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Cultures leave their mark in structures, artifacts and documents that reflect their knowledge, religion and history. From 3000BC-1000BC, there were at least 6 independent "cradles of civilization" scattered around the world.. The subsequent evolution of culture is a story of cycles of invasion and repulsion. The invasions were either destructive with "sackings" or co-opting where the invaders simple take over the power structure. The geographic barriers of mountains, desert and oceans isolated  the cradles and constrained subsequent conflicts to mostly within  Europe & Middle East, China & Mongolia, India & Pakistan, Americas, Africa. The fight for dominance between the Abrahamic religions, enabled by technology  leadership, resulted conflicts centered on  Europe and the Middle East

Around 500BC, trade Routes of the Silk Road and Incense Road crossed the barriers isolating China and India from Europe.   In the 1500's AD, the global maritime conquests by the European sea powers (UK, France, Spain) crossed the barriers to Africa, Americas, introduced slavery and enabled the European invasion of India, and Far East, which destroyed many of the local populations and cultures. 

Florence in Italy and Alexandria in Egypt are the 2 cities that form the nexus of cultural development. Our scientific understanding of the world reached a first  peak around up to150 AD in the collection of of Greek  scholarship in the library of Alexandria managed by Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. The library  finally disappeared along with the Western Roman Empire in 250AD, a residual of knowledge was saved in Constantinople in the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire.  Religious dogma controlled scholarship in the West until  the 1400's.  In Florence,  the  Renaissance in Florence was supported  by less than religious popes. At the same time, Guttenberg invented the printing press and information chosen by the publishers became accessible to the masses. What was left of Greek scholarship in Constantinople moved to Florence when the Ottomans look over Turkey. The modern scientific revolution took off.

After the World Wars, the USA was the only  industrial power  that had not been decimated by the conflicts. As a result, it became the planet wide dominant culture that we see today. The resulting homogenization of culture has inevitably  triggered an effort by many groups to try to protect their uniqueness, and created resistance. 

Now, the internet has taken information control away from the publishers and given it to the masses, creating the misinformation age, even fake scientific papers.  How this affects our ability to make fact based decisions is the question. 


The invaders of empires fall into 2 groups; the organized militias of residential civilizations, and bands of nomadic hunters. The nomadic groups left few cultural footprints. 


3800BC Sumerian culture in Persia. 

3000- 525BC Egyptian Empire was the first to leave a record of well preserved structures and artifacts. Numerous conflicts with neighbors.

Mayans and Caral Civilizations in America

Indus River Civilization in India

China Civilizations 

525-402BC & 343-332BC  Achaemenid (Persian) Empires stretched from Mediterranean to Afghanistan. Helped establish Silk Road trading from Europe to China, and the Incense Road from Europe to India. Trading posts such as Petra thrive


235BC  Ptolomaeic (Greeks) Macedonia  kingdom, Alexander the Great  with help from the  Phoenician navy, displace the entire Persian Empire. Prior to the kingdom, the Greek republic was the home for scientific breakthroughs.

37BC-476AD  Roman Empire with well organized military ranged from UK to today's Iraq, with the Sasanian Empire in Persia. Around the world there was;

Gupta Empire in India

Yuan Empire in China

Maya/Aztec Mesoamerican Empire

Nasca/Inca Central Andean Empire

Bantu Culture dominates Africa

378-527 Nomadic hunters, the Goths  from Central Europe, and Huns (Atilla the Hun) from central Asia overwhelmed Western Roman empire. This evolved into the barbarian Frankish Empire controlling France and Germany. 

500-1453 Byzantine Empire, centered on Constantinople, was the remaining Eastern Roman Empire, and became the key to the early spread of Christianity. Finally ended by the Muslim Ottoman Empire. 

800-1299 Multiple Islamic caliphates covered Spain, through North Africa to Pakistan.

800-1808 The Holy Roman Empire controlled Germany, and Austro-Hungary. 

793-1066 Viking empire . The Vikings were the power in Northern Europe after the Romans departed. Their sail power took them to Iceland, Greenland, and Eastern Canada.  

1000's Normans and crusades  The Normans in northern France spread Christianity across France and UK  and led the Crusades into Galilee.  

1206-1405  Mongol Khanate Empire. Mongolians (Kubla Kahn) nomadic hunters moved west, south and east to take over from Ukraine, Persia, Tibet to China.   

1299–1922 Ottoman Empire became the dominant Islamic power in the Middle East, and finally finished off the Byzantine Empire in Turkey. 

1400-1600 The Renaissance stated in Florence Italy funded by the Medichi, and flourished in a period of marginally religious popes. The fall of the Byzantine empire led to the import of Greek scholarship. The invention of the printing press took information control away from the church, precipitating the scientific revolution. 

1492-1900 Spanish Empire, led the global expansion through sea power, spreading Catholic religion causing the collapse of the native South and Mid American cultures. 

1500's to 1950's British Empire, started with the Protestants split of Christianity under Henry VIII. The defeat of the Catholic Spanish armada in 1588, established naval power led to the take over East coast of North America, enabling the slave trade, and  spread control though India and Far east through a combination of invasion and trading monopoly. The British Empire finally underwent voluntary dissolution after WW2. 

1500's France colonial empire began to establish colonies in Canada and Mississippi Valley, the Caribbean and India in the 1600's  

1756–1763 Seven Years' War a global conflict between alliances led by UK and France, that resulted in control of North America by UK.


1776 American  war of Independence from UK. Caused the final collapse of Native American population and culture.

1804-1850 French Napoleonic Empire, and rebuilt colonies   concentrating chiefly in Senegal, Madagascar as well as Vietnam, Cambodia and Tahiti.  


1914-1918 WW1 UK, France, Russia, USA vs.  Germany, Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman.

1939-1945 WW2 UK, France, Russia, USA vs. Germany, Japan, Italy


Cultural history 

Cultural evolution can be  broken down into :

1) Prehistory  - up to10,000BC 

2) Ancient times -  10,000BC Geographically separate cradles of civilization until the start of the global maritime empires in 1500AD. Europe & Mesopotamia add a further division with introduction of Christianity starting the  Middle ages around 0BC.

4) Modern ages of global empires  from 1500AD to today

Pre history hunter gatherers were not isolated family groups living on the edge of poverty.
These were sophisticated varied and complex communities, with seasonal habits…traveling when needed, collecting as extended groups during prey or harvest excess. Significant free time to play, craft and travel. Built large structures for seasonal celebrations. Elected leaders for ceremony and organized hunting. Personal freedom to do what you wanted outside of group obligations.

Graeber and Wenlow in "The dawn of everything"

Ancient times  - Cradles of civilization 

Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Indus Valley, the Erligang culture of the Yellow River valley, Caral-Supe in Peru, and Mesoamerica.   

This region, also saw the emergence of early complex societies during the succeeding Bronze Age. There is also early evidence from the region for writing and the formation of hierarchical state level societies. This has earned the region the nickname "The cradle of civilization".  Antelope from Algeria 9000 BC, Bison sculpture from France 12,000 BC


Many different collective hunter gatherer communities have been successful and created their own structures. A function of food cycles, external events, community choice. Enviable levels of individual freedom And community support in some. Authoritarian power with slavery in other apparently linked to public art and symbols of power.

Domestication did allow stable centralized power to get established in the Fertile Crescent. Religion enabled voluntary submission to authority. The western culture of individual freedom to acquire, speak, discriminate without regard for others freedoms became enshrined in Capitalism, and has led to the unsustainable levels of inequality seen today.

Archaeologists believe that Stonehenge was constructed in several phases from around 3100 BC to 1600 BC, with the circle of large sarsen stones placed between 2600 BC and 2400 BC. Its is now accepted that it was an astronomical observatory that acted as a meeting place for the whole island. This shows the Neolithic life was coordinated hundreds of miles, rather than isolated tribes. 




The end of the last ice age around 10Ky ago, uncovered the Fertile Crescent which became one the first centers of settled farming.  Once people could grow more than they needed, cities and  a ruling class emerged in Babylon. The Fertile Crescent is most famous for its sites related to the origins of agriculture. The western zone around the Jordan and upper Euphrates rivers gave rise to the first known Neolithic farming settlements (referred to as Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA)), which date to around 9,000 BCE and includes very ancient sites such as Göbekli Tepe, Chogha Golan, and Jericho (Tell es-Sultan).  During the Neolithic period from a lifestyle of hunting and gathering to one of agriculture and settlement, making an increasingly large population possible.  These settled communities permitted humans to observe and experiment with plants, learning how they grew and developed. This new knowledge led to the domestication of plants into crops.

