72

That's actually exactly what they did. In the early 17th century, Maurice of Orange reformed the Dutch army and drilled them to use volley fire. This involved the first rank (i.e. the first row of the line) firing and moving to the back of the line. For obvious reasons, this harmed the cohesion of the formation. By 1670, the French had begun firing by ranks....


48

No. At least, not to any practical intent or purpose. Japanese in Britain Significant numbers of Japanese were actually sold into slavery overseas during the 16th century, mostly through Portuguese merchants. Aside from chattel slavery, Portuguese sailors also bought young Japanese women as concubines, and it would not have been unthinkable if one ...


44

There is a difference between abstract knowledge and "inventions". In the 17th century it was still widely believed that the ancient Greeks had discovered and formulated pretty much the sum total of abstract knowledge. Fermat put this in question. The authentic quote from Fermat (in French and in English translation) can be found here: Perhaps, posterity ...


37

As Stephen Burnap has already explained, it is unlikely that Newton would even have heard of the Salem Witch Trials. As for Newton's personal beliefs on the subject of witchcraft, I think most people are now aware that Newton studied alchemy. As a result, there has been more interest in his belief, or otherwise, in "related", non-scientific subjects. ...


36

Recognition of independence is different from de facto independence. While the Dutch Republic was officially recognised as independent only in 1648, it was actually founded 80 years earlier by the Union of Utrecht of 1579. The Dutch provinces were largely autonomous even before they entered into open revolt, but the treaty laid down a constitutional ...


34

It's a big assumption that they knew. At the time, Salem was the middle of nowhere, with a colony founded specifically to keep to itself. The trials themselves would likely not have attracted much attention, especially since witch trials were happening all through Europe during that period. In the 250 years before 1750, around 40,000 witches were executed ...


31

That Poland avoided internal wars of religion can indeed be attributed to the religious tolerance of the state at this time, a tolerance that stretches back a long time. And this has to do with it's position, where many of its neighbouring countries were not Catholic. To the east the Kievan Rus adopted Orthodoxy, and further north the areas now known as ...


28

The painting shows Robert Walpole in his full regalia as First Earl of Orford. The "crown" is not, in fact technically a crown, but rather a coronet, which forms part of that regalia. The Wikipedia article includes a series of images depicting the coronets for various British coronet rankings. I have reproduced the image of an Earl's coronet ...


23

It is commonly accepted that the Spanish Empire, which rose to the pinnacle of its strength under Charles V/I and Philip II was in decline by early seventeenth century and, in spite (or perhaps because?) of strenuous efforts to arrest and reverse that decline during the early 17th century, it declined and by 1643 or 1659 (not random dates..) it was a shadow ...


20

Financial Wikipedia answers: The guinea is a coin that was minted in the Kingdom of England and later in the Kingdom of Great Britain and the United Kingdom between 1663 and 1814. It was the first English machine-struck gold coin, originally worth one pound sterling, equal to twenty shillings; but rises in the price of gold relative to silver ...


20

SHORT ANSWER Charles I did borrow money from abroad but it was never enough to meet his needs. The financial drain of the Thirty Years War on much of Europe, a muddled foreign policy, and a lack of both collateral and trust were the main reasons Charles I could not borrow enough abroad. Potential lenders were also reluctant to help the king due to the ...


20

A scabbard is paired with the sword it is supposed to encase, not with the belt to which it is attached. Carrying a sword without a scabbard is not a very good idea (to put it mildly): not only it is unsafe for the owner and people around him, but it could also damage the valuable weapon. Given that the weapon in question is probably a rapier: ...a ...


20

That's roughly what they did. Both sides would line up their men, where the defender had the advantage: they could form two or more lines. The first line fired, then reloaded, while the second line fired, etc. The attacker can't do that. The second row would be shooting their own men in the first row. But their advantage was the bayonet. Fire one volley ...


16

William III was a member of the House of Nassau and, as the Prince of Orange a pre-eminent Dutch leader. In 1672 he became a Stadtholder in the Dutch Republic. Following the Glorious Revolution in 1688, he reigned in Britain as the King of England, Scotand, and Ireland. Note that during this time, in a display of national romanticism, the Dutch people ...


15

As mentioned by Steven Burnap Salem was isolated, but we can have a look at other examples. During the witch processes in Stockholm 1678 Urban Hjärne (chemist, geologist, physician and writer) initially was for torture, but later changed his mind and realised it was a case of mass hysteria and not witchcraft. He still considered witchcraft a reality and that ...


