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History of the world list
It's not definitive and it's definitely from the perspective of someone brought up in the West but... feel free to message me to add events.
Jane
Original Source: Times Online

Category: Trivialists / History
Last updated: 14/09/09
Sort:
c.3500 BC: Invention of the wheel and plough in Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq); invention of the sail in Egypt: three fundamental inventions for trade, agriculture and exploration.
c.3200 BC: Invention of writing in Mesopotamia: the means to record and understand human history.
c.3000 BC: Founding of the first cities in Sumeria (present-day Iraq): origin of modern social and administrative structures.
c.2737 BC: The discovery of tea by the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung.
c.1600 BC: Modern alphabet invented: the essential means of communication of complex concepts and culture.
c.1600 BC: Beginning of Greek civilisation: essential to Western heritage and the root of mathematics, philosophy, political thinking and medicine.
753 BC: Foundation of Rome: the Roman Empire is a pillar of the modern age, producing ideas on justice, law, engineering and warfare.
c.670 BC: Invention of iron-working: metallurgy is the key to further technical, economic and military developments.
c.551 BC: Birth of Confucius, the founder of one of the world's major philosophical systems.
490 BC: Battle of Marathon: the Greeks repel a Persian invasion, securing the survival of Greek culture and science.
486 BC: Birth of Buddha, founder of one of the world's major religions.
327 BC: Empire of Alexander the Great reaches into India: the first example of a long-term and often violent interrelationship between Europe and Asia.
202 BC: Hannibal is defeated by Rome: the victory is essential to secure the survival and expansion of Roman civilisation.
27 BC: Founding of the Roman Empire: this is the start of the classic period of Roman domination in Europe and the Mediterranean.
c.5 BC - AD 0: Birth of Jesus Christ, founder of the many branches of Christianity. The exact date is disputed.
AD 105: First use of modern paper: this replaced stone, slate, papyrus and vellum as a cheap and convenient medium.
c. AD 200: Unification of China under the Western Chin dynasty creates the political shape of modern China.
AD 312: Roman Emperor Constantine converts to Christianity: this made it possible for Christianity to spread across Europe.
AD 476: Fall of the Roman Empire in the West ends 800 years of Roman hegemony. The creation of modern Europe begins.
c.AD 570: Birth of Muhammad, founder of one of the world's great religions.
c.AD 730: Printing invented in China: an essential step in mass communication/ administration/cultural dissemination.
732: The Battle of Poitiers, which halted the Moorish invasion of Europe.
800: Charlemagne crowned Emperor of the new Western Empire. This marked the point at which Europe began to reintegrate. The Holy Roman Empire lasts for 1,000 years.
955: The Battle of Lechfeld, which stopped the Magyar invasion of Europe.
1054: Schism of Greek and Latin Christian Churches divides Christianity permanently into two geographical and denominational halves.
1066: Battle of Hastings. Decisive Norman victory in the Norman Conquest of England. Fought between the Norman army of William the Conqueror, and the English army led by Harold Godwinson. The battle took place at Senlac Hill, approximately 6 miles northwest of Hastings.
1088: First university founded in Bologna, Italy: the start of a modern conception of higher learning and universal knowledge.
1206: Genghis Khan begins his conquest of Asia. This has a major impact on Asian development and the movement of peoples.
1215: Magna Carta signed by King John at Runnymede: this is the origin of the modern concept of constitutional rule.
1451: Battle of Agincourt. English victory against a much larger French army in the Hundred Years' War. The battle occurred on Friday 25 October 1415 (Saint Crispin's Day), in northern France.
1453: Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks: Almost 500 years of Turkish domination of the Eastern Mediterranean, North Africa and the Middle East begins.
1455: First book printed with moveable type: Johannes Gutenberg's revolution in printing technology makes mass-market reading possible.
1492: Christopher Columbus discovers the New World, bringing the Americas into a global trading/cultural system.
