protestants were killed or converted. In 1573 royalist forces led by Henri of Anjou suffered heavy casualties while reducing the Huguenot army. Many Huguenots remained in southern France and adopted a constitution. Conspirators against the Guises were arrested, and some were executed. In 1574 Anjou succeeded Charles IX as King Henri III. He led attacks on the Huguenots. Henri of Navarre returned to Calvinism, and Protestants negotiated peace with Henri III’s mother Catherine in May 1575.
Henri III ordered armed leagues organized to unite the Catholics. They made peace with the Protestants in September 1577, but the Protestants were restricted. An uprising by peasants against nobles was suppressed in 1579. Alençon de Anjou wanted to fight for the Dutch and worked to end the civil war in the south. He allied with Queen Elizabeth but failed to take Antwerp. King Henri and Catherine made a treaty with the Catholic League in 1585, agreeing to ban Protestants. Four armies were fighting the Protestants, and the King gave Henri de Guise command. The Guises controlled more land than he and refused to make concessions to the Huguenots. In September 1587 Henri III led an army from Paris to stop Protestant foreigners led by Henri de la Tour from joining the Huguenots under Henri of Navarre. Henri of Guise defeated Protestants in the fall. Henri III returned to Paris and tried to regulate guilds, but he fled in May 1588. Elections favored the League, and Henri III made concessions. His bodyguards murdered Henri de Guise, and his brother the Cardinal was also killed. Parlement ruled on behalf of imprisoned Cardinal de Bourbon whom they made Charles X. Catholic radicals urged the death of Henri III for his crimes, but in April 1589 he allied with Navarre. A Dominican friar stabbed Henri III, killing him.
Michel de Montaigne (1533-92) served as a counselor in government and mayor of Bordeaux but is famous for his brilliant Essays. His purpose in these “attempts” was to soften hearts by moving people’s feelings. He asked what he knew and worked to know himself. He encouraged education and considered living well the most valuable art. He valued friends and knew the importance of moderation. He warned against judging divine ordinances because perceiving the divine and applying it is difficult. The worst condition is to lose control of oneself. Practicing is what develops skill. Montaigne was very influenced by the classics and mined their treasures for his readers. During the civil wars he questioned the value of war and found human arrogance most miserable. He believed morals were corrupt and that many customs were monstrous. He wondered if progress needed to be stopped to prevent destruction. Good intentions without moderation can lead to vicious acts. He noted that cowardice can cause cruelty. Anger ruins clarity of judgment. Health is most precious. He lamented France’s excessive laws.
Cardinal Wolsey dominated the English government as Chancellor and sold Tournai to France. Henry VIII joined the Holy League in 1518 against the Turks. Erasmus, Thomas More, and other humanists promoted education and peace. England was allied to France and Spain and managed to avoid most wars that developed between those two powers in Italy. English commerce had interests in the Netherlands. King Henry wrote a defense of the Catholic sacraments while Wolsey and Bishop Fisher also opposed the Lutherans. In 1521 England allied with Charles V against France but held little more than Calais. English forces raided the border of Scotland. By 1524 Henry realized that his wife Catherine of Aragon would not bear a son that lived, and he fell in love with Anne Boleyn. In 1525 Charles V refused to recognize Henry’s sovereignty in defeated France, and so Wolsey negotiated an alliance with the French. In 1528 Henry and Wolsey mediated a truce between François and Charles V. Henry VIII tried to get Pope Clement VII to grant him a divorce. Henry lost patience with Wolsey who lost his power for praemunire in 1529.
Tyndale became a Lutheran and published his English translation of the New Testament in 1526. Tyndale urged the English to read the Bible and use it as a guide to reform society, and he suggested the King could be the head of the nation’s Church. He criticized Henry VIII and Thomas More, and he translated the Torah and the Handbook of Erasmus. Augustinian prior Barnes criticized Church policies and was persecuted in England. Chancellor More prosecuted dissenters, burning to death six men. Lutheran books and even the English Bible were banned. Cranmer bribed Italian universities to favor Henry’s divorce. St. Germain argued for giving temporal power to Parliament while limiting the Church to spiritual issues, but More opposed reforms. In 1531 a convocation of clergy promised the King £100,000 as Thomas Cromwell rose to power. The convocation agreed to get a royal license for its laws, and More resigned. Henry VIII limited Church revenues going to Rome and made Cranmer Archbishop of Canterbury in 1533. Cromwell became chief minister and got an act passed increasing the King’s judicial power. Henry married pregnant Anne Boleyn. A convocation and Cranmer declared Henry’s marriage to Catherine unlawful, and Anne was proclaimed queen. Pope Clement VII excommunicated Henry. Parliament made the King head of the English Church, giving him Church profits and power over monasteries. A loyalty oath was required, and Henry prohibited preaching on controversial religious issues.
