World Timeline


1368-1644: Ming Dynasty

1368 - 1644

The Ming Dynasty ruled over China for almost three hundred years. The Ming Dynasty was considered one of the greatest eras of orderly government in human history. During this time, China changed in many different ways, socially and physically.

1398: Hongwu Died


Hongwu was the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty. He ruled for about thirty years, and he is considered to be one of the most significant emperors of China. Hongwu was one of the most influential people in the course of Chinese history.

1433: China withdrew into isolation


The Chinese withdrew into isolation to keep the influence from outsiders to a minimum. Only the government was allowed to conduct foreign trade, and only through three coastal ports. Because of this, trade flourished up and down the coast.

1464: Sunni Ali became ruler


Sunni Ali became the fifteenth ruler of the Sunni dynasty and the first king of the Songhai Empire. He ruled from 1464 to 1469. He helped his empire prosper by surpassing the stature of the Mali Empire and he built a fleet to patrol the Niger River.

1480’s: Portuguese sail to Benin and enslave Africans and take territories


The Portuguese travel to Benin, conquered the Africans, and took their territories. This marked an important event in the history of slave trading. Also it was a noticeable use of territorial and colonial tactics for Portugal.

1480: Matope claimed control of area along Zambezi River


Matope, the ruler of the Mbire empire, took control of the land on the Zambezi River. He strengthened and increased trade and fortified positions along it. He also wanted the natural defences and transportation control.

1492: Sunni Ali dies and son succeeds him


When Sunni Ali died, his son, Sunni Baru, surpassed him in the legacy. According to oral tradition, it is believed that Sunni Ali either drowned crossing the Niger River, or was killed by his sister’s son Askia Muhammad Ture. Askia successfully exceeded Baru by arguing against the ruler not naming himself Muslim.

1521: Spain conquered Aztecs


The Spanish conquest of the Aztec empire began in 1519. Hernán Cortés led the Spanish, allied with tributaries and rivals of the Aztecs, to victory. This conquest was ended when the Spanish declared themselves victorious in 1521. This conquest was a major milestone in the colonization of the Americas.

1526: Babur imposes rule over Northern India


Babur, the Central Asian conqueror, opposed Northern India in the Battle of Panipat. Barbur and his army fought against the Lodi Empire and won. This also marked the beginning of the Mughal Empire, which was one of the first empires to use gunpowder pistols and artillery in the fields.

1530: Merchants ignore ban on foreign trade


Merchants began to smuggle goods out of China to eager Europeans. The demand for Chinese goods had a ripple effect on the economy. The industries of silk making, ceramics, manufacturing, and commerce all flourished.

1533: Spain conquered Incas


The Spanish, lead by Francisco Pizarro defeated the Incas in 1533. The defeat of the Inca empire lead the establishment of many modern day countries, and it also played a major role in the colonization of the Americas.

1592-1666: Architectural achievements of the Mughals peaked

1592 - 1666

From Akbar, to Jahangir, then to Shah Jahan, the Mughals were at their prime with architectural innovation. Over this span of time, they built Humayun’s tomb, the Jama Masjid, and most famously, the magnificent Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is a tomb for Shah Jahan’s third wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

1605: Abu Akbar dies


The third and highly regarded Mughal Emperor Akbar died of dysentery. His body was buried in Sikandra, Agra in a mausoleum which was desecrated by Hindu rebels seventy six years later. They broke into the mausoleum, removed his remains, and then burned them without any regard or care.

1709: Darby’s smelting method


In 1709 Abraham Darby used coal instead of charcoal to smelt iron. These experiments lead Darby to produce a less expensive and better quality iron. This invention of cheaper and higher quality iron lead to more inventions and was used more and more widely throughout the next few decades.

July 14th 1789: Storming of the Bastille


In 1789 peasants in France stormed a Bastille, in which they thought weapons and gunpowder were stored. The guards inside the Bastille opened fire, but they peasant were able to overrun it. The storming of the Bastille is considered to be the beginning of the French Revolution. It is also celebrated annually as the France’s national independence day.

1804: Napoleon becomes Emperor of the French


In 1804 Napoleon assumed the title Emperor of the French. Napoleon was an extremely important character in European history. He reformed France and was influential in redrawing the map of Europe. Napoleon’s actions have impacted the world greatly.

1821: Mexico independent from Spain


The Mexican War of Independence began in 1810 and lasted until 1821. This movement began as a peasant's rebellion against their colonial master masters, but as the war raged on Mexican born Spaniards, Mestizos, and Amerindians joined the fight for freedom.

1824: Battle of Ayacucho


The Battle of Ayacucho was the final battle in the Peruvian War of Independence. This Battle is considered to be the end of the Spanish American Wars of Independence because it gained Peru freedom and also secured independence for the rest of South America.

1858: Mughal emperor was disposed of by the British


When the British invaded, they exiled the last Mughal ruler Bahadur Shah ll to Rangoon, Burma. They then took over India and named their ruler the British Raj. Their rule lasted from 1858 to 1947. The Raj improved many aspects of India, but the people themselves wanted more independence and freedom.

1871: Germany is unified


For a very long time, Germany was a mixture of states and provinces that were never fully united. During the 1800’s, nationalism sparked in Germany and eventually lead to the official unification of the second Reich, which was the German Empire.