World Civilizations

Significant People in the History of World Civilizations since the Year 1500 C.E (A.D.)

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Significant People in the History of World Civilizations since the Year 1500 C.E (A.D.)


1500 C.E. (A.D.) marks the beginning of the sixteenth century of the world century. The sixteenth century started in 1501 with the Julian year and ended in the year 1600 with the Gregorian year. Many historians regarded this time as the century marked by the age of Islamic gunpowders and the rise of western civilization. The century is described as a period of dynamic expansion that played a significant role in the early modern age’s social, cultural, and political transformation. The purpose of this text is to discuss some of the most significant people in the history of world civilizations since 1500 C.E., including Martin Luther, King Henry VIII, William Shakespeare, John Calvin, and Oda Nobunanga.

Martin Luther

Martin Luther is a monk and theologian of the 16th century who has a significant influence on Christian history. He is said to have changed Christianity after he set off the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther was born in Germany into a religious family and his father intended him to become a lawyer. He enrolled in law school but dropped out immediately because he believed the law had uncertainty. Luther started the Protestant Reformation on 31st October 1517 when he walked to the Castle Church located in Wittenberg, Germany, and placed a piece of paper that contained 95 opinions that set off the reformist movement (Ganiev, Xudoyqulov, Maxmudov, Elboyeva, & Abduraxmonov, 2021). In the 95 opinions, Luther damned the dishonesty portrayed by the Roman Church. Particularly, he was not happy with the practice of indulgences which entails asking for payment for forgiveness of sins. Luther started the movement following his belief that the church needed to be reformed. He maintained that people could only be saved by the Grace of God and having faith in Jesus. The 95 theses he came up with made him a famous revolutionist of the time.

King Henry VIII

King Henry VIII is another significant individual that contributed to world civilization during the 16th century. He was born in June 1491 in Greenwich, England. He served as King of England from 1509 to 1547. King Henry VIII remains to be one of most extraordinary monarchs in England’s history. During his reign as king, King Henry married six wives. He is renowned for executing thousands of his people, including his wives, for no apparent reason. King Henry is known for radically overhauling the English religion, the Royal Navy and the parliamentary powers. King Henry even transformed postal service in England. In an act that came to be called English Reformation, King Henry made a decision to suppress the Roman Church. He did this by declaring the Church of England as the country’s official religion. King Henry VIII employed the parliament to enact his laws and this helped him establish authority for the then-parliament. Despite remaining catholic, the break with the Roman church turned the country into a Protestant country. In 1542, King Henry VIII enacted an Act of Parliament that made him the King of Ireland.

William Shakespeare

Born in 1564, Shakespeare is considered to be England’s greatest English-speaking writer. His theoretical works have been performed more than any other person’s playwrights. To date, countless theatre festivals ate based on his works and students continue to memorize his poems reinterpret millions of the words that he invented. One of Shakespeare’s greatest contributions to the modern world is that he popularized, repurposed, invented, and preserved thousands of words from the English language. He played with works by combining two words to form new ones, changing nouns to verbs, changing verbs to adjectives, and adding suffixes and prefixes to words. Shakespeare is also renowned for having some of the best pickup lines in history. When it comes to romance, Shakespeare composed stacks of pick-up lines that can made a person blush and even melt the coldest of hearts. Four hundred years later, people still quite Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s characters were the true Romeos; they properly courted, wooed, and sweet-talked their lovers. In essence, Shakespeare was the best British writer to ever exist. He wrote about love, life, death, grief, revenge, jealousy, magic, murder, and mystery.

John Calvin

John Calvin is best known for his influences in the Institutes of Christianity of 1536, the first-ever systematic theological treatise reform. Calvin was born in July 1510 in France. He was an ecclesiastical statesman and theologian. Calvin was the most significant figure of the Protestant Reformation movement’s second generation. He was also a French Reformer. The Calvinist aspect of Protestantism had a significant impact on the current modern world. Calvinism was different from other reform movements of the time because he had distinct ideas concerning God’s plan for salvation for humankind. Calvin insisted on the doctrine of predestination hence the name Calvinism, which represented the characteristics of the reformed communities and churches in France and the Netherlands.

Oda Nobunanga

Oda Nobunanga was born in Kyoto, Japan, in June 1534. Nobunanga was a government official and Japanese warrior that overthrew Ashikaga putting an end to the long period of feudal war. As a virtual dictator, Nobunanga, restored a stable government and established conditions that unified the countries in the years that followed his death (Luhao, 2019). As the powerful Samurai warlord in Japan he conquered a third of the country in the late 16th century. To unify Japan, he improved roads, reduced taxes, and abolished the toll barriers bringing prosperity to Kano. Nobunanga was a classic ruthless, cunning and authoritarian leader. He has been named a cruel tyrant and blamed for Wanton’s murder during the attack in Mount Hiei. All in all, Nobunanga is deemed an influential figure in the history of Japan and is one of the country’s greatest unifiers.


In closing, the sixteenth century was a period of social, cultural, and political transformation for world civilization. Some of the significant leaders that have been associated with world civilization since 1500 C.E. include William Shakespeare, Martin Luther, King Henry VIII, John Calvin, and Oda Nobunanga. Martin Luther have changed Christianity after he setting off the Protestant Reformation. King Henry is known for radically overhauling the English religion, the Royal Navy and the parliamentary powers. Shakespeare’s greatest contribution to the modern world is that he popularized, repurposed, invented, and preserved thousands of words from the English language. Unlike other reform movements Calvin insisted on the doctrine of predestination while Oda Nobunanga unified Japan.


Ganiev, А. G., Xudoyqulov, T. D., Maxmudov, D. A., Elboyeva, M., & Abduraxmonov, M. O. (2021). A Mind Map to Show the Place of the Generations of the Baburians in the World Civilization. Psychology and Education Journal, 58(2), 3500-3504.

Luhao, L. (2019). The analysis of the contribution of luck in the uprising and downfall of Oda Nobunaga in Japanese sengoku jidai. European Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, (5), 25-32.

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