The Tudor period is a designation given to the time between 1485 and 1603 in English History. This directly correlates with the 16th century history of the world and coincides with the Tudor Dynasty and its rule over the United Kingdom from Henry VII until Elizabeth I’s reign as monarch of the country.
It was after the Black Death bubonic plagues of the 14th century along with an agricultural depression on the entire nation which led Henry VII to negotiate with the other leaders of the European nations to arrange the export of woollen products during the 16th century which inadvertently helped to start the Industrial Revolution of England.
This can be most noticeably seen in the higher wages and land availability of the 14th century and the lower wages and lack of land by the 15th century. By the end of the 15th century, Henry VII would negotiate the Intercursus Magnus treaty which would lead to the exportation of woollen products from England to the rest of the continent and lead to the Agricultural Revolution which would then follow suit into the Industrial Revolution during the following centuries.
The beginning of the 16th century saw the dissolution of various monasteries around Europe. This was also the time that the Portuguese explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral would discover Brazil leading to the first colonisation of South America by a European power. By 1501, the famous artist Michelangelo would start on the statue, David in Florence Italy.
In 1503, Nostradamus, the famous prophecies of whom would later be published in 1555 with an additional volume later added to the works in 1585. Likewise, the year of 1503 also saw Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. In battles of this year, Spain fought France and held victory at the Battle of Cerignola, which was the first battle to involve small arms along with gun powder.
By 1504, due to a period of drought, Spain suffered a famine and then two years later in 1506, more than 2,000 Jews were massacred during a riot in Lisbon, Portugal. The famous explorer, Christopher Columbus who is distinguished for his discovery of the New World died in 1506 in the city of Valladolid, Spain. This year also saw the invasion of Poland by the Crimean Khanate Tatars.
In 1513, there were a number of important events which would change the face of the world in some way. For starters, this marked the year that Machiavelli wrote the political philosophy, “The Prince”. It also saw the Battle of the Spurs in which Henry VIII crushed the French. During this time, the Scots would attempt to invade England and would be driven back in what has become known as the Battle of Flodden Field.
In 1517, there was a number of Protestant Reformations as a result of the 95 Theses in Saxony by Martin Luther. Two years later, Leonardo da Vinci would die on May 2nd of 1519 of natural causes. In the same year as Da Vinci’s death, the Barbary Pirates would invade the South of France at Toulon. In Spain, Charles I would become the Emperor of Holy Roman Empire under the title Charles V until 1556. This year also marked the start of the circumnavigation of the earth by Ferdinand Magellan. While Ferdinand was headed in one direction, Hernán Cortés would find his way to Mexico which was conquered within 3 years in the name of Spain.
All throughout the beginning of the 16th century, the Ottoman Empire was making its way through the Middle East conquering sites located along the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Black Sea, Caspian Sea as well as the Persian Gulf. By 1521 they had managed to capture Belgrade and claim it as part of their empire.
In his attempt to circumnavigate the globe in the name of Spain, Ferdinand Magellan would discover the Central Visayas region of the Republic of the Philippines. After staking claim to the country, an uprising by King Lapu-Lapu of nearby Mactan Island would fight with Magellan over the right for the land. As a result of this battle, Ferdinand and his highly sophisticated military complete with armour and swords would be defeated and Ferdinand Magellan would be killed in battle by the savages he attempted to conquer.
In 1527, the Italian Renaissance would end when Rome would be sacked. This same year also saw some more Protestant Reforms and the separation of the Church of England from the Holy Roman Empire.
By 1531, there was an Incan Civil War between two rival brothers only to be conquered by Francisco Pizarro a year later in the name of Spain. By the mid 1530’s with the Ottoman Empire seizing control of Baghdad, Jacques Cartier would head to Quebec and claim it in the name of France. The end of the decade would see Hernando De Soto setting sail to explore the inland regions of North America.
In 1544, the Battle of Ceresole would occur between the French and the Imperial-Spanish in which the French would be the victor. Meanwhile, this also marked the year of the Battle of the Shirts. The Battle of the Shirts occurred in Scotland between the Macdonalds and the Frasers over leadership. As a result, there were only 8 Macdonalds and 5 Frasers left after the battle.
In 1551, an outbreak of Sweating Sickness occurred in England. This being the 5th time that this condition broke out in England, but it holds importance as it was the first account of the disease’s symptoms which was recorded by John Caius of Shrewsbury. The same year also holds importance in the history of Europe as it was the year that the Barbary Pirates would capture the entire population of Gozo, an island of Malta; and would enslave them and ship them to Libya.
The year 1563 would forever go into history as the year that the bubonic plague was to break out in England. As a result of this plague, more than 80,000 people in England would perish of which 20,000 would be from London. On a good note, though, the following year would mark the official baptism of William Shakespeare. Although the actual birth date of William Shakespeare is unknown, what is known is the baptism based on church records and as such this is the day that the world recognises as his birth date. By 1576, Mary, the Queen of Scots would be imprisoned by Elizabeth I.
In an attempt to take Moscow, the Crimean Tatars would burn the entire city except for the Kremlin. Across the Atlantic Ocean a group of Spanish Missionaries would be killed by Native-Americans in the area that would later become known as Jamestown. In 1572 in Paris France, Gaspard de Coligny the leader of the Protestants along with thousands of Huguenots were massacred after Catherine de' Medici instigates the situation. This massacre became known as the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre. The end of the decade saw the world’s first circumnavigation as Francis Drake circles the world in a boat. During this circumnavigation, Spanish possessions would be attacked by Francis Drake. Upon returning to Europe, Francis Drake was given a royal reception. However this reception infuriated Philip II of Spain who would in turn impound any and all English ships sitting in Spain’s harbours.
The build-up of the Spanish Armada led to the Anglo-Spanish War which was fought not only on the European side of the Atlantic but also in the New World. The fighting went back and forth over the next couple years with Spain and England taking turns repulsing the other’s armadas’.
By 1592, John Stow wrote up a report outlining the deaths associated with the bubonic plague in which according to his account, there were 10,675 deaths associated with the plague in the city of London which at the time had a population of about 200,000 people.
The 16th century or Tudor Period is filled with events and people influential to the way the world is now. Furthermore, there are many events that have not been listed in this account due to their locations and relations to the effects of the emigration of ancestors to new places.
Original Authors: Nick (Globel Team)
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 06/08/2008