Summary of 7th Grade History



Today I would like to tell you a summary of the events in Europe from 570 AD-1700 AD.

After the fall of the Roman Empire, the barbarian tribes, some of which had destroyed Rome, began to develop their own little countries. By 570 each tribe was growing and they lived in what is the modern day country.


In 570 AD a man named Muhammad, the founder of Islam, was born. At the age of 40 (in 610) he had his first “visions” in which an angel supposedly visited him and told Muhammad to write down sayings that the angel told him. The saying were combined and  put into a book, known today as the Qu’ran. Islam proved a very big threat to Christendom. In 732 Islamic armies invaded the bottom of Spain and started to push their way up into France. Thankfully they were stopped at the Battle of Tours. Around the 1090s the Crusades began. The first Crusade was somewhat productive in defeating the Muslims but the others were a failure.


This time was also showered with religious men. Two for example, Thomas Aquinas and St. Francis of Assisi were great assets to the Catholic Church. John Wycliffe was one of the early reformers. He believed that Christ was the head of the Church not the Pope. His greatest work was translating the Bible into English.


In 1348 a plague known as the Black Death swept through Europe. 30% – 60% of the people died of the disease.


In 1435 Constantinople fell to the Turks. Thus the mainland of Europe was open to the Muslims. However they  were able to be slowed down.


Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1449. This opened the doors for the Bible to be spread faster. Also the ideas of the Reformation were published much faster.


In 1492 Columbus sailed to the New World. This paved the road for the colonization of North and South America. In 1519 Ferdinand Magellan tried to sail around the world; however he died on the way.


In 1517 a monk named Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the Church door in Gutenberg. The theses condemned indulgences and the Pope. Luther was excommunicated from the Catholic Church in 1521. He went into hiding for a few years and while he was hiding he translated the Latin Bible into German. This paved the way for the Protestant Reformation. John Calvin, a French Reformer, wrote a summary what the Protestants believed, called The Institutes of the Christian Religion. He also pastored a Church in Geneva, Switzerland. in addition William Tyndale, an English Reformer, translated the Bible into English; however he paid with his life for defying the Pope.


In 1556 Mary I became Queen of England. She had 280 Protestants killed because they wouldn’t return to Catholicism. However Mary’s sister, Elizabeth was very Protestant. When Elizabeth was Queen, England became very prosperous. It was the beginning of the end of Catholicism in England. Also the Spanish Armada was defeated in a great battle that destroyed the Spanish Area, and it entered the Golden Age of England. Sir Francis Drake, a English Explorer who was also very important in the defeat of the Spanish Armada, sailed around the world. He left in 1577 and returned in 1780.


In May of 1606, Jamestown, a English colony, was founded. Soon many people headed for the New World. In 1620 the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth. In the 1640s Roger Williams founded Rhode Island.



Galileo Galilei and Johannes Kepler were astronomers that promoted the Heliocentric view of the Solar System. Isaac Newton founded Calculus and studied gravitation.

Charles I, King of England, tried to force Anglicanism on the Church of England. However Parliament disagreed with him and the conflict lead to the English Civil War. Charles I was defeated and on January 30, 1649 he was beheaded.


In the colonies a revival, known as the Great Awakening, brought great change to the New World. Jonathan Edwards brought to Northampton a great change.


In 1688 William III invaded England to take over the Monarchy of England. James II, the old king, was somewhat Catholic and the people of England didn’t like that.


In 1706, 1707, 1773, and 1751 England passed laws that greatly limited the trade of the colonies with other countries besides England. This paved the way for the American Revelation.


I hope you have enjoyed this essay and I’ll be back next week with 8 Grade History


Samuel Duarte


The Divine Right of Kings



Today the Kings of England rule with the Parliament, but it wasn’t always so. In the fifteen hundreds an English king named Henry VIII tired to divorce his wife, Catherine of Aragon because she had borne him no son. However when Henry asked Pope Clement VI permission the Pope denied the request. Henry in turn wrote an article entitled The Act of Supremacy. It stated that the King of England was the head of the Church of England not the Pope. Henry VIII promoted the idea that the king was subject to no one. This idea is called The Divine Right of Kings.


