World History – General Knowledge Preparation

World History is one of the important topics that every candidate must get to know. It will be helpful in gaining more knowledge about the history. We made the article World History based on the type of questions that are asked in exams. Reading the article about world history candidates can gain more knowledge and it will be helpful for all competitive exams.

What is World History?

World history, global history or transnational history is a field of historical study that emerged as a distinct academic field in the 1980s. It examines history from a global perspective. World history looks for common patterns that emerge across all cultures. World historians use a thematic approach, with two major focal points: integration and difference.

Division of World History

The world history is divided into three parts:

  • Ancient History (60,000 BC – 650 AD)
  • Postclassical History (500 AD – 15th Century)
  • Modern History (1500 – Present)

The Modern History is divided is again into three parts:

  • Early Modern Period (1500 – 1750)
  • Mid-Modern Period (1750 – 1914)
  • Contemporary Period (1914 – Present)

Ancient History (60,000 BC – 650 AD)

4.5 billion B.C.

3 billion B.C.

  • First signs of primaeval life like bacteria and blue-green algae appear in oceans.

600 million B.C.

  • Earliest date to which fossils can be traced.

4.4 million B.C.

  • Earliest known hominid fossils (Ardipithecus ramidus) found in Aramis, Ethiopia, 1994.

4.2 million B.C.

  • Australopithecus anamensis found in Lake Turkana, Kenya, 1995.

3.2 million B.C.

  • Australopithecus Afarensis which has a nickname “Lucy” found in Ethiopia, 1974.

2.5 million B.C.

  • Homo habilis was known as “Skillful Man”. This age believes the man to have used stone tools.

1.8 million B.C.

  • Homo erectus was known as “Upright Man”.  The brain size was twice that of Australopithecine species.

1.7 million B.C.

  • Homo erectus leaves Africa.

100,000 B.C.

  • First modern Homo sapiens in South Africa.

70,000 B.C.

  • Neanderthal man (use of fire and advanced tools).

35,000 B.C.

  • Neanderthal man replaced by later groups of Homo sapiens (i.e., Cro-Magnon man, etc.).

18,000 B.C.

  • Cro-Magnons replaced by later cultures.

15,000 B.C.

  • Migrations across Bering Straits into the Americas.

10,000 B.C.

  • Semi-permanent agricultural settlements in Old World.

10,000–4,000 B.C.

  • Development of settlements into cities and development of skills such as the wheel, pottery, and improved methods of cultivation in Mesopotamia and elsewhere.

5500–3000 B.C.

  • Predynastic Egyptian cultures develop to begin using agriculture.
  • Earliest recorded date in Egyptian calendar.
  • The first year of the Jewish calendar.
  • Sumerians develop a city-state civilization.
  • Copper used by Egyptians and Sumerians.
  • Western Europe is neolithic, without metals or written records.

Ancient History timeline – World History

3000–2000 B.C.

  • Pharaonic rule begins in Egypt.
  • King Khufu (Cheops), 4th dynasty completes construction of the Great Pyramid at Giza.
  • The Great Sphinx of Giza is built by King Khafre.
  • Earliest Egyptian mummies.
  • Phoenician settlements on the coast of what is now Syria and Lebanon.

2000 B.C – 1 B.C.

  • Hyksos invaders drive Egyptians from Lower Egypt.
  • Ikhnaton develops monotheistic religion in Egypt.
  • First recorded Olympic games.
  • Earliest written music.
  • Chariots introduced into Italy by Etruscans.
  • Peloponnesian Wars between Athens and Sparta.
  • The invention of the Mayan calendar in Yucatan more exact than older calendars.
  • Pantheon built for the first time under Agrippa, 27 B.C. Ovid, Roman poet.

World History (1 A.D – 650 AD)

  • Birth of Jesus Christ took place. It is variously given from 4 B.C. to A.D. 7.
  • Roman empire extends to Mesopotamia, Arabia, Balkans.
  • End of Chinese Han dynasty.
  • Increasing invasions of the Roman empire by Franks and Goths.
  • Han dynasty in China founded by Emperor Kuang Wu Ti.
  • Buddhism introduced to China.
  • Buddhism spreads in China.
  • The classic period of Mayan civilization.
  • Council of Nicaea defines orthodox Christian doctrine.
  • First Gupta dynasty in India.
  • St. Patrick returns to Ireland and brings Christianity to the island. St. the Augustine’s City of God.
  • There was a development in hieroglyphic writing, advances in art, architecture, science.