       Göbekli Tepe in Turkey 9K years ago

       Nevali Cori in Turkey 8K years ago 

       Catalhoyuk in Turkey 7.5K years ago 

       Mehrgarth in Turkey 7K years ago 

       Jericho in Palestine 8K years ago

       Herxheim in Germany 5K years ago

       Knap of Hoawar and Skara Brae in Orkney Is Scotland

       Maiden Castle UK  3K years ago

       3000 settlements in Romania/Ukraine 5-3K years ago

In Persia, the Sumerian civilization centered on Ur built clipped pyramids - "Zigguratt" from 3800BC. Uruk and Jemdet Nasr,   c. 3350 – c. 250 BC, southern Mesopotamia (now  south-central Iraq),.  Gilgamesh (reigned 2652-2602 BC), the celebrated king-hero of Uruk in Mesopotamia, is depicted as the Master of Animals. In this representation, he holds a lion in his left arm and a snake in his right hand, flanked by two Assyrian winged bulls. This statue stands proudly near Qinghai Lake in the northeastern region of the Tibetan plateau in China.  The "Epic of Gilgamesh" has a flood story that predates the Old Testament. Ziggurat of Ur in Mesopotamia  2100BC. It has been estimated that Babylon was the largest city in the world c. 1770 – c. 1670 BC, and again c. 612 – c. 320 BC. It was perhaps the first city to reach a population above 200,000. Estimates for the maximum extent of its area range from 890 to 900 ha (2,200 acres).

Urbanization was linked to ruling classes emerge with wealth and resources, fights between rulers to increase their wealth and influence became the norm that has lasted to this day - unfortunately.

Egyptian cultural development

In Egypt, the Pharoes civilization with pyramids and temples galor lasted from 3500BC to 300BC. Memphis (Great Pyramid) 2950-331BC Pharoes Temples  3000-300BC in Egypt. Egyptians made extensive use of hieroglyphics to document their activities. 


Over 3000 years, the Egypt of the Pharoes was invaded by the Persians,  Greeks, and Romans without disturbing the religious establishment. 

1650BC Semitic speaking Hyksos invade

1479–1425 BC Egyptian empire invade Phoenicians 

925BC Libyan Pharoes as a result of mass immigration

700BC Nubian Pharoes  from Sudan 

670BC Neo-Assyrian  Pharoes from Persepolis

550BC Achaemenid Persian  Empire invades

330BC Greek Empire (Alexander the Great)  invades and takes over. He left Egypt in 331 B.C. and left Cleomenes of Naukratis in charge of the territory. This position was later claimed by Ptolemy I through XIII producing the Ptolemaic era temples in Luxor, Karnak, Esna. They were allied to Rome through most of this time.

285BC The Library of Alexandria was created and became a center of learning in the ancient Greek world.

51BC Cleopatra VII takes over (The Cleopatra !), and Rome invades. She eventually strikes a deal with Caesar to maintain power. 

44BC Caesar was assassinated and Augustus (Octavian) takes over. Cleopatra allies with Mark Anthony.

41BC  After the defeat of Mark Anthony, Cleopatra was deposed by Augustus and Rome takes over. The library was partially destroyed but Alexandria continues as a center of intellectual development through 150AD with the Claudius Ptolemy map of the world. 

270AD Roman rule collapses.

The Hittites 1800-1200BC were an Anatolian Indo-European people who formed one of the first major civilizations of Bronze Age West Asia. Possibly originating from beyond the Black Sea,[2] they settled in modern day Turkey in the early 2nd millennium BC.  when it encompassed most of Anatolia and parts of the northern Levant and Upper Mesopotamia. For example, the Sphinx Gate entrance of the city of HattusaBetween the 15th and 13th centuries BC, the Hittites were one of the dominant powers of the Near East, coming into conflict with the New Kingdom of Egypt, the Middle Assyrian Empire and the empire of Mitanni for control of the region. 

Minoan Civilization 1900-1350BC. Knossos on Crete  also Akrotiri. The Minoan civilization developed from the local Neolithic culture around c. 3100 BC, with complex urban settlements, art and writing beginning around 2000 BC.

Around 1600BC, the Thera volcano explodes burying the Minoan town of Akrotiri on Santorini, and leaving a massive caldera.

Genetic study of the Tarim mummies, found in the Tarim Basin, in the area of Loulan located along the Silk Road 200 kilometres (124 miles) east of Yingpan, dating to as early as 1600 BC, suggest very ancient contacts between East and West.  Some remnants of what was probably Chinese silk dating from 1070 BC have been found iAncient Egypt.


Mycenae in Greece 1450 BC to about 1100 BC. After c. 1450 BC, Minoans came under the cultural and perhaps political domination of the mainland Mycenaean Greeks, forming a hybrid culture which lasted until around 1100 BC. Lion gate, ancient city of Mycenae (BC 1650-1200), capital of King Agamemnon, Greece.


Phoenicians  1100-200BC  in Tyre, Sidon, and Byblos. all the way to Carthage, bypassing Egypt.  The Phoenicians came to prominence in the mid-12th century BC, They were skilled traders and mariners. The Phoenicians remained a core asset to the Achaemenid Empire, particularly for their prowess in maritime technology and navigation;[52] they furnished the bulk of the Persian fleet during the Greco-Persian Wars of the late 400'sBC. The Phoenicians developed an expansive maritime trade network that lasted over a millennium, helping facilitate the exchange of cultures, ideas, and knowledge between major cradles of civilization such as Greece, Egypt, and Mesopotamia. The first alphabet appeared around 1000BC. After its zenith in  800's BC, the Phoenician civilization in the eastern Mediterranean slowly declined  until the destruction of Carthage in the 100's BC.

Persian cultural development


Dur-Sharrukin (present-day Khorsabad, Iraq), c. 722 to 705 BC.  Neo-Assyrian Empire.

The Scythians  were an ancient Eastern Iranic equestrian nomadic people who had migrated in 800'sBC from Central Asia to the Pontic Steppe in modern-day Ukraine and Southern Russia, where they remained established  until the 200's BC. In the 600's BC, the Scythians crossed the Caucasus Mountains and frequently raided West Asia.

525-402BC & 343-332BC  The Achaemenid Empires 550–330 BC  the First Persian Empire[  was the ancient Iranian empire Through far-reaching military conquests and benevolent rule, Cyrus the Great transformed a small group of semi-nomadic tribes into the mighty Persian Empire, the ancient world's first superpower, in less than 15 years. Based in Western Asia, it was the largest empire the world had ever seen at its time,  from the Balkans and Egypt in the west to Central Asia and the Indus Valley in the east. Persian II empire 226AD - covers Mesopotamia in West, Pakistan in east. Provided a path for the Silk Road trading route to China, and the Incense Road to India. Persepolis in Persian mountains (modern Iran) capital of the  Achaemenid Empire. Babylon in Iraq major city and regional capital of the Achaemenid Empire;  The Ishtar Gate was the eighth gate to the inner city of Babylon (in the  area of present-day Hillah, Babil Governorate, Iraq). It was constructed circa 575 BC by Nebuchadnezzar II. Reconstruction in the Berlin museum. The Achaemenid Empire has been recognized for its imposition of a successful model of centralized bureaucratic administration, its multicultural policy, building complex infrastructure such as road systems and an organized postal system, the use of official languages across its territories, and the development of civil services, including its possession of a large, professional army.

Trade with East

Silk Road 329 BC - 1220AD  Samarkand was  key city, part of a network of Caravansari (way points) that supported travelers. The Silk Road derives its name from the highly lucrative trade of silk textiles that were produced almost exclusively in China. The network began with the Han dynasty's expansion into Central Asia around 114 BCE through the missions and explorations of the Chinese imperial envoy Zhang Qian, which brought the region under unified control. The Parthian Empire provided a bridge to East Africa and the Mediterranean. By the early first century CE, Chinese silk was widely sought-after in Rome, Egypt, and Greece.[2] Other lucrative commodities from the East included tea, dyes, perfumes, and porcelain; among Western exports were horses, camels, honey, wine, and gold. Aside from generating substantial wealth for emerging mercantile classes, the proliferation of goods such as paper and gunpowder greatly altered the trajectory of various realms, if not world history. For example, the medieval Tangut fortress on the Silk Road, built in 1032 near Juyan Lake Basin, Gobi desert Mongolia. There are notes from traders.    Palmyra  grew wealthy from trade caravans; the Palmyrenes became renowned as merchants who established colonies along the Silk Road and operated throughout the Roman Empire. Yazd in Iran is another anchient Silk Road city.

