World History Timeline


Roman Empire

27 BC - 476 CE

The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterized by government headed by emperors, and large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, Africa, and Asia

Byzantine Empire

330 CE - 1453 CE

The Byzantine Empire, alternatively known as the Eastern Roman Empire, was the predominantly Greek-speaking eastern half and remainder of the Roman Empire during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages.

Holy Roman Empire

800 CE - 1806 CE

The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 by Napoleon


1015 CE - 1291 CE

The Crusades were military campaigns sanctioned by the Latin Roman Catholic Church during the High Middle Ages and Late Middle Ages.


1300 - 1700

considered the bridge between the Middle Ages and Modern history. It started as a cultural movement in Italy in the Late Medieval period and later spread to the rest of Europe.

Black Death

1346 CE - 1353 CE

The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 75 to 200 million people and peaking in Europe

Thirty Years War

1618 - 1648

Initially a war between Protestant and Catholic states in the fragmenting Holy Roman Empire, it gradually developed into a more general conflict involving most of the great powers of Europe for power

English Civil War

1642 - 1651

a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians ("Roundheads") and Royalists


1650 - 1800

cultural and intellectual forces in Western Europe emphasized reason, analysis and individualism rather than traditional lines of authority.

Industrial Revolution

1760 - 1840

the transition to new manufacturing processes

French Revolution

1789 - 1799

an influential period of social and political upheaval in France that lasted from 1789 until 1799

Napoleonic Wars

1803 - 1815

a series of major conflicts pitting the French Empire led by Emperor Napoleon I against an array of European powers formed into various coalitions.

Italian Unification

1815 - 1871

the political and social movement that consolidated different states of the Italian peninsula into the single state of the Kingdom of Italy in the 19th century.

German Unification


The third and final act of German unification was the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, orchestrated by Bismarck to draw the western German states into alliance with the North German Confederation. With the French defeat, the German Empire was proclaimed in January 1871 in the Palace at Versailles, France.

Middle East

Sassanid Empire

224 - 651

known to its inhabitants as Ērānshahr and Ērān in Middle Persian, was the last Iranian empire before the rise of Islam, ruled by the Sasanian dynasty

Umayyad Empire

661 - 750

The Umayyad Caliphate was the second of the four major Islamic caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. This caliphate was centered on the Umayyad dynasty, hailing from Mecca

Moorish Spain

711 - 997

Moors, who were religious fanatics, arrived in Spain in the year 711 and thus began a period of history which would shape Iberia differently than the rest of Europe as the land adapted to a new religion, language and culture. Hispania became a part of the caliph of Damascus which was the capital of the Muslim world.

Abbasid Caliphate

758 - 1258

the third of the Islamic caliphates to succeed the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The Abbasid dynasty descended from Muhammad's youngest uncle, Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib.

Ottoman Empire

1299 - 1923

historically referred to as the Turkish Empire or Turkey, was a Sunni Islamic state founded by Oghuz Turks under Osman I in northwestern Anatolia in 1299

Tanzimat Reforms

1839 - 1876

Reforms aimed to encourage Ottomanism among the many ethnic groups that lived in the Ottoman Empire and to prevent the slow decline of the empire; did not work


Ghana Empire

300 - 1235

located in what is now southeastern Mauritania and western Mali. Complex societies had existed in the region since about 1500 BC, and around Ghana's core region since about 300 AD

Zimbabwe Empire

1220 - 1450

kingdom located in the territory of modern-day Zimbabwe. It is famous for its capital, Great Zimbabwe, the largest stone structure in southern Africa until recent times

Mali Empire

1230 - 1600

historically referred to as the Manden Kurufaba, was a Mandinka/Bambara empire in West Africa

Songhai Empire

1375 - 1591

was a Songhai state that dominated the western Sahel in the 15th and 16th century. At its peak the empire was one of the largest in both Islamic and African history.

Portuguese Exploration of Africa

1420 - 1693

Portuguese explorer Prince Henry, known as the Navigator, was the first European to methodically explore Africa and the oceanic route to the Indies

European Colonization of Africa

1503 - 1912

European nations colonized Africa from the late 19th century until the middle to later 20th century. Although Europeans had had contact with many parts of Africa much longer than this (for example, through the Atlantic Slave Trade), they did not impose a formal rule of law over Africa until this time period.


Mauryan Empire

322 BC - 185 BC

The Mauryan empire was the first great empire in India's long history, and one of the great empires of the Ancient World. Prior to the rise of the Maurya, numerous states, large and small, covered northern India.

Han Dynasty

206 BC - 220

was an imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin dynasty (221–207 CE) and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms

Silk Road Trade

Approx. 200 - 1450

The Silk Road, or Silk Route, is a series of trade and cultural transmission routes that were central to cultural interaction through regions of the Asian continent connecting the West and East by linking traders, merchants, pilgrims, monks, soldiers, nomads, and urban dwellers from China and India to the Mediterranean Sea during various periods of time.

