~13.8 billion years ago, our universe was formed. The most popular hypothesis for this is the Big Bang theory. A little while later (~13.6 billion years ago), our galaxy, the Milky Way, was formed. Stellar evolution (process by which a star changes over the course of time) & cosmic microwave background have helped scientists estimate this. As light takes time to reach us, we are inadvertently looking into the past.
~4.5 billion years ago our solar system took its shape, forming as a result of gas clouds, dust, gravity and energy that was released by stellar activity. And so, our home planet was materialized. This date has been estimated after radiometrically dating ancient rocks, moon rocks and meteorites (using decay rates of different substances).
Initially, Earth was believed to be too hot to inhabit. Oceans and the atmosphere arose when it began to cool down. ~3.5 billion years ago life arose around hydrothermal vents (everything after this initial creation is believed to be encapsulated by the theory of evolution and genetics). By some point ~230 million years ago, that same early life had also found a way to evolve into dinosaurs amongst other living beings. Dinosaurs are believed to have lived up until ~66 million years ago, when a meteorite crashed along the coast of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. The environment created by the impact was not inhabitable for these large species and once again, that same early life had to find a way to evolve and survive.
It took another ~60 million years (somewhere between 5-7 million years ago) for that early life to evolve into the initial Hominin species. ~1.8 million years ago, arose the Homo Erectus, the man that could walk. They became the initial hunter gatherers until their extinction. During this period emerged the first tools, rocks shaped as knives and others used as hammers, discovered in Kenya. The first evidence of the usage of fire can be dated somewhere between a million and a million and a half years ago. ~200,000 years ago, the Homo Erectus had evolved and split into the Homo Sapiens. Believed to have originated in Africa, the Homo Sapiens began to migrate all over Earth.
About 15,000 or 20,000 years ago, people began coming together in larger groups. Clay was used for pottery and bricks. Clothing began to be made of woven fabrics. The wheel was also likely invented sometime around then. People went from foraging to farming and agriculture. Eventually, by around 12000 years (or 10,000 BC) farming and irrigation was invented and thus began the advent of civilization.
In ~7000 BC settlements were formed in the Nile Valley. 4000 years later the Kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt merged to form the flourishing Egyptian civilization. The invention of sailing ships, which were used on the Nile, can be attributed to this period. Simultaneously, in Ancient Mesopotamia (present day Middle East - Iran & Iraq), the Sumerian and Akkadian (Assyrian & Babylonian) civilization flourished, while in Asia, the Indus Valley Civilization was at its peak, and in Greece, the Minoan civilization was thriving. According to some theories, in ~16th century BC, a volcanic eruption brought about the decline of the Minoan civilization and led to a riising new regional power: the Mycenaean Greeks.
It is believed that sometime around 5,500 BC, writing Mesopotamia with pictorial representations eventually being replaced by special characters.
Sometime, around ~2000 BC, according to the bible and a few myths, Abraham was born. He was the first of the Hebrew patriarchs and was set to become a key figure in the three monotheistic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
About ~1800 BC, Judaism was believed to have found its origin in Mesopotamia. It would be another 600 years before the Old Testament started being written.
The Vedic Age began in the Indian subcontinent during ~1500 BC. The teachings would later be adopted into the modern day religions of Hinduism and Buddhism.
In the 12th or 13th century BC, a war broke out between the Greeks and the people of Troy, something we now refer to as the battle of Troy. Homer’s Iliad & Odyssey tell the legendary tale of gods, mortals and this war.
753 BC marked the founding of Rome. It's origin is obscure but captured by the legend of Romulus & Remus.
In the 7th century BC, Zoroastrianism is believed to have found its roots (however some date Zarathustra closer to 1000 BCE). Zoroastrianism later flourished under the Persian emperors (especially Darius and Xerxes).
In 539 BC, Babylon fell to Cyrus the Great who unified and founded the Persian Empire. His son conquered Egypt and his successor, Darius I set upon invading Greece. In 513/512 BC, Macedon became a vassal state of the Persian kingdom.
From 499 BC to 449 BC, the Greeks and Persians fought, with the Greeks finally emerging victorious. One of the battles, the Battles of Thermopylae and its legend have been made popular by the move 300, depicting the 300 Spartans fighting against legions of Xerxes’ Persian army. In this 50 year period, the Persians gained substantial territories but eventually lost it to Greeks. Amongst those that were lost was Macedon.
About 100 years later, in ~356 BC a child was born in Macedon, who, for the first 16 years of his life, he was tutored by Aristotle. At 20, he succeeded his father and was awarded the generalship of Greece. In 10 years, he conquered Egypt and the Persian Empire before eventually setting his sights upon the Indian subcontinent. Despite winning the Battle of Hydaspes against Porus, he was made to turn back. Unfortunately for him in 323 BC, while traveling back, this undefeated king succumbed to malaria in Babylon. Alexander the Great’s empire was then fought over by his generals, the Diadochi.
In 350 BC, in his book “On The Heavens”, Aristotle stated that the Earth was circular because one would see different stars from different places.
In 247 BC, Qin Shi Huang became the first emperor of a unified China. His legacy (apart from allegedly burning scholarly texts and burying scholars alive) was to build the different state walls into the Great Wall of China. His mausoleum, discovered in 1974 AD, contains a life size Terracotta Army of more than 8000 figures.
After its founding in 753 BC, Romulus became the first monarch of the Roman Kingdom. The kingdom lasted till 509 BC until a coup resulted in the senate abolishing kingship, marking the beginning of the Roman Republic. As a Republic, Rome became the dominant power in the Mediterranean, defeating the Carthaginians, Gauls (who sacked Rome in ~390 BC), Greeks, Macedons, Pontics and Egyptians. The last 100 odd years of the Roman Republic, given the large expansion campaigns, meant an increase in power for the generals of the army. Julius Caesar, one such general, defiled the Senate’s orders and matched past the river Rubicon leading to a civil war. Caesar was a member of the Populares, a political faction that favoured the cause of the plebeians. The Populares was rivaled by the Optimates, an elitist-conservative political faction. Brutus, initially close to Caesar, later moved to fight for the Optimates when he felt that Caesar was amassing too much power for himself. Caesar emerged victorious and became the dictator for life in 49 BC. However, he was assassinated by Brutus and Cassius. Caesar’s heirs, Octavius and Mark Antony defeated Brutus and Cassius but a civil war broke out between the two victors. Mark Antony was married to Octavius’ sister. Mark Antony also had a relationship with Queen Cleopatra of Egypt (who was only reinstalled as Queen because of Julius Caesar, whom she had a relationship with). Octavius managed to get the senate to declare war against Cleopatra and as a result, lead to branding Antony a traitor. As war broke out in 31 BC, Antony & Cleopatra fled to Alexandria where they commited suicide. In 27 BC Octavian was granted special powers by the senate and effectively became the first emperor of the Roman Empire under the title Augustus Caesar. July and August are named after the Caesar’s. For the next 200 years was marked with peace, a period known as Pax Romana.
The next major event is the birth of Christ, believed to be somewhere between 6 & 4 BC. Jesus, it was claimed, was the ‘King of the Jews’ and this did not bode well with the incumbent Roman client king of Judea, Herod the Great. Historians, for a lack of verifiable evidence, haven’t come to a consensus as to who is responsible for the crucifixion of Christ. The order was given by the Roman governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate but it is said it may have only been done to appease the crowd that wanted him tried for blasphemy.
In 70 CE (AD) the Romans besieged Jerusalem, destroying the Second Temple of Jerusalem.
