Politics, Law, and the Military: Chronology

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1350 - 1600: Politics, Law, and the Military: Chronology




  • A naval war breaks out between Genoa and Venice over navigation in the Black Sea. After three years the Genoese are defeated and sue for peace.
  • John II (the Good) succeeds Philip VI as king of France.


  • In response to the ravages of the Black Death, several English acts are established, including the Statute of Provisors, which puts restrictions on foreign clergy, and the Statute of Labourers, which tries to maintain wages and price levels.
  • Zurich joins the Swiss Confederation, originally made up of the cantons of Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden that had united against the Habsburg intrusions in 1291.


  • The Swiss canton of Zug (and possibly Glarus) joins the Swiss Confederation. Bern joins the next year.


  • Ivan II (the Red) becomes the Grand Duke of Moscow and serves for six years, until his death in 1359.


  • Nov A Venetian fleet under the command of Marino Falier is destroyed by the Genoese during the third naval conflict between the two city-states. Falier is executed the next year for allegedly conspiring to assassinate some nobles and make himself the ruler of Venice.


  • King Edward Ill’s troops raid the French countryside near the port of Calais, which had been captured by the English in 1347.


  • English troops fight the Lothians in southeastern Scotland in the “Burned Candlemas” expedition. Edward de Baliol, who had ruled since 1332, formally sur-renders Scotland to Edward III.
  • 10 Jan. Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV issues the Golden Bull, the constitution for the German empire that establishes the election procedures for the sovereign. The bull blocks papal prerogatives in determining the leader.
  • 19 Sept. Edward Ill’s son and namesake, known as the Black Prince, defeats French troops at the Battle of Poitiers. King John II of France is captured (and imprisoned until 1360) and forced to accept peace. Military defeats, and the ravages of undisciplined troops in the countryside, help weaken the status of the French nobility. The Estates General insists on representation and influence over royal matters.


  • The Estates General meets and passes measures designed to supervise levies, taxes, and poor relief, but does nothing to directly confront the powers of the king.


  • French popular leader Etienne Marcel gives his allegiance to the king of Navarre and leads an uprising in Paris. His mob storms the palace and kills several officials, but Marcel is assassinated before he is able to open the city to invasion. The Parisians are eventually defeated at Meaux.
  • 21 May Peasants in Compiegne (known as Jacquerie) revolt, destroy castles, and kill members of the nobility. Led by Guillaume Cale, the peasant soldiers march to Paris to join Marcel, but they are defeated at Clermont-en-Beauvais in June.


  • The Treaty of London forces the French to cede territory to the English, but the area is so vast that the French resist its implementation. Edward III besieges Reims and attempts to take the French Crown. Although his army marches through Burgundy and Paris, he is unsuccessful in gaining the throne. He accepts the Treaty of Calais (1360), which renounces his claim, but gains for the English the area of Aquitaine in southwestern France.
  • Nine-year-old Dmitry Donskoy, the son of Ivan II, becomes the Grand Duke of Moscow.


  • John II is allowed to return to France under provisions of the Peace of Bretigny, but he fails to raise the required ransom (three million gold crowns). He is returned to England and dies there in 1364.
  • Adrianople, between the southwest portion of the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, is captured by the Turks.


  • Danish king Valdemar IV Atterdag conquers Gotland, an island in the Baltic Sea, initiating a war with the Hanseatic League, or Hansa (a commercial confederacy of Baltic cities).


  • A Hansa fleet is destroyed by the Danes at Helsingborg.


  • David II of Scotland, who had been king since 1329 and was released in 1357 after a nine-year imprisonment, comes to peace with England, but then faces an internal revolt from Robert II and the Scottish parliament.


  • Charles V, the son of John II, becomes king of France. He rules his country wisely, regains territories lost to England, reorganizes the navy, and serves as a patron of the arts.


  • In an attempt to neutralize the mercenary soldiers ravaging central France, Charles V has them sent to Spain, where many of them are killed in four years of fighting in support of Henry of Trastamara (later Henry II).


  • Lionel, the Duke of Clarence and governor of Ulster, pushes through the Statute of Kilkenny, which forbids the intermarriage of Irish and English settlers.


  • Troops of Valdemar IV Atterdag of Denmark are defeated by a coalition offerees of the Hanseatic League, Sweden, Mecklenburg, Holstein, and Jutland.


  • Charles V of France repudiates the Treaty of Calais and wins back Aquitaine from the English.
  • Peter the Cruel, King of Leon and Castile, is captured and killed by Henry of Trastamara, who with the aid of France is attempting to gain control of Spain. Henry also invades Portugal.


  • Valdemar IV is forced to accept the Treaty of Stralsund, which grants commercial privileges in the Baltic trade to merchants of the Hanseatic League.
  • The French city of Limoges is sacked by English troops.


  • David II of Scotland dies and is replaced as king by Robert II.


  • Ferdinand of Portugal allies with John of Gaunt, provoking another invasion by Henry II, who takes Lisbon and forces Ferdinand to renounce the alliance.
  • The Spanish win temporary control of the English Channel after defeating an English fleet off La Rochelle, France.


  • John of Gaunt’s troops march through France from Calais to Bordeaux, but John returns home in 1374 with little to show for the effort. A year earlier, Edward III tried to land troops in France, but was thwarted by poor weather. Edward is forced to make a truce with the French in 1375.


  • Valdemar dies and is succeeded by his grandson, Olaf, who rules with his mother, Margaret, as his regent of Denmark.


  • The “Good” Parliament removes the influence of John of Gaunt upon the king and impeaches his followers. John will regain his standing after Prince Edward dies in June; he overthrows the acts against him upon the death of Edward III the following year.


  • Ten-year-old Richard II, son of the Black Prince and grandson of Edward III, takes the English throne.


  • Wencelas, king of Germany and Bohemia, becomes the Holy Roman Emperor. He is unable to control relations among the nobility or respond to the demands of the commoners; he is deposed in 1400.
  • 22 July An insurrection of the lower classes in Florence, led by the Ciompi (wool carders), defeats government forces and places Michele di Lando in office. Although the new government is more democratic, a counterrevolution led by the major guilds defeats the upstarts, and the victors abolish the Ciompi guild.


  • Henry II of Spain dies.


