The Early Modern Period (1534-1801)

By Chatou
  • Period: 1509 to 1547

    Henry VIII reign

    Henry VIII, son of Henry VII and Elisabeth York, was the king of England and Ireland who drastically changed the kingdom ... He created the Church of England (schism between his kingdom and the Roman Catholic Church)
  • 1517

    "The Ninety Five Theses" by Martin Luther

    "The Ninety Five Theses" by Martin Luther
    The German monk Martin Luther fought against the Catholic Church and its abuses, like the doctrine of purgatory and indulgences, in his "Ninety Five Theses". According to him, salvation needs good works, charity and is FREE. The priests who tell you to buy indulgences to reduce the amount of time in purgatory is a lier.
  • 1526

    Tyndale Bible

    Tyndale Bible
    In the way of Protestantism, the Bible was translated in English for the first time by William Tyndale although it was only in Latin before this movement, to make religion more accessible to people.
  • 1534

    Act of Supremacy

    Act of Supremacy
    In a period where Henry VIII crossed the Catholic Church limits, he reformed Christianism by design the king (himself) as the supreme head of Church in England, instead of the Pope, to break up with Catherine of Aragon (after 18 years of marriage). It involves some important consequences ...
  • 1536

    Dissolution of Monasteries and Pilgrimage of Grace

    Dissolution of Monasteries and Pilgrimage of Grace
    All the religious innovations were too rude for the catholics : monasteries dissolved (impact on monks and nuns), valuables taken, confiscated and melted, no more church wealth ... "Rebels" just took up arms, conquered cities, with iconoclasm, before been killed for that.
  • Period: 1547 to 1553

    Edward VI reign

    Although his very short reign (6 years), Edward VI managed to establish a Protestant doctrine, set by his father.
  • 1549

    "Book of Common Prayer"

    "Book of Common Prayer"
    The publication of this book enhances Protestantism : Roman Catholic practices were eradicated (including statues, staining glass), clergy are already allowed to marry, English services (no more in Latin) ... The imposition of this ted to rebellions in Cornwall and Devon.
  • Period: 1553 to 1558

    Mary I reign

    While his little brother let her a Protestant kingdom, she restored the Catholicism (in 18 mouths) by repealing previous legislations and persecuting the Protestants, massively, what made her called "Bloody Mary".
  • Period: 1558 to

    Elizabeth I reign

  • 1559

    Act of Supremacy

    In order to find a "middle way" between Catholicism and Protestantism, and pacify England, she first restored the Protestant Church organization by abolishing the authority
    of the pope and establishing her authority as "supreme governor of the Church of England", over the pope's.
  • 1559

    Act of Uniformity

    Act of Uniformity
    In this new act, she had addressed the religious belief; now, every parish had to use the "Book of Common Prayer" and people who didn't attend an Anglican services were fined (has to pay). Unfortunately, she promoted Protestant and forgot the Catholics ...
  • 1563

    39 Articles of Faith

    39 Articles of Faith
    Through these articles, the queen Elizabeth I stated the doctrines of the Anglican Church, with 3 new important changes : a new ecclesiology (queen or king on the top of the pyramidal structure the Church, then the archbishops and bishops), a new doctrine of salvation (predestination - only elected people will be saved) and a new definitions of sacraments (only the baptism and Eucharist) and of the mass (minimalistic, Bible in vernacular, no cult of saint or Virgin Mary).
  • 1570

    The Pope Pius V's bull "Regnant in Excelsis"

    The Pope Pius V's bull "Regnant in Excelsis"
    By this document, the queen was excommunicate after those series of acts, more in favor of Protestants, seen as an "heretic" and the "so-called queen" by Catholics (the bastard daughter of Henry VIII). It also gives the right to kill her because she is not longer considered in the Catholic Church.
  • Execution of Mary Stuart, queen of Scotland

    Execution of Mary Stuart, queen of Scotland
    Daughter of king James V of Scotland and Mary of Guise, Mary Stuart was Elizabeth's cousin and a threat to her : catholic, she was a hope of return back to Catholicism for catholics (responsible of many plots against Elizabeth), and she was close to Spain and France (enemies). To save her place as queen, she ordered to execute Mary.
  • Defeat of the Spanish Armada

    Defeat of the Spanish Armada
    England defeated the Spanish Armada, very powerful at the time. There were some reason for the British victory like the new fleet of 800 ships, the Dutch strategy of incendiary ships, and the human advantage on the side of England (more sailors recruited). It gave a proof of the power of England.
  • East India Company

