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missionaries. They founded schools and colleges, and they brought many Europeans back to the church. They worked to spread Catholicism in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. They became the largest order in the church and actively supported the pope.

Fighting the Spread of Protestantism The Catholic Church also fought the spread of Protestantism by condemning beliefs that it considered to be errors and dealing harshly with those it labeled heretics. It looked to Catholic rulers to support its efforts and to win back lands lost to Protestantism.

To deal with heresies during the Middle Ages, the church had established the Inquisition. This body was made up of churchmen called inquisitors who sought out and tried heretics. Inquisitors could order various punishments, including fines and imprisonment. Sometimes they turned to civil rulers to put heretics to death.

As you learned in Unit 2, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella used the Spanish Inquisition against Jews. With the start of the Reformation, the Spanish Inquisition also fought the spread of Protestantism. In Rome, the pope established a new Inquisition. The Roman Inquisition sought out and condemned people, including churchmen, whose views were considered dangerous. The church also published a list of books that it said offended Catholic faith or morals. Catholics were forbidden to read any of the books on the list.

This view of the Council of Trent was painted in 1633.

missionary a person who works to spread a religion and make converts
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32.6 Effects of the Reformation

The Reformation brought lasting change to Europe. Through the influence of Europeans, it also affected other parts of the world.

Religious Wars and Persecution The religious divisions of the Reformation led to a series of wars and persecutions during the 16th and 17th centuries. Catholics and Protestants alike persecuted members of other sects. Many people died for their beliefs. Others, like the French Protestants who moved to Switzerland, fled to different countries.

Civil wars erupted in many countries. In France, wars between Catholics and Protestants left over a million dead between 1562 and 1598. Several massacres added to the horror of these wars.

The wars in France were not just about religion. They were also about the power of the Catholic monarchy. Similarly, the last major war of the Reformation was both political and religious. Called the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648), it was fought mainly in Germany. The war pitted Catholics against Protestants, and Protestants against each other. But it was also a struggle for power that involved most of the nations of Europe. Nations fought for their own interests as well as for religious reasons. Catholic France, for example, sided with Protestants to combat the power of the Holy Roman Empire.

The Thirty Years’ War ended with the signing of the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. This treaty called for peace between Protestants and Catholics. By deciding the control of territory, it set boundaries between Catholic and Protestant lands. Most of northern Europe, including much of Germany, was Protestant. Spain, Portugal, Italy, and France remained Catholic. So did Bohemia, Austria, and Hungary. This religious division survived into modern times.

The Rise of Nationalism and Democratic Practices The spread of Protestantism went hand in hand with growing nationalism. More and more, people identified with their nation. Throughout Europe, official state religions strengthened national unity.

Along with nationalism, monarchy was also growing stronger. Protestant rulers claimed authority over religious as well as secular matters. Even Catholic rulers became increasingly independent of the pope.

massacre the killing of many helpless or unresisting people

nationalism identification with, and devotion to, the interests of one’s nation
(Map Title)

Christian Religions in Europe, About 1600
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These changes led to a period that is often called “The Age of Kings and Queens.” Monarchs revived the old idea of the divine right of kings. According to this idea, rulers received their authority directly from God. This way of thinking reached its height in France, where kings established an absolute monarchy.

Yet the Reformation also planted the seeds of democratic ideas and practices. Beginning with Martin Luther, Protestants emphasized being true to the Bible and to their own conscience. This belief made people more willing to resist authority.

Some persecuted groups sought freedom to worship in their own ways. For example, Puritans fled from England to America in search of religious liberty. Congregationalists insisted on the right of local church groups, or congregations, to control their own affairs. In addition, the leaders of Protestant churches were elected instead of being appointed by a central authority like the pope. Such beliefs about religious freedom and church government helped prepare the way for democracy.

The Spread of Christianity By the time of the Reformation, Europeans had embarked upon a great age of exploration. As they voyaged around the world, both Catholics and Protestants worked to spread their faith. By the 1700s, there were missionary societies in several European countries.