In 224 CE, Ardashir I overthrew the Parthian ruler to found the Sassanian empire. This was to be the last Persian imperial dynasty and would last a little over 4 centuries.
Towards the end of the rule of Diocletian, in 305 CE, the Roman empire was divided into 4 parts (tetrarchy). However, due to complicated promotions, unclear hierarchy and disputes of power, the tetrarchy system collapsed with Constantine emerging as the sole emperor. He reunited the 4 parts of the Roman Empire and in 324 CE Constantine made Constantinople (modern day Istanbul) its capital.
In 313 CE, Constantine the Great of the Roman empire approved the Edict of Milan, an agreement that gave Christianity legal status and a reprieve from persecution. Since the fall of the Severan dynasty in AD 235, rivals for the imperial throne had bid for support by either favouring or persecuting Christians. As a result historians remain divided as to whether Constantine converted out of genuine faith or as political maneuver. Later on, in 380 CE, the Edict of Thessalonica by Emperor Theodosius I would recognize Nicene Christianity as the Roman Empire's state religion.
In 395 CE, after the death of Emperor Theodosius the empire was split again between his sons into the Western Roman Empire and the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire. In 410 CE, the Visigoths (a Germanic tribe) managed to sack Rome, a major defeat for the Western Roman Empire. In 476, Odoacer deposed the last emperor in Italy, and the Western Senate sent the imperial insignia to the Eastern Emperor. Odoacer became the monarch of the Kingdom of Italy.
The period between 300 CE to 800 CE, saw widespread migration of and invasions by peoples, notably the Germanic tribes, the Huns (led by Attila the Hun), the early Slavs, and the Pannonian Avars within or into the Roman Empire. One such tribe, the Anglo-Saxons settled in Britain in the 5th century, and another, the Franks, emerged with what would become the largest post-Roman barbarian kingdom in Western Europe.
In Mecca in the year 570 CE, Muhammad was born. He is believed to be a descendant of Ishmael, one of the sons of Abraham. From 622 CE to 632 CE, the prophet Muhammad established a new unified polity in the Arabian Peninsula. After the death of the prophet in 632 CE, the first caliphate, the Rashidun caliphate was formed. This succession was the cause of the Sunni - Shia split with Sunni’s believing the Muslim community should determine the successor while the Shias believed that the leadership should remain within Muhammad’s family. Prior to the rise of Muhammad, Arab tribes followed a pre-Islamic Arab polytheism and lived as self-governing sedentary and nomadic tribal communities. Following the early Muslim conquests by Muhammad, the region became politically unified under Islam. This rise corresponds with the decline of the Sassanian empire mentioned earlier.
The years between 793–1066 CE Viking Age was the period during the Middle Ages when Norsemen known as Vikings undertook large-scale raiding, colonizing, and trading throughout Europe, and reached North America.
In 800 CE, Charlemagne of the Carolingian Empire (already King of the Franks and the Lombards, those kingdoms that emerged after the fall of the Western Roman Empire) was crowned Emperor of the Romans by Pope Leo III, this title would only remerge 162 years later. After the death of Charlemagne, his son Louis the Pious became the ruler, and, upon his death, the kingdom was split into 3, one for each of his sons (East, Middle and West Francia roughly mapping modern day France, Italy and Germany respectively).
In 927 CE, King Aethelstan the Glorious united the heptarchy of the Anglo-Saxon nations of Wessex, Sussex, Essex, Kent, East Anglia, Mercia and Northumbria founding the Kingdom of England.
In 962 CE, Otto was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope John XII in Rome. Eventually the empire consisted of the 4 kingdoms of Germany, Italy, Burgundy & Bohemia.
In 987 CE, in Western Francia, a branch of the Carolingian dynasty continued to rule until Hugh Capet was elected king and founded the Capetian dynasty and the Kingdom of France.
In 1066 CE, the invasion and occupation of England by an army made up of Normans (the Norseman who had settled in France), Bretons, Flemish, and men from other French provinces, all led by the Duke of Normandy later known as William the Conqueror. He brought with him what would later be known as the feudal system.
The First Crusade, fought between 1096 CE – 1099 CE was the first of a series of religious wars initiated, supported, and at times directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The initial objective was the recovery of the Holy Land from Islamic rule of the Seljuk empire. The Crusade resulted in recapturing Nicaea, restoring much of western Anatolia to the Byzantine Empire and helped successfully capture Jerusalem and establish the Levantine Crusader states.
The Second Crusade, fought between 1147 CE – 1150 CE was the second major crusade launched from Europe in response to the fall of the County of Edessa in 1144 to the forces of Zengi. The county had been founded during the First Crusade by King Baldwin I of Jerusalem in 1098.
The Third Crusade, fought between 1189 CE – 1192 CE was an attempt by the leaders of the three most powerful states of Western Christianity (England, France and the Holy Roman Empire) to reconquer the Holy Land following the capture of Jerusalem by the Ayyubid sultan Saladin in 1187. It was partially successful, recapturing the important cities of Acre and Jaffa, and reversing most of Saladin's conquests, but it failed to recapture Jerusalem, which was the major aim of the Crusade and its religious focus.
The Fourth Crusade, fought between 1202 CE –1204 CE was a Latin Christian armed expedition called by Pope Innocent III. The stated intent of the expedition was to recapture the Muslim-controlled city of Jerusalem, by first conquering the powerful Egyptian Ayyubid Sultanate, the strongest Muslim state of the time. However, a sequence of economic and political events culminated in the Crusader army's 1204 Sack of Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, rather than Egypt as originally planned.
The Mongol Empire emerged from the unification of several nomadic tribes in the Mongol homeland under the leadership of Genghis Khan, whom a council proclaimed as the ruler of all Mongols in 1206 CE.
Also in 1206 CE, the first dynasty, the Mamluk dynasty, of the Delhi Sultanate was formed. The ruler of the existing empire was assassinated. Due to a lack of successors, the empire was split into minor sultanates led by his former Mamluk (a soldier of slave origin who had converted to Islam) generals.
In 1215 CE, King John of England signed a royal charter of rights to make peace between the unpopular king and a group of rebel barons (wealthy landowners). The charter was known as the Magna Carta. This agreement established the rights of barons to serve as consultants to the king on governmental matters in his Great Council.
The Sejluk dynasty declined in the middle of the thirteenth century when the Mongols invaded Anatolia in the 1260s and divided it into small emirates called the Anatolian beyliks. Eventually one of these, the Ottoman, would rise to power and conquer the rest.
Between 1337 to 1453, a series of conflicts in Western Europe, known as the The Hundred Years' War, were waged between the House of Plantagenet and its cadet House of Lancaster, rulers of the Kingdom of England, and the House of Valois over the right to rule the Kingdom of France, with the latter emerging victorious in defence. The war largely cemented the position of the French monarch and gave rise to a feeling of nationalism. It also led to the decline of feudalism in Western Europe.
Between 1346 CE – 1353 CE, the Bubonic Plague (Black Death) caused anywhere between 75–200 million deaths, wiping out what was believed to be at least 1 out of 3 people in Europe. This is, and hopefully will remain, the deadliest recorded pandemic.
By the time of Kublai Khan’s death in 1294 the Mongol Empire had fractured into four separate khanates or empires, each pursuing its own separate interests and objectives: the Golden Horde khanate in the northwest, the Chagatai Khanate in Central Asia, the Ilkhanate in the southwest, and the Yuan dynasty in the east, based in modern-day Beijing. By 1368, the Mongolian empire had come to end and the Ming dynasty replaced the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. In the years between 1370 & 1405, Tamerlane (of the Chagtai Khanate) would ravage his fellow Islamic states such as the Golden Horde and the Delhi Sultanate in order to accomplish his goal of a restored Mongol Empire. He founded the Timurid dynasty, which declined largely due to the tradition of partitioning the empire and finally came to an end as the remaining nominal rule of the Mughals was abolished by the British Empire following the 1857 rebellion.