    East India Company
    The East India Company was founded by royal charter. It began to build up a small empire of trading posts in India, with three main trading settlements: Bombay, Calicut, Madras. It allowed England to control the trade of luxury goods (spices, cotton, silk and tea from India and China), and influenced politics.
  • Millenary Petition

    Millenary Petition
    Very hopeful for a return to protestantism (James I was Protestant), Protestants proposed the Millenary Petition, where they asked to remove ALL the last traces of Catholic doctrines and rites. It was rejected and the Elizabethan laws were reinforced.
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    James I of England reign

    Also known as James VI of Scotland, he was the King of Scotland since 1567, and then became also the king of England.
  • Gunpowder plot

    Gunpowder plot
    In relatation to the anti-Catholic laws strengthen, Catholics attempted to blow up the Parliament, with the King James I in it, but it was a fail: taken by surprise, they fled except Guy Fawkes who was arrested.
  • Establishment of Jamestown, Virginia

    Establishment of Jamestown, Virginia
    Elsewhere in the world, the first permanent English colony was established in North America: Jamestown in Virginia. The population didn't stop increase through years (probably no more than 500 slaves coming from West Africa in 1650, over 5 000 in 1700 and 170 000 in 1800).
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    The Starving Time

    During a this period in Jamestown, Virginia, only 60 of the 500 colonists survived because of: conflicts with the native Powhatan tribe, weakening resources and markets with the colons, in plus of the lack of drinkable water and the insufficient growing of crops. On the brick of crisis, the cultivation of a new type of tobacco saved the settlement. The huge success of the new brand of tobacco caused the development of slavery in Virginia (looking for a cheap labor in this intensive agriculture).
  • Great Contract and Parliament dismiss

    Great Contract and Parliament dismiss
    James I became unpopular in the Parliament. To compensate the financial issues of the king (£100,000 of debt and his expensive spendings), this contract allowed him to receive a fixed sum each year; refusing to sigh it, the Parliament was dismissed by the king.
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    Thirty Years war

    Many military defeats ended up to make the King advisor Lord Buckingham very unpopular and the kingdom was in war with Spain (catholic) and France (catholic and persecuting the French protestants - Huguenots); although a huge strain on finances, the king raised troops of 50,000 men billeted in subjects' house.
  • Plymouth colony

    Plymouth colony
    Puritans who left England on the arrival of James I on the Mayflower, set and controlled this colony.
  • Saint Kitts colony

    Saint Kitts colony
    Found in the 1620s, the Caribbean didn't escape to colonization. The colonization of St Kitts began in 1623 and then expanded to islands including Barbados and Antigua. The production of sugar in this region needed lots of workers and the English began to increasingly use enslaved labour, enslaving millions of West Africans to work on Caribbean farms and sugar plantations.
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    Charles I's reign

    England were marked by Charles I's reign and the two civil wars, making him very unpopular, which led to his execution.
  • Petition of Right

    Petition of Right
    The members of the Parliament complained Charles I to recognize that his power has limits and to condemn every abuses of it (extra-parliamentary taxation, billeting, martial law, imprisonment without trial). Reluctantly signing it, the king suspended Parliament seating when the Parliament was discussing impeaching Lord Buckingham (distrusted, as the king). It reinforced troubles between the King and the Parliament.
  • Three Resolutions of the Parliament

    Three Resolutions of the Parliament
    The members of the Parliament passed Three Resolutions, which said whoever wants to alter Protestantism, to bring back "popery or Arminianism" (branch of Protestantism with more Catholic features than Anglicanism, favored by Charles I), or to advise the king to disrespect the Petition of Rule would be an enemy of the kingdom.
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    Personal Rule

    With all of these disagreements, the Charles I decided to reign without the Parliament for eleven years.
  • Maryland colony

    Maryland colony
    This colony was led by Catholics.
  • New Prayer Book

    New Prayer Book
    "Book of Common Prayer" is introduced in Scotland to uniform religious practices through the kingdom and model Church of England on the Scottish Church. The Scots, dissatisfied, revolted, aflame the country, ...
  • "Scottish National Covenant"

    "Scottish National Covenant"
    This petition opposes Charles' religious policy: bishops get removed (an act of rebellion according to the king) and it called to maintain the Scottish spiritual independence. This measure was followed by the raise of English and Scot armies, and the bishop's war (widespread riot and rebellion).
  • Peace Treaty