Incense Road -  500 BC - 100 AD Petra a key post  on the Incense Road.  The Incense Trade Route  linking the Mediterranean world with eastern and southern sources of incense, spices and other luxury goods, stretching from Mediterranean ports across thee Levant and Egypt through Northeastern Africa and Arabia to India and beyond.   as Arabian frankincense and myrrh;[1] Indian spices, precious stones, pearls, ebony, silk and fine textiles;[2] and from the Horn of Africa, rare woods, feathers, animal skins, Somali frankincense, gold, and slaves.[2][3] The incense land trade from South Arabia to the Mediterranean flourished between roughly the 3rd century BC and the 2nd century AD.

Petra grew as a Nabatean trading post on the Incense Road. Hegra in Saudi Arabia is another large settlement.

Greek cultural development 

800-400 BC Olympics 

550 BC Ephesus, Turkey peaks. 

598 BC Democracy in Greece

490 BC Defeat Persians in Marathon

480-479 BC Xerxes from Persia tries to invade - battles at Thermopylae, Salamis and finally looses at Plataea

460-320 BC  Full democratic instiutions in Athens introduced by Pericles

447 BC  Parthenon built

431-404 BC Pelloponesian war with Sparta

427-347  BC  Plato

420 BC  Atomic theory by Democritos

399 BC Trial and death of Socrates

336 -323 BC  Alexander the  Great tutored by Aristotle - -takes over Egypt.

Macedonian (North Greece & Balkans) empire started by Alexander the Great Capital Athens - started as the Greek Republic and its scientific revolution.  

Ptolomaeic (Greeks) Macedonia  kingdom on the periphery of Archaic and Classical Greece,[6] which later became the dominant state of Hellenistic Greece.[7] due to Alexander the Great . During Alexander's subsequent campaign of conquest, he overthrew the Achaemenid Empire and conquered territory that stretched as far as the Indus River. Serapeum of Alexandria, where the Library of Alexandria moved part of its collection.  Many important and influential scholars worked at the Library during the third and second centuries BC, including: Zenodotus of Ephesus, who worked towards standardizing the works of Homer; Callimachus, who wrote the Pinakes, sometimes considered the world's first library catalog; Apollonius of Rhodes, who composed the epic poem the Argonautica;   Hero of Alexandria, who invented the first recorded steam engine; Aristophanes of Byzantium, who invented the system of Greek diacritics and was the first to divide poetic texts into lines; and Aristarchus of Samothrace, who produced the definitive texts of the Homeric poems as well as extensive commentaries on them.   Lighthouse of Pharos was one of the seven wonders.

270 BC Heliocentric world by Aristarchus

250 BC approx. Erastosthenes, third librarian of  Alexandria, estimates the diameter of earth to within 2%.

Between 220 and 150 BC an early astrolabe for measuring latitude was invented by Apollonius of Perga. Latitude measurement based on the sun became a staple of navigation.

41BC Cleopatra was deposed by Augustus and Rome takes over Egypt. 

30BC Rome takes over Greece.

Roman cultural development 

The Roman Republic 509BC-27 BC was the era of classical Roman civilization. During this period, Rome's control expanded from the city's immediate surroundings to hegemony over the entire Mediterranean world. Ephysus  part of Grecian empire 400BC. Rome  - 300 BC  capital at start of Punic wars that established power over the Mediterranean, as a Republic under Caesar etc.   Aqueduct in Segovia Spain,   and the Colosseum in Rome.  In 44BC Caesar is assassinated, and replaced by Octavian (Augustus) starting the Empire.


The Second Punic War (218 to 201 BC) was the second of three wars fought between Phoenician Carthage in Tunisia and Rome, the two main powers of the western Mediterranean in the 3rd century BC. Hannibal crossed the Alps and fought the Romans for 17 years. 

The Roman Empire 31BC-476AD was the post-Republican state of ancient Rome and is generally understood to mean the period and territory ruled by the Romans following Octavian's assumption of sole rule under the Principate in 31 BC. It included territory in Europe, Greece, North Africa, and Western Asia, and was ruled by emperors. Pompeii was covered by a volcanic eruption in 79AD, spectacular wall and floors have been found. In 100AD, Caligula built the Nemi Ships - floating mobile palaces, the remains were destroyed in WW2.  Timgad is a Roman city located in the Aurès Mountains of Algeria. founded by Emperor Trajan around 100 CE. The city represents one of the best extant examples of the grid plan as used in Roman town planning. In 150AD, Claudius Ptolemy published the first world map in his book Geography that is scaled pretty well to reality because he used lunar eclipse as a time reference to measure longitude. We only have redrawn versions from the 1500's. He was an Alexandrian mathematicianastronomerastrologergeographer, and music theorist,.  Unlike most Greek mathematicians, Ptolemy's writings never ceased to be copied or commented upon, both in Late Antiquity and in the Middle Ages

The Sasanian Empire ruled Persia 300-600AD. Ctesiphon, Iraq has one of the largest brick arches.  Roman emperor Philippus the Arab kneeling in front of Persian King Shapur I, begging for peace, and the standing emperor represents Valerian who was taken captive by the Persian army in 260 AD, The triumph of Shapur I, Naqshe Rostam, Iran.

The fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 at the hands of the Goths, and the establishment of the Byzantine Eastern Roman Empire  conventionally marks the end of classical antiquity and the beginning of the Middle Ages.


First Americans arrived around 20,000 years ago probably as coastal migrants from Asia. A second wave probably arrives via land bridge at the end of the last ice age 9,000 years ago.  DNA study of Kenniwith Man (9000 years old) , found on the Columbia River, is best match to todays Native Americans suggesting a long term community already isolated from their Asian roots. 

Caral-Supe in Peru, The civilization flourished between the 4000-2000 BC  with the formation of the first city generally dated to around 3500 BC, at Huaricanga, in the Fortaleza area. It is from 3100 BC onward that large-scale human settlement and communal construction become clearly apparent,[2] which lasted until a period of decline around 1800 BC. The most impressive achievement of the civilization was its monumental architecture, including large earthwork platform mounds and sunken circular plazas. 

In 1000BC followed by the Chauvin civilization. 100BC to 800AD, the Nazca of lines fame, eventually leading to the Incas in Maccu Piccu and Saqsaywaman 1420-1532AD.

Machu Pichu in Peru is a 1400'sAD Inca citadel located in the Eastern Cordillera of southern Peru on a 2,430-meter (7,970 ft) mountain ridge.[2][3] Often referred to as the "Lost City of the Incas", it is the most familiar icon of the Inca Empire. The Inca Empire   was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America.[4] The administrative, political, and military center of the empire was in the city of Cusco. The Inca civilization rose from the Peruvian highlands sometime in the early 1200's. The Spanish began the conquest of the Inca Empire in 1532 and by 1572, the last Inca state was fully conquered.

The Maya civilization  c. 250 – c. 1697 AD was a Mesoamerican civilization that existed from antiquity to the early modern period. It is known by its ancient temples and glyphs (script). The Maya script is the most sophisticated and highly developed writing system in the pre-Columbian Americas. The civilization is also noted for its art, architecture, mathematics, calendar, and astronomical system.

It developed in an area that today comprises southeastern Mexico, all of Guatemala and Belize, and the western portions of Honduras and El Salvador, notably Tikal.   Today, their descendants, known collectively as the Maya, number well over 6 million individuals, speak more than twenty-eight surviving Mayan languages, and reside in nearly the same area as their ancestors. There are folded paper documents from arpound 1100 AD. such as the "Dresden Codex"

By 500AD, a significant city of 200,000 had emerged at Teothuca Mexico, followed by the Aztecs. Aztec in Central America  was an alliance of three Nahua city-states: Mexico-Tenochtitlan, Tetzcoco, and Tlacopan. These three city-states ruled that area in and around the Valley of Mexico from 1428 until the combined forces of the Spanish conquistadores and their native allies who ruled under Hernán Cortés defeated them in 1521.  The sun sculpture is from Mexico area 1500's.

By 1000-1300, there were communities in Cahokia Mounds (near St Louis MI), and  Anazazi Cliff Dwellings in Mesa AZ and NM. Different domesticated crops such as corn became the staples.  

Before the European invasion, native tribes controlled North America


The Tibet Plateau and the  Russian Steppes have isolated Chinas development from the rest of the world, with a single trade route - the Silk Road. There choice of wood structure buildings means that there are limited buildings to mark thier culture. 

