Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Executive editor of the English version: Andrew Colin Gow

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The Encyclopedia of Early Modern History is the English edition of the German-language Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. This 15-volume reference work, published in print between 2005 and 2012 and here available online, offers a multi-faceted view on the decisive era in European history stretching from ca. 1450 to ca. 1850 ce. in over 4,000 entries.
The perspective of this work is European. This is not to say that the rest of the World is ignored – on the contrary, the interaction between European and other cultures receives extensive attention.

New articles will be added on a regular basis during the period of translation, for the complete German version see Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit Online.

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Jacobin drama

(5 words)

See Revolutionary literature
Date: 2019-10-14


(3,609 words)

Author(s): Reichardt, Rolf
1. Concept Jacobinism is a controversial political and historical term with a heavy ideological charge. It developed from the short nickname for the Paris  Société des Amis de la Constitution (“Society of Friends of the Constitution”) taken from the hall in which it held its meetings in the abolished Dominican monastery ( Jacobins) in the Rue Saint-Honoré. Most closely associated with the “Jacobin dictatorships” of 1793/94 in France, Jacobinism was one of the key elements of the French Revolution. Whether historians are critical of French Jacobinism as a totalitarian “machinery” [15]…
Date: 2019-10-14

Jacquard loom

(5 words)

See Sample weaving
Date: 2019-10-14


(1,549 words)

Author(s): Lucassen, Jan | Lucassen, Leo | Siegert, Christine
1. Introduction The expansion of the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century, which culminated in the taking of Constantinople in 1453, was closely associated with the process of developing the military. One of the important innovations here was the creation of a standing army. While most early modern states relied almost entirely on mercenaries hired for short periods, the Ottomans created a permanent armed force. One of its most important and most-feared divisions was the Janissaries (Turkish: yeniçeri, “new soldier”), an elite guard of the sultan. Its members were fo…
Date: 2019-10-14


(2,127 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
1. General observationsJansenism, named after Cornelius Jansen (1585-1638), was the most important opposition and reform movement within the Catholic Church of the 17th and 18th centuries (Religious reform movements). It was especially prevalent in France and the Netherlands but also found support in Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Austria.Jansenism was originally aimed at reforming theology and piety based on the work of the Church Father St. Augustine, but it took various forms in its different areas of influence and phases of development. A…
Date: 2019-10-14


(16 words)

See East Asian economy | East Asian religions | East Asian societies | Shogunate
Date: 2019-10-14

Japan trade

(797 words)

Author(s): Häberlein, Mark
Within a few years of the discovery of the sea route to India by Vasco da Gama in 1497/98, the Portuguese had built an extensive network of bases in the Indian Ocean stretching as far as the Strait of Malacca in the east. Although word of the wealth of China and Japan had fired the imaginations of Europeans since the reports of Marco Polo, forging commercial relations with these empires initially proved difficult.When the first Portuguese arrived in Japan in 1543, the country was riven by conflicts between regional princes ( daimyo). Some of them welcomed the Portuguese as tradin…
Date: 2019-10-14


(735 words)

Author(s): Dimit, Robert | Omitogun-Meyer, Patricia
In early modern usage, jealousy covered a greater variety of affective conditions than what is understood under that emotion today. But in practice, jealousy primarily referred to anxiety or distrust in matters of love, then as now.1. TheoryIn Latin and the emerging European vernaculars, expressions to do with jealousy referred, first, to dissatisfaction in love, which is also its stereotypical context nowadays; but it also referred to feelings one would now describe as envy and zeal, especially the zeal to guard and protect on…
Date: 2019-10-14

Jesuit college

(8 words)

See College | Monastery school
Date: 2019-10-14

Jesuit drama

(1,320 words)

Author(s): Schnabel, Werner Wilhelm
1. Significance and function “Jesuit drama” refers to a specific form of early modern, primarily Latin drama in Catholic Europe that was very closely connected both in function and in content with the missionary work of the Jesuits. In fierce competition with expanding Protestantism, which introduced the school drama around 1530, the Jesuits also engaged in theatrical presentation between 1555/60 and 1773 (when the order was temporarily suppressed). The performances contributed to the ord…
Date: 2019-10-14

