5Honors Western Civilization Test 1 Notes
• Edict of Nantes: Edict issued by Henry IV to end the French Wars of Religion.
The edict declared France a Catholic country but tolerated some Protestant
worship – they could more or less live in peace in France.
• Henry IV: Henry of Navarre; the reason for the St Bartholomew’s Day
Massacre of the Huguenots. Escaped the brutality and took over the French
thrown as Henry IV and then the civil war came to an end.
• St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre: Massacre of French Protestants
(Huguenots) by Catholic crowds that began in Paris on August 24, 1752,
spreading to other parts of France and continuing into October of that year.
More than 70,000 were killed.
• Huguenots: French Protestants who endured severe persecution in the 16 th
and 17 centuries.
• La Rochelle: A city that was under siege and was involved in conflict with
the French kings. The English at one point helped them and this in turn
created the Anglo-French War.
• Gabelle: A tax on salt placed on the French. Salt was everything to the people
in this era because meat and vegetables had to be salted if they wanted to eat
outside of the growing season (pre-refrigeration day)
• Taille: A direct land tax placed on the French peasantry and non-nobles. The
tax was imposed on each household and was based on how much land it held.
• Intendants: administrative official under the ancient regime in France who
served as an agent of the king in each of the provinces. From about 1640 until
1789 the intendants were the chief instrument used to achieve
administrative unification and centralization under the French monarchy.
• Fronde: a series of civil wars in France between 1648 and 1653, occurring in
the midst of the Franco-Spanish War which began in 1635.
• Louis XIV: The “Sun King”, known for his opulent court and absolutist
political style. He saw being King as a great responsibility and put lots of
work into the position. He was the creator of the Versailles Palace.
• Jacques Bossuet: he was the Court preacher to Louis XIV of France and was
a strong advocate of political absolutism and divine right of kings. He argued
that government was divine and that kings received their power from God. Famous French preacher who served as the tutor to the son of Louis XIV
before becoming bishop of Meaux.
• Cardinal Mazarin: served as the chief minister of France after Cardinal
Richelieu. He laid the foundation for Louis XIV’s expansion policies.
• Jean-Baptiste Colbert: Louis XIV’s finance minister. He tightened the
process of tax collection and tried to increase the nation’s income through
controlling and regulating its foreign trade.
• Mercantilism: a popular Western belief between 1600 and 1800 that a
country’s wealth and power was based on favorable balance of trade (more
exports than imports) and the accumulation of precious metals. Value was
only placed in precious metals – gold and possibly silver.
• Versailles: Splendid palace outside Paris where Louis XIV and his nobles
resided. It was the largest, most extravagant palace in all of Europe at this
point. Everything was created to make Louis XIV feel as important as
• Bradenburg-Prussia: After the Ottoman collapse, the main threat to Austria
came from the rising power of Bradenburg-Prussia. It became the dominant
military power of central Europe and a key player in the balance-of-power
diplomacy of the mid-18 century.
• Hohenzollerns: A family that acquired Prussia and Bradenburg through
inheritance. Their main goal was to unite their territory by acquiring the
• Frederick William, the “Great Elector”: Beat the Swedish army in battle.
Laid the foundations for Prussia’s greatness. Through diplomatic triumphs,
the building and mobilization of an army, and granting serfs to the nobles he
gained support for the effective and highly aristocratic taxation system he
imposed on the rest of the nation.
• The “Great Recess”: in 1653 it was the first step in an ingenious
compromise in which the Great Elector in effect gave the Junker class the full
incomes from their estates allowing them to squeeze the peasantry.
• Generalkreigscommissariat: the Prussian war ministry, which formed the
administrative basis first for the Prussian army and then the Prussian state.
• Junkers: powerful nobles of Frederick William’s territories. • The “second serfdom”: peasants became part of serfdom – a slavery-like
system of customs and laws whereby peasants were kept stationary and
poor – that lasted until the end of the nineteenth century.
• Peter I (The Great): Energetic tsar who transformed Russia into a leading
European country to be a centralizing government, modernizing the army,
creating a navy, and reforming education and the economy.
