ANSWERS: 2
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  • Spain: Spain was exploring and conquering much of the Americas. All the wealth and gold from its New World colonies were making Spain the wealthiest kingdom in Europe. Spain reached its height as the most powerful kingdom in Europe under Philip II, and then began its decline under his son, Philip III. France: France was racked by turmoil from the religious conflicts of the reformation. The kingdom was divided by Huegenot Protestant forces and Catholic loyalists. The ruling House of Valois became extinct when Queen Margaret died in 1615. Her ex-husband, Henri de Navarre, founded the Bourbon Dynasty when he succeeded to the throne of France as Henri IV in 1589 after the death of his brother-in-law, Henry III. Italy: In Italy, the country became dominated by the Spanish Hapsburg royal family, which came into possession of the Duchy of Milan and the Kingdom of Naples through marriage/inheritance and the Hapsburg/Valois War (1551-1559). Most of Italy would remain as Spanish Hapsburg domains until the death of Charles II in 1700. Germany and Scandinavia: The Holy Roman Empire and Scandinavia fell into various religious conflicts brought about by the Protestant Reformation. The Thirty Years War (1618-1648) was not resolved until the Peace of Westphalia, which recognized the Lutheran Religion and allowed German Princes to choose between the Catholic or Protestant faiths. India: In India, the Classical Period of the Mughal Empire began in 1556, with the accession of Emperor Akbar the Great. Mughal India reached its wealthiest and powerful period during the Classical Period, and began its decline with the death of Emperor Aurangzeb in 1707. China: In China, the Ming Dynasty had started its decline. Internal intrigues, corruption, and conflicts within the royal family lead to the Ming Dynasty's collapse in 1644, when the Manchus invaded northern China, overthrew the Ming Dynasty, and established the Ch'ing Dynasty (1644-1911). The American colonies were being settled by the English, Spanish, French, etc., and billions of American Indians were dying from European diseases. There was religious upheaval throughout Europe due to Lutheranism and the Reformation. Spain was becoming the most powerful country in the world due to Native American gold (only to lose everything shortly after the Spanish Armada). The African slave trade was growing and thriving.

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