Color code: -Portugal: orange -Holy Roman Empire (and the Church): red -Spain: blue -China: lavender -French: purple -Japan: green -Italy: pink -Ottoman: grey -West Africa: maroon -Mughal: lime green -England: teal


Beginning of Portuguese slave trade



Prince Henry the Navigator began slave trade for Portugal after learning about the trade of spices, gold and silver. After a few years of hit and miss attempts, African slave trade became routine and accepted. This brought about a stimulated economy in Portugal, and inspired other countries to begin African slave trade as well.

Dias' voyage into Indian Ocean



Bartolomeu Dias was sent by King John II of Portugal to find a sea route around the tip of Africa. He is believed to be the first European to venture around the Cape of Good Hope; however, after completing this his crew forced him to turn around and return.

Columbus' first voyage



Columbus' first voyage into the new world was sponsored by the King and Queen of Spain, and financed by Italian bankers. He set sail on August 3, 1942, and first reached an island in the Bahamas. This was an incredibly important voyage because it marks the first official voyage to the new world, and the beginning of the age of exploration to the New World.

Treaty of Tordesillas


Portugal and Spain

The Treaty of Tordesillas was a reestablishment of a previous treaty. After landfall in the New World, it was quickly seen that there would be much dispute over which land belongs to whom. Pope Alexander VI established an imaginary line 100 leagues from the Cape Verde islands. All land to the west of said line would belong to Spain, and to the East, Portugal. The line was later moved to 370 leagues from the islands, after everyone realized how uneven the distribution was.

Spanish Conquest of Mexico

1519 - 1521


Some time after the original discovery of the New World, Cortes was sent to conquer this new land. He arrived in the land of the Aztec and over the course of two years, Spain had conquered the Aztec people. This would eventually lead to the Spanish culture of Mexico's people today. This was such a major event because of the remarkable feat of a relatively small invading group overthrowing the massive Aztec empire. This also led to the introduction of horses to the Americas.

Foundation of Society of Jesus


Holy Roman Empire

The Society of Jesus, commonly known as the Jesuits, is a group established by Ignatius of Loyola. When wounded in battle, Ignatius converted and started a Christian society that follows the four basic principles of poverty, chastity, obedience to Christ and obedience to the Pope. The group still practices today.

Council of Trent

1545 - 1563

Holy Roman Empire

The Council of Trent was established under Pope Paul III. It was established essentially to discuss how to change and move the Church forward. It's members were the Bishops of the region. It was created in an attempt to slow the Protestant movement by showing reformation within the Catholic Church.

Spanish Armada



The Spanish Armada was a fleet of ships set out to over through Elizabeth I of England. While anchored outside Gravelines, awaiting communications from another army, they were driven out by and English fire ship attack. It is considered the largest engagement in the undeclared Anglo-Spanish war.

Tokugawa Shogunate

1600 - 1868


The Tokugawa Shogunate was a military feudal government system in Japan. It ruled for nearly 300 years, and stopped a period of warring states.

Thirty Years War

1618 - 1648

Holy Roman Empire

The Thirty Years War was a largely religious war, and one of the longest and most destructive wars in European history. The opposing sides were mostly the Protestants against the Catholics, but a fair share of the fight was due to internal disputes over political balance in Europe. The war was ended with the Peace of Westphalia.

Peace of Westphalia


Holy Roman Empire

The Peace of Westphalia was a series of treaties to end the Thirty Years War in the Holy Roman Empire, and the Eighty Years War between the Spanish and the Dutch (because the Spanish formally recognized the independence of the Dutch). The treaties resulted in a new political order being established called the Westphalian sovereignty.

Seven Years War

1754 - 1763

The Seven Years War was a global scale fight involving Prussia, Great Britain, and Hanover on one side and Austria, Saxony, Spain, Sweden, Russia, and France on the other. The fighting was mostly over control of Germany, India and North America. It resulted in the Treaties of Paris, St. Petersburg, Hubertusberg, and Hamburg.

Establishment of First Colony in Australia



The first 736 criminals and convicts were banished from England and landed in Botany Bay in Australia on January 6, 1788. In the following 60 years, 50,000 more would be sent to live there. They were separated from the rest of British society because the British ruling class decided that criminals were defective and could not be fixed.