1509: Invention of the watch: essential to a modern economy and administration, this introduces the concept of regular timekeeping.
1517: Martin Luther launches the Reformation. It is the start of Protestant Christianity and the idea of religious individualism.
1519: Cortes begins his conquests of Cuba and Mexico, which becomes part of the wider world economic and political system.
1564: William Shakespeare is born: his plays make fundamental statements about the human condition.
1651: Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan is published: this is the origin of the modern idea of civil society, equality before the law and egoistic individualism.
1687: Isaac Newton publishes Principia Mathematica, the foundation of modern physics.
1767: The invention for the Spinning Jenny by James Hargreaves, a multi-spool spinning wheel.
1776: American Declaration of Independence determines the political evolution of the New World and the rise of American power.
1789: French Revolution marks a fundamental break with the tradition of monarchy; the “rights of man” are enshrined.
1796: Edward Jenner's Smallpox vaccine.
1807: The Abolition of the Slave Trade.
1815: Battle of Waterloo: the Napoleonic Empire ends, and with it Napoleon's ambition to rule and reform all of Europe.
1825: Rocket steam locomotive built, marking the start of the railway age of cheap, fast land transport.
1833: Abolition of slavery by the UK Parliament.
1859: Publication of Darwin's The Origin of Species. His theory of evolution transforms the view of Man and his environment, and belief in God.
1875: Henry Nestlé and Daniel Peter invent milk chocolate.
1885: Benz develops first petrol-driven car, starting the most profound technical and social revolution of the modern age.
1893: New Zealand introduces unrestricted women's suffrage. At this point women win the principle of full political equality.
1903: First recorded controlled, powered, sustained heavier than air flight by Orville & Wilbur Wright.
1905: Einstein's theory of special relativity published. It transforms the nature of modern physical knowledge.
1912: Opening of the world's first fast-food outlet, Automat, in New York City.
1917: Russian Revolution creates the first successful, long-term revolutionary state.
1918: End of the First World War. The Habsburg and Ottoman empires collapse; maps of Europe and the Middle East are redrawn.
1926: John Logie Baird gives the first public demonstration of television.
1928: Penicillin invented by Alexander Fleming.
1929: The Wall Street Crash
1939: Outbreak of Second World War: 50 million die worldwide from 1939-45 in the world's largest and most deadly conflict, which ends the long age of imperialism.
1945: End of Second World War; when the first nuclear bomb is detonated, mankind develops the means to destroy itself.
1949: Communist China founded: China is created as a single territorial unit with a common administration and a modernising economy.
1953: Watson & Crick discover the structure of DNA.
1957: John Lennon meets Paul McCartney.
1959: Invention of the silicon chip is the major technical invention of the past century, making possible the computer age.
1960: First contraceptive pill made available for women, who can now make their own biological choices about reproduction.
1969: Man walks on the Moon.
1989-90: Collapse of Communist regimes in Europe: marks the end of the long communist experiment; Asian communism is also transformed.
1990: Berlin Wall knocked down.
2001: 9/11 attacks.
c.1503: Leonardo da Vinci paints the Mona Lisa.
1508: Michelangelo starts work on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
1564: The birth of Galileo Galilei "the Father of Modern Science."
1596: René Descartes, "Father of Modern Philosophy" is born.
1685: Birth of great composers: Bach and Handel.
1756: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart born in Salzburg.
c.1770 Composer Beethoven born in Bonn.
1776: Political economist Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations is published.
1847: Ignaz Semmelweis demonstrates that thorough hand-washing by doctors and midwives dramatically reduces death in childbirth.
1847: Birth of Thomas Edison, holder of 1,093 U.S. patents.
1876: Alexander Graham Bell awarded the first U.S. patent for the telephone.
1902: A transmission from the Marconi station in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada, became the first radio message to cross the Atlantic from North America.
1907: James Murray Spangler invents the vacuum cleaner that becomes the Hoover.