Classical Civilizations

2000 BCE - 600 CE

Before this, human beings were nomadic. The ideas of agriculture or pastoralism revolutionized this, however, and brought about great human change. The civilizations that followed would use the ideas of cities, trade, and specialization to make leaps in bounds in all fields of SPICE for humanity.

These civilizations (with the exception of Greece's short-lived nationalism) were generally not patriotic, however. And their cultures and cities blended into the Roman Empire that rose during their fall.

The Roman Empire rose and built upon many of the ideas that the previous civilizations set in place. They had extended trade routes, and long times of peace and prosperity, however they all faced hardships that brought about their downfall by around 600 CE.

Post-Classical Era

500 - 1500

The Early Modern Era

1450 - 1750

The Modern Era

1750 - 1914

The Post Modern Era

1914 - 2013

Classical Civilizations

These were the first groups of people to advance from hunters and gatherers. These civilizations were characterized by their reliable sources of food, clear social class distinctions, and specialized occupations.

These civilizations were: Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Indus Valley, East Chinese, Meso and South American, and Mediterranean civilizations.

Minoan-Mycenaeans (Greece)

2000 BCE - 800 BCE

The early people that developed along the Aegean Sea, the Minoan civilization, were both protected and isolated by the mountainous terrain surrounding them. However, their calm waters provided an easy method of trade and communication, and thus, the following civilizations were more adept with the sea.

The Minoans, based along the Sea and the Island of Crete, gave way to the Mycenaeans who contributed to the Late Bronze Age greatly. They were often at war, and in 1200 B.C.E., they engaged in war with Troy (on the other side of the Aegean sea, Anatolia). This, along with further conflicts, led them into a kind of "Dark Age" that lasted until about 800 B.C.E. It was then that they were visited by another Sea-Dwelling group (The Middle Eastern Phoenicians) who established trade and brought them back to prosperity.


800 BCE - 30 BCE

The political structures of these new peoples were sporadic. They lived in poleis, or city-states, and had hundreds of varying structures.

Out of the midst of these poleis emerged Athens, between 800 and 400 B.C.E., with the first example of democracy in human history. In addition, the highly militaristic society of Sparta evolved alongside it, and these two states rose to be Greece's biggest powerhouses.

Greece produced many important ideologies that would last throughout the ages. They were polytheistic, however their focus was more on worldly affairs. This focus, called secularism, worked much like Confucianism did for China, and led to many of Greece's great thinkers.

Among the like were Socrates (focus on ethics and human nature), Plato (described Socrates forced suicide for conflicting human nature with religion/tradition), and Airstotle (all fields, tutored Alexander, Mathematical symbols).

These achievements and focus on Natural Law led to the era from 500-300 B.C.E. being classified as the "Hellenic culture."

With these successes under their belt, Greece was not ill-prepared when the Persian Empire arrived and demanded their allegiance. The many poleis then united, creating a West vs. East mentality that is still applicable today. This united Europe for the first time, and Greece held off Persia, and sparked their decline.

However, Athens attacked Sparta's allies shortly after, and initiated the Peloponnesian Wars (431-404 B.C.E.) between the two states. During the next 100 years, Macedonia, to the North, created a large military force and handed it off to Alexander the Great, who would conquer most of the known world in just 13 years.

He conquered from Greece through Persia, and when he died, he would divide his land up between his 3 favored generals. In this division, the Hellenistic culture spread throughout most of the known world, consequently allowing Greece to vanish in the years with it.

Roman Republic

509 BCE - 30 BCE

The Etruscans had ruled the areas to the West, around Italy, since around 800 B.C.E, and continued to, until one of their states, Rome, declared its independence in 509 B.C.E.

This new state was a Republic, meaning that it was ruled by a SENATE composed of the PATRICIANS and the PLEBIANS. The plebians were the vast majority, but had little political power when it came to any political decision. The patricians were only selected through bloodlines, so you had to be the son of a former patrician to become one.

The executive branch was headed by two CONSULS, rulers selected by the Senate. So the flowchart for the power here was like this: Consuls(Highest Power)--> Senate(Selects Consuls)--> Patricians(Control the Senate)--> Plebians(No Power)

At a point the Plebians protested their lack of power, and were permitted TRIBUNES, or representatives in court that the public elected, but they were soon elected by the Senate.

This unfair distribution of power, and continuous protest led to Julius Caesar's rule in this. He was a respected Roman General, and he snuck his way into the Republic, and initiated a Triumvirate (rule of three). He crossed this when he tried to become dictator, but he was assassinated anyway, so whatevs.

The real point of all of this is that he addressed the issues the public had with the Republic, and paved the way for his son, Mark Antony (Augustus Caesar) to rid of the Republic by winning the BATTLE OF ACTIUM in 31 B.C.E.

Western Roman Empire

30 BCE - 476 CE

This shift in political structure also shifted the distribution of power, and not necessarily for the better. Augustus just did whatever he needed to in order to keep the Senate happy, while he held all the real power, and the Senate was just content with Rome not being destroyed when it switched to an Empire.

While he held nearly all power, and declared himself consul for life, he actually improved Rome in many ways:

Law of the Twelve Tables- Improvements on Republic laws before.

Military Improvements- both naval and land, had a massive army

Created Equites- New social class of merchants and landowners that had same effects on the society as a "middle-class" would.

These reforms ushered in the Pax Romana, which lasted until late 2nd Century C.E.

Economic: Huge part of the Mediterranean Sea trade, and their economy had a mass boost from the Punic wars

Social: Still Patricians --> Plebians. Women still had no rights. HUGE focus on men in the society, oldest boy has most authority. CONNECTS WELL TO PATRIARCHAL CHINA.