  • Charles V’s son, Charles VI (or the Well-Beloved), takes the French throne upon the death of his father. A minor when he assumes the throne, he will suffer from insanity (1392).
  • The alliance between England and Portugal is reestablished.
  • Margaret of Denmark, who is still serving as regent for her son Olaf, gains the regency of Norway as well upon the death of Haakon VI.
  • The military prestige of the Tartars is broken by the army of Grand Duke Donskoy at the Battle of Kulikova, although they remain a potent and dangerous force in Russia.


  • A peasant revolt breaks out in England, under the leadership of Wat Tyler, in response to oppressive poll taxes and wage freezes. The participants call for an end to serfdom and restrictions on trade. The peasant army, which grows to around one hundred thousand men, kills some Flemish merchants and beheads two government officials in London, but the revolt is put down by Richard II, and Tyler is killed in June. Although the rebellion fails to change manorial relations, it stops the imposition of the poll tax.
  • Despite an initial defeat at Pula on the Adriatic Sea and an invasion of the Venetian settlement at Chioggia, the Genoese fleet is blockaded and trapped by the Venetians. After many attempts to break the blockade, the starving Genoese are forced to surrender and accept the Peace of Turin, giving the victors control of trade routes.


  • Workers in Ghent rebel and gain supporters in nearby towns, but the uprising is put down by royal forces at Roosebeke. Charles VI uses this victory to gain royal control of other French municipalities, including Paris.


  • Joao Fernandes Andeiro, Count of Ourem, is killed by John of Aviz, who over-throws the sitting regent and defends Portugal against a Castilian invasion.


  • Jadwiga, the daughter of Louis the Great of Hungary, is elected queen of Poland and serves until her death in 1399. During her reign she marries the Lithuanian grand duke Jagiello in 1386, and the two countries form a union.


  • 14 Aug. John I of Castile is defeated by John of Aviz at Aljubarrota. Aviz is crowned king of Portugal and becomes John I, and the independence of Portugal is established.


  • 9 May An alliance between Portugal and England is secured with the Treaty of Windsor, and John I marries the daughter ofJohn the Gaunt.
  • 9 July An army of soldiers from the Swiss Confederation and Swabian League defeat a force of Austrians led by Leopold III at the Battle of Sempach. Two years later Albert of Austria will attack the Swiss again, but his forces will lose the Battle of Näfels.


  • Margaret seizes the thrones of Norway and Denmark when Olaf dies. She proves an effective ruler of the Scandinavian countries, increasing the power of the monarchy over that of the nobles.


  • 19 Aug.
  • A Scottish army, despite the death of their leader on the field of battle, defeats an English army during a night engagement at the Battle of Otterburn in Northumbria, England.


  • The Serbs, under Prince Lazar Hrebeljanovi, are defeated by Turkish troops under Murad I at the battle of Kosovo.
  • Danish and Swedish troops, fighting to seat the Norwegian and Danish queen Margaret on the Swedish throne, defeat and imprison Albert of Mecklenberg. It takes another eight years to conquer Sweden.
  • Vasily I succeeds his father, Donskoy, as the ruler of Moscow.


  • Robert II is crowned king of Scotland upon the death of his father Robert II (he had ruled for his father since 1384).


  • Around four thousand Jews are massacred in Seville.


  • Richard II invades Ireland.


  • Albert II succeeds his brother Rudolf IV as leader of Austria.


  • Richard II of England and Charles VI of France reconcile and establish a twenty-eight-year peace between their realms.
  • 25 Sept. An army of around ten thousand European knights and soldiers led by John the Fearless, on a crusade to evict the Turks from the Balkans, is destroyed by Bayezid I’s forces at Nicopolis on the Danube River.


  • Denmark, Sweden, and Norway form the Union of Kalmar, with the monarch to be Danish. The first king is Margaret I’s grandnephew, Erik of Pomerania.
  • Richard II forces the English Parliament to soften its demands for financial accounting, obtains a lifetime income, and seats members favorable to him.


  • Henry of Bolingbroke, Duke of Hereford (son of John of Gaunt, and later known as Henry IV), who had been banished a year earlier from England, returns and defeats Richard II, who is deposed and imprisoned. Henry is pro-claimed king and he puts down resistance from remaining followers of Richard.


  • Henry defeats a rebellion in support of Richard II, who dies (possibly murdered) in prison.


  • A Scottish invasion often thousand men, led by Archibald Douglas, enters England and sacks the town of Durham. The English, led by Henry Percy, surprise the returning Scots at Homildon Hill, cutting down the invaders with effective archery.


  • 21 July Troops under Percy, now a supporter of Scottish king Robert III and fighting with Douglas, are defeated by the forces of Henry IV at the Battle of Shrews-bury. Percy is killed while Robert and Douglas are captured.


  • King Albert IV dies and is replaced on the German throne by his son Albert V.


  • Florence captures Pisa, which will remain under its control into the sixteenth century, except for a brief interlude from 1494 to 1509.


  • A civil war erupts among the French nobility.


  • 15 July Polish and Lithuanian troops, along with Bohemian, Russian, and Tartar mercenaries, defeat a force of Teutonic Knights at the Battle of Tannenberg in north-eastern Poland. Many Prussian cities are forced to surrender, and the expansion of the Teutonic order is halted.


  • Following their loss to the Poles and Lithuanians, the Teutonic Knights sign the Peace of Thorn.


  • Queen Margaret I dies and is replaced by her grandnephew, Erik of Pomerania, who had been dominated by Margaret. His favoritism toward the Danes angers his other Scandinavian kingdoms.


  • Henry V, who had defeated the Welsh rebellions, succeeds his father, Henry IV, to the throne of England.
  • Sir John Oldcastle is arrested by Henry V and convicted of heresy for his support of the Lollards, who are anticlerical and anti-Catholic religious reformers. He escapes and plots a rebellion against the king, which is brutally countered by Henry.
  • Merchant Simon Caboche leads a revolt in Paris, forcing Charles VI to accept the elections of councillors and other government reforms. The revolt is later put down and the concessions are withdrawn.


  • 25 Oct The Spanish enclave of Ceuta in northern Morocco is captured by the Portuguese.
  • Ten thousand English troops under the command of Henry V, who hopes to gain control of the French throne, defeat a larger French army under Charles VI at the Battle of Agincourt, leading to the recapture of Normandy.



  • Although Oldcastle initially avoids detection, he is caught and executed by Henry V.


  • The Hussites, followers of the martyred Jan Hus, present King Sigismund of Hungary and Bohemia with the Four Articles of Prague, which call for freedom of religion, a communion of bread and wine, reduction in church finances, and punishment of several individuals. Sigismund answers by proclaiming a crusade against the Hussites, who defeat him and repel two other attacks on Prague.


