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Christopher Columbus

Italian sailor who began his voyage in 1492. He opened the New World by sailing west across the Atlantic in search of a route to Asia.

Hernan Cortes

Spanish explorer who captured the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan (present-day Mexico), in 1519.

Christian Humanism

Northern European Renaissance.
- branch of humanism
- studied classical texts, but sought to give it specifically Christian content
- Erasmus - Christian humanis who committed to religious piety and institutional reform

Martin Luther

German monk who started the Protestant Reformation (1517). He challenged the practices and doctrines of the Catholic church and advocated salvation through faith alone. His 95 Theses were posten on Wittenberg Church door.

Three Treatises

Published by Martin Luther in 1520
Address to German Nobility - called on noblemen to reform the churches in their own territoris, stop paying tithes to churches.

On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church - criticized church imposing transubstantiation; only baptism and Eucharist were valid sacraments.

On the Freedom of a Christian Man - argued that salvation was on faith and not connected to good works

Charles V

Holy Roman Emperor (1519-1556). Most powerful ruler in 16th century Europe. Reigned over the Low Countries, Spain, Spain's Italian and New World dominations, and Austrian-Habsburg lands.

John Calvin

French-born Christian humanist. Founder of Calvinism - a major branch of the Protestant Reformation. Led the reform movement in Geneva, Switzerland (1541-1564)


John Calvin's doctrine. God preordained salvation or damnation for each person before creation. Those chosen for salvation were considered the "elect".

Henry VIII

English king who first opposed the Protestant Reformation. Broke with the Catholic church and named himself head of the Anglican church in the Act of Supremacy (1534)


Sixteenth century Protestants who blieved that only adults could truly have faith and accept baptism.

Council of Trent

Council of Catholic Church that met at Trent between the above date. Set Catholic doctrine, reform church practices, and defended the church against the Protestant challenge.

Suleiman the magnificent

Sultan of the Ottoman Empire (1520-1566) at the time of its greatest power.

Peace of Augsburg

Treaty of 1555 settling disputes between Holy Roman Emperor harles V and his Protestant princes. This recognized the Lutheran church. Established the principle that all Catholic or Lutheran princes enjoyed the sole right to determine the religion of their lands and subjects

Treaty of Tordesillas

Signed by Pope Alexander VI. Reconciled Portugal and Spain by dividing the Atlantic world between the two (Spain gets the east and Portugal the west). Portugal claimed Brazil in 1500.

Erasmus - New Testament

Criticized the corruption of th clergy and bloody ambitions of the Christian princes. Prepared a critical edition of the New Testament in Greek with a translation into Latin (published in 1516). Believed individuals could reform themselves and society. Modesty, humility and poverty represented the true Christian virtues.

Thomas More - Utopia

Became lord chancellor, chief officer of the nglish government (1529). Utopia (1516) desecribes an ideal imaginary land, which intent was to critique his own society. The society was Heaven compared to life in England as it was based on a system of equality.

German Peasants War

Swabian peasants demand end to death taxes, new rents, and noble seizures of land in 1525. Luther intially backs the peasants' demands. Luther supports noble responses to crush rebellion.


Leader of the Swiss Reformation movement. He wanted to abolish all Catholic worship: music, decorations, paintings, icons, etc. He bleieved in salbation by faith. Communion is symbolic. Theocratic, and captured and killed during the Swiss Civil War.

Charles V Sacks Rome

End of High Renaissance. Henry VIII applis for annulment. Caused by Charles' anger towards Clement VII after he switched sids from the Spanish to Francis I of France (battle was for Italy)

Colloquy of Marburg

Attempt to unit Protestant opinions, but failed. This was a reaction to the disagreements over the Eucharist between Ulrich Zwingli and Martin Luther.

Affair of the Placards

Incident involving anti-Catholic posters which appeared in public places in Paris, France (Oct 17, 1524). This marked the end of conciliatory policies of Francis I who had formerly attempted to protect the Protestants.

Institues of Christian Religion

Published 1536, issued in 1559. Embodied the values of John Calvin. Main belif: God had absolute sovereignty over humanity, which was weak and insignificant. People did not have free will; predetermination/predestination.


Members of the Society of jesus. Catholic religious order founded by Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), approved by the Pope in 1540. Served as missionaris and educators all over the world.

Defeat of Protestant at Muhlberg

Also known as teh 'Battle of Muhlberg'. Charles V fought against the Protestants. Princs and their armies had killed, injured, or imprisoned more than 100,000 rebels by the end of thee year. In 1529, Charles declared Catholicism the empire's only legitimate faith.

Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis

Signalled end of the Habsburg-Valois Wars. Gave victory to Spain and France. Had to acknowledge Spanish dominance in Italy (main battle grounds for the war)

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