Timeline of the 17th century

Timeline of major events in the 17th century 

1606 Jamestown, Virginia, established-first permanent English colony on American mainland. Pocahontas, daughter of Chief Powhatan, saves life of John Smith.

1609 Johannes Kepler publishes his Laws of Planetary Motion which explained the movement of planets around the sun.

1610 Galileo Galilei sees the moons of Jupiter through his telescope. Galileo also showed the Copernican system in which the planets circle the sun was correct.

1611 King James Version of the Bible published in England.

1616 William Shakespeare dies.

1618 Start of the Thirty Years’ War – Protestants revolt against Catholic oppression; Denmark, Sweden, and France invade Germany in later phases of war. Johannes Kepler proposes last of three laws of planetary motion.

1619 The first African slaves are brought to Jamestown.
(Slavery is made legal in 1650.)

1620 Pilgrims from England arrive at Plymouth, Massachusetts, on the Mayflower.

1626 Peter Minuit buys Manhattan island for the Dutch from Man-a-hat-a Indians for goods worth $24. The island is renamed New Amsterdam.

1630 Boston is founded by Massachusetts colonists led by John Winthrop.

1631 The Taj Mahal is built in India (1631 – 1653)

1633 The Spanish Inquisition forces Galileo Galilei to recant his belief in Copernican theory.

1642 English Civil War. Cavaliers, supporters of Charles I, against Roundheads, parliamentary forces. Oliver Cromwell defeats Royalists (1646). Parliament demands reforms. Charles I offers concessions, brought to trial (1648), beheaded (1649). Cromwell becomes Lord Protector (1653). Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn paints his Night Watch.

1644 End of Ming Dynasty in China-Manchus come to power. René Descartes’s Principles of Philosophy.

1648 End of the Thirty Years’ War. German population about half of what it was in 1618 because of war and pestilence.

1658 Oliver Cromwell dies; son Richard resigns and Puritan government collapses.

1660 English Parliament calls for the restoration of the monarchy; invites Charles II to return from France.

1661 Charles II is crowned King of England. Louis XIV begins personal rule as absolute monarch; starts to build Versailles.

1664 Isaac Newton’s experiments with gravity. The English seize New Amsterdam from the Dutch. The city is renamed New York.

1665 Great Plague in London kills 75,000.

1699 French settlers move into Mississippi and Louisiana.

Male Drunkenness

Many of the men in “The Rover” are constantly inebriated, especially the cavaliers.  This article describes the derivation of the popular manly pastime of drinking.  Originally, drunkenness was seen as unmanly because it altered men’s consciousness which separated them from animals.  Yet drinking games began to associate getting drunk with the manly ideals of gambling, socialization and sexuality.  These games made public inebriation socially acceptable for lower, middle and sometime upper class men.

male-drunkeness

Spain in the 17th Century

Spain in the Seventeenth Century

POPULATION
1600 – 8.1 million (9.2 including Portugal)
1700 – 7.5 million

MONARCHS
Philip III (1598-1621)
Philip IV (1621-1665)
Charles II (1665-1700)

KEY EVENTS
1609 – 12 Years Truce between Spain and the Dutch
1609 – Expulsion of the Moriscos
1640 – Catalan Revolt & Revolt of Portugal
1665 – Battle of Villaviciosa
1679 – Death of Don John

CULTURE
Literature
1605-15 – Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote
Lope de Vega (1562-1635)
Pedro Calderón de la Barca (1600-1681)

The Spanish crown ruled an empire that included modern Portugal (to 1640) and Belgium, much of the Italian peninsula, Mexico, and large portions of South America and the Caribbean. During the seventeenth century Spain was dogged by economic problems, as were her Mediterranean possessions, Milan and Naples. Slow communications and a ponderous bureaucracy made it hard for a Spanish monarch effectively to harness the resources of his far-flung empire. Much of the duty which the Spanish kings levied on the silver mined in South America (their most ready source of hard cash) had been spent in an unsuccessful attempt to end the Dutch Revolt.

The Spanish crown finally acknowledged Dutch independence in 1648, but silver imports had already begun to decline from the 1620s. During the seventeenth century, Spanish power declined relative to that of France and England. Portugal revolted in 1640, and Spain was forced to recognize its independence in 1668. Spain was weakened further under the ineffective government of the inbred, physically feeble, mentally-defective Charles II. Despite all its social problems, art and literature flourished in seventeenth-century Spain. The art of Velasquez and Murillo, the prose of Miguel de Cervantes and the dramas of Pedro Calderón de la Barca have few equals.

