See also: 16th century in literature
Table of contents
- Beginning of the "Little Ice Age", a cooling period that resulted in lower crop yields across the world, and harsher climates especially in northern latitudes.
- The modern square root symbol is first used.
- Portugal conquers the Sultanate of Malacca. Start of Portuguese colonisation in South-East Asia. (1511)
- Castile invades the kingdom of Navarre (1512).
- Niccolò Machiavelli writes The Prince.
- The Ottoman Empire reaches its peak during the reign of sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (reigned 1520-1566). Kingdom of Hungary in shambles after numerous attacks, troops of the Ottoman Empire directly attack the Habsburg Empire and lay siege upon Vienna, but fail to conquer the city in 1529.
- European explorers explore the New World. Castile conquers the Aztec Empire in Mexico (1521) and the Inca Empire in South America (1533), resulting in the destruction of the native civilizations of Mesoamerica and the Andes. Vast increase in amount of bullion in circulation in Europe. The horse introduced to the Americas.
- First circumnavigation of the globe by a ship of Ferdinand Magellan's expedition. Only one ship survived the journey, under the command of the Basque captain Juan Sebastián Elcano (1522).
- Protestant reform of the Christian church in several countries in Northern Europe.
- In the Diet of Speyer, a group of princes and imperial cities of the Holy Roman Empire sign a protestation against the Edict of Worms. This marks their support of Lutheranism (1529).
- Poland chooses religious tolerance.
- Polish writers are eager to discuss religious differences. They print their works in the Polish language for the first time.
- King Henry VIII of England breaks with Roman Catholic Church and forms Church of England (1533)
- French Wars of Religion between Catholics and Huguenots in France (1562 – 1598).
- Copernicus publishes his theory that the Earth and the other planets revolve around the Sun (1543)
- The Council of Trent (1545 – 1563), one of the ecumenical councils of the Catholic Church, defined a large number of new dogmas in response to the Protestant Reformation.
- Azuchi-Momoyama period of the History of Japan (1568 – 1600). Following the long civil wars of the Sengoku period daimyos Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi attempt to unify Japan under their command.
- In the Dutch revolt of 1568-1648, a small nation gained independence from the superpower of the day (Spain).
- Poland and Lithuania form the Commonwealth (1569 – 1795)
- Gregorian Calendar adopted by Catholic countries (1582)
- After the Fall of Antwerp (1585), many of its merchants fled to Amsterdam
- Henry VII of England, founder of the Tudor dynasty. Introduced ruthlessly efficient mechanisms of taxation which restored the kingdom after a state of virtual bankruptcy due to the effects of the Wars of the Roses (1457 – 1509).
- Michelangelo Buonarroti, Italian painter and sculptor (1475 – 1564).
- Thomas More, English politician and author (1478 – 1535).
- Martin Luther, German religious reformer (1483 – 1546).
- Hernán Cortés, Spanish Conquistador (1485 – 1547).
- King Henry VIII of England, founder of Anglicanism (1491 – 1547).
- King Francis I of France, considered the first Renaissance monarch of his Kingdom (1494 – 1547).
- Suleiman the Magnificent, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Conqueror and legal reformer (1494 – 1566).
- Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and the first to reign as King of Spain. Involved in almost constant conflict with France and the Ottoman Empire while promoting the Spanish colonization of the Americas (1500 – 1558).
- Mary I of England. Attempted to counter the Protestant Reformation in her domains. Nick-named Bloody Mary for her Religious persecution (1516 – 1558).
- King Philip II of Spain, self-proclaimed leader of Counter-Reformation (1527 – 1598).
- Queen Elizabeth I of England, central figure of the Elizabethan era (1533 – 1603).
- Oda Nobunaga , daimyo of the Sengoku period of Japanese civil war. First ruler of the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1534 – 1582).
- Toyotomi Hideyoshi , daimyo of the Sengoku period of Japanese civil war. Second ruler of the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1536 – 1598).
- Edward VI of England, notable for further differentiating Anglicanism from the practices of the Roman Catholic Church (1537 – 1553).
- Lady Jane Grey, Queen regnant of England and Ireland. Notably deposed by popular revolt (1537 – 1554).
- Queen Mary I of Scotland, First female head of the House of Stuart (1542 – 1587).
- Miguel de Cervantes, Spanish author (1547 – 1616).
- King Henry IV of France and Navarre, ended the French Wars of Religion and reunited the kingdom under his command (1553 – 1610).
- William Shakespeare, English author (1564 – 1616).
- John Donne, English metaphysical poet (1572 – 1631)
Inventions, discoveries, introductions
- Introduction of the spinning wheel revolutionizes textile production.
- New world crops such as maize, potatoes, chocolate, and tomatoes, become known to Europeans.