Unit 4: Encounters and Exchange


4.1: The Age of Absolute Monarchs

4.2: Absolute France, HRE and Russia

4.2: Absolute France, HRE and Russia

By the 16th Century, Europe was a continent of rival nations. They competed with each other for religion, power, money, and control of colonies and trade routes. These nations were controlled by monarchs often wielding absolute (total) authority over their subjects and nation…


4.2: Absolute France, HRE and Russia

4.2: Absolute France, HRE and Russia

4.2: Absolute France, HRE and Russia

During the Age of Reason some monarchs succumbed to a few of the concepts Enlightenment ideas and are considered by many to be Enlightened Monarchs and by others as  Enlightened Despots...


4.3: War and Revolution in England

4.2: Absolute France, HRE and Russia

4.3: War and Revolution in England

Following Queen Elizabeth’s long and prosperous rule, England was a divided land. A new family, the Stuarts, came to power, and soon began intense conflict with Parliament. This conflict led to civil war and a revolution that changed England, and the world. Change was on the horizon in Europe and America as well, with the rise of Prussia and the United States of America...


4.4: The Age of Reason

4.5: War and Revolution in Europe and the Colonies

4.3: War and Revolution in England

The Renaissance stimulated great interest in understanding the natural world. The Scientific Method developed as a way to learn about the world and prove observations. People began to learn that much of what they previously held to be true was false. New discoveries in the 16th and 17th Century would revolutionize science and man’s view of the world...


4.5: War and Revolution in Europe and the Colonies

4.5: War and Revolution in Europe and the Colonies

4.5: War and Revolution in Europe and the Colonies

England and much of Europe went to war. In the "Old World" and in the "Ne World" Long standing kingdoms and relatively new nations fought for control, power and influence all around the globe. Did the first World War occur during this period? Some say yes...


4.6: The French Revolution

4.5: War and Revolution in Europe and the Colonies

4.5: War and Revolution in Europe and the Colonies

France had been Europe’s most prosperous and envied nation for most of the 1600 and1700’s as kings led France with the power of absolute monarchy. But by the 1780’s things had drastically changed for the worse. Fueled by ideas of the Enlightenment, and with England and America as examples, the French people’s anger boiled over into the blood of the French Revolution.

4.7: The Rise and Fall of Napoleon Bonaparte

4.7: The Rise and Fall of Napoleon Bonaparte



4.7: The Rise and Fall of Napoleon Bonaparte

4.7: The Rise and Fall of Napoleon Bonaparte

4.7: The Rise and Fall of Napoleon Bonaparte

France had transformed itself from an absolute monarchy into a republic, but only through a bloody revolution that killed many thousands. Despite improvements, most people were still unsatisfied, and concerned as France had become hated/feared by the other nations of Europe. Many hoped a strong leader could guide France to a bright future. No one could have guessed this man would be a young Corsican artillery officer named Napoleon Bonaparte…

Unit 4: Downloads

The files listed are files that will be used throughout Unit 4. Go to the individual Sub-Units for specific downloadable material

Files coming soon.

4.1: The Age of Absolute Monarchs


Summary of 4.1

An Absolute Monarchy is a form of government that was popular during medieval Europe and up until the end of the 18th century. It involved society being ruled over by an all-powerful king or queen. The monarch had complete control over all aspects of the society, including: political power, economics, and all forms of authority. The monarch was able to maintain absolute control over the society with the addition of feudalism, which involved people being placed into different estates of power, such as: clergy, nobility and peasants. An absolute monarchy can best be seen in the words of Louis XIV in France when he proclaimed, “I am the state”. Louis XIV, who ruled France as a monarch from 1661 until 1715, was expressing his absolute control over the society at the time by stating that he ruled over all aspects of the country and therefore was the highest and most powerful authority of the state.

