Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Index Librorum Prohibitorum

List of forbidden books in Castile in 1583

As we studied last Friday, one of the decisions made by the Catholic Church to stop the extension of Protestantism was the creation of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, a list of the books forbidden for the Catholic believers. This list was created in 1559 and it existed until 1966, when Pope Paul VI decided to abolish it. The Index included all the books whose ideas were considered against the official dogma of the Catolic Church. Many works of thinkers and scientists were included on it, but also novels. Every book published in the Catholic countries had to pass the control of the Church and receive its aproval: Nihil obstat (nothing forbids) and Imprimatur (let it be printed). If the book belonged to a religious institution and was on questions of religion or moral, it should also get the Imprimi potest (it can be printed). 

Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur of a book published in New York

The institution in charge of the List of Forbidden Books was the Sacred Congregation of the Inquisition, later called the Holy Office. Owning forbidden books was considered to be heressy and the heretics were persecuted and punished. For example, Giordano Bruno, an Italian philosopher and scientist, was burnt at stake for his writings. Galileo Galilei had to recant many of his ideas about the universe, because this was the only way to save his life. 

At present the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is the insitution in charge of watching books and overseeing the Catholic doctrine. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since 1981 until he was elected Pope in 2005. This institution still bans the books they consider theologically wrong. For example, they punished the books of some members of the Church who follow the Liberation Theology current, such as Leonardo Boff, Jon Sobrino or Hans Küng

On the following link you have a complete list of the books and authors forbidden for the Catholics until the list was suppressed

The Opus Dei, a very conservative group of the Catholic Church, has a list of forbidden books for its members. They have created a list of more than 60,000 books and rated them according to religious and moral criteria. Here you have the list of forbidden writers: 

On the same link you can upload the whole booklist and  watch the "mark" Opus Dei gives to every book. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Henry VIII´s six wives

You may know about this story for The Tudors, the TV series, but here you have a music video from the History for Music Lovers´ channel on Youtube. They performed a song using Abba´s song Money, Money, Money. Henry VIII of England provoked another schism in the Catholic Church when the Pope rejected to annule his marriage with Catalina of Aragón. Henry VIII declared himself the Supreme Head of the Church of England, divorced Catalina and married Ann Boleyn. But later he had four more wives. Play the video if you want to learn more about them and have fun. 

Paris is well worth a Mass

Henry IV of France

Yesterday we studied that religious conflicts intermingled with political affairs very frequently during the 16th and 17th centuries. That happened in the German Empire, where many German princes supported Martin Luther´s ideas as a way of facing the power of the Emperor, Charles V. The same happened with the wars of religion in France, which took place in the second half of the 16th century.  The quote Paris is well worth a Mass, pronounced by Henry IV of France in 1593, can be another example of this. 

There were eight wars of religion in France between 1562 and 1598. This fact reflects the extension of religious intolerance in those changing times. The doctrine spread by John Calvin had found a certain support in France, where a community of Huguenots (the name Calvinists received in France) was created. The Huguenots were initially tolerated, but later persecuted. The big noble families of the French kingdom aligned in different sides (Huguenots and Catholics) and violent confrontments broke out. 

Henry III of Navarre was the king of Navarre, son of Antoine of Bourbon, a respected Huguenot and heir to France´s throne. In the religion wars he fought with the Protestants against the Catholics, especially after Saint Bartholomew´s Day Massacre: on the 24th August 1572 several thousands of Huguenots who had come to Paris to Henry III´s wedding, were killed by Catholics. The order was given  by Catherine of Medicis, King Charles IX´s mother. Henry III, who was in the line of succession to the French throne, escaped the massacre under the promise of converting to Catholicism. But some years later he abjured and rejoined the Huguenots, who continued to fight against the Catholics. In 1584, when the French king died without successors, Henry III became the legitimate heir to the throne. A new war started: the War of the Three Henries: Henry III of Navarre, Henry of Guise, a Catholic nobleman supported by Philip II and Henry III of France, supported by the Catholic League. Political interests mixed with religion again: the Catholic League rejected Philip II´s intervention in France and when their leader King Henry III died without children, they looked for an agreement and accepted Henry III of Navarre, the Huguenot, as the new king of France if he converted to Catholicism. And so did he in 1593. This is the origin of his statement Paris is well worth a Mass. The quote means that becoming the king of France was worth the sacrifice of changing religion. Henry III of Navarre was crowned king of France in 1594 and he reigned as Henry IV. He was the first king of the Bourbon dynasty in France. 

