Prince Henry the Navigator

1394 - 1460

Henry the navigator founded a sort of research institution for studying navigation that interested the pioneering efforts people had. He designed the vessels for larger ships. He created the knowledge that ocean winds tend to form big, circular patterns that helped explorers discover many other ocean trade routes. He sent people to the islands of Mandeira to plant sugar; the sugar was highly profitable, but demanded much labor. He sent some of his sailors to bring back slaves to help the demand of labor to work with the sugar. Henry became grand master of Portugal’s Order of Christ, and helped lead the Portuguese capture of Moorish at the straight of Gibraltar.

Ottoman Empire

1453 - 1922

The Ottoman Empire was one of the world’s mot powerful empires during the 1500s and 1600s. The Ottomans were Turkish tribes that migrated to the Middle east to central Asia. The Ottoman empire conquered the Byzantine empire, except for Constantinople. Then Ottoman trooped successfully succeed in capturing Constantinople in 1453. After a few decades, many nations won independence from the Ottoman empire, making the empire slowly decline. Government corruptions, weak sultans, unjustly taxation, and inflation were also contributes to the fall of the empire.

Reign of Sunni Ali

1462 - 1492

Sunni Ali was one of the kings who strengthened the Songhai empire more than any other rulers, along with Askia Muhammad, during the expansion of the empire. The great military leader ruled the empire from 1462 through 1492, conquering many neighboring countries. His army that he had during his reign of the empire conquered Timbuktu and Djenne, two very large west African trade centers. Sunni established law and order in the Songhai Empire, and also encouraged trade.

Martin Luther

1483 - 1546

Luther believed the only way to salvation was by the grace of God. He also believed that Christian belief must be based on the word of God in the Bible and on Christian tradition. He burned the papal bull ,(a document), of condemnation ignoring the Pope’s authority. He began the protestant reformation, and his ideas were spread by the printing press, like John Calvin and Henry VIII.

Columbus’ First Voyage to the New World


The First voyage Columbus attempted to make landed him on the Caribbean Islands, but he thought he was at an island of the East Indies. He sailed to what he though was and island of the East Indies on three ships; the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. Because of this belief, he named the people who lived there, Indians. The islanders that were there were farmers who made cotton, cloths, dwelled in villages, and had well developed social and government systems.

Songhai Empire

1492 - 1591

The Songhai empire became powerful by controlling the trade that was done across the Sahara desert. Most of the people of the empire farmed, fished, or traded throughout the empire, and in other non-local places; the traders exchanged gold and other West African products for good in Europe and southwest Asia. Sunni Ali and Askia Muhammad strengthened the empire more than any other rulers. The empire declined after the Moroccan army defeated Songhai in the battle of Tondibi.

Treaty of Tordesillas


The Treaty of Tordesillas was a treaty between Portugal and Spain where they decided and agreed to divide all the land on the Earth outside of Europe. The treaty claimed that Spain would have possession of any unclaimed territory to the west of the imaginary line, and Portugal would have possession of any unclaimed territory east of the imaginary line. Pope Alexander VI took the liberty of clearing up the confusion of the territorial claims, so he established the line. This line was called the Line of Demarcation. The Portuguese realized that Spain had more land than them, and they became dissatisfied, and tried to push the border over so they can get an equal amount of land.

Reign of Suleiman the Magnificent

1494 - 1566

Suleiman was the 10th ruler of the Ottoman Empire. During his reign, the Ottoman Empire was the most richest and most powerful in Europe and in the Middle east. He lead his armies into Hungary and invaded Persia and captured Baghdad and Tabriz. His fleet dominated the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, and the Persian Gulf. He also reconsidered the legal system of the Ottoman Empire.

Safavid Dynasty

1502 - 1722

The Safavid Dynasty was an influential empire that was ruled by a family in Southwest Asia during 1502 to 1722. Their time where their power was the highest was when they were under the rule of Abbas. During his reign, the Portuguese and Spanish were kept from expanding into Islamic areas. The empire started to decline after Abbas died in 1629. The dynasty officially ended in 1722 due to a group of Afghan invaders from the east conquered the Safavids.

John Calvin

1509 - 1564

Calvin denied that even human faith could receive salvation. He went father than Luther in power of hierarchy and simplifying religious rituals. He displayed simplicity in dressing, such as wearing simple black, and also simplicity in life and worship. He was a leader of the religious reformation, and his ideas were spread by the printing press, along with Henry VIII and Martin Luther. He made worship centers lacking statues, most musical instruments, incense, vestments, and stained-glass windows.

Spanish Conquest of Mexico

1519 - 1521

The Spanish conquest of Mexico was led by Hernando Cortes, in 1519 to 1521. The invasion of the Aztec empire began in February 1519, and ended sometime around August of 1521, and consisted of an army of Spanish conquistadors. Cortes associated with Indian leaders through interpreters. Cortes then found the first settlement for the Spanish, appointed a council, and gave him the authority to conquer Mexico.

Mughal Dynasty

1526 - 1707

The Mughal dynasty ruled most of India during the 1500’s and 1600’s. The empire maintained order and stability, and had a centralized government that provided a structure for the next leaders of India. The Mughal Empire began to crumble soon after Aurangzeb’s death. Warriors of western India began to revolt against taxes that were re- imposed and it destroyed many temples; when they revolted, it weakened the Mughal dynasty greatly.

Foundation of the Society of Jesus


The Society of Jesus is a catholic religious order that follows the teaching of the Catholic Church. The Society’s principles were written in a document by Ignatius, after he experienced a religious conversion. He exercised the spiritual thoughts to help others follow the teachings of Jesus. The members of the society that helped spread the teachings of Jesus are known for their education, intellectual achievements, their pursuit of their culture, and their missionary efforts.

