- The Thirty Years' War in Europe (1618-1648).
- Union of the Crowns of Scotland and England -- James VI of Scotland becomes James I of England: the Crowns are united in one person, but the kingdoms remain separate entities
- Scottish and English Protestants sent to colonize Ireland, as reaction to Catholicism there
- The English Civil Wars (1642-1651).
- The Deluge: series of wars and civil wars in Poland with Sweden, Russia, Prussia and Transylvania which caused Poland to lose power status and began rise of Russia to power status.
- Antwerp merchants established the Dutch East India Company in 1602, embarking on colonial expansion based on shareholdership rather than royal control.
- The Dutch republic became the dominant economic and political power in Europe. It also underwent crashes, e.g. the windhandel in tulips led to many bankruptcies in 1637.
- Republic of the Seven United Netherlands gains formal independence from Spain in 1648. Dutch merchant ships sail all over the world, leading to a Golden Age in the country, which also shows by the many famous Dutch painters living in this age.
- Major changes in philosophy and science take place, often characterised as the Scientific revolution.
- James VI of Scotland / James I of England
- William Shakespeare, author and poet.
- Isaac Newton, physicist and mathematician.
- Gottfried Leibniz, philosopher and mathematician.
- Galileo Galilei, scientist.
- René Descartes, philosopher and mathematician.
- Blaise Pascal, theologian, mathematician and physicist.
- Baruch Spinoza, philosopher.
- Thomas Hobbes, philosopher.
- John Locke, philosopher.
- Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England.
- Christina of Sweden, high profile catholic convert, matron of arts.
- Sir Thomas Browne author, philosopher and scientist
- Christopher Wren, architect
Inventions, Discoveries, Introductions
- Calculus is invented and used to formulate classical mechanics.
- Cannon and gunpowder technology refined.