Shang Dynasty 1600 - 1122BC Erligang culture 1600 to 1400 BC of the Yellow River valley,   urban civilization and archaeological culture in China  The primary site, Zhengzhou Shang City.  First bronze castings.

Zhou Dynasty 1122-221BC Bronzeware.  Confucianism, Taoism and Legalism started 

Qin Dynasty 221-206BC built both the Terracotta Army and parts of the Great Wall of China.

Han Dynasty 206BC-581AD  the Han dynasty is considered a golden age in Chinese history. Papermaking, the nautical steering ship rudder, the use of negative numbers in mathematics, the raised-relief map, the hydraulic-powered armillary sphere for astronomy, and a seismometer employing an inverted pendulum that could be used to discern the cardinal direction of distant earthquakes. Art, clothes, bronzes have survived. Buddism arrives over the Silk Road. 


Longmen Grottoes is traced to reign of Emperor Xiaowen of Northern Wei dynasty; period from 493-1127 AD.

Sui Dynasty 581-641AD Reunified north and south, construction of the Grand Canal 1776km long parts are still visible in Beijing.

Tang Dynasty 618-907AD capital Xian. a golden age of Chinese arts and culture. In power from 618 to 906 A.D., Tang China attracted an international reputation that spilled out of its cities and, through the practice of Buddhism, spread its culture across much of Asia. Woodblock printing was developed in the early Tang era with examples of its development dating to around 650 A.D. More common use is found during the 800's, with calendars, children’s books, test guides, charm manuals, dictionaries and almanacs. Commercial books began to be printed around 762 A.D.  The Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, Chang'an (modern-day Xi'an),

In 835 A.D., there was a ban on private printing brought on because of the distribution of unsanctioned calendars. The oldest surviving printed document from the Tang era is the Diamond Sutra from 868 A.D., a 16-foot scroll featuring calligraphy and illustrations. Woodblock printing is credited for helping make Buddhism a regular part of ordinary Chinese life by giving Buddhist monks the opportunity to mass-produce texts, and spread Buddism. This lead to resistance to Buddism. 

Five Dynasty Ten Kingdoms 907-960AD  Infighting and upheaval.

Song Dynasty 960-1274AD  The Song dynasty was the first in world history to issue banknotes or true paper money and the first Chinese government to establish a permanent standing navy.   Economically, the Song dynasty was unparalleled with a gross domestic product three times larger than that of Europe during the 12th century. The spread of literature and knowledge was enhanced by the rapid expansion of woodblock printing and the 1000's AD invention of movable-type printing. Philosophers such as Cheng Yi and Zhu Xi reinvigorated Confucianism with new commentary, infused with Buddhist ideals, and emphasized a new organization of classic texts that established the doctrine of Neo-Confucianism.

Yuan Dynasty 1279-1336AD  was a Mongol-led imperial dynasty of China and a successor state to the Mongol Empire after its division.[note 2] It was established by Kublai (Emperor Shizu or Setsen Khan), the fifth khagan-emperor of the Mongol Empire.Although Genghis Khan's enthronement as Khagan in 1206 was described in Chinese  and the Mongol Empire had ruled territories including modern-day northern China for decades, it was not until 1271 that Kublai Khan officially proclaimed the dynasty, the conquest was not complete until 1279 when the Southern Song dynasty was defeated in the Battle of Yamen. His realm was, by this point, isolated from the other Mongol-led khanates and controlled most of modern-day China and its surrounding areas, including modern-day Mongolia. 


Ming Dynasty 1368-1677AD. The Ming dynasty was the last imperial dynasty of China ruled by the Han people, the majority ethnic group in China. 

Emperor established Yan as a secondary capital and renamed it Beijing, constructed the Forbidden City, and restored the Grand Canal, converted the Great Wall to stone   He rewarded his eunuch supporters and employed them as a counterweight against the Confucian scholar-bureaucrats. One eunuch, Zheng He, led seven enormous voyages of exploration into the Indian Ocean as far as Arabia and the eastern coasts of Africa. Hongwu and Yongle emperors had also expanded the empire's rule into Inner Asia. Constructed the Forbidden City.

Quing Dynasty 1644-1911AD Manchu-led (Mongolian) imperial dynasty of China and the last imperial dynasty in Chinese history. Expanded into one of h largest empires covering China, Tibet and Mongolia. This brought conflict with expansionist European Empires that established trading centers in Canton and Hong Kong.  and eventual defeat from internal revolt as in the  Boxer Rebellion and foreigner conquest. 

Republic of China 1912.  Communist party formed 1921. Chiang Kai-sheck orders the massacre of communists (Shanghai Massacre). By 1928 Chiang becomes head of state, but by 1931 civil war with the communists had started. In 1937 war with Japan preceded WW2.

After WW2 1949, Imperial China retakes Taiwan, and the communists take over mainland China. 


Indus Valley civilization lasted from 3300 BCE to 1300 BCE By 2600 BC, the Early Harappan communities turned into large urban centres in Pakistan and NW India. 

Mohenjodaro and Harappa, in Indus Valley  2600-1900BC  

Indian structures starts with Buddist, followed by Hindu, and then Islamic influences. The forts in Rajistan near the border with todays Pakistan were an attempt to push the Muslims away. More recently Sikh have also emerged.

Maurya Empire controlled most of India 322-185BC.

Dravidian style or the South Indian temple style is an architectural idiom in Hindu temple architecture starting in 300 BC

The Gupta Empire was an ancient Indian empire which existed from the early 300's AD to early 500's AD. At its zenith, from approximately 319 to 467 AD, it covered much of the Indian subcontinent.[6] This period is considered as the Golden Age of India by historians.  The current structure of the Mahabodhi Temple dates to the Gupta era, 400's AD. Marking the location where the Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment.  Science and political administration reached new heights during the Gupta era.[15] The period,  gave rise to achievements in architecture, sculpture, and painting that "set standards of form and taste [that] determined the whole subsequent course of art, not only in India but far beyond her borders". Hinduism was followed by the rulers and the Brahmins flourished in the Gupta empire but the Guptas tolerated people of other faiths as well.[20]

The Kailasha temple  756-773 AD is the largest of the rock-cut Hindu temples at the Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India. A megalith carved from a rock cliff face, it is considered as one of the most remarkable cave temples in the world because of its size, architecture and sculptural treatment,

Derawar fort, Pakistan. 800's AD

The best-preserved and most graphic example of erotic temple art can be found in the small town of Khajuraho in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.  Built by the Chandela dynasty between 950 and 1050.


Rani-ki-Vav (the Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat 1000,s

Buddism spreads to South East Asia. Brobudur is a 800AD Mahayana Buddhist temple in  Central JavaIndonesia. It is the world's largest Buddhist temple. Angkor Wat 1100AD  is a temple complex in Cambodia,  the largest religious structure in the world.[2] Originally constructed as a Hindu temple[1].  It was gradually transformed into a Buddhist temple towards the end of the century; as such, it is also described as a "Hindu-Buddhist" temple. Ayutthaya 1350 AD is Thailand‘s unsung archaeological miracle: a vision of Buddhist temples, monasteries and ancient statues of monumental dimensions

Rani ki Vav, an ornamental stepwell (inverted pyramid to celebrate water) in the state of Gujarat, India  1100AD

The Hill Forts of Rajasthan (Amer, Chittor, Gagron, Jaisalmer's Golden Fort 1156AD , Kumbhalgarh, Ranthambore), a group of six forts built by various Rajput kingdoms to repel Islamic invaders. Hindu temples such as Sas Bahu temple.


In 1192 the victory of Muhammed of Ghur over the Rajput (Hindu) King in northern India, led to an alien rule being established in the Indian subcontinent. The Dehli Sultanate started in 1300's and  lasted until most were absorbed into the Mughal Empire in the 1500's. Apart from the sultanates of the Deccan Plateau, Gujarat, Bengal, and Kashmir, the architecture of the Malwa and Jaunpur sultanates also left some significant buildings.Taj Mahal in Agra 1631 Mausoleum. Mughal (​Indo-Islamic-Persian) style during Mughal empire (1526–1857).

Vittala  Hindu Temple 1336–1565 is the most extravagant architectural showpiece of Hampi

Udaipur's City Palace 1553AD in Rajasthan

Junagarh Fort,Bikaneer, Rajasthan 1589AD


Guru Nanak (1469–1539), the founder of Sikhism, was born near Lahore. The Golden Temple 1557AD is a gurdwara (guru house) located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab, India. It is the preeminent spiritual site of Sikhism.

