History (General)

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What major historical events occurred during the 17th century?

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There were, of course, many important historical events that happened in this century.  Let us look at a few of the most important events.

In Asia, the early 1600s were important for the fact that Japan became a unified country early in that century.  It was in 1600 that Tokugawa Ieyasu won the Battle of Sekigahara, leading to the creation of the Tokugawa Shogunate that was to rule Japan for over two centuries.

In Europe, this was the time of the Thirty Years’ War.  This was a terrible conflict that devastated much of what is now Germany.  It started as a war between Protestants and Catholics but ended up simply as a struggle for political power.

In England, this century had better results than on the continent.  This century was when England took two major steps towards greater democracy.  First, there were the English Civil Wars.  These wars ended with Parliament taking power from the monarchy.  Second, there was the Glorious Revolution.  This event decisively shifted power away from the British monarchy and gave it to the Parliament.  These two events combined to make England much more democratic.

In the Americas, this was the century that saw the beginnings of the colonization of what is now the United States.  It was in 1607 that the British founded the Jamestown settlement.  In 1620, the Pilgrims started the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  This was the start of the chain of events that would one day lead to the creation of the United States.

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