In 1535 Fisher and More were beheaded for refusing to take the oath. Also executed were three Carthusians and fourteen Dutch Anabaptists. Cromwell pushed reforms through Parliament and raised revenue for the King. Cromwell visited monasteries and suppressed them. Queen Anne had a miscarriage in 1536, and after a trial she was beheaded for adultery. Henry VIII then married Jane Seymour. After 1532 during Henry’s reign 122 people were attainted, and more than 300 were executed for treason. Stealing was a capital crime, and the historian Holinshed estimated that about 72,000 thieves and vagabonds were hanged. Parliament authorized the King to proclaim laws. Henry disagreed with Lutherans on marriage and decided church policies himself. Preachers commenting on his Ten Articles could be arrested. Queen Jane gave birth to Edward in 1537 and then died. Cromwell promoted attacks on images, enabling Henry to collect gold, silver, and jewels. The English Bible was put in every parish church. Monasteries and nunneries were closed, and Henry VIII sold land for nearly £750,000. All men had to report for military service. Henry married Anna of Cleves; but he did not like her, and it was annulled. Cromwell became so hated that he was beheaded for treason in 1540. Barnes and other Protestant protégés of Cromwell were burned as heretics while papists were hanged as traitors. Henry married Katherine Howard.
Scots invaded Northumberland in 1532, and the English retaliated by burning Douglas and villages, taking livestock. Northerners complained about lost monasteries, and religious changes, and 30,000 rebels marched on Lincoln in 1536. The army put them down; but then pilgrims gathered in Yorkshire, and Lancashire revolted. They demanded that Parliament make reforms and declare Mary Tudor legitimate. Henry VIII promised a pardon; but in 1537 the Duke of Norfolk imposed martial law, and 216 rebels were executed. Henry had a council set up in York. Norfolk got 6,000 rebels to surrender in Cumberland, but 74 were hanged. Henry insisted on more hangings.
Rhys ap Gruffydd tried to rule in Wales and was executed in 1531. New counties were organized, and Welsh customs were abolished, requiring English in courts. A chronicler recorded that 5,000 men were hanged. In 1536 Henry and the Parliament had the government of Wales reorganized, and Wales was granted 26 seats in Parliament in 1542. Monasteries were closed by 1539.
In 1540 a tax on land raised more revenue. In 1541 Queen Katherine and her suspected lovers were executed for treason. Violence flared up on the northern border with Scotland in 1542. Henry VIII allied with Charles V in 1543, the year Henry wrote a book describing his moderate religious policies. He made two treaties with Scotland; but Parliament rejected them because Henry broke the peace. Henry married the Protestant Catherine Parr. In 1544 the English raided Scotland and claimed sovereignty there. Henry followed his army to Calais, and after being bombarded Boulogne surrendered. Plague spread, and bad harvests caused a food shortage. Henry took money for war from colleges and hospitals and borrowed from bankers at 13.5% interest. He devalued the currency, and prices doubled in 1545. The French helped the Scots fight the English until the French promised to pay the English for Boulogne in the peace of June 1546. This war cost England about £2,200,000. Henry VIII died in January 1547.
Thomas Elyot studied the classics and humanists and dedicated The Governor to Henry VIII. In this book Elyot advised governing moderately with reason, and he urged better education for English nobles. He recommended that children learn by playing and by conversing in Latin. He suggested classical literature and the study of history, then ethics, the Bible, and Erasmus on Christian education. He favored physical exercise and the education of women. Education should lead to virtue and wisdom. One should treat everyone with justice and honesty. He also advised courage and patience rather than revenge. Magnanimity and temperance are also important.
Young Edward VI learned several languages from his humanist tutors, and Protestants controlled the Regency Council. Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford, became Duke of Somerset and was elected Lord Protector, and a new Council was formed. The Protector helped the poor but alienated the rich and powerful. He led an army into Scotland in July 1547 and routed the Scots’ army, killing 10,000. In the fall the Parliament rescinded heresy and treason laws, allowing more books to be printed. Land enclosures were made illegal, and a sheep tax protected farmland of the poor. Somerset claimed suzerainty in Scotland, but 5,000 Scots challenged the new English earthwork at Haddington in 1548. The Protector’s brother Thomas Somerset was charged with corruption and was beheaded. Parliament approved marriage of clergy, but taxes were too low to cover high military spending. People rebelled against religious reforms and destroyed enclosures. The Protector ordered laws enforced, and many poor moved into towns. Martial law was declared in London, and the army killed 2,000 rebels at Exeter. The government killed another 3,000 rebels in the southwest, and the Kett brothers were hanged. France declared war against England in August 1549, and a cabal deposed Somerset in October. Somerset submitted in December. King Edward pardoned him, and the Council restored him in April 1550. Catholics were persecuted. Warwick created a standing army and became Duke of Northumberland. Somerset was arrested again and was executed in January 1552. Currency had been debased but was restored. Northumberland dissolved the Parliament in March 1553, and Edward VI died of illness in July.
