Timline-1450-1750 (Early Modern)

Age of Exploration

Prince Henry the Navigator

1394 - 1460

Portugues prince that funded Portuguese expeditions down the coast of Africa. Prince Henry did not go on any expeditions himself big was a major beneficiary of Portugal's sea-based trade and expeditions.

Spanish Empire

1402 - 1975

The Spanish empire was the first to challenge the Portuguese concerning the matter of Indian Ocean trade. Establish settlement in the Philippines. Established a Colonial rule not a trading post state like the Portuguese. Controlled the bulk of the silver trade in the global network.

Portuguese Empire

1415 - 1999

The Portuguese empire was the first European empire to take power in the Indian Ocean. The Portuguese established trading post empires unlike the British and the Dutch and Spain creating Colonial establishments. The Portuguese however were not able to compete with the Muslim powers present in the Indian Ocean and ultimately lost power, especially when other European forces came into the picture.

Bartolomeu Dias

1457 - 1500

Portuguese explorer. He was the first European to sail around Africa's Cape of Good Hope creating a better link and trade system between Europe and Asia.

Vasco Nunez de Balboa

1457 - 1519

Balboa, inspired by Christopher Columbus, was the first Spanish Explorer to come in contact with the Eastern Shore of the Paciic Ocean. 1510 Balboa becomes governor of Darein and thus was able to advance through out South America and voyage to the Pacific. In 1513 Balboa was in search of gold and later reached the Pacific! 1519, balboa was killed because he was accused of treason by king Ferdinand of Spain.

Vasco de Gama

1460 - 1524

Portugal Explorer in search of a route to the East (India). De Gama reached India and encountered taxation in Calicut, India and was told to force over all his goods. De Gama refused and left India with Indian hostages! Returned to Portugal 1499 and then again left to Portugal under King Manuel I of Portugal with a more violent approach towards Muslim to prove Portugal dominance.

Ferdinand Magellan

1480 - 1521

Portuguese explorer. First European explorer to sail around the world. Unfortunately Magellan did not make it though the entire journey. Named the Pacific Ocean after Peace and serrenity!

Columbian Exchange


Global exchange of animal, plants, ideas, culture, human population, slaves and disease. Followed the voyage of Christopher Columbus.

Christopher Columbus

1492 - 1506

Columbus in 1492 sailed for King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella in search of a route to India through the Atlantic Ocean. Instead of reaching India Columbus hit the Carribean. Columbus died 1506.

Joint Stock Companies

1520 - Present

Earliest Joint-Stock Company apparent in the 1520s'. Joint-Stock Companies worked like investments and helped those not lose as much money if a transfer were not to fully succeed. First appeared in the Dutch and British empires.

East Indian Company

1600 - 1874

The British trade company. Less financed and commercially centered than the Dutch trading company. 3 major settlement in India consist of Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras. Focused on the trade of cotton textiles. The Dutch also an East Indian Company had more finances than the British and were more concerned with the Merchant fleet.

The British Empire

1603 - 1949

The British focused on cargo. The British expeditions were not nearly as funded as other European empires. The British established colonial settlements. The British gained territory in Muhgal India as Aurangzeb politically destroyed Muhgal India. The British take hold of Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras in India.

7 years' war

1754 - 1763

Considered to be a world war as many empires across the world fought. War between Great Britain and the Burbouns from Spain and France as well as Hohenzollerns and Habsburgs in the Holy Roman Empire. Resulted in treaty of Paris, Hamburg, St. Petersburg, and Hubertusburg.

Early Modern Europe

Holy Roman Empire

962 - 1806

The Holy Roman Empire was not holy, not roman, and not an empire. The HRE claimed to be an extension of the Western Roman Empire after its fall.

The Spanish Inquisition

1481 - 1834

The Spanish Inquisition under the ruling of Ferdinand II and Isabella that the Orthodoxy of Spain stay the same. Later Muslims and Jews were posed with converting or leaving.

Henry VIII

1491 - 1547

Henry VIII was the king of England during the Protestant Reformation. A devout Catholic, Henry VIII created church of England creating Anglican denomination so he could divorce his first wife. Henry VIII married multiple women and his children were Edward, Mary, and Elizabeth.

Niccolo Machiavelli

1498 - 1527

Machiavelli most famous for his book The Prince, published after losing his title as Second Chancery of Florence. The Prince described that a ruler must be strict as no ruler can rule effectively if he is both loved and feared and that a ruler should look for the affairs of his empire not his personal gain.

Nicolaus Copernicus

1513 - 1543

Renaissance mathematician/astronomer who created the Heliocentric model of the Universe placing the Sun at the center of the universe instead of the Earth.

Protestant Reformation

1517 - 1648

Started with the posting of the 95 theses by Martin Luther. The Protestant Reformation led to further division from the catholic church and creation of new christian denominations (Lutheranism and Calvinism).

