The Renaissance

The Renaissance was the period of time between 1350 – 1550. People were getting over the effects of war and the plague. Cities were starting to grow and become wealthy. But most of all people were starting to believe that all things were possible. With this new way of thinking it created the Renaissance or “rebirth”.
The Renaissance inspired changes in art, literature, politics, architecture and Christian beliefs. People started to educate themselves in the culture of ancient Greeks and Romans. During the Renaissance artist such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo were encourage and supported to create paintings like the Last Supper and Sistine Chapel. These works of art are famous and the artists are considered genius. Art was greatly admired during this time; noble families taught their sons and daughters to appreciate art.
This was also the time of humanism. People studied grammar, poetry, philosophy and history that were all based on the ancient works of the Roman and Greece. Humanist believed that they could help people to be better through education. They believed that a person should better themselves with their bodies and minds. The copied the Greeks with physical education such as, javelin, archery, and running. The taught history, philosophy, math, astronomy, music, and art for the mind.
People were calling for a change within the Catholic Church during the Renaissance. Desiderius Erasmus felt the church did teach its people and wanted the church to teach people how to live a moral life every day. He wanted people learn and live by the way of Christianity. Martin Luther criticized that they were granting salvation to people for a donation. Luther broke away from the church and started Lutheranism. People’s criticism of the church, claims of its corruption, and the need for change by the people soon led to a reformation of the Catholic Church.


Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man shows mans proportions with geometry.

The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel painted by
Michelangelo. It took him four years to complete this painting. He uses a new technique of Fresco, painting done on fresh, wet plaster. This gives the painting depth and makes it more realistic.


Renaissance architects used Greek and Roman architecture as inspiration.


Young noble men were encouraged to participate in sports like hunting.

The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most famous paintings of the
Renaissance time.

Martin Luther

When Martin Luther was a boy his father wanted him to become a lawyer. However, he was once caught in a terrible storm and prayed to St. Anna to save him and he would become a monk.
Martin Luther later did become a monk and a teacher who spoke out against the church and the selling of indulgences. The Catholic Church had a practice of selling people indulgences which were helped them obtain salvation or reduced their time in purgatory after death. Luther was outraged and harshly criticized the Catholic Church on this practice. Luther studied the bible and believed that people would be saved because of their faith in God and only God could grant salvation. Martin Luther spoke out against the church and wrote the Ninety-five Theses which was a list of all the churches wrong doings. This made the church angry and he was later excommunicated and his writings were burned.

Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci was born April 15, 1452 and died May 2, 1519. He was known as a “Renaissance Man”. He is famous for his paintings of the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. He was much more than a painter. He was also a sculptor, inventor, engineer, and a musician. Inventions such as the helicopter and armored tanks that are used today were inspired by his designs. Leonardo da Vinci studied the human anatomy for many years and was the first person to draw images of a human fetus. Leonardo was a visionary who inspired not only people of the Renaissance time but people of today.


Peoples and attitude changed towards the Catholic Church. The renaissance had people thinking differently about what right and wrong. Many people grew tired of the way the Catholic Church was being run. Its clergy was being criticized for being too greedy and using the church to gain power and wealth. For example to achieve salvation all one had to do was buy an “indulgence” which would reduce the time in purgatory. More and more people had broken away from the church and began to look for other ways to worship.
Martin Luther, a monk spoke out against the Catholic Church and started to make changes. He kept only two sacraments, the baptism and Eucharist. He allowed the clergy to be married and he taught his followers that salvation could be obtained with their faith and love of God. Martin Luther was thrown out of the Catholic Church and almost executed. His action inspired a new religion, Lutheranism.
Another reformation came in the religion of Protestant. John Calvin taught people that the Holy Spirit brought people to God and that God was all powerful. Like Martin Luther he believed that people achieved salvation by faith alone and spoke out against the Catholic Church.
In England the Catholic Church was strongly influenced by politics. King Henry VIII became angry with the Pope because the church would give him an annulment. Henry pushed Parliament in passing “The Act of Supremacy” which made him the head of the Church of England.
With so many changes and people against the Catholic Church, Pope Paul III acknowledge that need for change. The Council of Trent was formed and agreed on a strong need for salvation of the people. The seven sacraments, the Eucharist, and celibacy of all clergy was supported. However, they did get rid of the selling of the indulgences.