Jesuit missionaries were particularly active in spreading Catholicism. Jesuits traveled to India, China, Japan, and southeast Asia. Protestant missionaries worked in Ceylon, India, and Indonesia.

The religious divisions in Europe were repeated in areas controlled by countries around the world. This was especially true in the Americas. Most of the people in the English colonies of North America were Protestant. Missionaries and settlers from France brought Catholicism to parts of Canada and the Mississippi valley. The Spanish and Portuguese brought Catholicism to the American southwest, Mexico, and South America. As in Europe, these patterns of religious faith are still evident today.
32.7 Chapter Summary

In this chapter, you read about three branches of Protestantism. You studied the practices and beliefs of Lutheranism, Calvinism, and Anglicanism. You also learned about the Catholic response to the Reformation and looked at some of the Reformation’s lasting effects.

By the end of the religious wars that followed the Reformation, medieval Europe was largely a thing of the past. In the next unit, you will learn about the beginnings of what historians call the early modern era.

absolute monarchy a monarchy in which the ruler’s power is unlimited

Puritan a Protestant who wanted to “purify” the Anglican Church of Catholic elements
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About 1450 Johannes Gutenberg begins using the newly invented printing press in Mainz, Germany.
1517 Martin Luther posts his Ninety-Five Theses on the church door in Wittenberg, Germany, an act that leads to the Reformation.
1525 William Tyndale translates the Bible into English.
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1469 – 1492 Florence is ruled by Lorenzo de Medici.
1504 Michelangelo completes his sculpture David.
1545 – 1563 In response to the Reformation, the Council of Trent reaffirms Catholic beliefs and teachings.
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Unit 8
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(Unit TOC)

Europe Enters the Modern Age

Chapter 33 The Age of Exploration

Chapter 34 The Scientific Revolution

Chapter 35 The Enlightenment
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Setting the Stage
Europe Enters the Modern Age

In the last unit, you learned about the Renaissance and the Reformation. In this unit, you’ll learn about Europe during the early modern age. This period lasted from the 1400s to the 1700s.

The early modern age was a time of major discoveries and new ways of thinking. It began with a series of voyages by European explorers during the 1400s, 1500s, and early 1600s. Historians call this time the Age of Exploration.

Before the 1400s, Europeans had only limited knowledge of other continents. Beginning in about 1418, several countries sent explorers by sea to other parts of the world. Portugal and Spain led the way. They were followed
(Map Title)

European Exploration and Land Claims, 1488-1610
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by England, France, and the Netherlands. Their journeys took explorers to Africa, Asia, and North and South America. Their discoveries changed Europeans’ knowledge of the world forever.

Countries raced to take advantage of this new knowledge. They sought riches through trade. They also claimed large parts of the world for themselves. As they competed with one another, Europeans had an enormous impact on people living in distant lands.

A second great change during this period was the Scientific Revolution. Between 1500 and 1700, scientists used observations, experiments, and logic to make dramatic discoveries. For example, Isaac Newton formulated the laws of gravity. These laws explained both the movement of physical objects on Earth and the motions of planets in the heavens. The methods used by Newton and other scientists led to rapid progress in many fields.

Advances in science helped pave the way for a period called the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment began during the 1600s. It was a time of optimistic faith in progress based on reason (rational thinking). In fact, it is often called the Age of Reason.

Enlightenment thinkers wanted to apply observation and reason to problems in human society. This approach led to new ideas about government, human nature, and people’s rights as human beings.

The far-reaching changes of the early modern age helped to shape the world we live in today. Let’s begin our study of this important time with the voyages of discovery that took place during the Age of Exploration.

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Chapter 33

The Age of Exploration

Explorer Christopher Columbus plants Spain’s flag in the Americas.
33.1 Introduction

In this chapter, you will learn about the Age of Exploration. This period of discovery lasted from about 1418 to 1620. During this time, European explorers made many daring voyages that changed world history.

A major reason for these voyages was the desire to find sea routes to east Asia, which Europeans called the Indies. When Christopher Columbus sailed west across the Atlantic Ocean, he was looking for such a route. Instead, he landed in the Americas. Columbus thought he had reached the Indies. In time, Europeans would realize that he had found what they called the ”New World.” European nations soon rushed to claim lands in the Americas for themselves.

