1500 Feb 24, Charles V, king of Spain (1516-1556), was born in Ghent, Belgium. He was the last Holy Roman Emperor to be crowned by the Pope.
1500 Apr 22, Pedro Alvares Cabral (c1460-c1526), Portuguese explorer, discovered Brazil and claimed it for Portugal. He anchored for 10 days in a bay he called "Porto Seguro" and continued on to India.
1500 The population of the world at about 400 million was distributed as follows:
China, Japan, and Korea 130 million
Europe and Russia 100 million
India subcontinent 70 million
Southeast Asia and Indonesia 40 million
Central and western Asia 25 million
Africa 20 million
The Americas 15 million
1500s Portugal settled the island of Sao Tome, 250 miles off the coast of Kongo. Most of the settlers were criminals deported from Portugal. Sugar began to be grown on Sao Tome and slaves were purchased from King Affonso. The Portuguese and Africans did not see slavery the same way. To the Portuguese the slaves were beasts of burden and worked so hard that many died. They then bought more.
c1500s-1800s Millions of Africans were torn from their homelands, herded into ships and sold in the New World for more than 300 years. Perhaps the cruelest part of the Atlantic slave trade was the weeks-long sea crossing, or the so-called Middle Passage--that leg of the Triangular Trade that brought the human cargo from West Africa to New World ports. Rather than provide healthful conditions on the sea crossing, slave traders sought to maximize profits with "tight packing"--cramming so many slaves onto the lower decks that those that survived would compensate for the certain losses. The British slave ship Brookes' deck plan shows the ship carrying 454 slaves with 6'x 1'4" of space allowed for each adult male, 5'10" x 11" for each woman and 5' x 1'2" for each boy. This clinical representation of human suffering during the Middle Passage was widely circulated by abolitionist groups.
1505 Jul 24, On their way to India, a group of Portuguese explorers sacked the city-state of Kilwa, East Africa, and killed the king for failing to pay tribute.
1507 Martin Luther was ordained.
1507 Pope Julius II announced an indulgence for the re-building of St. Peter’s
1508 Aug 12, Ponce de Leon arrived and conquered the island of Boriquen (Puerto Rico). Spain had appointed him to colonize Puerto Rico. He explored Puerto Rico and Spanish ships under his command began to capture Bahamanian Tainos to work as slaves on Hispaniola. His settlement at Caparra, 2 miles south of San Juan Bay, was plagued by Taino Indians and cannibalistic Carib Indians.
1508 Giorgione painted "The Tempesta," a landscape of a stormy setting with a town in the background, a soldier lower left and a woman nursing to the right. It is at the Academia Gallery in Venice.
1508 Pope Julius II transferred Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling in Rome.
1509 Apr 22, Henry Tudor became King Henry VIII of England following the death of his father, Henry VII. He soon married Catherine of Aragon, his brother’s widow and the aunt of Charles V (the Holy Roman Emperor), and fathered Mary, future Queen of England.
1509-1564 John Calvin, French theologian. He started the Protestant Reformation in France in 1532.
1510 Slave trade began with a consignment of African slaves to work on Portuguese sugar plantations in Brazil.
1510-1550 Spain took in gold shipments from the New World at 3,000 pounds a year.
1512 Nov 1, Michelangelo's paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel were completed and first exhibited to the public.
1512 Nov 7, Giuliano de Medici fired Niccolo Machiavelli from civil service in Florence.
1513 Apr 2, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon landed in Florida. Juan Ponce de Leon, Spanish explorer, discovered Florida and planted orange and lemon trees there. [see March 27, 1512 entry] He also discovered the Dry Tortugas, 10 small keys southwest of Key West. The Spanish governor of Puerto Rico, Juan Ponce de Leon, discovered Florida and named it Pascua Florida, "feast of the flowers." His discovery was made during his search for the legendary Fountain of Youth.
1513 Niccolo Machiavelli wrote "The Prince" in which he gave reasons for the rise and fall of states. He dedicated it to Lorenzo de Medici, the successor to Giuliano. It was not published until 1532. In it he justified the ruthless subjection of religion and morality to politics. A 1998 translation by Prof. Angelo M. Codevilla included 428 footnotes and attempted to maintain the peculiar language of Machiavelli.