Mughal empire (1526–1857). The Mughal Empire is conventionally said to have been founded in 1526 by Babur, a chieftain from what is today Uzbekistan, who employed aid from the neighboring Safavid and Ottoman Empires,[13] to defeat the Sultan of Delhi, Ibrahim Lodi, in the First Battle of Panipat, and to sweep down the plains of North India.  At its peak, the empire stretched from the Indus River Basin in the west, northern Afghanistan   day Assam and Bangladesh in the east, and the Deccan Plateau in South India. Although the Mughal Empire was created and sustained by military warfare,  it did not vigorously suppress the cultures and peoples it came to rule; rather it equalized and placated them through new administrative practices, Jaipur's Amber Fort 1600-1727AD, Jantar Mantar 1734, Jaipur is huge astronomical observatory. 

The empire was formally dissolved by the British Raj after the Indian Rebellion of 1857 


Northern Africa is the story of the Mediterranean.

Linguistic evidence suggests the Bantu people (for example, Xhosa and Zulu) had emigrated southwestward from what is now Egypt into former Khoisan ranges and displaced them during the last 4000 years or so, by 200 AD had spread down to to  south to the middle of Botswana, west to Mozambique. east to Nigeria.  

The earliest ironworks in modern-day KwaZulu-Natal Province are believed to date from around 1050AD.

The Sao civilization flourished from about the 500 BC to as late as the 1500 AD in Central Africa. The Sao lived by the Chari River  part of present-day Cameroon and Chad.  Sao artifacts show that they were skilled workers in bronze, copper, and iron. Finds include bronze sculptures and terracotta statues of human and animal figures, coins, funerary urns, household utensils, jewelry, highly decorated pottery, and spears. Converted to Islam.

During the 1000 to 1400 AD, Great Zimbabwe was the heart of a thriving trading empire that was based on cattle husbandry, agriculture, and the gold trade on the Indian Ocean coast. The extensive stone ruins of this African Iron Age city are located in the southeastern portion of the modern-day country of Zimbabwe. It is thought that the central ruins and surrounding valley supported a Shona (Bantu) population.

Timbuktu in Mali had its humble origins in about 1100 BC, when it was  founded as a seasonal camp by Tuareg nomads. Substantial structures and Gold trade by 1400AD.

Lalībela, located in north-central Ethiopia, is famous for its rock-hewn churches, which date back to the late 1200AD. The 11 churches, important in Ethiopian Christian tradition. 

Benin Kingdom in Nigeria in the 1500's. Benin metal workmanship occurred during the reigns of Esigie (fl. 1550) and of Eresoyen (1735–1750), when their workmanship achieved its highest quality.

Middle Ages in Europe & Mesopotamia

The fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 at the hands of the Goths, and the establishment of the Byzantine Eastern Roman Empire  conventionally marks the end of classical antiquity and the beginning of the Middle Ages.

The Goths 378-527  were Germanic people who played a major role in the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the emergence of medieval Europe. 

In the late 300's, the lands of the Goths were invaded from the east by the Huns.  Goths migrated further west or sought refuge inside the Roman Empire. Goths who entered the Empire by crossing the Danube inflicted a devastating defeat upon the Romans at the Battle of Adrianople in 378. These Goths would form the Visigoths,   Visigothic Kingdom in Spain at Toledo.[3] 

The Huns (led by Atilla) were  based in Central Asia established  control from China to Persia and Greece. The Goths under Hunnic rule gained their independence in the 400's, most importantly the Ostrogoths.  these Goths established an Ostrogothic Kingdom in Italy at Ravenna. The Ostrogothic Kingdom was destroyed by the Eastern Roman Empire in the 500's, while the Visigothic Kingdom was conquered by the Islamic Umayyad Caliphate in the early 8th century.  Angles and Saxons from Denmark took over England.

The Byzantine Empire 500-1453AD also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, was the continuation of the Roman Empire  after the Goths, when its capital city was Constantinople. Christianity became established within the Byzantine Empire.  The borders of the empire fluctuated through several cycles of decline and recovery. During the reign of Justinian I (r. 527–565), the empire reached its greatest extent, reconquering much of the historically Roman western Mediterranean coast, including Africa, Italy, and Rome. This expansion was halted by volcanic eruptions in Iceland in the 500's that reduced the sun to "the warming of the moon for 2 years" (Secrets of the Dead PBS).  In addition, a bubonic plague swept through the empire. Somewhere between 25% and 50% of the population of the empire died from the pandemic, totaling some 25-100 million people during its two centuries of recurrence.  Goreme cliff and underground dwellings  in Capadochio TurkeyHagia Sophia 532AD started as a church It continued to exist until the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453, and converted to mosque in the 1500's.

The  Frankish Kingdom 481–870AD, was the largest post-Roman barbarian kingdom in Western EuropeThe original core Frankish territories inside the former Western Roman Empire were close to the Rhine and Meuse rivers in the north,  expanded Frankish rule into what is now northern France.  Under the nearly continuous campaigns of Pepin of Herstal, Charles Martel, Pepin the Short, Charlemagne, and Louis the Pious—father, son, grandson, great-grandson and great-great-grandson—the greatest expansion of the Frankish empire was secured by the early 9th century. Charelemagne was responsible for a emprire legal system. The Frankish Church  became a substantial influence of the medieval Western Church. In the 7th century, the territory of the Frankish realm was (re-)Christianized with the help of Irish and Scottish missionaries.

According to Islamic tradition, Muhammad was born in Mecca in 570 AD, In the year 610 , troubled by the moral decline and idolatry prevalent in Mecca and seeking seclusion and spiritual contemplation, he is said to have received the first revelation of the Quran from the angel Gabriel. Abraham was a prophet and messenger of God according to Islam, and an ancestor to the Ishmaelite Arabs and Israelites. The Quran refers to a number stories of Abrahamic family members. Structures all over the Middle East , the Great Mosque in Mecca has been rebuilt several times, By 814AD, a  series of Muslim Caliphates spread Islam from  Spain (Mezquita Mosque), the North African coast, Turkish border, Mesopotamia, Persia, to Pakistan.  They developed significant infrastructure such as 1000 year-old ancient Persian vertical-axis windmills, standing in the arid landscape of Nashtifan, Iran; are not just relics but are still operational. A really remote example, Minaret of Jam (1190 CE) western Afghanistan. 

Islamic science and technology built on  some of the ideas from ancient Greece. Medieval Islamic astronomy comprises the astronomical developments made in the Islamic world, particularly during the Islamic Golden Age (9th–13th centuries), and mostly written in the Arabic language. These developments mostly took place in the Middle East, Central Asia, Al-Andalus, and North Africa, and later in the Far East and India. In 1420, the Timurid ruler Ulugh Beg of Samarkand established his court as a center of patronage for astronomy.


Viking empire 793-1066AD controlled the Baltic Eastern England, Iceland, extended to the Americas. Jomsborg was a semi-legendary Viking stronghold at the southern coast of the Baltic Sea (medieval Wendland, modern Pomerania), that existed between the 960s and 1043. The Viking Age in Scandinavian history is taken to have been the period from the earliest recorded raids by Norsemen in 793 until the Norman conquest of England in 1066.[63] Vikings used the Norwegian Sea and Baltic Sea for sea routes to the south, and as far as N America. A spectacular new Viking Hall reconstruction has been completed at the archaeopark Sagnlandet Lejre / “Land of Legends” on Sjaelland, Denmark.  

Venice. The first doge of Venice was elected in 697AD. From 800-1100AD it 

developed into a powerful maritime empire  the city became a flourishing trade centre between Western Europe and the rest of the world, especially with the Byzantine Empire and Asia, Declined in the 1400's due to Ottomans and Black Death. 

Trade in the 1200's between Europe and the Middle East flowed through Venice. Marco Polo was a resident of Venice was a Venetian merchant, explorer and writer who travelled through Asia along the Silk Road between 1271 and 1295, and provided the first detailed documentation of China and Chinese culture.  The onset of long distance sailing exploration sidelined Venice.

The Holy Roman Empire (800-1806AD) or the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation focused on todays Germany, Hungary and Austria.  At its height included, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Hungary, controlling central European Protestant Christianity. They built their empire in Europe rather than round the world. Their royal family built influence through marriage across Europe from Russia to England. The Habsburgs grew to European prominence as a result of the dynastic policy pursued by Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor. Maximilian married Mary of Burgundy, thus bringing the Burgundian Netherlands into the Habsburg possessions. Their son, Philip the Handsome, married Joanna the Mad of Spain (daughter of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile). Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, the son of Philip and Joanna, inherited the Habsburg Netherlands in 1506, Habsburg Spain and its territories in 1516, and Habsburg Austria in 1519.