A watershed moment in the Hundred Year War occured in 1429 when Joan of Arc, a peasant girl who, believing that she was acting under divine guidance, led the French army in a momentous victory at Orléans that prevented an English attempt to conquer France during the Hundred Years' War. She was later tried heresy & cross-dressing for which she was executed (by crucifixion).
10 years later, in 1439, Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, pivotal for publishing news, literature (the likes of Socrates and Aristotle) and the Bible - helping the renaissance to flourish.
In 1450, the Incans founded a citadel in Peru that we know as Machu Picchu.
By 1453, the Ottomans had become one of the largest powers in the Middle East and captured Constantinople, effectively ending the Byzantine (Eastern Roman Empire).
1455 marked the beginning of the War of The Roses, an English civil war for control of the throne of England, fought between supporters of two rival cadet branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the House of Lancaster, represented by a red rose, and the House of York, represented by a white rose. The House of Lancaster eventually emerged victorious but the House of Tudor rose to power.
In 1492 Cristopher Columbus discovered America. 5 years after that, Vasco Da Gama discovered India.
In 1500, Pedro Álvares Cabral became the first European to reach Brazil.
In 1502, the Crimean Khanate destroyed the last of the Golden Horde. The Golden Horde by then had already disintegrated into smaller khanates like Sibir, Uzbek, Kazan, Kazakh and few others.
In 1511, the Portugese captured Malacca (present day Malaysia).
In 1517, the Ottoman Empire annexed the Abbasid caliphate.
In the same year, Martin Luther wrote the 95 Theses, a book that is believed to have started the Protestant Reformation. In 1547 England got its first protestant monarch, Edward VI. (The reason, spread and split of the English church and the Roman church was essentially more political when Pope Clement VII refused to annul the marriage of King Henry VII. In 1534, the parliament passed the Act of Supremacy, which declared that Henry was the "Supreme Head on earth of the Church of England).
In 1519, Hernan Cortes conquered Mexico for Spain.
In 1526, in the First Battle of Panipat, Babur (an Uzbek, believed to be a descendant of Genghis Khan, along with the support of the Ottomans) defeated Ibrahim Lodhi, the last ruler of the Delhi Sultanate, thereby laying the foundations of the Mughal Empire. For a period of 16 years beginning in 1540, the Sur Empire ruled after defeating the Mughal Empire. However, thirty years after the First Battle of Panipat, in 1556, the Second Battle of Panipat was fought between Hemu, leader of the remaining Sur empire, and the Mughal, Akbar. Akbar emerged victorious and reinstated the Mughal Empire.
In 1543, Copernicus, in his book “On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres”, published his theory of heliocentrism, stating that the Earth revolved around the sun and not the other way around. 66 years later, Johannes Kepler, refined Copernicus’ theory by proposing the orbit was elliptical and of varying speeds and not circular and at constant speeds.
In 1547, Ivan the Terrible became the first Tsar of Russia, creating the Tsardom of Muscovy. Originally of Byzantine heritage, after the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire, the Russian Tsars believed that they remained the only legitimate Orthodox rulers, making Moscow the Third Rome (after Rome & Constantinople).
In 1565, the Phillipines saw its first Spanish settlers.
In 1568, the Eight Year War began. It was fought between the Seventeen Provinces of what are today the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg against Philip II of Spain. The causes were primarily the resentment towards the Spanish authority and religious tensions (Protestants of the provinces versus the Catholic monarchy). By the time the war ended in 1648, the Dutch Republic had been formed. The Spanish crown lost Antwerp, which apparently, at its peak, between 1510 and 1557, concentrated about 40% of the world trade. It is estimated that the port of Antwerp was earning the Spanish crown seven times more revenues than the Americas.
The years between 1585 and 1604 saw conflict emerge as a result of privateering and maritime warfare between the English and Spanish Armadas. The conflict ended with a treaty that marked no real significant change.
In the year 1597, Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet was published.
In 1600, the British setup a monopolistic spice trading company, the East India Company, which would later end up colonizing India for the British Empire.
In 1603, King James united England and Scotland.
In 1606, as one of the earliest joint stock companies, the Virginia Company was created to colonize America.
In 1618, the Bohemian Revolt began the Thirty Years’ War, a series of wars fought primarily between the Holy Roman Empire & Habsburgs, and the smaller Protestant townships spreading across Netherlands, Sweden and Germany.
In 1620, the Mayflower took the Pilgrims to the New World.
In 1632, the Taj Mahal was commissioned by Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
In 1633, Japan began to enact closed country policies. For a period of 214 years, relations and trade between Japan and other countries would be severely limited, nearly all foreign nationals would be barred from entering Japan and common Japanese people were kept from leaving the country.
In 1641, the Irish Rebellion began. It was an uprising by Irish Catholics in the kingdom of Ireland, who wanted an end to anti-Catholic discrimination, greater Irish self-governance, and to partially or fully reverse the plantations of Ireland.
A year later, in 1642, civil war broke out between the Royalists and Parliamentarians, essentially over how England, Scotland and Ireland were to be governed. The Parliamentarians emerged victorious, with one of their leaders, Oliver Cromwell, becoming the head of state and government of the republic commonwealth. In 1649 he began the campaign against Ireland. After occupying the land a series of penal laws were passed against Roman Catholics (a significant minority in England and Scotland but the vast majority in Ireland), and a substantial amount of their land was confiscated. Cromwell died from natural causes in 1658 and was buried in Westminster Abbey. He was succeeded by his son Richard, whose weakness led to a power vacuum. Oliver's former general, George Monck then mounted a coup, causing Parliament to arrange the return to London of Prince Charles as King Charles II and the Royalists' return to power in 1660, thereby restoring nominal power to the crown. Cromwell's corpse was subsequently dug up, hung in chains, and beheaded.
In 1644, the Qing dynasty replaced the Ming dynasty. It would continue to rule up until the beginning of the 20th century.
In 1652, the city of Cape Town in South Africa was founded by the Dutch East India Company.
A series of battles fought between Marathas and Mughals from 1681 to 1707 in the Indian subcontinent. The war started in 1680 with the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb’s invasion of the Maratha enclave in Bijapur established by Shivaji. The war ended with the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, an event that would mark the decline of the Mughal Empire. It also paved the way for the Maratha expansion in the North.
The Great Turkish War, a series of conflicts between 1683 to 1699, was fought between the Ottoman Empire and the Holy League consisting of the Habsburg Monarchy, Poland-Lithuania, Venice and Russia. It resulted with the conquest of most of Ottoman Hungary by the Habsburgs.
In 1687, Isaac Newton published the first edition of Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica in which he put forth the 3 laws of motion, along with a mathematical calculation for gravity.
The Glorious Revolution, in 1688, involved the overthrow of the Catholic king, King James II, who was replaced by his Protestant daughter Mary and her Dutch husband, William of Orange. The two new rulers accepted more restrictions from Parliament than any previous monarchs, causing an unprecedented shift in the distribution of power throughout the British realm. The king and queen both signed the Declaration of Rights, which became known as the Bill of Rights. This document acknowledged several constitutional principles, including the right for regular Parliaments, free elections and freedom of speech in Parliament. Additionally, it forbade the monarchy from being Catholic. The war later spilled over into Ireland in what would be called the War of The Two Kings. William emerged victorious, confirming the Protestant ruler as King of Ireland.
