16th Century Timeline 1500 - 1599

16th Century - the technology, science, and inventions

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Timeline <1000 - 1300 <1400 <1500 <1600 <1700 <1800 <1900 <2000

The 16th century was a time of unprecedented change that saw the very beginning of the modern era of science, great exploration, religious and political turmoil, and extraordinary literature.

In 1543, Copernicus published his theory that the earth was not the center of the universe, but rather, that the Earth and the other planets orbited around the sun.

Called the Copernican Revolution, his theory forever changed astronomy, and ultimately changed all of science.

During the 16th century, advancements were also made in the theories of mathematics, cosmography, geography, and natural history. In this century inventions related to the fields of engineering, mining, navigation and the military arts were prominent.

1500

  • Wheel-lock musket invented.
  • The first flush toilets appeared.

1502

  • First reported African slaves in the New World.

1503

  • Leonardo da Vinci began painting the Mona Lisa and completes it three years later.

1506

  • Christopher Columbus died in Valladolid, Spain.

1508

  • Michaelangelo began painting the Sistine Chapel in Rome. 

1510

  • Leonardo DaVinci designs a horizontal water wheel.
  • Pocket watch invented by Peter Henlein.

1513

  • Urs Graf invented etching.
  • Machiavelli wrote "The Prince."

1517

  • The Protestant Reformation began when Marin Luther posted the 95 Theses is Saxony. 

    1519

    • Leonardo Da Vinci died at age 67 in Amboise, France.
    • Spaniard Magellan left to circumnavigate the globe. 
    • Charles I, King of Spain, becomes Holy Roman Emporer, Charles V. 

    1521

    • Magellan killed in the Philippines. 

    1527

    • Army of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, sacked Rome, thereby ending the Italian Rennaissance. 

      1531

      • Church of England broke away from Roman Catholic Church, making King Henry VIII head of the church.  

      1532

      • Francisco Pizzaro lead Spanish conquest of Incan Empire in Central America.

      1534

      • Ottoman Empire captured Bagdad.

      1536

      • Anne Boleyn was beheaded in London for treason. 
      • City of Buenos Aires was established in what would later become Argentina. 

      1543

      • Copernicus published his theory that the earth and planets revolved around the sun. 

      1547

      • King Henry VIII of England died. 

      1548

      • The MIng Dynasty government of China closed the nation to all foreign trade.

      1553

      • Mary Tudor became queen regent of England and restored the Church of England to papal authority. 

      1558

      • Elizabeth Tudor became queen of England, beginning the Elizabethan Era, regarded as the pinnacle of the English Rennaissance. 

      1563

      • The plague killed 80,000 people in England, 20,000 in London alone. 

      1561

      • Francis Bacon was born in London

      1564

      • William Shakespear was born in Stratford-on-Avon, England. 
      • Galileo was born in Florence, Italy.

      1565

      • A graphite pencil invented by Conrad Gesner.

      1568

      • Bottled beer invented in London.

      1569

      • Gerard Mercator invents Mercator map projection.

      1571

      • Pope PIous V established Holy League to combat Ottoman Turks. 

      1577

      • Sir Francis Drake began his voyage around the world.

        1582

        • Pope Gregory XIII established the Gregorian calendar, which remains in use to this day. 

        1585

        • Colony of Roanoke was established by English settlers in territory that would later become Virginia. 

        1587

        • Mary, Queen of Scots was executed by Elizabeth I. 

        1588

        • England defeated the Spanish Armada. 

        1589

        • Englishmen, William Lee invented a knitting machine called the stocking frame.

        1590

        • Dutchmen, Zacharias Janssen, invented the compound microscope.

        1593

        1596

        • Rene Descartes, future philosopher and mathematician, was born in France.  

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