James VII and II
Dutch East India Company
The United East India Company (Dutch: Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie [vərˈeːnɪɣdə oːstˈɪndisə kɔmpɑˈɲi], abbr. as VOC, Dutch: [veː.oːˈseː]) was a chartered company established on 20 March 1602[2] by the States General of the Netherlands amalgamating existing companies into the first joint-stock company in the world,[3][4] granting it a 21-year monopoly to carry out trade activities in Asia.[5] Shares in the company could be bought by any resident of the United Provinces and then subsequently bought and sold in open-air secondary markets (one of which became the Amsterdam Stock Exchange).[6] It is sometimes considered to have been the first multinational corporation.[7] It was a powerful company, possessing quasi-governmental powers, including the ability to wage war, imprison and execute convicts,[8] negotiate treaties, strike its own coins, and establish colonies.[9]
Statistically, the VOC eclipsed all of its rivals in the Asia trade. Between 1602 and 1796 the VOC sent almost a million Europeans to work in the Asia trade on 4,785 ships, and netted for their efforts more than 2.5 million tons of Asian trade goods. By contrast, the rest of Europe combined sent only 882,412 people from 1500 to 1795, and the fleet of the English (later British) East India Company, the VOC's nearest competitor, was a distant second to its total traffic with 2,690 ships and a mere one-fifth the tonnage of goods carried by the VOC. The VOC enjoyed huge profits from its spice monopoly through most of the 17th century.[10]
Having been set up in 1602 to profit from the Malukan spice trade, the VOC established a capital in the port city of Jayakarta in 1609 and changed the city name into Batavia (now Jakarta). Over the next two centuries the company acquired additional ports as trading bases and safeguarded their interests by taking over surrounding territory.[11] It remained an important trading concern and paid an 18% annual dividend for almost 200 years. Much of the labour that built its colonies was from people it had enslaved.
Weighed down by smuggling, corruption and growing administrative costs in the late 18th century, the company went bankrupt and was formally dissolved in 1799. Its possessions and debt were taken over by the government of the Dutch Batavian Republic. The former territories owned by the VOC went on to become the Dutch East Indies and were expanded over the course of the 19th century to include the entirety of the Indonesian archipelago. In the 20th century, these islands would form the Republic of Indonesia.

Euronext Amsterdam
The Amsterdam stock exchange is considered the oldest "modern" securities market in the world.[2] It was shortly after the establishment of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) in 1602 when equities began trading on a regular basis as a secondary market to trade its shares. Prior to that, the market existed primarily for the exchange of commodities.[3] It was subsequently renamed the Amsterdam Bourse and was the first to formally begin trading in securities. The Sephardic Jewish writer Joseph de la Vega's Confusion of Confusions (1688) is the first full-length work about the stock exchange, its participants and shareholders.[4]
Prior to that, the market existed primarily for the exchange of commodities.[3] In 1602, the States General of the Netherlands granted the VOC a 21-year charter over all Dutch trade in Asia and quasi-governmental powers. The monopolistic terms of the charter effectively granted the VOC complete authority over trade defenses, war armaments, and political endeavors in Asia. The high level of risk associated with trade in Asia gave the VOC its private ownership structure. Following in the footsteps of the English East India Company, stock in the corporation was sold to a large pool of interested investors, who in turn received a guarantee of some future share of profits.[5] In the Amsterdam East India House alone, 1,143 investors subscribed for over ƒ3,679,915 or €100 million in today's money.[6]
Although it is usually considered to be the first stock market, Fernand Braudel argues that this is not precisely true:
"It is not quite accurate to call [Amsterdam] the first stock market, as people often do. State loan stocks had been negotiable at a very early date in Venice, in Florence before 1328, and in Genoa, where there was an active market in the luoghi and paghe of Casa di San Giorgio, not to mention the Kuxen shares in the German mines which were quoted as early as the fifteenth century at the Leipzig fairs, the Spanish juros, the French rentes sur l'Hotel de Ville (municipal stocks) (1522) or the stock market in the Hanseatic towns from the fifteenth century. The statutes of Verona in 1318 confirm the existence of the settlement or forward market ... In 1428, the jurist Bartolomeo de Bosco protested against the sale of forward loca in Genoa. All evidence points to the Mediterranean as the cradle of the stock market. But what was new in Amsterdam was the volume, the fluidity of the market and publicity it received, and the speculative freedom of transactions."
— Fernand Braudel (1983)[2]
Samuel de Champlain
(French: [samɥɛl də ʃɑ̃plɛ̃]; c. 13 August 1567[2][Note 1][Note 2] – 25 December 1635) was a French explorer, navigator, cartographer, draftsman, soldier, geographer, ethnologist, diplomat, and chronicler. He made between 21 and 29 trips across the Atlantic Ocean,[3] and founded Quebec, and New France, on 3 July 1608. An important figure in Canadian history, Champlain created the first accurate coastal map during his explorations, and founded various colonial settlements.
Born into a family of sailors, Champlain began exploring North America in 1603, under the guidance of his uncle, François Gravé Du Pont.[4][5] After 1603, Champlain's life and career consolidated into the path he would follow for the rest of his life.[6]
From 1604 to 1607, he participated in the exploration and creation of the first permanent European settlement north of Florida, Port Royal, Acadia (1605).
In 1608, he established the French settlement that is now Quebec City.[Note 3]
Champlain was the first European to describe the Great Lakes, and published maps of his journeys and accounts of what he learned from the natives and the French living among the Natives.
He formed long time relationships with local Montagnais and Innu, and, later, with others farther west—tribes of the Ottawa River, Lake Nipissing, and Georgian Bay, and with Algonquin and Wendat. He agreed to provide assistance in the Beaver Wars against the Iroquois. He learned and mastered their languages.
Late in the year of 1615, Champlain returned to the Wendat and stayed with them over the winter, which permitted him to make the first ethnographic observations of this important nation, the events of which form the bulk of his book Voyages et Decouvertes faites en la Nouvelle France, depuis l’année 1615 published in 1619.[6]
In 1620, Louis XIII of France ordered Champlain to cease exploration, return to Quebec, and devote himself to the administration of the country.[Note 4]
In every way but formal title, Samuel de Champlain served as Governor of New France, a title that may have been formally unavailable to him owing to his non-noble status.[Note 5] Champlain established trading companies that sent goods, primarily fur, to France, and oversaw the growth of New France in the St. Lawrence River valley until his death, in 1635.
Many places, streets, and structures in northeastern North America today bear his name, most notably Lake Champlain.
The Edo period
(江戸時代, Edo jidai) or Tokugawa period (徳川時代, Tokugawa jidai) is the period between 1603 and 1867 in the history of Japan, when Japan was under the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate and the country's 300 regional daimyo. Emerging from the chaos of the Sengoku period, the Edo period was characterized by economic growth, strict social order, isolationist foreign policies, a stable population, perpetual peace, and popular enjoyment of arts and culture.
The period derives its name from Edo (now Tokyo), where on March 24, 1603, the shogunate was officially established by Tokugawa Ieyasu. The period came to an end with the Meiji Restoration and the Boshin War, which restored imperial rule to Japan.