Between 1688 and 1697 the War of the Grand Alliance was fought between France and a European coalition which mainly included the Holy Roman Empire (led by the Habsburg Monarchy), the Dutch Republic, England, Spain, Savoy and Portugal. The cause was the French king, Louis XIV expansionist policies, rooted in the balance of power between his Bourbon dynasty and the Habsburg dynasty.
In return for an alliance against France in the War of the Spanish Succession the German state of Prussia was elevated to a kingdom.
After defeating the Swedesish Empire in 1703, Peter the Great, the Tsar of Russia founded St. Petersburg.
In 1707, the Act of the Union was approved, according to which the English & Scottish parliaments were merged, uniting to form the United Kingdom.
Between 1740 and 1748 War of the Austrian Succession was the last Great Power conflict with the Bourbon-Habsburg dynastic conflict at its heart, and marked the rise of Prussia as a major power. This subsequently led to the First Carnatic War being fought between the British & French East India Companies as well as the Mughals over key ports.
The Seven Years’ War began as a conflict between Great Britain and France in 1754, when the British sought to expand into territory claimed by the French in North America. The war came to be known as the French and Indian War, with both the British and the French and their respective Native American allies fighting for control of territory. A 22 year old George Washington displayed his leadership as a victorious Lt. Colonel. The Seven Years’ War also renewed the conflict between France and England in India under the Third Carnatic War. Most of the territorial changes occured in North America and India, with the Mughals losing Bengal to the British in the Battle of Plassey.
In 1761, the Third Battle of Panipat was fought, this time between the Marathas and the invading Afghan army. The Marathas would lose part of their northern territories.
In 1765, James Watt invented the steam engine, an invention that would change travel and logistics forever.
In 1770, James Cook landed on the East Coast of Australia and claimed it for Great Britain.
The First Anglo-Maratha War was fought between the Marathas and the British East India Company after one of the claimants to the Maratha throne ceded territories to the British in order to gain their support for the throne. The war broke between the other claimants to the Maratha throne and the British East India Company until a treaty was signed.
In 1765, the Parliament of Great Britain passed the Stamp Act. This required that many printed materials in the colonies be produced on stamped paper produced in London, carrying an embossed revenue stamp. The revenue from this would be used to pay the British troops in America to defend the colony after the French and Indian War. The act was unpopular amongst the colonists who felt there should be ‘no taxation without representation’. In 1773, the parliament passed the Tea Act. This allowed the East India Company the monopolistic power of duty-free export of its tea, on which the duty was paid in the colonies. This resulted in the colonists (some dressed in Native Americans) throwing the tea overboard, an event known as the Boston Tea Party. The British responded by closing Boston Harbor and enacting a series of punitive laws which effectively rescinded Massachusetts Bay Colony's rights of self-government. The other colonies rallied behind Massachusetts, and a group of American Patriot leaders set up their own government in late 1774 to coordinate their resistance to Britain. An army, called the Continental Army, was set up by the colonies and was led by the future first president, General George Washington. The revolution was supported (physically & financially) by an ally of the colonies and an enemy of the British, the French. The years between 1765 and 1783 are now referred to as the American Revolution.
In 1781, on the west coast of America, the Spanish founded Los Angeles.
The years between 1789 and 1799 marked the French Revolution. There are several attributable causes such as, the financial strain caused by France supporting the American Revolution, poor harvests leading to inflation, a regressive tax system and the overall enlightenment of the Third Estate (commoners) amidst a time of social inequality. The Third Estate formed its own National Assembly, reassembling in an indoor tennis court to take a vow ‘not to separate and to reassemble wherever necessary, until the Constitution of the kingdom is established’. The National Assembly brought about radical changes, abolishing the Ancien Regime (a feudal system) and replacing it with a constitutional monarchy, reducing the power of the church in the state and introducing the Declaration of Rights of Man and of the Citizen (which Thomas Jefferson, who drafted the Declaration of Independence for America, helped draft). Naturally, this shift of power in France was not only seen as a threat by neighbouring countries, but also an opportunity to make territorial gains. In 1792, this led to war between France and the European alliance of Prussia, the Holy Roman Empire, Great Britain and the Dutch Republic. It was during this series of campaigns that an relatively unknown general, Napoleon Bonaparte, would make a name for himself, eventually becoming the First Consul and later the Emperor of France. It was also during one of these campaigns in Egypt in 1799 that a Frenchman discovered the Rosetta Stone, which (since it was written in both Ancient Greek and in Egyptian Hieroglyphics) made it the key to deciphering Egyptian scripts.
In 1792, the New York Stock Exchange was founded.
In 1801, the Kingdom of Ireland and Kingdom of Great Britain merged to form the United Kingdom. In the same year, the British also conquered Cairo.
France continued to be embroiled in wars with the European coalition. The series of battles fought between 1803 and 1815 are largely known as the Napoleonic Wars. In 1805, the Battle of Trafalgar saw the elimination of the French and Spanish naval fleets and allowed for British dominance of the seas, a major factor for the success of the British Empire later in the century. The Napoleonic Wars ended with the Battle of Waterloo. The French suffered defeat and Napoleon abdicated the throne four days later. He was then exiled to the island of Saint Helena.
In 1804, Holy Roman Emperor Francis II founded the Kingdom of Austria, comprising all the land under the Habsburg monarchy for himself. This was a result of Napoleon’s conquests of parts of the Holy Roman Empire. As territory was ceded to the French Empire, of which Napoleon held the title Emperor, Francis II wanted to preserve his own, and thus dissolved the Holy Roman Empire and became Francis I of Austria.
During that same year, anEnglish engineer refined James Watt’s design and built the first railway locomotive at an ironworks in Wales.
Also that year, the world’s population hit the 1 billion mark.
In 1807, Robert Fulton, again based on James Watt’s steam engine, invented the steamboat. His voyage up the Hudson, from New York to Albany took 32 hours.
In 1815, just days before the Battle of Waterloo, the Final Act of the Congress of Vienna was signed. It was done to bring major territorial changes to Europe to create a balance of power between nations. France lost all of its territorial conquests from the Napoleonic Wars. The Congress created a Confederated Germany, a consolidation of the nearly 300 states of the Holy Roman Empire (dissolved in 1806) into a much less complex system of 39 states.
The years between 1810 and 1830 saw most of the Latin American countries gaining independence from Spain. By 1810, Napoleon had conquered Portugal and deposed the Spanish King Ferdinand (Fernando) II. After the ruler was deposed, the creoles (elites of the colonies whose families were from Spain) formed juntas to run their areas as communities. When Ferdinand was restored to power in 1814 his policies largely alienated these juntas causing them to revolt. When the Portugal monarch was overrun, they moved the crown to Brazil. After the royal court returned to Lisbon, the prince regent, Pedro, remained in Brazil and in 1822 successfully declared himself emperor of a newly independent Brazil. By 1826 all of the colonies were independent from Spain except Cuba and Puerto Rico.
In 1817, after the Second Serbian Revolution, the Principality of Serbia became suzerain from the Ottoman Empire. The First Serbian Uprising liberated the country for a significant time (1804–1813) from Ottoman Empire; for the first time in three centuries, Serbs governed themselves without the supremacy of the Ottoman Empire or Habsburg Austria. The second phase of the Serbian Revolution against the Ottoman Empire, which erupted shortly after the re-annexation of the country to the Ottoman Empire in 1813, resulting in semi-independence from the Ottoman Empire.