Absolute monarchies often contained two key features: hereditary rules and divine right of kings. Hereditary rule meant that the monarch received their position due to their birth and as one in a long family line of monarchs. As well, medieval European absolute monarchs included the practice of divine right of kings, meaning that the monarch derived his or her power from god. This furthered the power of a monarch because it ensured that the king or queen did not get their power from the people, and therefore the people had no control or say over the monarch’s rule.


Key Figures in this Unit

Ottoman Sultans

Sultan Osman 

Sultan Mehmed II 

Sultan Suleiman “The Magnificent” 

Sultan Selim II 

Holy Roman Empire

Emperor Charles V (Spain and Holy Roman Empire)


Emperor Charles V (Spain and Holy Roman Empire)

King Felipe (Philip) II


King Wilhelm I


Queen Elizabeth I


Queen Mary


Pious V

Significant non-rulers

Don Juan

Ali Pasha

Miguel de Cervantes

Notable Conflicts

The Fall of Constantinople (1453)

Completion of the Reconquista (1492)

The Battle of Mohacs (1526)

The Battle of Lepanto (1571)

The Dutch Revolt (1580-1588)

The Spanish Armada (1588)

The Battle of Gibraltar (1607)

4.1 Downloadable Material

Files coming soon.

4.2: Absolute France, Holy Roman Empire and Russia


Summary of 4.2

This Unit focus on the Absolute Monarchies of France, the Holy Roman Empire and Russia.

Key Figures in this Unit


King Charles VII

King Louis XI

King Charles VIII

King Louis XII

King Francis I

King Henri II

King Francis II

King Charles IX

King Henri III

King Henri IV

King Louis XIII

Louis XIV

Holy Roman Empire

Emperor Ferdinand II


King Gustavus

King Charles XII


King Charles II

King Felipe (Philip) V


Czar Ivan IV “The Terrible”

Czar Mikhail I

Czar Peter I “The Great”

Czarina Elizabeth

Czar Peter III

Czarina Catherine II “The Great”

Czar Paul


King Stanisław II

Significant non-rulers

Catherine de’ Medici

Marguerite Valois

Gaspard de Coligny

Duke Henri Guise

Gabrielle d’ Estrées

Cardinal Richelieu

Alexander Dumas

Prince Eugene of Savoy

John Churchill -Duke of Marlborough

Grigory Potemkin

Grigory Orlov

Notable Conflicts

St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre (1572)

War of the Three Henri’s (1584-1589)

      -Battle of Coutras (1587)

The Thirty-Years War (1618-1648)

      -The Battle of Breitenfeld (1631)

The Battle of Vienna (1683)

The Great Northern War (1700-1721)

      -The Battle of Poltava (1709)

The War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714)

      -Battle of Blenheim (1704)

The Pugachev Rebellion (1773-1775)

Important Agreements

Peace of Augsburg (1555)

Edict of Nantes (1598)

Peace of Westphalia (1648)

Edict of Fontainebleau (1685)

Treaty of Nystad (1721)

First Partition of Poland (1772)

Second Partition of Poland (1793)

Third Partition of Poland (1795)

4.2 Downloadable Material

Files coming soon.

4.3 War and Revolution in England


Summary of 4.3

Elizabeth I, the last of the Tudor monarchs, died in 1603 and the thrones of England and Ireland passed to her cousin, James Stuart.Thus, James VI of Scotland also became James I of England. The three separate kingdoms were united under a single ruler for the first time, and James I and VI, as he now became, entered upon his unique inheritance.

England, Scotland and Ireland were very different countries, with very different histories, and the memories of past conflict between those countries - and indeed, of past conflict between different ethnic groups within those countries - ran deep.

To make matters trickier still, each kingdom favored a different form of religion. Most Scots were Calvinists, most English favored a more moderate form of Protestantism and most Irish remained stoutly Catholic. Yet each kingdom also contained strong religious minorities.