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (/ˈrɛmbrænt, ˈrɛmbrɑːnt/,[2] Dutch: [ˈrɛmbrɑnt ˈɦɑrmə(n)ˌsoːɱ vɑn ˈrɛin] (listen); 15 July 1606[1] – 4 October 1669), usually simply known as Rembrandt, was a Dutch Golden Age painter, printmaker and draughtsman. An innovative and prolific master in three media,[3] he is generally considered one of the greatest visual artists in the history of art and the most important in Dutch art history.[4] It is estimated Rembrandt produced a total of about three hundred paintings, three hundred etchings and two thousand drawings.
Unlike most Dutch masters of the 17th century, Rembrandt's works depict a wide range of styles and subject matter, from portraits and self-portraits to landscapes, genre scenes, allegorical and historical scenes, biblical and mythological themes and animal studies. His contributions to art came in a period of great wealth and cultural achievement that historians call the Dutch Golden Age, when Dutch art (especially Dutch painting), whilst antithetical to the Baroque style that dominated Europe, was prolific and innovative. This era gave rise to important new genres. Like many artists of the Dutch Golden Age, such as Jan Vermeer, Rembrandt was an avid art collector and dealer.
Rembrandt never went abroad but was considerably influenced by the work of the Italian masters and Dutch artists who had studied in Italy, like Pieter Lastman, the Utrecht Caravaggists, and Peter Paul Rubens. After he achieved youthful success as a portrait painter, Rembrandt's later years were marked by personal tragedy and financial hardships. Yet his etchings and paintings were popular throughout his lifetime, his reputation as an artist remained high,[5] and for twenty years he taught many important Dutch painters.[6]
Rembrandt's portraits of his contemporaries, self-portraits and illustrations of scenes from the Bible are regarded as his greatest creative triumphs. His 40 self-portraits form an intimate autobiography.[4] Rembrandt's foremost contribution in the history of printmaking was his transformation of the etching process from a relatively new reproductive technique into an art form.[7][8] His reputation as the greatest etcher in the history of the medium was established in his lifetime. Few of his paintings left the Dutch Republic while he lived but his prints were circulated throughout Europe, and his wider reputation was initially based on them alone.
In his works, he exhibited knowledge of classical iconography. A depiction of a biblical scene was informed by Rembrandt's knowledge of the specific text, his assimilation of classical composition, and his observations of Amsterdam's Jewish population.[9] Because of his empathy for the human condition, he has been called "one of the great prophets of civilization".[10] The French sculptor Auguste Rodin said, "Compare me with Rembrandt! What sacrilege! With Rembrandt, the colossus of Art! We should prostrate ourselves before Rembrandt and never compare anyone with him!"[11]

