World History


The Neolithic Revolution

8000 BC - 3000 BC

Aka. The Agricultural Revolution

With the knowledge on how to cultivate plants and the close proximity to a water sources, people were able to stay in one place

By staying in one place, a sense of culture began to emerge among the community as well as a sense of land ownership.

CONSEQUENCE: Food surplus --> Specialized labour --> Complex civilization

Ancient Greece

750 BC - 146 BC

Imperialism was due to the limitation of the geographical area.

Collection of city-states known as polis. The two main city states were Athens and Sparta. Athens was the political, commercial, and cultural center. Sparta was the agricultural and military region.

First democracy (sort of) in Ancient Greece. Where citizens (adult males who were not slaves or free people) made civic decisions after engaging in debates.

Irony: Slavery led to democracy.

Polytheistic: Many Gods with richly detailed myths who possessed human failings.

The Persian Wars: United Greece.

The Golden Age of Pericles: Cultural Powerhouse. Parthenon was built. Philosophers: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.

Eventually the city states began to war (Athens and Sparta) in which Sparta won. Sparta failed to dominate the region for long though, it was weakened by war leading to the region being vulnerable to outside aggression in the form of the Macedonians. Fortunately, Philip III respected Greek culture and encouraged it to flourish. Alexander the Great is Philip the III's son.

Ancient Rome

509 BC - 476 AD

Polytheistic: Many were of Greek origin.

Consisted Patricians (land owning noblemen), Plebeians (all other free men), and slaves.

Government composed of a Senate and the Assembly.A republic, similar to the constitutional democracy in the US. Everyone votes for representatives and Congress votes on all the major issues.

Enemies: Carthage, Macedonia/Greece, Gauls, Spaniards

Collapse of the Republic: restlessness caused by overwhelming number of slaves, high rate of inflation, political leaders started fighting among themselves.

So, the power of the Senate weakened and were transferred to three men, the first triumvirate: Pompey, Crassus, and Julius Caesar. Civil war resulted and Caesar became emperor. But it didn't last long, he was assassinated in 44 BC.

After Julius Caesar died, a second triumvirate was formed composed of Octavius, Marc Antony, and Lepidus. Power again shifted to one: Octavius, who eventually assumed the name Augustus Caesar. No more Roman republic.

Under Augustus stability returned for the next 200 years: the Pax Romana.

Collapse due to internal decay (sheer size and bad leaders) and external pressure (Attila's Huns)

Alexander the Great

356 BC

Taught by Aristotle.

Conquered the Persian Empire

Founded Hellenistic empires where the culture, ideals, and pattern of life of Classical Greece flourished.
For ex. the Ptolemaic empire in Egypt


Middle East

Mesopotamia: Sumer

3000 BC - 1700 BC

Fertile Crescent; found between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers

Cuneiform: First form of writing

Polytheistic, temples were called ziggurats

Mesopotamia: Babylon

1700 BC - 1500 BC

The Code of Hammurabi: The first codified laws; an eye for an eye

Mesopotamia: Hittites

1500 BC - 1400 BC

Dominated the region (from Babylon) because they learned how to use iron in their weapons, which is a lot stronger than bronze.

Mesopotamia: Assyria

1400 BC - 1000 BC

Learned to use iron in order to defeat the Hittites

Built an empire that swept across the Fertile Crescent

Highly disciplined but cruel, leading to frequent uprisings.

Mesopotamia: Chaldea/Babylon Part II

1000 BC - 530 BC

Chaldean King: Nebuchadnezzar rebuilt Babylon as a showplace of architecture and culture.

Built the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Persian Empire

550 BC - 336 BC

Extremely powerful empire that fell to Alexander the Great

Islamic Caliphate

632 AD - 1258 AD

Occurred due to the death of Mohammad.

Abu Bakr became the first caliph, the head of state as well as religious leader. In other words, a theocracy occurred. Where one person was in charge of both religious and state affairs.

Prominent dynasty was the Umayyad Dynasty who enlarged the Empire significantly.

Damascus, Syria became the capital. Arabic the official language.
Expanded into Northern Africa and the Iberian Peninsula.
Frequently came into conflict with the Byzantine empire as well as advanced into the Iberian peninsula. Charles Martel stopped their advance into Northern Europe.

The Abbasid Dynasty replaced the Ummayyad Dynasty at around 750 until 1258 when they were defeated by the Mongols.
Saw a golden age where the capital was built at Baghdad (Iran today)

Their defeat was due to both internal struggles and civil war (between the Sunni and Shia sects) (Due to ethnic differences in the expanding Muslim empire), As well as external foes: the Persians, Europeans, and Byzantine. But it was the Mongols who eventually defeated them and destroyed Baghdad.

South Asia

Indus Valley

2500 BC - 1500 BC

Today's north western India

The Khyber Pass through the Hindu Kush Mountains provided a connection to the outside world. This was used for trade and eventually gave invading forces a way into the land.

