Category Archives: Project 500 Years

Key developments of 1548, & a dispatch from the Chinese coast

1548 CE was another quietish year in the story of the development of Western imperialism. No matter. It gave me the chance to learn more about the Ming Empire in China, by virtue of the fact that during this year a rather interesting Ming official carried out notable actions against “pirates” of Portuguese and other … Continue reading Key developments of 1548, & a dispatch from the Chinese coast

Key developments of 1549

Here are notable developments in world history of 1549 CE: In March, the Portuguese established the first settler-“capital” in Brazil, Salvador da Baha. In July, something called Kett’s Rebellion broke out out in eastern England. This was an uprising against the policy of enclosures of previously common land, that mobilized 16,000 rioters who seized control … Continue reading Key developments of 1549

Key developments of 1550, & notes on Christianity and slavery

The year 1550 CE saw several world-historical things happening around the world. Before we dive deeper into one of these, here are the main bullet-points: Conquistadores doing their aggressive, expansionist thing in various parts of the Americas. Notably at Penco (halfway down today’s Chile) one conquistador force vanquished an army of several thousand indigenous Mapuche … Continue reading Key developments of 1550, & notes on Christianity and slavery

Key developments of 1551

It is still less than 60 years since 1492… but here we were in 1551 CE with the Spanish conquistadores taking new steps to consolidate their settler-colonial grip on the Americas. Things were also happening in the Mediterranean: In May, an order of Spain’s King/Emperor Charles established the “Royal and Pontifical University of the City … Continue reading Key developments of 1551

Key developments of 1552

Quite the year, 1552 CE! Conquistadores doing their thing, while back home in Europe their King/Emperor almost got captured by hostile forces. Ottomans, Portuguese, Ivan the Terrible, the dreadful Ming emperor. Imperial roiling as usual: In Chile, veteran conquistador Pedro Gutiérrez de Valdivia founded not one but two new settler towns, Valdivia and La Imperial. … Continue reading Key developments of 1552

Key developments of 1553

In 1553 CE we’ll take a break from King/Emperor Charles of Spain and his bands of rapacious conquistadores (who continued their plundering and genociding, of course.) Attention turns to England and thence to some significant non-European empires. I suppose you might say the Ottoman Empire was at least partly European, though? Anyway, here we go: … Continue reading Key developments of 1553

Key developments of 1554

On a world-historical scale, I guess the Luso-Chinese agreement was the biggest event of 1554 CE (see more below.) But in England there was more drama from the Real Housewives of the House of Tudor and in the Americas various conquistadorings continued apace… The bullet-points:  In 1554, a Portuguese group headed by Leonel de Sousa, … Continue reading Key developments of 1554

Key developments of 1555

A big year, 1555 CE! Let’s dive right in: On a world-historical scale, maybe the biggest thing happening in 1555 was that Spain’s King/Emperor Charles was at the height of a two-year process he’d started in 1554, of undertaking abdications from his many offices, titles, and kingdoms. Abdications in the plural, you might ask? Indeed … Continue reading Key developments of 1555

Key developments of 1556

Whoa, another big year, 1556 CE: In January, Charles of Spain, having divested himself of the Holy Roman Empire in 1555, abdicated from the Kingdom of Spain, retiring to a monastery. He left the Kingdom to his son Philip. End of a long era for Spain. Later in January, the Shaanxi Province in China was … Continue reading Key developments of 1556

Key developments of 1557

1557 CE was a pretty epic (and eerily familiar) year which saw pandemic and economic collapse… Here goes: The year saw the start of an influenza pandemic that, because of the new frequency of transoceanic shipping, traveled fast and devastated areas across whole continents over the four years that followed. This seems to have been … Continue reading Key developments of 1557