Timeline Period 4 (1450-1750)

European: Colonization-Trading-Exploration

(shades of blue)

Dias' voyage into the Indian Ocean


Dias was one of the many Europeans seeking a sea route that began in Europe, rounded Africa, and ended in India. Bartolomeu proved this was possible, and ended in the Indian Ocean after rounding the horn of Africa. His crew though forced him to make back for Portugal as soon as this was accomplished.

Columbus' first voyage


Christopher Columbus lived from 1451-1506 and was the first to propose a western sailing route to the markets of Asia. Christopher Columbus believed the Eurasian landmass to cover 270 degrees of longitude and that the earth had a circumference of 17,000 nautical miles, when in actuality the distance from Korea to Portugal covers 140 degrees longitude, and the circumference of the earth is about 25,000 nautical miles. Never the less he convinced Fernando and Isabel (king and queen of Spain) to fund an expedition. Columbus departed from Spain in August of 1492 making landfall in the Bahamas on October 12th of that same year.

Spanish conquest of Mexico

1519 - 1521

Hernan Cortes led the Spanish conquest of Mexico. Cortes was able to bring down the Aztec empire with such a small amount of Spaniards due to many factors such as divisions within the Aztec empire and disease. Diseases such as smallpox brought over by the Spaniards and other Europeans had a devastating effect on the indigenous population. The Spanish were also able to conquer Mexico so easily because of superior military technology such as muskets, cannons, steel swords, and the use of horses.

Thirty Year's War

1618 - 1648

The Thirty Year's War involved the Dutch, German, Swedish, Danish, Polish, Spanish, and French. It was mainly fought on German soil and for political and economic reasons, although religious issues complicated the conflict a great deal.

First Colony in Australia Established


751 Convicts, their children, and 252 marines along with their families, establish a colony at Sydney Cove. This colony of New South Wales was an official penal colony from, 1788 to 1823, whose inhabitants comprised of convicts, soldiers, and soldier’s wives, the first free settlers arriving in 1793.

Religious Events

(shades of red)

Formation of the Society of Jesus


St. Ignatius Loyola founded the Society of Jesus. The members of the society (Jesuits) had to complete an advanced education. Due to their high level of education and dedication to the religion, the Jesuits made extraordinarily effective missionaries.

Council of Trent

1545 - 1563

The Council of Trent was the Catholic Church's way of responding to the Reformation. They set strict guidelines regarding the behavior of church officials and did away with indulgences. They also supported the new movement of the Jesuits but retained the old tradition of sermons being done in Latin and worshipers not being allowed to read the bible.

Slave Trade

(shades of green)

Beginning of Portuguese slave trade


The Portuguese engaged in the African slave trade in order to obtain workers for sugar plantations before the discovery of the Americas.

End of the British Slave Trade


When the slave trade was ended the practice of slavery was not abolished along with it. Plantations continued to run on slave labor. Slave ships continued the trade illegally despite the efforts of the British Navy. The last documented slave ship of the Atlantic landed in Cuba in 1867.

People of Importance

(shades of purple)

Prince Henry the Navigator

1394 - 1460

Prince Henry the Navigator worked hard to both spread Christianity and increase Portuguese influence through ocean voyages. In 1415 he captured the city Ceuta of Morocco, something he saw as an attack on Islam. It also turned out to be useful to Portuguese economics by making it possible for Christian ships to travel from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic with ease.

Martin Luther

1483 - 1546

Martin Luther attacked the sale of indulgences; by publicly criticizing the church he attracted other critics, which led to the reformation. By circulating pamphlets explaining his ideas in German he gained popular support. Things that Martin Luther advocated for was the translation of the Bible from Latin into vernacular languages, the closer of monasteries, and the ending of priestly authority.

John Calvin

1509 - 1564

John Calvin was a Protestant reformer during the time of the Reformation; he composed many religious works including “The Institution of Christian Religion” that contains the “Five Points of Calvinism”.

Galileo Galilei

1564 - 1642

Galileo used the new technology of a telescope to disprove the old theory that the heavens were a perfect unchanging realm. He also discovered that the velocity of a falling object had more to do with height rather than weight. In 1633 Galileo was found guilty of heresy and placed under house arrest for the rest of his life

John Locke

1632 - 1688

John Locke was an influential philosopher and doctor. His famous writing "Two Treatises of Government" put forth ideas revolutionary for the time period about social contract and human natural rights.

Reigns and Dynasties

(shades of pink)

Ottoman dynasty

1289 - 1923

The Ottoman dynasty ruled over a vast stretch of territory, from Greece to Egypt to Turkey. A sultan governed the empire and wealth and rank were gained by merit instead of by birthright. Imperialism reached its peak under Suleyman the Magnificent. Constantinople was also conquered but the Ottomans and renamed Istanbul.