Postclassical History (500 A.D – 15th Century)

500 AD – 549 AD.

  • Eastern and Western churches reconciled.
  • Justinian I, the Great, becomes Byzantine emperor issues his first code of civil laws, conquers North Africa, Italy, and part of Spain.

550 AD – 599 AD.

  • Beginnings of European silk industry after Justinian’s missionaries smuggle silkworms out of China.
  • Mohammed, founder of Islam.
  • St. Augustine of Canterbury brings Christianity to Britain.

600 AD – 649 AD.

  • Mohammed flees from Mecca to Medina the first year of the Muslim calendar.
  • Arabs conquer Jerusalem and Persians.

World History (649 AD – 999 AD)

  • Arabs attack North Africa and the destroyed Carthage.
  • Arab empire extends from Lisbon to China.
  • Caliph Harun al-Rashid rules Arab empire which is known as the “golden age” of Arab culture.
  • The city of Machu Picchu flourishes in Peru.
  • Charlemagne crowned first Holy Roman Emperor in Rome.
  • Norsemen attack as far south as the Mediterranean and discover Iceland.
  • The Russian nation founded by Vikings under Prince Rurik, establishing capital at Novgorod.
  • Vikings discover Greenland.
  • Mieczyslaw I becomes the first ruler of Poland.

1000 AD – 1500 AD (10th Century – 15th Century)

  • Hungary and Scandinavia converted to Christianity.
  • Viking raider Leif Eriksson discovers North America calls it Vinland.
  • Murasaki Shikibu finishes The Tale of Genji, the world’s first novel.
  • Robert Guiscard, Norman invader, establishes the kingdom in Italy, conquers Sicily.
  • Final separation between Eastern (Orthodox) and Western (Roman) churches.
  • Construction on the cathedral in Pisa, Italy, begins.
  • Universities of Paris and Oxford founded in France and England.
  • Ibn-Rushd begins translating Aristotle’s works.
  • Genghis Khan invades China, captures Peking, conquers Persia, invades Russia.
  • Kublai Khan governs China, becomes ruler of Mongols, establishes Yuan dynasty in China and invades Burma.
  • Mali Empire reaches its height in Africa under King Mansa Musa.
  • Ming Dynasty begins in China.
  • Casa di San Giorgio, one of the first public banks, founded in Genoa.
  • Columbus becomes the first European to encounter Caribbean islands and returns back to Spain.
  • Vasco da Gama sails around Africa and discovers sea route to India.
  • Crusade a religious war happened during this period. A number of 8 wars Crusade war took place during 10th to 15th century.

Modern History ( 1500 to Present)

Early Modern Period (1500 – 17500)

  • First black slaves in America brought to the Spanish colony of Santo Domingo.
  • Leonardo da Vinci paints the Mona Lisa.Michelangelo sculpts the David.
  • Henry VIII ascends English throne.
  • Michelangelo paints the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
  • Balboa becomes the first European to encounter the Pacific Ocean.
  • Machiavelli writes The Prince.
  • Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan sets out to circumnavigate the globe.
  • Luther excommunicated by Pope Leo X. Suleiman I becomes Sultan of Turkey, invades Hungary.
  • Verrazano, sailing under the French flag, explores the New England coast and New York Bay.
  • Pizarro marches from Panama to Peru, kills the Inca chieftain, Atahualpa, of Peru.
  • Publication of on the Revolution of Heavenly Bodies by Polish scholar Nicolaus Copernicus giving his theory that the earth revolves around the sun.
  • Akbar the Great becomes Mogul emperor of India, conquers Afghanistan.
  • Turkish fleet defeated at Battle of Lepanto by Spanish and Italian fleets.
  • English East India Company established in the year 1600.
  • The Relation, the first newspaper, debuts in Germany in the year 1609.
  • In 1609 Galileo sees the moons of Jupiter through his telescope.
  • John Napier discovers logarithms in 1614.
  • In 1618 Kepler proposes last of three laws of planetary motion.
  • New Netherland founded by Dutch West India Company in 1630.
  • The construction of Taj Mahal got completed in 1643.
  • In 1661 Charles II is crowned King of England.
  • Pennsylvania founded by William Penn in 1682.
  • War of the Spanish Succession begins in 1701. The last of Louis XIV’s wars for domination of the continent.
  • In 1707 United Kingdom of Great Britain formed England, Wales, and Scotland joined by parliamentary Act of Union.
  • Capt. Vitus Bering, Dane employed by Russia, discovers Alaska in 1740.
  • In 1746 British defeat Scots under Stuart Pretender Prince Charles at Culloden Moor. Last battle fought on British soil.