Gupta Empire

320 - 550

The Gupta Empire was an ancient Indian empire, founded by Maharaja Sri Gupta, covered most of the Indian Subcontinent

Tang Dynasty

618 - 907

an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. It was founded by the Li family

Heian Period

794 - 1185

the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height.

Song Dynasty

960 - 1279

It succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, and was followed by the Yuan dynasty

Delhi Sultanate

1206 - 1526

a Delhi-based Muslim kingdom that stretched over large parts of India for 320 years

Mongolian Empire

1206 - 1370

The Mongol Empire, which existed during the 13th and 14th centuries, was the largest contiguous land empire in history

Ming Dynasty

1368 - 1644

was the ruling dynasty of China for 276 years (1368–1644) following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming, described by some as "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history," was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic Han Chinese.

Zheng He's Voyages

1405 - 1433

Zheng commanded expeditionary voyages to Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and East Africa

Mughal Empire

1526 - 1707

self-designated as Gurkani, was a Persianate empire extending over large parts of the Indian subcontinent and ruled by a dynasty of Mongol and Chagatai-Turkic origin.

Tokugawa Shogunate

1603 - 1868

was the last feudal Japanese military government which existed between 1603 and 1868. The heads of government were the shoguns, and each was a member of the Tokugawa clan.

Qing Dynasty

1645 - 1911

Empire of the Great Qing, Great Qing or Manchu dynasty, was the last imperial dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917.

British Rule of India

1858 - 1947

British Raj was British rule in the Indian subcontinent

Self-Strengthening Movement

1861 - 1895

a period of institutional reforms initiated during the late Qing dynasty following a series of military defeats and concessions to foreign powers.

Meiji Restoration

1868 - 1912

a chain of events that restored practical imperial rule to Japan in 1868 under Emperor Meiji.

French Rule of Indochina

1887 - 1954

a federation of colonies belonging to the French colonial empire in southeast Asia.


Mayan Empire

250 - 900

a Mesoamerican civilization, noted for Maya script, the only known fully developed writing system of the pre-Columbian Americas, as well as for its art, architecture, and mathematical and astronomical systems. Initially established during the Pre-Classic period

Aztec Empire

1428 - 1521

began as an alliance of three Nahua city-states or "altepetl": Tenochtitlan, Texcoco, and Tlacopan. These city-states ruled the area in and around the Mexico Valley from 1428 until they were defeated by the combined forces of the Spanish conquistadores and their native allies under Hernán Cortés in 1521.

Inca Empire

1438 - 1533

the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. The administrative, political, and military center of the empire was located in Cusco in modern-day Peru.

Columbian Exchange

Approx. 1450 - Approx. 1750

a period of cultural and biological exchanges between the New and Old Worlds. Exchanges of plants, animals, diseases and technology transformed European and Native American ways of life.

Columbus' Voyages

1492 - 1502

a series of four voyages to the Americas between 1492 and 1502 that were led by the explorer Christopher Columbus. Columbus was an Italian navigator from the Republic of Genoa who became an admiral for the Spanish Crown, which sponsored these voyages. These voyages initiated European exploration and colonization of the Americas and are thus of great significance in world history

Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

Approx. 1500 - Approx. 1800

took place across the Atlantic Ocean from the 16th through to the 19th centuries. The vast majority of those enslaved that were transported to the New World, many on the triangular trade route and its Middle Passage, were West Africans from the central and western parts of the continent sold by West Africans to Western European slave traders, or by direct European capture to the Americas

Spanish Conquest

1519 - 1521

The Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire was not just one of the most significant events in the Spanish colonization of the Americas but also in world history. Although the conquest of central Mexico was not the conquest of all regions in what is modern Mexico, the conquest of the Aztecs is the most significant overall

New France

1655 - 1763

New France was the area colonized by France in North America during a period beginning with the exploration of the Saint Lawrence River by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to Spain and Great Britain in 1763.

Seven Years War

1756 - 1763

the first global war, fought in Europe, India, and America, and at sea. In North America, imperial rivals Britain and France struggled for supremacy. Early in the war, the French (aided by Canadian militia and Aboriginal allies) defeated several British attacks and captured a number of British forts.

American Revolution

1765 - 1783

a political upheaval that took place between 1765 and 1783 during which colonists in the Thirteen American Colonies rejected the British monarchy and aristocracy, overthrew the authority of Great Britain, and founded the United States of America.

Latin American Revolution

Approx. 1780 - Approx. 1820

the revolutions that took place during the late 18th and early 19th centuries and resulted in the creation of a number of independent countries in Latin America.

Haitian Revolution

1791 - 1804

a slave revolt in the French colony of Saint-Domingue, which culminated in the elimination of slavery there and the founding of the Republic of Haiti

US Civil War

1861 - 1865

a civil war fought from 1861 to 1865 to determine the survival of the Union or independence for the Confederacy. Among the 34 states as of January 1861, seven Southern slave states individually declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America, known as the "Confederacy" or the "South".

Mexican Revolution

1910 - 1920

a major armed struggle that started in 1910, with an uprising led by Francisco I. Madero against longtime autocrat Porfirio Díaz, and lasted for the better part of a decade until around 1920.