John Calvin was a reformer and leader of the Protestantism.
Council of Trent was a group of cardinals, bishops, and arch-bishops who met for 18 years to reform the Catholic church.
King Henry VIII took over the Church of England so he could have an annulment.
Symbol of the Lutheran church which was inspired by Martin Luther.
The Ninety-five Theses was written by Martin Luther. It was list of the church practices that were wrong and against what should be taught.


The Renaissance inspired people to want more. They wanted more wealth and knowledge. But most of all they wanted to trade. Many explorers set out to sea to discover new land, trade partners, and new trade routes and to obtain goods like spices. During the Renaissance time tools like the compass and ships were improved. Explorers could now go farther than they ever had before.
Asia was the goal for many of the Europeans. Asia had spices, silk, and precious metals. The explorers didn’t stop at Asia, they moved into Africa as well. Christopher Columbus became famous when he discovered America. He was actually looking for a new route to Asia by around Africa.
Once the Europeans reached Africa, the slave trade grew strong. There was a large demand for slaves in Asia, Portugal, and America. Thousands of slaves were sold and traded every year. Many of the slaves did not live through the journey from Africa to America.
In years to come the competition for new trade and territory would led to fighting.


Many slaves died on the journey to America.
Marco Polo sailed to China and wrote about his experiences and finding. This inspired many explorers to follow.

Galleon ships allowed sailors to make longer trips.
The compass helped sailors navigate to new lands.
Christopher Columbus sailed four voyages and discovered a new land.

Scientific Revolution

The Renaissance and The Exploration both had a great impact on the scientific revolution. The Renaissance inspired people to learn more about the world around them. During the time of the explorations when new lands, plants, and animals were discovered it gave people more reason to study life.
During the Scientific Revolution scientist made great discoveries. Nicolaus Copernicus discovered that the Sun was the center of the universe and the planets revolved around the sun. His discovery was called the heliocentric theory. The Catholic Church had a strong hold on what was studied and the findings that were published at the time. The church did not believe Copernicus theory and he did not have enough evidence to prove it. The church held on to the old beliefs that the earth was the center of the universe and everything revolved around it.
Copernicus’s theory was proven right by Johannes Kepler. He used math such as algebra, trigonometry and geometry to prove the theory. Another great scientist Galileo Galilei who invented one of the first telescopes. Galilei studied and observed the planets. He discovered that Jupiter had four moons and he agreed that Copernicus’ theory was right as well.
Scientist made great discoveries during this time by creating and using the Scientific Method. The forming of a hypotheses and experimenting to test if it is correct. Still the church had authority over what was studied and how it was experimented on, especially if it was human anatomy. Once people started to pull away from the church during the Reformation the Scientific Revolution made great advances.
Copernicun Universe was discovered by Nicholas Copernicus. The sun is the center of the universe. The Catholic Church denied his theory because he couldn’t prove it, however, it was proven right by Johannes Kepler.
The Scientific Method is still being used today to make scientific discoveries.

Galileo Galilei discovered one of the first telescopes. He discovered that Jupiter had four moons and the moon had spots.
Rene Descartes developed algebra, trigonometry and geometry.

This video is about Sir Isaac Newton.

Sir Isaac Newton
Isaac Newton was born in England in on December 25, 1642. He was a scientist, astronomer, mathematician and philosopher. He is most famous for his theory of the law of universal gravitation and his three laws of motion. Growing up Isaac Newton studied at the University but he taught himself as well. He studied and greatly admired Plato and Aristotle. He spent two years studying at home to avoid catching the plague. It is said that Sir Isaac Newton was the most important scientist of all time.

Nicolaus Copernicus
Nicoulaus Copernicus was born in February 19, 1473 in Poland. He was from a wealthy family. His father died when he was ten and he went to live with his uncle who was very successful. His uncle made sure that Nicoulaus was well educated. Nicoulaus studied law, mathematics, astronomy and medicine. He was most known for his heliocentric theory which is the earth is the center of the universe. His theory was not accepted by the Catholic Church because he couldn’t prove it. After his death his theory was proved to be correct and was accepted.