James I, great grand nephew of Henry VIII, also believed in The Divine Right of Kings. He believed that he could over rule Parliament’s decision. James I wanted to control the people and the religion of England. Parliament did not agree with him. But James I didn’t provoke Parliament at that time. His ideas, though were put in to fruition during the reign of James I son Charles I.


Charles I put his fathers idea into action. When Charles appointed William Laud as Archbishop of Canterbury; it threw the nation into an uproar. Why? Laud was strongly Anglican, as was Charles himself, and Lauds ideas where very close to the Roman Catholic teachings. Parliament was upset at Charles but Charles was more upset then they were! Charles believed that he was the one who called the shots on matters of religion. Furious Charles dismissed Parliament of a period of 11 years. Eventuality Charles I called them back together. But tensions rose. Finely in November 1641 Charles and his allies, the Loyalists, raised their battle standard and thus entered the English Civil War. Charles was soundly defeated by the Parliamentarian Roundheads, led by Oliver Cromwell, at the Battle of Naseby. Charles was tried and condemned for high treason. He was beheaded on January 30, 1649.


Oliver Cromwell took over control of England after Charles died. Cromwell disagreed with The Divine Right of Kings and instead believed that the king had to answer to Parliament.He sought to bring peace to England. Cromwell was made the Protectorate of the Common Wealth of England.But Cromwell died in 1658 and his son, Richard, was not able to fill in his father’s shoes. And in 1660 Charles I son, Charles II was brought back to England.

Why is the Divine Right of Kings wrong? “By Me (God) kings reign and rulers decree what is just.” Prov 8:15 Let us not be like these men but let us listen to our elders and to God.


Samuel Duarte

The Scottish War for Independence


Today, let’s travel back to the 13th and 14th centuries, to learn about two great men in Scottish history.


William Wallace, born c. 1270, was a great hero of Scotland. William’s father also had opposed the English and, in the end, had lost his life for Scottish freedom. William Wallace met and married Marion Brad. But Marion was supposed to marry the Sheriff of Lanark’s son.

But Marion didn’t what to marry him because the Sheriff had killed her father and brother.

Now Wallace was a wanted man. William Wallace was able to gather a band of Scots who were ready to fight for the freedom of Scotland. The Sheriff and an English Captain Thorn, however, were on Wallace’s trail. While William was out with his men, the Sheriff of Lanark found Marion and killed her. That night, after Wallace had found his wife’s dead body, William and his men attacked Lanark, killed the whole English garrison even the Sheriff and Caption Thorn. Not one Scot was killed in the battle. Thus William Wallace’s battle for the independence of Scotland had begun.

William’s greatest victory was the Battle of Stirling Bridge. The English army, under the command of John de Wernne and Hugh de Cressingham, planned to cross the River Forth near Stirling Castle. But two men stood in their way, William Wallace and Andrew Moray. The odds were against the Scots; English- 200-300 cavalry + 10,000 foot soldiers; Scots-36 cavalry + 8,000 foot soldiers. On the morning of September 11, 1297 the battle began.  The English sent their knights across first. The Scots spearmen ran down the hill and towards the English, cutting off the escapes route back across the bridge. Then the Scots attacked the trapped bowmen, knights, and foot soldiers. For one hour the Scottish slaughtered the English. The rest of the English fled leaving the hated Hugh de Cressingham dead. The Scottish had won a great victory.


In December of 1297 Wallace was knighted and was given the title The Guardian of Scotland. But Edward I chased William even more. Finely, on Aug. 5, 1305 he was arrested. William Wallace was hanged, beheaded, disemboweled, and quartered.


But the Scottish Wars were far from over. Before William had died he had given a knight, named Robert the Bruce, the title of Guardian of Scotland. But Robert also had rights to the Scottish throne. So on March 25, 1306 Robert the Bruce and his wife were crowned king and queen of Scotland. But soon King Edward herd about it and began chasing Robert. Robert and his men tired again and again to fight back but they were always defeated. It was during this time that the famous story of Bruce and the spider came about. Click here to read. Inspired by the spider, Bruce exclaimed,” I thank God! The spider has taught me a lesson. No more will I be discouraged!”


In this time, however, a new king, Edward II, was appointed to the throne.