• Charles XII (Sweden): young Swedish king who organized the Swedish
forces during the Great Northern War, after defeating the Russians he went
to invade. Poland and Russia and had a chance to reorganize and then
• Boyars: a member of the old aristocracy in Russia, next in rank to a prince.
They occupied the highest state offices.
• St. Petersburg: a new capital city built in Russia after Peter the Great
secured a hold on the Gulf of Finland in 1703. Serfs were contracted to build
it and the centerpiece was a royal palace designed to imitate and rival Louis
XIV’s Versailles Palace.
• Table of Ranks: Peter the Great imposed in 1722 insisted that all nobles
must work their way up from the lower class (landlord) to the higher class
(administrative) to the highest class (military). This reversed the traditional
noble hierarchy in Russia and gave incentive to lure his nobility into service
to the tsar. There are 14 steps with the top 8 being tax exempt. If you did a
service for Peter you get on the table and if you do enough services for Peter
you get to jump to the top steps.
• Aleksander Menshikov: one of Peter the Great’s principal advisors that
began his career as a cook and ended as a prince. This showed the great
social mobility in Russia unlike other European countries.
• Charles I: the monarch of England, Scotland, and Ireland during his reign. He
quarreled with Parliament multiple times over money (Parliament refused so
Charles enacted a tax on the people). He was tried and executed for treason.
• Petition of Right: in 1628 Parliament declared all taxes not voted by
Parliament illegal, condemned the quartering of soldiers in private houses,
and prohibited arbitrary imprisonment and martial law in the time of peace.
• Oliver Cromwell: Puritan leader of the Parliamentary army that defeated
the royalist forces in the English Civil War. After the 1649 execution of King Charles I and dispersion of Parliament, Cromwell ruled as self-styled Lord
Protector from 1653 until his death in 1658.
• Thomas Hobbes: moved by the turmoil of the English Civil War to formulate
a doctrine of political absolutism in his classic of political theory Leviathan.
He did not assume it would be a royal monarch.
• Leviathan: A book by Thomas Hobbes that recommended a ruler has
unrestricted power (political absolutism).
• The “Glorious Revolution”: English reference to the events between 1688
and 1689 because it occurred without bloodshed and also because it firmly
established England as a mixed monarchy governed by the “King in
• John Locke: Englishman who opposed absolutism and wrote Two Treatises
of Civil Government. He said humans are naturally free and there is no
government of any kind. You have a civil authority if you want a decent
society. When the system breaks down, you replace it, and you have the right
to rebel against unlawful authority. Sovereignty resides in the people and
they have certain rights.
• Two Treatises of Civil Government: Published in 1690, this work by John
Locke defended humans’ right to freedom against absolutist ideas and served
as one of the underpinnings of the U.S. Constitution.
• Bill of Rights: passed by Parliament and accepted by the new king and queen
in 1689, it reaffirmed English civil liberties such as trial by jury and habeas
corpus, and declared the monarchy subject to the law of the land.
• Act of Settlement: English law passed in 1701 that decreed the English
thrown would go to the Protestant Electress Dowager of Hanover, should the
ruling monarch or his sister die without an heir.
• Sophia of Hanover: Through the Act of Settlement in 1701 became the
heiress to the English and Scottish crowns. She died 2 months before she
would have been crowned queen, which left the thrown to her oldest son,
• George I: became King after his mother, Sophia of Hanover, died. During his
reign the powers of the monarchy diminished and England began the
transition to the modern system of cabinet government and the Prime
Minister, Sir Robert Walpole, made most of his decisions. • Robert Walpole: King George I and II’s prime minister who made the
majority of their decisions. He worked for peace, lower taxes, growing
exports, and allowed a little more tolerance towards Protestants.
• Nicolaus Copernicus: Proposed a solution stating that the earth rotated on
its axis and orbited with other planets around the sun. He states that the
earth is heliocentric.
• Tycho Brahe: He observed a “nova” in 1572 and made a name for himself as
an astronomer. His model was that the planets orbited the sun and the whole
system orbited a stationary earth.
