Zheng He

1405 - 1423

Lead major expiditons for exploraation and trade in the Ming dynasty through the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, and the Persian Gulf.

Prince Henry the Navigator


Portuguese royal prince, soldier, and patron of explorers. Prince Henry started the first school for oceanic navigation along with an astronomical observatory at Sagres, Portugal.

Mehmed II

1444 - 1481

Mehmed the Conqueror was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. He conquered Constantinople and brought an end to the Byzantine Empire.

Johannes Gutenberg


The German inventor developed a method of printing from movable type. He printed the first book with movable type, the “Forty-Two-Line” Bible.

Sunni Ali

1464 - 1492

He was the first king of the Songhai Empire, located in west Africa and the 15th ruler of the Sonni dynasty.


1466 - 1520

He was the last Aztec emperors and was defeated by Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés in 1520.

Niccolo Machiavelli

May 03, 1469 - June 21, 1527

He wrote The Prince, a handbook for unscrupulous politicians that inspired the term "machiavellian."

Francis Pizzaro

1474 - 1541

Spanish conquistador and explorer, Francisco Pizarro conquered the Incas and founded Lima, the capital of modern-day Peru.

Martin Luther

1483 - 1546

Attacked the sale of indulgences in the Catholic church. He called for a reform with the 95 Theses in 1517.

Hernán Cortés

1485 - 1547

He was a Spanish conquistador who odefeated the Aztec empire and took Mexico for the crown of Spain.

Bartolomeu Dias


In 1488, Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias (c. 1450-1500) became the first European mariner to round the southern tip of Africa, opening the way for a sea route from Europe to Asia.

Christopher Colombus


The Spanish explorer, governor, and conquistador’s first voyage into the Atlantic Ocean in 1476 nearly cost him his life. Columbus participated in several other expeditions to Africa. 1492, Columbus left Spain in the Santa Maria, with the Pinta and the Niña and sailed to the Americas

Vasco da Gama


In 1497, he was appointed to command an expedition equipped by the Portuguese government, whose intention was to find a maritime route to the East.


1502 - 1533

He was the last Inca ruler who was executed by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro that marked the end of the Inca empire.

Shah Ismail

1502 - 1524

He founded the Safavid dynasty and made the Shia as the state religion.

John Calvin

July 10, 1509 - May 27, 1564

French convert to Protestantism who Created Calvinism organized model Protestant community in Geneva in the 1530's.

Vasco de Balboa


He led the first European expedition to the Pacific Ocean for Spain. Explored the coast of present day Colombia and stayed on island of Hispaniola.

Ferdinand Magellan

1519 - 1521

Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan led the first European voyage of discovery to circumnavigate the globe for Spain.


1520 - 1566

Known as the "Law Giver" and "Suleyman the Magnificent", he expanded the empire and was a poet.

Ignatius Loyola


Founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). Became effective advisors and missionaries world wide.

Akbar the Great

1542 - 1605

Muslim emperor of India, established kingdom through military conquests, but is known for his policy of religious tolerance.

Nicolaus Copernicus


He suggested that the sun was the center of the universe and that Earth was just another planet.

Mateeo Ricci

1552 - 1610

Joined the Societ of Jesus (Jesuits). He was a traveler and studyied mathematics and astronomy.

Galileo Galilei

February 15, 1564 - January 08, 1642

Galileo was an Italian scientist who led the Scientific Revolution, proposing the then controversial idea of Copernicanism, the idea that earth orbits the sun.

Tokugawa Ieyasu


Started the Tokugawa Shogunate that brought some centralized authority to Japan. They rules from the city of Edo.

John Locke

August 29, 1632 - October 28, 1704

He was an English philosopher who during the Enlightment. He suggested that all human knowledge comes from sense perceptions.

Thomas Hobbes

1642 - 1651

English philosopher in the 17th century, was famous for his book Leviathan (1651) and his political views on society. Believed Man is not by nature a social animal, society could not exist except by the power of the state.

Louis XIV

May 14, 1643 - September 1, 1715

The Sun King led an absolute monarchy during France’s classical age and revoked the Edict of Nantes. Succeded his faher to the thrown at four years old.


1654 - 1722

Emperor of the Qing Dynasty who's reign brought about long-term stability and relative wealth after years of war and chaos. He controlled all of China proper, Taiwan, Manchuria, part of the Russian Far East Mongolia, Tibet proper, and Joseon Korea as a protectorate.


1694 - 1778

French Philosophe, champion of religious liberty and individual freedom. He was a prolific writer and satirists. He wrote some seventy volumes in life.

Peter the Great

1696 - 1725

He was a Russian czar in the late 17th century, who had for extensive reforms in an attempt to establish Russia as a great nation. He married Catherine the Great and apparently hated her.



He was the emperor of China and an ideal Confucian ruler during the height of the Qing dynasty.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau


Jean-Jacques Rousseau was an influential philosopher who wrote the acclaimed work A Discourse on the Arts and Sciences in 1750.

Catherine the Great

December 25, 1761 - 1796

She was empress of Russia, andtook her country into the political and cultural life of Europe, after her husband, Peter the Great, died.

Adam Smith


Scottish social philosopher and political economist. Wrote The Wealth of Nations and achieved the first comprehensive system of political economy.



1450 - 1750

Developed into absolute monarchies, or governments in which the king held all power. Newfound wealth from trade using the Manila Galleons and silver.


1450 - 1750

Portuguese exploration was encouraged and fully supported by Prince Henry the Navigator and Portugal had previous trade relations with many Muslim countries. The power of the Portugeuse began to dwindle.