Religion in the 17th Century

The 17th century began a rise in conflict over Religion especially in England.  People were expected to belong to the Church of England, yet there were a great amount of Roman Catholics too.  Those who did not below to the Church were severely frowned upon including Roman Catholics, Jews and Gypsies.  England was primarily Anglican during this time, Spain was primarily Roman Catholic and Italy was primarily Roman Catholic.

To learn more about religion in the 17th century refer to the links below:

Overview of religion in 17th century England
http://www.localhistories.org/17thcenturyreligion.html

Roman Catholic Beliefs
http://christianity.about.com/od/denominations/a/catholicdenom.htm

Anglican Beliefs
http://anglicansonline.org/resources/essays/whalon/WhatIsAnglicanism.html

Primary sources that represent women’s view on religion and its importance to their lives.  17th-century-religion-and-women

The World in 1650

The 17th century in Europe is divided into two subsections: Reformation, Restoration and Enlightenment.  At the beginning of the century, wars broke out both civilly and internationally with aims to change monarchical power as well as religious and social reform.  The Enlightenment sparked creative, technological and political innovations in light of new social and political reform.

1 age of growing religious conflict ca. 1500-1618
2 Thirty Years’ War ca. 1618-1648
3 Early Enlightenment ca. 1648-1715
4 Late Enlightenment ca. 1715-1800
5 English Revolution ca. 1640-60
6 French Revolution ca. 1789-99

To find out more refer to these short articles and timelines of Early Modern Europe (Reformation and Enlightenment):
http://www.essential-humanities.net/western-history/early-modern-europe/#timeline

 

Prostitution

In England…

Prostitution in England during the 17th century was most popular in port cities and more densely populated metropolises. It is thought that as many as 63,000 prostitutes worked in London in the 1700s, meaning that 1 in 5 women were “harlots.” With such large numbers, these London prostitutes were able to generate an enormous amount of profit each year, with an average gross annual profit of approximately £20 million, or £1.5 billion today.

England in particular attracted prostitutes of various nationalities from all across Europe. The Venetians, however, were considered too expensive for most sailors and were typically only patronized by aristocrats and members of the royal court.

Additional reading:

http://www.portcities.org.uk/london/server/show/ConNarrative.111/chapterId/2339/Prostitution-in-maritime-London.html

http://forums.canadiancontent.net/history/87237-sin-city-one-five-women.html

A story in painting’s of one man’s descent into debauchery (painted in 1733): http://www.soane.org/collections-research/key-stories/rakes-progress

In Italy…

“Italian courtesans knew freedom like no other prostitutes of the Renaissance period.” – Hayley Virgil

Italian prostitutes in this period had the unique opportunity to educate themselves freely, while other more “honorable” women were confined to convents if they wished to pursue an education. Courtesans were able to maintain a sense of security and stability similar to those of married women at the time, while still free to explore their sexuality without being attached to a single man. These women were widely considered to be the most educated and cultured women of their time and they were known for holding philosophical conversations and discussing poetry with their clientele, in addition to their sexual services. These women, in some cases, were even able to affect politics through their conversations with powerful and politically connected men.

Unlike many other European nations, Italy permitted and even defended prostitution for far longer. In 1358, the Great Council of Venice declared prostitution to be “absolutely indispensable to the world.” Additionally, government-funded brothels were established in major Italian cities throughout the 14th and 15th centuries. It was not until 1586 that Pope Sixtus V finally spoke out against prostitution, calling for all women engaged in prostitution to be put to death. There exists, however, no evidence that this was ever carried out in the Catholic nations of Europe.

Another restriction was set upon prostitutions following the failure of Pope Sixtus’ decree. The clothing that prostitutes were allowed to wear became increasingly limited, preventing them from wearing finer items such as silks, lace, and pearls. Some cities went as far as to force prostitutes to identify themselves with a specific article of clothing, such as a black cloak, a yellow scarf, gloves, or even bells on their hats.

Women in Italy in the 17th century were typically categorized in one of two ways: “honorable” or “indecent” before they could be wed. It was prostitutes masked during Carnival time, however, that began to blur this line.

Additional reading:

https://www.brown.edu/Departments/Italian_Studies/dweb/society/sex/prostitution.php

http://civilliberty.about.com/od/gendersexuality/tp/History-of-Prostitution.htm

In Spain…

Similar to Italy, almost every large city or town in Spain had official established brothels by the 16th century, ranging from single buildings to vast complexes on the verge of becoming their own ghettos. Some municipal governments would even regulate prostitute fees, and send doctors to call on the brothels on a regular basis. Prostitution continued to be tolerated until the reign on King Philip IV. In 1623 the king issued a decree closing all brothels, forcing women out onto the street. It was not until the reign of Isabel II several hundred years later that more moderate regulations were introduced in place of the outright ban.

