1450 C.E - 1750 C.E


Ottoman Dynasty

1299 - 1923

In the late 1200s A.D., a group of Turks, who called themselves the ‘Ottoman Turks’ after Osman, one of their first rulers, began to build an empire in Eastern Europe.

Songhay Dynasty

1340 - 1591

Prince Henry the Navigator

1394 - 1460

Prince Henry the Navigator put up the money for many important Portuguese voyages. Henry himself never sailed, but his maps and charts and money came in very handy when Portugal wanted to explore the world.

Beginning of Portufuese slave trade


Between 1450 and the late 1800's, it is estimated that between 10-15 MILLION Africans were kidnapped and sold into slavery. The early colonists tried to bring people from Europe to work in the New World, both as indentured servants and as slaves. That did not work well either, especially in the tropical regions. The Europeans were not used to a tropical climate. Many died of disease. Some ran away and blended with other early colonists.

The Portuguese soon discovered that Africans were excellent workers. They were used to more tropical climate conditions. The African people did not want to be slaves. They had to be captured and forced into slavery. A business sprang up - slavers. These were traders who captured and sold people into slavery.

Reign of Mehmed the Conqueror

1431 - 1481

Mehmed II, the Conqueror was a Turkish sultan who conquered Constantinople and ruthlessly consolidated and enlarged the Ottoman Empire with a military crusade into Asia and Europe

Reign of Sunni Ali

1464 - 1492

Sonni Ali is remembered in Songhai oral tradition as a magician of great power. Rather than following the Mali Empire system of Islamic city rule over a non-Islamic rural people, Sonni Ali mixed an unorthodox observance of Islam with traditional African religion. He was a man of the people rather than the elite ruling class of Muslim clerics and scholars. He is regarded as a great military commander who carried out a strategic campaign of conquest along the Niger River. He is said to have retaliated against the Muslim leadership within Timbuktu after they failed to provide promised transport for his troops to cross the river.

Martin Luther

1483 - 1546

Martin wrote these 95 points of doctrine on a placard, which he nailed to the door of the Catholic Church in Wittenberg, Germany. These 95 points of doctrine were copied and sent throughout Germany, resulting in the Catholic Church losing out on the collection of money that it collected in exchange for indulgences. The sale of indulgences was one of the 95 practices that Martin Luther disagreed with. This practice allowed people to buy forgiveness for their sins.

Columbus' first voyage

1492 - 1493

Having convinced the King and Queen of Spain to finance his voyage, Christopher Columbus departed mainland Spain on August 3, 1492. He quickly made port in the Canary Islands for a final restocking and left there on September 6. He was in command of three ships: the Pinta, the Niña, and the Santa María. Although Columbus was in overall command, the Pinta was captained by Martín Alonso Pinzón and the Niña by Vicente Yañez Pinzón.

Treaty of Tordesillas


The Treaty of Tordesillas was agreed upon by the Spanish and the Portuguese to clear up confusion on newly claimed land in the New World. The early 1400s brought about great advances in European exploration. In order make trade more efficient, Portugal attempted to find a direct water route to the India and China. By using a direct water route, Arab merchants, who owned land trade routes, were not able to make a profit off of the European trade merchants. After Columbus discovered the New World in 1492, it was clear that conflict would soon arise over land claims by Spain and Portugal. The Portuguese also wanted to protect their monopoly on the trade route to Africa and felt threatened. It was only after the realization that Columbus had found something big that land became the important issue. The newly discovered land held great potential wealth which would benefit European nations.

Safavid Dynasty

1501 - 1722

In the 1500s A.D., a Shiite leader by the name of Ismail conquered the Persian Empire, and appointed himself as the new ruler, beginning what would be known as the Safavid Dynasty.

Spanish conquest of Mexico

1519 - 1521

The Spanish were much better prepared to fight the fierce Aztec warriors. It was not the Spanish guns that won the day. It was the Spanish horses and dogs. The Spanish brought huge fierce mastiffs with them into battle. Their best weapon was disease. The Aztecs had never been exposed to childhood diseases like measles. As well, the Spanish had help from the other tribes in the area. These tribes saw a chance to get even, and perhaps even to rid themselves of the feared and hated Aztecs.

Reign of Suleymen the Magnificent

1520 - 1566

Suleyman the Magnificent has been known as one of the greatest rulers of the Ottoman Empire. He is mostly remembered as a fierce conqueror of the Islamic religion. In Middle Eastern cultures, however, he is often referred to as a great builder. During his rule as sultan, the Ottoman Empire reached its peak in power and prosperity.

