Century 17
17th Century Timeline: 1601 to 1700 AD

1601  Dutch defeat the Portuguese in a naval battle in the Indonesian Archipelago (the Spice Islands).

1602  Shah Abbas of Iran drives the Portuguese from Bahrain.

1602  The Dutch government (United Netherlands) grants the Dutch East India Company a monopoly to pursue trade in Asia.

1602  William Shakespeare has written: "Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie, which we ascribe to heaven. (From All's Well that Ends Well, first performed in 1602.)

1603  Japan's royal court recognizes the military dominance of Tokugawa Ieyasu and grants him the title of shogun. His military government is based at Edo (Tokyo).

1603  A frail Queen Elizabeth dies at age 69. She is succeeded by a Calvinist and devout Presbyterian, King James VI of Scotland, eldest son of Elizabeth's cousin, Mary I, Queen of Scots. James becomes James I, King of England, Ireland and Scotland. Scotland is no longer independent.

1604  James dislikes England's Puritans but he agrees to their request for an official translation of the Bible - to be known as the Authorized King James Bible - in place of three other versions: the Geneva Bible, the Great Bible (an English language translation authorized by Henry VIII) and the (Anglican) Bishop's Bible.

1605  A plot by extremist Catholics to blow up the Britain's Parliament fails. The perpetrators are hanged.

1605  With the help of British advisors, an Iranian army defeats an Ottoman army of greater size.

1606  The Dutch "discover" northern Australia - at what today is called Cape York Peninsula.
1607  A London company has sent three ships and a small group to what today is the state of Virginia, and there, in the spring, on an island in a river, a settlement is founded, the river to be named after King James, as is the town - James Towne.

1607  The Dutch defeat a Spanish fleet at Gibraltar.

1608  Frenchmen interested in trading with the Indians and in animal furs build a settlement at Quebec. Only 8 of the 28 settlers are to survive the first winter. More settlers are to arrive in the spring.

1609  Henry Hudson, employed by the Dutch East India Company, anchors off  Manhattan Island and trades with local Indians. He then sails up the river to be named after him, to look for but not find a water way to the Far East.

1609  The Dutch have ended Portugal's domination of the Indian Ocean, and they establish a trading outpost on the western coast of India.

1609  The Jesuit priest, Matteo Ricci, is surprised to find in China an attitude toward homosexuality different from that in Christendom. He finds homosexuality not illegal and people not reluctant to speak of it in public.

1609  Johann Kepler has discovered that Mars is moving about the sun not in a perfect circle but in an ellipse - contradicting Plato's belief about perfection and the heavens.

1610  Henry IV of France, a progressive king who is religiously tolerant, is assassinated by Fran├žois Ravaillac, who is unbalanced and highly religious.

Timeline: 1611 to 1620

1611  Galileo exhibits the wonders of the telescope to the pontifical court. He tries to produce scriptural confirmation of the view that the earth revolves around the sun, but he is rebuffed.

1611  The Dutch East India Company builds a factory on India's coast in the southeast, at Pulicat, to make gunpowder.

1612  The English further reduce Portugal's presence in the Indian Ocean by defeating them in a naval battle off the western coast of India, at Surat. From the Mughals the English receive permission to build a factory at Surat. The Mughals, without a navy, had looked to the Portuguese to protect the ship that took Muslim Indians on their annual pilgrimage to Mecca, and now they turn to the English for this protection.

1613  Dutch arrive at the island of Timur, previously claimed by Portugal and now claimed by the Dutch.

1614  The first barrels of cured tobacco reach England from the colony of Virginia.

1614  In Japan, the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu outlaws Christianity.

1615  Tokugawa Ieyasu defeats the last of his competitors, capturing the Osaka castle. The Warring States (Sengoku) period is ended. The Tokugawa Period of Japanese history has begun (from 1603 according to some), to last into the 1800s.