Reign of Akbar

1542 - 1605

Akbar ruled most of north and central Afghanistan and reigned for 49 years. He set up the governmental work for the dynasty and organized new systems of coinage and taxation. He was interested in all religions and was very well known for his religious tolerance and acts of justice. Scholars and priests of all religions debated before him, and he won much support from the Hindus.

Shogunate of Ieyasu Tokugawa

1542 - 1616

Ieyasu Tokugawa founded the Tokugawa dynasty, which controlled and governed Japan from 1603 to 1867. He was the military ruler of Japan from 1603 to 1605, and then handed over the title to his son, but still remained in power until he died. He built a personal domain in Japan and became a high ranking ally of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, which is the country’s most powerful figure. After Ieyasu’s force won the battle of Sekigahara, he was the title of shogun, by the emperor.

Council of Trent

1545 - 1563

The Council of Trent was a series of conferences held by the Roman Catholic Church in Trent, Italy. The council was made to define and establish doctrines and adopted policies that influenced the Roman Catholic Church. The council was disrupted multiple times due to wars and religious conflicts, but had a total of 25 meetings. The council passed several reforms affecting what the church does, such as establishing seminaries to educate priests and require that each bishop reside in his own supervision.

Galileo Galilei

1564 - 1642

Galileo was the first astronomer to make an effective use of the refracting telescope to discover new facts about astronomy. He improved the refracting telescope, and designed multiple other scientific devices. He discovered the law of falling bodies, and also the law of the pendulum. Galileo also discovered that the moon is not perfectly smooth, but it was mountainous, and covered in pits, much like the Earth. Galileo made observations of sunspots, Venus, and Saturn, and also confirmed Copernicus’ theory that the Earth, along with the other planets, revolve around the sun

Reign of Sha Abbas

1571 - 1629

Abbas was the king of the Safavid dynasty from 1587 until his death in 1629. During Abbas’ reign, the Safavid dynasty reached their highest power, ruling all parts of the middle east. Abbas brought peace and stability that had been weakened during the 1570s buy outlying conflicts. Under Abbas’ reign, he also regained land that had been lost to the Ottoman empire, the Mughal empire, and the Uzbek empire.

Defeat of the Spanish Armada


The task of the Spanish Armada’s was to overthrow the protestant of England lead by Queen Elizabeth I and invade England. Spain was taking gold and silver from the land that they had claimed in America, and England wanted some of the wealth that the Spanish had. Sir Francis Drake raided a harbor in Spain, and destroyed about 30 of the new ships that the Spanish had built, so King Phillip II started planning an invasion to England in hopes to end the England raids and to change England into a Catholic country. The English sent fire ships to attack the armada, and they brutally destroyed the Spanish, defeating the “undefeatable” Spaniards.

Thirty Years’ War

1618 - 1648

The Thirty Years’ War was a series of many political and religious wars that eventually included most of the European nations. The conflict started between Protestants and the Roman Catholics in the Holy Roman Empire and other territories. After the war declined, the empire was in pitiful condition, and many people were killed. Villages, cities, and farms vanished and much property was completely destroyed. Art, science, industry, and trade took a downfall and declined horrifically.

Building of the Taj Mahal

1631 - 1653

The Taj Mahal was built by an order of Shah Jahan. He ordered it to be built in honor and memory of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal who died in 1629. The Taj Mahal was designed by a Turkish architect, and stands in Agra in northern India. It took about 20,000 workers to build the tomb, and was built between the time period of 1631 and 1653. The bodies of Shah Jahan and his wife lay in a vault below the monuments located in the central room.

John Locke

1632 - 1704

Locke believed that the source of all power was derived from the people. He wanted the rights of the people to be the rights to life, liberty, and property, and that all men are given certain rights. He believed that if the rights were broken by the government, the people have the right to change, and also demand change in government. Locke had a type of government that was a limited monarchy with parliament putting a limit on how much government could do.

Reign of Louis XVI

1638 - 1715

Louis XVI was king of France for 72 years, one of the longest reigns in the history of Europe. He fought in 4 major wars, and recaptured all lands that were ever under the rule of France. After 1685, his reign was less glorious than his previous years, and the country went into debt. Louis supported writers and artists, and he played a big role in the growth of French literature.

Qing Dynasty

1644 - 1912

The Qing dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912, and when ended, was preceded by the Ming dynasty, and then the Republic of China. Over the time period of the dynasty’s reign, the Qing dynasty experienced becoming highly mixed with Chinese culture. The dynasty reached its height under the Qianlong emperor, expanding China’s boundaries. Corruption, rebellion, natural disasters, and multiple defeats in wars, weakened the dynasty, and the dynasty started to decline.

Reign of Emperor Kangxi

1662 - 1722

Reign of Emperor Kangxi (1662- 1722): Kangxi reigned for 61 years, and is considered one of China’s greatest emperors. He was the 4th emperor of the Qing dynasty, and his reign brought long term stability of the empire and wealth after years of war and chaos. By the end of his reign, the empire controlled all of China, part of Russia, Taiwan, and other regions. He was also interesting in Western technology and wanted to import them to China, and invented the Chinese calendar.

Reign of Peter the Great

1672 - 1725

Peter the great wanted to end the corruption and inefficiency that Russia had going for their government. The programs he had led to the expansion of industry and foreign trade, and also led to building new roads and canals. He also abolished the independence of the Russian Orthodox Church, and led the Russians in the war against Sweden from 1700 to 1721. But he also had negative effects; he imposed high taxes on the Russians to finance his military campaigns and reforms, and brutally dealt with people who opposed the reforms.