Additional reading:

http://www.revolvy.com/main/index.php?s=Prostitution%20in%20Spain&item_type=topic

Beyond The Bedroom: The Surprising History Of Prostitution Around The World

 

About Aphra Behn

“All I ask, is the privilege for my masculine part the poet in me…If I must not, because of my sex, have this freedom…I lay down my quill and you shall hear no more of me. “- Aphra Behn  

Aphra Johnson was born near Canterbury in 1640, and baptised on 14 December of that year. She is thought to have spent some of her youth in Dutch Guiana in the West Indies. In 1664, she married Johan Behn a merchant of Dutch or German parentage, but the marriage is not thought to have lasted very long. She is known to have acted as a British spy in Antwerp in 1666. Imprisonment for debt led her to write for an income.

Behn wrote a series of successful plays. Her first, ‘The Forc’d Marriage’ was produced in 1671. ‘The Rover’ (1681), her most successful, was produced in two parts and included in its cast Nell Gwyn, mistress of Charles II. Among Behn’s sources was the Italian commedia dell’arte (improvised comedy), which she used in her farce ‘The Emperor of the Moon’ (1687), forerunner of the modern-day pantomime.

Behn’s novel ‘Oroonoko’ B(1688) was the story of an enslaved African prince and is now considered a foundation stone in the development of the English novel. As well as plays and prose Behn wrote poetry and translated works from French and Latin. In her time she was a celebrity, unusual for her independence as a professional writer and her concern for equality between the sexes.

Behn died on 16 April 1689 and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

BBC 

Additional Information 

Video Lectures:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utPKWzTRC7I

Articles about Behn 

http://www.luminarium.org/eightlit/behn/behnbio.htm
http://womenshistory.about.com/od/behnaphra/a/Aphra-Behn.htm

Other Works by Behn 

Works of Aphra Behn part 1 including: MEMOIRS OF APHRA BEHN, THE ROVER(original version), THE DUTCH LOVER, and THE ROUNDHEADS, or, THE GOOD OLD CLAUSE.
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/21339/21339-h/21339-h.htm

Works of Aphra Behn part 2 including: ABDELAZER or THE MOOR’S REVENGE, THE YOUNG KING or THE MISTAKE, THE CITY HEIRESS or SIR TIMOTHY TREAT-ALL, THE FEIGN’D CURTEZANS or A NIGHT’S INTRIGUE NOTES
http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/8885/pg8885.html

Works of Aphra Behn part 3 including: THE TOWN-FOP; OR, SIR TIMOTHY TAWDREY THE FALSE COUNT THE LUCKY CHANCE, AN ALDERMAN’S BARGAIN THE FORC’D MARRIAGE, THE JEALOUS BRIDEGROOM THE EMPEROR OF THE MOON NOTES
http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/10039/pg10039-images.html

Works of Aphra Behn part 4 including: SIR PATIENT FANCY, THE AMOROUS PRINCE, THE WIDOW RANTER, THE YOUNGER BROTHER OR THE AMOROUS JILT
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/27273/27273-h/27273-h.htm

Works of Aphra Behn part 5 including: THE ADVENTURE OF THE BLACK LADY, THE COURT OF THE KING OF BANTAM, THE UNFORTUNATE HAPPY LADY: A TRUE HISTORY, THE FAIR JILT, OROONOKO; OR, THE ROYAL SLAVE, AGNES DE CASTRO, THE HISTORY OF THE NUN; OR, THE FAIR VOW-BREAKER, THE NUN; OR, THE PERJUR’D BEAUTY, THE LUCKY MISTAKE, THE UNFORTUNATE BRIDE; OR, THE BLIND LADY A BEAUTY, THE DUMB VIRGIN; OR, THE FORCE OF IMAGINATION,  THE WANDERING BEAUTY, THE UNHAPPY MISTAKE; OR, THE IMPIOUS VOW PUNISH’D
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/29854/29854-h/29854-h.htm

Works of Aphra Behn part 6 including: THE LOVER’S WATCH, POEMS UPON SEVERAL OCCASIONS (1684), A VOYAGE TO THE ISLE OF LOVE, LYCIDUS; OR, THE LOVER IN FASHION (1688), POEMS APPENDED TO LYCIDUS, WESTMINSTER DROLLERY (1671), MISCELLANY (1685), GILDON’S MISCELLANY (1692), GILDON’S CHORUS POETARUM (1694) , MUSES MERCURY (1707) , FAMILIAR LETTERS (1718), PROLOGUE TO ROMULUS, EPILOGUE TO ROMULUS, SATYR ON DRYDEN, PROLOGUE TO VALENTINIAN, TO HENRY HIGDEN, ON THE DEATH OF E. WALLER, A PINDARIC POEM TO DR. BURNET
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/45777/45777-h/45777-h.htm