1616  William Shakespeare dies. So too does Tokugawa Ieyasu.

1616  Blown off course, a Dutch sea captain, Dirk Hartog, "discovers" western Australia.

1617  Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu has been succeeded by his son, Tokugawa Hitetada. At Edo he establishes a district for hedonistic impulses that are outside the shogun's code of Confucian conduct. The district provides theater, musical and sexual entertainment to anyone who can afford it. There a new genre of paintings, prints, literature and theater rises.

1617  Ships are carrying 50,000 pounds of cured tobacco annually from Virginia to England. Smoking has become a fad in England, with King James describing it as "loathsome," harmful to the brain and dangerous to the lungs.
1618  The pious Catholic Habsburg, King Ferdinand II, closes some Protestant churches in Prague. His Protestant subjects there rebel. Siding with Ferdinand are Maximilian, the Catholic monarch of Bavaria, and Philip III, King of Spain. Siding with the Protestants are some German princes. It is the beginning of the Thirty Years' War.

1619  Forces of the Dutch East India Company conquer the city of Jayakarta and rename it Batavia (Latin for the Netherlands). They make it their capital in the Spice Islands.  Also this year, the Dutch East India Company and the Britain's East India Company agree to cease all fighting, to return each other's captured ships and prisoners and to create a joint fleet (one-third English, two-thirds Dutch) to expel Spain and Portugal from the Spice Islands, China, the Philippines, and the Malay Peninsula.

1619  African slaves are being transported to the West Indies to replace those Africans who have died there. The sugar industry is killing them faster than they can be replaced by procreation.

1619  To work their tobacco fields, colonists in Virginia buy 20 blacks from a Dutch ship that arrives for supplies.

1619  Lucilio Vanini is accused of atheism and burned at the stake.

1620  In England the slide rule is invented.

1620  Puritans are blown off course and land in Massachusetts.

Timeline: 1621 to 1630

 1621  In Prague twenty-six noblemen are executed. In Bohemia and Moravia, other nobles who had rebelled against Ferdinand II have their property confiscated and given to nobles who have demonstrated loyalty to the Catholic Church and to Ferdinand.

1621  The Pilgrims in Massachusetts have a meal with the Wompanoag chieftain, Massasoit, and more than ninety of his warriors. The Pilgrims have been struggling and are thankful. The day is to be celebrated in the United States as Thanksgiving.

1623  In cooperation with Britain's East India Company, Shah Abbas I of Iran expels the Portuguese from the island of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf.

1623  The grandson of the late Tokugawa Ieyasu, Tokugawa Iemitsu, replaces his father as shogun.

1624  The Dutch establish a fur trading post, Fort Orange, at what today is Albany, New York.

1624  The African kingdom of Ndongo (east of Luanda ) acquires a queen: Nzinga.

1624  In China the Ming emperor has allowed a eunuch the power to dismiss from government service anyone he thinks disloyal to him. A rebellion led by six Confucianists attempting a moral revival of "pure" Confucianism is crushed. They are tortured and beaten to death, and seven hundred of their supporters are purged from their government positions.

1625  Fearing the power of the Catholic monarchs, the King of Denmark, a Lutheran, joins the Thirty Years' War on the side of the Protestants.

1626  The French establish an outpost on Madagascar.

1626  With fish hooks and trinkets, the Dutch buy Manhattan Island from Canarsie chiefs of the Wappinger Confederacy.

1628  William Harvey discards ancient writers whose theories have been used in medical practice for millennia. From firsthand observation - the rise of science - and digging into the human body, Harvey discovers blood circulation.

1629  In the Holy Roman Empire, hundreds are being burned as witches.

1630  Fearing Habsburg power along the Baltic Sea, Sweden joins the Thirty Year's War. The Swedes invade northern Germany and are not welcomed there by fellow Lutherans.

Timeline: 1631 to 1640

 1631  The English build a fort on the northern "Gold Coast" in Western Africa.

1631  The Republic of Venice, a maritime power, has been declining, exacerbated by the bubonic plague killing almost 500,000 people. The government responds with a church built for Our Lady of Health and Deliverance - Madonna della Salute.

