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Throughout the 1500s, Europe suffered from a "Price Revolution," a period of inflation in which the cost of goods skyrocketed. Why did the Price Revolution take place?

The Price Revolution was brought about by the mass influx of silver from the New World. As silver became more common, its value relative to certain goods fell, a process known as inflation. The mass influx of silver had a positive effect, however, in that it replaced barter as a form of commerce, and provided a more convenient tool to measure and store wealth.


How did increases in population affect commerce in the 1500s?

Between 1500 and 1600, Europe's population increased from 70 million to 90 million, despite wars and disease, and in part because of the increase in foodstuffs introduced from the New World.

An increased population led to increased demand for goods, both agricultural and material.



Predominant from the 11th through the 16th centuries, guilds were associations of artisans who governed the practice a given craft in a particular town. For instance, London had guilds of weavers, locksmiths, and nail-makers.

Guilds artificially restricted the output of various goods by limiting who could engage in the process of production in a given town, and thus limiting competition.


What caused the breakdown of the guilds beginning in the 1500s?

As demand for manufactured goods increased in the 1500s, the artificially restricted membership of the cloth guilds couldn't keep up. 

To circumvent town-level restrictions, entrepreneurs supplied equipment to rural families, such as raw cloth and looms, a process known as the "putting out system."


joint stock company

In a joint stock company, funds are contributed into a common pool by investors who share in the company's profits and losses. Joint stock companies proved an effective way to meet the large upfront costs of trading missions and colonial settlements. 



Mercantilism is an economic theory which posits that because the world's wealth is limited, trade is a "zero-sum" game, i.e. that the balance of trade in one nation's favor is another nation's loss.

Mercantilism dominated European economic thought from the Renaissance until the late 1700s, and was practiced by all the major European powers.


During the 16th and 17th centuries, which city was Europe's wealthiest?


With few natural resources, Amsterdam was built almost entirely as a trading hub. It housed numerous banks, shipyards, warehouses, and manufacturing concerns.


During the 16th century, which group exercised the most power in Dutch society?

In the 16th century, the most powerful group in the Dutch Republic was the merchants, who dominated the legislative actions of the Republic's seven independent states.


What was the dominant religion of the Dutch Republic during the 16th and 17th centuries?

The dominant religion of the Dutch Republic was Calvinism, but the Dutch were tolerant of almost every religion. Amsterdam even had a sizable community of Portuguese Jews who'd fled the Inquisition.


What was the Dutch East India Company?

In 1602, the Dutch government granted a charter to the Dutch East India Company, allowing it unfettered power to establish colonies, engage in trade, and even wage war.

Financed by sales of its stock, the Dutch East India Company established outposts throughout Asia, making massive profits by sending spices, tea, and silk to be sold in the marketplaces of the Dutch Republic and throughout Europe.


The rising volume of Atlantic trade during the 1600s led to the increased predominance of _____ as a part of Dutch commerce.


By the mid-1600s, the Dutch had 10,000 vessels at sea. Ship construction gave rise to other forms of commerce. Dutch banks financed construction, and merchants arose to sell sails, ropes, and the like.


The actions of what monarch brought about the decline of the Dutch Republic?

Louis XIV, the King of France, wanted to control the Spanish Netherlands on the Dutch Republic's southern border, while the Dutch saw them as a necessary buffer. He engineered a series of wars with the Dutch Republic, which nearly went bankrupt hiring soldiers to defend itself.

The war also took a larger toll; to prevent Louis XIV from subjugating the country, the Dutch broke open their levees, flooding the available farmland.

The French weren't the Dutch's only opponent; England fought three wars with the country in the 1600s.


As the Dutch economy declined in the wake of near-constant warfare in the 17th and 18th centuries, what nation became the dominant trading empire in the Atlantic?

Although the Dutch continued to have a large number of ships, the expense of wars with England and France allowed England to surmount the Dutch lead by the 1700s.


In 1651, Thomas Hobbes published his book Leviathan, endorsing absolute monarchy. Why did Hobbes consider absolute monarchy the ideal form of government?

Published in the aftermath of the English Civil War, Hobbes's Leviathan contended that humans were selfish and prone to violence, and if left to their own devices in a "state of nature," a "war of all against all" would be the result.

To prevent chaos, Hobbes contended that the people must give up liberty to a strong central government in exchange for security. Hobbes's Leviathan endorsed an absolute monarch as the best protection of life and civilization.


How did the English higher social classes differ from their French counterparts in the 16th and 17th centuries with regard to taxation?

Unlike their French counterparts, the English higher social classes (known as the "gentry") had agreed to pay taxes.

As taxpayers, however, they demanded a corresponding say in how England was governed, a demand which was not popular with English monarchs of the period.


How did the Stuart monarchs believe that the Anglican Church should be governed?

The Stuart monarchs favored a church organization dominated by the King, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Church's bishops.

The Stuart monarchs' desire to dominate the Church led to conflict with the Presbyterians and Puritans, many of whom were in Parliament. These opponents believed that the Church should be governed by its members.


What do historians mean when they describe King James I of England ruling in "personal union"?