Lady Jane Grey had married Northumberland’s son and was proclaimed Queen of England while Mary Tudor fled to East Anglia and gathered support and an army of 30,000 men. The Privy Council proclaimed Mary queen. She announced she would remain a Catholic but would not force anyone to convert. Northumberland was condemned and executed. Catholic bishops were restored, and Protestants fled. Parliament recognized Mary as queen and condemned Jane and her husband’s family. Archbishop Cranmer was found guilty of treason. Parliament repealed religious laws passed under Edward VI. After Mary promised to marry Felipe II, Thomas Wyatt led a rebellion; but they were defeated, and about a hundred rebels were executed. Mary wedded Felipe in July 1554. Treason and heresy laws were revived, and papal authority was restored. Felipe left England in 1555 to be Regent in the Netherlands. Cardinal Pole presided over a synod, and Catholic books were published. Cranmer was finally burned as Pole became Archbishop of Canterbury. During Mary’s reign 285 Protestants were burned to death. In 1556 Henry Dudley led a conspiracy to overthrow Mary; he escaped as ten men were executed. In 1557 and 1558 influenza epidemics killed 100,000 people. England declared war on France in June 1557, and 7,000 English helped Felipe II defeat the French at St. Quentin. However, the English were driven out of Calais in January 1558. Queen Mary died of illness in November.
John Skelton tutored Henry VIII and became poet laureate. His allegorical play Magnificence satirized the vices and instructed the King. John Heywood wrote poetry, farces, comedies, and epigrams. Topics of his humorous plays include religious pardoning, romantic love, and the weather. John Bale (1495-1565) was a reformer and wrote religious plays. His play King John is an early history play but is also allegorical. Nicholas Udall wrote the comedy Ralph Roister Doister in the early 1550s, and another successful comedy was Gammer Gurton’s Needle.
Inheriting a debt of £280,000, Elizabeth I began by reducing government spending by 60%. She dismissed most Catholics from her Council and made William Cecil her secretary. Protestants came back to England, and pamphlets criticized Catholic authority. Parliament repealed Mary’s laws and revived Henry VIII’s. The Act of Uniformity required officials to take the oath of supremacy to Elizabeth as the “only supreme governor.” Eight bishops were put in the Tower, but others were allowed to retire. Matthew Parker became Archbishop of Canterbury. In five years about 400 clergy lost their benefices. Elizabeth refused to marry Catholics, foreigners, or Englishmen, declaring she was married to England. She suspected Mary Stuart’s claim to rule England and sent 4,000 soldiers to the Scottish border but restrained the Duke of Norfolk. In 1560 Cecil negotiated with France to keep Scotland independent. Elizabeth favored her friend Robert Dudley but declined to marry him because she did not want the Catholic faith restored. She worked to get Calais back from the French. Gresham helped her revalue the currency. Elizabeth tried to make religious rites uniform, but Puritans demanded limited rituals. In 1563 John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs was published and was put in most churches. A convocation led by Archbishop Parker defined 39 Articles of Religion which were made law in 1571. English soldiers suffering disease, had to give up Le Havre in 1563, and brought the plague back to London. In her first five years Elizabeth spent £750,000 on military expenses, but she refused to go to war against Spain. English ships captured Spanish prizes, and John Hawkins engaged in the slave trade with money from prominent investors.
Robert Dudley became the Earl of Leicester in 1564, but Elizabeth still refused to marry. After Mary Stuart became Queen of Scotland and married Lord Darnley and then upon his death the Earl of Bothwell, Elizabeth refused to meet with Mary and kept her imprisoned in England for 19 years. Calvinist Thomas Cartwright led the Puritans. Conflicts between Spanish and English ships led to economic sanctions between the two nations in 1569. Later that year Dacre, Westmorland, and Northumberland led a rebellion in the north, but in early 1570 the royal army led by Sussex defeated them and devastated northern lands; 500 rebels were executed. Roger Ascham tutored Edward VI and the queens Mary and Elizabeth. He wrote The Scholemaster on education emphasizing love and ethical values rather than punishment. Pope Pius V excommunicated Elizabeth. Parliament restored the Treason Act and allowed interest on loans up to 10%. Puritans got church discipline strengthened. In 1571 a conspiracy led by the banker Ridolfi, Mary Stuart, and Norfolk was discovered and stopped.
