European History~17th Century Coffee House

Everyone has a Salon, so I invented the Coffee House:

In 1652, Pasqua Rosee, from Turkey, opened a coffeehouse in St. Michael’s Alley, Cornhill, and London. success, and large numbers of coffee-houses were established throughout the city and then in the London where the coffee house provided a gathering place where, for a penny admission charge, any man who was reasonably dressed could smoke his long, clay pipe, sip a dish of coffee, read the newsletters of the day, or enter into conversation with other patrons.

Runners were sent around to the coffeehouse to report major events of the day, such as victory in battle or political upheaval, and the newsletters and gazettes of the day were distributed chiefly in the coffee-house. In addition, bulletins announcing sales, sailings, and auctions covered the walls of the establishments, providing valuable information to the businessman who conducted much of his business from a table. The patrons of the coffee-houses agreed to conform to the strict rules of the establishments. According to the posted “Rules and Orders of the Coffee House,” all men were equal in these establishments, and none need give his place to a “Finer” man. Anyone who swore was made to “forfeit twelve pence,” and the man who began a quarrel “shall give each man a dish t’atone the sin.”” All were expected to “be brisk, and talk, but not too much,” “Sacred Things” must be excluded from conversation, and the patrons could neither “profane Scripture, nor saucily wrong Affairs of State with an irreverent tongue.” In many establishments, games of chance as well as cards were prohibited, and any wager was limited to five shillings, a sum that was to “be spent in such Good Liquor as the House doth vent.” During its heyday, the years of 1652 to 1780, the coffee-house was an institution important to every element of London society.

If you’re interested in Coffeehouses and their role as places where curious people met and learned hear or read a great lecture at

The year is 1690. Each attendee at our coffee house will tell us something about him or herself, and will be prepared to comment in character on of the following:

Recently At the court of Louis XIV in France, two groups of intellectuals argued about where one should look for the golden age of history It is being called the quarrel of the ancients versus the moderns.

On the side of the ancients were French dramatists Racine and Molière, who are here today.

They made the traditional Humanist argument that the golden age of history was in the past, in Classical antiquity. All good literature should imitate the classics. Good drama, for example, should closely follow Aristotle’s rules in his Poetics .

On the side of the moderns was Bernard de Fontenelle. The moderns argued that people living in their age knew more than the ancients had known. This was because of the accumulation of knowledge over the years: Men of the 1600s knew all the ancients had known and all that had been learned since antiquity. Another reason men of the 1600s knew more than the ancients was that modern men benefited from the great discoveries of modern science. And science would continue to discover more as time passed.
Based on the character you chose decide which side you are on and justify your answer. In a one to two page explanation. Also include a brief biography of your character, and a brief summary of the ideas, accomplishments inventions he or she is known for.

Think about:

The contributions of Isaac Newton, Descartes and other scientists; what have we learned from them?

What has been learned from explorations about other people in the world?

Religion– people have been fighting about it since Martin Luther. Was it worth fighting for? Does religion have a role in a world increasingly understood through science?

Note: be sure your figure lived in 17th century Europe. If he or she didn’t it’s not the same person I had in mind.

Jean Racine

Abraham Darby I

Daniel Defoe

John Dryden

Lope de Vega

William Harvey

Margaret Cavendish

Pierre de Fermat

Pierre Corneille

Samuel Pepys

Henry Purcell

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

Jean de La Fontaine

Maria Winkelmann
Gottfried Leibniz
Benedict de Spinoza

Blaise Pascal

James Gregory (math)


Christian HUYGENS


Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac

William Oughtred

John Evelyn

Rene Descartes

Robert Boyle


Robert Hooke

Christopher Wren

Edmond Halley

Bernard de Fontenelle

Richard Lovelace

Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, Molièr


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