was born in Wesel, now in western Germany, around 1570. He settled in Middelburg, the capital of the province of Zeeland, now in the Netherlands, in 1594, married the same year and became a citizen of Zeeland in 1602. During that time he became a master lens grinder and spectacle maker and established a shop. He remained in Middelburg until his death, in September 1619.
Invention of the telescope
Hans Lipperhey is known for the earliest written record of a refracting telescope, a patent he filed in 1608.[2][3] His work with optical devices grew out of his work as a spectacle maker,[4] an industry that had started in Venice and Florence in the thirteenth century,[5] and later expanded to the Netherlands and Germany.[6]
Lipperhey applied to the States General of the Netherlands on 2 October 1608 for a patent for his instrument "for seeing things far away as if they were nearby",[7] a few weeks before another Dutch instrument-maker's patent, that of Jacob Metius. Lipperhey failed to receive a patent since the same claim for invention had also been made by other spectacle-makers[8][9] but he was handsomely rewarded by the Dutch government for copies of his design.
Lipperhey's application for a patent was mentioned at the end of a diplomatic report on an embassy to Holland from the Kingdom of Siam sent by the Siamese king Ekathotsarot: Ambassades du Roy de Siam envoyé à l'Excellence du Prince Maurice, arrivé à La Haye le 10 Septemb. 1608 (Embassy of the King of Siam sent to his Excellency Prince Maurice, arrived at The Hague on 10 September 1608). This report was issued in October 1608 and distributed across Europe, leading to experiments by other scientists, such as the Italian Paolo Sarpi, who received the report in November, the Englishman Thomas Harriot, who was using a six-powered telescope by the summer of 1609, and Galileo Galilei, who improved the device.[10]
There are many stories as to how Lipperhey came by his invention. One version has Lipperhey observing two children playing with lenses in his shop and commenting how they could make a far away weather-vane seem closer when looking at it through two lenses. Other stories have Lipperhey's apprentice coming up with the idea or have Lipperhey copying someone else's discovery.[11] Lipperhey's original instrument consisted of either two convex lenses with an inverted image or a convex objective and a concave eyepiece lens so it would have an upright image.[12] This "Dutch perspective glass" (the name "telescope" would not be coined until three years later by Giovanni Demisiani) had a three-times (or 3X) magnification.
The lunar crater Lippershey, the minor planet 31338 Lipperhey, and the exoplanet Lipperhey (55 Cancri d) are named after him.

The Bank of Amsterdam
 (Dutch: Amsterdamsche Wisselbank, lit. 'Exchange Bank of Amsterdam') was an early bank, vouched for by the city of Amsterdam, and established in 1609.[1] It was the first public bank to offer accounts not directly convertible to coin. As such, it has been described as the first true central bank,[2] even though that view is not uniformly shared and a similar claim has been made for the Taula de canvi of Barcelona, established two centuries earlier.[3]
Unlike the Bank of England, established almost a century later, it neither managed the national currency nor acted as a lending institution (except to the government in emergencies); it was intended to defend coinage standard. The role of the Wisselbank was to correctly estimate the value of coins and thus make debasement less profitable.[4] It occupied a central position in the financial world of its day, providing an effective, efficient and trusted system for national and international payments, and introduced the first-ever international reserve currency, the bank guilder. The model of the Wisselbank as a state bank was adapted throughout Europe, including the Bank of Sweden (1668) and the Bank of England (1694). David Hume praised the Bank of Amsterdam for its policy of 100 percent specie-backed deposit reserves.[5]
The bank's full-reserve policy relaxed over time as it lent money to finance overseas trade and to support the Dutch economy, but it remained liquid by requiring good collateral on its loans. This changed with the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War, when the Dutch East India Company defaulted on large unsecured advances from the bank. Despite several attempts to recapitalize, confidence in the bank never recovered.[6] During the last decade of the Republic of the United Provinces, in 1790, the premium on the bank's money disappeared, and by the end of the year, it had declared itself insolvent. The City of Amsterdam assumed control of the bank in 1791. The Nederlandsche Bank was established in 1814, and took over money issue duties for the new Kingdom of the Netherlands, while the Wisselbank entered liquidation in 1819.
Fort Nassau
, near Moree, Ghana, was the first fort that the Dutch established on what would become the Dutch Gold Coast. Because of its importance during the early European colonial period in West Africa and its testimony to the African gold trade and the Atlantic slave trade, the fort was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1979 (along with several other castles and forts in Ghana).[1]
The siege of Osaka
 (大坂の役, Ōsaka no Eki, or, more commonly, 大坂の陣 Ōsaka no Jin) was a series of battles undertaken by the Japanese Tokugawa shogunate against the Toyotomi clan, and ending in that clan's destruction. Divided into two stages (winter campaign and summer campaign), and lasting from 1614 to 1615, the siege put an end to the last major armed opposition to the shogunate's establishment. The end of the conflict is sometimes called the Genna Armistice (元和偃武, Genna Enbu), because the era name was changed from Keichō to Genna immediately following the siege.
The Battle of White Mountain
 (Czech: Bitva na Bílé hoře; German: Schlacht am Weißen Berg) was an important battle in the early stages of the Thirty Years' War. It led to the defeat of the Bohemian Revolt and ensured Habsburg control for the next three hundred years.
It was fought on 8 November 1620. An army of 21,000 Bohemians and mercenaries under Christian of Anhalt was defeated by 23,000 men of the combined armies of Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor, led by Charles Bonaventure de Longueval, Count of Bucquoy, and the German Catholic League under Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria and Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly, at Bílá Hora ("White Mountain") near Prague.[3] Bohemian casualties were not severe but their morale collapsed and Imperial forces occupied Prague the next day.
New Amsterdam
 (Dutch: Nieuw Amsterdam, pronounced [ˌniʋɑmstərˈdɑm] or Dutch pronunciation: [ˌniuʔɑms-]) was a 17th-century Dutch settlement established at the southern tip of Manhattan Island that served as the seat of the colonial government in New Netherland. The initial trading factory gave rise to the settlement around Fort Amsterdam. The fort was situated on the strategic southern tip of the island of Manhattan and was meant to defend the fur trade operations of the Dutch West India Company in the North River (Hudson River). In 1624, it became a provincial extension of the Dutch Republic and was designated as the capital of the province in 1625.
By 1655, the population of New Netherland had grown to 2,000 people, with 1,500 living in New Amsterdam. By 1664, the population of New Netherland had risen to almost 9,000 people, 2,500 of whom lived in New Amsterdam, 1,000 lived near Fort Orange, and the remainder in other towns and villages.[1][2]
In 1664, the English took over New Amsterdam and renamed it New York after the Duke of York (later James II & VII). After the Second Anglo-Dutch War of 1665–67, England and the United Provinces of the Netherlands agreed to the status quo in the Treaty of Breda. The English kept the island of Manhattan, the Dutch giving up their claim to the town and the rest of the colony, while the English formally abandoned Surinam in South America, and the island of Run in the East Indies to the Dutch, confirming their control of the valuable Spice Islands. What was once New Amsterdam became New York City's downtown, today known as Lower Manhattan.