In 1571 England allied with France against Spain. Parliament funded relief of the poor, but vagabonds still faced harsh penalties. Francis Drake brought back plunder from Panama. Clerics still had multiple benefices, and Puritans protested greed. Cartwright went into exile and translated Ecclesiastical Discipline by Walter Travers. England and Spain resolved their property disputes by 1574. Elizabeth approved torture but greatly reduced executions for heresy. She declined to intervene in the Netherlands, but in 1577 she promised aid to Willem of Orange. She welcomed the suit of François of Alençon and supported his fighting Spaniards in the Netherlands, but she rejected marriage. Drake completed the first English circumnavigation of the globe in 1580. Walsingham gathered intelligence from spies for Elizabeth. Those teaching Catholic doctrines were arrested. Cecil justified prosecuting priests for treason. The Six Articles in 1583 forced clergy to accept supremacy of the crown, the Book of Common Prayer, and the 39 Articles, and more than two hundred ministers were suspended.
Cecil and Walsingham organized ways to prevent conspiracies by Jesuits and Catholics against the Queen. Elizabeth gave Walter Raleigh a patent, and he sponsored a colony on Roanoke Island. English ships attacked Spanish vessels and plundered their property. In 1585 Elizabeth sent an army led by Leicester to the Netherlands. Congregational churches aimed to be more independent with well educated ministers. In 1586 Scotland’s James VI made a treaty with England; but his mother Mary Stuart was detected in another conspiracy against Elizabeth and was beheaded in 1587. The English prepared for an invasion by a Spanish armada and defeated them at sea in July 1588.
John Lyly wrote romantic novels about Euphues using rhetorical devices and balanced phrasing with similes. Philip Sidney wrote love sonnets, the long pastoral romance Arcadia, and a defense of poetry. He also served as a diplomat and died fighting against the Spaniards in 1586. Sidney went beyond Aristotle and Plato by showing the practical virtues of poetry to help people learn about life. Edmund Spenser wrote his poetic Shepheardes Calendar in 1579 to portray shepherds telling stories and discussing love, religion, and poetry.
The tragedy Gorboduc was performed for Queen Elizabeth in 1562. The legendary British King Gorboduc divides his kingdom between his two sons, and this results in civil war. The tragical comedy Damon and Pithias portrays a famous friendship in ancient Greece. Gascoigne translated a comedy by Ariosto and presented it as Supposes in 1566. Thomas Preston wrote the tragedy Cambyses, King of Persia to portray the history of that conqueror. George Peele’s The Arraignment of Paris dramatized a contest among classical goddesses that led to the Trojan Paris becoming involved with the Greek Helen.
John Lyly also wrote several plays. The comedy Alexander, Campaspe, and Diogenes is about the Macedonian conqueror, a humble beauty, and the famous cynic. In the pastoral comedy Gallathea two girls dress as boys to escape being sacrificed. The comedy Sapho and Phao satirizes the craziness of romantic love. In Lyly’s comedy Endymion the main character is put to sleep for forty years and is awakened and rejuvenated by the beautiful moon goddess Cynthia, but she cannot marry like the virgin Queen Elizabeth.
Thomas Kyd’s Spanish Tragedy was an influential revenge play set in motion by a ghost in which Hieronimo demands justice while the King is persuaded that he is mad. Christopher Marlowe dramatized the history of Tamberlaine in two parts, adding female characters to make it more interesting. The conquering of the cruel Tamburlaine shows the misery caused by rulers who try to dominate others with massive violence.
In 1515 Scotland’s Parliament elected as regent John Stewart, Duke of Albany, but in 1517 he went back to France for four years. Scotland was governed by a regency commission of two archbishops and four earls. In February 1522 England’s Henry VIII demanded that Albany be removed, and France ratified its alliance with Scotland in June. Albany spent another year in France and returned with 4,000 men. Queen mother Margaret (Henry VIII’s sister) supported her young son James V. Albany and the French forces left Scotland in 1524, and James allied with Henry VIII. In 1526 Margaret married Henry Stewart, and James V began to rule with the Earl of Angus as Chancellor. Lennox and others failed to remove Angus, and Lennox was killed. Angus was charged with treason and fled to England in 1529. Scotland made a commercial treaty with the Netherlands in 1531. Pope Clement VII supported James, but most Scottish bishops opposed him. Revenues made James rich. His wife Madeleine died in 1537 after six months, and James married Mary of Guise in 1538. Two sons died, but Mary Stuart was born in 1542. David Lyndsay wrote a morality play that satirized politics and religion. Scotland went to war against England in 1542 and was defeated in November. James V died of fever in December.