Normans mid 1000'sAD took over most of France, and UK. launched the first crusade with a patch work of conquests through the Mediterranean including, Barcelona, southern Italy, Coastal turkey, Cyprus, Galilei. The best known of these military expeditions are those to the Holy Land in the period between 1095 and 1291 that were intended to reconquer Jerusalem and its surrounding area from Muslim rule. 

In 1100AD, Old Sarum (North of Sailsbury) was a significant city in England.

European castles mostly built 1100-1400AD for defense and control. By 1400 they became more "palace-like".  Cathedrals designed to impress were also popular such as Note Dame in Paris, Winchester Cathedral, Lincoln Cathedral and numerous others which  were built in a similar time frame. Elsewhere in Europe, the other Abrahamic religions also built to impress. Mesquita mosque  Spain was built in 1238 -1492AD paired with the Alhambra Islamic moor palace/fortress. Greek orthodox monasteries of Meteroa, Thessaloniki 1300-1400AD. St Basils in Moscow was started in 1550. 

Cinque Ports  1135AD, a confederation of trading posts Hastings, New Romney, Hythe, Dover and Sandwich.  a network on professional guilds formed.

Mongol Empire 1206-1405 centered on  Mongolian nomadic warriors. grew to  cover China, Tibet, Pakistan, Persia, and the Black Sea. Temüjin, known by the more famous title of Genghis Khan . Grandson Kublai Kahn also known by his temple name as the Emperor Shizu   was the founder of the Yuan dynasty of China and the fifth khagan-emperor  of the Mongol Empire from 1260 to 1294. A stone turtle at the site of the Mongol capital, Karakorum.

In 1208, Oxford and Cambridge Universities started. 

In 1215, Magna Carta was signed, the first step in diluting the power of the monarchy in England. 

The Ottoman Empire c. 1299–1922 controlled much of Southeast Europe, West Asia, and North Africa  The empire also controlled southern Spain from the 1500-1600's. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 by Mehmed II. Reached its height under Suleiman the Magnificent (1520–1566). Sunni Islam religion. Samarkand 1409–1449 under Ula-Beg became a center of Islamic scholarship. 

Stockholm established in 1296AD with  construction of Gamla Stan. The city originally rose to prominence as a result of the Baltic trade of the Hanseatic League. Stockholm developed strong economic and cultural linkages with LübeckHamburgGdańskVisbyReval, and Riga during this time.

In 1300, a world map known as as the Hereford mappamundi was drawn and shows that the world view of Ptolomy was lost.

Dubrovnik from 1300-1800AD  ruled itself as a free state. The prosperity of the city was historically based on maritime trade;  particularly during the 15th and 16th centuries, as it became notable for its wealth and skilled diplomacy. 

In 1346 to 1353, the Black Death (also known as the Pestilence, the Great Mortality or the Plague) was a bubonic plague pandemic occurring in Western Eurasia and North Africa . It is the most fatal pandemic recorded in human history, causing the deaths of approximately 40% to 60% of Europe's population (an estimated 25–50 million people)[2] Food availability allowed populations to grow, while urbanization increased the mortality from disease.  

The Anglo-French Hundred Years' War  1337–1453 was a series of wars between England and France.  It originated from English claims to the French throne. The war grew into a broader power struggle involving factions from across Western Europe, fueled by emerging nationalism on both sides.

Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1340s – 25 October 1400) first British poet.

The Italian Renaissance 1400-1600's was born in Florence Italy under the control of the Medichi family, who also produced two popes of dubious religiosity of the Catholic Church—Pope Leo X (1513–1521), and Pope Clement VII (1523–1534).  in this time of some of the least religious popes there was an explosion of western science and art mostly funded by the Medichi's. Florence was politically, economically, and culturally one of the most important cities in Europe and the world. The intellectual revolution was led by  Leonardo Da Vinchi 1452 – 1519, Michelangelo and many others.


In 1440, the goldsmith Johannes Gutenberg invented the movable-type printing press, which started the Printing Revolution. Modelled on the design of existing screw presses, a single Renaissance movable-type printing press could produce up to 3,600 pages per workday. The printing press made knowledge available to all and prevented the Church from re-establishing control over knowledge. The alphabet with individualized letters is ideal for letterpress, as compared to Arabic with interconnected letters. It is estimated that by 1500 there were “fifteen to twenty million copies of 30,000 to 35,000 separate publications.”

In 1453, the fall of the Byzantine Empire based in Constantinople to the Ottomans led to  refugee Byzantine scholars who  were principally responsible for carrying, in person and writing, ancient Greek grammatical, literary studies, mathematical, and astronomical knowledge to early Renaissance Italy.  Georgios Plethon  was a Greek scholar and one of the most renowned philosophers of the late Byzantine era. He was a chief pioneer of the revival of Greek scholarship in Western Europe.  In 1438–1439 he reintroduced Plato's ideas to Western Europe during the Council of Florence, in a failed attempt to reconcile the East–West schism. There, Plethon met and influenced Cosimo de' Medici to found a new Platonic Academy.  This led to a revival of many of the discoveries of ancient Greece in the Renaissance, printed and distributed by Gutenberg. The Medici's actively searched for ancient texts for their library.

In 1459, Fra Mauro, based in Venice, drew his map of the wider world except the Americas, largely based on the journeys of Marco Polo who was also a Venetian. It is on exhibit at Museo Galileo in Florence. 

In 1514, Copernicus is known to have used Greek insight in his discovery of the sun centered universe, which was accepted by the Catholic pope Pope Clement VII in 1533.

In 1517, Martin Luther published his critique of the morally bankrupt Catholic Church, that was selling indulgencies and supporting the Renaissance. This started the Reformation and the Protestant Church. Ironically Luther opposed the idea of a sun centered universe !

In 1542, the Roman Inquisition was created by  Pope Paul in a reaction to the Reformation and the liberal Renaissance Popes. Galileo was the most famous target of their efforts to re-establish church control. 

European Global Empires 

The competition between European powers changed to empire building through exploration. 

  • Christopher Columbus 1492 a Spanish funded expedition discovered Bahamas and Cuba. 

  • Vasco Da Gama 1498 Portuguese expedition to India 

  • Ferdinand Magellan 1519 Portuguese explorer led a Spanish funded round world exploration.

  • Hernan Cortes 1519 Spanish expedition leading to overthrow of the Aztecs.

  • Jacques Cartier 1534  French expedition to Canada.

  • Francis Drake 1577 British circumnavigation expedition that discovered California coast.

  • Pilgrims 1620 British colonizers of North America.

  • James Cook  1768 to 1771 British scientific expedition that discovered Australia.


Followed by invasions by Cortes, Cartier, the Pilgrims and others led to slavery and mass genocide of American native populations in the name of commerce and religious conversion. The voyages of discovery and empire building by the Europeans  naval powers in the 500-600y ago (1400-1500's), brought new contacts with the indigenous hunter gatherers and resulted in genocide of 90% of the indigenous people from diseases that they had no immunity for. The invaders point of view is well documented. Some insight as to the locals view is provided by the first contact in the 1950's between the natives of the interior of Papua New Guinea and the Australians. In PNG, there are numerous small isolated tribes with 832 different languages and no knowledge of oceans and other islands. The natives started viewing the invaders as Gods, and then became convinced of their humanity.  ( There are also accounts of interactions with natives of the Andoman and Nicobar Islands who have chosen to remain isolated (


In 1526, Portuguese completed the first transatlantic slave voyage to Brazil, and other Europeans soon followed. By the middle of the 17th century, slavery had hardened as a racial caste, with African slaves and their future offspring being legally the property of their owners, as children born to slave mothers were also slaves. 

The major Atlantic slave trading nations, in order of trade volume, were PortugalBritainSpainFrance, the Netherlands, the United States, and Denmark. Current estimates are that about 12 million to 12.8 million Africans were shipped across the Atlantic over a span of 400 years.

British Empire 1500's to 1950's, Elizabeth 1st to Edward 8th. Started with the the formation of Protestant Church. The defeat of the Catholic Spanish Armada  in 1588 established Naval power over Spain and Portugal.   At its height, under Victoria, covered Eastern US, Canada, Central and South Africa, India, Burma, Australia, New Zealand. They started the slave trade to provide workers for the American colonies. The empire shrank due to revolution in the US 1776, and retraction particularly in the 1950's after WW2.  