  • European foundries begin producing cast-bronze cannons.


  • After marrying Catherine of Valois, the daughter of the deranged Charles V, Henry V is recognized under the Treaty of Troyes as the regent and heir to the French throne. The treaty blocks Charles VI’s son from the French succession, but Charles VII assumes the title nonetheless upon his father’s death (1422). He will reorganize French politics, dividing the country into provinces for easier control.


  • Henry V dies and is succeeded by his son, Henry VI, who is only one year old. His uncle, the Duke of Gloucester, serves as regent. At the age often he is then crowned the king of France.


  • James I of Scotland, who was captured in 1406, is released from his imprisonment in England.


  • Bohemian general, former Polish mercenary, and Taborite leader Jan Zizka dies. He had designed new ways to use field artillery and baggage trains and had commanded troops to several victories in 1420 to 1422, during the Hussite Wars.


  • Vasily II (the Blind) becomes Grand Prince of Moscow, but his reign is marked by general anarchy and by infighting among the nobility.


  • Florence initiates a form of income tax called the catasto, which will be replaced by the Medicis with one that lowers the burden on the poor.


  • Philip III (the Good), Duke of Burgundy, founds the Order of the Golden Fleece, a knighthood dedicated to the Virgin Mary and St. Andrew. Its purpose is to defend Roman Catholicism and the code of chivalry.
  • May With the help of Joan of Arc, Charles VII raises the English siege of Orleans. The English are also defeated at the Battle of Patay. Meanwhile, the French march to Reims, where Charles is coronated.


  • Joan of Arc is captured by the Burgundians at Compiegne and turned over to the English.


  • 30 May Joan of Arc is burned at the stake after being convicted of witchcraft.


  • Edward I, the son of John I, becomes king of Portugal; he will reign for only five years.


  • Swedish nationalist Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson and the Council of Aristocrats start a rebellion to weaken the power of the Danish king Erik of Pomerania without toppling the Union of Kalmar. Stockholm is captured in 1436, but Engelbrektsson is killed that same year.
  • Banker Cosimo de’ Medici returns to Florence from an exile and dominates Florentine politics and arts for the next thirty years.
  • Jagiello’s ten-year-old son Vladislav VI succeeds him to the throne of Poland.


  • John of Lancaster, the most accomplished English field commander, dies. The English lose Burgundy as an ally when Charles VII and Philip of Burgundy arrange a peace, the Treaty of Arras, which establishes Charles as the supreme ruler in France. Charles gradually regains most territory lost to the English, except for Calais.


  • The Portuguese, in an attack promoted by Prince Henry the Navigator, fail to capture the Moroccan port city of Tangier. The defeat will slow, but not stop, Portuguese expansion.


  • Alfonso V becomes king of Portugal.
  • Albert II is crowned the king of Hungary, Bohemia, and Germany. He institutes political reforms, but his reign is short, as he dies in battle against the Turks in 1439. All succeeding emperors, except Charles VII and Francis I, belong to the House of Hapsburg.
  • 7 July Charles VII issues the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges, a decree that restricts the rights of the Pope in France.


  • The French army establishes uniform rules for strength of contingents, discipline, and pay of soldiers. This development is a necessary step in creating a standing army capable of defending the country from enemy invasions.
  • Erik of Pomerania is succeeded by Christopher of Bavaria on the Scandinavian thrones, but he proves to be a weak monarch who is dominated by the Hanseatic League.


  • The Praquerie conspiracy, a coalition of nobles attempting to overthrow the French king, is put down.
  • Milan is defeated by a united Florence and Venice.
  • Frederick III becomes king of Germany.


  • János Hunyadi, the son of King Sigismund and pupil of Francesco Sforza, defeats the Turks in Transylvania. He breaks the Ottoman hold on the Balkans.


  • 10 Nov. Hunyadi’s Hungarian army, without the support of a promised Venetian fleet, is defeated by Turkish troops at the Battle of Varna, blocking his attempt to protect Constantinople. The Hungarian king Ulaszlo and Polish king Vladislav are killed in the battle and Hunyadi is forced to withdraw; the Turks are free to reduce the Greeks and capture Constantinople.


  • The first permanent French army, consisting of twenty companies of cavalry, is established.


  • Alfonso V issues the Ordenaçoes Affonstnas the first true law code for Portugal.


  • The Visconti family, who has ruled Milan continuously since 1277, falls from power and is replaced by the Sforzas three years later.
  • Vladislav VI’s brother Casimir IV takes the Polish throne. He limits the power of the nobles and the clergy in favor of the gentry.


  • The French establish a militia of foot soldiers armed with bows, the “free archers,” which will help defeat the incursions of the English.


  • 24 May A conflict over what branch of the Portuguese ruling family will control the young king Alfonso V erupts into battle when the forces of the Duke of Bragança, the illegitimate son of Joao I, face those of Pedro, who are marching on Lisbon. Pedro is defeated and killed, and the House of Avis achieves ascendancy.


  • The arquebus, a smoothbore matchlock weapon fired from the shoulder, is invented in Germany.


  • Francesco Sforza occupies Milan and founds the Sforza dynasty.
  • John Cade leads a rebellion of lesser property owners in Kent, England. Around thirty thousand men join Cade in the fight against high taxation. His force defeats an army of Henry VI at the Battle of Sevenoaks and later enters London, where he seeks the execution of several government officials. His forces are defeated at London Bridge and he is captured and killed.
  • 15 April French forces defeat the English at the Battle of Formigny, killing approximately five thousand men. Many of the English archers fight to the death rather than have their fingers cut off, a common penalty imposed upon their kind. The way is now open for the French recovery of Normandy.


  • Frederick III is elected the Holy Roman emperor, a position he holds until 1493; he is crowned in Rome.


  • An English army under John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, is decimated by French field artillery at the Battle of Castillon. Talbot is killed and his garrison surrenders; though a minor engagement, it signals the end of the Hundred Years’ War.
  • 29 May. Sultan Mehmed II captures Constantinople and renames it Istanbul, ending the Byzantine Empire.


  • Prussian nobles and town dwellers, with help from the Poles, revolt against the Teutonic Order.
  • 9 Apr. Francesco Sforza is recognized as the ruler of Milan and hostilities are concluded with Venice by the Peace of Lodi. Both sides had desired an end to the war because of the threat to their trade posed by the Turks; they establish a mutual defense league among Italian municipalities.