Encouraged, Robert the Bruce set out and captured 90% of the castles ion Scotland. Finely Edward had had enough. He marched to Scotland with 100,000 soldiers. Robert the Bruce met him at Bannockburn with 30,000 men. On June 24, 1314 the battle began. As Robert was riding in the front of his men to encourage them, an English knight, Henry de Bohun, saw his chance. He rode at Robert with his lance aimed at Bruce’s heart, Robert rode towards Henry and at the last moment Robert severed his horse to the side and backhanded his axe into Henry’s head. Henry de Bohun was dead before he hit the ground, splitting in half. The Scottish army charged the English and completely destroyed them. One Scot fought it all the way to King Edward II, but was cut down before he could kill the English King. Edward II fled for his life. Despite Roberts close shave near death, his only regret was that he had broken his favorite axe. Finely in 1328 Scotland became an independent nation.


What do we learn from these men? To press on even in the face of difficulty and to never ever lose heart.


Samuel Duarte

The Investiture Controversy’s

Today I would like to tell you about the Investiture Controversy’s. What are the Investiture Controversy’s? Investiture means, ‘The act of installing a person in an office, rank, and order’. In the Investiture Controversy’s it was a disagreement about who would appoint bishops to the church. When did the Investiture Controversy’s take place? The first disagreement took place in 1076, just ten years after the Norman invasion of England. The second one started in 1162 and happened in England.


The first one started in 1076 and never really had an ending. The Holy Roman Emperor, Henry IV, appointed three bishops. But the Pope, Gregory VII at the time, only was allowed to appoint bishops. In 1076 Gregory wrote a letter to Henry asking him to repent. In retaliation, Henry IV, called a council, and the men decided to denounce the Pope and asked him to leave Rome. Gregory VII than turned and excommunicated Henry IV. This meant that he was no longer to be treated as Emperor. It was decided that Henry needed to go to the Pope and repent. Henry IV met Pope Gregory VII at Canossa, Italy. There Gregory lifted the Ban of Excommunication. But the conflict was far from over.In 1080 Henry IV besieged Rome and took it. Gregory fled. He died in Salerno, Italy.His last words were, ‘I loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore I die in exile.At last in 1122 an agreement was made, the Pope would appoint bishops and the Emperor would give the bishops blessing.


The second part of Investiture Controversy took place in England from 1162 to 1171. After the death of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Henry II needed to appoint a new archbishop. He turned to his good friend Thomas Becket. Thomas was born in 1118 and studied law in Paris. Thomas Becket was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury on June 2, 1162. But sadly Henry thought that by his friend at the top meant he could do whatever he wanted to do. Not the case. Thomas took his job very seriously. When Henry II tried to appoint his on bishops, Thomas said no. Henry tired to kill Becket but he fled to France. In 1170 Henry II and Becket resolved their dispute. Thomas returned to England and resumed his office of Bishop. But the troubles were far from over. While he had been in France, Becket had excommunicated two bishops who had supported King Henry II in his trying to appoint bishops. Henry, quite upset said, ‘who will rid me of this meddlesome priest.’ Four of Henry’s knights sailed to England and stormed Canterbury Cathedral. They found Becket saying his evening prayers. Thus on December 29, 1170 Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, was murder by and sword blow to the head.His last words were,’ For the Name of Jesus and the protection of the Church I am ready to die.’


This murder sent a tremor though Europe. Henry II later repented and Thomas was made a Saint. As a result of the Investiture Controversy’s the church and the state became more separate. This all paved the way for the Reformation.



Samuel Duarte

Erik the Red and Leif the Lucky


Today I would like to tell you about three men.  Their names are Erik the Red and Leif the Lucky.  When we hear of Vikings we think of one or both of these men.  But how much do we actually now about them?

First off we need some background information.  Erik the Red was born in Norway, somewhere near the town of Stvavanger. His father, a man by the name of Thovald Asvaldsson, got involved in a bloody feud and killed a man. He was banished to Iceland where Erik was born.

After Erik the Red married, he killed two men.  Like father like son!  Erik was then exiled to water or he had to travel for three years.  He had heard about land to the west so he led a group of men to go exploring due west.  The first year, 982, he landed on the eastern side of Greenland.  However the eastern side is very harsh.  So the next year, 983, he sailed to the west side.  He explored this area for two more years then headed back to Iceland. In 985 he landed back home. Erik then began to promote the land he had discovered.  He wanted people to colonize it, but the land was not very inviting.  To make it sound more inviting he called it Greenland.  He got 450 people to come with him.  They landed in a place known as Qagssiarssuk.

