to syllabus

Unit 15:  The Wars of Religion and the Dawn of a New World View. 


NO QUIZ, but you should know the Key Terms in Hunt, p. 619.


Questions on Hunt

Ch. 16 (pp. 581-619)

1.  In the 1560s-1618, the civil wars in France, the Spanish-Ottoman war, the revolt of the Netherlands, the war between Spain and England, and Muscovy's wars with Poland-Lithuania and Sweden were all, at one level, conflicts about religion.  Explain what religious issues were involved in France in 1562-1598, in the conflict between Spain and the Ottomans in 1570-71, in the conflict between Spain and the Netherlands in 1566-1600, in the war between Spain and England in 1588, and in wars between Muscovy and Poland-Lithuania and Sweden in the 1560s-1613.  

2.  All of the wars and conflicts mentioned in question 1 also had political dimensions.  In what sense were the Wars of Religion in France also a struggle between rival aristocratic factions for control over the monarchy?  At the end of the conflict, what new approach to politics did the new French King Henry IV follow to strengthen monarchical authority?  How would you compare the religious-political situation in France  and England in the early 1600s to the political situation in Spain?

3.  In what sense was the Thirty Years' War about religion, and in what sense was it about about "power politics"?  Give examples.  Why, for instance, did Sweden enter the war, and why did France?

4. What were the human costs often Thirty Years' War, and who turned out to be the biggest "winners" and "losers"?  

5.  In question 2, I asked about French King Henry IV's "new" approach to policy.  People at the time called this new approach "politique."  During the Thirty Years' War, this approach to governing became known as "raison d'tat."  What did this mean and what did it imply for the power and behavior of governments?

6. What happened to the European economy in the early 1600s, how did this effect the "balance of economic power in Europe" (what countries were thriving and wealthy and what countries were impoverished), and what impact did the recession have on the lives of ordinary people?  (Remember that the overwhelming majority of Europeans still were peasants who lived in the countryside and did farm labor.)

7.  On p. 606, the authors say that European culture became more secularized in the late 1500s and early 1600s.  More and more, thinking people looked for "natural" explanations ("natural laws") to explain the world instead of basing their view of the world on religion alone.  Can we see this in new developments in the arts and in science?   What are examples of this theater and in painting?   What are the most dramatic examples of this in the history of the "Scientific Revolution."

Bonus Question (sorry, no valuable cash prizes...  the prize is knowing the answer):  Did the growth of "science" mean that people (including intellectuals) stopped believing in  "magic"?  How can we explain the fact that the centuries that witnessed the birth of modern science also witnessed the execution of some 30,000 people for witchcraft?

BIG QUESTION:  What possible connections can we find between the results of the wars of religion (including the Thirty Years' War, new scientific concepts about "laws of nature," and new approaches to politics (like the ideas of Montaigne, Bodin, and Grotius, and the concept of raison d'tat)?


Questions on Lualdi

We will focus on two documents for this unit:  Galileo, "Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina" (pp. 272-276) and "The Trial of Suzanne Gaudry" (pp. 276-281).

Answer the "Six Questions" for these document:

Notice that the "Trial of Suzanne Gaudry" document is made up of several interrogation records and court deliberations in Gaudry's case.

OK.  Here are the main discussion questions for these documents:

1.  Did Galileo reject belief in God?  What distinction did he make between knowledge gained from the study of nature and knowledge drawn from scripture? 

2.  What do you make of this case?  What does it tell us about the methods used by the courts in witchcraft cases?  What does it tell us about religious anxieties (fears)  in the mid-1600s?  Finally, if you were writing a history of this case, how would you explain Suzanne Gaudry's testimony (which, of course, changed at least twice)?