• Johannes Kepler: was an understudy of Brahe and takes the observational
studies of Brahe and notices that there is a connection between the closeness
of the Earth to the sun and how fast it moves due to this. The closer the sun
gets to the sun the faster it orbits. Laws of planetary motion – basically
created our modern day solar system model.
• Galileo Galilei: Italian physicist and inventor. The implications of his ideas
raised the ire of the Catholic Church and he was forced to retract most of his
findings. He makes a telescope and discovers that there are mountains and
craters on the moon. He also discovers that other planets have moons.
• Isaac Newton: One of the foremost scientists of all time, Newton was an
English mathematician and physicist; he is noted for his development of
calculus, work on his properties of light, and theory of gravitation. He
believes that the world is knowable and therefore controllable.
• Galen: One of the first people to describe epilepsy and figure out sensory and
nerve components. He becomes sort of an authority of medicine and works
on both humans and animals. His theory of disease is that there are 4
different humors in the body; when all 4 are healthy you are healthy but if
any are out of balance that you are unhealthy.
• Andreas Vesalius: publishes a pretty accurate representation of the human
body after getting permission to work with corpses – the only problem is that
he thinks there are two different types of blood because vein and artery
blood look different.
• Paracelsus: claims to be the greatest healer in the world and to know
everything there is to know about medicine. He is sometimes called the
father of modern pharmacy.
• William Harvey: Physician that observed and explained that blood
circulated through the arteries, heart, and veins by dissecting living animals and experimenting on himself. He was the personal physician to the king. He
creates the modern circulatory system.
• Francis Bacon: British philosopher and scientist who pioneered the
scientific method and inductive reasoning. In other words, he argued that
thinkers should amass observations and then make general observations of
them. If everyone who is remotely intelligent would observe the world
around them, all the information put together could help people live longer
• Rene Descartes: he emphasized deductive reasoning, proceeding logically
from one certainty to another. His ideas inspired much of the scientific
method. Says that your senses cannot be trusted. He believes in the little
details instead of a big picture world.
• Bernard de Fontanelle: writes a book explaining the revolution of the
previous century in astronomy. He makes the work of scientists accessible to
the common people who don’t understand exactly what the scientists are
saying. He takes scientific understanding and moves it into the broader
• Mary Wortley Montagu: the wife of the British ambassador to Turkey was
one of the most positive commentators on 1800s Islam. She wrote a series of
letters about her experiences in Constantinople. She praised the Ottoman
society and urged the English to copy the Turkish practice of smallpox
• Essay Concerning Human Understanding: written by John Locke he argued
that all knowledge originates from sense perception. The human mind at
birth is a blank slate and by teaching humans you can control the world and
make human kind better.
• Pierre Bayle: A French Protestant who converted to Catholicism and then
back to Protestantism, which meant he had to flee France. He introduces
cultural skepticism meaning that maybe the way you grow up is not the only
way to go about things. He writes a dictionary in which he says everyone is
alike, stupid, and that Protestants and Catholics are similar.
• Historical and Critical Dictionary: Pierre Bayle expressed his views that
much that was considered to be “truth” was actually just an opinion, and that
gullibility and stubbornness was prevalent.
• Charles de Secondat, Baron Montesquieu: wrote The Spirit of Laws and
The Persian Letters, which are influential writings of the Enlightenment
period because they teach people to think differently. • The Spirit of the Laws: a groundbreaking study in what we would call
comparative historical sociology and was very Newtonian in its careful,
empirical approach. It may have been the most influential work of the
Enlightenment period. He thinks that the best way to have freedom of the
public is by dividing the powers – this will bring peace and liberty.
• The Persian Letters: written by Baron Montesquieu on a couple of Persian’s
traveling through France who are pretending to be baffled by things the
French consider to be normal. This is to ruffle the thoughts of the French and
therefore cause them to think that there are ways of doing things differently.
• Francois-Marie Arouet (Voltaire): French philosopher and satirist who
championed the cause of human dignity against state and church oppression.
He writes Candide and says that people should not kill for religion.
• Denis Diderot: he and John Locke collect the ideas of human knowledge into
a series of books called the Encyclopedia. They think if they bring enough
knowledge together that things will get better.