Robert Boyle
 FRS[5] (/bɔɪl/; 25 January 1627 – 31 December 1691) was an Anglo-Irish[6] natural philosopher, chemist, physicist, alchemist and inventor. Boyle is largely regarded today as the first modern chemist, and therefore one of the founders of modern chemistry, and one of the pioneers of modern experimental scientific method. He is best known for Boyle's law,[7] which describes the inversely proportional relationship between the absolute pressure and volume of a gas, if the temperature is kept constant within a closed system.[8] Among his works, The Sceptical Chymist is seen as a cornerstone book in the field of chemistry. He was a devout and pious Anglican and is noted for his writings in theology.[9][10]
Invisible College
is the term used for a small community of interacting scholars who often met face-to-face, exchanged ideas and encouraged each other. One group that has been described as a precursor group to the Royal Society of London consisted of a number of natural philosophers around Robert Boyle, such as Christopher Wren.[2] It has been suggested that other members included prominent figures later closely concerned with the Royal Society;[3] but several groups preceded the formation of the Royal Society, and who the other members of this one were is still debated by scholars.
The Royal Society
 formally The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge,[1] is a learned society and the United Kingdom's national academy of sciences. The society fulfils a number of roles: promoting science and its benefits, recognising excellence in science, supporting outstanding science, providing scientific advice for policy, education and public engagement and fostering international and global co-operation. Founded on 28 November 1660, it was granted a royal charter by King Charles II as The Royal Society and is the oldest continuously existing scientific academy in the world.[2]
The society is governed by its Council, which is chaired by the Society's President, according to a set of statutes and standing orders. The members of Council and the President are elected from and by its Fellows, the basic members of the society, who are themselves elected by existing Fellows. As of 2020, there are about 1,700 fellows, allowed to use the postnominal title FRS (Fellow of the Royal Society), with up to 52 new fellows appointed each year. There are also royal fellows, honorary fellows and foreign members, the last of which are allowed to use the postnominal title ForMemRS (Foreign Member of the Royal Society). The Royal Society President is Adrian Smith, who took up the post and started his 5 year term on 30 November 2020,[3] replacing the previous president Venki Ramakrishnan.
Since 1967, the society has been based at 6–9 Carlton House Terrace, a Grade I listed building in central London which was previously used by the Embassy of Germany, London.

The Battle of Breitenfeld
(German: Schlacht bei Breitenfeld; Swedish: Slaget vid Breitenfeld) or First Battle of Breitenfeld (in older texts sometimes known as Battle of Leipzig), was fought at a crossroads near Breitenfeld approximately 8 km north-west of the walled city of Leipzig on 17 September (Gregorian calendar), or 7 September (Julian calendar, in wide use at the time), 1631.[b][a] It was the Protestants' first major victory of the Thirty Years War.
The victory confirmed Sweden's Gustavus Adolphus of the House of Vasa as a great tactical leader and induced many Protestant German states to ally with Sweden against the German Catholic League, led by Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria, and the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II.

