Questions tagged [17th-century]

The 17th century was the century which lasted from January 1, 1601 to December 31, 1700 in the Gregorian calendar.

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42
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Why were there no religious wars in Poland?

During the 16th and 17th centuries, there were many religious wars in Europe. In countries, were it was very close to Rome (like Spain, Portugal, Austria, Italian states), they did not occur. In ...
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Why didn't line infantry tactics try to keep up a constant volley of fire?

Often in movies on the American revolution and back when muskets were common place the opposing armies would line up facing each other and take turns firing. One side, then the other. Kind of like a ...
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Fermat's statement about the ancients: How serious was he?

I am extremely interested in the idea that there was a period in time when, at least in the west, people looked upon the ancients (Romans/Greeks) as possessors of wisdom that had been lost. Fermat ...
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Was the Dutch State independent when the Dutch East India Company was founded?

How were The Dutch able to build a successful trading empire by 1602 (with The Dutch East India Company) if the Dutch State gained independence after the Thirty Year's War in 1648? The war ends in ...
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Was it possible for a young Japanese woman to end up enslaved in Great Britain in the mid-1600s?

I'm inspired to ask this by the horror visual novel The Letter, which chiefly regards a haunted building called the Ermengarde mansion, in the fictional English town of Anslem, near the equally-...
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What did the top minds of the late 17th century have to say about Salem witch trials?

I think of Newton, Hooke, Leibniz, Wren, Locke -- assuming they knew hard to believe they would not have thought it crazy but I have read nothing about Newton, et al saying anything.
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Why did Charles I not borrow abroad?

The reign of Charles I of England can be summarized to a large degree as a continued attempt to raise revenue without authorization from Parliament. As is well known, Charles and his advisers had to ...
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Why didn't mercenary combat after the middle ages lead to the collapse of the ruling class?

The structure of society and warfare were closely connected to each other in the feudal system. The land belonged to the crown, the king assigned it to lords in return for military service, and in the ...
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Did the syphilis epidemic start the 16th and 17th century wig craze?

I've read that one reason that the nobility attending royal court in the 17th century had a passion for wigs, powdered faces, and gloves was the then prevalence of syphilis. By this reasoning those ...
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How common was it for people to live 80+ years in the 17th century?

I was studying music and saw in a music score sheet that Tomaso Albinoni lived 80 years. I know that long before that people had lived to that age. I would like to know just how common that was. Did ...
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How did people dress at the Jesuit missions to the Hurons?

The Jesuits established a number of missions among the Huron people of what is today Ontario during the 1600s. Unlike many other proselytizing groups of that era, the Jesuits were known for ...
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What is the flag in this 17th century painting?

I'm doing research on a painting 'Koppertjesmaandag' by Adriaen van Nieulandt in 1633. In the right corner of the painting you can see a couple of ships with their flags. One in particular is a gold ...
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Why did Robert Walpole get painted with a crown on his right side?

In this painting of Robert Walpole by John Theodore Heins Robert is painted with a crown on his right. Robert Walpole is according to Wikipedia "a British politician who is generally regarded as ...
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What was a “searcher” associated with a funeral in 1690?

Life In A Noble Household 1641-1700 by Gladys Scott-Thomson, 1937, analyses the household accounts of William Russell, 1st Duke of Bedford. On page 236 is listed an entry from December 1690 where the ...
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Did the blanket pardon from 'The Three Musketeers' exist in real life?

In his novel The Three Musketeers, Dumas describes Richelieu giving the following paper to Milady de Winter: C'est par mon ordre et pour le bien de l'Etat que le porteur du present a fait ce qu'il a ...
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What caused the decline of the Spanish empire?

What caused the gradual decline of the Spanish colonial empire in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries? A post I read claimed that the Spanish overestimated their wealth, and my teacher pointed ...
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Were the (early 17th C) arrivers/colonists to North America (USA) outcasts from European societies?

I have heard that early pilgrims for 'the new world' (North America / USA) left because they were indigent and had no support in their homelands. I have also heard that some were criminals or ...
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Why was there no concerted effort to end the Barbary pirate raids until the 1800's?

Barbary pirate raids on the Mediterranean coast led to widespread depopulation of the coasts from Venice to Malaga with the obvious exception of the larger cities. The pirate raids also seem to be the ...
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How is it that King Philips War devastated the colonists so much, but the Colonists were not driven out?

King Philips War, or Metacom's War if you will, was pretty devastating to the Northeast Colonies in the pre-United States - yet even after this the tribes that could have realized that the English and ...
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17th century Japanese colonies in Southeast Asia?

After a period of exposure to European interests, Japan secluded itself in the 1630s. George Lensen wrote in "The Russian Push Towards Japan": On the eve of her seclusion, Japan had begun to expand ...
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Why were cobblers so radical?

Peter Ackroyd writes on page 88 of his account of the English Civil War: Cobblers were well known for their radical Protestant sympathies. What was so special about cobblers?
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Purpose of Guinea in British monetary history

I read about Guinea itself, how it was made, but I don't really understand why would anybody keep a money worth 5% more than an existing denomination like Pound. I can accept the 1/20 and 1/12 ...
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What sort of Cardinals were Richelieu and Mazarin?

Cardinals can belong to one of three orders: Cardinal-deacon Cardinal-bishop Cardinal-priest. What were the ranks of Cardinals Richelieu and Mazarin?
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What was the official attitude to Cromwell after the Glorious Revolution?

Under the restored Stuarts, obviously, Cromwell was vilified. Actually, his exhumed head was publicly displayed on a pike for more than 20 years during their rule (wikipedia devotes a separate article ...
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What is the origin of the English Ship Building Philosophy?