The Enlightenment

The Scientific Revolution encouraged the Enlightenment movement. Scientist and Philosophers were able to make remarkable scientific discoveries because they broke away from the old beliefs and traditions. The people of the Enlightment wanted to do the same, but with human rights. The people of the Enlightenment were philosophers, writers, journalists, economists. They were known as the free thinkers or the “enlighten ones”. Most would meet in coffee shops or French salons to debate the government or social issues.
Charles-Louis de Secondat, the Baron de Montesquieu believed that England’s government should be run in three separate powers; the executive (the king), the legislative (parliament), and the judicial (the courts). The idea was that not one person or one group should have total authority.
John Locke, an English political philosopher stated that people should have a contract with the government. He believed that all people had rights to life, liberty and property. It was the government’s job to protect those rights. As long as the government was doing that then the people should support the government.
Voltaire, a well known member of the Enlightenment believed that people should have the right to follow the religion of their choice. He also believed people should have the freedom of speech. All of these philosophies were adopted in the United States constitution and bill of rights.
The people of the Enlightenment spoke for people rights and changes in the government. Both the American and French Revolution were inspired by the Enlightenment.
Thomas Jefferson was strongly influence by the men of the Enlightenment and use many of their philosophies in the United States constitution.
The Baron de Montesquieu used the Scientific method to establish his theory of the separation of powers.

The coffee house was where members of the Enlightenment would meet to debate.
Voltaire was a French aristocrat who believed that people should have a freedom of speech and religion.
The Encyclopedia was the biggest contribution of the Enlightenment. It took twenty one years to publish and it contained discoveries and scientific facts.

The American Revolution

Inspired by the Enlightenment and the wanting to be free of the British rule, the people of the American colonies declared the independence from the British government. The declaration of independence was written by Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson used many the ideas of the Enlightenment to help him with the language and arguments listed in the Declaration of Independence. On July 4, 1776 it was signed by members of congress and sent to the King of England. This was the official start of the American Revolution.
The American soldiers were not a match for the British army. Most of the American soldiers were just simple farmers with no military training. George Washington became the general of the Continental Army and trained the soldiers on how to fight. With the help of France and Spain, the Americans were able to beat the British army and win their independence.
The setting up of the United States government and the writing of the constitution was all inspired by the Enlightenment. Congress was divided into two parts, the Senate and House of representatives. The new government did not want any one group to have too much power so the constitution sets up the three branches of government; executive, legislative and judicial. Finally, the bill of rights is a list of the rights that is for all the people of the United States.


The signing of the Declaration of Independence by representatives of the thirteen states. Once this document was sign the American Revolution was started.
George Washington was the leader of the Continental army.
The drafting of the declaration of independence. Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson were the committee to write the declaration of Independence.

Benjamin Franklin signed and helped edit the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
VIDEO 04994589263584749&hl=en#
This video is about how James Monroe played a big role in Washington's crossing.

Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706 in Boston, Massachusetts. He was raised in a family of thirteen children. He attended school until the age of ten. He was then sent to work as an apprentice for his brother. Benjamin Franklin taught himself by reading every book he could get his hands on. By the time he was sixteen Franklin had run away to Philadelphia and became a printer.
When Benjamin Franklin was an adult he had many accomplishments. He was a printer, scientist, inventor, philosopher, writer, leader, and diplomat. He was one of our biggest members of the American Enlightenment. During Benjamin Franklin’s political career he was the ambassador to France and help draft the Declaration of Independence. During the war he convinced the French king to help us fight the British. Franklin helped write the Constitution and signed four of the most important documents in American history; the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Treaty of Alliance and Treaty of Paris.

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson was born in Virginia on April 13, 1743. He attended college at the age of seventeen and studied law, science, history, philosophy, several languages and literature. Thomas Jefferson was a dedicated student who was known to study fifteen hours a day.
Jefferson had many accomplishments in his life. He was a teacher, lawyer, architect, and musician. He became the representative for Virginia in 1769 and started his political career. He drafted the Declaration of Independence and was the voice for America’s independence. Later he became the Secretary of State to John Adams. He bargained the purchase for Louisiana from France. He became our third president of the United States in 1801.