In 1543 Scotland’s regency was led by the Earl of Arran. Parliament distributed Bibles in English, and heresy was banned. In 1544 a convention at Stirling replaced Arran with Mary of Guise. Lennox made a deal with Henry VIII but could not take Dumbarton. During a war against English invaders the Earl of Angus led Scots while French allies were resented. The Zwinglian reformer George Wishart was arrested and burned in 1546. English agents murdered the Chancellor, Cardinal Beaton. On Easter 1547 the reforming preacher John Knox joined those besieged at St. Andrews Castle. The French captured the castle and sent Knox to the galleys. Protector Somerset led an English invasion that defeated 30,000 Scots in September. French ships took Mary Stuart to marry the Dauphin. England and Scotland made a treaty in 1551. The English rescued Knox, and he preached in England and wrote books before studying with Calvin in Geneva. Mary of Guise became Regent again in 1554, and she welcomed Protestants fleeing from Catholic England. In 1558 Knox published a book against rule by women. In 1559 Lords of the Congregation recalled Knox to Scotland, and his sermons motivated zealots to destroy church icons. Protestants took over Perth, Stirling, and Edinburgh. A truce in July allowed the capital to choose its own religion. Mary of Guise’s regency was suspended, and people fought against French troops. In 1560 an English army invaded Scotland, and Mary of Guise died. English and French troops agreed to leave Scotland, and Queen Mary Stuart recognized Elizabeth in England. Parliament voted for the Reformed Church advised by Knox. The Scottish church had ten times the revenues of the crown for only 3,000 clergy while the poor suffered.
Queen Mary Stuart came from France to Scotland in 1561 and accepted the state religion. In 1565 she married her likely successor, Lord Darnley. Bothwell was recalled, and the influential Moray fled to England. In 1566 her secretary David Riccio was murdered, and Darnley was suspected. John Knox wrote his History of the Reformation in Scotland which was later completed by the erudite George Buchanan who tutored Mary. She gave birth to James but fell in love with the Earl of Bothwell. In 1567 after an explosion of gunpowder Darnley was found dead, and Mary and Bothwell were suspected. Bothwell was divorced and wedded Mary eight days later, increasing the scandal. They raised an army; but when Mary surrendered, Bothwell fled. She abdicated in favor of her son James, and the Earl of Moray became Regent.
Mary Stuart escaped in 1568, but the army of her supporters was defeated by Regent Moray’s forces. Mary fled to England and negotiated with Queen Elizabeth’s diplomats at York. The letters of Mary and Bothwell were read privately, and Moray accused her of murder. Elizabeth sent aid to Moray’s government, and Mary accepted the English church for a time but was imprisoned in England for 19 years. Moray was murdered in January 1570, and in April the Earl of Sussex led the English invasion of Scotland. The party of King James VI accepted Elizabeth’s choice of Lennox as Regent in July. Mary’s forces continued the civil war until the English mediated a truce in September for six months. War resumed, and the King’s army captured Dumbarton Castle in April 1571. Separate parliaments met, and Lennox was killed. The Regency’s forces regained the town of Edinburgh in 1572 and its castle in 1573. Opponents of Regent Morton persuaded King James to remove him in 1578, but Morton regained power. Catholics supported Mary, but James won over Protestants and the English by denouncing papistry in 1581. Presbyterians seized James in 1582, but in 1584 the Black Acts let the King denounce the new presbyteries. Elizabeth sent her ally James subsidies. Mary Stuart plotted against Elizabeth and was beheaded in February 1587. James VI was heir to the English throne and accepted her execution.
In 1518 in Ireland the 9th Earl of Kildare attacked the O’Neills and refused to go to England. Henry VIII sent the Earl of Surrey with soldiers to subdue the Irish lords. In 1521 the Irish parliament made burning wheat, hay, and houses treason. Surrey could not put down the Irish and went home. Kildare was detained in England. In 1522 Piers Butler was made Lord Deputy and claimed the Earl of Ormond’s lands. Kildare returned to Ireland in 1523 and opposed Butler. Kildare cooperated with the English and was made deputy. Henry VIII summoned Ormond and Kildare who made his son Thomas FitzGerald deputy. He helped O’Connor detain Delvin. Butler became deputy again in 1528. Henry sent Skeffington as deputy with 200 soldiers, and they pacified Ulster. Skeffington mismanaged finances and was replaced by Kildare in 1532. He met with the parliament and passed a three-year subsidy. Kildare went to England again in 1534, leaving his son Thomas as deputy. Then King Henry ordered Skeffington to end the Pope’s authority and reform the churches, but Thomas Kildare asked the Council in Dublin to join him in rebellion. Skeffington arrived with 2,300 soldiers and made a truce with Thomas and then died. The Council made Leonard Grey Lord Deputy. The rebels fled, and Thomas surrendered and was hanged in England along with five of his uncles. A new Irish Parliament proclaimed Henry VIII head of the Irish Church in 1536. Unpaid soldiers mutinied. In 1539 they suppressed 42 monasteries and 51 mendicant houses. Anthony St. Leger arrived as deputy in 1540 and worked for reconciliation. Revenues sent to England more than doubled. In 1544 England issued debased coinage. About 130 monasteries had been closed by 1547.