1632  Galileo publishes his ideas about the universe. Intellectuals across Europe applaud. The Church prohibits further sales of the book, and Galileo is ordered to appear before the Inquisition in Rome.

1632  The town of Boston is founded.

1635  Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu forbids travel abroad, except for restricted voyages by ships to China and Korea. Books from abroad are banned except for those on science, technology and military tactics. A trading post near Nagasake remains after the Dutch there agree to restrictions regarding trading and an end of signs of Christianity. The Dutch enjoy seeing their trading rivals, the Spanish and Portuguese, expelled.

1635  The Puritans in Massachusetts colony see tolerance as compromise with God's will. They banish an English clergyman, Roger Williams.
1636  Roger Williams arrives in what today is Rhode Island, where he is to established a settlement with twelve "loving friends and neighbors."

1636  France, a largely Catholic country but allied with the Dutch and the Swedes, enters the Thirty Years' War against Spain and the Holy Roman Empire.

1637  Manchu troops, 30,000 in number, have crossed the Yalu River into northern Korea. The Koreans recognize Manchu suzerainty in place of Chinese suzerainty. A non-aggression pact and trade agreement are established, and the Manchu withdraw.

1638  A raid by Pequot Indians kills 600 members of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

1639  Works by the philosopher, mathematician and scientist Rene Descartes have entered Dutch universities. Descartes rejects relying on authorities regarding idea. He advocates disciplined philosophical argumentation integrated with physical science.

Timeline: 1641 to 1650

 1641  Since the entry rise of the British, French and Dutch maritime navies, the Portuguese have not been keeping up with the Dutch as traders, technologically or militarily. Portugal has been weakened by a depletion of manpower and the neglect of domestic agriculture and industry. The Portuguese are having difficulty defending their overstretched network of trading posts and have been at war with the Dutch since 1602. Coastal warfare in January, 1641, along the eastern shoreline of the Malay Peninsula results in the Dutch defeating the Portuguese and taking control of Malacca.

1641  An armada of 21 Dutch ships appears off the coast of Angola. The Dutch capture Luanda and Benguela. The Portuguese retreat inland where they resist assaults by the Dutch and by Jaga tribesmen.

1641  In Ireland, an Anglican bishop, John Atherton, just before being hanged, confesses what he had previously denied. His crime is "buggery." Seven years before he was the leading advocate of hanging as punishment for this act.

1641  A fort is founded at what today is Montreal.

1642  King Charles I, King of England, Scotland and Ireland, son of King James, has been ruling since 1625 and is considered too friendly towards Catholicism. He is in conflict with his Calvinist and Puritan subjects and with Parliament. Civil war has erupted. On one side is the king and his army, on the other is Parliament and its army.

1642  In Iran, Abbas II becomes the seventh shah of the Safavid dynasty. Renewing friendly contacts with Europe he is to regain for his dynasty some prestige, while Shia scholars, the ulama, oppose him, believing the shahs are lax and God's punishment. Increasingly, ulama believe that temporal authority should belong to a mujtahid - a scholar predating the ayatollahs.

1642  Continuing violence between Dutch settlers and Wappinger Indians inspires the governor of New Amsterdam (New York) to call for a massacre of the Indians.

1642  The Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn paints The Rabbi.

1642  Wealth in India is not being invested in commerce to the extent that it is by the Dutch. The Mughal emperor, Jahan, has the Taj Mahal built for one of his wives.

1644  Rebels overthrow the Ming Emperor Chongzhen, who hangs himself. A Manchu army takes power in the capital city, Beijing. Ming supporters flee to Taiwan. The Manchu Qing family begins its rule in China, to last into the 20th century, although the Manchus are never to be more than two percent of the population in China.

1645  Low solar activity begins, to be called the Maunder Minimum. Ice will cut off access to Greenland, canals in Holland will routinely freeze solid, and glaciers will advance in the Alps. This period of low solar activity will last to 1715.

