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Puritans – American religion

By |2017-08-14T15:33:52+00:00August 14th, 2017|Modern Europe, North America, Religion|

A Puritan family about 1563 About 1563 AD, some people in England decided that they wanted to follow a way of life that they thought would be more according to what the Christian God wanted. They called themselves "the godly", but other people called them "Puritans." Puritan people, like Calvinists, thought only God decided whether you got into Heaven. [...]

Restoration England – British history

By |2018-04-24T10:40:56+00:00August 14th, 2017|History, Modern Europe|

Charles II of England Oliver Cromwell tried to leave his job as Lord Protector to his son Richard when he died in 1658, but Richard was so useless that two years later Parliament invited Charles I's son, Charles II, to come be king in England after all: historians call this the Restoration, because it restored the [...]

Civil War Battles – American History

By |2018-04-19T11:29:04+00:00August 12th, 2017|History, North America|

Jefferson Davis The white men of the Confederacy elected their own president, Jefferson Davis (but the enslaved African-Americans were still not allowed to vote, and neither were women or anyone who didn't own any land). Lincoln decided to use the United States army to recapture the South and force them to be part of the United States. The [...]

Cherokee Trail of Tears – American history

By |2018-09-20T11:40:38+00:00August 12th, 2017|History, Native American|

Hernando De Soto Europeans: Hernando de Soto In 1540 AD Cherokee people met European men for the first time. A Spanish man named Hernando De Soto was exploring the East Coast of North America with a group of Spanish soldiers. Soon he arrived at Cherokee towns. Cherokee leaders welcomed the foreigners diplomatically, even though they must have known [...]

Indentured servants – American history

By |2017-08-10T23:09:09+00:00August 10th, 2017|Economy, North America|

Indentured servant Nanny Hull, working on Quaintance farm in Kentucky in the 1800s Because most of the people who lived in North America had died during the 1500s AD of smallpox and measles and other diseases brought by European traders, by the 1700s there were not very many people left on the East Coast to work on farms there. So English [...]

European science – the Enlightenment

By |2017-08-07T21:37:41+00:00August 7th, 2017|Math, Modern Europe, Physics, Science|

Gottfried Leibniz, a German mathematician By 1650 AD, Europeans understood Islamic algebra and trigonometry better. Then they combined that with the exciting invention of the telescope and microscope. Together, these two new things led to a lot more new scientific discoveries. The Wars of Religion also got a lot of people thinking about what they really believed. How could you know for sure? [...]

Mary Wollstonecraft – European philosophy

By |2018-04-08T11:14:30+00:00August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, Philosophy|

Mary Wollstonecraft - European philosophy Mary Wollstonecraft was the most famous woman among the Enlightenment philosophers of the 1700s AD. Like Damaris Masham and Mary Astell in the 1600s, Wollstonecraft mainly argued that men should not prevent women from getting a good education. You think this is obvious? But Rousseau, just a few years earlier, had argued that men should [...]

Voltaire – European philosopher

By |2018-04-09T23:07:35+00:00August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, Philosophy|

Voltaire - a French philosopher Voltaire took ideas about religion, science, and human rights that were just getting started in the 1700s AD, and encouraged new ways of thinking about them. His ideas paved the way for the American Revolutionary War and the French Revolution, though he died just before the French Revolution. Voltaire was [...]

John Locke – European philosophy

By |2018-04-08T11:14:28+00:00August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, Philosophy|

John Locke John Locke was an English philosopher in the late 1600s AD. He was just starting his career at the height of the Enlightenment, when Hobbes was an old man. Locke's mother and father were both Puritans; his mother ran the household while his father worked as a lawyer. Locke went to college at Oxford, though he [...]

Thomas Hobbes – European philosophy

By |2018-04-23T09:44:15+00:00August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, Philosophy|

Thomas Hobbes, a European philosopher Thomas Hobbes (yes, he's the one that Calvin named his tiger after) lived in England, about fifty years after Calvin and about the same time as Descartes. While Hobbes' sister was kept at home, as a man Hobbes got to go to college at Oxford and read Thucydides, Aristotle, and other ancient authors. After [...]