Deputy St. Leger used his peaceful approach until he was recalled in 1551. Deputy Croft captured Belfast Castle. Queen Mary sent St. Leger back to restore Catholic services, and Pope Paul IV declared Ireland a kingdom. Shane O’Neill led the rebels and captured Calvagh O’Donnell. In 1560 the Irish Parliament recognized Queen Elizabeth and repealed legislation. The Earl of Sussex was put in command and opposed Shane who went to London. Sussex left Ireland in 1564. In the next decade expenditures in Ireland were about eight times revenues. Deputy Henry Sidney was reinforced, and Shane was killed in 1567. James Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald led those opposing Sidney’s government but fled to France in 1575. Munster’s President John Perrot hanged about 800 people. England offered colonists land, increasing the conflicts. The Earl of Essex and others ignored the rights of the Gaelic Irish. The Irish hired Scottish mercenaries. Malby was President of Connaught 1577-84 and defeated the Catholic Desmonds. Yet Kildare and the Desmonds defeated Deputy Arthur Grey of Wilton in 1580. Grey increased his army which slaughtered 600 men. About 30,000 people died during a famine, and Grey was recalled in 1582. Commissioners rented usable land, and 2,000 Scots were massacred in 1586. In 1588 the Irish killed most of the Spanish castaways from the armada’s wrecked ships.
The excesses of the Roman Church during the Renaissance were challenged by Martin Luther’s reforms in 1517, awakening a humanistic movement in Germany. Priests and nuns began marrying, and monks were released from vows. The authority of popes and priests was challenged as Luther urged people to study the scriptures in their own language and follow the teachings of the Christ directly. The powerful Emperor Charles V backed by rich bankers supported the Catholic Church as King of Spain and opposed the reformers. Printing helped disseminate Luther’s writings and spread his ideas. Luther opposed war for religious reforms but favored suppression of the violent rebellion by the peasants in 1525. Protestants used sermons and hymns instead of rituals and promoted education. German Catholics and Protestants formed alliances and tried to settle their differences but often clashed in warfare after 1546. Catholics worked on some reforms at the Council of Trent. German princes held power, and people were expected to follow their religions. Most of Germany became Lutheran even though Luther himself had favored calling the new church “Christian” or “Evangelical.”
Zwingli in Zurich advocated similar reforms and persuaded the Swiss to stop selling themselves as mercenaries. He considered the wine and bread of the eucharist symbolic and was thus less dogmatic than Luther. However, Zwingli opposed the nonviolent Anabaptists, and he was killed fighting in one of the first wars between Catholics and Protestants. Anabaptists believed that baptism should be for adults conscious of what it means, and most opposed all wars. Paracelsus advanced medicine by using herbs, by stopping pain, by understanding toxicology, and by using wholistic treatments. Geneva became a reformed republic, and Jean Calvin provided a comprehensive Protestant theology. His strict morals influenced the Huguenots and Puritans, but punishment was inflicted on those who did not agree with them.
During the reform era the Hapsburg and Spanish King Charles used his family line and wealth to gain the crown of the Holy Roman Empire as Charles V while his Catholic brother Ferdinand dominated eastern Europe by becoming king of Bohemia, Hungary, and Croatia. Protestant reformers had to struggle against these imperial rulers while some Anabaptists and Hutterites demonstrated the peaceful way of the Christ. These nations also faced the Muslims’ Ottoman Empire to the east which invaded Hungary and Austria. Ferdinand became Emperor as did his son Maximilian II and his son Rudolf II. Poland and Lithuania were united under Zygmunt I and II and Stefan Batory, and they remained Catholics while tolerating Protestants. Polish nobles were educated in Italian universities and increased human rights. Poland-Lithuania made peace with the Turks but fought wars against Russia which was more isolated and Orthodox and then dominated by the terrifying mass murderer Ivan IV (r. 1545-84). Wars between Tatars and Russians took many lives by death and slavery.
Denmark’s kings dominated Norway and Iceland during this era in which all the Scandinavian countries became Lutheran. Under the Catholic Kristian II the Danes also conquered Sweden briefly in 1520; but the Swedes led by Sten Sture and Gustav Vasa won their independence, and Kristian II was forced to abdicate in Denmark in 1523. Kristian III ruled Denmark 1533-59 and instituted reforms. Frederik II (1559-88) fought Sweden 1563-70. Sweden’s Gustav Vasa (1523-60) supervised Protestant reforms and increased the economic power of the King. His son Erik XIV (1560-68) wasted resources in wars and was replaced by Johan II (1568-92) whose religious policies wavered. In Norway the Lutheran Church was established by 1537, and monasteries were also secularized. Lutheran laws came to Iceland in 1538. The Bible was translated into the Nordic languages, enabling more people to understand the teachings.