The Battle of Lützen
fought on 16 November 1632, is considered one of the most important battles of the Thirty Years' War. A combined Swedish-German army led by Gustavus Adolphus narrowly defeated an Imperial force under Albrecht von Wallenstein. Both sides suffered heavy casualties, with Gustavus among the dead.
The first part of the battle featured a series of frontal attacks by the Swedes, which nearly succeeded before being repulsed by Imperial cavalry under Pappenheim. Gustavus was killed trying to reform his shattered infantry, but his subordinates rallied their men and supported by close range artillery fire overran the Imperial centre just before nightfall. Wallenstein withdrew in good order although he abandoned his wounded, many of his guns and most of his supply train.
Despite the loss of their king, the Swedes continued the war under the direction of Axel Oxenstierna and formed the Heilbronn League with their German allies in April 1633. Backed by French subsidies, the coalition defeated an Imperial army under von Gronsfeld at Oldendorf in July. Wallenstein's alleged failure to support his colleague and rumours he was contemplating switching sides led to his removal and assassination by Imperial agents in February 1634.
The Taj Mahal
 (/ˌtɑːdʒ məˈhɑːl, ˌtɑːʒ-/; lit. 'Crown of the Palace')[4][5][6] is an Islamic ivory-white marble mausoleum on the right bank of the river Yamuna in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. It was commissioned in 1631 by the fifth Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan (r. 1628–1658) to house the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal; it also houses the tomb of Shah Jahan himself. The tomb is the centrepiece of a 17-hectare (42-acre) complex, which includes a mosque and a guest house, and is set in formal gardens bounded on three sides by a crenellated wall.
Construction of the mausoleum was essentially completed in 1643, but work continued on other phases of the project for another 10 years. The Taj Mahal complex is believed to have been completed in its entirety in 1653 at a cost estimated at the time to be around 32 million, which in 2020 would be approximately ₹70 billion (about US $1 billion). The construction project employed some 20,000 artisans under the guidance of a board of architects led by Ustad Ahmad Lahauri, the emperor’s court architect. Various types of symbolism have been employed in the Taj to reflect natural beauty and divinity.
The Taj Mahal was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 for being "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage". It is regarded by many as the best example of Mughal architecture and a symbol of India's rich history. The Taj Mahal attracts more than 6 million visitors a year[3] and in 2007, it was declared a winner of the New 7 Wonders of the World (2000–2007) initiative.

Sakoku Edict
(Sakoku-rei, 鎖国令) of 1635 was a Japanese decree intended to eliminate foreign influence, enforced by strict government rules and regulations to impose these ideas. It was the third of a series issued by Tokugawa Iemitsu[citation needed], shōgun of Japan from 1623 to 1651. The Edict of 1635 is considered a prime example of the Japanese desire for seclusion. The Edict of 1635 was written to the two commissioners of Nagasaki, a port city located in southwestern Japan.
After the Edict
Following the precedence of this seclusion edict, others followed in its footsteps. One example is the edict detailing the Exclusion of the Portuguese in 1639. This isolationist policy would continue to thrive until 1854, over two hundred years later, when Commodore Matthew Perry from the Americas embraced Japan at the Convention of Kanagawa (Nichibei Washin Jōyaku, 日米和親条約). Although the isolationist policy was not willingly given up, on July 29, 1858, Japan and the United States signed the Treaty of Amity and Commerce (Nichibei Shūkō Tsūshō Jōyaku, 日米修好通商条約), also known as the Harris Treaty. The signing of this document opened numerous trade ports in areas such as Edo, Kobe, Nagasaki, Niigata and Yokohama along Japan’s coast.[3]

