Europe in the 1600s was in an ambiguous age. The first part of the century saw the English Civil War in which Charles I was beheaded, but the latter part of the century saw the English Bloodless Revolution in which James II was politely dismissed and replaced with the monarch of parliament’s choice. On the continent the Thirty Years’ War marked the last major European war of religion, but the first of the pan-European nationalistic struggles for power. Feudalism for the most part had ended, but the fencing in of feudal estates caused more homelessness than liberation. World exploration and colonization resulted in an influx of new products and information, but these also reestablished the archaic practice of slavery. Europeans adopted sugar, tobacco, and coffee habits, but modern hygiene habits were still a long way off: Samuel Pepys gives an implicit picture of the odors of seventeenth-century London when he reports that his neighbor’s sewage was dumping into his basement, but he did not know it until he stepped in it.
KeywordsCombustion Mercury Respiration Sulfuric Acid Carbon Monoxide
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