The experience of religious intolerance and so many religion wars made King Henry IV aware of the importance of respecting the others´ beliefs. In 1598 he enacted the Edict of Nantes, which meant religious tolerance in France and granted the Huguenots equality of rights with the Catholics. This was an important step in the path to secularization, because it established the principle of religious freedom in France and meant the end of religion wars in this country.

The quote Paris is well worth a Mass is commonly used to talk about sacrifices which are worth doing, because the expected compensation is worthwhile. 

There is a 1994 French film called La reine Margot (Queen Margot), which tells the story of the religion wars in France, focusing on Margot, Henry III of Navarre´s wife. Here you have the teaser. You will discover Miguel Bosé, the singer, who plays the role of Henry of Guise.

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Journal: 28/09/12

Hello everybody!

Today, at first, we have said the definition of the beginning of secularization process, and then Paqui has written on the blackboard some concepts and we have copied.

After she has explained religion, the Protestant Reformation in which Martin Luther proposed the salvation through faith, authority of the Bible, etc., The Calvinism is the predestination doctrine and enrichment through work a sign of divine grace, the Anglicanism in which Henry VIII created a new religion. Also she has spoken of the Reaction of the Catholic Church, Counter-Reformacion and then Paqui has written a scheme in the blackboard and we have copied it. Finally, Paqui has said the homework for Monday. We have to finish the scheme about the Beginning of secularization process. We have to explain Sciences and Thinking, which talk about thinking they had and the sciences were introduced ...

Bye byeeee!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Presentations used this week

At some students´ request, here you have the presentations we´ve been using this week to study the Age of Discovery and some of the cultural changes during the Modern Era. 

JOURNAL: 26/09/12

                                                                 MARTIN LUTHER


Today, first Paqui has showed us some things of the blog about the slaves in the Modern era and then she has said that about 12 millions of slaves were transported from Africa to America.

Then we have corrected the exercises of the last day. Monica have checked the first question about the Capitulations of Santa Fe, a contract signed by the Catholic Monarchs an Cristopher Columbus in Granada on April 17, 1492.

After that, Miguel has corrected the second question, about the Treaty of Tordesillas and Paqui has explained it.

Later we have started talking about the religion in this period; the Reformation, written by Martin Luther in 1520, the Counter-reformation, made by the Catholic Church and the secularization process and we have had a little discussion about the secularization process in the actual Spain and the religion in schools.

Afterwards we have read on the book about the Reformation and the Counter-reformation and Paqui has showed us a Powerpoint presentation related to it and she has spoken about Martin Luther.

Finally for homework we have to do a scheme about the secularization process.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A film where the King Louis XIV appears.

Hello Paqui!
I want to show you a video about a film called " The Man in the Iron Mask " . In this film appear the King Louis XIV "the Sun king"!!!!!!!
Here I put the webside of the story.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Some data about the colonization of the Indies and slavery

Smallpox epidemics, Codex Florentinus

As we have studied today, the contact between the Europeans and the peoples of the Americas was catastrophic for the last ones. Although there was a number of natives who died fighting against the conquerors, most of them died from diseases transmitted by the Europeans. The Indies were "virgin soil" for many European diseases, which became lethal for the native Americans. Estimates calculate a demographic loss from 70 to 90 % of the total population of the continent. The population of the Americas didn´t recover until 1800, three centuries after the beginning of the conquest, but including the Europeans who had migrated to the Indies and the slaves forced to leave Africa. The impact was such that the natives were not the majority of the American population any more. 

Advertisement of a slave auction in Virginia, British colony in North America, in 1769

When the natives started dying, the Europeans replaced them by black slaves brought from Africa forcedly. Around 12 million slaves crossed the Atlantic Ocean to work in the plantations and mines owned by the Europeans and their descendants.Many of them died during the voyage (25%). Slavery started in the Castilian and Portuguese colonies in 1502, became an important part of triangular trade and it didn´t finish until the end of the 19th century: in the USA slavery was abolished after the Civil War (1861-1865). Spain definitively abolished slavery in its colonies of the Caribbean Sea between 1873 (Puerto Rico) and 1880 (Cuba). 

