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European Religious Movement During the 16th Century to 17th Century

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1. The Protestant Reformation was a European religious movement during the 16th century to 17th century aimed at changing the old Roman Catholic Church's practices and beliefs. In 1517, a German monk named Martin Luther posted 95 theses on the church door in Wittenburg, Germany. In his 95 theses, he challenged the church's practice of selling indulgences and the Roman Catholic doctrine itself. Luther argued that salvation could not be sold, but earned through one's faith. He also said that one should refer to the Bible about God's words, not the pope. Although Luther's propositions weren't supported at first, it gained support in German states and parts of France. John Calvin

2. In 1492, a Portuguese sailor named Christopher Columbus from Spain sailed to the "New World" and started the Columbian Exchange. The Columbian Exchange was an exchange of animals, slaves, diseases, plants, and cultures between the Eastern and Western hemispheres. The Europeans brought new diseases such as measles and smallpox over to the Americas, which killed the natives who had no immunity. They also brought horses, cattle, pigs, sheep, bananas, wheat, and other foods. From the Americas, the Europeans took squash, potatoes, maize and other items. This Exchange was the first large-scale contact between the two hemispheres.

3. Peter I, or commonly known as Peter the Great, was born in 1672 in Russia. He ruled Russia as a tsar from 1682 until his death in 1725. He "westernized," or modernized, Russia with western science and culture. Peter the Great created the first Russian navy and introduced social reforms. He made the nobles shave off their beard and cut off their Mongol sleeves. He also moved the capital from Moscow to St. Petersburg, the "window to the west." Peter hired architects and craftsmen from all over Europe to modernize Russian art and architecture. Overall, Peter the Great made Russia into a more modernized and prosperous country.

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