In England, the chief such group were the Catholics, who initially believed that James would prove less severe to them than Elizabeth had been. When these expectations were disappointed, Catholic conspirators hatched a plot to blow both the new king and his parliament sky-high.The discovery of the Gunpowder Plot served as a warning to James, if any were needed, of the very grave dangers religious divisions could pose, both to his own person and to the stability of his crown.

James I was resolved to keep his kingdoms out of foreign entanglements if he could. However - following the marriage of his daughter Elizabeth to Frederick V, elector of the Rhineland Palatinate; Frederick's crowning as king of Bohemia; and the forcible ejection of the young couple from their new kingdom by Catholic forces soon afterwards - James found himself being dragged into the continental Thirty Years' War.

His health failing, the old king died in 1625 and was succeeded by his son Charles, who initially threw himself into the fight against the Catholic powers, but eventually withdrew from the European conflict in 1630.

Charles I was a conscientious and principled ruler, but he was also stubborn, reserved and politically maladroit (inept). From the moment that he first assumed the crown, uneasy murmurs about his style of government began to be heard.

Over the next 15 years, many of Charles’ English subjects became alienated by his religious policies and by his apparent determination to rule without parliaments. Some, especially the more zealous Protestants, or ‘puritans’, came to believe in the existence of a sinister royal plot - one which aimed at the restoration of the Catholic faith in England and the destruction of the people’s liberties.

Similar fears were abroad in Scotland, and when Charles attempted to introduce a new prayer book to that country in 1637, he provoked furious resistance. Charles’ subsequent attempts to crush the Scots by force went disastrously wrong, forcing him to summon an English parliament in October 1640. Once this assembly had begun to sit, Charles was assailed by angry complaints about his policies. At first, the king seemed to have practically no supporters. But as puritan members of parliament began to push for wholesale reform of the church and religious traditionalists became alarmed, Charles found himself at the head of a swelling political constituency.

Then, in 1641, the Catholics of Ireland rose up in arms, killing many hundreds of the English and Scottish Protestants who had settled in their country. The rebellion caused panic in England and made it harder than ever for a political compromise to be reached. Charles I and parliament could not agree, and England began to divide into two armed camps…


Key Figures in this Unit


King James I (James VI of Scotland)

King Charles I

Oliver Cromwell Lord Protector of England

King Charles II (Charles II of Scotland)

James the II (James the VII of Scotland)

Queen Mary II and King William III

Queen Anne


King James VI (James I of England)

King Charles II (Charles II of England)

King James VII (James II of England)


King Wilhelm III (king William III of England)

Significant non-rulers

Guy “Guido” Fawkes

Richard Cromwell

Colonel Thomas Pride

Notable Conflicts

The Gunpowder Plot (1605)

The English Civil War (1642-1649)

      Battle of Edge Hill (1642)

      Battle of Adwalton Moor (1643)

      Batle of Marston Moor (1644)

      Battle of Naseby (1645)

The Irish Incursion (1649-1650)

      The Battle of Clonmel (1649)

Scottish Resistance (1649-1650)

      The Battle of Dunbar (1650)

      The Battle of Worcester (1650)

Notable Events

English found Jamestown (1607)

Dutch bring first slaves to Virginia (1619)

Mayflower lands at Plymouth Rock (1620)

Puritans arrive in in Maryland (1634)

Execution of Charles I (1649)

English gain NY, NJ and Del from the Dutch (1664)

The Great London Fire (1666)

The Glorious Revolution (1688)

England and Scotland become Great Britain (1707)

Important Documents

King James Bible (1611)

Petition of Right (1628)

Death Warrant of Charles I (1648)

English Bill of Rights (1689)

4.3 Downloadable Material

Files coming soon.

4.4 The Age of Reason


Summary of 4.4

The Enlightenmentand its ideals of liberty greatly impacted the ability of absolute monarchs to continue to rule as they had. Influential Enlightenment thinkers questioned the traditional authority and right to rule of monarchs and began a wave of change across much of the Western world, including: the birth of capitalism and democracy. Today, very few nations continue to exist with an absolute monarch, but a few examples remain, such as: Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Brunei.