End of British slave trade



Although not nearly the beginning of the end of slavery, this was an important step to stopping it. Because of England's power at this time, their move to abolish slavery was a large step.

Empires and Dynasties

Ottoman Empire

1299 - 1923

Ottoman Empire

When Mehmed the Conqueror overtook Constantinople, the Ottoman state became and Empire. This empire was at the center of interactions between the Eastern and Western worlds for over 600 years. Under this empire great strides were made in literature, tapestry, carpentry and metal work.

Songhai Empire

1340 - 1591

West Africa

The Songhai Empire was the main state of West Africa for a long period of time, and one of the largest Islamic Empires ever. From its capital, Gao, it expanded in all directions until it stretched from the Atlantic to what is today Northwest Nigeria.

Safavid Dynasty

1501 - 1722


The Safavid Dynasty was one of the largest Iranian Empires, and began the Twelver School of Shi'a Islam. They began in Ardabil, and from there they established control over all of Persia and reestablished the religion of Islam in the region.

Mughal Dynasty

1526 - 1858


The Muhgal Dynasty was notably ruled by Akbar the Great, who expanded the empire to cover all of India during his long reign. The Muhgal Emperors were all direct descendants of Genghis Khan.

Qing Dynasty

1644 - 1912


The Qing Dynasty was the last imperial dynasty of China, and it covered 14.7 million square kilometers at its peak. It strengthened the Chinese heritage and was heavily involved in Chinese culture.

Lives and Reigns

Life of Henry the Navigator

1394 - 1460


Prince Henry, popularly known as Henry the Navigator, was a notable figure in the beginning of the Age of Discoveries. He advanced map making technologies and improved navigational instruments, and he organized and financed many exploratory voyages.

Reign of Mehmed the Conqueror

1444 - 1481

Ottoman Empire

Mehmed the Conqueror sacked Constantinople and put an end to the Byzantine Empire, thus starting the Ottoman Empire. He was initially Sultan for a short period of time (1444 to 1446), then again from 1451 to 1481. He continued to expand the Empire into Asia throughout his reign.

Reign of Sunni Ali

1464 - 1492

West Africa

Sunni Ali was the first king of the Songhay Empire. He initially became ruler of the Songhay state in the weakening Mail empire, but because of the failing trade his empire rose to pass the Mali empire in terms of power. He placed his capital in Gao, and created the Songhay as an empire.

Life of Martin Luther

1483 - 1546

Roman Catholic Church

Martin Luther was a German monk and priest, and an important figure in the Protestant Revolution. He is particularly well-known for nailing what has become known as his 95 theses to the door of the church, which were principles that he wanted to be brought up for debate in the Church.

Life of John Calvin

1509 - 1564


John Calvin was a powerful pastor during the Protestant Reformation. Calvinism, a sect of Christian theology, is named for him. He wrote 'The Institutes of the Christian Religion" after splitting from the Roman Catholic Church in 1530.

Reign of Suleiman the Magnificent

1520 - 1566

Ottoman Empire

Suleiman the Magnificent, also known as Suleiman the Lawgiver, was the tenth emperor of the Ottoman Empire, and held the title of longest reigning in the empire. He completely restructured the legal system of his empire. He ruled over the peak of the empire's military, political and economic power.

Reign of Akbar

1556 - 1605

Mughal Dynasty

Akbar the Great was the third Mughal emperor, and the grandson of the founder of the empire. He was a powerful military leader, and he stopped the threat of the Pashtun. He was a patron of art and architecture, and thus significantly influenced and encouraged cultivation of the arts.

Life of Galileo Galilei

1564 - 1642


Galileo was an Italian mathematician, physicist, philosopher, and astronomer who is known for his role in the Scientific Revolution. He confirmed the phases of Venus, and discovered the four largest satellites of Jupiter. He has been called many names, notably the "Father of Modern Science."

Reign of Emperor Wanli

1572 - 1620


Emperor Wanli ruled for the longest period of any of the Ming Emperors, and he ruled over the fall of the Ming Dynasty. Because he took over the throne at the age of nine, he was heavily advised by Zhang Juzheng. At the age of 19 he dismissed Juzheng.

Life of John Locke

1632 - 1704


John Locke was a British physician and and philosopher. He is famous for his massive influence on the social contract and liberal theories, and for his influence on the Declaration of Independence.