Timeline: 1561 to 1570

1562  The English seaman John Hawkins raids a Portuguese ship taking slaves to Brazil. He begins England's participation in the slave trade by exchanging the slaves in Hispaniola for ginger, pearls and sugar, a transaction that brings him a huge profit that interests other Englishmen.

1563  The Council of Trent, begun in 1545, is concluded. It is decided that tradition is to be judged co-equal to scripture as a source of spiritual knowledge, and that only the Church is to be considered as having the right to interpret the Bible. The clergy is ordered to be more disciplined and to have higher educational standards. Clerics who keep concubines are to give them up. Bishops are required to live in their own diocese. They are to have almost absolute jurisdiction there and to visit every religious house in their jurisdiction at least once every two years. Every diocese is to have a seminary for educating and training the clergy, and those who are poor are to be given preference in admission. Efforts are to be made toward giving instruction to the laity, especially the uneducated, and sermons are allowed in the language of common people. The sale of indulgences and Church offices is condemned, and so too is nepotism. And music in church is to fit with the occasion of solemnity, matching a new era of choral music and composition.

1566  Selim II, son of Suleiman, becomes the new Ottoman sultan. He is untrained in government or military affairs, unlike his two older brothers, both of whom betrayed Suleiman. Selim II is the beginning of disinterested sultans. He is devoted to the pleasures of the harem and alcohol. 

1566  In China the emperor Jiajing has been withdrawing from governing for long periods. He has been pursuing a Taoist search for everlasting life by taking potions. This leads to death by accidental poisoning.

1566  In Antwerp, grain prices are high and people are agitated. In the summer, Calvinists with axes and sledgehammers, urged on by preachers, attack what they believe is false doctrine. They smash up Antwerp's Cathedral of Notre Dame. They smash altars, stained glass windows, ornaments, paintings, tombs. They destroy books, ecclesiastical vestments and manuscripts.

1566  In Rome, Pope Pius IV begins a campaign against "Sodomites."

1568  Civil wars have been ravaging Japan. Oda Nobunaga, lord of Nagoya Castle, is one feudal lord who can afford to buy muskets in significant number. Japan has been ready for the rise of a unifying power. Nobunaga gains control of the region around Kyoto, Japan's capital city, where the Ashikaga family has held power as shoguns. The Ashikaga period of Japan's history has come to an end. The emperor, in Kyoto, remains elevated by Shinto godly connection, above politics and war.  

1568  Protestants in the Netherlands, led by Prince William of Orange, revolt against rule by the Catholic monarch, Philip II. The Eighty Years' War begins.

1568  A French architect, Philibert de l'Orme, has re-invented the use of concrete.

1568  Akbar is expanding his empire in India, and it will be reported that he has killed more than 30,000 Hindu peasants following his conquest of Chitod. Akbar is keeping as subordinates some local rulers, who are allowed to keep their own armies. At his palace, Akbar begins his day with prayer, and at dawn he steps onto his balcony and shows himself to his subjects who gather below, awed by his success and power. Akbar describes himself as father to his subjects. Drawing from Sufi philosophy he is described as having the attributes of the perfect, or universal, man and a microcosm of the universe. At court his kingship is described as a special emanation from God.

1570  A tidal wave destroys the sea walls from Holland to Jutland. More than 1,000 people are killed.

1570  Hispaniola's Indian population, estimated at 100,000 in 1493, is down to around 300.

1570  Ivan IV (The Terrible) executes in public almost all of his advisors.

1570  The first Japanese Jesuits are ordained.

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