Figures have been extracted from the book LIVI BACCI, Massimo, Los estragos de la conquista. Quebranto y declive de los indios de América, Editorial Crítica, Barcelona, 2006. (English version: Conquest: the destruction of the American Indios, Polity, 2008).

More information about the Columbian exchange and demographic catastrophe for the native Americans:

Some important figures in the abolition campaign in the United Kingdom: 

Interactive map about slavery: 

Louis XIV´s court portrayed on a film

Last week we talked about Absolute Monarchies and the Sun King. Louis XIV tried to keep the nobles apart from the government and he organized splendorous parties and banquets in order to entertain them. There is a 2000 film called Vatel, which depicts Louis XIV¨s court and all the entertainments the king prepared for his guests. The film tells the story of François Vatel, a famous cook who invented Chantilly cream. The parties organized by the king put so much stress on him that he decided to committ suicide when a seafood delivery arrived later than expected. On the following videos you can have an idea of Louis XIV´s court.

Monday, September 24, 2012


Arrival of Columbus to America.

     Today, first we have reviewed the things we learnt in the previous class: the birth of the modern States and the characteristics of Absolute and Authoritarian Monarchies.

     Then, we have checked our homework. For homework, we had to do a scheme about the Age of discoveries. So Paqui has written it on the blackboard. She has started writing about the causes of this age: The conquest of Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire by the Ottoman Turks caused the closure of the terrestrial routes to Asia and the Europeans looked for new trade routes. 

     After that, we have talked about the "discovered" lands. The Castilians discovered a new continent, America; and the coasts of Africa and a sea route to Asia were the Portuguese discoveries. First, she has taught us that they led to the beginning of globalization process, which means that relationships between different parts of the world started to exist and they permitted the exchange for products, people and knowledge. This process had positive and negative aspects. The positive ones were that a richer and varied diet spread out and there was an extraordinary progress in science; and the negative ones were the demographic catastrophe for the natives and development of slavery. 

    Another consequence was the creation of overseas empires by Portugal and Castile in the 15th-16th centuries and by France, England and Low Countries in the 17th century. Europe established its supremacy and in this period the accumulation of capital started. During the class we have written some words on our glossary like thief (ladrón), to skirt (bordear), compass (brújula), caravels (carabela) and rise (ascenso).

Territories discovered by Portugal and Castile 
     Then, Paqui has written another sketch about Society and Economy of this period. She has said that the Society was divided into estates and that new economic activities appeared. For homework, Paqui has said to us that we have to define: "Capitulations of Santa Fe" and "the Treaty of Tordesillas" looking for these definitions on the unit 6 of the book.

This year´s group

Paqui, the photo! :)
Now You can put it on Blogger! See you! Bye


Friday, September 21, 2012

JOURNAL: 21-09-2012

Hello people !

      Today, when we have arrived to the class of social sciences, Paqui has written a scheme in the blackboard about how the modern states birth, and it includes the main features, the reaction to absolutims and the stages, that there were two: Authoritarian Monarchies (15th-16th centuries) and Absolute Monarchy (17th century), and we have copied it in our notebooks.

       Later we have checked our homework, they were about the reforms made by the catholic monarchs to reinforce their authority and the absolute monarchy. Some people have read their summaries and Paqui has checked them and also she has asked us some things about the summaries.
After this, Paqui has added some information to our summaries about the Absolute Monarchy. She has explained that Aragon and Castile were independent kingdoms, Isabel goberned in Castile and Fernando in Aragon, but sometimes he helped Isabel to gobern Castile because it was big and it needed more control.

       Also in the class of today we have learned some new words: Holy Brotherhood (Santa Hermandad), to watch (vigilar), to hire (contratar), to advice (aconsejar), currency (moneda) and by drawing lots (por sorteo).

       To finish the class Paqui has said that for homework we have to read a sheet that she has given us the first day about the Modern Era and we have to make a scheme about the Age of discovery.


                                                             ¡ BYE BYE !