Key Figures

John Locke

Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu

François-Marie Arouet (a.k.a. Voltaire)

Denis Diderot

Jean-Jaques Rousseau

Marie Thérèse Rodet Geoffrin(Madame Geoffrin)

Mademoiselle Julie de Lespinasse

Madame Suzanne Necker

Princess Zofia Czartoryska

Emilie du Chatalet

Mary Wollstonecraft

Johan Sebastian Bach

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Elisabeth Louise Vigee-Le Brun

Daniel DeFoe

Jonathan Swift

Important Documents

Two Treatises of Government- John Locke (published anonymously) (1689)

Robinson Crusoe-Daniel DeFoe (1719)

Gulliver’s Travels- Jonathan Swift (1726)

The Spirit of Laws- Montesquieu (1748)

Encyclopédie- Denis Diderot (1751)

Discourse on Inequality- John-Jaques Rousseau (1755)

The Social Contract- John-Jacques Rousseau (1762)

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman- Mary Wollstonecraft (1792)

4.5 War and Revolution in Europe and the Colonies


Summary of 4.5

Seven Years’ War, (1756–63), the last major conflict before theFrench Revolutionto involve all the great powers ofEurope. Generally,France,Austria,Saxony,Sweden, andRussiawere aligned on one side againstPrussia,Hanover, andGreat Britainon the other. The war arose out of the attempt of the AustrianHabsburgsto win back the rich province ofSilesia, which had been wrested from them byFrederick II(the Great) of Prussia during theWar of the Austrian Succession(1740–48). But the Seven Years’ War also involved overseas colonial struggles between Great Britain and France, the main points ofcontentionbetween those two traditional rivals being the struggle for control of North America (theFrench and Indian War; 1754–63) andIndia. With that in mind, the Seven Years’ War can also be seen as the European phase of a worldwide nine years’ war fought between France and Great Britain.Britain’salliance with Prussia was undertaken partly in order to protect electoral Hanover, the British ruling dynasty’s Continental possession, from the threat of a French takeover.


Key Figures


King Fredrick II “The Great


King Louis XV


Empress Maria Theresa


Czarina Elizabeth


King Adolf Frederick

Great Britain

King George III

PM Lord North

United States

President George Washington

President John Adams

President Thomas Jefferson

Significant non-rulers

Kazimierz Pułaski

Bernardo de Gálvez

John Jay

Benjamin Franklin

John Dickinson

Henry Laurens

David Hartley

Richard Oswald

Notable Conflicts

Seven-Years War (1756-1763)

      Battle of Leuthen (1757)

French and Indian War (1754-1763)

      Battle of Louisbourg (1759)

      Battle of Quebec (1759)

American Revolution

      Battle of Lexington (1775)

      Battle of Bunker Hill (1775)

      Battle of Yorktown (1781)

Notable Events

Anti-Prussian Alliance (France, Austria, Russia and Sweden) 

Death of Czarina Elizabeth (1762)

Boston Massacre (1770)

Boston Tea Party (1773)

British Prime Minister Lord North Resigns (1782)

Fredrick has the Brandenburg Gate built (1791)

Important Documents

Treaty of Paris (1763)

Sugar Act (1764)

Stamp Act (1765)

Townshend Duties (1767)

Tea Act (1773)

Coercive Act (1774)

Olive Branch Petition (1775)

America’s Declaration of Independence (1776)

Treaty of Amity and Commerce (1778)

Treaty of Alliance (1778)

Treaty of Paris (1783)

US Constitution (1789)

4.5 Downloadable Material

Files coming soon.