  • The War of the Roses, a power struggle between the houses of Lancaster and York in England that will last for thirty years, begins. Richard, Duke of York, defeats the forces of the Duke of Somerset (who is killed).


  • Joan of Arc’s verdict is overturned.


  • George of Podebrady, a Hussite leader who captured Prague (1448) and defeated the Habsburgs, is elected the king of Bohemia after the death of King Ladislav (1457), for whom George had served as regent. He persecutes members of the Bohemian Brotherhood, which advocates greater democracy and separation from religious control from Rome.
  • Matthias Corvinus (Matyas Hunyadi) becomes the king of Hungary.


  • Ludovico III of Mantua calls a “congress of princes” to counter Turkish advances. Proposed by Pope Pius II, the action fails.



  • Louis XI, the son of Charles VII, becomes the king of France, despite having made several attempts to unseat his father and having served an exile in Flanders. He overturns the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges.
  • 17 Feb. Henry VI is defeated by the Yorkists at the second Battle of St. Albans and is deposed (4 March) and imprisoned. On 29 March the Lancastrians, in retreat from London, are attacked by Yorkist troops under the Neville brothers, Edward and Richard, near the village of Towton. In a driving snowstorm the bloodiest engagement of the War of the Roses is fought, resulting in a rout and massacreof Lancastrian troops. The Duke of York is proclaimed Edward IV.


  • Ivan III (the Great) becomes Grand Prince of Moscow; during his reign he elim inates foreign control of his country, expands its territory, and promotes the Orthodox religion. He increasesthe power of the monarch, taking the title Czar.



  • Burgundian prince Charles the Bold recaptures lands controlled by Louis XI at the Battle of Montl’hèry.


  • Poland obtains an outlet to the Baltic Sea and peace with the Teutonic Order with the Second Peace of Thorn.


  • Philippe de Commynes negotiates a truce between Charles the Bold and Louis XI.


  • Lorenzo de’ Medici (the Magnificent) and his brother, Giuliano, begin their rule of Florence.
  • Isabella I, the daughter of John II of Castile, marries Ferdinand V of Aragon. Together they will unify Spain, reform the clergy, expel non-Catholic elements, and recapture Granada.


  • The Earl of Warwick and Duke of Clarence lead a rebellion in support of Henry VI, but they are defeated at the Battle of Stamford. Henry will be murdered in the Tower of London in 1471.


  • Casimir IV’s son Vladislav becomes the king of Bohemia and later is crowned Ladislas II, king of Hungary (1490).



  • The English invade France, but Charles the Bold is bought off by Louis XI, leaving Edward IV without support, and peace is secured through the Treaty of Picquigny.


  • Swiss Confederation troops defeat Burgundian forces (under Charles the Bold) at the battles of Grandson (2 March) and Morat (22 June). In the latter engagement nearly one-third of Charles’s forces are slaughtered.
  • The Portuguese, who move to attack Castile, are defeated by the Spaniards at the Battle of Toro. Forces of the two nations will continue to skirmish along their common border.


  • Charles the Bold is defeated by troops from Switzerland, Lorraine, and Austria, and is killed near Nancy, France. The Swiss use pikes against the Burgundian cavalry. Charles’s daughter, Mary of Burgundy, marries Maximilian of Austria.


  • 26 Apr. The Pazzi family, aided by Pope Sixtus IV, attempt to overthrow the rule of the Medicis in Florence. While some conspirators try to take over the government, an assassination attempt is made on Giuliano and Lorenzo de’ Medici while they attend mass. The former is killed, but the latter escapes; support arises in the city in favor of the Medicis, and many of the conspirators are massacred. A two-year war with the Vatican erupts, but Lorenzo is able to consolidate and extend his power at home.


  • Alfonso V renounces his claim on Castile in the Treaty of Alcáçovas.


  • The French begin mounting cannon on specially adapted carriages for land use.


  • An Ottoman fleet captures Otranto, an Italian city on the peninsula jutting out into the Adriatic Sea.


  • John II becomes king of Portugal upon the death of Alfonso V.
  • 22 Dec. A civil war among the states of the Swiss Confederation, largely over the political strength of rural as opposed to urban members, is avoided at the Diet of Stans. The members allow two cities to join (one of which is the first French-speaking area) and strengthen the federal alliance.


  • Louis XI of France dies and is succeeded by his son, Charles VIII.
  • The Duke of Gloucester becomes King Richard III, after the son of the recently deceased Edward IV is declared illegitimate. Henry’s two sons are then murdered. Richard suppresses a rebellion led by the duke of Buckingham.




  • Henry VII forces Parliament to allow him to establish the Star Chamber, a court that could hear trials of powerful nobles. In the 1700s it will become more repressive and secretive.
  • 16 June Supporters of Lambert Simnel, who claims to be the Earl of Warwick and opposes Henry VII, are defeated at Stoke-on-Trent. The pretender is captured and forced to work in Henry’s kitchen.


  • 11 June James III of Scotland is murdered by nobles who resist his pro-English policy; he is succeeded by James IV, who takes an anti-English stance.


  • Hans Waldman, who as the burgomaster of Zurich supplied mercenaries for many European countries, dies.


  • Lorenzo de’ Medici dies and is replaced by his son, Piero.
  • Russia invades Lithuania.
  • 2 Jan Granada, the center of Moorish strength in Spain, falls to the forces of Ferdinand and Isabella. Spanish Jews are also exiled from the country in this year.


  • Archduke Maximilian, the son of Frederick III, becomes the Holy Roman emperor as Maximilian I. He is intent on reestablishing Habsburg control over the Swiss.


  • Charles VIII of France invades Italy. He is supported by Ludovico of Milan, though his state will be seized by the French in 1499.
  • Poyning’s Law (Statute of Drogheda) limits legislation in the Irish Parliament and firmly places English law over that of Ireland.
  • 7 June The Treaty of Tordesillas between Portugal and Spain establishes a line 1,185 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands as the demarcation between areas to be controlled by each country, with Portugal getting the area east of the line (Africa and Brazil), and Spain the west (North and South America). Other European coun-tries choose to ignore this division of the world.