1514 Apr 26, Copernicus made his first observations of Saturn. Nicholas Copernicus later proposed that the sun is stationary and that the earth and the planets move in circular orbits around it.
1515 By this year the Taino Indians of what is now the Dominican Republic were practically annihilated in clashes with the Spanish.
1516 Thomas More published his "Utopia," the "golden little book" that invented a literary-world immune from the evils of Europe, where all citizens were equal and believed in a good and just God. "Your sheep, which are usually so tame and cheaply fed, begin now... to be so greedy and so wild that they devour human beings themselves and devastate and depopulate fields, houses, and towns." From More’s Utopia. The key thought in the work is that poverty, injustice and inequality will never be eliminated from the world until private property is abolished.
AD 1516 Habsburg Charles I becomes king of Spain
1517 Oct 31, Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-five Thesis to the door of the Wittenberg Palace All Saints’ Church. He grew to believe in faith alone as man’s link to the justice of God, and therefore denied the need for the vast infrastructure of the Church. This event signaled the beginning of the Protestant Reformation in Germany and Protestantism in general, shattering the external structure of the medieval church and at the same time reviving the religious consciousness of Europe.. Martin Luther (1483-1546) was born in Eisleben, Germany. He was a monk in the Catholic Church until 1517, when he founded the Lutheran Church.
1517 Oct, Ferdinand Magellan arrived in Spain and began the first voyage to successfully circumnavigate the world a little less than two years later. He eventually died in the Philippines in 1521. The expedition was completed by others in 1522.
AD 1519 Charles I becomes Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V
1519 Mar 13, The Spaniards under Cortez landed at Vera Cruz. Cortez landed in Mexico with 10 stallions, 5 mares and a foal. Smallpox was carried to America in the party of Hernando Cortes.
1519 Nov 8, The Aztec and their leader, Moctezuma, welcomed Hernando Cortez and his 650 explorers to their capital at Tenochtitlan. Spanish adventurer Hernando Cortez and his force of about 300 Spanish soldiers, 18 horses and thousands of Mexico's native inhabitants who had grown resentful of Aztec rule marched unmolested into Tenochtitlán, the capital city of the Aztec empire. The Aztec ruler Montezuma, believing that Cortez could be the white-skinned deity Quetzalcoatl, whose return had been foretold for centuries, greeted the arrival of these strange visitors with courtesy--at least until it became clear that the Spaniards were all too human and bent on conquest. Cortez and his men, dazzled by the Aztec riches and horrified by the human sacrifice central to their religion, began to systematically plunder Tenochtitlán and tear down the bloody temples. Montezuma's warriors attacked the Spaniards but with the aid of Indian allies, Spanish reinforcements, superior weapons and disease, Cortez defeated an empire of approximately 25 million people by August 13, 1521.
1520 Chocolate was brought from Mexico to Spain for the first time.
AD 1521 The Aztec Empire falls to Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortés
1521 Aug 31, Spanish conqueror Cortez (1485-1547), having captured the city of Tenochtitlan, Mexico, set it on fire. Nearly 100,000 people died in the siege and some 100,000 more died afterwards of smallpox.
1524 Dec 24, Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama who had discovered a sea route around Africa to India, died in Cochin, India. He had served as Viceroy in India. Gama served under the patronage of Dom Manoel and at one time burned alive 380 men, women and children.
Inca Empire in Peru and Chile fall to Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro
AD 1536 Portuguese Inquisition established on Spanish model
AD 1540 Ignatius of Loyola founds the Society of Jesus (Jesuits)
AD 1543 Francis I of France attacks Charles V in Netherlands and northern Spain
AD 1545 Council of Trent of the Roman Catholic church convenes as a response to challenges of the Protestant reformation
AD 1554 Felipe of Habsburg marries Mary I of England; becomes king consort of England
AD 1555 Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, grants control of the Netherlands to his son, Felipe of Habsburg