APWH Timeline

Period 1

Beginnings-500 BCE

First Agricultural Breakthrough

9000 BCE - 7000 BCE

Fertile Crescent

Neolithic Age

8000 BCE - 2200 BCE

New Stone Age
Named for its characteristic stone tool
Era of the Agricultural Revolution

Agricultural Revolution

8000 BCE - 2000 BCE

The transition from foraging to farming
Also known as the Neolithic Revolution

Beginning of Mesopotamian civilization

3500 BCE

Unification of Egypt

3100 BCE

Indo-European migrations

3000 BCE - 1000 BCE

Beginnings of Bantu migrations

2000 BCE

Beginnings of Indus Valley and Chinese civilizations

2000 BCE

Shang Dynasty

1766 BCE - 1122 BCE

The earliest Chinese dynasty that left written records
Knowledge of bronze metallurgy and iron working

Beginnings of Olmec civiliation

1000 BCE

Period 2

500 BCE-500 CE

Zhou Dynasty

1029 BCE - 258 BCE

Claimed the mandate of heaven
Further centralized the Chinese government
Standardized the spoken language

Era of Greek city-states

800 BCE - 336 BCE

Buddha's lifetime

563 BCE - 483 BCE

Originated in India
Founded by Gautama (Buddha)
Opposed the caste system
Carried from India by merchants

Achaemenid dynasty

553 BCE - 330 BCE

Middle East/Persia

Confucius' lifetime

551 BCE - 479 BCE

A belief system that created order after the fall of the Zhou
Stressed education, good government, and filial piety
Defined Chinese culture

Persian Empire

550 BCE - 330 BCE

Tolerance toward the customs of conquered peoples
Royal Road
Trade and cultural exchange with Greece

Founding of the Roman Republic

509 BCE

Political fragmentation in China

500 BCE - 221 BCE

Age of "warring states"

Greco-Persian Wars

500 BCE - 479 BCE

Lifetimes of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle

470 BCE - 332 BCE

A model of Greek thought
Constructed arguments through the use of logic
Wrote on a variety of subjects in politics, art, and science


400 BCE - 300 BCE

A belief system of China
Adapted the concepts of yin and yang
Understanding comes from following a life force, The Way
Retreat into nature

Decline of Olmec civilization

400 BCE

Seleucid dynasty

383 BCE - 323 BCE


Reign of Alexander the Great

336 BCE - 323 BCE

Unified Greek and Persian culture
Reached the Indian subcontinent (327 BCE) as far as the Indus River, where he set up a border state called Bactria

Invasion of Alexander the Great

334 BCE

Hellenistic Age

323 BCE - 30 BCE

The era in which Greek culture blended with Persian and other Eastern influences throughout the former empire of Alexander the Great

Mauryan dynasty

321 BCE - 185 BCE

The first rulers to unify most of the Indian subcontinent
Encouraged trade
Spread Buddhism

Reign of Ashoka

268 BCE - 232 BCE

India during the Mauryan dynasty

Parthian dynasty

247 BCE - 224 BCE

Middle East/Persia

Qin dynasty

221 BCE - 206 BCE

Gave China its name
Began the Great Wall
Standardized the written language
Encouraged the manufacture of silk

Han dynasty

206 BCE - 220 CE

Beginning of the Chinese civil service exam
Silk Road trade
Paper manufacture
A time of peace
Strong patriarchy
Decline of Han China:
Poor harvests
Epidemic disease
Moral decline
Weak emperors
Unequal land distribution
Decline in trade
Barbarian invasions

High point of Roman Empire

200 BCE - 200 CE

Pax Romana

0 CE - 200 CE

The Roman Peace
The period of prosperity and stability throughout the Roman Empire

Spread of Buddhism begins in China

200 CE - 300 CE

Carried from India by merchants
Buddhist monasteries served as lodging for traders

Early cities/states in West Africa

200 CE - 500 CE

Sassanid dynasty

224 CE - 651 CE

Middle East/Persia

Mayan civilization

300 CE - 800 CE

"The Greeks of the Americas"
Pictograph writing
Value of zero as a placeholder
Predicted eclipses
Quetzalcoatl legend

Moche civilization

300 CE - 700 CE


Introduction of Christianity in Axum

300 CE - 400 CE

Beginning of trans-Saharan trade

300 CE

Principal route in classical times
Use of the camel and the camel saddle
Early trade in salt and palm oil
Supplied Rome with wild animals

