Europe: The Hapsburgs Ascendant
This course considers the European balance of power in the 16th century.
With the Reconquista complete, adventurers in the employ of the newly-united Spanish crown exploited and repatriated the gold and silver of indigenous American civilisations. With the accession of Charles of Hapsburg and religious ferment brewing in German lands, a weakened Christendom lay prey to Ottoman invasion under Suleiman the Magnificent. This threat was played out in the Balkans, Danubian and Mediterranean theatres in the Sieges of Vienna, Rhodes and Malta and the great naval battle of Lepanto – all against the backdrop of Reformation and Hapsburg ascendency.
Mike Shaw was a regular soldier for over 30 years and has been a keen student of history all his life. A regular contributor to the Dillington programme, he has an interest in the history of the continent as a whole particularly where western and slavic cultures have impacted. A frequent independent traveller through the whole continent, he explores how trading networks flourished from the earliest times despite the countervailing demands of religion and tribal security. He offers rare insights into how historical perspectives have influenced more recent events. More importantly however, it is the way he tells the story.