  • The Duke of Beja, who becomes Manuel I, succeeds John II to the throne of Portugal.
  • Pope Alexander VI, Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, and Ferdinand II, as well as the leaders of Venice and Milan, form the Holy League against Charles VIII.
  • Another imposter and rival to Henry VIFs throne, Perkin Warbek, who claims he is the Duke of York, invades England with the help of James IV of Scotland. He will be executed in 1499.
  • Constitutional reform is undertaken in Germany at the Diet of Worms.


  • The Holy League forces the French out of Italy.


  • Manuel I forcibly expels Jews from Portugal, many of whom had been welcomed into the country when they left Spain. Many Jews are forced to convert to Catholicism.
  • A tax revolt breaks out in Cornwall, England, but the insurrection is put down at the Battle of Blackheath (22 June). Its leaders—including Lord Audley—are executed.


  • Charles VIII dies while planning another Italian invasion and is replaced on the throne by Louis XII, who takes up his predecessor’s invasion plans.


  • 25 Aug. War breaks out between Venice and the Ottomans; a Venetian fleet is defeated at Sapienza.
  • 22 Sept. The Swiss Confederation achieves independence, with the signing of the Treaty of Basel, after defeating the forces of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I at the Battle of Dornach.
  • 6 Oct. Louis XIFs troops occupy Milan.


  • The Treaty of Granada partitions Naples between Louis XII and Ferdinand II.
  • 8 April Ludovico attempts to liberate Milan, but his forces are defeated by the French at Novara.


  • Naples falls to the French.
  • Basel joins the Swiss Confederation.


  • A peasant conspiracy emerges in the bishopric of Speyer, Germany. The peasants call for the confiscation of church property and an end to the power of the nobility. The budding revolt is betrayed and many of the conspirators are killed.


  • Spain captures Naples; the Spanish control the city for the next two hundred years.
  • Russia obtains much of its Baltic borderlands after concluding a peace with Lithuania.


  • The Treaty of Lyons divides Italy between France and Spain. France gains control of Milan in the Treaty of Blois.
  • Isabella of Castile dies.
  • Henry VII places English guilds and trade companies under supervision of the Crown.


  • Louis XII renounces his claim to Naples in favor of Spain.
  • Maximilian I begins the reformation of the Holy Roman Empire.


  • Philip I (the Handsome), who rules for less than a year as the king of Castile, dies. Despite his short reign, he establishes the Habsburg dynasty in Spain.
  • A riot breaks out in Lisbon and many converses (Jewish converts) are massacred by the crowd. Manuel I issues protections and allows many of the survivors to emigrate.


  • Ludovico Sforza dies while a captive of the French.
  • 10 Dec. Pope Julius II, Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, Louis XII, and Ferdinand II form an alliance, the Holy League of Cambrai, against Venice in hopes of dividing its lands.


  • Henry Tudor dies and is succeeded by his son, Henry VIII.
  • 14 May French troops defeat the Venetians at Agnadello, east of Milan. The Vatican recovers cities in Romagna; the Holy Roman Empire gains Verona, Vicenza, and Padua; and Spain is ceded lands in Apulia, including Brindisi.


  • The Holy League of Cambrai collapses when Pope Julius joins with Venice in hopes of forcing the French out of Italy, Ferdinand takes a neutral stance.


  • England joins the Holy League; Pope Julius also unites Spain with Venice in the anti-French league. The Holy Roman Empire, Swiss Confederation, and Milan are also members.
  • An ordained priest, Thomas Wolsey rises through the ranks of Henry VIIFs government to the position of privy councillor, directing war activities in France. He serves as lord chancellor (1515-1529).


  • The kingdom of Navarre, after its rulers participate in fomenting a schism in the Catholic Church, is invaded and conquered by the forces of Ferdinand II.
  • 11 April The French defeat the Holy League at the Battle of Ravenna. The French are, however, driven from Milan.


  • Italian philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli writes Ilprincipe (The Prince), which will be published in 1532.
  • 6 June Swiss troops defeat a combined French and Venetian army at the Battle of Novara.
  • 16 Aug. English and German troops are victorious over the French at the Battle of the Spurs and enter the city of Theroanne. The Holy League is disbanded.
  • 9 Sept. During an invasion of England, Scottish troops—supported by the French—are defeated, and their leader James IV is killed by troops led by the Earl of Surrey at Flodden Field.


  • A peace is brokered between England and France.


  • 13-14 Sept. A French and Venetian force under Francis I defeats Swiss mercenary troops protecting Milan at the Battle of Marignano, which leads to a peace treaty between France and the Swiss Confederation. The Swiss abandon expansionist policies and declare neutrality, although some of their troops become palace guards for the Vatican.


  • Ferdinand of Aragon dies and is succeeded as ruler of the Spanish Kingdoms by his grandson, Charles I.
  • Francis I and Pope Leo X negotiate the Concordat of Bologna, which establishes relations between the Vatican and France, giving the king the right to nominate church officers in France.
  • 29 Nov. France and Switzerland sign the Treaty of Fribourg.



  • Emperor Maximilian I dies and is succeeded by Charles V, who now controls a vast empire, including Spain, Austria, Naples, Sicily, the Low Countries, and colonies in America.


  • Henry VIII and Francis I meet at the Field of Cloth of Gold, where Francis tries to convince Henry to support his attempt to gain dominion over the Holy Roman Empire.
  • A league of Spanish cities rebel against Charles V and receive French support, but they are defeated at Villalar the next year.
  • About one hundred anti-Danish nobles are killed by the newly crowned Christian II, a Dane, in what becomes known as the Bloodbath of Stockholm. The Swedes rise up under Gustavus Vasa and invade Denmark. He becomes King Gustavus I of Sweden in 1523.


  • France and Spain are at war again over French support of the comuneros revolt. Iy Roman Empire.
  • Henry VIII, after a secret agreement with the Spanish king, launches “The Great Enterprise,” with Charles V, against France. Charles, aided by Pope Leo X and Henry VIII, recaptures Milan in November.
  • 22 Apr. Francis I declares war on the Holy Roman Empire.


  • The Hospitaller Order of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem heroically defends Rhodes from a Turkish invasion, but the knights are finally defeated and dispersed. Many of the surviving knights will resettle in 1530 on the island of Malta.
  • The French are expelled from Milan by the Spanish.


  • Christian II of Denmark is deposed.
  • John II, the son of Manuel I, becomes king of Portugal.
  • Thomas More, Speaker of Commons, petitions successfully for freedom of debate.
  • Sweden leaves the Union of Kalmar.
  • 24 June Charles V defeats the French at the Battle of La Bicocca, gaining most of Lombardy.