Gupta dynasty

320 CE - 550 CE

Development of the decimal system
Smallpox inoculation
Sterilization during surgery
Deterioration in the status of women
Decline of Gupta Empire:
Invasions of nomads
Gupta rule already in decline
Local princes became more powerful
Traditional Indian culture continued
Buddhism weakened

Christianity as official state religion of the Roman Empire

380 CE

High point of Teotihuacan

400 CE - 600 CE

Byzantine Empire

476 CE - 1453 CE

Eastern part of the Roman Empire
Thrived as a center of trade routes
Center of art and architecture
Fell in 1453 to the Ottoman Turks

Collapse of western Roman Empire

476 CE

Decline of Rome:
Ineffective emperors
Decline of trade
Epidemic disease
Poor harvests
Unequal land distribution
Moral decay
Barbarian invasions

Sui dynasty

589 CE - 618 CE

Reunites China

Umayyad Caliphate

661 CE - 750 CE

Capital at Damascus
An empire that emphasized Arabic ethnicity more than adherence to Islam
Respect for Jews and Christians as People of the Book

Period 3

500 CE-1500 CE

Middle Ages

500 CE - 1500 CE

Justinian rules Byzantine Empire

527 CE - 565 CE

Muhammad's lifetime

570 CE - 632 CE

Tang Dynasty

618 CE - 907 CE

Protected trade and travel
Land redistribution
Gunpowder invented
Tea and fast-growing rice imported from Vietnam

Quran compiled

650 CE - 660 CE

Emergence of Shia Islam

656 CE

Withdrawal of Chinese military forces from Korea

688 CE

Abbasid Caliphate

750 CE - 1258 CE

Capital at Baghdad
Welcomed converts to Islam
Preserved Greco-Roman learning
Achievements in science, mathematics

High point of Abbasid dynasty

750 CE - 900 CE

Emergence of Sufism

800 CE - 1000 CE

Charlemagne crowned as new "Roman emperor"

800 CE

Suppression of Buddhism in China

845 CE

Collapse of Maya civilization

850 CE

First printed book in China

868 CE


900 CE - 1250 CE

The Americas

Vietnam establishes independence from China

939 CE

Flourishing of Toltec civilization

950 CE - 1150 CE

Song Dynasty

960 CE - 1279 CE

Movable type
Magnetic compass
Foot binding among elite classes
Flame-throwers and rocket launchers
Landscape paintings

Conversion of Kievan Rus to Christianity

988 CE

High Middle Ages

1000 CE - 1400 CE

Gothic architecture
Centralized monarchies
Growth of banking

New monarchies in Western Europe

1000 CE - 1200 CE

Gunpowder invented in China

1000 CE

Launching of First Crusade

1095 CE

Crusaders seize Jerusalem

1099 CE

Delhi Sultanate in India

1206 CE - 1526 CE

Muslim rule of northern India
Appealed to some Buddhists, members of lower Hindu castes, and untouchables

Mongol Peace

1250 CE - 1350 CE

The time period in which the Mongols ensured the safety of Eurasian trade and travel

Mongols sack Baghdad

1258 CE

Marco Polo goes to China

1266 CE

Yuan Dynasty

1271 CE - 1368 CE

Name given to the Mongol rule of China
Religious toleration
Welcomed foreign scholars and artisans
Chinese local officials

Mongol rule in China

1279 CE - 1368 CE

Ibn Battuta's travels

1325 CE - 1352 CE

Black Death

1348 CE - 1350 CE

European name for the outbreak of the bubonic plague that spread across Asia, Europe, and North Africa

Ming dynasty

1368 CE - 1644 CE

Return to Chinese tradition
Thought control
Zheng He voyages
Interest in Western technology

Portuguese voyages along West African coast

1400 CE - 1500 CE

Aztec Empire established

1400 CE

Ming dynasty maritime expeditions in the Indian Ocean

1405 CE - 1433 CE

Massive expeditions into the Indian Ocean to display glories of the Middle Kingdom
Traded porcelain

Inca Empire established

1450 CE

Turks conquer Constantinople

1453 CE

Ottoman Empire conquers Constantinople

1453 CE

Civil war in Japan

1467 CE - 1568 CE

Arrival of Columbus in the Caribbean

1492 CE

Columbus crosses the Atlantic

1492 CE

Spanish conquest of Aztecs and Incas

1520 CE - 1530 CE

Mughal Empire established in India

1526 CE

Gunpowder empire
control of northern and central India
Cooperation between Hindus and Muslims
Decline of its power opened doors for the British in India