In 1519 Charles V, who already ruled Spain, inherited the Hapsburg lands in Austria and Germany. He let his relatives govern the Netherlands. He used gold to get elected Holy Roman Emperor, expanded the Inquisition, suppressed the Comuneros revolt, and condemned Luther as a heretic. Opposed by an alliance of France, Pope Clement VII, and Italians, Charles sent imperial soldiers into Italy, defeating the French, capturing François, plundering Rome, and imprisoning Clement. Spaniards decreased the population of Mexico by 88% and stole gold and silver from America for decades. Despite this wealth and because of its imperial wars, Spain suffered economic hardship. Spanish rule in the Low Countries was especially oppressive as they tried to impose the Catholic religion on many who preferred reformed faiths. Under Charles V about 50,000 people were executed for their religious beliefs, and he also exploited taxes from the Netherlands to pay for his massive crimes.
Felipe II (r. 1556-98) continued his father’s policies even though Spain was bankrupt in 1557. The Inquisition created the Spanish Index to ban books, though Pope Pius IV (1559-65) kept the Inquisition out of Italy. The Dutch revolted against Spanish rule, but Felipe refused to abolish the Inquisition which executed about 40,000 people during his reign. Even converted Muslims (Moriscos) were forced to leave Granada, and their property was given to Christian settlers. Spain went bankrupt again in 1575, and unpaid soldiers killed 7,000 people in Antwerp. Treasure from America kept the Spanish empire going. Felipe II took over Portugal in 1581. However, the Spanish armada’s attempt to invade England failed in 1588.
Portugal also had colonies in Africa, Brazil, India, and the Moluccas. Spain imposed the Inquisition in Portugal in 1536. Francisco Xavier took Christianity as far as Japan in 1549, but in 1587 the missionaries were expelled. After 1575 the Portuguese shipped about 5,000 slaves a year from Angola to Brazil. After a battle in Morocco 15,000 Portuguese were enslaved in 1578.
The humanist Juan Luis Vives improved life by tutoring and writing books on education, giving equal respect to women. He also criticized the crimes of war and promoted helping the poor. Francisco de Vitoria taught theology and jurisprudence, pleaded for the rights of natives, and was the first to comprehensively explain how international law could work and prevent unjust wars. He criticized Spain’s imperial wars and the Church’s persecution of those with different religious beliefs. Ignatius of Loyola founded the Jesuits who lived in poverty and worked to educate people. Michael Servetus challenged the dogmas of the trinity, infant baptism, and justification by faith alone while advocating the unity of God and human freedom. Teresa of Avila as a Carmelite nun wrote about spiritual development and reformed that order. Juan de la Cruz also offered his advice on the spiritual life. The picaresque novellaLazarillo de Tormesdescribed poverty in Spain in an entertaining way. Cervantes wrote the play The Siege of Numantia which portrayed the horrors of imperial wars.
Emperor Charles V tried to control the Low Countries through the regents Marguerite of Austria (1516-30) and his sister Mary of Hungary (1531-55), and the Flemish and Dutch were taxed to help pay for his war against France. As the Catholic King of Spain he also insisted on the persecution of Lutherans, Anabaptists, and other reformers. Any resistance to these policies was brutally punished by his imperial armies and the Inquisition. More than 30,000 Anabaptists were killed in Holland and Friesland alone. Menno Simons led the peaceful Mennonites. Spain’s Felipe II continued the oppressive policies of his father despite increased resistance from Flanders and the Dutch revolt. Spanish soldiers left in 1561 but returned in 1567. Calvinism spread in the Netherlands with outdoor preaching. Wealthy Willem of Orange emerged as the leader of the revolt, but he was assassinated in 1584. People wanted religious freedom and political independence but suffered under Spanish imperialism.
Emperor Charles V allied with the Pope most of the time against the French as wars devastated Italy in the 1520s. When Pope Clement VII did not side with Spain, Rome was plundered in 1527. As most people in these countries were Catholic, these wars were caused by imperial ambitions. Spain and France fought over Siena in the 1550s. Spain drove out the French and dominated Italy, using its resources for its imperial wars in the Netherlands. Popes and Spain used the Inquisition to persecute the rising dissent of Protestants. Pope Paul IV opposed Spain, but the Italians were defeated again. Independent Venice used diplomacy and allied with Spain against the Ottoman Turks, but Naples and Sicily were part of Spain’s empire. The historian Guicciardini advised popular government and the liberation of Italy from imperial wars and hypocritical religion. Giordano Bruno promoted heliocentric astronomy and mystical ideas and became a martyr. Pietro Aretino urged sexual freedom and satirized bad leaders. The Renaissance continued in Italy in art, literature, and theater, and the Council of Trent organized religious reform.