  • 24 Feb. A French army of twenty-eight thousand troops, under Francis I, is defeated by troops under Habsburg emperor Charles V at the Battle of Pavia, south of Milan; Francis is taken prisoner.


  • 14 Jan. Francis I is forced to agree to the Treaty of Madrid in order to obtain his freedom and cedes his claims to Italy.
  • 22 May Francis I forms the League of Cognac (England, Venice, Florence, and the Vatican) to oppose Charles.
  • 29 Aug. At the Battle of Mohacs, the Turks under Suleyman I kill Hungarian king Louis II along with about two-thirds of his troops. The Turks occupy Belgrade.


  • Charles V’s troops, which include German mercenaries, sack Rome and take Pope Clement VII prisoner.


  • Andrea Doria forces through a new constitution and restores the Genoese doges, led by an oligarchy of noble merchants. He ends the allegiance to France and allies Genoa politically with Spain in an attempt to gain access to the new empire in the West.
  • Naples is besieged by the French, but an epidemic of typhus weakens the invaders, forcing them to end their attack.


  • The Turks attack Vienna from their stronghold in Hungary. Although beaten back, the Turks will remain a constant threat to the Viennese.
  • 3 Aug. The Peace of Cambrai is signed between Francis I and Charles V. Both France and the Holy Roman Empire are exhausted from warfare and deadlocked over who will control Italy. The peace is negotiated between Louise of Savoy, mother of Francis, and Margaret of Austria, aunt of Charles. The Pope makes a separate peace with Charles in the Treaty of Barcelona.
  • 25 Oct. Sir Thomas More is appointed lord chancellor by Henry VIII, after Wolsey fails to obtain from the Pope a divorce for the king. More is the first commoner to achieve this post.
  • 3 Nov. Henry VIII calls the “Reformation Parliament,” which renounces papal authority in England. It holds seven sessions until 1536.


  • The Hospitalier Order of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem takes over Malta, officially as a fiefdom of Charles V.


  • Ferdinand of Habsburg is elected king of Germany.
  • The Lutheran states of the Holy Roman Empire—including Hesse, Saxony, Brunswick, Anhalt, Magdeburg, Bremen, Strasbourg, and Ulm—form a defensive alliance, called the Schmalkaldic League, to counterattacks by Charles V.
  • 11 Oct. Swiss Protestant reformer Ulrich Zwingli, defending Zurich from an invasion of Catholic Swiss, is killed in battle near Kappel. After a second defeat, the Protestant army is forced to accept a peace on 23 October that blocks Zwingli’s planned reforms for the Catholic cantons.


  • Henry VIII secretly marries Anne Boleyn. She will be charged with adultery in 1536 and beheaded.


  • Henry VIII obtains the Act of Supremacy, separating the English Church, its clergy and property, from control by the Pope. More, who refuses to acknowl-edge the new arrangement, is executed in 1535. Also passed is the Treason Act, which makes it a crime to deny royal titles.


  • Francesco Maria Sforza of Milan dies.
  • Charles V defeats the pirates of Tunis.


  • Turkish fleets attack coastal cities along Italy, aiding the French in their capture of Turin.
  • 1-12 Oct. In opposition to Henry VHI’s reforms, heavy taxation, and the enclosure movement, a rebellion is sparked in Lincolnshire when government officials arrive to close the monasteries and seize the taxes. The uprising collapses, but an even larger rebellion arises in York under the leadership of Robert Aske. Believing he had obtained his objectives, Aske releases his troops in December. The English government will later capture and kill around two hundred of the conspirators, including Aske.


  • Italian mathematician Niccolo Tartaglia writes Nova scientia, a treatise on gunnery tactics.


  • Francis I and Charles V meet at Aigues-Mortes to confirm the Truce of Nice.
  • An uprising against Charles V emerges in Ghent. The revolt is put down, Ghent’s privileges ended, and troops are stationed in the city.
  • 12 Jan. Francis I and Charles V sign a treaty for combined action against Henry VIII.


  • The English Privy Council is reformed to combine deliberative and executive functions.


  • Charles V grants the Protestants concessions in the Diet of Regensburg.


  • Charles V issues the New Laws of the Indies, an attempt to correct inadequacies of previous edicts for the administration of the New World colonies. One of the things he attempts to change is the level of cruelty inflicted upon native populations. The measure sparks widespread protests among the Spanish settlers.
  • 24 Nov. Scottish troops, fighting for James V and under the command of Oliver Sinclair, are defeated by the English at the Battle of Solway Moss. Despite having a much larger army, the Scots are disorganized and hemmed in by marshy ground. James is broken by the loss, although he was not present, and it may have contributed to his death less than a month later.


  • The English perfect a process that allows them to cast iron cannon, which are cheaper and heavier than bronze cannon.


  • Scotland is invaded by the English, who are intent on enforcing the Treaty of Greenwich, which betrothed the six-month-old Mary, Queen of Scots, to six-year-old Edward, Prince of Wales.
  • Charles V invades France and reaches Soissons. The English occupy Boulogne. Charles and Francis sign the Treaty of Crépy.


  • Sept. Protestant German princes refuse to attend the Diet of Regensburg, and Charles V uses this event as a reason to go to war with the members of the Schmalkaldic League.


  • Henry VIII dies and is succeeded by his son Edward VI.
  • Francis I dies and is succeeded by Henri II.
  • Ivan IV (the Terrible) is proclaimed the Grand Duke of Moscow.
  • 24 Apr. Charles V defeats the Schmalkaldic League at the Battle of Muhlberg, capturing the wounded John Frederick I, who is forced to accept territorial losses.
  • 10 Sept. In hopes of uniting the Scottish and English crowns—through a forced marriage between Mary, Queen of Scots, and King Edward VI—Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, employs a sixteen-thousand-man army in Scotland, meeting a force of around twenty-six thousand. Both armies employ a range of weaponry and tactics, many of them modern, such as guns. Seymour’s men defeat a pike charge by the Scots and win the day. This engagement is the last formal battle between Scottish and English national armies.


  • Robert Kett leads a rebellion aimed at the enclosure movement—the fencing of common lands—as rioters destroy the fences of landholders in Norfolk and march on Norwich. The Duke of Somerset sends the marquis of Northampton at the head of an English army, staffed largely with mercenaries, to put down the rebellion. He fails and a larger army is dispatched, and this time they get the upper hand, killing more than three thousand rebels in one engagement. Kett is captured and later executed.