1450 - 1750

British government formed partnerships with trading companies, and was most interested in profits.


1450 - 1750

Enhanced state treasuries by direct taxes, fines, and fees. Had state power enlarged and more centralized with standing army. Model of royal absolutism.

Holy Roman Empire

1450 - 1750

The Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) devastated the region and weakened the power of Holy Roman emperors. Peace of Westphalia (1648) took away nearly all power of HRE and affirmed the independence of small German states, Prussia becoming the strongest.


1450 - 1750

A tribute empire that had the mita system, where its subjects provided labor for goverment cotrolled lands. The Incas mastered the intergration of diverse peoples within thier empire.


1450 - 1750

The first Tsars expanded power and the growing Russian empire into Siberia and Central Asia. They worked to gain power over the boyarsand to create a strong central government. Romanov Dynasty started in 1613.


1450 - 1750

The Ming dynasty expelled the Mongols and scholar-gentry was restored. The Confucian-based civil service exam was reinstated and expanded. Neo-Confucianism supported strict obidience to the state.


1450 - 1750

The Aztecs established a tribute empire after conquering its neighbors. The society was stratified with class nobles, peasants, and slaves. Also organized into clans(calpulli). economy based on market place under goverment regulation.


1450 - 1750

Used Islamic practices and Islam as an invaluable instrument for political and cultural control. Extended Songhay’s frontiers across the middle Niger to include Mali, and eastward to the Hausalands.

Ottoman Empire

1450 - 1750

The Ottomans established an empire around Anatolia. After the conquest of Constantinople, they united most of the Arab world and in the fifteenth century became a great naval power. The Ottoman empire focused on warfare using Janassaries.


1501 - 1736

The empire's rulers were Muslim,butthe Safavid Empire used religion differently to promote order and stability within its realm. Shah Ismail I succeeded in establishing religious unity among most of his subjects by encouraging their conversion to the Shi'a sect of Islam.

Mughal Empire

1526 - 1857

Superior gunpowder technology used to conquer a large portion of northern India. The strain between the Muslims and Hindus and the warfare and defense efforts led to it's decline. Its centralized government broke down and led to numerous political organizations.

Tokugawa Shogunate

1603 - 1868

The Tokugawa family brought a degree of centralized authority to Japan and broke up many large estates of the daimyo.

Qing Dynasty

1644 - 1911

China was ruled by the Manchus, a tribe of foreigners from northeastern China. The Qing Dynasty adopted the form of government used during the Ming Dynasty with only minor adjustments. They maintained their domination of the Chinese while preserving their own identity.



1368 - 1644

A philosophy that blended Confucianism with Buddhism and Daoism. Reintroduced with the the Ming China Dynasty.

Forbidden City

1407 - 1420

A walled section of Beijing that encloses the palace that was formerly the residence of the emperor of China.

Joint-stock company

1450 - 1750

Brought together many investors to minimize the risks and costs of investments giving way to exploration. It was privately held, with government support. Shares were bought by individuals and the shared investment was used to buy ships/finance trade. Two examples were the Dutch East India Company, which had a monopoly over spice trade and the English East India company.

Columbian Exchange

1450 - 1750

The Columbian Exchange was a sea trade connecting the “Old World” and the “New World”. Food and animals were traded across the Atlantic, along with people, diseases, and weapons.


1450 - 1750

It was a time of the Science and thinkers of natural law. It weakend the influence of organizede religion and ecouraged secular values based on reason rather than revelation.

Triangle Trade

1450 - 1750

A three way system of trade in which Africa sent slaves to America; America sent raw materials to Europe; and Europe sent guns and rum to Africa.


1450 - 1750

The forced removal of Africans from their homeland to serve as slaves in the Americas.

East India Company

1450 - 1750

Both the Dutch and the English organized private trading companies to handle Indian Ocean trade. They displaced the Portuguese and competed with each other. Dutch and English also became involved in “carrying trade” within Asia.

Constantinople --> Ottomans


The Ottomans seized Canstantinople and ended the Byzantine Empire.

Spanish Inquisition

1478 - 1834

It was intended to discover secret Muslims and Jews. Used by the Spanish monarchy to detect Protestant heresy and politiacl dissidents.

Treaty of Tordesillas

June 7, 1494

Divided the newly discovered lands outside Europe between the Spanish and the Portuguese along a north-south meridian west of the Cape Verde islands (off the west coast of Africa).

Battle of Chaldiran


Battle in northern Persia between Sunni and Shi'a forces.The Safavids were defeated and started the westward advance of Shi'ism and decimated the ranks of the Turkic warriors who had built the Safavid empire.

Protestant Reformation


Started by Martin LUther when he wrote the 95 theses and attacked the Catholic Churchs sale of indulgences. The movement was widespread in Germany; many churches reformed their services to reflect Protestant doctrine.

Council of Trent

1545 - 1563

The directed reform of the Catholic Church. 1. The Pope stays the final authority 2. The Bible is also the final authority 3. The clergy needed to be educated 4. The Society of Jesuits was founded

Catholic (Counter) Reformation

1545 - 1563

Response of the CAtholic Church to the Protestant Reformation. Reformation decided with the Council of Trent. Created The Scociety of Jesuits.



First permanent English settlement in the Americas along the James river.


July 3, 1608

Founded by navigator and explorer Samuel de Champlain. Set up as a trading post city.

Dutch Learning


Japans contacts with the Dutch to keep informed about Western Developments.

Seven Years War

1756 - 1763

Started with commercial rivalries that had developed from European exploration and desire to establish trading posts in the Americas and Asia. Britain eventually dominated global trade and used this to create a global empire.