• Encyclopedia: A French publication that aimed to reconsider an enormous
range of traditions and institutions, and put reason to the task of bringing
happiness and progress to humanity. It sought to change the general way of
thinking. Different scholars wrote articles on religion, government, etc. but
once published the Catholics became irked.
• Jean-Jacques Rousseau: philosopher and radical political theorist whose
“social contract” attacked privilege and equality. One of the primary
principles of Rousseau’s political philosophy is that politics and morality
should not be separated.
• The Social Contract: Rousseau argued that in the state of nature, all men had
been equal. Social inequality, anchored in private property, profoundly
corrupted “the social contract”, or the formation of government.
• Cesare Beccaria: One of the most influential writes of the entire
Enlightenment period. Italian jurist who wrote On Crimes and Punishment.
• On Crimes and Punishment: Beccaria proposed concrete legal reforms. It
attacked the prevalent views that punishments should represent society’s
vengeance on the criminal. Punishment during this time was used to
maintain social order.
• David Hume: Scottish writer of A Treatise of Human Nature. He provided the
most direct bridge from science to the Enlightenment. He studied morality,
the mind, and the government. He is also a huge skeptic. • Immanuel Kant: wrote What is Enlightenment? He likened the intellectual
history of humanity to the growth of a child. The Enlightenment represented
a declaration of intellectual independence.
• What is Enlightenment?: Kant argued that Enlightenment was an escape
from humanity’s “self-imposed immaturity” and a long overdue break from
the Catholic Church. Reason required authority, or freedom from tradition
and well-established authorities. He says enlightenment is learning to think
• Marie-Jean Caritat, Marquis de Condorcet: Argued on the eve of the
French Revolution that the Enlightenment promise of progress could not be
fulfilled unless women were educated. Condorcet was virtually alone in
asserting that women should be granted political rights.
• The Progress of the Human Mind: written by Condorcet, it is an optimistic
view of the progress the human race will undergo when political and
economic liberties are gradually introduced.
• Enclosure acts: English and Scottish farmers became hired hands (very low
pay). The acts lead to crop rotation to return nutrients to the soil which in
turn produced more crop, more profit, and allowed the cows to produce
more milk. The enclosure acts lead to the agricultural revolution in England.
• Smallpox: smallpox was very common and lead to heavy disfiguring and
scarring and eventually death. A vaccination
• Edward Jenner: a doctor from England who uses the Turks method of
smallpox curing and goes around to villages in England. Inoculation
(vaccination) was the use of using the antibodies from cowpox. His technique
eventually caught on and made the disease less fatal.
• Blood sports: instead of spending spare time in the arts like the nobility did,
the peasants participated in blood sports. Bear baiting, goose pulling, boxing,
• Carnival: Peasants lived the same every day and rarely had a change. Once a
year they were allowed to be different when the carnival came to town.
Everyone would put on masks, violate normal behavior standards, drink
heavily, and become a different person.
• Hobreaux/Hidalgos: the poor nobility. These people have their noble title
and get the privilege of sitting on the front pew at church but have no direct
access to cash. they protect themselves by exchanging acts with others. • Barschina: the unpaid labor dues owed by peasants to his lord, which was
most commonly labor on the land.
• Siegneur: they owned food processing plants and rights so if the peasants
wanted to process their crops (which they had to do) then they owned the
Seigneur money to do so. They were basically forced to pay to perform their
jobs and support themselves.
• Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Austrian child prodigy and composer of
instrumental music and operas. He never got the chance to grow up as a
normal child because he wrote his first symphony at the age of 4 and was
therefore always on display. He tries to sell his music in the traditional way
but when that fails he sells his sheet music to the general public. This is
basically crowd funding. He breaks out form the traditional funding and tries
something new which leads to a new culture.
• Gin Acts (1736, 1751): In 1736 a Gin Act imposed a high license fee for gin
retailers and a high tax on each gallon. In 1751 an act of Great Britain was
enacted in order to reduce the consumption of spirits, which was a popular
pastime and also the main causes of crime in London. By prohibiting gin
distillers from selling to unlicensed merchants, it eliminated small gin shops,
thereby restricting the distribution of gin to larger distillers and retailers.