14

1: Could there have been young Japanese women in Great Britain in the mid-1600s? This seems extraordinarily unlikely. According to the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan 1600 William Adams, a seaman from Kent, becomes the first Briton to arrive in Japan. 1832 Three sailors from Aichi Prefecture—Otokichi, Kyukichi and Iwakichi—cross the Pacific Ocean from ...


13

It is a widely used epitaph of the time for beloved wives (see here and here), and seems to refer to Luke 10:38-42: (New International Version (NIV)) At the Home of Martha and Mary 38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s ...


13

Actuarial science was just getting started in the 17th century, so we can answer this question with some specificity--for London and Breslow, anyway. John Graunt made the following life table for London in 1662 (source): Around 1% of Londoners were older than 77. Edmond Halley (of comet fame) made the following table for Breslau in 1693. Note that births (...


13

It seems that the Massachusetts Bay company had a rule setting out some costs and the limits on the number of passengers that ships could carry. A ship of two hundred tons should not carry more than one hundred passengers (other ships adhered to the same proportions). The cost of passage was 5 pounds sterling for an adult (and 4 pounds for a ton of goods). ...


12

Many 17th century settlers in what is now the United States were indeed indigent or criminals, but not all, and we should understand the "criminality" in question. Many English farmers lost their livelihood due to enclosure, which had reached new heights during the Tudor years. Some ran themselves into debt and faced debtors' prison (indeed, Georgia Colony ...


12

Poland was indeed involved in the 30 Years War, sending death squads to aid Habsburg allies in Bohemia and getting decked when Bohemia sicced the Ottoman Empire on them. At this time, Poland-Lithuania was far more unified politically under the Magnates and royalty than the Holy Roman Empire... and nobody kid themselves, the 30 Years War was a political as ...


12

Yes, Puritans supported a state church. Ministers' salaries were paid by taxes levied on all residents of the colonies. Colonial meetinghouses, also built at the taxpayers' expense, were used for both town business and religious worship. Participation in political life was dependent on one's religious background, as voting rights were restricted to members ...


12

The hand gesture showing the middle fingers together has been variously described as a ‘W’ or ‘pseudo-zygodactylous gesture’ or the ‘El Greco gesture’. It seems to have originated in late renaissance or Mannerism period from 1520 to the late 17th century, and was subsequently adopted by many artists in later periods. El Greco was not the first to use this ...


11

You might find this enlightening: Naval tactics in the Age of Sail Also: Line of Battle To address your main points: Distance: The fleets could get pretty close, Battle of the Chesapeake page has a quite good map. Also it was possible for ships to pair off a fight in close quarters like at Quiberon Bay). I can't say, but the artists representations look ...


11

Indeed, in a somewhat similar situation, in the 15th century Italian Condottieri such as Sforza, Braccio da Montone and Malatesta did use their mercenary armies to seize control of city-states and become dukes and lords. However, in 17th century Northern Europe such a development was more or less unthinkable. The reason is, I think, that the power in 17th ...


11

Actually, streltsy worn two types of kaftans – basic kaftan and kaftan for cold weather. Cold weather kaftan is quilted with sheepskin or fur and has fur collar and fur hem sleeves. Basic kaftan: Winter kaftan (note sleeves and collar): According to Yuri Veremeev, "Anatomy of Army"


11

It was basically a business decision. The Dutch West India Company had a large financial stake in the success of the colony, and ensuring that new settlers were treated with "moderation" was seen as necessary. The official response of The Dutch West India Company was the following letter signed by Abraham Wilmandone and David Von Baerle on April 16th, 1663:...


11

What we now know as the Gunpowder Plot began as a conspiracy between three men: Robert Catesby, John Wright and Thomas Winter. Only one of the three, Thomas Winter, survived to tell their account of the plot. That account was extracted under torture, so we should approach it with come caution, but it is the best information that we have. His confession is ...


11

Author of The Mystery of Capitalism and the NYTimes article cited above, Hernando de Soto is a well-known Peruvian economist who has perhaps been a little careless with his words. Some (or even many) of the 'technocrats' de Soto refers to may have been hired by Colbert, but Colbert died (1683) before the industrial code restricting cotton importing / ...


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