Martin Luther

1517 - 1546

Martin Luther was the main person involved with the begining of the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther posted the 95 theses proclaiming his concerns about the Roman Catholic church. 1521 Luther refused to recant his writings at the diet of worms as was excommunicated by the pope and outlawed by the emperor.

Elizabeth I

1533 - 1603

Elizabeth, a protestant, came to the thrown after the death of her sister Mary. Elizabeth came to power when England was broken. Elizabeth pulled the pieces together and created the golden age of England during her reign.


1534 - 1582

First and most powerful daimyo to unify China. He was very brutal and was murdered by one of his generals.

John Calvin

1536 - 1564

Protestant reformer in France later giving rise to strict reformed doctrines of Christianity later called Calvinism. Calvinism influenced the Protestant reformation in Switzerland, France, the Netherlands, and Scotland.

Ignatius Loyola

1539 - 1556

Loyola was a religious leader during the counter reformation in Spain. Loyola created the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and was a Catholic himself.

Council of Trent

1545 - 1563

The Council of Trent helped reform the Catholic church during the Catholic reformation. The Council of Trent decided what Protestant heresies were and thus the church decided who was to be condemned under the ruling of the most important council of the church.

Catholic Reformation

1545 - 1648

The Catholic Reformation started with the formation of the Council of Trent in 1545 and the end of the 30 years war. The Catholic reformation gave more education to the pope and the clergy, stopped the selling of indulgences, and led the bible to be the word of god with the exception that it be interpreted through the pope. The catholic reformation was used as an attempt to stop the spread of the Protestant reformation and get people back in the catholic church.

Galileo Galilei

1588 - 1642

Galileo was an Italian philosopher, scientist, mathematician and astronomer. Galileo is credited with the title of "father of science." Galileo, with a telescope, discovered that the moon and planets were made of matter and also discovered that the planets revolved around the sun.

The French Empire

1605 - 1803

Thomas Hobbes

1640 - 1679

Hobbes wrote the Social Contract. His book describes a system of government very similar to Chinese legalism with the power residing in an absolute monarch. Hobbes believed all humans had an underlying tone of evil therefore required a very strict ruling.

Louis XIV

1661 - 1715

King Louis XIV of France, also referred to as the Sun king, was the longest ruling monarch of French history. Louis sought to rid France of feudalism while representing an absolute monarch.

John Locke

1671 - 1704

Locke gave birth to the pre-modern idea of liberalism. Locke's political reformation ideas inspired many such as Voltaire and the United States declaration of independence . Locke's idea of Tubula Rosa explains how characteristics are learned through environment.


1700 - 1800

Main focus was to turn the point of thinking to Reason. The Enlightenment did not encourage the disproving the church but many new ideas challenge the previous ideas of the church causing yet another division within the church.


1718 - 1778

Francois Aroueot most commonly referred to as Voltaire was an advocate for freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the separation from the Catholic church. Voltaire was a French enlightenment writer, philosopher, and historian.

The Russian Empire

1721 - 1917

The Russian empire expansion was aided by the trade of furs gained in Siberia. Russia expanded not only for furs, but also a a safety precaution to prevent neighboring people from invading their territory. Russias expansion was also aided by their extremely clever usage of rivers. Russia was mainly Christain Orthodox and modeled itself after the Byzantine Empire.

Jean-Jacques Rosseau

1742 - 1788

Genevan Philosopher, writer, and composer involved mainly in pre-modern romanticism. Rosseau during the French revolution wrote romantic fiction and composed numerous successful operas. Rosseau was a part of the Huegonot republic and a renounced Calvinist.

Adam Smith

1748 - 1790

Smith was a Scottish economists arguing the fact that self interested capitalism was the best for society as a whole.

Peter/Catherine the Great

1762 - 1796

Catherine the Great, married to Peter III of Russia, was the longest ruling empress of Russia. Catherine began modernizing Russia with still very high rate of Serfs. After Catherine's death, her husband, Peter III, became emperor of Russia and set Russia's path to Westernization.

Colonial Americas

Aztec empire

1428 - 1521

Spanish conquest 1519-1521. The Aztec empire was located in Mesoamerica in Mexico. The Aztecs conquered for subjects to include in their religious ceremonies of human sacrifice.

Inca Empire

1438 - 1533

Located in the Andean Mountain range, the Inca Empire had no large animals able to be domesticated, professional army and a bureaucracy. 1532-1540 was the Spanish conquest.


1440 - 1469

Montezuma was the fifth Aztec emperor and king of Tenochtitlan. During Montezuma's reign the Aztec empire consolidated and rapidly expanded.

Treaty of Tordesillas

June 7, 1494

Divided the New World between Spain and Portugal.

Hernan Cortes

1506 - 1547

Spanish conquistador that led the expedition that put an end to the Aztec empire.