    Peace Treaty
    In the continuity of the rebellion in Scotland, it invaded England and won this war. The treaty forced Charles I to pay the cost of the Scots army, which was an humiliation and expensive. To raise funds, the king had to call Parliament again, setting the Long Parliament. (The Short Parliament ended on 1640 when he called it again to finance his army, and then dissolved it.)
  • Irish Rebellion

    Irish Rebellion
    By his plantation policy, James I sent English and Scottish protestants to take lands of the catholic Ireland. The raise of rebels led to a massacre of 3,000 to 4,000 protestants, false rumors about Irish atrocities (200,000 protestants massacred).
  • Militia Act

    Militia Act
    It was necessary to raise an army to defend during the Irish Rebellion: the Parliament passed an act designating a general to control the army who should be chosen by the Parliament itself. It was no more the king's but the Parliament's ability to choose him, avoiding whoever the king wanted.
  • Grand Remontrance

    Grand Remontrance
    This important document summarizes "revolutionary" requests (rights of the House of Common to choose the King's minister and right of the Parliament to control armies sent to Ireland and to reform the Church) and all the wrong doings of the king. It conducted to the separation of the Parliament: the Parliamentarians (in favor of the Parliament and its liberties) and the Royalists (against the too extreme Grand Remonstrance).
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    Civil War

    It was official: Charles I declared war on Parliament (Parliamentarians VS Royalists). Both sides had some advantages but the pro-Parliament side won a First Civil War, with more than 190,000 dead Englishmen.Then a second war broke out after the escape of the king, held by the Parliament.
  • New Model Army

    New Model Army
    Created by the Parliament, this army is national and centralized in Westminster (control and funs). With 22,000 men armed with swords, pistols and pikes, they are fervent religious, convinced that the army was acting on God's behalf. Charles I surrendered to the Scots (Parliament's ally).
  • Mutiny

    The House of Commons decided to disband the New Model Army but without paying the soldiers what they were due. The New Model Army seized the king. This mutiny is followed by a radicalization of ideas (religious and political).
  • King's escape

    King's escape
    Among the army custody, Charles I escaped and allied himself with the Scots (to help him to restore his power by invasion). This alliance with a foreign army against his own people horrified the Parliament and involved the Second Civil War.
  • Pride's Purge

    Pride's Purge
    A series of revolts and the defeat by Cromwell sensitized further the political sphere. The colonel Pride (member of the army who wanted the King to be tried, contrary to the members of the Parliament who wanted a negotiation) entered the House of Commons, stopped the vote and arrested the 45 conservation leader MPs , forming the new Rump Parliament.
  • Declaration of the Commonwealth

    Declaration of the Commonwealth
    In continuity of the Pride's Purge, the Rump parliament (rests of the parliament) put the King on trial for high treason and Charles I were executed. Then, the monarchy and House of Lords were abolished and England had declared Commonwealth, led by Cromwell.
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    After the regicide of the King Charles I, the Commonwealth was declared by Oliver Cromwell. The ambition to create a republican government, with the abolishment of monarchy and House of Lords (House of Commons as the supreme authority), was tarnished by the brutal repressions of the Irish and Scottish revolts and the increased repression of internal critics and radical sects by the Rump Parliament.
  • "Barebones" Parliament

    "Barebones" Parliament
    The slow progress with electoral reform of the Rump Parliament and the army getting increasingly irritated by it led to its dissolution and the formation of the “Barebones Parliament”. It ordered the members of the Parliament to leave, internal tensions led to the “Barebones Parliament” dissolution and then, the end of the Commonwealth.
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    Cromwellian Protectorate

    This new regime was a military dictatorship led by the Lord Protector Cromwell. He had the executive power, controlling the military, the diplomacy and ruled with the help of the legislative power (Parliament and Council of State). Although the victory against Catholic Spain, royalist conspiracy involved the creation of 12 unpopular administrative districts.
  • Jamaica colony

    Jamaica colony
    England invaded Jamaica, which had previously been a Spanish colony. Although further the sea, the tension between England and Spain continued.
  • Cromwell's death

    Cromwell's death
    After the death of his father, Richard resigned after 6 months as Lord Protector; it marked a period of anarchy (7 government in less than a year). People longed for a return to order, increasing support for monarchy.
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    Charles II reign

    In the same vein as his father once, Charles II is memorable for his issues with the Parliament, leading to multiple texts trying to avoid past mistakes and colonies established.
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    Early Restoration