  • The musket is invented.


  • Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, who had served as regent for Edward VI, is executed after the Duke of Northumberland, John Dudley, convinces the king that Somerset has conspired against him.


  • A short-lived truce of religious disputes is achieved in Germany with the signing of the Treaty of Passau by Ferdinand (Charles V’s brother) and the elector of Saxony, Maurice.


  • 6 July Edward VI dies. Lady Jane Grey is declared queen of England, after the Duke of Northumberland induces the king to change the order of succession, but the conspiracy collapses. The duke is executed and Mary Tudor (Bloody Mary) is put on the throne. She attempts to reestablish Catholicism in England and persecutes Protestants.


  • 12 Apr. Mary of Guise becomes regent of Scotland for her twelve-year-old daughter.
  • 25 July Mary I marries Philip II of Spain. She accuses her half sister Elizabeth of complicity in Wyatt’s Rebellion and has her imprisoned.


  • 25 Sep. Lutheranism and Catholicism are recognized in Germany in the Peace of Augsburg.


  • Charles V abdicates and gives the throne to his son, Phillip II, and his brother, Ferdinand I. Phillip signs the Truce of Vaucelles with Henri II. France and Spain are at war.


  • Three-year-old Sebastian, the grandson of John III, becomes ruler of Portugal upon the death of the king.
  • 10 Aug. French troops are defeated by the Spanish at the battle of Saint-Quentin and are forced out of Italy.


  • Elizabeth I, daughter of Henry VIII, takes the English throne upon the death of Mary I.
  • Charles V, who had retired to a monastery, dies.
  • 7 Jan. The French take Calais, the last English foothold on the Continent.


  • Henri II dies after suffering a fatal head wound during a tournament. He is replaced by his infirm son Francis II, who rules for less than a year.
  • 3 Apr. The Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis ends the wars between France and Spain over control of Italy, leaving the Habsburgs dominant in Italy, where they will remain so for another century and a half. The French are unable to continue the struggle because of domestic religious struggles and financial difficulties.


  • Charles IX, who is Henry II’s second son, becomes king of France upon the death of his brother, Francis II. His mother, Catherine de’ Medici, serves as regent.
  • Mary of Guise dies.
  • 6 July The Treaty of Edinburgh forces a French withdrawal from Scotland.


  • Mary, Queen of Scots, returns to Scotland.


  • The Wars of Religion (Huguenot Wars) begin in France, which last until 1598. The conflict is initiated by the Duke of Guise, who orders a massacre of Huguenots (French Protestants) at Vassy.
  • 4 Oct. The English, under Sir Adrian Poynings, enter Le Havre, France, a port that had been taken over by Huguenots.
  • 19 Dec. The Huguenots are defeated at the Battle of Dreux.


  • Elizabeth I obtains from Parliament an extension of the Act of Supremacy, strengthening the Protestant faith in England.
  • 25 Mar. A short truce in the French Religious Wars is achieved with the Peace of Amboise, which allows Protestants to worship and return to their homes and for-bids harassment on the basis of religion.
  • 27 July Le Havre is recaptured by the French.


  • England gives up its claim to Calais in the Peace of Troyes.
  • Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle, sent by Phillip II to be president of the council of state for Margaret of Parma, regent of the Netherlands, angers Dutch patriots by employing Spanish troops and persecuting Protestants, and is forced to retire.
  • Emperor Ferdinand I dies and is succeeded by his son, Maximilian II.
  • Cosimo de’ Medici of Florence abdicates in favor of his son, Francesco.


  • A meeting between the Duke of Alba and Catherine de’ Medici, the wife of Charles IX, sparks Protestant protests in France that eventually lead to several massacres of Protestants.
  • The Hospitaller Order of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem fight off an attack on Malta by the Turks under Siileyman I. The invaders number around forty thousand men, but the much smaller force of defenders avoids capture. The Turks continue their siege until early September, when they retreat.


  • The “Beggars,” a group of nobles in the Netherlands, ask Margaret of Parma to relax religious persecution of Protestants, which she does.


  • The Netherlands provinces revolt against Spanish rule, especially that of the Duke of Alba, who attempts to restore Phillip’s authority by leading an army into the Low Countries, forcing out or killing much of the opposition.
  • 24 July Lord Darnley, who is thirteen months old, becomes James VI when his mother, Mary, Queen of Scots, abdicates.


  • The English defeat the Scots at Langside, and Mary, Queen of Scots, who is Catholic and has escaped to England, is imprisoned. Activities on her behalf impel Elizabeth I to persecute Catholics.


  • Cosimo de’ Medici becomes the Grand Duke of Tuscany.
  • Poland and Lithuania unite into a single state with the Union of Lublin.
  • Nov. The earls of Northumberland and Westmoreland foment a rebellion and restore Catholic worship at the cathedral in Durham, in what is known as the Revolt of the Northern Earls. The crown sends an army under the Earl of Sussex and the rebels withdraw.


  • The Peace of St. Germain-en-Laye ends the Third Religious War in France. An amnesty for Huguenots is declared, as well as freedom of worship granted.
  • A revolt of converted Moslems, known as moriscos, in Spain is defeated; they will be expelled from the nation in 1609.
  • Troops of the Ottoman leader Selim II invade Cyprus and Nicosia, sparking a response from Spanish and Italian leaders.
  • The Ridolfi plot, which calls for an invasion of England by Spanish troops stationed in the Netherlands, is uncovered; the Duke of Norfolk is executed in 1572 for his part in the conspiracy, and Mary, Queen of Scots, is implicated.


  • 7 Oct. A combined Venetian and Spanish fleet of around two hundred vessels captures an Ottoman fleet off the Peloponnesian coast in the Gulf of Patras in the Battle of Lepanto, temporarily blocking expansion of the eastern empire further into the Mediterranean. Spanish novelist Miguel de Cervantes, author of Elingenioso hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha (1605), is wounded in this battle.


  • William of Orange initiates the Dutch War of Independence against Spain. The Sea Beggars, fighting from foreign ports, harass the Spanish and capture the Dutch port city of Brielle (1 April), sparking a wider revolt in support of William. French support fails to materialize, however, and William is forced to retreat to the northern provinces. There he leads a resistance against Spanish invaders.
  • 24 Aug. Thousands of Protestant Parisian protestors are killed in the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, possibly in an attempt by the king to head off a new round of civil wars.