Politics: Huge advances in legal systems. While they may seem corrupt, they borrowed from the likes of Athens, and they advanced many ideas of court rulings, equity among citizens, and interpretation of the written and natural laws.

Rome kinda took a turn for the worse after this stuff, though. Many could argue that the life began to drain out of it after Pax Romana. Here are a couple of reasons the contributed:

Huge borders to protect
Germanic tribes attacking them in the North
String of stupid Emperors
Downfall in trade routes as a result of sickness, and attacks

In the 400s Emperor Constantine established Constantinople for himself in the Eastern section of Rome. The Germanic tribes then continued to sack Western Rome, finally destroying Rome and disposing of the last Roman emperor by 476 C.E.

Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire

285 - 1453

This is what Rome looked like by 476CE, after the fall of the West Roman Empire.

After Rome fell, the Eastern Roman Empire needed a new source of cultural and political influence. For this, they turned to the Christian church. The church, while it did unite them, did not provide the cultural unity necessary to save the Roman Empire from falling.

The Middle Ages (post-classical)

Some changes that were brought about:

1: The unifying forces switched from the nationalism found in Greece to a religious unity found in Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam. Christianity appealed to the failing Rome, with the promise of a better after life. Buddhism appealed to Eastern Asia, promising peace in this life. And Islam spread around because it was a missionary religion, with many similar qualities to Christianity.

2: Civilizations also spread to Japan, N and W Europe, and many parts of Africa.

3: Trade and communication advanced as well, increasing the spread of technologies, but also the spread of the plagues seen at the end of the 1300s.

Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire

285 - 1453

Basically, East Rome fell, and Germanic tribes ruled the area. It seemed as if one of the tribes, the FRANKS, would unite the area, and while it ultimately failed, it paved the way for Clovis, Charles the Hammer, Charlemagne, etc. It paved the way for France to form.

In the East, the power of bishops and the church was holding the remaining Roman Empire together. Christian missionaries began converting the Germanic tribes to their religion, and as for politics, a system of lordship and serfdom was initiated. These small economies took place on castles, or manors, and gave the term manorialism. In contrast, the West focused more on feudalism set in place by the Franks (king->overlord->lord->vassals).

As Christianity spread, the divide between East and West became evident. The bishops in the East turned into popes, and religion began to gain power in government.

The Renaissance


1450 - 1750

VERY IMPORTANT: The renaissance's origins are traced back to Italy, this is primarily because of Italy's massive income. Rich, you say? After the crusades? But how?

Each city acted as a mini-industrial powerhouse, all specializing in one item of trade, and then they utilized their many successful ports to trade with the Middle East and Africa, who began trading with them because of their encounters in the Crusades.

Renaissance men, or men rich enough to educate themselves in the arts, were the driving force of the renaissance. These men questioned ideologies previously accepted, and contributed greatly to the many revolutions that both occurred in and after this time period.

SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION: Galileo, Copernicus, Newton



The Revolutions

The First Industrial Revolution

1760 - 1840

The roots of the Industrial Revolution are tied to Britain, as the result of their:

Burgeoisie, or middle class. They had developed this through a history of trade in the past 300 years.
A large supply of inventors at this time period.
A boost in population, due to medical improvements, agricultural improvements (potatoes brought into Britain), and stable governments.
They also had tons of coal, which was sweet.

Mass production was one of the first inventions that started the revolution. Josiah Wedgwood began mass producing pottery which was previously bought from China, Eli Whitney simulated the same process with the cotton gin.

Interchangable parts were used to maintain factories and eliminate even the need of human repair.

The steam engine was another important milestone in the revolution, invented by James Watt. It utilized Britain's navigable waterways and increased the already booming trade in this time period.

American Revolution (ary War)

1775 - 1789

No taxation without representation. The British had controlled the economy, the politics, and the overall life of the American colonies for too long. This war lasts for around a decade, and ends with America trumping the British at Yorktown, with the help of the French Navy.

French Revolution

1787 - 1799

The French plummeted into deep national debt after helping America gain its independence from Britain. This caused prices to fluctuate, and cause general unrest in the lower classes (basically all of France). This, coupled with the terrible leader of King Louis XVI, and the Enlightenment ideals sweeping across the globe... Led France to revolution.

With the help of a guillotine, and a couple of influential leaders like Robespierre, and the Jacobsons, this revolution turned into a massacre. While some sparks of influence flew out of it, like the Declaration of the Rights of the Man and the Citizen, it did lose focus and turn into a bloodbath.

In this time of uncertainty, the French turned to the wonderful Napoleon Bonaparte. He was a successful army general who would eventually use a coup to install the Consulate (think "Consul" like Rome) and declare himself emperor.

France changed social habits drastically, but politically... They went from an authoritarian regime... To an authoritarian regime.

The Second Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution

1760 - 1914

I've gone over this so much, I couldn't bear to write it all out again.


The World Wars


1914 - 1918

Triple Entente- UK, France, Russia
Triple Alliance- Aus-Hun, Germany, Italy/Ottoman empire

This war occurred because of the assassination of archduke Franz Ferdinand, a declaration of war on Serbia, and tangling alliances.


1939 - 1945

The war reparations that Germany had to pay off, as the result of the Treaty of Versailles, which they were absent from... Led to the rise of fascism and the Nazi Party, neither of which survived the end of the war.

The Munich Conference- Appeasement.
Hitler invading Sudetenland.
Battle of Britain- Air warfare
The holocaust.
The battle of Midway/Pacific Ocean Campaign.
Bombing of Hiroshima.

The Cold War

The Cold War

1945 - 1991

USSR steps up to the world stage, utilizing communism to give them a world power status. The following "Cold War" is a battle for dominance of nuclear power, colonies across the globe, and economic superiority.

Spoiler, the US won.

Post Cold War