In 1820, Antarctica was discovered.
Somewhere between 1826 & 1827, in France, Nicéphore Niépce, over a period of 8 hours, took the world’s first known permanent photograph, that of his courtyard.
Between 1821 and 1830, the Greeks fought their war of independence eventually becoming the first country to break away from the Ottoman Empire.
In 1830, The Belgian Revolution in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands led to the creation of Belgium.
In 1831, France invaded and occupied Algeria.
In 1844, Samuel Morse, tested his creation at long distances, telegraph line (and the accompanying format, the Morse Code).
In 1848, Mexico recognized the US’ sovereignty over Texas and some other states marking an end to the Mexico-America War and the Texas Revolution.
In 1848, Karl Marx published the Communist Manifesto.
The next major conflict occurred between 1853 and 1856, known as the Crimean War. It was fought by the French, English and Ottoman Empires against the Russian Empire. The immediate cause of the war involved the rights of Christian minorities in the Holy Land, then a part of the Ottoman Empire. The French promoted the rights of Roman Catholics, while Russia promoted those of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The French and English were also motivated to prevent the Russians from acquiring any of the declining Ottoman Empire’s territory.
In India, in 1857, the FIrst War of Independence was fought against the East India Company. The fight was unsuccessful and resulted in the end of company rule with transfer of rule to the British crown. It also marked the end of the Mughal empire.
In 1859, Charles’ Darwin published his book, On the Origin of Species, introducing the scientific theory that populations evolve over the course of generations through a process of natural selection (something we’ve already covered).
The American Civil War was fought between 1861 and 1865, largely caused by the economics and political control of slavery, along with its expanision. Abraham Lincoln, elected from the newly formed Republican party won the election without a single Southern electoral vote. The Southern states secession eventually led to the war breaking out. The result was a Union victory that lead to the dissolution of the Confederate States and the abolishment of slavery.
In 1869, the Suez Canal was opened, linking the Mediterranean to the Red Sea.
In 1870, the Franco-Prussian war was fought, resulting in the unifications of Germany and Italy, the collapse of the Second French Empire. The immediate cause of the war resided in the candidacy of a Prussian prince to the throne of Spain – France feared encirclement by an alliance between Prussia and Spain and after being goaded by Chancellor Otto Von Bismark, declared war on Prussia.
In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell made the first telephone call.
Also that year, a German engineer invented the the internal-combustion engine, one that requires fuel and not steam
The last Russo-Turkish War fought between 1877 and 1878 saw Russia and its ally Serbia come to the aid of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Bulgaria in their rebellions against Turkish rule. The result saw de jure independence of the Balkan states of Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, while Bosnia and Herzegovina was occupied by Austria-Hungary.
In 1879, Germany and Austria-Hungary formed an alliance.
That same year, Thomas Edison got a carbon-filament light bulb to burn. Three years later, he had built the first power plant to supply for distribution of electricity to power the light bulbs.
In 1880, the First Boer War was fought between the Boers (Afrikaan word for farmer, which was used to describe the people in southern Africa who traced their ancestry to Dutch, German and French settlers) and the British. The Boers were victorious with the South African Republic becoming a suzerainty of the British empire. Transvaal had recently seen the discovery of large gold and diamond deposits and Africa as a whole was about to become grounds for competitive colonisation.
In 1882, Italy joined the alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary.
In 1884, Germany colonized Cameroon.
A year later, in 1885, King Leopold II of Belgium established the Congo Free State as a personal fiefdom. That same year, Karl Benz used the internal combustion engine to power the first automobile, a three wheeled vehicle.
In 1889, the construction of the Eiffel Tower was complete.
In 1894, France and Russia formed an alliance.
In the same year, the Sino-Japan war was fought by the Qing dynasty of China. Japan emerges victorious, China cedes Taiwan to Japan and loses the suzerainty of Korea, which is placed under Japanese influence.
The last major event of the 19th century was the Spanish-American war, which was fought after the USA decided to support Cuba & Philippines in their fight for freedom from Spain. The US victory meant that Spain relinquished sovereignty over Cuba; ceded Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippine Islands to the United States.
In 1901, Guglielmo Marconi transmitted the Morse code letter S across the Atlantic with his new invention, the radio.
In 1903, the Wright brothers’ made the first airplane flight, that of 120 feet. Later that same day, they bettered the distance to 852 feet.
In 1904, the Russo-Japan war was fought, over imperial ambitions over Manchuria & Korea. The Japanese emerged victorious.
In 1905, Albert Einstein, in his paper, "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies" published his theory of relativity. 10 years later, later supplemented this with his general theory of relativity which changed our understanding of gravity, space & time.
In 1908, The Young Turk Revolution of the Ottoman Empire took place when the Young Turk movement forced Sultan Abdulhamid II to restore the Ottoman constitution of 1876 and ushered in multi-party politics within the Empire. In that same year, the de jure independence of Bulgaria from the Ottoman Empire was proclaimed.
Later that year, Austro-Hungary annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina, which belonged to the Ottoman-Empire (and previously were only allowed to occupy - refer to 1878), triggering the Bosnian Crisis.
In 1910, there was a revolt in Albania, a reaction to the new centralization policies of the Young Turk Ottoman government in Albania.
In 1911, revolution in China led to the end of the Qing dynasty. The brief civil war that ensued was ended through a political compromise between Yuan Shikai, the Qing military strongman, and Sun Yat-sen, the leader of the Tongmenghui (United League). After the Qing court transferred power to the newly founded republic, a provisional coalition government was created along with the National Assembly. However, political power of the new national government in Beijing was soon thereafter monopolized by Yuan and led to decades of political division and warlordism, including several attempts at imperial restoration.
That same year, the Italo-Turkish War led to the capture of Libya for the Italians. In Morocco, German imperial ambitions triggered the Agadir Crisis with the French.
In 1912, the First Balkan War was fought in which the four Balkan states of Serbia, Bulgaria, Montenegro & Greece defeated the Ottoman Empire. One year later, the Second Balkan War was fought. This time, Bulgaria fought against all four original combatants of the first war along with facing a surprise attack from Romania from the north. The conflicts ended catastrophically for the Ottoman Empire, which lost the bulk of its territory in Europe. Austria-Hungary, although not a combatant, became relatively weaker as a much enlarged Serbia pushed for union of the South Slavic peoples.
Also in 1912, Republic of China replaced the Chinese Empire and the Kuomintang was formed by Sun Yat-Sen as the Chinese nationalist party.
In 1914, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand leads to the First World War.
In the same year, the Panama Canal was opened, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.
In 1915 the Armenian genocide began. It was the systematic mass murder and ethnic cleansing of ethnic Armenians by local Ottoman paramilitary.
The Easter Rising occurred in 1916. It was an armed insurrection in Ireland during Easter Week. The Rising was launched by Irish republicans against British rule in Ireland with the aim of establishing an independent Irish Republic while the United Kingdom was fighting the First World War.
Also in 1916, was a military uprising of Arab forces against the Ottoman Empire in the Middle Eastern theatre of World War I. On the basis of the McMahon–Hussein Correspondence, an agreement between the British government and Hussein bin Ali, the Sharif of Mecca, the aim of the revolt was to create a single unified and independent Arab state stretching from Aleppo in Syria to Aden in Yemen, which the British had promised to recognize.
In Russia in 1917, the Russian Revolution took place. It led to the end of the Russian monarchy and the beginning of the Bolshevik led Soviet Socialist Republic. The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, signed in 1918 marked the end of Russia’s part in WW1.
