17th Century

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Map of Europe, circa 1648.
Galileo Galilei, an astronomer, physicist and engineer from Italy. He has been called the "father of observational astronomy" the "father of modern physics," the "father of the scientific method," and the "father of modern science."
Johannes Kepler, a German astronomer, mathematician, astrologer, natural philosopher and music composer. He was a key figure in the 17th-century Scientific Revolution, best known for his laws of planetary motion.

The 17th century lasted from January 1, 1601 to December 31, 1700. It falls into what is considered the "Early Modern period" of Europe, characterized by the Baroque cultural movement, the latter part of the Spanish Golden Age, the Dutch Golden Age, the French Grand Siècle dominated by Louis XIV, and the Scientific Revolution.

From the middle decades of the 17th century, European politics were dominated by the Kingdom of France, where royal power was solidified in the civil war of the Fronde. The territorial French nobility was weakened and subjugated to the power of an absolute monarchy. With domestic peace assured, Louis XIV caused the borders of France to be expanded. It was during this century that the English monarch became a symbolic figurehead and Parliament was the dominant force in government.

By the end of this century, Europeans were aware of logarithms, electricity, the telescope and microscope, calculus, universal gravitation, Newton's Laws of Motion, air pressure and calculating machines due to the work of the first scientists of the Scientific Revolution, including Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler, René Descartes, Pierre Fermat, Blaise Pascal, Robert Boyle, Christiaan Huygens, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, Robert Hooke, Isaac Newton, and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. It was also a period of development of culture in general (especially theater, music, visual arts and philosophy).

Notable Events (on Earth)

  • 1601: In the Battle of Kinsale, England defeats Irish and Spanish forces at the town of Kinsale, driving the Gaelic aristocracy out of Ireland and destroying the Gaelic clan system.
  • 1601–1603: The Russian famine of 1601–1603 kills perhaps one-third of Russia.
  • 1603: Elizabeth I of England dies and is succeeded by her cousin King James VI of Scotland, uniting the crowns of Scotland and England.
  • 1613: The Time of Troubles in Russia ends with the establishment of the House of Romanov, which rules until 1917.
  • 1616: English poet and playwright William Shakespeare dies.
  • 1618: The Bohemian Revolt precipitates the Thirty Years' War, which devastates Europe in the years 1618–48.
  • 1618: The Manchus start invading China. Their conquest eventually topples the Ming dynasty.
  • 1619: European slaving reaches America when the first Africans are brought to the United States.
  • 1620: The Mayflower sets sail from Plymouth, England to what became Plymouth Colony in the New England region of North America.
  • 1622: Jamestown massacre: Algonquian natives kill 347 English settlers outside Jamestown, Virginia (one-third of the colony's population) and burn the Henricus settlement.
  • 1631: Mount Vesuvius erupts.
  • 1636: Harvard University is founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • 1639–1651: Wars of the Three Kingdoms, civil wars throughout Scotland, Ireland, and England.
  • 1641: The Irish Rebellion.
  • 1648: The Peace of Westphalia ends the Thirty Years' War and the Eighty Years' War and marks the ends of Spain and the Holy Roman Empire as major European powers.
  • 1649: King Charles I is executed for High Treason, the first and only English king to be subjected to legal proceedings in a High Court of Justice and put to death.
  • 1660: The Commonwealth of England ends and the monarchy is brought back during the English Restoration.
  • 1665: Robert Hooke discovers cells using a microscope.
  • 1666: The Great Fire of London.
  • 1688–1691: The War of the Two Kings in Ireland.
  • 1692–1694: Famine in France kills two million.
  • 1694: The Bank of England is established.
  • 1696–1697: Famine in Finland wipes out almost one-third of the population.

Inventions and Discoveries (on Earth)

Major changes in philosophy and science take place, often characterized as the "Scientific revolution."

  • 1604: Supernova SN 1604 is observed in the Milky Way.
  • 1605: Johannes Kepler starts investigating elliptical orbits of planets.
  • 1605: Johann Carolus of Germany publishes the first newspaper.
  • 1608: Refracting telescopes first appear.
  • 1610: The Orion Nebula is identified by Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc of France.
  • 1610: Galileo Galilei and Simon Marius observe Jupiter's Galilean moons.
  • 1623: The first English dictionary, 'English Dictionarie' is published by Henry Cockeram, listing difficult words with definitions.
  • 1628: William Harvey publishes and elucidates his earlier discovery of the circulatory system.
  • 1656: Christiaan Huygens describes the true shape of the rings of Saturn.
  • 1659: Christiaan Huygens first to observe surface details of Mars.
  • 1663: James Gregory publishes designs for a reflecting telescope.
  • 1669: The first known operational reflecting telescope is built by Isaac Newton.
  • 1676: Antonie van Leeuwenhoek discovers Bacteria.
  • 1676: First measurement of the speed of light.
  • 1679: Binary system developed by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz.
  • 1684: Calculus independently developed by both Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and Sir Isaac Newton and used to formulate classical mechanics.

Alpha Quadrant Events

  • On Bajor, the Book of the Kosst Amojan is placed in the Central Archives, and will not be removed until 700 years later.
  • The civilization of Alpha Centauri IV enters an age of reason.
    Science makes great leaps, and moves to the forefront of their society. The civilization vies to learn about spiritual matters, believed to be contained in key fields of science.

16th Century 17th Century 18th Century