Template:Centurybox The 17th century was the century that lasted from January 1, 1601, to December 31, 1700, in the Gregorian calendar. It falls into the Early Modern period of Europe and in that continent (whose impact on the world was increasing) was characterized by the Baroque cultural movement, the Dutch Golden Age, the French Template:Ill dominated by Louis XIV, the Scientific Revolution, and according to some historians, the General Crisis. The greatest military conflicts were the Thirty Years' War,[1] the Great Turkish War, and the Dutch-Portuguese War. It was during this period also that European colonization of the Americas began in earnest, including the exploitation of the silver deposits, which resulted in bouts of inflation as wealth was drawn into Europe.[2]

File:Sébastien Leclerc I, Louis XIV Visiting the Royal Academy of Sciences, 1671.jpg
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File:René Descartes i samtal med Sveriges drottning, Kristina.jpg
File:John de Critz the Elder James I of England with a Red Curtain.jpg
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File:Jan van der Hoecke - The Battle of Nördlingen, 1634.jpg
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In the Islamic world, the Ottoman, Safavid Persian and Mughal empires grew in strength. In Japan, Tokugawa Ieyasu established the Edo period at the beginning of the century, starting the isolationist Sakoku policy that was to last until the 19th century. In China, the collapsing Ming Dynasty was challenged by a series of conquests led by the Manchu warlord Nurhaci, which were consolidated by his son Hong Taiji and finally consummated by his grandson, the Shunzi Emperor, founder of the Qing Dynasty.

European politics were dominated by the Kingdom of France of Louis XIV, where royal power was solidified domestically in the civil war of the Fronde. The semi-feudal territorial French nobility was weakened and subjugated to the power of an absolute monarchy through the reinvention of the Palace of Versailles from a hunting lodge to a gilded prison, in which a greatly expanded royal court could be more easily kept under surveillance. With domestic peace assured, Louis XIV caused the borders of France to be expanded. It was during this century that English monarch became a symbolic figurehead and Parliament was the dominant force in government – a contrast to most of Europe, in particular France.

By the end of the century, Europeans were aware of logarithms, electricity, the telescope and microscope, calculus, universal gravitation, Newton's Laws of Motion, air pressure and calculating machines due to the work of the first scientists of the Scientific Revolution, including Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler, René Descartes, Pierre Fermat, Blaise Pascal, Robert Boyle, Christiaan Huygens, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, Robert Hooke, Isaac Newton, and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. It was also a period of development of culture in general (especially theater, music, visual arts and philosophy).

Events Edit


1610s Edit

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1620s Edit

1630s Edit

1640s Edit

1650s Edit

1660s Edit

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1670s Edit

File:1680 van der Meulen Louis XIV bei Lobith anagoria.JPG
File:Atlas Van der Hagen-KW1049B10 050-De belegering van Wenen door de Turken in 1683.jpeg

1680s Edit

1690s Edit

Significant peopleEdit

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File:Oliver Cromwell by Samuel Cooper.jpg
File:Attributed to Jacob Hoefnagel - Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden 1611-1632 - Google Art Project.jpg
File:Anna of Austria by Rubens (1622-1625, Norton Simon Museum).jpg


File:Bernardo Strozzi - Claudio Monteverdi (c.1630).jpg

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Visual artistsEdit

File:Rubens Self-portrait 1623.jpg
File:Rembrandt van Rijn - Self-Portrait - Google Art Project.jpg
File:Diego Velázquez Autorretrato 45 x 38 cm - Colección Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Carlos - Museo de Bellas Artes de Valencia.jpg

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File:Molière - Nicolas Mignard (1658).jpg

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Science and philosophyEdit

File:Johannes Kepler 1610.jpg
File:Frans Hals - Portret van René Descartes.jpg
File:Justus Sustermans - Portrait of Galileo Galilei, 1636.jpg
File:Michiel Jansz van Mierevelt - Hugo Grotius.jpg
File:Blaise Pascal Versailles.JPG
File:Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz.jpg

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Inventions, discoveries, introductions Edit

Template:See also2 Major changes in philosophy and science take place, often characterized as the Scientific revolution.


Further readingEdit

  • Chang, Chun-shu, and Shelley Hsueh-lun Chang. Crisis and Transformation in Seventeenth-Century China" (1998).
  • Reid, A.J.S. Trade and State Power in 16th & 17th Century Southeast Asia (1977).
  • Spence, J. D. The Death of Woman Wang: Rural Life in China in the 17th Century (1978).

Focus on EuropeEdit

  • Clark, George. The Seventeenth Century (2nd ed. 1945).
  • Hampshire, Stuart. The Age of Reason the 17th Century Philosophers, Selected, with Introduction and Interpretive Commentary (1961).
  • Lewitter, Lucian Ryszard. "Poland, the Ukraine and Russia in the 17th Century." The Slavonic and East European Review (1948): 157-171. in JSTOR
  • Ogg, David. Europe in the Seventeenth Century (6th ed. 1965).
  • Rowbotham, Sheila. Hidden from history: Rediscovering women in history from the 17th century to the present (1976).
  • Trevor-Roper, Hugh R. "The general crisis of the 17th century." Past & Present 16 (1959): 31-64.

External linksEdit

  • Vistorica: Timelines of 17th century events, science, culture and persons