Jesuit report

(5 words)

See Missionary report
Date: 2019-10-14


(3,268 words)

Author(s): Walter, Peter | Wald, Melanie
1. Establishment and constitutionJesuits is the abbreviated name for members of the  Societas Iesu (“Society of Jesus”), the largest, most important, and also the most controversial male order of the Roman Catholic Church in the early modern era.The Jesuits were established by the Basque nobleman Iñigo López de Loyola, who later went by the Latin version of his name, Ignatius. Originally a soldier, after being severely wounded in 1521 he changed his life’s direction and began a course of study that culminated in Paris with the de…
Date: 2019-10-14

Jesuit State

(2,339 words)

Author(s): Rinke, Stefan
1. General observations The missionary drive was always central to justifications of the discovery and conquest of the New World (Mission). Around the middle of the 16th century, the Jesuits emerged as a new, dynamic element, making their mark not only on the religious life but also on the politics, economies, and culture especially of remote and unappealing borderlands (Frontier) for about two hundred years. In particular, in the 18th century, the province of Paraguay and the Guaraní mi…
Date: 2019-10-14

Jesus Christ

(4,907 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
1. General observations “Jesus Christ” is not originally a name but the declaration that Jesus of Nazareth is the  christós (Greek: “anointed,” Messiah) of God. As such, in the European modern era, Jesus Christ was a prominent figure in religious and cultural orientation. However, these orientations underwent far-reaching changes amounting to a move away from the unquestioned authority of the Christian tradition toward a more independent, critically modifying reception. The belief (Faith) that God incarnated himse…
Date: 2019-10-14


(4 words)

See Precious stones
Date: 2019-10-14


(3,034 words)

Author(s): Siebenhüner, Kim
1. General observationsThe term “jewelry” refers to the decoration or adornment of a person’s body with objects made from special, often valuable materials. In societies outside of Europe in the early modern era, parallel practices included the use of paint and tattoos. Jewelry can be found in all societies as a culturally marked means of expression. Contexts of use, designs, techniques, and materials used to produce pieces of jewelry can thus be seen as reflections of the culture and wealth of th…
Date: 2019-10-14

Jewish art

(2,256 words)

Author(s): Weber, Annette
1. Subject matter Jewish art has attracted discussion and research since the 19th century, although the expectation that the minority would conform to the surrounding majority culture, and the resulting stylistic plurality, make defining its specific features a complex task. Up until Emancipation in the 18th/19th century, the exclusion of Jews from Christian-run crafts and trades guilds and the biblical ban on graven images impeded the establishment of an autonomous Jewish art. Its devel…
Date: 2019-10-14

Jewish congregation

(2,167 words)

Author(s): Kosman, Admiel
1. Developments up until the 17th centuryThe original form of the Jewish congregation (Hebr. kehilla) dates back to the Second Temple (ca. 520 BCE) with the development of the synagogue as Jewish community institutions. The Jewish congregation was the point where religious and social life met, especially after the destruction of the Second Temple (70 CE). Each Jewish congregation maintained a synagogue and  mikveh (the bath for ritual immersion), but was also responsible for the (internal) administration of justice, care of the sick, school education for …
Date: 2019-10-14

Jewish culture, academic study of

(10 words)

See Wissenschaft des Judentums
Date: 2019-10-14

Jewish economic life

(1,189 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Uri
1. Iberian peninsula and eastern Europe Spanish Jews were forced to choose between conversion and persecution in 1492 (Refugees of conscience; Sephardim). Half of them fled to Portugal (where they were forcibly baptized in 1497), North Africa, northern Italy, and the Ottoman Empire (the Jewish communities in Istanbul, Thessaloniki/Salonika, and Izmir/Smyrna received substantial reinforcement; Jewish society). In the German Empire, most city authorities had already driven the Jews out by this point in…
Date: 2019-10-14
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