Mughal Dynasty

1526 - 1757

The Mughal Empire, founded in 1526, was the most powerful Islamic state to rule in India. It was at its most prosperous during the 17th century, when fine buildings such as the TAJ MAHAL were constructed

Foundation of Society of Jesus


Council of Trent

1545 - 1563

The Council of Trent played an important part in determining the outcome of the Counter-Reformation. Along with the part played by the Jesuits and certain individuals, the Council of Trent was a central feature of the Counter-Reformation. But whether Trent represented a positive move by the Catholic Church remains contentious.

Reign of Akbar

1556 - 1605

Akbar considered all faiths to be equal, and felt that they all taught of the same divine truth. He invited missionaries and teachers from many faiths to visit his court and teach their beliefs. Akbar eventually attempted to found a new religion, which he called ‘Divine Truth’, which incorporated aspects of many of the major religions of the day.

Galileo Galilei

1564 - 1642

Galilei was born in Pisa in 1564, the son of Vincenzo Galilei, well known for his studies of music, and Giulia Ammannati. He studied at Pisa, where he later held the chair in mathematics from 1589 - 1592. He was then appointed to the chair of mathematics at the University of Padua, where he remained until 1610.

Reign of Emperor Wanli

1572 - 1620

The Wanli emperor was a recluse whose apparent inattention to government affairs contributed to the abuses of power by provincial officials and other political figures that came to dominate that era of Chinese history. The violence and corruption among leaders of the northern provinces led to much popular dissatisfaction and unrest, preparing the way for the invasion from the north by the Manchu, who subsequently conquered all of China and established the Qing dynasty. Wanli’s reign also witnessed some of the earliest Western inroads into China, among them the establishment by the Italian priest Matteo Ricci of missions there.

Tokugawa shogunate

1600 - 1868

The final shoguns were those of the Tokugawa clan, who came to power in 1603 and ruled until 1868. Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the dynasty, built a new capital in Edo, the city that is now Tokyo. His grandson Iemitsu completed the national isolation policy. The shoguns also imposed a strict class system, with the samurai (warriors) at the top, followed by farmers, artisans, and merchants. Under the shoguns were lords with the title of daimyo, each of whom ruled a part of Japan. The Tokugawa shogunate remained in firm command of the government during their rule, unlike earlier shogun families whose power was weaker

Thirty Years War

1618 - 1648

The Thirty Years' War was a series of conflicts that began early in the 17th century in the Holy Roman Empire and finally involved much of Europe. It started as a conflict between Protestants and Roman Catholics but soon became a struggle for political power.

John Locke

1632 - 1704

Earlier writers had argued that human understanding was limited, Locke tried to determine what those limits are. We can, he thinks, know with certainty that God exists. We can also know about morality with the same precision we know about mathematics, because we are the creators of moral and political ideas. Locke was very important to the writers of the American Declaration of Independence and Constitution. They borrow some of his ideas and expanded on them. For example, Locke said that all people had these basic rights: the right to life, to own property, and to revolt against unjust governments.

Qing Dynasty

1644 - 1912

In 1644, the Manchus invaded China, and set up a new dynasty known as the Qing Dynasty. Qing means ‘pure’ in Chinese. The Qing Dynasty would rule China for the next 300 years.

Peace of Westphalia


The Peace of Westphalia was the treaty that ended the Thirty Years' War in Europe. The treaty meant an end to the long conflict between Catholic and Protestant forces.The peace negotiations were after initial talks held in the cities, an alternative favoured by Sweden (Hamburg and Cologne being the French alternatives). The two locations were needed as the Protestant and Catholic leaders refused to meet each other. The Treaty of the Pyrennes ending the war between France and Spain is also often considered part of the treaty.

Seven Years' war

1754 - 1761

Seven Years' War, a power struggle in Europe, North America, and India that involved most of the nations of Europe. Prussia emerged from the war as a powerful state. Great Britain, victorious over France, became the world's greatest colonial power

Establishment of 1st colony in Australia


Haitian Revolution

1791 - 1804

The slaves set fire to the plantations they worked in and demanded their freedom. With crops burning to a crisp as a backdrop, the slaves offered to fight for their right to freedom. Leading them was Toussaint L'Overture, himself a former slave. He was so successful at training and leading the 500,000 slaves (10 times the number of plantation owners) that even though it took a long time, they eventually conquered all of Haiti and all of Santo Domingo, the other half of the island. In 1801, L'Overture proclaimed himself governor-general of the entire island. He also outlawed slavery on the island. This didn't sit well with Napoleon, Emperor of France. The French didn't like losing Haiti, their wealthiest colony; and they certainly didn't like losing their colony to a rebel leader and a bunch of slaves. So Napoleon set a trap for L'Overture; sadly, the Haitian hero fell for it and was thrown into prison, where he died in 1803.

End of the Brirish Slave Trade


In July 1833, a Bill to abolish slavery throughout the British Empire passed in the House of Commons, followed by the House of Lords on 1st August. There has been a lot of debate over the factors that contributed to the final success of the bill: