The Early Modern period is generally considered to start at the Renaissance and discovery of the New World (circa 1500) and end around the Age of Revolutions (circa 1800). It is the first part of the most recent of the three major ages of history (Classical, Medieval and Modern).
I was fascinated by a passage in Thomas F. Madden's Venice: a New History describing the complex process used to elect the doge of Venice. This process is explained briefly here: Wikipedia: Doge of ...
After the Hundred Years War (or "wars") the English had been wiped off France, but English monarchs kept using their official title "King of France". As I understand, this was to legalize their claims ...