Isaac Newton
FRS (25 December 1642 – 20 March 1726/27)[a] was an English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, alchemist, theologian, and author who was described in his time as a "natural philosopher". He was a key figure in the philosophical revolution known as the Enlightenment. His book Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy), first published in 1687, established classical mechanics. Newton also made seminal contributions to optics, and shares credit with German mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz for developing infinitesimal calculus.
In the Principia, Newton formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation that formed the dominant scientific viewpoint for centuries until it was superseded by the theory of relativity. Newton used his mathematical description of gravity to derive Kepler's laws of planetary motion, account for tides, the trajectories of comets, the precession of the equinoxes and other phenomena, eradicating doubt about the Solar System's heliocentricity. He demonstrated that the motion of objects on Earth and celestial bodies could be accounted for by the same principles. Newton's inference that the Earth is an oblate spheroid was later confirmed by the geodetic measurements of Maupertuis, La Condamine, and others, convincing most European scientists of the superiority of Newtonian mechanics over earlier systems.
Newton built the first practical reflecting telescope and developed a sophisticated theory of colour based on the observation that a prism separates white light into the colours of the visible spectrum. His work on light was collected in his highly influential book Opticks, published in 1704. He also formulated an empirical law of cooling, made the first theoretical calculation of the speed of sound, and introduced the notion of a Newtonian fluid. In addition to his work on calculus, as a mathematician Newton contributed to the study of power series, generalised the binomial theorem to non-integer exponents, developed a method for approximating the roots of a function, and classified most of the cubic plane curves.
Newton was a fellow of Trinity College and the second Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. He was a devout but unorthodox Christian who privately rejected the doctrine of the Trinity. He refused to take holy orders in the Church of England, unlike most members of the Cambridge faculty of the day. Beyond his work on the mathematical sciences, Newton dedicated much of his time to the study of alchemy and biblical chronology, but most of his work in those areas remained unpublished until long after his death. Politically and personally tied to the Whig party, Newton served two brief terms as Member of Parliament for the University of Cambridge, in 1689–1690 and 1701–1702. He was knighted by Queen Anne in 1705 and spent the last three decades of his life in London, serving as Warden (1696–1699) and Master (1699–1727) of the Royal Mint, as well as president of the Royal Society (1703–1727).

The Battle of Rocroi
 fought on 19 May 1643, was a major engagement of the Thirty Years' War between a French army, led by the 21-year-old Duke of Enghien (later known as the Great Condé) and Spanish forces under General Francisco de Melo only five days after the accession of Louis XIV to the throne of France after his father's death. Rocroi shattered the myth of invincibility of the Spanish Tercios, the terrifying infantry units that had dominated European battlefields for the previous 120 years. The battle is therefore often considered to mark the end of Spanish military greatness and the beginning of French hegemony in Europe.[7][8] After Rocroi, the Spanish progressively transformed the tercio system incorporating each time more the line infantry doctrine used by the French.[9][7]
The Battle of Marston Moor
was fought on 2 July 1644, during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms of 1639 – 1653.[a] The combined forces of the English Parliamentarians under Lord Fairfax and the Earl of Manchester and the Scottish Covenanters under the Earl of Leven defeated the Royalists commanded by Prince Rupert of the Rhine and the Marquess of Newcastle.
During the summer of 1644, the Covenanters and Parliamentarians had been besieging York, which was defended by the Marquess of Newcastle. Rupert had gathered an army which marched through the northwest of England, gathering reinforcements and fresh recruits on the way, and across the Pennines to relieve the city. The convergence of these forces made the ensuing battle the largest of the civil wars.
On 1 July, Rupert outmanoeuvered the Covenanters and Parliamentarians to relieve the city. The next day, he sought battle with them even though he was outnumbered. He was dissuaded from attacking immediately and during the day both sides gathered their full strength on Marston Moor, an expanse of wild meadow west of York. Towards evening, the Covenanters and Parliamentarians themselves launched a surprise attack. After a confused fight lasting two hours, Parliamentarian cavalry under Oliver Cromwell routed the Royalist cavalry from the field and, with Leven's infantry, annihilated the remaining Royalist infantry.
After their defeat the Royalists effectively abandoned Northern England, losing much of the manpower from the northern counties of England (which were strongly Royalist in sympathy) and also losing access to the European continent through the ports on the North Sea coast. Although they partially retrieved their fortunes with victories later in the year in Southern England, the loss of the north was to prove a fatal handicap the next year, when they tried unsuccessfully to link up with the Scottish Royalists under the Marquess of Montrose.