1645  The French establish an outpost at the mouth of Africa's Senegal River, where they trade for gum and for slaves.

1646  Queen Nzinga is at war with the Portuguese. Thousands of slave soldiers have deserted to her, but she suffers military setbacks.

1648  Queen Nzinga's alliance with the Dutch comes to nothing as the Portuguese drive the Dutch from Luanda.

1648  European powers fighting the Thirty Years' War, are exhausted. Germany has lost at least a third of its population. A negotiated settlement called the Peace of Westphalia ends the war, except that France and Spain continue their war for ten more years. Habsburg predominance in Europe is ended -- replaced by French hegemony. The war ends with a realization of the need for more tolerance between Catholics and Protestants. The settlement speaks of a "Christian and universal peace, and a perpetual, true and sincere amity."

1648  With the peace of Westphalia, the 80 Years' War between Spain's Habsburg monarchy and the Dutch ends, Spain recognizing Dutch independence.

1648  People in Moscow revolt when a tax is put on salt. Cossacks invading Poland slaughter 200,000 Jews.

1649  In Britain, King Charles I and his army have been defeated. Charles is beheaded. England is a republic, a commonwealth without a House of Lords and run by the victors of the civil war - parliament. Parliament sends the Puritan Oliver Cromwell to Ireland to subdue rebellious Catholics. He massacres the populations of Drogheda and Wexford.

1649  Shah Abbas II of Iran pushes the Mughals out of Kandahar.

1650  For five months the famous French philosopher Rene Descartes has been employed as a tutor by Queen Christina of Sweden. The 5 a.m. philosophy sessions with the queen in the cold of her castle aggravates his weakened condition and he dies.

Timeline: 1651 to 1660

 1651  Cromwell defeats Scottish armies.

1651  In Leviathan, the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes, who dislikes democracy and the passions of the mob, favors a commonwealth, a social contract, with people delegating their powers to a central authority and submitting to that authority.

1652  The Dutch East India Company establishes a toe hold in southern Africa, near the Cape of Good Hope, to serve Dutch ships passing to and from the East.

1652  Nikita Nikon, Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, wishes to return to the purity of previous times. He wants people to cross themselves with three fingers rather than two and creates a great disturbance among the faithful.

1653  A war begins between the English and Dutch, inspired by commercial competition.

1653  Oliver Cromwell dissolves parliament and his army makes him Lord Protector - a dictator.

1654  The Russo-Polish war begins with Cossacks rebelling against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Cossacks request the help of Russia. Russia declares war and captures the cities of Minsk and Vilna.

1657  Ottoman historian Haji Khalifa dies. He saw Ottoman society as sick because of corruption, high taxation and oppression of the masses.

1657  Edo burns, Japan's biggest urban fire. About 100,000 people die.

1658  In India, Aurangzeb, son of the Mughal emperor Jahan, has defeated his brother, the crown prince, Dara Shikoh. Aurangzeb has imprisonsd his father and his other brother, Murad, and he crowns himself, taking the title Alamgir (Grasper of the Universe). He is to prohibit Hindu fairs and festivals, to re-institute the tax on non-Muslims that his great grandfather removed and to end the semi-independent status that had been given to Hindu kingdoms within the Mughal empire.

1658  Cromwell dies and the English are relieved. They have had their fill of Puritanism.

1659  Near Cape Town, Dutch farmers are taking over Khoikhoi (Hottentot) grazing land. The Khoikhoi attack the Dutch, who successfully defend themselves.   

1660  England's parliament restores the monarchy to the eldest son of Charles I, Charles II, who arrives from France three weeks later amid great celebration.

Timeline: 1661 to 1670

1662  Charles marries a Portuguese princess and acquires Tangier in North Africa and Bombay on the west coast of India.

1665  Extensive use of the microscope has begun. Robert Hooke, an English natural philosopher, finds in cork and live plants what he calls cells.

