The 16th Century in Europe: The Beginning of Modern Times in the Age of Discovery and the Reformation
This is Part 12 of our Centuries series. In it, we will review the 16th century, the end of the Middle Ages and a time when European explorers and merchants spread out across the globe. We will begin by talking about some of the causes and repercussions of the Age of Exploration before turning to Renaissance Italy at its peak, then examining some of the monarchs who embodied what it was to be a Renaissance prince, figures like King Henry VIII of England (1491-1547) and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (1500-1558).
We will then turn to military matters, namely the evolution of warfare, the state mechanisms for supporting it, and the Italian Wars.
Next is an overview of contemporary means of travel, the voyages of exploration, Conquistadors, and indigenous manuscripts.
Back in Europe we examine the Northern Renaissance, Martin Luther and some of the repercussions of the Reformation, the Ottoman invasion of Europe, and the Spanish Armada, before ending with an overview of the 16th century’s most important scientific discoveries.