Yesterday, 1612, I quoted English historian William Wilson Hunter as pinpointing the firman that Mughal Emperor Jahangir gave to English sea-captain Thomas Best in January 1613– after Best’s naval victory over a much larger Portuguese at Surat– as being England’s first “legal settlement on the Indian continent.” That sounds as good a starting point as … Continue reading 1613: Dutch in E. Indies, Caribbean. Romanovs, Ottomans, French, English…
1612 CE was an inflection point in the 500-year-long story of the emergence and maintenance of “Western” domination of the world. I am going to tell this story mainly by using the latest useful online source I have discovered, Sir William Wilson Hunter’s The European Struggle for Indian Supremacy in the Seventeenth Century (ESIS), which … Continue reading 1612: England beats Portugal in Surat, India, & Safavids/Ottomans
I have the sense these days of approaching the lip of a volcano. I know that within just the few days/years ahead, the still-young Dutch and English empire-builders are about to burst onto the scene in so many parts of the world. But for now, 1611 CE, there is little of great importance to be … Continue reading 1611: Rebuilding in Safavid Persia; EIC maneuvers; etc.
It was not a huge world-news year, 1610 CE. But there were small to midsize breaking news events, some of which would have huge resonance later. Plus, of course, the steady background drumbeat of Spain’s settler-colonial expansion in the Americas (and Philippines) continued and continued. Here are four world-significant events of 1610, presented more or … Continue reading 1610: France, “Jamestown”, Moscow, China
History is speeding up, and it becomes ever harder to extract just the most important events of each year. For 1609, I’ve identified two “bigger” stories and six smaller ones. Let’s go with the smaller ones first. Bigger two at the end. 1. Henry Hudson sails up American river later named after him In April, … Continue reading 1609: Spain expels “Moriscos”, recognizes Netherlands (sort of). Etc.
1608 CE was mainly just a routine year in that early-ish era of European imperial growth. Conquistadors conquistadoring, Portuguese and Dutch duking it out in the East Indies, etc. One interesting news item was that Irish resistance to English settler-colonialism was not, as I wrote yesterday, completely defeated in 1607. Also of note: How extremely … Continue reading 1608: France in N. America, England in N. America & Ireland
This is another two-main-story year; and once again the two main stories are about the handful of countries bordering the North Sea and the Atlantic that have been carving out a role for themselves as bosses of the world’s sea-lanes and therefore (soon enough in the future) of the whole world. The major “subsidiary” story … Continue reading 1607: Spain hit navally & financially, English start colonizing America
(I recently pulled together some of the thoughts and analyses this project has provoked, and published them on the blog of the non-profit I head, Just World Educational. This is a cross-post from there. ~HC) On January 1, I launched a new writing project, which is a sustained exploration of the last 500 years of … Continue reading How ‘The West’ was born
In the year 1606 CE the global balance was starting, ever more evidently, to become a function of sea power and naval capability. It’s true, there were a couple of somewhat notable developments involving the large land powers of that era. In Russia, in May, the Tsar “False” Dimitri I, whom we met last last … Continue reading 1606: Dutch vs. Portuguese in E. Indies, England starts “Virginia” colonization, etc.
Another busy year, 1605 CE. Here’s the Table of Contents: Guy Fawkes’ plot nearly topples King James; English repression of Ireland continues Mughal Empire’s Akbar dies, leaves big political legacy Cardinals come to blows when choosing 2nd new pope this year Upheaval in Moscow; Polish nobles mount a coup Spain plants yet more colonial settlements … Continue reading 1605: Upheavals in London, Moscow, Holy See. Akbar dies.