Songhay Empire

1375 - 1591

The Songhay Empire became the dominant power of the western African grasslands after the fall of the Mali. The Capital of this great empire was Gao, a prosperous city that engaged in the trans-Sahara trade of salt, textiles and metal, for slaves and gold.

Reign of Mehmed the Conqueror

1451 - 1481

Mehmed the Conqueror conquered the city of Constantinople turing it into the new capital of the empire, Istanbul. His army was unchallenged and the foundations for a centralize monarchy were laid during his rule.

Reign of Sunni Ali

1464 - 1493

Sunni Ali ruled the Songhay Empire; he created the administrative and military bodies as well as a navy that patrolled the Niger River. Sunni Ali also went on a campaign of conquest bringing Timbuktu and Jenne into his empire.

Treaty of Tordesillas


The Treaty of Tordesillas was Pope Alexander VI way of clearing up confusion and equally dividing territory in the new world between Portugal and Spain. The treaty proposed and imaginary vertical line running through the mid Atlantic. All the unclaimed lands to the west were for Spain while all the unclaimed territory to the east was for Portugal.

The Safavid dynasty

1501 - 1736

The Safavid dynasty ruled over modern day Iran with a Theocratic style of government. The Safavid Empire lay right on the silk road and in-between other major empires, therefore the dynasty got vary wealthy off of trade in goods such as coffee and silks, The Safavid dynasty also forced their religion (Islam) on their diverse inhabitants causing lasting tensions.

Reign of Suleyman the Magnificent

1512 - 1520

Under the rule of Suleyman the Magnificent Ottoman imperialism reached its peak. The rival Habsburg Empire was kept at bay and Baghdad was added to the Ottoman's vast realm. The Ottomans also became a major naval power during this time.

Mughal Dynasty

1526 - 1857

The Mughal Empire ruled over northern Indian, and saw great leaders such as Babur, Akbar, and Aurangzeb. This Dynasty also saw tensions between Hindus and Muslims that was somewhat subdued during the rule of Akbar, but refueled during the reign of Aurangzeb. The dynasty came to be through the efforts of Babur, a Chaghatai Turk who dreamed of creating an empire like that of the Mongols, and claimed to be related to both Tamerlane and Chinggis Khan.

Reign of Akbar

1556 - 1605

Akbar consolidated his hold over the Mughal Empire. He was a very tolerant ruler when it came to religion and made thing easier for non-Muslims in his empire. He built the city of Sikri where he discussed religion with Hindus, Parsis, Jains, and Christians. He also created a new religion known as the divine faith that combined different elements of these faiths.

Reign of Emperor Wanli

1572 - 1620

Emperor Wanli ruled towards the end of the Ming dynasty. He conducted his business through eunuch intermediaries instead of meeting with government officials directly. It was because of removed emperors like him that eunuchs gained power and corruption spread throughout he Ming government weakening the state.

Tokugawa Shogunate

1600 - 1867

The Tokugawa Shogunates brought Japan under one rule after a period of turmoil and civil war. The shogun was supposed to be nothing more than a stand in for the empire but they ended up holding the real power and as a result passed it down through the family. During this time daimyo were put under strict control and foreign relations were restricted along with the power and freedom of the samurai.

Qing Dynasty

1644 - 1911

The Qing dynasty was a period of Manchurian rule over Chinese territory. It featured China's second golden age, the revival of the civil service exam, the rise of neo-Confucianism and a growth in population. The Manchus required that all Chinese men wear their hair in a braided queue in order to show their submission to Manchurian rule.

Military Events

(shades of gray)

Treaty of Tordesillas


The Treaty of Tordesillas was Pope Alexander VI way of clearing up confusion and equally dividing territory in the new world between Portugal and Spain. The treaty proposed and imaginary vertical line running through the mid Atlantic. All the unclaimed lands to the west was for Spain while all the unclaimed territory to the east was for Portugal.

Spanish Armada


The Spanish Armada was sent to England by Philip II of Spain in an effort to force England to go back to the Roman Catholic Church. The Armada was made up of 130 ships and 30,000 men all aimed at dethroning the Protestant Queen Elizabeth.

Peace of Westphalia


The Peace of Westphalia marked the end of the Thirty Years' War. This treaty forever made Europe a land of competing, independent, sovereign, states. Religious unity had forever come to an end in Europe. This treaty did not end fighting in Europe but marked the beginning of the "era of sovereign states.” (Traditions and Encounters 506).

Seven Years' War

1756 - 1763

The Seven Years' War took place in Europe, India, the Caribbean, and North America. This conflict was also called "the great war for empire" and set up Europe to become the dominant power of the world.