Early explorers often suffered terrible hardships. In 1520, Ferdinand Magellan set out with three ships to cross the Pacific Ocean from South America. He had guessed, correctly, that the Indies lay on the other side of the Pacific. But Magellan had no idea how vast the ocean really was. He thought his crew would be sailing for a few weeks at most. Instead, the crossing took three months. While the ships were still at sea, the crew ran out of food. One sailor wrote about this terrible time. “We ate biscuit… swarming with worms…. We drank yellow water that had been putrid [rotten] for days... and often we ate sawdust from boards.”

Why did explorers brave such dangers? In this chapter, you will discover some of the reasons for the Age of Exploration. Then you will learn about the voyages of explorers from Portugal, Spain, and other European countries. You will also learn about the impact of their discoveries on Europe and on the lands they explored.

Use this map as a graphic organizer to help you learn more about the European explorers and their routes and discoveries.
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33.2 Reasons for the Age of Exploration

Why did European exploration begin to flourish in the 1400s? Two main reasons stand out. First, Europeans of this time had several motives for exploring the world. Second, advances in knowledge and technology helped make voyages of discovery possible.

Motives for Exploration For early explorers, one of the main motives for exploration was the desire to find new trade routes to Asia. By the 1400s, merchants and crusaders had brought many goods to Europe from Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Demand for these goods increased the desire for trade.

Europeans were especially interested in spices from Asia. They had learned to use spices to help preserve food during winter and to cover up the taste of food that was no longer fresh.

Trade with the East, however, was expensive and difficult. Muslims and Italians controlled the flow of trade. Muslim traders carried goods to the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Italian merchants then brought the goods to Europe. Problems arose when Muslim rulers sometimes closed the trade routes from Asia to Europe. Also, the goods went through many hands, and each trading party raised their price.

European monarchs and merchants wanted to break the hold that Muslims and Italians had on trade. One way to do so was to find a sea route to Asia. Portuguese sailors looked for a route that went around Africa. Christopher Columbus tried to reach Asia by sailing west across the Atlantic.

Other motives also came into play. Many people were excited by the opportunity for new knowledge. Explorers saw the chance to earn fame and glory as well as wealth. Some craved adventure. And as new lands were discovered, nations wanted to claim the lands’ riches for themselves.

A final motive for exploration was the desire to spread Christianity. As you learned in Unit 7, both Protestant and Catholic nations were eager to make new converts. Missionaries followed the path blazed by explorers, sometimes using force to bring native peoples into their faiths.

Mapmakers created better, more accurate maps by using navigational tools and information from explorers.
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Advances in Knowledge and Technology The Age of Exploration began in the midst of the Renaissance. As you have learned, the Renaissance was a time of new learning. A number of advances made it easier for explorers to venture into the unknown.

One key advance was in cartography, the art and science of mapmaking. In the early 1400s, an Italian scholar translated an ancient book called Guide to Geography from Greek into Latin. The book had been written by Ptolemy in the second century C.E. Printed copies of the book inspired new interest in cartography. European mapmakers used Ptolemy’s work to draw more accurate maps.

Discoveries by explorers gave mapmakers new information to work with. The result was a dramatic change in Europeans’ view of the world. By the 1500s, globes showed Earth as a sphere, or ball. In 1507, a German cartographer made the first map that clearly showed North and South America separated from Asia.

In turn, better maps helped explorers by making navigation easier. The most important Renaissance geographer, Gerardus Mercator, created maps using improved lines of longitude and latitude. Mercator’s mapmaking technique was a great help to navigators.

An improved ship design also helped explorers. By the 1400s, Portuguese and Spanish shipbuilders were making caravels. These ships were small, fast, and easy to maneuver. Their shallow bottoms made it easier for explorers to travel along coastlines where the water was not deep. Caravels also used lateen (triangular) sails, an idea borrowed from Muslim ships. These sails could be positioned to take advantage of the wind no matter which way it blew.

