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NOTE: Insert Map 48. The Swiss Confederation 1526

Upon attaining an essentially independent status in 1533, Geneva had allied itself with the Cantons of Fribourg and Bern and had accepted the Reformation preached by Guillaume Farel. Calvin came there to preach in the middle of the century, after Zwingli's death, and wrote the book The Principles of the Christian Religion, which was modeled after Luther and followed the ideas of Paul and St. Augustine. He put these thoughts into an eccliastical doctrine and established the Reformed and Presbyterian Churches, which won the allegiance of hundreds of millions of men in Switzerland, France, Scotland, England and North America. His theology was dismal - this life is a vale of misery and tears and it would be better to die immediately at birth. He agreed with Zwingli on the Mass; he set rigid moral laws; and made the church supreme again over the state. He was hated by Luther over the single point of- doctrine about the interpretation of the Mass. In later years, Calvin became more and more intolerant and had Michael Servitus burned at the stake for being too liberal and humanistic. (Ref. 51 )

Western europe

McNeill (Ref. 139 ) says that Europeans of the Atlantic seaboard developed command of all oceans of the world within a half century because of three factors: (1) A deep-rooted pugnacity and recklessness. (2) Complex military technology, particularly naval. (3) A population inured to a variety of diseases long endemic in the old world. From 1560 or 1580 population in the western world, especially in France, Spain and Italy, again became too dense and eventually poverty ensued. (Ref. 260 ) Western Europe, in general, tended to be somewhat antagonistic to the Genoese, who were the chief "capitalists" with the most money, ready "to buy everything up". (Ref. 292 ) This may be analogous to more recent situations there regarding Americans. (Ref. 292 )


In a little more than a half century Spanish institutions and civilization were impressed upon an area larger than the whole of Europe. The Spanish army was the most successful of Europe, with even nobles in its ranks, carrying handguns. Their real pride, however, was the cavalry and after 1525 they dominated Europe until the middle of the next century. Long before that, Spain was spending 70% of its revenue on weapons. For the infantry one man in twelve was conscripted, but he too became a professional. (Ref. 213 )

Isabelle, the great queen, died in 1504 and Ferdinand, whose natural Machevellian tendencies had been tempered by Isabelle, died in 1516. In that short time, however, he was totally involved in European politics, goading Henry VIII into war with France and even talking Henry into sending 7,000 men to San Sebastian in 1512 to drive the French from Navarre and conquer Guienne. The attack was premature and a dismal failure. Later, in 1518, the French advanced again, capturing the Spanish garrison at Pamplona, a battle in which the Spanish officer Ignatius de Loyola received a severe leg wound. During his convalescence he reformed his life and founded the Society of Jesus, as we have previously noted. (Ref. 291 ) Ferdinand's grandson, Charles of Ghent, became Carlos (Charles) I of Spain and Sicily and because the young man's other grandfather had been Maximilian of Austria, he also became king of the Netherlands. As noted above he later became Holy Roman Emperor as Charles V and thus ruled Germany and Austria also. At first Charles could speak no Spanish and he tried to bring an entire Flemish court with him to Spain. Almost immediately after arrival he had to leave to go to Germany and he left Cardinal Adrian of Utrecht to act as regent. In his absence the nobles rose up against him in the Revolt of the Communeros, but this was soon transformed into a class war of commoners against nobles, so that the latter eventually had to support the king to save themselves.

Questions & Answers

price elasticity of demand is the degree of responsiveness of a quantity demanded to the change in price of the commodity in question.
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Source:  OpenStax, A comprehensive outline of world history. OpenStax CNX. Nov 30, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10595/1.3
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