Ruling in "personal union" means that the crown of two different countries resides in the same monarch. In James I's case, he was the monarch of Scotland where he ruled as James VI, and of England where he ruled as James I. Under James and later Stuart monarchs, England and Scotland had separate governments, Parliaments, and legal systems. 


In 1604, King James I sponsored the creation of a standardized copy of what book?

In 1604, King James sponsored scholars to work on the creation of a standardized Bible, which when finished would be known as the King James Bible. The work was completed in 1611, and was designed to eliminate differences between various translations of the Bible.

The King James Version of the Bible is widely considered a masterpiece of Stuart literature.


Both James I and his son, Charles I, believed the monarchy's authority derived from the  _____ _____ _____ _____.

Divine Right of Kings

The Divine Right of Kings held that the monarch is responsible to no earthly authority, but only to God. The policy brought both James I and Charles I into conflict with Parliament, which sought to restrain the King.

Louis XIV of France was also a proponent of the theory.


In 1626, Charles I reluctantly signed the Petition of Right, which stated that the King could not raise taxes without Parliamentary consent, and no person could be imprisoned without due process. Why did the King sign the Petition?

Like his father James I, Charles I was a firm believer in the Divine Right of Kings, but he was also broke from two expensive wars.

When Parliament conditioned new taxes on Charles I's signature on the Petition of Right, he agreed. Once he'd gotten his money, Charles I dismissed Parliament and went back on his word.

During the 1630s, Charles I would rule without a Parliament (sometimes known as the "Eleven Years of Tyranny") and raise funds through reliance on old tax laws.


Who was William of Laud?

During the reign of Charles I, William of Laud served as Archbishop of Canterbury. He sought to strengthen the Anglican Church and establish its dominance over both Scotland and England.

In 1637, he attempted to impose the Church of England on Scotland (who were mainly Calvinist). The Scots revolted, and invaded northern England in 1640.


Desperate for funds to fight the Scots who'd invaded northern England in 1640, Charles I called Parliament and requested funds. How did Parliament respond?

Parliament refused to grant funds unless Charles I agreed to change his policies regarding the relationship between Parliament and the King.

Specifically, the Parliament desired greater control over taxation, by which they could control the King. At an impasse, the King dissolved Parliament. It had only sat for three weeks, hence its nickname the "Short Parliament."


What was the Grand Remonstrance?

After dissolving the Short Parliament, Charles I called another Parliament a few months later in November 1640. Under the direction of John Pym, the Parliament compiled a list of 150 grievances against Charles I, known as the Grand Remonstrance.

Charles I ignored the Remonstrance, but the Parliament called in November 1640 would become known as the Long Parliament, as it sat until 1648.


In 1641, Charles I asked Parliament for funds to support an army to defend England against the Scots, as well as to put down an Irish rebellion. How did Parliament respond?

Parliament refused out of concern that Charles I would use the created army against them. Exasperated, Charles I marched into Parliament with his supporters in January 1642 and attempted to arrest five members who he felt were treasonous.

The members were absent, but the King's actions gave rise to strong discontent in London, and the King fled to the north of England. By the summer, civil war had broken out between forces loyal to the King and those who supported Parliament.


Who were the Roundheads?

The Roundheads were supporters of Parliament during the English Civil War. Much of Roundheads' political support came from Puritans and Presbyterians, and in the early years of the Civil War many were not opposed to a constitutional monarchy. By 1649 however, a large majority favored the establishment of a republican commonwealth.


What nickname was given to those who opposed the Parliamentary predominance preached by the Roundheads?

The Cavaliers, comprising much of England's aristocrats, church officials, and nobility, opposed the Roundheads in the English Civil War. Most of the Cavaliers favored an Anglican Church under the control of King and his bishops, and an absolute monarchy. 


What country gentleman rose to become the leader of the Parliamentary forces in the English Civil War?

Oliver Cromwell, a member of Parliament from England's minor gentry, rose from the position of commander of a small force of cavalry in the New Model Army to the leader of the Parliamentary forces.

Cromwell was a devout Puritan, although he was generally tolerant to the members of other Christian sects.


New Model Army

Formed in 1645 to serve as the military arm of the Parliament, the New Model Army contained a professional officer corps and a well-disciplined rank and file.

The New Model Army was egalitarian, believing that promotion should be earned through service and bravery, rather than distributed to the rich and well-born. Cromwell became the New Model Army's most successful leader, using it to handily defeat the Cavalier forces. Charles I was captured in 1647.


What was the fate of King Charles I?

In January 1647, Charles I was captured in Scotland by Roundheads. In captivity, he provoked a second English Civil War by promising the Scots a series of reforms if they would invade England.

The invasion failed, and Parliament put the King on trial for treason, claiming that the bloodshed from both wars was his responsibility. Finding him guilty, the King was executed on January 30, 1649.


Following the execution of King Charles I, how was England governed?

After Charles I's execution for treason, the House of Commons voted to abolish the monarchy and the House of Lords. Declaring themselves a commonwealth, Parliament ruled the country as a Republic.