On November 11th 1918, an armistice was signed that marked the end of WW1. A whirlwind of events occurred in the aftermath. Poland, Ukraine and Belarus were among a number of states to declare independence from Russia. The Austrian-Hungary empire was dissolved and the successor states of Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Ukraine and the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs were established. The Kingdom of Iceland was also established. War also broke out between Poland and Ukraine after the dissolution of Austria-Hungary.
The Finnish Civil War took place, in which the Finnish Whites defeated the Finnish Red.
Mehmed VI became the last Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and last Caliph, after which partitioning of the Ottoman Empire began. The British occupied Palestine and the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen was founded. The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was declared and later the Armenian–Azerbaijani War began.
In 1918, the Spanish Flu was estimated to have killed anywhere between 17 to 100 million.
In 1919, the Treaty of Versailles, signed exactly 5 years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand was signed, officially marking the end of the first world war. The treaty led to territorial changes, military restrictions being imposed on Germany, reparations demand to be paid by Germany, guarantees of non-aggression from Germany, and set the framework for international organizations like the League of Nations. In the same year, after the Kaiser abdicated, the German Revolution ended with the collapse of the German Empire and the establishment of the Weimar Republic. Estonia emerged victorious in its war of independence against a Soviet Offensive.
Later that year, the League of Nations was founded in Paris. War began between Poland and the Soviets.
In Italy, the Italian National Fascist Party is established by Benito Mussolini.
The Soviets established the Comintern, an international organization that advocated world communism.
In Egypt, a countrywide revolution against the British occupation of Egypt and Sudan took place. It ended with Britain recognizing the independence of Egypt but continued its occupation.
The Turkish War of Independence fought between the Turkish Nationalist Movement and the allies began. The International Labour Organization was also established.
In India, the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre took place when Acting Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer ordered troops of the British Indian Army to fire their rifles into a crowd of unarmed Indian civilians
Also in 1919, science made progress as Ernest Rutherford discovered the proton while the first experimental evidence for the general theory of relativity was obtained by Arthur Eddington.
In 1920, The Eighteenth Amendment (Amendment XVIII) of the United States Constitution established the prohibition of alcohol in the United States.
The Nineteenth Amendment, later that year, gave women the right vote.
In 1921, Adolf Hitler becomes Führer of the Nazi Party. His ries coincides with a rise in prices as hyperinflation in the Weimar Republic began.
In 1922, Ottoman Sultanate was abolished by the Turkish Grand National Assembly and Sultan Mehmed VI was deposed.
The Irish Free State is established, while the Province of Northern Ireland is created within The United Kingdom. The Irish Civil War also began. It was fought between the nationalists (those who supported the Anglo-Irish Treaty) and the republicans.
The Italian reconquest of Libya began & the march on Rome brought Benito Mussolini to power.
Egypt gained independence from the United Kingdom, though the British forces continued to occupy the Suez Canal.
Howard Carter discovers Tutankhamen's tomb (which had remained sealed for around 3200 years).
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), the world's first officially Communist state, is formed.
In India, Gandhi called off the non-cooperation movement after the demonstrators, after clashing with police, attacked and set fire to a police station, killing all of its occupants.
In 1923, the Turkish War of Independence ended. The leader of the nationalist movement Kemal Pasha, under the name of Kemal Artaturk became its first president. He also moved the capital from Istanbul to Ankara.
In the same year, the Walt Disney Company was founded.
In 1926, Hirohito became the Emperor of Japan.
In Massachusetts, Robert Goddard launched the first liquid-fueled rocket. It flew 41 feet into the air.
In 1927, Joseph Stalin became leader of the Soviet Union.
Also that year, a 21 year old man from Utah finished building the first television. The first image transmitted and displayed was a horizontal line.
In 1928, Chiang Kaishek, a member of the Kuomintang and a lieutenant of Sun Yat-sen, Commander in chief of the National Revolutionary Army led the Northern Expedition from 1926 to 1928, before defeating a coalition of warlords and nominally reunifying China under a new Nationalist government.
In 1929, Wall Street crashed, an event that was a precursor to the Great Depression.
In 1931, the Chinese Soviet Republic was founded. One of its founders was Mao Zedong. That same year, Japan invaded Manchuria.
In 1933, Adolf Hitler became the chancellor of Germany. Meanwhile in the USA, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal was enacted to combat the effects of the Great Depression. This also marked the end of prohibition.
In 1934, The Austrian Civil War resulted in Fascist victory.
Mao Zedong began the Long March, a retreat from being under pressure from the Kuomintang.
The United States occupation of Haiti ended. They also granted more autonomy to the Philippines.
Adolf Hitler instigates the Night of the Long Knives, which cements his power over both the Nazi Party and Germany. With the death of President Hindenburg, Hitler became the Führer of Germany.
Also that year, Bonnie and Clyde are shot to death in a police ambush.
In 1935, Persia officially became known as Iran.
In Germany, the anti-semitic Nuremberg Laws were enacted.
Between 1936 and 1939 the Spanish Civil War was fought between the left leaning Republicans (supported by France) and the right leaning Nationalists (supported Germany & Italy). The Nationalists were victorious and General Franisco Franco became dictator of Spain.
In 1937, Japan invaded China. However, China, supported by the Soviets, USA and Britain was able to regain most of the territories it had lost in the First Sino-Japanese War
That same year, the Irish Republican Army (IRA) attempted to assassinate King George VI of the United Kingdom.
Nazi Germany annexed Austria which was later ratified by plebiscite.
Also that year, John Atanasoff designed the first electronic digital computer. It used binary numbers and all data was stored in capacitors.
In 1939, the German invasion of Poland triggered the Second World War.
In 1940, the Soviet Union annexed the Baltic States.
In 1941, Operation Reinhard commenced the main phase of Holocaust.
The attack Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour led to the US joining WW2.
That same year, a joint Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran took place. One of the results following the invasion, was that Reza Shah abdicated and was forced into exile by the invading British. He was replaced by his young son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
In 1942, the War Department was given joint responsibility for the Manhattan Project. Underneath the football stands at the University of Chicago, a team of physicists used uranium to produce the first self-sustaining chain reaction. The world now had a way to harness nuclear power.
In 1943, Joseph Stalin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill met in Iran. The Tehran Conference was a strategic meeting that led to the Soviet entry in the Pacific War as well as discussions considering the post-war division of Germany and the formation of the United Nations.
In 1945, Hiroshima and Nagaski felt the wrath of the atomic bombs (codenamed Little Boy and Fat Man). This ultimately led to the end of World War II in Asia and beginning of the occupation of Japan. Korea got independence from Japan.
In 1945, the Yalta and Potsdam conferences between the Big 3 resulted in the redrawing of borders in Europe post the war.
That same year, the United Nations was founded and the Nuremberg trials began to prosecute for war crimes.
In 1946, Italy and France both became republics again.
Jordan got independence from Britain after the British Mandate for Palestine ended.
That same year, the First Indochina War began between France and Vietnam (led by Ho Chi Minh).
The USA granted the Philippines complete independence.
Also in 1946, the first images of the Earth were taken from space.
In 1947, the partitioning of India and Pakistan took place.
Harry Truman presented his doctrine for the containment of Communism with the aim of providing assistance to any nation (beginning with Greece and Turkey) under threat from external or internal authoritarian forces.
Also that year, scientists at Bell Labs invented a miniature device that is used to control or regulate the flow of electronic signals, the transistor, a key component of all soon to arrive electronic devices.
In 1948, the state of Israel was officially formed.