1665  Speaking of those in the pirate business, Barbados is described as a dung hill where England casts its rubbish.

1665  Another war between the English and Dutch has begun. English soldiers seize the town of New Amsterdam and rename it New York after the king's brother, the Duke of York.

1665  Two-thirds of London is evacuated to avoid the Black Plague, but nearly 70,000 die of the disease in one week.

1665  In England, Elizabeth Gaunt is burned at the stake for treason: her involvement in the Rye House Plot.

1666  It is an era of big city fires. London is a city of mostly thatched roofs or timber and pitch. Much of London burns.  Seeing a possible connection between the fire and God's displeasure, authorities begin an official investigation into atheism in London, and the English philosopher, Thomas Hobbes, burns some of his writings to hide evidence that could be used against him. The city is to be rebuilt with brick and stone and institutionalized fire fighting developed.
1667  It has been two years since the first successful blood transfusion - dogs kept alive by transfusion of blood from other dogs. In England and in France this year there are separate reports of successful transfusions of blood from lambs to humans. There will be failures to keep a patient alive, and within ten years transfusions will be prohibited by law in both countries.

1667  The war between Russia and Poland, which began in 1654, ends after three years of negotiations. Russia has won possession of most of the Ukraine. Russia's army has moved closer toward becoming a permanent (standing) force. Russia has become a more significant force in East Europe. The Ukraine is split between its Roman Catholic west and an Eastern Orthodox east.

1668  The French establish their first factory in India, at Surat.

1670  On the Atlantic coast the Carolina colony, Puritans found Charles Town (Charleston) named for Charles II.

Timeline: 1671 to 1680

1672  Charles II joins Louis XIV of France in another war against the Dutch.

1672  A third living son, Peter, is born to Tsar Alexius (1629-76).

1674  A Hindu conqueror, Shivaji, is crowned king at Rajgarh. Maratha power is established. Shivaji gives assurance to Hindus across India.

1674  The French establish a trading post in India.

1675  The economic burdens of the war and rising opposition to the war by Protestants and Parliament results in Charles II agreeing to a negotiated settlement with the Dutch.

1675  A Dutchman, Anton van Leeuwenhoek, discovers microorganisms, using a microscope of his own design. This would eventually put to rest the theory that small creatures or insects arose from inanimate matter such as dirt or dung.

1675  The Mugal emperor, Alamgir, has escecuted Tegh Bahadur for refusing to accept Islam. Tegh Bahadur's son and successor, Guru Gobind Rai, vows to combat Alamgir's oppression. He adopts the surname Singh (lion) and gives his closest followers the same surname.
1676  Metacom, chief of the Wampanoag Indians, son of Massasoit who feasted with the Pilgrims in 1621, tried to live in harmony with the colonists. He adopted the name Philip and is called King Philip by the colonists. But continuing expansion against the Indians finally led to war - King Philip's War. Metacom and the Wampanoag Indians are defeated. Metacom's wife and and eight-year-old son are sold as slaves and shipped to Bermuda. Metacom's body is cut into quarters and hung in trees and his head is mounted on a pike at the entrance to Fort Plymouth where it is to remain for more than two decades.

1676  Tsar Alexius dies. His son, at the age of twelve, inherits the throne as Theodor III.

1677  The French build a fort on the island of Goree, a little more than a hundred miles to the south of the mouth of the Senegal River.

1679  Responding to public pressure, England's parliament passes the Habeas Corpus Act, against abusive detentions and detentions without legal authority.

Timeline: 1681 to 1690
1681  In London a woman is flogged for the crime of having become involved in politics.

1682  Robert Cavalier LaSalle claims the Mississippi River valley for France.

1682  Tsar Theodor III dies without a son. Peter, age 10, is made tsar, with his mother as regent. A war within the royal family ensues, with Peter witnessing the murder of his mother's family. A council of nobles, trying to settle matters, makes Peter a co-tsar with his unhealthy sixteen-year-old brother, Ivan.