Hong Taiji
(28 November 1592 – 21 September 1643), also rendered as Huang Taiji and sometimes referred to as Abahai in Western literature, also known by his temple name as the Emperor Taizong of Qing, was the second khan of the Later Jin dynasty (reigned from 1626 to 1636) and the founding emperor of the Qing dynasty (reigned from 1636 to 1643). He was responsible for consolidating the empire that his father Nurhaci had founded and laid the groundwork for the conquest of the Ming dynasty, although he died before this was accomplished. He was also responsible for changing the name of the Jurchen ethnicity to "Manchu" in 1635, and changing the name of his dynasty from "Great Jin" to "Great Qing" in 1636. The Qing dynasty lasted until 1912.
The transition from Ming to Qing
, alternatively known as Ming–Qing transition or the Manchu conquest of China, from 1618 to 1683, saw the transition between two major dynasties in Chinese history. It was a decades-long conflict between the emerging Qing dynasty, the incumbent Ming dynasty, and several smaller factions (like the Shun dynasty and Xi dynasty). It ended with the consolidation of Qing rule, and the fall of the Ming and several other factions.
The late Ming peasant rebellions
 (Chinese: 明末民變) were a series of peasant revolts during the last decades of the Ming dynasty lasting from 1628–1644. They were caused by natural disasters in Shaanxi, Shanxi, and Henan. At the same time, the She-An Rebellion and Later Jin invasions forced the Ming government to cut funding for the postal service, which resulted in the mass unemployment of men in the provinces hit hard by natural disasters. Unable to cope with three major crises at the same time, the Ming dynasty collapsed in 1644.
The Jiashen Incident
(simplified Chinese: 甲申之变; traditional Chinese: 甲申之變), also known as the Battle of Beijing, took place between February and April 1644 in the areas surrounding Beijing, and was fought between forces of the Ming dynasty and the Shun dynasty. It eventually resulted in the collapse of the Ming dynasty. Remnants of the imperial House of Zhu, whose regime is known as the Southern Ming dynasty in historiography, would continue to rule parts of southern China until 1662.
Li Zicheng led his rebel army to attack the Ming capital Beijing from two directions (north and south). The eunuch official Du Zhizhi (杜之秩) ordered the Ming forces defending Beijing to open the city gates and let Li Zicheng's army in. After the fall of Beijing, the last Ming ruler, the Chongzhen Emperor, committed suicide by hanging himself on a tree near the Forbidden City.[1] No actual battle was fought in Beijing itself as the rebels marched into the capital unopposed, and even after occupying Beijing, the rebels did not face any resistance. Li Zicheng's short-lived Shun dynasty would be subsequently defeated by forces of the Manchu-led Qing dynasty, which would go on to rule China proper until its fall in 1912.
The Battle of Shanhai Pass
, fought on May 27, 1644 at Shanhai Pass at the eastern end of the Great Wall, was a decisive battle leading to the beginning of the Qing dynasty rule in China proper. There, the Qing prince-regent Dorgon allied with former Ming general Wu Sangui to defeat rebel leader Li Zicheng of the Shun dynasty, allowing Dorgon and the Qing army to rapidly conquer Beijing.

The Yangzhou massacre
in May, 1645 in Yangzhou, Qing dynasty China, refers to the mass killings of innocent civilians by Manchu and defected northern Ming soldiers, commanded by the Manchu general Dodo.
The massacre is described in a contemporary account, A Record of Ten Days in Yangzhou, by Wang Xiuchu. Due to the title of the account, the events are often referred to as a ten-day massacre, but the diary shows that the slaughter was over by the sixth day, when burial of bodies commenced.[1] According to Wang, the number of victims exceeded 800,000, that number is now disproven and considered by modern historians and researchers to be an extreme exaggeration.[2][3][4][5] The major defending commanders of Ming, such as Shi Kefa, were also executed by Qing forces after they refused to submit to Qing authority.
The alleged reasons for the massacre were:
To punish the residents because of resistance efforts led by the Ming official Shi Kefa.
To warn the rest of the population in Jiangnan of the consequences of participating in military activities and resisting the Qing invaders.
Wang Xiuchu's account has appeared in a number of English translations, including by Backhouse and Bland,[6] Lucien Mao,[7] and Lynn A. Struve. Following are excerpts from the account in the translation by Struve.[8]
Several dozen people were herded like sheep or goats. Any who lagged were flogged or killed outright. The women were bound together at the necks with a heavy rope—strung one to another like pearls. Stumbling with each step, they were covered with mud. Babies lay everywhere on the ground. The organs of those trampled like turf under horses' hooves or people's feet were smeared in the dirt, and the crying of those still alive filled the whole outdoors. Every gutter or pond we passed was stacked with corpses, pillowing each others arms and legs. Their blood had flowed into the water, and the combination of green and red was producing a spectrum of colours. The canals, too, had been filled to level with dead bodies.
Then fires started everywhere, and the thatched houses...caught fire and were soon engulfed in flames...Those who had hidden themselves beneath the houses were forced to rush out from the heat of the fire, and as soon as they came out, in nine cases out of ten, they were put to death on the spot. On the other hand, those who had stayed in the houses—were burned to death within the closely shuttered doors and no one could tell how many had died from the pile of charred bones that remained afterwards.
Books written about the massacres in Yangzhou, Jiading and Jiangyin were later republished by anti-Qing authors to win support in the leadup to the Taiping Rebellion and Xinhai Revolution.[9][10]
Manchu soldiers ransomed women captured from Yangzhou back to their original husbands and fathers in Nanjing after Nanjing peacefully surrendered, corralling the women into the city and whipping them hard, with their hair containing a tag showing the price of the ransom.[11]

The Battle of Naseby
 took place on 14 June 1645 during the First English Civil War, near the village of Naseby in Northamptonshire. The Parliamentarian New Model Army, commanded by Sir Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell, destroyed the main Royalist army under Charles I and Prince Rupert. Defeat ended any real hope of Royalist victory, although Charles did not finally surrender until May 1646.
The 1645 campaign began in April when the newly formed New Model Army marched west to relieve Taunton, before being ordered back to lay siege to Oxford, the Royalist wartime capital. On 31 May, the Royalists stormed Leicester and Fairfax was instructed to abandon the siege and engage them. Although heavily outnumbered, Charles decided to stand and fight and after several hours of combat, his force was effectively destroyed. The Royalists suffered over 1,000 casualties, with over 4,500 of their infantry captured and paraded through the streets of London; they would never again field an army of comparable quality.
They also lost all their artillery and stores, along with Charles' personal baggage and private papers, which revealed his attempts to bring the Irish Catholic Confederation and foreign mercenaries into the war. These were published in a pamphlet titled The King's Cabinet Opened, whose appearance was a great boost to the cause of Parliament.