In South Africa, the system of institutionalised racial segregation called Apartheid began. Korea was officially partitioned with Syngman Rhee winning elections in South Korea (backed by the USA) while Kim Il-sung consolidated his position as the leader of Soviet-occupied North Korea.
In 1948, keeping in line with the Truman Doctrine, the American initiative of the Marshall Plan was passed in foreign aid to Western Europe. The United States transferred over $12 billion dollars ($130 billion as of 2019). One of the effects of the Marshall Plan was a strong currency emerging in Western Germany. To combat this, the Soviets enacted the Berlin Blockade.
In 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was created.
Mao Zedong established the People’s Republic of China while the Chiang Kai-Shek led Republic of China relocated to Taiwan.
In 1950, the North Korean invasion of South Korea began the Korean War. China invaded Tibet that same year.
In 1952, the Egyptian Revolution under Gamal Abdel Nasser overthrows King Farouk and ends British occupation. Meanwhile in Britain itself, Queen Elizabeth II became the monarch of the Commonwealth.
In 1953, Joseph Stalin died leading to a power struggle, from which Nikita Khrushchev emerged as leader of the Soviet Union.
In 1955, the Vietnam War officially began.
That same year, West Germany joined NATO. In response, the Warsaw Pact, a collective defense treaty, was signed between the Soviet Union and seven other Eastern Bloc socialist republics of Central and Eastern Europe.
In 1956, the Hungarian Revolution, led by Imre Nagy was crushed by the Soviets.
Also that year, Israel, the United Kingdom and France, invaded Egypt with the aim of controlling the Suez Canal (which Nasser had nationalized). However, pressure from the US, Soviets and the UN caused the trio to withdraw.
A computer program called the Logic Theorist written that year, was able to prove 38 mathematical theorems. It was the first semblance of artificial intelligence.
In 1957, the world’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik I, was launched by the Soviet Union.
In that same year, the Treaty of Rome was signed. It remains one of the two most important treaties in what is now the European Union (EU).
In 1959, Fidel Castro became the leader after the Cuban Revolution.
An uprising in Tibet against China led to the exile of the Dalai Lama.
In 1960, a year known as the Year of Africa, saw African 17 countries getting independence from the French, United Kingdom and Belgium’s rule.
In 1961, the construction of the Berlin Wall began.
In China, by the end Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward, the biggest famine in terms of the number of deaths had occurred.
Also that year, the US covert operation, the Bay of Pigs Invasion, aimed at undermining Castro’s rule, failed. Castro then allied himself with the Soviets.
In 1962, Algeria got independence from France.
The Cuban Missile Crisis brought the US and the Soviets to a military standoff, the closest point to nuclear war in the Cold War. De-escalation occured with the publicized removal of missiles from Cuba by the Soviets and the non-publicized removal of American missiles from Turkey.
In 1963, Martin Luther King delivered his ‘I Have A Dream Speech’ during the March on Washington.
Later that year, President JFK was assassinated.
In 1964, the Civil Rights Act was passed.
In 1965, the Congo Crisis occurred after the Belgians left the country and opposing political factions rivaled each other for power. This turned into a proxy for the Cold War with the USA backed Joseph Mobutu finally emerging as the dictator of Congo (renamed Zaire).
That year, Martin Luther King participated in the Selma March that was instrumental in ushering in the Voting Rights Act. The act prohibited racial discrimination in voting.
Also that year, Eli Cohen, an Israeli spy was hanged publicly in Damascus.
In 1966, Mao Zedong launched the Cultural Revolution, aimed at purging remnants of capitalistic and traditional elements from Chinese society.
In 1967, Israel entered the 6 Day War against Egypt, Jordan and Syria. Israel was victorious and occupied the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), and the Golan Heights.
In 1968, Alexander Dubček tried reforming Czechoslovakia under the communist party’s rule. He was eventually suppressed by the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact members who invaded the country, in what is known as the Prague Spring.
In 1969, Muammar Gaddafi overthrew King Idris of Libya in a coup d'état and established the Libyan Arab Republic.
The same year, Neil Armstrong became the first man to step foot on the moon while the Department of Defence created ARPANET, the earliest incarnation of the Internet.
In 1971, the Bangladesh Liberation War occurred and Bangladesh gained independence from Pakistan, which led to the Third Indo-Pakistani War.
In 1972, during the Summer Olympics in Munich the Palestinian Terror group, Black September killed 11 memebers of Israel’s contingent after taking 9 hostage. After a failed hostage rescue attempt the terrorists killed the hostage. Three members of the terror group were caught.
Later that year, the 3 captured terrorists were swapped for the safety of the hijacked Lufthansa (German Airline) flight. The flight was made to land in Tripoli and the 3 exchanged members of the terror group were granted asylum in Libya by Muammar Gaddafi.
In 1973, the Yom Kippur War was fought between Israel (supported by the USA) against the Egyptians and Syrians (supported by the majority of the Middle East and the Soviets). As a result the OPEC (Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries) proclaimed an oil embargo targeted at nations perceived as supporting Israel.
Also that year, the impeachment process of Richard Nixon began due to the Watergate scandal.
In 1976, the death of Mao Zedong brought the Cultural Revolution to an end.
In America, the invention of the personal computer 2 years prior, didn’t prevent 2 ambitious men from founding an iconic company. Steve Jobs began marketing his friend Steve Wozniaki’s creation, the Apple I computer, under what is now known as Apple Inc (the company with, currently, the highest market cap).
In 1978, Jim Jones, the leader of the cult, Peoples Temple Agricultural Project ("Jonestown"), ordered his followers to take cyanide in a mass suicide that led to the death of 907 people.
Also in 1978, the Saur Revolution, a coup d'état led by the Soviet-backed People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) against the rule of Afghan President Mohammed Daoud Khan resulted in Daoud Khan and most of his family being killed at the presidential palace. This marked the end of the Republic of Afghanistan and the formation of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan.
In 1979, the Soviet-Afghan war began. It was fought between insurgency groups known as the Mujahideen, supported largely by the USA, Iran, Saudi Arabia amongst others and the Soviets. The war would last 9 years with the Soviets failing to quell the Mujahideen.
That year, the Iranian Revolution saw the overthrow of the west-favoring Mohammed Reza Shah (same guy as Reza Pahlavi) and the replacement of his government with an Islamic republic under the Grand Ayatollah Khomeini (who returned after a 15 year exile). Later that year, militarized Iranian college students belonging to the Muslim Student Followers of the Imam's Line, who supported the Iranian Revolution, took over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and seized hostages, whom they held for 444 days.
In 1980, Iraq invaded Iran leading to the Iran-Iraq war that would last 8 years. Iran, then led by the Ayatollah was a Shia majority whilst Iraq, despite being a Shia majority was ruled by Saddam Hussein, of the Ba’ath party (whose ideology was more Sunni than Shia).
In 1982, Argentina invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands, followed by the invasion of South Georgia the next day. The Falkland War ended in victory for Margaret Thatcher and the British.
The same year, the Lebanese Civil War reached its peak after Israel invaded Lebanon again. The Lebanese Civil War was fought as a result of sectarian violence.
In 1984, Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards in the aftermath of Operation Blue Star.
In 1986, a nuclear accident occurred at a reactor in Chernobyl in Soviet Ukraine.
In 1987, the First Intifada began. It was a series of Palestinian protests against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
In 1989, revolutions and protests amongst the countries of the Soviet Bloc, coupled with the Fall of the Berlin Wall marked the end of the Cold War.
The sparks of revolutions had made its way across to China as well, however, they were quelled with the incident commonly referred to as the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
Also that year, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker spilled ~37,000 tonnes of crude oil after hitting a reef.
