BECK index

Volume 12: EUROPE & Kings 1648-1715

EUROPE & Kings 1648-1715 has been published as a book.
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British Commonwealth 1649-60

Rump Parliament and Cromwell 1649-52
Cromwell and the Dutch War 1652-54
Ireland and Scotland 1649-60
Cromwell’s Protectorate 1655-58
England in Transition 1558-60
Hobbes’ Leviathan and Harrington’s Oceana
George Fox and Friends (Quakers) to 1660
Commonwealth Plays and Davenant

Britain of Charles II 1660-85

Charles II Restored 1660-68
Charles II’s Britain 1668-77
Charles II’s Britain 1677-85
Ireland and Scotland 1660-85
Quakers Fox and Penn 1660-85
Milton’s Paradise Lost, Regained and Samson
Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress and Badman
English Vegetarians and Newton’s Theories

Britain's Revolution & Wars 1685-1714

Britain under Catholic James II 1685-88
William III’s Revolution and War 1689-94
William III’s War and Peace 1694-1702
Anne’s War and Union with Scotland 1702-07
Queen Anne’s War and Peace 1708-14
Quakers and European Peace 1693-1710
Locke and Toleration
Locke on Government
Locke on Understanding and Education
Berkeley’s Spiritual Philosophy

English Restoration Plays

Restoration Theatre and Robert Howard
Dryden’s Heroic Dramas
Dryden’s Later Plays
Wycherley’s Four Comedies
Etherege and Shadwell
Aphra Behn’s Plays and Novella Oroonoko
History Plays of Lee and Banks
Tragedies of Otway and Southerne
Congreve’s Comedies
Cibber’s Comedies and Vanbrugh’s Relapse
Farquhar’s Comedies
Rowe’s Tragedies and Addison’s Cato

France in the Era of Louis XIV

Fronde Revolt 1648-53
France Governed by Mazarin 1653-60
Louis XIV Begins Ruling 1661-65
Louis XIV and Two Wars 1666-80
Louis XIV and Expanding Power 1681-99
France and the War over Spain 1700-15
Saint-Pierre’s Plan for Peace in Europe

French Culture 1648-1715

Jansenism and Pascal’s Provincial Letters
Pascal’s Pensées
Quietism, Fénelon, Bayle & Malebranche
La Rochefoucauld and Mme. de Lafayette
Boileau, Fontenelle & La Fontaine’s Fables
La Bruyère’s Characters

Molière and Racine

Corneille’s Later Plays
Molière’s Early Comedies
Molière’s Tartuffe, Don Juan & Misanthrope
Molière’s Comedies 1666-70
Molière’s Last Two Plays
Racine’s Tragedies to 1670
Racine’s Tragedies after 1670

Spain, Portugal and Italy 1648-1715

Spain in Decline under Felipe IV 1648-65
Spain in Decline under Carlos II 1665-1700
Spain’s War of Succession & Felipe V 1700-15
Portugal under Spain and Liberated 1648-1715
Venice, Milan, and Tuscany 1648-1715
Popes from Innocent X to Clement XI
Sicily, Naples, and Vico

Austrian Empire & German States 1648-1715

Austrian Empire 1648-70
Leopold’s Austria and Hungary 1671-88
Austrian Empire and Wars 1689-1715
Comenius on Education 1650-70
German States 1648-80
German States 1680-1715
Pufendorf and Thomasius
Leibniz and Ethics
Grimmelshausen’s Simplicissimus
Swiss Confederation and Neutrality 1648-1715

Netherlands and Spinoza

Netherlands and Johan de Witt 1648-59
Netherlands and Johan de Witt 1660-72
Netherlands and Willem III 1672-1702
Netherlands and War Against France 1702-15
Spinoza’s Life and Early Work
Spinoza’s Ethics
Spinoza’s Tractatus Theologico-Politicus

Scandinavia 1648-1715

Denmark of Frederik III 1648-70
Denmark of Kristian V & Frederik IV 1670-1715
Norway and Iceland 1648-1715
Sweden of Kristina and Karl X 1648-60
Sweden of Karl XI 1660-97
Sweden of Karl XII and War 1697-1715

Poland-Lithuania and Russia 1648-1715

Poland-Lithuania 1648-73
Poland-Lithuania of Jan Sobieski 1674-96
Poland-Lithuania of August II 1697-1715
Russia of Tsar Aleksei 1648-76
Russia of Fyodor III and Sophia 1676-89
Russia and Tsar Petr 1689-1700
Russia and Tsar Petr at War 1700-15

Summary and Evaluation of Europe 1648-1715

Britain and Revolutions 1648-1715
British Ideas and Culture 1648-1715
France during the Reign of Louis XIV
Southern Europe 1648-1715
Germanic Empire 1648-1715
Northern Europe 1648-1715
Eastern Europe 1648-1715
Evaluating Europe 1648-1715