• Frederick the Great: Prussian ruler who engaged the nobility in maintaining
a strong military and bureaucracy, and led Prussian armies to notable
military victories. He also encouraged Enlightenment rationalism and artistic
endeavors. His father killed the Great’s boyfriend when he ran away from
home as a child and this taught him that he doesn’t have to be a bad person
to be a good king. He abolishes legal torture for misdemeanors but not
felonies and also gives remarkable religious toleration.
• Anti-Machiavel: written by Frederick the Great in 1740. He states that the
king is charged with maintaining the health and prosperity of his subjects. In
addition he says to be king he does not have to a bad person. He rules under
rational and benevolence.
• Catherine the Great: German-born empress of Russian who maintained an
absolutist feudal system but encouraged Enlightenment philosophy and the
arts at court. Her aim was to make Russia more European and by the 1760’s
Russia was turning away from absolutism and towards the English thrown
• Pugachev’s rebellion: Pugachev leads a rebellion in 1773 claiming that he is
the czar and is actually Catherine the Great’s dead husband. He says that you don’t have to pay taxes or send your sons to war. To end the rebellion,
Catherine needs the help of the nobility. The price in return was that all of
the reforms she had been working on were never to be imposed.
• Joseph II: co-ruled with his mother Maria Teresa for 20 years after she had
already been queen for 20 years. They are Hapsburgs and defenders of the
Catholic faith and to do this he had to been as a hard Catholic even though he
was an atheist. His sole lawgiver is reason and therefore abolished serfdom
saying it wasn’t rational. The serfs and nobility hated him for this. Serfs
because that was all they had ever known and did not know life outside of it.
Nobility now had no one to work their land.
• Maria Theresa: Became empress of Austria in 1740 and co-ruled with her
son, Joseph II, from the 1760s until she died in 1780. Her inheritance of the
thrown sparked the War of the Austrian Succession.
• War of the Austrian Succession: war over the control of Austria due to the
fact that Charles VI left Maria Theresa (a girl) as heir to the throne. Frederic
II of Prussia invaded due to a want for Silesia and France helped him in order
to humiliate their enemy (Austria). Great Britain allied with Austria to
prevent France from gaining more land. The colonies of France and Great
Britain began to fight also. Austria gave Silesia to Prussia and the Peace of
Aix-La-Chapelle ended the war.
• The Seven Years’ War: Worldwide war that ended when Prussia defeated
Austria, establishing itself as a European power, and when Britain gained
control of India and many of France’s colonies through the Treaty of Paris. It
is known as the French and Indian War in the United States.
• George III: the king of England from 1760 to 1820, he exercised a greater
hand in the government of the American colonies that had many of his
predecessors. Colonists were torn between loyalty to the king and resistance
acts carried out in his name. After King George III rejected the Olive Branch
Petition, the colonists came to see him as a tyrant.
• William Pitt (the elder): prime minister in 1757 who furthered imperial
ambitions by acquiring Canada and India in the Seven Years’ War. He was
dismissed by the new king, George III because he was determined to
strengthen monarchial authority and to wield the power of patronage
• Treaty of Paris, 1763: It ended the Seven Years’ War in Europe and the
parallel French and Indian War in North America. Under the treaty, Britain
won all of Canada and almost all of the modern United States east of the
Mississippi River. • Proclamation of 1763: stated that colonists could not settle west of the
• League of Armed Neutrality: in 1780, Catherine the Great of Russia took the
lead in this group. It lined up almost all of the remaining European neutrals
in an attitude of passive hostility toward Great Britain. The American
Revolution was now being fought not only in Europe but also in South
America, the Caribbean, and Asia. Catherine the Great later sneeringly called
this group the “Armed Nullity”.
• Yorktown: this was the site of the last major battle of the Revolutionary War
in 1781. American troops under George Washington trapped British troops
under General Cornwallis and his troops in the Chesapeake Bay with the help
of the French fleet. It signified the end of the war.
• Treaty of Paris, 1783: the British recognized the independence of the
United States and granted generous boundaries as well as a share of
Newfoundland for fishing (which upset the Canadians). The Americans had
to ensure they would not persecute