Period 4

1450 CE-1750 CE


1400 CE - 1600 CE

The revival of learning in Europe

Portuguese maritime voyages

1400 CE - 1500 CE

Withdrawal of Chinese fleet from Indian Ocean

1433 CE

Beginnings of Atlantic slave trade

1441 CE

Ottoman conquest of Constantinople

1453 CE

Songhay Empire

1464 CE - 1591 CE

West Africa

Columbian Exchange

1492 CE

The exchange of food crops, livestock, and disease between the Eastern and Western Hemispheres after the voyages of Columbus

Treaty of Tordesillas divides New World between Spain and Portugal

1494 CE

Vasco da Gama arrives in India

1498 CE

Christian-Muslim conflict in Ethiopia

1500 CE - 1530 CE

Safavid Empire in Persia

1501 CE - 1722 CE

Benin begins to restrict slave trade

1516 CE

Protestant Reformation

1517 CE

Movement begun by Martin Luther to reform beliefs and practices of the Roman Catholic Church
Produced new Christian denominations

Beginnings of Protestant Reformation

1517 CE

Spanish conquest of Aztec Empire

1519 CE - 1521 CE

Spanish conquest of Aztec Empire

1519 CE - 1521 CE

Reign of Ottoman emperor Suleiman

1520 CE - 1566 CE

Flourishing of Mughal Empire

1526 CE - 1707 CE

Ottoman siege of Vienna

1529 CE

Spanish conquest of Inca Empire

1532 CE - 1540 CE

Conflict between Ottoman and Safavid Empires

1534 CE - 1639 CE

Discovery of silver near Potosi

1541 CE

Copernicus publishes heliocentric view of the universe

1543 CE

Russian expansion across Siberia begins

1550 CE

Reign of Mughal emperor Akbar

1556 CE - 1605 CE

Spanish takeover of Philippines begins

1565 CE

British and Dutch East India companies begin operations in Asia

1600 CE - 1602 CE

Scientific Revolution

1600 CE - 1700 CE

A European intellectual movement in the seventeenth century that established the basis for modern science

European missionaries expelled from Japan

1600 CE

Tokugawa Shogunate established in Japan

1603 CE

Brought a degree of centralized authority to Japan
Ruled from Edo (present-day Tokyo)
Persecution of Christians
Ban on most trade

First permanent English settlement in North America

1607 CE

Jamestown, VA

French colony in Quebec established

1608 CE

Thirty Years' War

1618 CE - 1648 CE

Isaac Newton's lifetime

1642 CE - 1727 CE

Ming/Qing transition in China

1644 CE

Establishment of Dutch settlement in South Africa

1652 CE

Wars of Islamic renewal in West Africa

1670 CE - 1820 CE

Peter the Great begins Westernization of Russia

1682 CE - 1725 CE

Second Ottoman siege of Vienna

1683 CE

Ottoman decline

1699 CE - 1792 CE

Corrupt rulers
Strengthened military power of Christians and other Muslims
Effects of European inflation
Reliance on outdated technology

European Enlightenment

1700 CE - 1800 CE

Atlantic slave trade peaks

1700 CE - 1800 CE

High point of plantation system and slave trade

1700 CE - 1800 CE

Fragmentation of Mughal empire

1707 CE - 1800 CE

Chinese territorial expansion in Inner Asia

1750 CE - 1760 CE

American Revolution

1775 CE - 1783 CE

Period 5

1750 CE-1914 CE

Westernization of Russia

1700 CE - 1800 CE

Undertaken by Peter the Great and Catherine the Great
Appreciation for Western technology
Ballet introduced
Some Enlightenment ideas


1700 CE - 1800 CE

In eighteenth-century Europe, a philosophical movement based on reason
Stressed education to improve humankind and society

Wahhabi movement of Islamic renewal in Arabia

1740 CE - 1818 CE

Beginnings of British takeover in India

1750 CE - 1760 CE

American Revolution

1775 CE - 1783 CE

Declaration of Independence

1776 CE

Declared the independence of the United States of America from Britain
Modeled after the political philosophy of John Locke

Beginnings of British Industrial Revolution

1780 CE - 1790 CE

The transition between the domestic system of manufacturing and the mechanization of production in a factory setting

Beginnings of antislavery movement

1780 CE - 1790 CE

Simon Bolivar's lifetime

1783 CE - 1830 CE

US Constitutional Convention

1787 CE

Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen

1789 CE

A statement of political rights adopted by the French National Assembly during the French Revolution