Enormous cities, sophisticated water systems, strong central government, probably led by a priest king.


By 1900 BC the cities of the Indus Valley were abandoned for reasons that remain unknown ...???????????

By 1500 BC the civilization crumbled with the arrival of the Aryans.

The Mauryan Empire

321 BC - 180 BC

Spanning from the Indus River Valley through the Ganges River Valley and southward through the Decca Plateau

Founded by Chandragupta Maurya

Trade was the reason the empire became so powerful and wealthy. Indian merchants traded silk, cotton, and elephants, etc. to Mesopotamia and the Roman empire.

Ashoka Maurya, the grandson of Chandragupta, converted to Buddhism after a particularly violent battle. He then preached nonviolence and moderation. Buddhism had just recently taken root in the otherwise Hindu region.

The Gupta Dynasty

320 AD - 550 AD

Revival of the Mauryan Empire after a decline after Ashoka's death.

The Gupta Empire was more decentralized and smaller but is often referred to as a golden age because it enjoyed relative peace and saw significant advances in the arts and sciences.

By the time the Gupta empire came around, Hinduism became dominant again, reinforcing the caste system.

Women were increasingly losing their rights.

The Gupta dynasty collapsed under pressure from the White Huns in 550 AD

East Asia

Early China: Shang Dynasty

1600 BC - 1100 BC

Rose in the Yellow River Valley

Limited contact with the rest of the world as it was a long journey to other regions.

Accomplished bronze workers, used horse drawn chariots, developed the spoked wheel, became experts in the production of pottery and silk.

Huge focus on the family. Patriarchal society, People also believed they could call on the spirits of their dead ancestors to act as their advocates with the gods.

Ousted by the Zhou dynasty.

Early China: Zhou Dynasty

1100 BC - 256 BC

Mandate of Heaven: heaven would grant the Zhou power only as long as its rulers governed justly and wisely.

Developed a feudal system.

Developed bureaucracies.

The Qin Dynasty

221 BC - 209 BC

Connected separate fortification walls that eventually became the Great Wall of China. This indicates that the empire was incredibly well organized, centralized, and territorial.

Qin Shi Huang was the emperor and recentralized various feudal kingdoms that had split and standardized everything.

Dominant belief of rulers was Legalism.

The Han Dynasty

200 BC - 460 AD

The Xiongnu (who may have been Huns), a large nomadic group, invaded territories and were the main enemy during wars.

Expanded and enlarged to central asia and the silk road trade boomed.

To ensure strong political candidates, the Han developed a civil service examination, a very difficult examination lasting for several days. The exam is open to everyone but generally only the wealthy could afford to prepare for it. This led to highly skilled government officials contributing to stability.

Invented paper! Accurate sundials! Calendars! important strides in navigation! compass!


Ancient Egypt

2686 BC - 0

Developed alongside the Nile River

Three Kingdoms: Old, Middle, and New. It was during the New Kingdom that the civilization reached its height.

Rulers were known as pharaohs who directed the construction of obelisks and pyramids.

Utilized a writing system known as hieroglyphics, which were a series of pictures.

The culture valued luxuries such as gold and spices.

Polytheistic: Focus on life after death, could take earthly belongings with them. This led to mummification.

First female ruler known in history: Queen Hatsheput during the New Kingdom.

By 1100 BC, Egypt started to decline as both the Assyrian Empire and Persian empire conquered parts of Egypt. Later, the Greeks and Romans occupied Egypt.


1508 BC

Egypt's First Female Pharaoh

West Africa: The Bantu Migrations

1500 BC - 50 AD

Farmers in the Niger and Benue River valleys began migrating south and east.

Migrations were probably spurred by climactic changes, which made the area now known as the Sahara Desert too dry to live in.


69 BC

North America

South America

Early Mesoamerica: Olmec

1500 BC - 400 BC

Modern day Mexico

Urban society supported by surpluses of corn, beans, and squash.

Mastered irrigation techniques and constructed large scale buildings.


Did not develop in a river valley

Andean South America: Chavin

900 BC - 200 BC

Access to the coast, therefore supplemented their diet with seafood as well as agriculture.

Developed ways to use metals in tools and weapons.

Used llamas as their beasts of burdens.

Did not develop in a river valley

Mesoamerica: Mayan Civilization

300 BC - 800 AD

Present day southern Mexico and parts of Central America.

Collection of city states

Pyramid builders like the Egyptians.

Mayan warfare was somewhat unique as is was imbued with a tremendous amount of religious significance. Days of religious ritual would precede a battle.

Generally wars were not fought for territory but for slaves as the mayans did not have large animals so humans were the main source of manual labour.

Many well preserved ruins of this civilization remain today, including the tiered temple at Chicen Itza.

Mayan calendar also ended in 2012, leading to many end of the world predictions.

Mysterious ending, no one knows the exact reason for collapse.