1450-1750 Early Modern

Must Know Dates

Ottomans captured Constantinople


Marked the end of the Roman Empire

Dias rounded Cape of Good Hope


Opened the sea route to the east

Columbus/Reconquista of Spain


Reconquering of the Spanish lands to Catholic hands from the Moors

1st slaves to Americas


Juan de Córdoba of Seville becomes the first merchant to send an African slave to the New World.

Martin Luther/95 Thesis


Martin Luther attacked the sale of indulgences, luxurious lifestyle of clergy, connection to God, and hierarchy

Cortez conquers the Atecs


Captured the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan

Pizarro toppled the Inca


Captured the Inca in the Battle of Cajamarco

Battle of Lepanto


Defeat of the Ottoman Navy

Defeat of the Spanish Armada by the British


The Spanish ships were destroyed by the English fireboats

Battle of Sekigahara


Unified Japan and the beginning of the Tokugawa rule

Foundation of Jamestown


First permanent English settlement in the Americas

30 Years War

1618 - 1648

Began as a local conflict between Protestants and Catholics in Bohemia; eventually involved most of Europe

Unsuccessful Ottoman siege of Vienna


Marked the start of the Great Turkish War

Glorious Revolution/English Bill of Rights


Overthrew King James II of England

Treaty of Nerchinsk


Treaty between the Russians and the Chinese over the border


Holy Roman Empire

962 - 1806

Charles V (r. 1519-1556) unable to establish a unified state
Pressure from the French and Ottomans halted expansion


1299 - 1922

Gunpowder empire. religious tolerated


1340 - 1533

In 1340, the Songhai took advantage of the Mali Empire's decline and gained independence


1368 - 1644

Sought to cleanse China from Mongol rule (Yuan)


1415 - 1999

Controlled ports in the Indian Ocean for trade and commerce

Aztec Empire

1427 - 1521

Tribute empire based in Tenochtitlan started with the Triple Alliance


1438 - 1533

Was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. Located in Cusco in modern-day Peru.


1474 - 1700

Isabella and Ferdinand authorized the 1492 expedition of Christopher Columbus


1485 - 1707

Constitutional monarchy evolved out of a bitter civil war 1642-1649


1492 - 1791

The Sun King of France: Louis XIV (r 1643-1715) promoted economic development


1501 - 1736

Between the Sunni Ottoman and Mughal Empire. Didn't last long due to the religious conflict. Safavid was Shia


1526 - 1857

Located in India. Religious conflict between Hindu and Sunni Muslim

Tokugawa Shogunate

1603 - 1868

A feudal Japanese military government brought unification to Japan


1644 - 1911

Last of imperial dynasty of China; Manchurian rule


1721 - 1917

It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia, and the predecessor of the Soviet Union.



772 - 1911

Tied Confucianism and Buddhism together


800 - 1888

Scattering of people own from their homeland. The Africans are being disperse away from Africa due to the slave trade

Joint stock company


merchants would invest money in a business and in return would gain a percentage of the profits that were made

Forbidden City built

1406 - 1420

For 500 years, it was a house for emperors. Located in the middle of Beijing, built during the Ming dynasty

Constantinople goes to the Ottomans


The fall of the Roman Empire

Spanish Inquisition

1478 - 1834

Established by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. Converted Jews and Muslims to Catholics

Columbian Exchange


Trade of goods to and from the Americas

Treaty of Tordesillas


Pope giving Spain the Western hemisphere and the Philippines and Portugal the Eastern hemisphere and Brazil

Battle of Chaldiran


Victory of the Ottomans against the Safavids

Protestant Reformation


Started by Martin Luther. Faith and faith alone

Catholic (counter) Reformation

1545 - 1648

Established the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). Gave education to the clergy

Council of Trent

1545 - 1563

Reformed the Catholic Church and redefined Church teachings and education of the clergy

East India company

1600 - 1874

Gained territory in India and traded spices



Founded by the French used as a port for the fur trade

"Dutch learning"

1641 - 1853

Developed by Japan to keep Western technology and medicine during the period where Japan was closed to foreigners


1650 - 1800

Reform the way of thinking using reason challenge ideas grounded in tradition and faith and advance knowledge through scientific method

Triangle Trade

1700 - 1879

Goods from England to Africa, Slaves from Africa to the Americas. Finished products from the Americas to England

7 years war

1754 - 1763

Marked the end of the French empire in the Americas


Prince Henry the Navigator

1394 - 1460

Not a navigator but was responsible for the early development of European expedition and maritime trade


1398 - 1468

Invented the printing press that later helped spread Protestant Reformation

Christopher Columbus

1451 - 1506

Portugal sailor who sailed for the Spanish; discovered the New World

Bartolomeu Dias

1451 - 1500

Rounded the Cape of Good Hope and found a trade route to India

Sunni Ali

1464 - 1492

reigned from 1464-1492 Founder and ruler of the Songhai empire, known as "Ali the Great"


1466 - 1520

A ruler of Tenochtitlan of the Aztecs. Made Aztecs at their peak during his reign but was killed by the Spanish when they came over with Hernan Cortes

Vasco de Gama

1469 - 1524

First European to reach India by sea


1469 - 1527

A contributor to the Renaissance. Wrote "the Prince" Associated with corrupt ruling


1471 - 1541

Spanish conquistador; conquered the Inca Empire


1473 - 1543

Formulated the heliocentric model of the universe.

Vasco de Balboa

1475 - 1519

Founded the settlement of Santa Maria la Antigua del Darien in Panama 1510

Ferdinand Magellan

1480 - 1521

Founded the Philippines

Martin Luther

1483 - 1546

German monk who criticized the corruption of the Church. 1517 wrote the 99 Thesis leading to the schisms in the Roman Catholic Church known as the Protestant Reformation


1485 - 1547

Spanish Conquistador led an expedition to the Aztecs which caused it to fall. Brought part of Mexico under King of Castile's rule


1491 - 1556

Founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) Emphasized education and were effective advisers and missionaries


1497 - 1533

Last Inca Emperor (Sapa Inca). After he was captured by Pizarro he was executed thus leading to the fall of the Inca Empire

John Calvin

1509 - 1564

Formed a Protestant community of Calvinism. Their way of life is predestined


1564 - 1642

Helped improved the telescope, Was a key player in the Scientific Revolution. After the Starry Messenger was published he had to recant due to threats from the Catholic Church


1588 - 1679

English philosopher; social contract: Abuses from the power are accepted to be a good state.


1632 - 1704

English philosopher; social contract everyone is equal. All human knowledge comes from sense of perception

Louis XIV

1638 - 1715

Known as the Sun King, Built the Palace of Versailles used a system of absolute monarch


1694 - 1778

French philosopher; famous for his attacks on the Catholic Church and advocacy of freedom of religion, expression and separation of church and state

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

1712 - 1778

Genevan philosopher; influenced the French revolution and development of modern political, sociological and educational thoughts


1723 - 1790

Wrote "The Theory of Moral Sentiments" and "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations" Father of economics

Peter/Catherine The Great

1762 - 1796

Catherine the Great reigned from 1762 to 1796 after her husband Peter III died after a few months of being crowned; pushed for Westernization in Russia