French Revolution

1789 CE - 1799 CE

Haitian Revolution

1791 CE - 1803 CE

Chinese rejection of British rejection of British request for open trade

1793 CE

Reign of Terror

1793 CE - 1794 CE

The period of the most extreme violence during the French Revolution

Napoleon's invasion of Egypt

1798 CE

Reign of Napoleon

1799 CE - 1814 CE

Louisiana Purchase


Reign of Muhammad Ali in Egypt

1805 CE - 1848 CE

Latin American wars of Independence

1810 CE - 1825 CE

Rise of Zulu kingdom in South Africa

1815 CE - 1817 CE

Famines and rebellions in Japan

1830 CE - 1840 CE

French invasion of Algeria

1830 CE

First Opium War

1838 CE - 1842 CE

War between Britain and China
Began with Qing dynasty's refusal to allow continued opium importation into China

Tanzimat reforms in Ottoman Empire

1839 CE - 1876 CE

Designed to make the government and military more efficient

Treaty of Nanking

1842 CE

Ended the Opium War
Ceded Hong Kong to the British

Mexican-American War

1845 CE - 1848 CE

Women Right's Convention

1848 CE

Seneca Falls, New York

Publication of the Communist Manifesto

1848 CE

Written by Karl Marx

California Gold Rush

1849 CE

Taiping uprising in China

1850 CE - 1864 CE

Beginning of railroad building in Cuba, Chile, and Brazil

1850 CE - 1860 CE

High point of East African slave trade

1850 CE - 1860 CE

Indian mutiny/rebellion

1857 CE - 1858 CE

French conquest of Indochina

1858 CE - 1893 CE

Self-Strengthening Movement

1861 CE - 1895 CE

Movement in which the Chinese modernized their army and encouraged Western investment in factories and railways

US Civil War

1861 CE - 1865 CE

Emancipation of serfs in Russia

1861 CE

Dominion of Canada established

1867 CE


Meiji restoration in Japan

1868 CE

The restoration of the Meiji emperor
Beginning of a program of industrialization and centralization of Japan

Opening of Suez Canal

1869 CE

Canal constructed by Egypt across the Isthmus of Suez

First school for girls in Mexico

1869 CE

Unification of Italy and Germany

1870 CE - 1871 CE

Colonial conquest of Africa

1875 CE - 1900 CE

Ottoman constitution established

1876 CE

Berlin Conference

1884 CE - 1885 CE

Meeting of European imperialist powers to divide Africa among them

Indian National Congress

1885 CE

The political party that became the leader of the Indian nationalist movement

Cuba and Brazil abolish slavery

1886 CE - 1888 CE

Sino-Japanese War

1895 CE

Fought for control of Korea
Japan defeated China

Spanish-American War

1898 CE - 1902 CE

US acquires the Philippines
Began the rise of the US as a world power

Boxer Rebellion in China

1899 CE - 1901 CE

Revolt against foreign residents of China

Russo-Japanese War

1904 CE - 1905 CE

War between Japan and Russia over Machuria
Resulted in the defeat of Russia by the Japanese navy

Construction of Panama Canal

1904 CE - 1914 CE

Revolution of 1905

1905 CE

Strikes by urban workers and peasants in Russia
Prompted by shortages of food and by Russia's loss to Japan in 1905

Revolution in Russia

1905 CE

Young Turk takeover in Ottoman Empire

1908 CE

Young Turks:
A society founded in 1889 in the Ottoman Empire
Designed to restore the constitution of 1876 and to reform the empire

Mexican Revolution

1910 CE - 1920 CE

Japan annexes Korea

1910 CE

Chinese Revolution

1911 CE

Outbreak of WWI

1914 CE

Period 6

1914 CE-Present Day

World War I

1914 CE - 1918 CE

Allied powers: Great Britain, France, Russia, US, etc.
Central powers: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Ottoman Empire, etc.
New technology: Airplanes, tanks, better weaponry, poison gas
Effects of WWI on Europe:
Death of 10 million Europeans
Elimination of nearly a generation of young European men
Resulting decline in marriages lowered the birth rate

Russian Revolution

1917 CE

Treaty of Versailles

1919 CE

Ended WWI
The 1919 peace treaty between Germany and most Allied nations
Blamed WWI on Germany and assessed it heavy reparations and large territorial losses

League of Nations

1919 CE - 1946 CE

International organization founded after WWI to promote peace and cooperation among nations

Founding of Chinese Communist Party

1921 CE

Turkey's secular modernization/Kemal Ataturk

1923 CE - 1938 CE

Five-Year Plans in Russia

1928 CE - 1991 CE

Plans for industrial production introduced to the Soviet Union by Joseph Stalin
Made the Soviet Union a major industrial power

