1640 1641 1642 1643 1644
1620s 1630s - 1640s - 1650s 1660s
The 1640s decade ran from January 1, 1640, to December 31, 1649.
Events and trends
- 1640 – The Reaper's War began in Catalonia between the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Spanish Crown, after the uprising known as Corpus of Blood amidst the unrest caused by the presence of Castilian troops in Catalan territory during the Thirty Years' War.
- The personal union of the crowns of Spain and Portugal ended due to a revolution in the latter (1640). Philip IV of Spain was succeeded in the throne of Portugal by King John IV, previously Duke of Braganza
- 1641 – A Treaty of Offensive and Defensive Alliance was signed by Portugal and the Dutch Republic on July 12. The treaty had no effect in the Portuguese colonies under Dutch rule since it was not respected by both parties.
- Anthony van Diemen, the colonial governor of the Dutch East India Company, assigned Abel Tasman with the mission to explore the Terra Australis region of Oceania. During his two years' expedition (1642–1644), the latter became the first European to reach Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) and New Zealand.
- Evangelista Torricelli constructed the first mercury barometer (1643/ 1644).
- In England, the growing conflict between King Charles I of England, Scotland and Ireland and the Long Parliament results in the outbreak of the English Civil War (1642–1649) between factions that would eventually be known as the Royalists and the Roundheads (who supported Parliament). The Parliament eventually emerged victorious. The captive King was tried (January 19 – January 27, 1649) and then executed by decapitation (January 30, 1649). The monarchy was then abolished and briefly replaced by the Commonwealth of England (1649 -1653).
- During the English Civil War, in 1644, John Milton's Areopagitica, William Walwyn's The Compassionate Samaritane, Henry Robinson's Liberty of Conscience and Roger William's The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution are published, marking the turning point in the Christian debate on persecution and toleration.
- 1643 – Also in the context of England's religious turmoil, the English Parliament called upon "learned, godly and judicious Divines" to meet at Westminster Abbey to provide advice on issues of worship, doctrine, government and discipline of the Church of England. The work of the Westminster Assembly eventually produced the Westminster Confession of Faith, completed in 1646. This Calvinist confession became and would remain the 'subordinate standard' of doctrine in the Church of Scotland, becoming influential within Presbyterian churches worldwide.
- China, in 1644: The invading Manchu army, with the help of Ming general Wu Sangui, captured Beijing, thus beginning the Qing Dynasty (also known as the Manchu Dynasty), which would be the last imperial dynasty of China.
- A series of treaties, known collectively as the Peace of Westphalia (October 24, 1648) put an end to two wars, both related to the Reformation:
- The Eighty Years' War (1568–1648) between Spain and the Dutch Republic. The latter was recognized as being fully independent.
- The Thirty Years' War (1618–1648) between the various Catholic and Protestant forces of Europe. Each of the about 360 German Princes of the Holy Roman Empire gained almost complete sovereignty over his/her respective territory/territories. Switzerland was recognized as being independent from the Empire.
- King Christian IV of Denmark and Norway (1588–1648).
- King Frederick III of Denmark (1648–1670).
- King Charles I of England, Scotland and Ireland (1625–1649).
- King Louis XIII of France (1610–1643).
- Cardinal Richelieu, chief minister of France (1624–1642).
- Cardinal Mazarin, chief minister of France (1642–1661).
- Anne of Austria, Queen Dowager and Regent of France (1643–1651).
- King Louis XIV of France (1643–1715).
- Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor (1637–1657).
- Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange, Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Overijssel and Guelders (1625–1647).
- William II, Prince of Orange, Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Overijssel and Guelders (1647–1650).
- Pope Urban VIII (1623–1644).
- Pope Innocent X (1644–1655).
- King John IV of Portugal (1640–1656).
- King Philip IV of Spain (1621–1665).
- Queen Christina of Sweden (1632–1654).
- Padshah Shah Jahan of the Mughal Empire