Mid-Modern Period (1750 – 1914)

1750 AD – 1820 AD

  • Publication of the Encyclopedia begins in France in the year 1751, the bible of the Enlightenment.
  • Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary first got published in 1755.
  • Seven Years’ War took place from 1756 to 1763 in which Britain and Prussia defeat France, Spain, Austria, and Russia.
  • In 1757  there is the beginning of British Empire in India as Robert Clive, the British commander, defeats Nawab of Bengal at Plassey.
  • James Watt invents the steam engine in 1765.
  • Britain imposes the Stamp Act on the American colonists in the year 1765.
  • In 1769 Sir William Arkwright patents a spinning machine an early step in the Industrial Revolution.
  • Joseph Priestley and Daniel Rutherford independently discover nitrogen in 1772.
  • Partition of Poland took place in 1772. In the year 1793, and 1795, Austria, Prussia, and Russia divide land and people of Poland and end its independence.
  • In 1775 Priestley discovers hydrochloric and sulfuric acids.
  • Capt. James Cook discovers Hawaii in 1778.
  • In 1781 Herschel discovers Uranus.
  • Revolutionary War ends with Treaty of Paris in 1785.
  • In 1789 in the U.S., Washington elected president with all 69 votes of the Electoral College, takes an oath of office in New York City.
  • Lavoisier formulates Table of 31 chemical elements in 1790.
  • In 1796 Edward Jenner introduces smallpox vaccination.
  • Napoleon conquers Italy, firmly establishes himself as First Consul in France in the year 1800.
  • William Herschel discovers infrared rays in 1800 AD.
  • In 1807 Robert Fulton makes first successful steamboat trip on Clermont between New York City and Albany.
  • French defeated by allies ie: Britain, Austria, Russia, Prussia, Sweden, and Portugal in War of Liberation in the year 1814.

1820 AD – 1890 AD

  • In 1821 Guatemala, Panama, and Santo Domingo proclaim independence from Spain.
  • Mexico becomes a republic, three years after declaring independence from Spain in the year 1824.
  • In the year 1825 first passenger carrying railroad in England took place.
  • In 1831 Belgium separates from the Netherlands.
  • Victoria becomes queen of Great Britain in the year 1837.
  • In the year 1839 first Opium War between Britain and China, over the importation of drug into China.
  • Frederick Douglass launches abolitionist newspaper The North Star in the year 1846.
  • In 1848 Louis Napoleon got elected as president of French Republic.
  • Louis Napoleon proclaims himself Napoleon III in 1852.
  • In 1853 Crimean War begins as Turkey declares war on Russia.
  • Britain and France join Turkey in a war on Russia in 1854.
  • In 1857 financial crisis in Europe and U.S. Great Mutiny begins in India.
  • First trans-Atlantic telegraph cable completed by Cyrus W. Field in 1859.
  • In 1862 several major Civil War battles like Battle of Shiloh, Second Battle of Bull Run (Manassas), Battle of Antietam took place.
  • French capture Mexico City and proclaims Archduke Maximilian of Austria emperor.
  • In 1866 Alfred Nobel invents dynamite.
  • First U.S. transcontinental rail route completed in the year 1869.
  • In 1873 economic crisis began in Europe. The U.S. establishes the gold standard.
  • Alexander Graham Bell patents the telephone in 1876.
  • First commercial telephone exchange opened in New Haven, Conn in the year 1878.
  • In 1882 Britain invades and conquers Egypt. Germany, Austria, and Italy form Triple Alliance.
  • Brooklyn Bridge and Metropolitan Opera House got completed in 1883.
  • In 1885 World’s first skyscraper built in Chicago.
  • J. B. Dunlop invents pneumatic tire in 1888.
  • In 1889 Indian Territory in Oklahoma opened to settlement.