Portuguese Empire  1415-1999 It was one of the longest-lived colonial empires in European history, lasting almost six centuries from the conquest of Ceuta in North Africa, in 1415, to the transfer of sovereignty over Macau to China in 1999. By the 1500's it stretched across the globe, with control of  Congo & Mozambique,   Brazil, and various regions of Macau and Pacific Islands. Also a number of coastal bases  in Africa, India, China, Newfoundland. The Portuguese Inquisition was used to maintain Catholic control and block progress in science and art. 


Spanish Empire 1492-1900 was a colonial empire.  In conjunction with the Portuguese Empire, it was the first empire to usher the European Age of Discovery and achieve a global scale,[9] controlling vast portions of the South and Central America, Africa, various islands in Asia and Oceania, as well as territory in other parts of Europe. Following the Italian Wars against France, which concluded in 1559, Spain emerged with control over half of Italy , Southern Netherlands - todays Belgium and Luxembourg.  Started in 1478 by the Catholic monarchs, the Spanish Inquisition was used to block the progress  in science and art from the Renaissance from taking hold in Spain. This also supported the conversion justification for the cruel excesses of the empire in the Americas. 

Dutch Empire In 1595, the first Dutch expeditions to todays Indonesia were sent in support of spice trade. From 1652-1795, the Dutch East India company controlled much of South Africa, spoke Afrikaans and became known as the Boers. They were incorporated into the British Empire in 1806 after the Boer War.

France colonial empire  began to establish colonies in North America Canada and Mississippi Valley, the Caribbean and India in the 1500's but lost most of its possessions following its defeat in the Seven Years' War.

William Shakespeare (bapt. 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) wrote all those plays

As the European powers expanded their empires around the world, they also battled for supremacy within Europe. Sweden, Russia, England, Holy Roman Empire, France and Spain all fought  for control  using fluid coalitions based on religion and marriage. These struggles lasted through the 1600 and 1700's. The Dutch Revolt 1568–1648  (Eighty Years' War) was an armed conflict in the Habsburg Netherlands between disparate groups of rebels and the Spanish government. The causes of the war included the Reformationcentralization, excessive taxation, and the rights and privileges of the Dutch nobility and cities. Fort Bourtange in the Netherlands built in 1593.   The fight merged into the Germanic  Protestant - Catholic Thirty Years' War 1618 to 1648. Fought primarily within the Holy Roman Empire in Central and Western Europe, an estimated 4.5 to 8 million soldiers and civilians died as a result of battle, famine, and disease,  The war was  a continuation of the religious conflict initiated by the 1500's Lutheran Reformation within the Holy Roman Empire. The war between France and other European powers over the Spanish Succession was also part of the conflict.  Instability in Stuart England meant that they were sidelined. On the Lutheran side. the Swedish Empire was the period in Swedish history spanning much of the 1600-1700's  during which Sweden became a European great power that exercised territorial control over much of the Baltic region. Eventually Imperial Russia took control of Northern Europe. 

Galileo made numerous scientific contributions to astronomy and mathematics. 

In 1632, Galileo was found guilty of heresy by the Roman Inquisition because of his support for Heliocentric astronomy. By 1718, the church accepted sun centered universe, and the Inquisition waned in power.


The World Map of W. Blaeu, Dutch cartographer,  was published in 1635 based on the geography known in the first edition in 1608. The obvious misses are the polar regions and Australia & New Zealand, that were only discovered in the late 1700's by Cook. New The north coast of New Guinea had been discovered.  Notable for the planets depicted as chariot warriors, elements (fire, water, land, air) , seasons, and 7 "ancient wonders of the world" as imagined by Maarten van Heemskerck ( Great Pyramid of Giza, the Colossus of Rhodes, Pharos the  Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Temple of Diana ( Artemis), the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.).

See also

The short lived English Roundhead Revolution 1649-1658 was led by Oliver Cromwell Following the execution of Charles I and the exile of his son, military victories in Ireland and against the Scots from 1649 to 1651 firmly established the Commonwealth and Cromwell's dominance of the new republican regime. In December 1653, he was named Lord Protector of the Commonwealth,[a] a position he retained until his death in September 1658. The 1660 Stuart Restoration, when Charles II returned to the throne. The continued struggle to produce living heirs and  to avoid Catholic royals, led to the Hanover family from Germany to takeover the British throne. George I  was King of Great Britain and Ireland from 1 August 1714 and ruler of the Electorate of Hanover within the Holy Roman Empire from 23 January 1698 until his death in 1727. He was the first British monarch of the House of Hanover.

In 1687, Sir Isaac Newton quantified  gravity and the orbits of planets, the biggest breakthrough since the sun centered universe; not to mention calculus, and the presence of multiple wavelengths of light.

Anglo/Prussia-France/Spanish Seven Years' War (1756–1763) was a global conflict between alliances led by Great Britain and France, and was fought primarily in Europe, the Americas, and Asia-Pacific. Along with Spain, France fought Britain both in Europe and overseas with land-based armies and naval forces, while Britain's ally Prussia sought territorial expansion in Europe and consolidation of its power. Long-standing colonial rivalries pitted Britain against France and Spain in North America in the French and Indian War (1754–1763). They fought on a grand scale with consequential results , including British control of N America. Prussia sought greater influence in the German states, while Austria wanted to regain Silesia, captured by Prussia in the previous war, and to contain Prussian influence.

By the 1700's, the Askanazi Jew population in the Holy Roman Empire and southern Russia were over 90% of worlds population. They became a major intellectual  influence in the HRE and Germany, for example Einstein and Bohr. The Russian community in the Pale of Settlement were in state enforced poverty, and became a majority exile group in the USA.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) was the most prolific classical composer

The Industrial Revolution 1760-1840 was a period of global transition of human economy towards more widespread, efficient and stable manufacturing processes that succeeded the Agricultural Revolution, starting from Great Britain, continental Europe, and the United States.  Mass manufacture of  textile, iron, steel, and chemicals were supported through canals and roads. This led to a migration from the country to the industrial cities.  The opposition from craftsmen, the first attacks of the Luddite movement began in 1811.  Those rioters who were caught were tried and hanged, or transported for life.

In 1765, John Harrison completed testing of his all metal H4 marine chronometer which allowed longitude to be measured at sea to within 1 degree. As early as 150AD, Claudius Ptolemy had measured  longitude by using lunar eclipses as a time reference at different locations, which is why his maps were so good. A more immediate time reference came from the orbits of planetary moons  or the position of the moon relative to stars.  

American War of Independence in 1776, was the first major defeat for the British Empire, and started  drive for individual freedom, and the process of locals reclaiming power from non-representative monarchies and colonial empires. 

The French Revolution[a] was a period of political and societal change in France that began with the Estates General of 1789, and ended with the coup of 18 Brumaire on November 1799 and the formation of the French Consulate. Napoleon Bonaparte was the leader of the French Republic as First Consul from 1799 to 1804, and the Emperor of France 1804-1814AD. He  established French hegemony over much of continental Europe; Spain, France, HRE (Germany, Austria, Poland), Italy, Croatia, Western Russia up to Moscow.  French campaign in Egypt and Syria (1798–1801) briefly held Egypt until  they lost sea control at the Battle of the Nile to Nelson. French Louisiana was then sold to the United States in 1803. Defeat at Trafalgar in 1805 stopped the invasion of England. Napoleons Invasion of Russia stopped by winter at Moscow, and the empire collapsed.


Upon Napoleon's return to power in 1815, a coalition led by UK ended Napoleons rule at Waterloo. The Bourbon Restoration established a constitutional monarchy that lasted until 1870. France rebuilt a new empire mostly after 1850, concentrating chiefly in Senegal, Madagascar as well as Vietnam, Cambodia and Tahiti.  The French Third Republic  was the system of government adopted in France from 4 September 1870, when the Second French Empire collapsed during the Franco-Prussian War, until 10 July 1940, after the Fall of France during World War II led to the formation of the Vichy government.

in 1799, the Rosetta stone was discovered leading to the deciphering of Egyptian hieroglyphics.

The 1800's were golden years of English literature.

Jane Austen  (1775 – 1817) No comment.

Charles Dickens (1812 – 1870) serial novelist. 

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859 – 1930)  author of Sherlock Holmes. 

From 1832-1919, the British Empire made 3 attempts to take control of Afghanistan, and were repelled each time. The locals reputation for repelling outsiders continues to this day - "Graveyard of Empires". 