Chronology of Europe 1588-1715
World Chronology 1588-1715


      After the end of the Thirty Years’ War the era in Europe from 1648 to 1715 has been called “The Age of Louis XIV” by Voltaire and the Durants. During the Thirty Years’ War much of Europe had suffered devastating losses in popula-tion. In 1648 Europe had about 118 million people, but because of plagues and occasional wars this was reduced further to 102 million by 1713. Astronomers who observed more than 8,000 days between 1645 and 1715 saw sunspots only about a hundred times which is less than is normal for one year. Examination of tree rings and other methods confirm that these decades were colder than usual. Geoffrey Parker wrote in Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catas-trophe in the Seventeenth Century (p. xxv):

In the northern hemisphere,
9 of the 14 summers between 1666 and 1679
were either cool or exceptionally cool—
harvests in western Europe ripened later in 1675
than in any other year between 1484 and 1879—
and climatologists regard the extreme climatic events
and disastrous harvests during the 1690s,
with average temperatures 1.5 degrees Celsius below
those of today, as the “climax of the Little Ice Age.”

      England’s Civil War ended with the execution of Charles I in January 1649, and the Puritans in the Parliament led by Oliver Cromwell set up the Commonwealth that lasted until the restoration of Charles II in 1660. During his reign of 25 years the Anglican Church was re-established. John Milton wrote religious epics and John Bunyan alle-gorical Christian novels. England continued to dominate Scotland and Ire-land. London suffered smog from coal and a terrible plague and fire. The British battled the Dutch over trade. Thomas Hobbes in his Leviathan favored authori-tarian government to provide security in a dangerous world, but James Harrington countered with republican ideas in his Commonwealth of Oceana. Theater flourished with libertine comedies and historical tragedies. Women acted on the stage, and Aphra Behn wrote plays and the novel Oroonoko. The Royal Society with Robert Boyle, Isaac Newton, and others promoted science and technology. In Protestant England the Catholic James II lasted only three years and was replaced by Willem of Orange and James II’s daughter Mary. With the “Glorious Revolution” came religious toleration in 1689. England joined the Grand Alliance in wars against aggressive France and after William III was headed by Mary’s sister Anne and a Parlia-ment with two parties growing in power. Quakers led by George Fox and William Penn exemplified an unorthodox but peaceful form of Christianity. John Locke wrote on toleration, government, and education, and he and George Berkeley developed empirical philosophy.
      France suffered the aristocratic revolt called “the Fronde” for five years, but in 1661 Louis XIV began to rule for himself with help from Colbert. The King controlled aristocrats at court and made France the most powerful nation in Europe, but he expelled the Huguenots and fo-mented wars over the Spanish Netherlands and to establish a Bourbon monarch in Spain. Vincent de Paul continued his charitable work, and Fénelon also helped the poor and appealed to conscience. Pascal left behind inspirational writing. French culture flourished with salons, comedies by the great Molière and tragedies by Racine, and writing by Bayle, Malebranche, La Rochefoucauld, Fontenelle, La Fontaine, Boileau, and La Bruyère.
      Spain’s imperial power diminished under the inbred Habsburg King Carlos II, and Louis XIV caused another war by making his grandson Philippe of Anjou Spain’s King Felipe V. Portugal finally became independent of Spain in 1668. Italy was also declining as the Popes ruling the Papal States needed to reform the Inquisition and their nepotism. Spain still controlled much of Italy but fought the French and eventually lost that hegemony in northern Italy and Naples to the Austrian Empire. Venice maintained its inde-pendence and fought the Turks.
      Austrian Emperor Leopold governed Bohemia and Moravia, was allied with German states, and fought to control Hungary and Transylvania while pushing back the Turks of the Ottoman Empire. Comenius continued his great work in education. German states were becoming more in-dependent, but wars militarized Brandenburg and Prussia. Pufendorf and Thomasius developed international law, and Leibniz was brilliant and also promoted science. Grimmelshausen portrayed a time of war in his novel Simplicissimus. The Swiss Confederation remained neutral in most wars but provided some mercenaries.
      The Dutch were a rising maritime power, but the repub-lican Johan de Witt was replaced by monarchical Willem III. The Dutch also suffered from many wars, but Amsterdam provided a refuge for writers such as Spinoza, Locke for a while, and Bayle. Spinoza left behind his Ethics and Tractatus Theologico-Politicus. Denmark ruled Norway and Iceland and battled against the rising power of Sweden whose kings Karl X, XI, and XII also got involved in aggressive wars against Poland-Lithuania and Russia. Jan III Sobieski as King of Poland-Lithuania fought the Turks. Saxony’s August II tried to govern the Poland-Lithuania commonwealth and allied with Russia against the Swedes. Russia’s King Aleksei fought the Swedes and made a treaty with Poland-Lithuania. Tsar Petr ruled Russia from a young age, traveled to European cities, tried to Europeanize Russians, and went to war against Sweden and took over Finland.
      A detailed Chronological Index of Events is provided with an explanation of the varying calendars.

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