  • Cyprus falls to the Ottoman Empire. The Venetians are forced to accept Turkish domination in the eastern Mediterranean in the Peace of Constantinople.


  • Charles IX dies; Henri III of Anjou becomes king of France.
  • Cosimo de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, dies in Florence.


  • The Prince of Transylvania, Stephen Bathory, is elected king of Poland; he is forced to put down a rebellion in Gdansk within two years.


  • Unpaid Spanish troops go on a rampage, known as the Spanish Fury, in Antwerp. They destroy property, loot buildings, and murder approximately six thou-sand citizens.
  • The southern Netherlands provinces unite against Philip in the Pacification of Ghent and place William of Orange (the Silent) at their head.
  • Emperor Maximilian II dies and is succeeded by his brother Rudolf II.


  • In response to Henri III repealing an edict of toleration, the Huguenots rebel and begin a sixth round of civil wars in France. The war ends with the Peace of Bergerac, which restores most provisions for freedom of worship.


  • Sebastian of Portugal, along with more than eight thousand of his troops, is killed during an aborted invasion of North Africa, at the Battle of the Three Kings near Alcazar. The Moors reportedly capture around fifteen thousand Portugese troops. Sebastian is succeeded by Henry, his uncle, who serves for only two years.


  • The northern Netherlands provinces unite under the Union of Utrecht.


  • Upon the death of Henry I, Philip II sends troops under the Duke of Alba into Portugal. Along with his rule over Spain, Philip becomes Philip I of Portugal.


  • The Estates General of the Netherlands issues the Act of Abjuration, declaring that Phillip II’s tyranny meant forfeiture of his sovereignty over the country.


  • James VI is kidnapped by William Ruthven, Earl of Gowrie, and is forced to denounce the Duke of Lennox, a Roman Catholic who allegedly schemed to return his faith to Scotland.


  • Englishman Francis Throckmorton, along with a group of exiles, is involved in a plot to help France invade England and kill Elizabeth. He is captured, tortured, and then executed in 1584.


  • 18 Mar. Ivan the Terrible dies and his son, Fyodor, succeeds, but he cedes power to Boris Gudonov.
  • 10 July William of Orange, who became the leader of the Union of Utrecht, is assassinated by Balthazar Gerard at the instigation of Philip II. He is succeeded by his seventeen-year-old son Maurice.


  • The Treaty of Nonsuch commits England to aid Dutch Estates against Philip II.
  • The Treaty of Nemours bans Protestantism in France and requires all Protestants to renounce their faith or be exiled. In response a religious civil war breaks out among the forces of Henri of Guise and the revived Catholic League, Henri III of France, and Henri of Navarre (heir to the throne), called the War of the Three Henris. The two former kings are attempting to end Protestantism in France, but are opposed by the Protestant Henri of Navarre.


  • An alleged plot to kill Elizabeth I and her ministers, in a Catholic insurrection supported by the Spanish, is uncovered. The plot is named for Antony Babbington, a page and messenger for Mary Stuart; the plotters are captured and executed. Mary is tried for treason on 15 October and sentenced to death ten days later. Parliament finds her guilty and petitions Elizabeth to sign her death warrant.


  • The Battle of Coutras is a victory for Henri of Navarre over Henri III.
  • 5 Feb. Mary is beheaded at Fotheringhay on order of Elizabeth I.


  • 12 May Parisians rise up against Henri III in the Day of the Barricades, but he manages to escape the city. In July he capitulates to their demands, making Henri of Guise lieutenant general of France. Henri is later assassinated, along with his brother Cardinal Louis II, by Henri.
  • Aug. With the aid of a storm, the English defeat an invading Armada sent by King Philip. The Spanish experience supply difficulties and are outclassed by the English long gunners. Less than half of the original Spanish fleet makes it back to safety.


  • Henri III is assassinated by Jacques Clement, a Dominican monk. The Protestant Henry IV (Henry of Navarre) takes the throne, initiating the Bourbon reign. He renounces Protestantism in 1593. Henri IV takes the war to the Catholic League and defeats the army of the Due de Mayenne at the Battle of Arques.


  • The army of Henri IV deals the Catholic League another setback at the Battle of Ivry. His army advances to Paris and begins its siege, but it is unsuccessful in taking the city. The Spanish help provide food to the besieged Parisians.


  • Aragon rebels against Phillip II in an attempt to protect Antonio Perez, Phillip’s former secretary and an intriguer who had escaped from imprisonment.
  • Polish attempts to control their numbers spark Cossack bands to rebel.


  • Emperor Rudolf II of Hungary initiates the Long War, which ends in 1606, against the Magyars, who had left the Catholic Church in favor of Protestantism.


  • Henri IV is crowned.
  • Aug. An English force trying to supply a castle near Enniskillen, under siege by Irish rebels, is defeated at the Battle of the Ford of Biscuits, so named because of the scattered supplies on the battlefield.


  • Spanish troops, in support of Catholic factions in France, are defeated at the Battle of Fontaine-Française and driven from Burgundy.


  • The Articles of Folembray end the War of the Catholic League in France, stop-ping the attempt by the Spanish to deny Henri’s claim to the throne.
  • The Privy Council raises “Ship Money” from coastal regions for provision of the navy.


  • Irish discontent coalesces under the leadership of Hugh O’Neill, the Earl of Tyrone, who is attempting to regain control of Ulster, though he appeals to broader nationalist sentiments. O’Neill’s army achieves a stunning victory over an English army under Sir Henry Bagenal at Yellow Ford in Ulster (1598). However, the victory is short-lived as the Irish forces, reinforced by Spaniards, are crushed at Kinsale in 1601, although Tyrone does not submit until 1603.


  • The Edict of Nantes grants political rights to French Protestants; the Wars of Religion in France are over.
  • 2 May The Peace of Vervins between Spain and France gives back lost French land.
  • 13 Sept. Philip II of Spain dies and is succeeded by Philip III.
  • Fyodor I of Russia dies, and Godunov is elected czar by the national assembly.


  • The Polish king Sigismund III Vasa, a Catholic, is deposed by Swedes and Charles IX, who establishes Lutheranism as the state religion of Sweden.


  • A government charter is granted to the English East India Company. Shares in the company are transferable and policy control is vested in a board of directors elected by stockholders. The company soon monopolizes trade in the Indian subcontinent.
  • Henri IV of France marries Marie de’ Medici.

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Politics, Law, and the Military: Chronology

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Politics, Law, and the Military: Chronology