15th century

From Justapedia, unleashing the power of collective wisdom
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Millennium: 2nd millennium
State leaders:
Categories: BirthsDeaths
Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, victorious at the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople and the fall of the Byzantine Empire. Various historians describe it as the end of the Middle Ages.

The 15th century was the century which spans the Julian dates from 1 January 1401 (MCDI) to 31 December 1500 (MD).

In Europe, the 15th century includes parts of the Late Middle Ages, the Early Renaissance, and the early modern period. Many technological, social and cultural developments of the 15th century can in retrospect be seen as heralding the "European miracle" of the following centuries. The architectural perspective, and the modern fields which are known today as banking and accounting were founded in Italy.

The Hundred Years' War ended with a decisive French victory over the English in the Battle of Castillon. Financial troubles in England following the conflict resulted in the Wars of the Roses, a series of dynastic wars for the throne of England. The conflicts ended with the defeat of Richard III by Henry VII at the Battle of Bosworth Field, establishing the Tudor dynasty in the later part of the century.

Constantinople, known as the capital of the world and the capital of the Byzantine Empire (today's Turkey), fell to the emerging Muslim Ottoman Turks, marking the end of the tremendously influential Byzantine Empire and, for some historians, the end of the Middle Ages.[1] This led to the migration of Greek scholars and texts to Italy, while Johannes Gutenberg's invention of a mechanical movable type began the printing press. These two events played key roles in the development of the Renaissance.[2][3] The Roman papacy was split in two parts in Europe for decades (the so-called Western Schism), until the Council of Constance. The division of the Catholic Church and the unrest associated with the Hussite movement would become factors in the rise of the Protestant Reformation in the following century.

Islamic Spain became dissolved through the Christian Reconquista, followed by the forced conversions and the Muslim rebellion,[4] ending over seven centuries of Islamic rule and returning southern Spain to Christian rulers.

The search for the wealth and prosperity of India's Bengal Sultanate[5] led to the colonization of the Americas by Christopher Columbus in 1492 and the Portuguese voyages by Vasco da Gama, which linked Europe with the Indian subcontinent, ushering the period of Iberian empires.

In Asia, the Timurid Empire collapsed and the Afghan Pashtun Lodi dynasty took control of the Delhi Sultanate. Under the rule of the Yongle Emperor, who built the Forbidden City and commanded Zheng He to explore the world overseas, the Ming dynasty's territory reached its pinnacle.

In Africa, the spread of Islam led to the destruction of the Christian kingdoms of Nubia, by the end of the century, leaving only Alodia (which was to collapse in 1504). The formerly vast Mali Empire teetered on the brink of collapse, under pressure from the rising Songhai Empire.

In the Americas, both the Aztec Empire and the Inca Empire reached the peak of their influence, but the European colonization of the Americas changed the course of modern history.





Joan of Arc, a French peasant girl, directly influenced the result of the Hundred Years' War.



Detail of The Emperor's Approach showing the Xuande Emperor's royal carriage. Ming Dynasty of China.


Modern painting of Mehmed II marching on Constantinople in 1453


The seventeen Kuchkabals of Yucatán after The League of Mayapan in 1461.



The Siege of Rhodes (1480). Ships of the Hospitaliers in the forefront, and Turkish camp in the background.


Gergio Deluci, Christopher Columbus arrives in America in 1492, 1893 painting.
  • 1492: The death of Sunni Ali Ber left a leadership void in the Songhai Empire, and his son was soon dethroned by Mamadou Toure who ascended the throne in 1493 under the name Askia (meaning "general") Muhammad. Askia Muhammad made Songhai the largest empire in the history of West Africa. The empire went into decline, however, after 1528, when the now-blind Askia Muhammad was dethroned by his son, Askia Musa.
  • 1492: Boabdil's surrender of Granada marks the end of the Spanish Reconquista and Al-Andalus.
  • 1492: Ferdinand and Isabella sign the Alhambra Decree, expelling all Jews from Spain unless they convert to Catholicism; 40,000–200,000 leave.
  • 1492: Christopher Columbus landed in the Americas from Spain.
  • 1494: Spain and Portugal sign the Treaty of Tordesillas and agree to divide the World outside of Europe between themselves.
  • 1494–1559: The Italian Wars lead to the downfall of the Italian city-states.
  • 14971499: Vasco da Gama's first voyage from Europe to India and back.
  • 1499: Ottoman fleet defeats Venetians at the Battle of Zonchio.
  • 1499: University "Alcalá de Henares" in Madrid, Spain is built.
  • 1499: Michelangelo's Pietà in St. Peter's Basilica is made in Rome
  • 1500: Islam becomes the dominant religion across the Indonesian archipelago.[12]
  • 1500: Around late 15th century Bujangga Manik manuscript was composed, tell the story of Jaya Pakuan Bujangga Manik, a Sundanese Hindu hermit journeys throughout Java and Bali.[13]
  • 1500: Charles of Ghent (future Lord of the Netherlands, King of Spain, Archduke of Austria, and Holy Roman Emperor) was born.
  • 1500: Guru Nanak begins the spreading of Sikhism, the fifth-largest religion in the world.
  • 1500: Spanish navigator Vicente Yáñez Pinzón encounters Brazil but is prevented from claiming it by the Treaty of Tordesillas.
  • 1500: Portuguese navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral claims Brazil for Portugal.
  • 1500: The Ottoman fleet of Kemal Reis defeats the Venetians at the Second Battle of Lepanto.


Inventions, discoveries, introductions


  1. ^ Crowley, Roger (2006). Constantinople: The Last Great Siege, 1453. Faber. ISBN 0-571-22185-8. (reviewed by Foster, Charles (22 September 2006). "The Conquestof Constantinople and the end of empire". Contemporary Review. Archived from the original on 22 August 2009. It is the end of the Middle Ages
  2. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica, Renaissance, 2008, O.Ed.
  3. ^ McLuhan 1962; Eisenstein 1980; Febvre & Martin 1997; Man 2002
  4. ^ Harvey 2005, p. 14.
  5. ^ Nanda, J. N (2005). Bengal: the unique state. Concept Publishing Company. p. 10. 2005. ISBN 978-81-8069-149-2. Bengal [...] was rich in the production and export of grain, salt, fruit, liquors and wines, precious metals and ornaments besides the output of its handlooms in silk and cotton. Europe referred to Bengal as the richest country to trade with.
  6. ^ Winstedt, R. O. (1948). "The Malay Founder of Medieval Malacca". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Cambridge University Press on behalf of School of Oriental and African Studies. 12 (3/4): 726–729. doi:10.1017/S0041977X00083312. JSTOR 608731.
  7. ^ "An introduction to the Ming dynasty (1368–1644)". Khan Academy. Asian Art Museum. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  8. ^ Modern interpretation of the place names recorded by Chinese chronicles can be found e.g. in Some Southeast Asian Polities Mentioned in the MSL Archived 12 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine by Geoffrey Wade
  9. ^ "Thousands in China are descendants of an ancient Filipino king. Here's how it happened". Filipiknow.
  10. ^ "New Sulu King research book by Chinese author debuts in Philippines". Xinhuanet. Archived from the original on 16 August 2021.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Ricklefs (1991), page 18.
  12. ^ Leinbach, Thomas R. (20 February 2019). "Religions". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  13. ^ Noorduyn, J. (2006). Three Old Sundanese poems. KITLV Press. p. 437.