4.6 The French Revolution


Summary of 4.6

The French Revolution was a watershed event in modern European history that began in 1789 and ended in the late 1790s with the ascent of Napoleon Bonaparte. During this period, French citizens razed and redesigned their country’s political landscape, uprooting centuries-old institutions such as absolute monarchy and the feudal system. The upheaval was caused by widespread discontent with the French monarchy and the poor economic policies of King Louis XVI, who met his death by guillotine, as did his wife Marie Antoinette. Although it failed to achieve all of its goals and at times degenerated into a chaotic bloodbath, the French Revolution played a critical role in shaping modern nations by showing the world the power inherent in the will of the people.


Key Figures


King Louis XIV

King Louis XV

King Louis XVI

King Louis XVIII

Significant non-rulers


Charles William Ferdinand (Duke of Brunswick)

Maximilien Robespierre

John-Paul Marat

Charlotte Corday

Georges Danton

Dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin

Notable Conflicts

Storming of the Bastille (1789)

Battle of Valmy (1792)

September Massacres (1792)

Vendée Uprising (1793-1796)

Notable Events

Election of the Estates General (1788)

Tennis Court Oath (1789)

March on Versailles (1789)

Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette arrested attempting to flee to Austria (1791)

National Convention (1792)

      Monarchy abolished (1792)

King Louis XVI Executed (1793)

Marie-Antoinette Executed (1793)

Jean-Paul Marat Murdered (1793)

Committee of Public Safety established (1793)

Reign of Terror (1793-1794)

Desecration of Saint-Denis (1793)

Maximilien Robespierre arrested and executed (1794)

The Directory Established (1795

Important Documents

August Decrees (1789)

Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen (1789)

French Constitution (1791)

Brunswick Manifesto (1792)

Cultural Changes

Metric System put into use

A new Calendar put into use in France

Christian Worship Banned

      Cult of Reason established

Cult of the Supreme Being established

4.7 The Rise and Fall of Napoleon Bonaparte


Summary of 4.7

Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), also known as Napoleon I, was a French military leader and emperor who conquered much of Europe in the early 19th century. Born on the island of Corsica, Napoleon rapidly rose through the ranks of the military during the French Revolution (1789-1799). After seizing political power in France in a 1799 coup d’état, he crowned himself emperor in 1804. Shrewd, ambitious and a skilled military strategist, Napoleon successfully waged war against various coalitions of European nations and expanded his empire. However, after a disastrous French invasion of Russia in 1812, Napoleon abdicated the throne two years later and was exiled to the island of Elba. In 1815, he briefly returned to power in his Hundred Days campaign. After a crushing defeat at the Battle of Waterloo, he abdicated once again and was exiled to the remote island of Saint Helena, where he died at 51.


Key Figures



King Louis XVIII


King Joseph I


King Jérôme I

Guastalla (Northern Italian States)

Princess Pauline

Tuscany (Southern Italian States)

Grand Duchess Elisa


Queen Caroline


King Louis I


Czar Alexander I

Significant non-rulers

Josephine Beauharnais

General Thomas-Alexander Dumas

Lord Admiral Horatio Nelson

General Bessiéres

General Soult

General Davout

Marie-Louise Habsburg

Count von Blücher

Duke of Wellington

Notable Conflicts

Italian Campaign (1796-1797)

Egyptian Campaign (1798-1799)

Battle of Trafalgar (1805)

Battle of Austerlitz (1805)

Capture of Berlin (1806)

Peninsular War (1808-1814)

War of 1812

Russian Campaign (1812)

Battle of Nations (Leipzig) (1813)

Battle of Waterloo (1815)

Notable Events

Coup d’état (1799)

      Napoleon’s Consulate (1799)

Sells Louisiana to the United States (Louisiana Purchase) (1803)

Crowns himself Emperor Napoleon I (1804)

Dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire (1806)

      Confederation of the Rhine (1806)

Implementation of the Continental System (1806)

Napoleon Abdicates (1814)

      Exile to Elba (1814)

Napoleon Abdicates again (1815)

      Exile to St. Helena (1815)

           Napoleon Dies (1821)

Congress of Vienna (1815)

Important Documents

Napoleonic Code (1804)

Napoleon accepts exile document (1804)