In 1990, Saddam Hussein led Iraq, invaded Kuwait leading to the Gulf War. USA, UK and Saudi Arabia were amongst those that came to the aid of Kuwait and ultimately secured its victory.
In 1991, the Soviet Union was officially dissolved with its 15 Soviet Republics receiving independence. The successor states were Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
Also that year, the Ten-Day War in Slovenia began the Yugoslav Wars. The Slovenes’ aim was to attain independence from Yugoslav. Eventually the Yugoslav Wars saw the dissolution of the Socialist Federal Republic Yugoslavia and the emergence of its successor states, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia and Bosnia & Herzegovina.
In 1992, riots in LA took place over the acquittal of those involved in the beating of Rodney King, a victim of police brutality.
In Europe, the Maastricht Treaty created the European Union.
In 1993, four years after the Velvet Revolution, Czechoslovakia was dissolved and the successor states of the Czech Republic and Slovakia emerged.
That year, the Oslo Accords were signed by the Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin and leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, Yasser Arafat, in a meeting brokered by Bill Clinton. The objective was to set up a framework that would lead to the resolution of the ongoing Israeli–Palestinian conflict.
In 1994, the with the African National Congress winning the elections and the democratically elected Nelson Mandela coming to power, apartheid had officially ended in South Africa.
Also that year, on the same continent, the Rwandan Genocide, a result of tribal rivalries between the Hutu majorities and the Tutsi minorities resulted in an estimated half a million deaths.
In 1996, the pro-Sunni Taliban came to power in Afghanistan after civil war, infighting and warlord rule.
In 1999, the Kosovo War, fought between Yugoslavia and Kosovo, which was controlled by Yugoslavia prior to the war. Kosovo received controversial air support from NATO.
In 2001, after 9/11 President George Bush declared his war on terror and passed the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (PATRIOT Act). The American intervention led to the end of Taliban rule and an interim government head, Hamid Karzai was selected.
In 2003, the US invaded Iraq and ousted Saddam Hussein.
That year, the Rose Revolution in Georgia saw the end Soviet era leadership with President Eduard Shevardnadze resigning. The event derives its name from the climactic moment, when demonstrators led by Mikheil Saakashvili stormed the Parliament session with red roses in hand.
In 2004, Ukraine saw a re-vote take place after the Orange Revolution, a series of acts of civil disobedience, sit-ins, and general strikes organized by the opposition movement after what appeared to be rigged elections.
In 2005, the Tulip Revolution saw the overthrow of the President of Kyrgyzstan with the opposition party taking interim control.
In 2006, an independence referendum held in Montenegro saw approval for independence from Serbia.
That same year, the Lebanon War was fought between Israel and Hezbollah.
In 2008, the subprime mortgage crisis led to the Great Recession.
That year, in India, 10 members of the extremist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, attacked 12 locations in Mumbai killing just under 200 people and injuring more than 300.
In 2009, the Boko Haram uprising in Nigeria saw militants clash with Nigerian police force, resulting in the death of approximately 100 people.
In 2010, the Deepwatter Horizon drilling rig exploded leading to ~4.9 million barrels of oil being spilled into the Gulf of Mexico.
In 2011, the Arab Spring, a series of anti-government protests began in Tunisia, eventually spreading to Libya, Yemen, Egypt, Bahrain and Syria with the majority of the rulers being deposed, with minor protests occurring in other countries. A subsequent civil war broke out in Syria, fought between the incumbent Bashar Al Assad, the opposition and in parts by ISIS.
Also in 2011, two terrorist attacks by Anders Behring Breivik in Norway led to the death of 77 people injuring over 300 more.
In 2012, American biochemist Jennifer Doudna and French microbiologist Emmanuelle Charpentier developed CRISPR-Cas9, a method for editing genes. This has the potential to treat several diseases.
That year, a 17 year old unarmed African-American high school student, Trayvon Martin was shot, in alleged self-defence, by a 28 year old George Zimmerman, who was on night watchman duty for his gated community.
Also in 2012, Adam Lanza killed 26 people, including 20 children at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.
In 2015, the Houthi rebels overthrew the Yemeni government which triggered a military response by Saudi Arabia.
Russia and Turkey intervened in the Syrian Civil War with the former siding with Bashar’s government and the latter calling for his resignation.
That same year, the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) was at the height of its activities.
In 2016, Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem in the NFL preseason in order to bring topics regarding police brutality and oppression of people of color to light.
In 2017, the ISIL, launched simultaneous attacks in Tehran, destroyed the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul Iraq, and killed 311 in Egypt, but were declared defeated in Iraq by the end of the year.
That same year, a military operation targeted Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar in acts of ethnic cleansing.
Also that year, the #MeToo movement began to spread virally. American actress Alyssa Milano posted on Twitter, "If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote 'Me too' as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem".
In the Xinjiang province of China, internment camps were operationalized for the ‘re-education’ of Uighurs. The camps have been criticized for its alleged human rights abuse.
In 2018, Turkey invaded northern Syria. 70 died in a chemical attack, triggering a missile strike against Bashar al-Assad.
That same year, exiled Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated inside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul.
Also in 2018, China's National People's Congress voted to abolish presidential term limits, allowing Xi Jinping to rule for life.
The Armenian revolution occured, the result was the resignation of the nominated prime minister and the removal of the Republican party from power.
Also that year, in a mass shooting in 2 mosques in Christchurch, Brenton Tarrant partly live streamed killing 51 people.
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic began with over 100 million people having officially contracted the virus.
The United States assassinates Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, head of Iran's Quds force, in a drone strike.
The United Kingdom left the European Union.
In America, the killing of George Floyd, another victim of police brutality, sparked protests across the United States. In Kenosha, a policeman shot a 29 year old Jacob Blake 7 times in the back in front of his children. Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17 year old, later killed 2 and injured 1 protestor amidst the unrest that followed.
In China, the National People's Congress granted itself sweeping powers to curtail civil liberties in Hong Kong.
The Nagorno-Karabakh war began between Armenia and Azerbaijan caused largely over a dispute of territory belonging to Azerbaijan but primarily occupied by Armenians.
Protests began in Bulgaria against the government of Boyko Borisov. Similar protests began in Belarus to dispute the victory of Aleksander Lukasheno. In Russia, Alexei Navalny,a Putin critic and opposition figure, was poisoned while traveling and taken to Germany for treatment.
Large anti-government protests also took place in Thailand.
Iran’s top nuclear scientist was assassinated that year with the use of a self-destructing automated gun.
In India, the passing of three agricultural laws led to wide scale protests from farmers.
In 2021, Navalny returned from Germany but was sentenced to imprisonment for violating his probation. Pro-Navalny protests have been taking place.
The Capitol was stormed by protestors with the aim to delay, disrupt and overturn the election results that would see Joe Biden sworn in as the 46th President of the United States. Donald Trump became the first president to be impeached twice by the House of Representatives.
Australia passed new media laws that require digital platforms like Google & Facebook to pay for news.
In Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi was replaced by military rule in a successful coup d'état.
The Taliban captures Kabul as President Ashraf Ghani fled. After overthrowing the republic, Afghanistan is now under the control of the Taliban.
In 2022, Vladimir Putin signed a document declaring Luhansk & Donetsk as independent from Ukraine. Soon after, Russia invades Ukraine resulting in several sanctions, financial restrictions and price caps being placed by Western countries.
Queen Elizabeth II passed away and was succeeded by her son, King Charles III
The world population crossed 8 billion people.