16th and 17th Centuries

Christopher Columbus to the Caribbean – motives, local people and historical impact

Portuguese ahead of other Europeans in Africa and Asia – maritime trade to Africa and Asia

The Portuguese to America – Brazil, conquest and slavery


Spain's Empire expands, to the year 1600 – from the Caribbean, to Mexico, New Mexico and South America

Spain in Latin America in the 17th Century – including New Mexico and Texas

French, Dutch and English to America – north from Florida, 1550 to 1700

The Protestant Reformation – discontent, Luther's protest, spread of conflict and more Renaissance.

Thirty Years' War – 1618-48, origins, witches, pogroms, Peace of Westphalia

Dutch Capitalism and Liberalism – prosperity, tolerance and a modern liberal order

Stagnation and Decline in Spain – the landed and their value dominate

England, from James to William and Mary – from civil war to the Glorious Revolution

Russia, to 1700 – Ivan the Terrible, Status of Women, Peter the Great

African Empires, Slavery and Europeans – empires of blacks and white intrusions

Iran, the Safavids and Ottoman Expansion – Shia and Sunni conflict

Ottoman Empire: Economic and Military Decline – the Ottoman Empire

India: Mughals, Sikhs and Europeans – India fragmented and violent

China from Ming to Qing – integration, rebellion, conquest

Japan, to 1700 – the economy and wars for power among landowners

Korea's Joseon Dynasty – monarchy from the 1390s, Japan's intrusion and independence

The Malay Peninsula and Indonesian Archipelago, to 1700 – Hindus, Muslims, Portuguese decline and the Dutch

Science and Philosophy

Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo – the earth's place in the heavens

René Descartes – a "rationalist" who starts with doubt

Baruch Spinoza – a "rationalist" among the Dutch

Hobbes, Locke and Newton – politics, empiricism and Newton's physics versus spiritualistic magic


Notes on Religion in 16th Century Europe – no admission of atheism; sensuality

Biblical Criticism by Spinoza – Enlightment reasoning and questions rather than mere faith.

Puritan Trials of Anne Hutchinson – "a woman not fit for our society"

Japan: Religious Diversity into the 1600s – sects, sub-sects and restricted freedom