World History – (1890 AD – 1914 AD)

  • New Zealand becomes the first country in the world to grant women the vote in 1893.
  • In 1894 Sino-Japanese War begins.
  • X-rays discovered by German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen in the year 1895.
  • In 1896 first modern Olympic games held in Athens, Greece.
  • Marie Curie discover radium and polonium in 1898.
  • Union of South Africa established in 1908 as the Confederation of colonies; becomes British dominion in 1910.
  • Queen Victoria died in 1901 and is succeeded by her son, Edward VII.
  • In 1903 Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, fly first powered, controlled, the heavier than the airplane at Kitty Hawk, N.C. Henry Ford organizes Ford Motor Company.
  • In 1907 second Hague Peace Conference, of 46 nations, adopts 10 conventions on rules of war.
  • The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is founded in New York by prominent black and white intellectuals and led by W.E.B. Du Bois in 1909.
  • Ernest Rutherford discovers the structure of the atom in 1911.
  • Woodrow Wilson becomes 28th U.S. president in 1913.
  • In 1914 World War I begins. Austria declares war on Serbia, Germany on Russia and France, Britain on Germany.

Contemporary Period ( 1915 – Present)

1915 AD – 1935 AD

  • Albert Einstein’s introduced General Theory of Relativity in the year 1915.
  • In 1916 Jeannette Rankin becomes the first woman elected to Congress.
  • First U.S. combat troops in France as the U.S. declares war on Germany in the year 1917.
  • In 1917 Kerensky becomes prime minister and forms a provisional government.
  • Third International Comintern establishes Soviet control over international Communist movements in 1918.
  • In 1918 Paris peace conference took place.
  • Alcock and Brown make the first trans-Atlantic nonstop flight in 1919.
  • In the year 1919, Mahatma Gandhi initiates satyagraha “truth force” campaigns, beginning his nonviolent resistance movement against British rule in India.
  • League of Nations holds first meeting at Geneva, Switzerland in the year 1920.
  • Adolf Hitler’s “Beer Hall Putsch” in Munich fails in the year 1923.
  • Irish poet William Butler Yeats wins Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923.
  • In 1924 Adolf Hitler is sentenced to five years in prison where he writes Mein Kampf; released after eight months.
  • In 1925 Nellie Tayloe Ross elected as governor of Wyoming; first woman governor elected in U.S. Locarno conferences seek to secure European peace by mutual guarantees.
  • Gertrude Ederle of U.S. is the first woman to swim the English Channel in 1926.
  • In 1927 Charles A. Lindbergh flies first successful solo nonstop flight from New York to Paris.
  • Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin in 1928.
  • In the year 1928 final volume of Oxford English Dictionary published after 44 years of research.
  • Edwin Powell Hubble proposes the theory of expanding the universe in the year 1929.
  • Pluto was discovered by astronomers in the year 1930.
  • In the year 1932, Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly Atlantic solo.
  • Germany and Japan withdraw from League of Nations in 1933.

World History (1935 AD –  1979 AD)