    As the head of the kingdom, Charles II executed people who had signed his father's death warrant and exposed Cromwell's head for 25 years; the general pardon was definitely not respected. Moreover, the tension between the Parliament (now permanent as an institution) and the king (royal prerogative) remained. He faced many disasters like war, disease and the Great Fire of London, increasing hostility towards Charles II and his court. Nothing went better.
  • Declaration of Breda

    Declaration of Breda
    In this unstable political context, Charles II promised a general pardon, religious toleration, and the power shared with Parliament in return for the restoration of monarchy. He restored the monarchy and became king of England.
  • New York colony

    New York colony
    The English took over the Dutch colony of New Netherland, which included the state of New Amsterdam, and then renamed it New York.
  • Popish Plot

    Popish Plot
    A rumor has it French tried to murder Charles II in order to replace him by his catholic brother James II he referred
    to a fear for Protestants: he might try to restore absolute monarchy after a pro-Catholic politic.
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    Exclusion Crisis

    To avoid reproducing what was happening in France with Louis XIV, Parliament attempted to debar James II from the succession to the English throne, modifying the rules of succession and defying the divine right of the King. In reaction, the king dissolved again the Parliament. It didn't stop James II to reign at his brother's death.
  • Pennsylvania colony

    Pennsylvania colony
    This time, the land was controlled by Quakers, a protestant sect denying that the Bible was the word of God.
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    James II reign

    Instilling fear, the Glorious Revolution is the main event during his short reign, when he fled to France and let his crown to his son-in-law William III.
  • Glorious Revolution

    Glorious Revolution
    William of Orange, son-in-law of the king, was invited to invade England and seize the crown by an army of 15,000 with no resistance. James’ army disintegrated and officers deserted; the king had fled to France and William became King William III. He reinforced liberties of English subjects with his co-reigning wife Mary II.
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    William III reign

    Starting with the Glorious Revolution, William of Orange inspired many texted securing his power and monarchy, earning him a good image in people's mind.
  • Toleration Act

    Toleration Act
    In a long period of religious troubles, the toleration act (equivalent of the French Edict of Nantes) established religious pluralism, and freedom of worship for all Protestants.
  • Bill of Rights

    Bill of Rights
    Laws limited the power of these constitutional monarchs, like this text listing the king James's misdeeds, limitations about the sovereign's power, setting the right of the Parliament and basic civil rights. It's a key political text because it's the essential document of the uncodified British constitution and the model for the US Bill of rights. We still have traces of it.
  • Act of Settlement

    Act of Settlement
    The royal couple hadn't any surviving children and all the potential Stuart successors were catholic; the act of Settlement settled the order of succession and ensured a protestant succession, ignoring dozens of Catholic heirs. The successors were Hanoverian descendants of James I.
    It also put an end to the quarrel between King and Parliament, favoring this institution.
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    Ann Stuart reign

    Her reign is mainly marked by the Act of Settlement and the ratification of the this act: a single kingdom. Scotland lost its parliament but gained 45 seats in the House of Commons and 16 seats in the House of Lords and kept its Presbyterian church and own laws.
  • Act of Union

    Act of Union
    United Kingdom of Great Britain's created: it includes England, Wales and Scotland (the old dream of James I). Scotland was occupied under Cromwell but still was a threat of French invasion through Scotland, or rising in favor of James II.
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    War of the Spanish Succession

    The last of Spanish Habsburg Charles II died childless involved a war to determine who would have (a part of) the kingdom; Britain gained Acadia over the French.
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    George I reign

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    George II reign

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    Seven Years war

    In a spirit of conquests, Britain gained Florida over the Spanish and most of Canada over the French. The expansion of the empire empowered it.
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    George III reign

  • James Cook expedition

    James Cook expedition
    During his exploration, James Cook discover and was the first European who landed in New Zealand, which became a British colony. Others territories in the Pacific Ocean became British colonies after the New Zealand.
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    End of the "First British Empire"

    After all those settlements in America, Asia and the West Indies, Britain had built a large empire further the seas. They permitted to trade different goods (spices, materials, slaves by the Triangular trade, ...). In the American War of Independence, England lost a huge part of its empire as a turning point; it marked the end of what is now called the ‘First British Empire’.
  • Treaty of Paris

    Treaty of Paris
    Through this treaty, Britain formally recognized the independence of the United States, ending the British Empire.