Later Leif, his son, tried to convert his father to Christianity, but Erik wouldn’t leave the false gods.  Erik died in the winter of 1003.  He was buried at a place near the town of Brattahlid.


Leif Ericson or Leif the Lucky was born during the late 970s.  In his 20’s went to Norway, and there he was converted to Christianity.  He went back to Greenland and his mother became a Christian but his father Erik the Red would not leave his Old Norse gods.  In 1001 Leif left Greenland with 35 men.  They landed on a place he called Helluland, thought to be on the southwest end of Baffin Island.  He the sailed to ‘Markland’, considered to be somewhere on the coat of Labrdor.  In the fall of 1001 he landed in Vineland.  It seems to be the northeastern tip of Newfoundland.  He returned to Greenland in the spring of 1002.  His nickname, Leif the Lucky, was given when he saved some castaways. Those men where really lucky!


To wrap it up, Columbus wasn’t the first person to reach North America. It was discovered 300 years before him by Leif the Lucky.



Samuel Duarte




Charles Martel


During the end of the Merovingian dynasty, the kings became lazy.  Instead of kings, the people had what they called, The Mayor of the Palace.  One of these, Mayor Pepin, had a son named Charles.


Charles mother imprisoned him because he was an illegitimate son.  He escaped and went off to find his fortune, or rather fight for it.  His first battle didn’t go along to well, he realized he had very little men and fled.  However, this was the only battle that he lost!  After the defeat, he railed his men and defeats his enemies.  Charles had three tactics, appearing where his enemies lest expected, attacking when they lest expected and attacking how they lest expected.


Charles could have made himself King of France, he ruled like one, but he never took mare than Mayor of the Palace.


To the south of France, the Muslims were taking the Iberian Peninsula by storm. They invaded France in 732, and soon Charles was headed south. The two armies’ met on the plain of Tours, hence the name, The Battle of Tours.  For a week the two armies faced another.  The teo armies were not at all the same, the Arab army was mostly cavalry and the Franks were an army of foot soldiers.  Finally the battle lines were placed.  The Franks formed a firm wall.  For the whole day the Arab horsemen charged again and again, but each time the Franks held on.  That night both armies were exhausted.  The next day the Franks awoke, but no Arabs!  Fearing ambush the Franks sent out searching parties, but the Arab camp was empty, and in fact the Arabs fled back to Spain!  Charles then pushed them back to North Africa.  Finally, the Muslims had been stopped, Christendom had been saved.  Charles was then given the name Charles Martel or Charles the Hammer.


Charles Martel died and left his son Pepin to rule in his place.





Samuel Duarte





King Arthur

Today I would like to tell you about a man named Arthur.  He is known best as King Arthur.

Before the Romans invaded England it was inhabited by people known as Britons.  When the Roman Empire started to decline, the Angles invaded England.  By the 5th century, the Angles had a strong hold on England.  Soon afterwards the Saxons, who were from Germany, also invaded England.  In the mist of all this there stands one great man, the legendary King Arthur.

Arthur was born in 465 A.D. We get most of our history about him and the time he lived in from the book, ‘The History of the Early Kings of Britain’ by Geoffrey of Monmouth.  King Arthur led the Britons in 12 battles.  The most famous of these battles was the Battle of Bandon Hill. Geoffrey reported that Arthur killed 960 men in the battle.

The Anglo-Saxons were defeated in the battle; however the Britons could never drive the Anglo-Saxons out completely.  Eventually they lived in peace until the invasion of the Normans in 1066.  Today the people of England are the descendants of Britons and Anglo-Saxons.

Arthur was eventually taken up as a figure of ancient chivalry.  His leadership, bravery and chivalry are all great examples.  But with time he was taken up as a legend.   Did Arthur really kill 906 men?  Did he really meet his doom at Camlonn?  Was he killed by Morded, and did Lancelot really lie about the Excalibur?   I don’t believe all these things, but he was real great man. (Pun intended)   But what about the Knights of the Round Table? You decide!


                                   Samuel Duarte