Key developments of 1526

Here are the main things that happened in 1526 CE,  that affected the continuing story of the European-origined imperialisms that would soon enough come to dominate world affairs:

  • In January French King Francis I, who had been battling Spain in the European homeland, reached a peace agreement with Spain’s King Charles (who was also the Holy Roman Emperor, aka the big kahuna in Catholic governance.) But in May, Francis repudiated the agreement and formed the intriguingly named League of Cognac to oppose Spain. The new League included Pope Clement VII, and the city-states of Milan, Venice, and Florence. The French apparently had no bandwidth yet to pursue global goals.
  • But Spain still did! In July, a Spanish ship sailed around the southern tip of the Americas and was the first ship to sail all the way from Europe to Mexico’s Pacific coast. Another Spanish adventurer became the first European to sight the Marshall Islands, in mid-Pacific Ocean; and a bunch of conquistadores reached Inca territory in South America. Oh and along the way Spain (re-)captured Milan from the League of Cognac.
  • In August, the army of  Ottoman Sultan Suleiman I defeated the Hungarian army at the Battle of Mohács, in which the Hungarian king was killed. Suleiman took Buda. As a result of that battle, Dubrovnik achieved independence, though this was now under Turkish overlordship. (See the map of Ottoman expansions above.)
  • Over in Central Asia, Zahir ud-Din Muhammad, known as Babur (“Tiger”), invaded northern India, captured Delhi and founded the Mughal Empire, the richest dynasty in the world, which lasted until 1857. Here at right is the map of Mughal expansions. (Click to expand.)
  • The first complete printed translation of the New Testament into English  by William Tyndale arrived in England, having been printed on the continent in both Worms (Germany) and Amsterdam. The Bishop of London tried to collect all the copies in his diocese and burn them, probably unsuccessfully. The first translation of the New Testament into Swedish was also completed. Martin Luther’s ideas were clearly spreading…