I was reading an article on the Vasa the ship built under command of King Gustav Adolf, the ship sank during its launch on August 10, 1628. Part if the article mentions that the ship was somehow ...
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What was the summer uniform of the streltsy?

The Russian streltsy (shooters) of 17th century are usually depicted in winter uniform wearing fur hats and dress. What was their summer uniform?
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Was Swedish king Charles X Gustav's horse killed during Siege of Kraków (1655)?

My question is related to Siege of Kraków, which took place in 1655, between 25th of September and 13th of October, during Second Northern War, which is usually referred to as "Swedish Deluge" in ...
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Did 17th Cent. French Gentlemen Necessarily Use a Scabbard for Dress Swords?

I'm costuming a show that takes place in the 17th century, Paris, "Cavalier" period, as far as costumes go. I can't seem to find a conclusive answer regarding whether the gentlemen need to have a ...
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Why was William III of England referred to as the British-Batavian Nassau?

While reading through the book Medallic illustrations of the history of Great Britain and Ireland to the death of George II vol. I, I came across this interesting description. My question is why ...
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How was the dynamics of a naval battle in the 17th century?

I'm curious about the "mechanical" aspects in the course of a naval battle in the 17th century. To explain better, here are some questions whose answers would provide a text-answer explaining the ...
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What is the ruined tower in the background of this 1649 drawing of the Igeler Säule by Joan Blaeu?

The Igeler Säule is a Roman sandstone column dating back to 200-215 CE (h/t to @justCal) and together with the Drususstein (made in honour of Nero Claudius Drusus) according to Wikipedia the only ...
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What corrections did the Catholic church make to the Copernicus work “De revolutionibus”?

Catholic encyclopedia says: On 5 March, 1616, the work of Copernicus was forbidden by the Congregation of the Index "until corrected", and in 1620 these corrections were indicated. Nine sentences, ...
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What were the conditions that Pieter Stuyvesant found when he arrived in America?

I have been studying Pieter Stuyvesant recently, and would like to know two things about him and New Amsterdam: What were the conditions that he found when he arrived in New Amsterdam? By this I mean ...
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How did the Swedish army deal with prisoners of war in the Thirty Years War?

Researching for this answer to another question I found the martial law and "Articulsbrief" (norms for the mercenary soldiers) of Sweden after the reform of the military of King Gustav II ...
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What other courts were similar to Louis XIV of France's court in Versailles?

After reading about feudalism in the Middle Ages it became apparent that lords lived on their lands far away from the king and provided military services themselves in exchange for said lands. However,...
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What is the meaning of the hand gesture performed by King James II in the portrait by Peter Lely?

This portrait by Peter Lely is one of the most well-known images of James II of England (aka James VII of Scotland). It is used to illustrate his Wikipedia article. Is there some meaning behind the ...
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How extensive was the slighting of castles in the English Civil War?

Wikipedia states During the English Civil War many castles and fortified houses were slighted by the Parliamentarians to stop them being used by the Royalists. Most of the destruction was in ...
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What is this stick that William III of England/Orange is holding in this portrait?

While looking at a bit of Dutch history, I saw William holding a stick in this portrait. I looked for a description of the portrait on another site and it only says: This autograph portrait is a ...
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Why did Fakhr-al-Din seek a treaty with Tuscany, of all places?

In an interesting vignette, it turns out that the Druze emir of Lebanon, Fakhr-al-Din, had traveled in the early 17th century to Florence and tried to conclude a military alliance with the Grand Duchy ...
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Were there Jewish Cossacks in the 17th century?

Based on my research there seems to have been Jewish Cossacks. Based on what I have read it is possible they were Karaites who sought help of Cossacks to retrieve children and or families removed from ...
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How did lower classes with aspirations to high social standing greet each other in the Paris of the 1630's?

I am running a game of En Garde over on the RPG Stack Exchange. For purposes of verisimilitude, we're wondering about station-specific greetings in Paris in the 1630's. What would be an appropriate ...
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How did Edward Misselden become a deputy-governor of a merchant company at 15?

According to the wikipedia article Edward Misselden, he was born in 1608 and in 1623 became a deputy-governor of the Merchant Adventurers' Company at Delft. This means he got the job at the age of 15. ...
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What was the price of going from England to New England as a passenger in the 1600s?

Lots of places mention that traveling to New England was so expensive that many people became indentured servants to get across, but I couldn't find a place that actually says how expensive it was.
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What is “Mary's Part”?

The poem on this gravestone in RI refers to "Mary's part." What does this phrase mean?
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Why did the Streltsy in Russia have no summer uniform?

As noted in this answer, the typical well-know-from-paintings red coats and hats uniform of Russian Streltsy guard was both a winter and summer uniform. Is there any reason why an (obviously warm, to ...
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Were Puritans Prudes or Progressive?

I have recently encountered two independent assertions that Puritans were not prudes like I and most of society think they were. Either society's view of Puritans is revisionist, or the two sources I ...
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Robert Hookes Diary - Why would he have bought and drunk Vomit?

I have been reading extracts from Robert Hookes diary located here between the dates 1672-1680, on at least eight occasions he describes taking vomit and sometimes even using a feather to induce ...
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What calendar was used by the kingdom of Ireland?

For a research project I have, I need to identify some important dates. In order to do that, I'd like to know which calendar was used by the Kingdom of Ireland, specifically during the Irish rebellion ...
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How do I interpret this 17th century English ledger?

I'm an auditor. A colleague and I were discussing some 17th century English ledgers (pictured below). These come from the English Levant Company. However, we aren't sure how to interpret them. How ...
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Religion in European international politics after the Peace of Westphalia?

Thirty Years' War started out as a war of religion, and then almost all European entities got involved in it. It was concluded by the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, which led to a great deal of changes ...