1683  Japan is benefiting from an era of peace, order and prosperity. Food production has risen.  The use of money has spread to Japan's farmers. Merchant values such as thrift and prudence in all things mixes with Confucianism's regard for order.

1683  Taiwan submits to Manchu authority.

1683  Tenant farming continues to dominate Korea's agriculture, with slaves laboring for some landowners. Except for small peddlers and rural crafts, commerce is government controlled. Law keeps people bound to their place of work. Confucianism inhibits economic growth, the Confucianists believing that exchange should be that of gift-giving rather inspired by gain.

1683  The Ottoman Empire is trying to resume its conquests of centuries before. An Ottoman army penetrates the outer fortifications of Vienna - during what is to be known as the Second Siege of Vienna. An army of 70,000 Habsburg and Polish troops are on their way to rescue the city.
1684  Around what today is Zimbabwe, following the breakdown of other African empires, cattle owners have been competing for power, and the cattle owner who emerges supreme has been Changamire Dombo, who controls gold mining and, backed by warriors, collects tributes. He is building an empire and begins expelling the Portuguese.

1686  Isaac Newton presents his Principia, Book I, to the Royal Society. He is changing how people see the world, replacing the magic of the gods with an understanding of gravity, inertia and physical force and counter force. A contemporary poet, Alexander Pope, is to write his epitaph as "nature's laws hid by night, God said Let Newton be! and All was light!"

1687  The Ottomans are falling back. The Austrians push them from Hungary and the city of Budapest.

1688  Hostility to Catholicism and to King James II results in a rebellion against his rule. Parliament has invited a European royal, William of Orange, to rule. William lands with an army and defeats the army of James II - whose overthrow is called the Glorious Revolution.

1689  Parliament creates a Bill of Rights and the Toleration Act. Freedom of speech is guaranteed. People have the right to petition government. They are to be free from cruel and unusual punishments. They are not to be compelled to become members of the Church of England.

1689  The philosopher John Locke returns to England from Holland. He gives conscious ideology to Whig liberalism. He rejects church authority in matters of philosophy and science. He has advocated that churches be voluntary societies rather than appendages of higher authority associated with the state, as has been the Anglican Church. He rejects political power derived from the authority of God, as in rule by divine right of the old monarchies. He is afraid of the passions of the masses and advocates religious tolerance. Not quite a century later his ideas would be a part of the constitution created by the American Revolution.

1690  At a village 60 miles upriver in the Ganges delta, The British East India Company founds a trading post - Calcutta. 

Timeline: 1691 to 1700
1694  In Iran, Shah Suleiman (Sulayman) has died, and his rule follows the tradition of being passed to his son, Shah Husayn. Shah Husayn is not much interested in affairs of state. He is to let influence pass to courtiers and eunuchs and to seek instruction on what to do from the ulama.

1694  In Africa, the English destroy the French fort on the Senegal River.

1695  In Africa, the French blow up the English fort on the Gambia River.

1696  Peter's brother, Ivan, dies. At the age of 24, Peter becomes Russia's sole tsar.

1697  Peter has been building Russia's naval strength is ready to take on the Ottomans. He drives them out of Azov. And that year the Austrians defeat the Ottomans at Zenta, about 100 hundred miles southwest of Budapest.
1698  With an entourage and sometimes disguised as a commoner, Peter is visiting Western Europe to examine the international situation, to strengthen a coalition against the Ottomans and to learn about the economies and cultures of Western Europe.

1699  Under diplomatic pressure from the Dutch, British and Venetians, the Ottomans sign the Treaty of Karlowitz - a dictated treaty. Hungary and Transylvania are ceded to Austria. Podolia, occupied by the Ottomans in

, is returned to Poland. The Ottomans give up Morea (the Peloponnesian Peninsula) and most of Dalmatia.

1700  The world is populated by between 600 and 680 million people, up from between 540 to 580 in 1600 - roughly calculated.

1700  Life expectancy at birth in England is 36 years. (Calculated in a study in the 1980s by the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure.)

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