Europe 1500


Map Code: Ax02451

While the Renaissance reached a crescendo in its Italian heartland, the balance of political power shifted towards the continental periphery. In the east, the fall of Constantinople (1453) opened the path for Ottoman conquest of the Balkans. To the north, Ivan the Great of Muscovy managed to throw off the Tatar yoke, creating the foundations for the Russian Empire. In 1492, the Spanish Crown both completed the expulsion of the Moors and sponsored the voyage of Columbus to the New World. Within two years, at Tordesillas, in a supreme act of hubris, Portugal and Spain would divide the whole world into respective spheres of influence. France and England emerged from their century of conflict as powerful centralized states. Henry VIII decisively defeated the Scottish at Flodden (1513), while Louis XII of France occupied the Duchy of Milan and, briefly, wrested Naples from Spain. Meanwhile, traditional dynastic politics saw the Habsburgs secure the Holy Roman Empire under Frederick II (1452–93).

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