  • The war between China and Japan begins, to continue through World War II in the year 1936.
  • In 1940 Hitler invades Norway, Denmark (April 9), the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg (can 10), and France (can 12).
  • The first official network television broadcast is put out by NBC in 1940.
  • In 1945 U.S. drops atomic bombs on Japanese cities of Hiroshima (Aug. 6) and Nagasaki (Aug. 9).
  • In 1947 India and Pakistan gain independence from Britain.
  • Korean War begins when North Korean Communist forces invade South Korea in the year 1950.
  • On Sept. 8, 1952, Japanese peace treaty was signed in San Francisco by 49 nations.
  • James Watson, Francis Crick, and Rosalind Franklin discovered the structure of DNA in the year 1953.
  • In 1956 Morocco gains independence.
  • Russians launch Sputnik I, the first Earth-orbiting satellite in the year 1957.
  • In 1960 Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Madagascar, and Zaire(Belgian Congo) gain independence.
  • Virgil Grissom becomes second American astronaut, making 118-mile-high, 303-mile-long rocket flight over Atlantic in the year 1961.
  • In 1962 Burundi, Jamaica, Western Samoa, Uganda, and Trinidad and Tobago become independent.
  • On June 11 in 1964 Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment.
  • Dr Christiaan N. Barnard and the team of South African surgeons perform world’s first successful human heart transplant on December 3rd, 1967.
  • On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., and Michael Collins take man’s first walk on the moon.
  • Great Britain, Ireland, and Denmark enter European Economic Community in 1973.
  • On August 9th in 1974 Vice President Gerald R. Ford of Michigan is sworn in as the 38th president of the U.S.
  • The nuclear-proliferation pact, curbing the spread of nuclear weapons, signed by 15 countries, including U.S. and USSR in 1977.

World History (1980 – 2005)

  • In 1981 AIDS is first identified.
  • On April 4th, 1983 Second space shuttle, Challenger, makes the successful maiden voyage, which includes the first U.S. spacewalk in nine years.
  • Soviet Union withdraws from summer Olympic games in the U.S in 1984.
  • In 1984 Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi assassinated by two Sikh bodyguards; 1,000 killed in anti-Sikh riots.
  • Toxic gas leaks from Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, killing 2,000 and injuring 150,000 on December 3rd in 1984.
  • Ronald Reagan takes an oath for the second term as 40th president in the year 1985.
  • On Jan 1st 1986 Spain and Portugal join European Economic Community.
  • Republicans nominate George Bush for president and Indiana senator Dan Quayle for vice president in 1988.
  • Benazir Bhutto, first Islamic woman prime minister, chosen to lead Pakistan on Dec 2nd, 1988.
  • World Wide Web debuts in 1990 and popularizes Internet.
  • In 1991 France agrees to sign 1968 treaty banning the spread of atomic weapons.
  • Jean Chretien was sworn in as Canada’s 20th prime minister in 1993.
  • In 1996 France announces the end to nuclear tests.
  • Clinton appoints Madeleine Albright as first female U.S. secretary of state in 1996.
  • On March 19th, 1998 Hindu nationalist Vajpayee becomes India’s prime minister.
  • Islamic militants declare independence for Dagestan and announce holy war against Russia in 1999.
  • Vladimir Putin is elected president of Russia in the year 2000.
  • In 2001 Wikipedia is launched.
  • Apple launches the iPod in the year 2001.
  • Apple introduces the iMac G4.
  • In 2003 China launched its first manned space mission.
  • Facebook was launched in 2004.
  • In 2004 World first 1 gigabyte SD card was released.

2005 – Present World History

  • Youtube was launched in 2005.
  • In 2005 Angle Merkel becomes the first female chancellor of Germany.
  • Twitter took a launch in 2006.
  • North Korea conducts its first nuclear test in 2006.
  • Apple made a debut with its iPhone.
  • In 2008 oil prices hit a record high.
  • The internet continues to boom in 2008.
  • Barack Obama is sworn as 44th president of the USA in 2009.
  • Scientists discover water on Moon in 2009.
  • In 2009 Africa population reaches one million.
  • The largest solar eclipse of the 3rd millennium occurs in 2010.
  • In 2011 people saw the death of Osama BIn Laden.
  • South Sudan became an independent nation in 2011.
  • In 2011 global population reaches 7 billion.
  • Mars science laboratory explores the Red Planet in 2012.
  • Windows 8 was released in 2012.
  • In 2013 North Korea conducts its third nuclear test.
  • Uruguay becomes the first nation to allow full legalization of cannabis in 2013.
  • The first gay marriage took place in England and Wales in 2014.
  • India first Mars mission took place in 2014.
  • In 2014 a new world trade centre is opened.
  • Windows 10 was released in 2015.
  • In 2016 supercomputers reached 100 petaflops.
  • China completes the largest environmental cleanup in its history in the year 2016.
  • In 2017 the first human head transplant took place.
  • The world’s first mud volcano stops erupting.
  • The world’s first HIV vaccine is commercially available in 2017.

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