What happened in the 16th century ?
# The modern square root symbol is first used.
# Portugal conquers the Sultanate of Malacca. Start of European colonisation in South-East Asia. (1511)
# European explorers explore the New World. Spain conquers the Aztec Empire in Mexico (1521) and the Inca Empire in South America (1533), resulting in the destruction of the native civilizations of Mesoamerica and the Andes. Vast increase in amount of gold in circulation in Europe. The horse introduced to the Americas.
# First circumnavigation of the globe by a ship of Ferdinand Magellan's expedition. Only one ship survived the journey, under the command of the Basque captain Juan Sebastián Elcano (1522).
# Protestant reform of the Christian church in several countries in Northern Europe.
# In the Diet of Speyer, a group of princes and imperial cities of the Holy Roman Empire sign a protestation against the Edict of Worms. This marks their support of Lutheranism (1529).
# Poland chooses religious tolerance.
# Polish writers are eager to discuss religious differences. They print their works in the Polish language for the first time.
# King Henry VIII of England breaks with Roman Catholic Church and forms Church of England (1533)
# French Wars of Religion between Catholics and Huguenots in France (1562 - 1598).
# Copernicus publishes his theory that the Earth and the other planets revolve around the Sun. (1543)
# In the Dutch revolt of 1568-1648, a small nation gained independence from the superpower of the day (Spain).
# Poland and Lithuania form the Commonwealth. (1569 - 1795)
# Gregorian Calendar adopted by Catholic countries. (1582)
# After the Fall of Antwerp (1585), many of its merchants fled to Amsterdam.