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During his years of public service, Machiavelli showed interest in a number of philosophical issues related to politics and government. One of his basic ideas involved the link between people’s actions and the times. He argued that nature provides each person with a different temperament and imagination. While these never change, times and circumstances vary. Machiavelli believed that success depends on matching actions to the needs of the times and that failure results when a person’s behavior does not fit the circumstances.

Luther was born in the German state of Saxony. His father, a restless miner who moved often, recognized that Martin had a brilliant mind and made sure that his son went to good schools. Martin graduated from the University of Erfurt in 1505, and his father expected him then to study law. However, in July 1505, while returning to Erfurt from a visit home, Martin was knocked down by lightning during a storm. Terrified, he vowed to become a monk. Against his father’s will, Luther entered a monastery in Erfurt and became a Roman Catholic priest in 1507.

Westminster and the City of London were linked by the Strand, the main street that paralleled the Thames River. Along the Strand stood the palaces or town houses of a number of bishops, including York Place. This was the home of Cardinal Thomas WOLSEY, a key adviser of HENRY VIII. After Wolsey fell from power, the king had York Place converted into Whitehall Palace, which became a royal residence. Across the Thames from the City of London, Southwark contained many theaters and other entertainment sites.

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