The ambitions of François I got France into several unnecessary wars from 1515 until 1546, and the debts they caused burdened the French people with extra taxes. He also punished Protestants for heresy, though not as many as the Spanish Inquisition. Henri II also fought wars in Italy and against Spain and the English while he too enforced laws against heresy. Humanistic values were expressed in literature by Rabelais in his comic novel and by Marguerite of Navarre in her Heptameron stories. Nostradamus was a natural healer, and using astrology he predicted many French wars and other events well beyond his own lifetime.
France suffered serious conflicts between the Catholic royalists and the Protestant Huguenots that caused a series of civil wars. Although there was peace from 1563 to 1567, war kept breaking out and continued despite some peace treaties. Government policy wavered between allowing religious freedom to banning and criminalizing Protestants. Queen mother Catherine tried to make peace and be tolerant but could not control powerful Catholics, and her son Henri of Navarre led the Huguenots. As Henri III he eventually had his Guise rivals killed but was then murdered himself. The poet Ronsard criticized the folly of war and religious corruption, and Montaigne offered his thoughts on understanding and improving one’s life in his Essays.
England under Henry VIII managed to avoid most of the wars in Italy involving Spain and France, but they often had skirmishes with Scotland in the border area. Henry’s marital problems led him to break away from the Roman Catholic Church and become the head of the English Church. By closing religious houses he gained much land he later sold to finance his wasteful war against France. Tyndale, Cranmer, and other Protestants promoted religious reforms. Thomas Cromwell helped Henry change the laws but did so in intolerant ways which resulted in the death of many dissenters. Henry even gained the power to make laws himself, but that ended with his life. Northern rebellions were crushed, and many thousands of poor people were executed for robbery. Henry also ruled Ireland, and he and Parliament reorganized the government of Wales. Humanists like Elyot promoted beneficial education and ethical values. During the regency under Edward VI conflicts with Scotland and over religious reforms continued, but the era of Catholic Queen Mary (1553-58) soon revived persecution, this time of the Protestants. Gradually the English theater was developing as it moved from religious allegories to comedies.
Queen Elizabeth I was Protestant, and Parliament repealed Mary’s laws and revived Henry VIII’s Church. Elizabeth was also head of the Church and refused to marry. The English came to prefer a Protestant Church which became national under the monarch. She usually tolerated religious dissent but punished treason. Elizabeth avoided war with Spain but occasionally sent the army to fight in Scotland or to suppress rebellions. After a time she was drawn into supporting the Dutch rebels against Spain. Conspiracies to overthrow her continued to arise, and finally the imprisoned Mary Stuart was executed. Elizabeth encouraged exploration and a colony in America. In 1588 the English navy defeated the Spanish armada’s attempt to invade England. Unlike the Puritans, Elizabeth liked theater, and it entertained and educated. Elizabethan England became strong and prosperous by reducing violence while allowing literature and theater to flourish as never before.
Scotland was allied with France while it was ruled by regents during the childhood of James V who began to rule in 1526. After his death in 1542 Mary of Guise was often Regent. Border wars with England were frequent, and she welcomed Protestant refugees from England during Mary Tudor’s reign. John Knox came back to Scotland in 1559 and led the reformers. Queen Mary Stuart accepted the Reformed Church. Yet the Scottish church had ten times the revenues of the crown. Mary Stuart had personal problems that led to her abdication for her infant son James VI and another regency. The King’s army won the civil wars, and James as heir to the English throne had a powerful ally.
England’s Henry VIII sent soldiers to help his governors in Ireland put down rebellions. He became head of their church in 1536, and most monasteries were suppressed by the end of his reign. Catholics were favored during Mary’s reign, but in 1560 the Irish Parliament recognized Elizabeth and reformed the laws. The English government used soldiers to subdue rebels and sent colonists, causing more conflicts.
During this era of religious reform in Europe the state’s power by monarchs and parliaments increased as the medieval church rapidly declined and was transformed to a more spiritual and educational mission. Religious houses were closed, and church property was confiscated and sold by the governments. As the Bible was translated into the vernacular languages and printed with other affordable books, more people could learn on their own. Protestant sermons replaced the Latin mass, and people sang hymns, enabling people to experience religion without relying on the authority of priests, bishops, and popes. The Catholic Church was also reformed in this direction. Yet the power of religion was often abused by intolerance of dissent, resulting in terrible persecution and wars that would be even worse in the next century.