The French Revolution

During the time of the French Revolution the French society was terribly unfair and unequal. It had three levels; the clergy, the nobles, and the peasants. The clergy and nobles were very wealthy and lived rich and extravagant lifestyles. The peasants were poor and barely made enough to eat. The problem was the clergy and nobles paid no taxes while the peasants were taxed by everyone, the king, clergy and nobles.
King Louis XVI was the ruler of France during the time of the French Revolution. It is said that France was broke because he was a week ruler and spent a lot of money by going to wars that he couldn’t pay for. His wife was Marie Antoinette. She was known to spend a great deal of money on clothes and jewels. A drought in the country made a food shortage. The poor people had no money and were starving.
King Louis tried to fix the problem but it was too late because the people had suffered to long. The people had been inspired by the Enlightenment and the views of equal right. They wanted the unfair treatment to end and to have rights. The peasants rebelled against the king and nobles. The rioted in the streets and took over the Bastille. They fought against the nobles and burned down houses. A new republican that was run by the common people took power and executed King Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and several thousand other nobles by guillotine.

King Louis’s head was shown to the crowd. Several thousand people were killed by the guillotine.

The French people stormed the Bastille and took it over.

Marie Antoinette was killed by the guillotine. People were angry that she spent money on clothes and jewels while they starved.
Peasant burned down the manor of the Lords.

The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen was inspired by the Declaration of Independence. This declared the equal rights and freedom for the French people.

The Imperialism

During the Age of Exploration, European countries discovered new lands, resources, and new trade. There was a great demand for spices, precious stones, silk, and other materials. The European states set up trading post in places as Asia, Africa, India. The competition between the Europeans states became a frenzy for what state could get into the territories first. Because of the competition and greed the Europeans took control of the local people and their territories.
The European people felt they were superior to the people of smaller nations. They felt they need to help them by teaching them Christian values and to be civilized. The Europeans also thought they were helping the smaller nation’s economy by set up trade and industrialism. What they actually did was take the peoples land, made them slaves, change the culture and religion.
The Europeans did improve the areas by building roads, railroads, and set up ways to manufacture the natural resources. However, any profits that were made were kept by the Europeans. The native people were given very little. Soon the native people of Asia, Africa and India became resentful and fought for their independence from European rule.
Cecil Rhodes was a British business man who quickly took control of Africa’s diamond and gold mines. He had great wealth and power and used it to have laws made that would hurt the African people and benefit the business people like him.
The British establish control in India.
David Livingstone was a missionary who worked in Africa. He was so inspired by the land and people that he wrote a book about his experience. His book inspired British people to go there to civilize Africa with Christianity and trade.
Railroads were built in Africa
British families set up homes in India and had Indian servants.

King Louis XVI

King Louis XVI was born in Versailles on August, 1754. He became king of France at the age of twenty. He married Marie Antoinette May 16, 1770. They had four children. Three of them died at early ages.
King Louis XVI was not well liked. People blamed him for the debt and food shortage of the country. The country was already in debt when he became king. France had many debts because of the many wars they fought in. This included helping American with its fight against Britain. The problem was that only the middle class and peasants were paying taxes. King Louis did try to change things by making the nobles pay taxes but the nobles voted the tax changes down. The nobles did not want to give up the rich lifestyles.
The people of France revolted because they wanted equal rights and because of the food shortage were starving. King Louis was tried for treason and executed by the guillotine on January 21, 1793.
Maximilien Robespierre

Maximilien Robespierre was born on May 6 1758. His family was poor and he was raised by different relatives. He put himself through school and studied law. He became a lawyer and a leader in the National Convention. He was a leader during the “Reign of Terror”. Robespierre was one of the men who demanded that King Louis and Marie Antoinette be executed. He was cruel and powerful. Under his leadership thousands of people many of who were innocent was sent to the guillotine without a trial. He was later removed from power and sent to the guillotine himself.
World War I