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Journal: 19/09/12

Hello everybody!
Today, at first, we have checked the words that we didn't understand last day about the Modern Era.
We have copied some words that Paqui has put on the blackboard for example: chicken pox (varicela), to inherit (heredar), bankruptcy (banca rota), etc, and then we have learned the instructions to work on blogger. We have also talked about when started and finished the Modern Era (15th-18th century), the events that gave birth to the Modern Era like the fall of Constantinople and the end of the Byzantine Empire and the discovery of America. Then, we have talked about the Authoritarian Monarchy where its main representatives were the Catholic Monarchs and the Absolute Monarchy whose representative Louis XIV "the Sun King" and finally, Paqui has given the homework and the books of third eso year. There aren't a lot of books for all the class and some people will have to wait. We have to do a summary about the reforms ot the Catholic Monarchs like who has been the kings or queens, the territories conquered by them, etc and explain the features about the Absolute Monarchy.

                                     In this picture we can see the fall of Constantinople.


Columbus Letter on the First Voyage

The Catholic Monarchs permitted to Christopher Columbus to realize his expedition to Asia, but he went to the American continent instead of Asian continent, and he brought a letter to King Ferdinand of Spain Describing the First Voyage (1493).

In that letter he spoke about some different things like for example that he has passed from the Canary Islands to the Indies in thirty-three days ( because he thought that he arrived to the Indies instead of America), and the good state of the water, so the majority of which contain gold.

The existence of many spices and great mines of gold and of other metals were other important theme in that letter and he tell also how the people of this island all go naked, men and women, as their mothers bore them, although some of the women cover a single place with the leaf of a plant or with a net of cotton which they make for the purpose, also they don't hold any creed nor are they idolaters; but they all believe that power and good are in the heavens and were very firmly convinced that I, with these ships and men, came from the heavens, and in this belief they everywhere received me after they had mastered their fear.

He also said something about the other islands such as Espanola, has a circumference greater than all Spain.

At the end of the letter he tried to obtain support from the king and he put:

"In conclusion, to speak only of what has been accomplished on this voyage, which was so hasty, their Highnesses can see that I will give them as much gold as they may need, if their Highnesses will render me very slight assistance; presently, I will give them spices and cotton, as much as their Highnesses shall command… and slaves, as many as they shall order, and who will be from the idolaters. I believe also that I have found rhubarb and cinnamon, and I shall find a thousand other things of value, which the people whom I have left there will have discovered".

You can read all the letter and also download it in

Monday, September 17, 2012

First Day of High School!

Hello Everybody!!!

First, welcome to the new year 2012/2013. Today in Social Science, Paqui, the teacher has started calling the roll, then she has been explaining the organization of the notebook, which will include:
   -We have to correct the exercises everyday.
   -We have to have a glossary on the notebook.
   -And we have to do the journal everyday.

After this she has been explaining the assessment criteria for this new school year. The assessment criteria are the following:
    -50% of the mark will correspond to the exam marks
    -50% of the mark will correspond to:
             the work in classroom and homework(25%)
             the notebook has to be clean, organised and complete(10%)
             studen's attitude in the classroom, participation, collaboration... etc..(15%)

Then Paqui has been explaining how we are going to organize to write the journal. She has tell that we will do the journal in alphabetical order.

The first part of the unit that we are going to start next day will be a sheet that Paqui has given as is a summary about the Modern Age and it´s an introductory unit before starting the Contemporary Age, because we didn´t finish these contents in 2º.

After this Paqui has been explaining the participation in class. If we do the homework, we check the exercises in class everyday we will have a positive, in contrary we will have a negative.

She also has been explaining the good experience of the blog in the last years, because it had a lot of views, almost 184,000, more or less.
After the teacher has give us a sheet with the fist part of the unit that we will have started next day. After this the bell has rung and we have finished with our fist day os Social Science class.

Bye! :)

New year, new students

Hello everybody, 

Today we´ve started a new school year, with new students in 4th ESO. We´re going to continue learning history with this project. I hope this tool will be profitable for you and  we´ll all learn as much as possible.

In the following days I´ll send you an invitation to join the blog editorial team. Accept it and follow the instructions. On the link below you will find a short video tutorial to learn how to use Blogger: 

At this moment the hit counter reflects 182,833 visits. Your challenge will be increasing the number of readers with good journals, interesting questions and a high participation. Are you ready? Let´s start!