The Qing dynasty
(English: /ˈtʃɪŋ/ CHING), officially the Great Qing,[d][e] was a Manchu-led imperial dynasty of China (1636–1912) and the last orthodox dynasty in Chinese history.[f] It emerged from the Later Jin dynasty founded by the Jianzhou Jurchens, a Tungusic-speaking ethnic group who unified other Jurchen tribes to form a new "Manchu" ethnic identity. The dynasty was officially proclaimed in 1636 in Manchuria (modern-day Northeast China and Outer Manchuria). It seized control of Beijing in 1644, then later expanded its rule over the whole of China proper and Taiwan, and finally expanded into Inner Asia. The dynasty lasted until 1912 when it was overthrown in the Xinhai Revolution. In orthodox Chinese historiography, the Qing dynasty was preceded by the Ming dynasty and succeeded by the Republic of China. The multiethnic Qing dynasty lasted for almost three centuries and assembled the territorial base for modern China. It was the largest imperial dynasty in the history of China and in 1790 the fourth-largest empire in world history in terms of territorial size. With 419,264,000 citizens in 1907, it was the most populous country in the world at the time.
In the late sixteenth century, Nurhaci, leader of the House of Aisin-Gioro, began organizing "Banners", which were military-social units that included Manchu, Han, and Mongol elements. Nurhaci united clans to create a Manchu ethnic identity and officially founded the Later Jin dynasty in 1616. His son Hong Taiji renamed the dynasty "Great Qing" and elevated the realm to an empire in 1636. As Ming control disintegrated, peasant rebels conquered Beijing in 1644, but the Ming general Wu Sangui opened the Shanhai Pass to the armies of the regent Prince Dorgon, who defeated the rebels, seized the capital, and took over the government. Resistance from Ming loyalists in the south and the Revolt of the Three Feudatories delayed the complete conquest until 1683. The Kangxi Emperor (1661–1722) consolidated control, maintained the Manchu identity, patronized Tibetan Buddhism, and relished the role of a Confucian ruler. Han officials worked under or in parallel with Manchu officials. The dynasty also adapted the ideals of the tributary system in asserting superiority over peripheral countries such as Korea and Vietnam, while extending control over Tibet, Mongolia, and Xinjiang.
The height of Qing glory and power was reached in the reign of the Qianlong Emperor (1735–1796). He led Ten Great Campaigns that extended Qing control into Inner Asia and personally supervised Confucian cultural projects. After his death, the dynasty faced changes in the world system, foreign intrusion, internal revolts, population growth, economic disruption, official corruption, and the reluctance of Confucian elites to change their mindsets. With peace and prosperity, the population rose to some 400 million, but taxes and government revenues were fixed at a low rate, soon leading to fiscal crisis. Following China's defeat in the Opium Wars, Western colonial powers forced the Qing government to sign "unequal treaties", granting them trading privileges, extraterritoriality and treaty ports under their control. The Taiping Rebellion (1850–1864) and the Dungan Revolt (1862–1877) in Central Asia led to the deaths of over 20 million people, from famine, disease, and war. The Tongzhi Restoration in the 1860s brought vigorous reforms and the introduction of foreign military technology in the Self-Strengthening Movement. Defeat in the First Sino-Japanese War in 1895 led to loss of suzerainty over Korea and cession of Taiwan to Japan. The ambitious Hundred Days' Reform of 1898 proposed fundamental change, but the Empress Dowager Cixi (1835–1908), who had been the dominant voice in the national government for more than three decades, turned it back in a coup.
In 1900 anti-foreign "Boxers" killed many Chinese Christians and foreign missionaries; in retaliation, the foreign powers invaded China and imposed a punitive Boxer Indemnity. In response, the government initiated unprecedented fiscal and administrative reforms, including elections, a new legal code, and the abolition of the examination system. Sun Yat-sen and revolutionaries debated reform officials and constitutional monarchists such as Kang Youwei and Liang Qichao over how to transform the Manchu-ruled empire into a modern Han nation. After the deaths of the Guangxu Emperor and Cixi in 1908, Manchu conservatives at court blocked reforms and alienated reformers and local elites alike. The Wuchang Uprising on 10 October 1911 led to the Xinhai Revolution. The abdication of the Xuantong Emperor, the last emperor, on 12 February 1912, brought the dynasty to an end. In 1917, it was briefly restored in an episode known as the Manchu Restoration, but this was neither recognized by the Beiyang government of the Republic of China nor the international community.

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