The completion for territory and trade that started with the Imperialism continued to grow. Two alliances grew in the European powers. The first one was the Triple Alliance which was Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. The second was the Triple Entente which France, Great Britain, and Russia. Both sides did not like each other for different reasons. As tensions grew each side grew their armies to large sizes and they stored weapons and supplies.
The war started when the heir to Austria-Hungary’s throne and his wife where was killed. Serbia was blamed for the attack. The Triple Entente and the Triple Alliance went to war on July 28, 1914. The people that it was only going to last a month. It was going to last several years because of a new style of fighting, Trench Warfare. Both sides were in deep trenches and neither side knew how to beat the other.
Things did not change in the war until Italy changed sides and the United States entered the war. United States wanted to stay neutral but Germany started to sink both military and civilian ships with their submarines. Once the Americans entered the war the Triple Entente became the Allied Powers. They were able to beat the Germany & Austria in 1918.
The both sides had trenches that were protected by barbed wire.Many lives were lost in these trenches.
Governments use propaganda posters and slogans to create support for the war.

Germany used submarines in hope to end the war. It only made the United States join in the fighting.
Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife, Sophia were killed by a man from Serbia. This started World War I.

Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson was born in Virginia in 1856. He was raised in a strict, Christian family. He became the 28th president of the United States in 1912. President Wilson wanted to stay neutral in World War I. When the Germany navy sunk the, Lusitania, they killed over 1,100 innocent people. 128 of those people were Americans. President Wilson made the decision to enter the war and the United States helped the Allies win in 1918. Wilson presented his, “Fourteen Points” during the peace talks and wanted to create the League of Nations. The idea of the League of Nations was that differences could be settled peaceful by meeting and discussing issues. The Leagues purpose was to prevent future wars.
Archduke Franz Ferdinand

Franz Ferdinand was born in Graz, Austria in 1863. He was heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His uncle was Empire Francis Joseph. Franz Ferdinand was not popular because of his rough personality. He wasn’t charismatic or refined. However, he was a good husband and father to his family. Ferdinand married Sophie Chotek against the wishes of his uncle. Empire Joseph though Sophie was beneath them socially. Ferdinand gave up all rights for his children to be heirs to the Austria thrown and married Sophie anyway.
Franz Ferdinand wanted to make changes in the Austria government. He wanted to give the Slav people an equal voice in their government. This angered a lot of people. On a trip to Sarajevo, Franz Ferdinand and Sophie were shot and killed by Gavrilo Princip, a Serbia terrorist. This event set off the beginning of World War I.210px-Archduke_Franz_Ferdinand_of_Austria_-_b&w.jpg
World War II

Adolph Hitler became the leader of Germany on January 30, 1933. It was Adolph Hitler’s ideas that set the path of a major war. He believed that the “Aryan” race was superior to all other races. He wanted to eliminate the Jewish population. Hitler wanted to make Germany a great and powerful nation and felt that he needed to gain more land to have room for the German population.
On Sept 1, 1939, Germany secretly invades Poland and the beginning of World War II starts. Hitler forms an alliance with Benito Mussolini the leader of Italy. Mussolini wanted more territory to make a bigger empire as well. Hitler also forms an alliance with Japan. Japan wanted to expand into China.
Germany quickly invaded Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, and Belgium. Hitler tried to take over Britain, but could not defeat them. He also invaded the Soviet Union but because of the harsh winter he was not successful. The United States remained neutral. However, on December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. One week later Germany declared war on the United States as well.
An alliance of Great Britain, the United States, and Soviet Union fought against the Axis Powers, Germany, Italy and Japan. The fighting continued until August 1945 when the United States dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. This devastated Japan. It killed thousands of people and totally destroyed cities.

Hilter was determined to carry out his plan of killing the Jewish people. He knew the Allied powers were winning. Death camps were created and millions of Jewish people were killed. Millions of Polish and Ukrainian people were killed as well. On April, 30 1945, Adolf Hitler took committed suicide to avoid being captured. It is estimated that fifty million people died in World War II
The Atom bomb was dropped on Japan in hopes to end the war.
Adolph Hitler was the leader of Germany. His ran the country with fear and hatred.

Pearl Harbor was attacked on Dec. 7, 1941. This attack brought the United States into the war.

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