Along with better ships, new navigational tools helped sailors to travel more safely on the open seas. By the end of the 15th century, the compass was much improved. Sailors used compasses to find their bearing, or direction of travel. The astrolabe, which you read about in Unit 2, helped sailors figure out their distance north or south from the equator.

Finally, improved weapons gave Europeans a huge advantage over the people they met in their explorations. Sailors could fire their cannons at targets near the shore without leaving their ships. On land, the weapons of native peoples often were no match for European guns, armor, and horses.

Europe’s Age of Exploration produced important advances in cartography and navigation. This 15th-century map of the world is drawn according to the work of 2nd-century Greek geographer Ptolemy.

cartography the art and science of mapmaking

longitude a measure of how far east or west a place on Earth is from an imaginary line that runs between the North and South Poles

latitude a measure of how far north or south a place on Earth is from the equator

caravel a light sailing ship that is easy to maneuver and can sail in shallow water
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33.3 Portugal Begins the Age of Exploration

The Age of Exploration began in Portugal. This small country is located on the southwestern tip of Europe. Its rulers sent explorers first to nearby Africa and then around the world.

Key Explorers The key figure in early Portuguese exploration was Prince Henry, the son of King John I. Nicknamed “the Navigator,” Henry was not an explorer himself. Instead, he encouraged exploration and directed many important expeditions.

Beginning in about 1418, Henry sent explorers to sea almost every year. He also started a school of navigation where sailors and mapmakers could learn their trades. His cartographers made new maps based on the information captains brought back.

Henry’s early expeditions focused on the west coast of Africa. He wanted to continue the crusades against the Muslims, find gold, and take part in trade.

Gradually, Portuguese explorers made their way farther and farther south. In 1488, Bartolomeu Dias became the first European to go around the southern tip of Africa. Later, Dias died in a storm at sea.

In July 1497, Vasco da Gama set sail with four ships to chart a sea route to India. Da Gama’s ships rounded Africa’s southern tip and then sailed up the east coast of the continent. With the help of a sailor who knew the route to India, they crossed the Indian Ocean.

Da Gama arrived in the port of Calicut, India, in May 1498. There he obtained a load of cinnamon and pepper. On the return trip to Portugal, da Gama lost half of his ships. Many of his crewmembers died of hunger or disease. Still, the valuable cargo he brought back paid for the voyage many times over. His trip made the Portuguese even more eager to trade directly with Indian merchants.

In 1500, Pedro Cabral set sail for India with a fleet of 13 ships. Cabral first sailed southwest to avoid calms (areas where there are no winds to fill sails). But he sailed so far west that he reached the east coast of present-day Brazil. After claiming this land for Portugal, he

Prince Henry the Navigator encouraged Portuguese exploration and began a school of navigation.

Vasco da Gama
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sailed east and rounded Africa. Arriving in Calicut, he established a trading post and signed trading treaties. He returned to Portugal in June 1501 after battling several Muslim ships.

The Impact of Portuguese Exploration Portugal’s explorers changed Europeans’ understanding of the world in several ways. They explored the coasts of Africa and brought back gold and slaves. They also found a sea route to India. From India, explorers brought back spices like cinnamon and pepper and goods such as porcelain, incense, jewels, and silk.

After Cabral’s voyage, the Portuguese took control of the eastern sea routes to Asia. They seized the seaport of Goa in India and built forts there. They attacked towns on the east coast of Africa. They also set their sights on the Moluccas, or Spice Islands, in what is now Indonesia. In 1511, they attacked the main port of the islands and killed the Muslim defenders. The captain of this expedition explained what was at stake. If Portugal could take the spice trade away from Muslim traders, he wrote, then Cairo and Makkah “will be ruined.” As for Italian merchants, “Venice will receive no spices unless her merchants go to buy them in Portugal.”

Portugal’s control of the Indian Ocean broke the hold of Muslims and Italians on Asian trade. The prices of Asian goods like spices and fabrics dropped, and more people in Europe could afford to buy them.

During the 1500s, Portugal also began to establish

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