Francisco Pizarro

1509 - 1541

Pizarro conquered the Inca empire during the reign of Atahualpa. Pizarro, an illiterate man, was a distant cousin of Cortes and sailed with the famous explorer Vasco de Balboa.


1532 - 1533

Atahualpa was the last Incan Emperor of the Inca Empire. His reign was a little more than a year and ended due to Francisco Pizzaro and his Spanish conquest ultimatley ending the Inca empire.


May 14, 1607

Established as first permanent English settlement in North America.



French Colony in Quebec established.

Early Modern Africa

Triangle Trade

1450 - 1750

Triangular shaped trade during the transatlantic slave trade linking the Carribean, the Americas, and Africa.

Sunni Ali

1464 - 1492

Ali was the first king of the Songhay empire. Under Ali's rule, Songhay captured Timbuktu and was a devote Muslim.

The Songhay Empire

1464 - 1591

The Songhay empire was the largest empire in West Africa and was formed by Emperor Sunni Ali. During his reign Timbuktu became a major cultural center and drew on education in the Islamic world.


1600 - 1800

The displacement of people around the world, such as the transatlantic slave trade.

Early Modern Eastern Asia


772 - 841

Most apparent during the end of the Tang Dynasty and the beginning of the Song Dynasty. Neo-Confucianism was slightly influenced by Daoism and Buddhism.

The Ming Dynasty

1368 - 1644

The Ming dynasty was Chinas recovery from the Mongol rule. Chinas goal was to rechinafy china and by doing so; China planted nearly 1 billion trees, redoing the civil service exams, power again held under the emperor, and rebuilding the infastructure.

Zheng He

1405 - 1433

Chinese mariner. Zheng He led expeditions through out the Indian Ocean bringing gifts and receiving tribute from the places he traveled to.

The Forbidden City


HUGE Chinese Imperial Palace constructed in the Ming Dynasty. The Imperial Palace is located in Beijing, China and is still able to be seen today!

Matteo Ricci

1582 - 1610

An Italian Jesuit. Ricci set himself in China and searched for Converts.

Tokugawa Shogunate

1600 - 1868

The Tokugawa Shogunate unified Japan and forbade Japanese from traveling abroad. The Japanese did not allow European interaction with exception of the Dutch because they were not as focused as recruiting converts.

Tokugawa Ieyasu

1600 - 1616

The 15th shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate in Japan. Main focus was to solidify the shogunate. Ieyasu brings the Daimyos under control, and ultimately unifies Japan. Holds to the idea of "we will teach."

"Dutch Learning"

1641 - 1854

The interaction between Japan and the Dutch when Japan was closed off to foreign encounters. The Japanese learned Western European technology from the Dutch allowing japan to grow a technological base.

The Qing Dynasty

1644 - 1912

The Qing Dynasty was Chinas last Imperial dynasty.


1661 - 1722

Kangxi was the longest ruling emperor in Chinese history. Kangxi ruled during the Qing empire. Kangxi blocked Russian invaders and increased literacy.


1735 - 1796

Qianlong, the grandson of Kangxi, suppressed scholars and burnt nearly 2,500 books. Qianlong was very interested in European art and architecture.

Muslim "Gunpowder Empires"

The Ottoman Empire

1299 - 1923

The Ottoman empire was founded by Osman Bey. The Ottomans were Sunni Muslim and conquered Constantinople through the ruling of Mehmed II. The Ottomans had their golden age under Suleyman I. The Ottomans had a great Navy and conquered land in the Middle East.

Mehmed II

1444 - 1481

Conquered Constantinople and ended the Byzantine empire.



1453 the Ottoman Turks gained Constantinople under the rule of Mehmed II.

The Safavid Empire

1501 - 1736

Located between two Sunni Muslim empires, The Safavid empire controlled the land of what use to be the Persian empire. The Safavid empire was a Shia Muslim state, a very rare encounter.

Shah Ismail

1501 - 1524

Founder of the Safavid empire. Tried to force everyone to convert to Shia Islam.

Battle of Chaldrian


Battle between the Ottoman Turks and the Safavid empire. The Ottomans ultimately won the battle. The battle took place because of Shah Ismail's attempt to convert everyone to the Shia form of Islam.

Suleiman I

1520 - 1566

Built up the Ottoman military, encouraged the development of the arts, and tried to push into Europe through Hungary. Suleiman I created the golden age of the Ottoman empire.

The Muhgal Empire

1526 - 1857

The Muhgal empire was a mix of both Muslim culture and Hindu culture. Under the rule of Akbar, Hindus were given religious toleration and were allowed to practice Hinduism without the imposed Jizya tax. Akbar was the golden age of the Muhgal Empire. When Aurangzeb came to power religious toleration went away and the Muhgal empire fell allowing British forces to take over.


1556 - 1605

Unified India during the Muhgal empire as he provided religious toleration,eliminated Jizya tax, eliminated sati, and improved roles of women. The Muhgal empires golden age was during the reign of Akbar.