European dating system

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When first implemented, the "Julian Calendar" also moved the beginning of the year from March 1 to January 1.However, following the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century, the new year was gradually realigned to coincide with Christian festivals until by the seventh century, Christmas Day marked the beginning of the new year in many countries.January 1 was established as the first day of the new year.Protestant countries, including England and its colonies, not recognizing the authority of the Pope, continued to use the Julian Calendar.1636" is immediately followed by a court held "21 Febr.1636," which is followed, in turn, by "A Cort att Hartford, Mrch 28th, 1637".

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The changeover involved a series of steps: Out of context, it is sometimes hard to determine whether information in colonial records was entered "Old Style" or "New Style." Some examples: In the Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut, "A Corte at New Towne [Hartford] 27 Decr.

Today, Americans are used to a calendar with a "year" based the earth's rotation around the sun, with "months" having no relationship to the cycles of the moon and New Years Day falling on January 1.

However, that system was not adopted in England and its colonies until 1752.

To avoid misinterpretation, both the "Old Style" and "New Style" year was often used in English and colonial records for dates falling between the new New Year (January 1) and old New Year (March 25), a system known as "double dating." Such dates are usually identified by a slash mark [/] breaking the "Old Style" and "New Style" year, for example, March 19, 1631/2.

Occasionally, writers would express the double date with a hyphen, for example, March 19, 1631-32.

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