Muslim brotherhood established in Egypt

1928 CE

Stock market crash/start of Great Depression

1929 CE

The period of prolonged economic distress between the world wars
Diminished global trade produced massive worldwide unemployment

Stalin in power in USSR

1929 CE - 1953 CE

Hitler's rise to power in Germany

1933 CE

Long March in China

1934 CE - 1935 CE

Spanish Civil War

1936 CE - 1939 CE

A conflict that resulted in the installation of fascist dictator Francisco Franco as ruler of Spain

Japan invades China

1937 CE

Starts WWI in Asia

World War II/Holocaust in Europe

1939 CE - 1945 CE

Allied powers: Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union, US, etc.
Holocaust: The Nazi program during WWII that killed 6 million Jews and other groups of people considered "undesirable"
New technology: Atomic bomb, jet engines, tape recordings, radar
Effects of WWII:
Death of 35 million people
Postwar boundary changes forced hundreds of thousands of displaced persons to relocate

Green Revolution

1940 CE - 1980 CE

Improved irrigation methods and the use of high-yield seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides to improve agricultural production
Especially successful in Asia

Vietnam Conflict

1940 CE - 1980 CE

French colony
Occupied by Japan during WWII
France unable to regain control
1960s: US military involvement
1975: Fall of the entire country to communism

World Bank/International Monetary Fund established

1945 CE

IMF: An international organization founded to promote market economies and free trade
World Bank: An agency of the UN that offers loans to countries to promote trade and economic development

Expansion of communism in Eastern Europe

1945 CE - 1950 CE

Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

1945 CE

Founding of United Nations

1945 CE

The international organization founded in 1945 to establish peace and cooperation among nations

Cold war

1946 CE - 1991 CE

The tense diplomatic relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union after WWII

Independence of India/Pakistan

1947 CE

Creation of Palestine

1948 CE

UN partitioned Palestine into Jewish and Arab countries
The independent state of Israel was proclaimed

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

1949 CE

A defense alliance between the nations of Western Europe and North America

Communist triumph in Chinese Revolution

1949 CE

Korean Conflict

1950 CE

Invasion of North Korea into South Korea
North Korea was backed by the Soviet Union
South Korea was backed by a US-led United Nations coalition

Korean War

1950 CE - 1953 CE

Warsaw Pact

1955 CE

The agreement between the Soviet Union and the countries of Eastern Europe in response to the creation of NATO

African independence achieved

1957 CE - 1975 CE

European Economic Community (EEC) established

1957 CE

Great Leap Forward

1958 CE - 1961 CE

The disastrous economic policy of Mao Zedong that proposed the use of small-scale industrial projects on individual peasant communes

Cuban Revolution

1959 CE

Civil Rights and anti-Vietnam protests in the US

1960 CE - 1970 CE

Berlin Wall

1961 CE - 1989 CE

A wall constructed by the Soviets to divide East and West Berlin
Built to stem the tide of refugees from East Berlin to West Berlin

Cuban missile crisis

1962 CE

Confrontation between the US and the Soviet Union over the presence of Soviet Missiles in Cuba
A classic example of brinkmanship

Self-immolation of Vietnamese monks

1963 CE

Emergence of Chinese/Soviet hostility

1964 CE

Vietnam War

1965 CE - 1973 CE

Cultural Revolution

1966 CE - 1976 CE

A Chinese movement intended to establish an egalitarian society of peasants and workers

Rise of Islamic renewal movements

1970 CE - Present

Greenpeace established

1970 CE

Deng Xiaoping and beginnings of Communist reform in China

1976 CE - 1990 CE

Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan

1979 CE - 1989 CE

Invasion to support communist combatants in Afghanistan's civil war
Soviet withdrawal in 1989 after failing to establish communism

Soviet War in Afghanistan

1979 CE - 1989 CE

Islamic Revolution in Iran

1979 CE

Gorbachev reforms in USSR

1985 CE - 1990 CE

Fall of communism in Eastern Europe

1989 CE

Rapid economic growth in China and India

1990 CE - 2000 CE

Dissolution of Soviet Union

1991 CE

End of Cold War

1991 CE

European Union established

1994 CE

Designed to reduce trade barriers and promote economic unity in Europe
Formed to replace the European Economic Community

End of apartheid

1994 CE

African majority rule in South Africa

World Trade Organization established

1995 CE

An international organization begun in 1995 to promote and organize world trade

Antiglobalization protests

1999 CE

Seattle, Washington

World population reaches about 6 billion

2000 CE

9/11 attacks on World Trade Center

2001 CE

Introduction of the euro

2002 CE

Iraq War begins

2003 CE

World economic crisis begins

2008 CE