In 1833, the UK ended support for slavery. Decades of political controversy over slavery were brought to a head by the victory in the 1860 U.S. presidential election of Abraham Lincoln. The American Civil War (1861 –1865)  was a civil war in the United States between the Union[e] ("the North") and the Confederacy ("the South"), which had been formed by states that had seceded from the Union. The cause of the war was the dispute over whether slavery would be permitted to expand into the western territories, leading to more slave states, or be prevented from doing so, which many believed would place slavery on a course of ultimate extinction. The Civil War was the first technology war were machine guns and artillery caused massive slaughter. After the South lost, the slaves were freed, and the white establishment in the South moved to introduce local Jim Crow laws. The case of Plessy v. Ferguson, in 1896 enforcing segregated rail cars was a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision ruling that racial segregation laws did not violate the U.S. Constitution as long as the facilities for each race were equal in quality, a doctrine that came to be known as "separate but equal". This allowed racial discrimination and segregation to become the law of the land, until 1964. 


The last era of expeditions into the unknown;  Franklin expedition 1845 searched for the North west passage, found by Amundsen in 1906. Peary 1909  claimed the North Pole.  Amundsen 1911 reaches the South Pole.  Shackleton 1917 survives greatest small boat journey from Elephant Island to South Georgia.

The latter half of the 1800's saw a revolution in our scientific understanding.  In 1842, the term dinosaur was first coined for bones of giant lizard-like animals. In 1850 Semmelweis’s discovered hand washing as an essential barrier to spreading infection.  In 1859, Darwin published "On the Origin of Species", describing how evolution led to the variety of species on the planet inspired by his observations in the Galapagos Islands. At the same time, Wallace came to the same conclusions based on his trip to the Indonesian Islands. In 1866 Mendel's Principles of Heredity was published. In 1870, Dmitri Mendeleev explained the properties of elements through his "Periodic Table". In 1872, Louis Pasteur creates the first laboratory-produced vaccine: the vaccine for fowl cholera in chickens.  In 1900, Max Planck proposed that energy is radiated and absorbed in discrete "quanta" (or energy packets), yielding a calculation that precisely matched the observed patterns of black-body radiation. In 1905, Einstein proposed special (velocity) relativity that redefined time based on the limiting speed of light. In 1915, Einstein proposed the General Theory (acceleration) of Relativity that showed that gravity was the result of mass distorting space-time which was proven by the bending of light by the sun observed during a total eclipse. He also showed that light comes in packets or particles for which he won the Nobel Prize. Classical physics was replaced a new understanding of the very large and very small and ushered in the Nuclear age.

In 1869, the first US transcontinental railroad is completed. The Suez canal is also opened transforming shipping access to oil and the British Empire.

in 1883, Krakatoa erupts, the energy released from the explosion has been estimated at  200 megatonnes of TNT,] roughly four times as powerful as the Tsar Bomba, the most powerful thermonuclear weapon ever detonated. Volcanic winter causes five-year average world temperature drop of 1.2 °C (2.2 °F). Smaller explosion than the KT meteor by 1E-6. 

In 1889, Eiffel Tower is opened.

in 1896, the first modern Olympics was held. 

In 1901, Sven Arrhenius publishes a paper showing that carbon dioxide is a global warming gas, and warns of the impact of fossil fuel use. 

In 1903, the Wright brothers invented powered flight, revolutionizing warfare and travel. 

Monarchies that resisted any form of power sharing with the peoples representatives, continued to fall to peoples revolutions. Social conditions for the workers during the Industrial Revolution were dire. Karl Marx identified how capitalism trapped the majority of the population in covert servitude. In Russia, the 1905 revolution forced limited representation and set the stage for the 1917 Russian Revolution, and Lenin taking power,  Appalling losses to the Germans in WW1, precipitated the popular revolution which saw the monarchy abolished and the Tsar executed.  The Chinese Revolution ran from 1912 and finally ended post WW2 in 1949 with Mao Tse Dung Communists in power in Continental China and the Imperial Chiang Kai-shek  in the island of Taiwan.

In 1914, the Panama Canal opens transforming trade between the US and Far East.

1914-1918 WW1 UK, France, Russia, USA vs.  Germany, Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman. The war was triggered by the assassination of the Archduke by a Serbian nationalist. The web of mutual support treaties, designed to deter, triggered declarations of war for all the European Powers.  A stalemate slaughter was established in Northern France, that was finally broken with manpower and materiel from USA.  The German - Russian front was stuck along the Polish border. The Russian losses finally destabilized the Tsar, and the Communists made peace.  

Key dates:

1914 Assassination, trenches stretch across N France to Switzerland.

1915 Ypres slaughter, Gallipoli.

1916 Verdun & Somme slaughter, Russians enter war

1917 US joins Western front, Russian revolution and withdrawl.

1918 Allies finally break out. 

In 1917, the war forced change on the British "Saxe-Coburg" royal family who spoke German at home! They changed their name to "Windsor". King George V led  the British against his first cousin the Kaiser, while his other first cousin Tsar Nicolas was being deposed. After the war most European monarchies were deposed. George V modernized the monarchy and ensured its survival in Britain. 

In 1918, the loosing powers were divided up between the winners, as a last demonstration of colonial power. The demands for end of monarchy included;  democratic republic, reparations and de-militarization in the German surrender setting up the rise of Hitler.

The Balfour Declaration was a public statement issued by the British Government in 1917 during the First World War announcing its support for the establishment of a "national home for the Jewish people" in Palestine, then an Ottoman region with a small minority Jewish population - colonial hubris of the first order. The declaration called for safeguarding the civil and religious rights for the Palestinian Arabs, who composed the vast majority of the local population, and also the rights and political status of the Jewish communities in other countries outside of Palestine. The British government acknowledged in 1939 that the local population's wishes and interests should have been taken into account, and recognized in 2017 that the declaration should have called for the protection of the Palestinian Arabs' political rights.  Combined with ignoring commitments to their Arab Allies in  WW1 against the Ottoman's, this has helped ensure antipathy to the West in the Islamic Middle East. 

in 1920 US women got the vote with the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution. In 1928 the Conservative government in the UK passed the Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act 1928 equalizing the franchise to all persons, male and female, over the age of 21.

In 1928, Scottish physician Alexander Fleming was the first to experimentally determine that a Penicillium mold secretes an antibacterial substance, which he named "penicillin". The first antibiotic, it became widely available during WW2.

In 1929, Edwin Hubble provided data showing that there were galaxies outside of the Milky Way, and that there was a "big bang" at the start of the known universe.  Our place in the universe was transformed. 

In 1929, the Great Crash of the US stock market triggered the Great Depression. Matters were made worse by import duties that peaked under Smoot–Hawley in 1933 at 19.8%, and the subsequent retaliation by trading partners. Fixed exchange rates based on the gold standard also made things worse.  This highlighted the limitations of un-managed capitalism and led to the "New Deal" under Franklin Roosevelt to stimulate demand and get the economy going. In the end exchange rates were allowed to float away from gold.   It became clear that government management was essential to a stable economy. Socialism and/or communism was viewed  by many as a realistic alternative. The growing unrest in many colonies was put on hold by the outbreak of WW2.

in 1930, the first Soccer world Cup was held, leading the way to becoming the worlds favorite sport.

In 1933, Hitler was voted into power and immediately suspended democracy, and rearmed to re-establish German power.

In 1936, the programmable computer was invented by Alan Turing, who called it an "a-machine" (automatic machine), the "Turing machine". During WW2, The breaking of the Enigma codes at Bletchley led by Alan Turing was crucial to the Allies success. The code breaking was the first use of  custom computing devices and is the template for the modern computer. After the war, he was prosecuted in 1952 for homosexual acts. He accepted hormone treatment  "chemical castration", as an alternative to prison. Turing died by suicide in 1954, at age 41. Turing's contribution and the whole Enigma Story remained an Official Secret until the 1974. He finally  received a pardon and apology in Parliament in 2013, that was extended to all mistreated gays in 2016. 

In 1939, Otto HahnFritz Strassmann  and Lise Meitner identified  nuclear fission in the February issue of Nature. This prompted ​the Einstein–Szilard letter written by Leo Szilard and signed by Albert Einstein on August 2, 1939, was sent to President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt. Written by Szilard in consultation with fellow Hungarian physicists Edward Teller and Eugene Wigner, the letter warned that Germany might develop atomic bombs and suggested that the United States should start its own nuclear program. It prompted action by Roosevelt, which eventually resulted in the Manhattan Project led by Robert Oppenheimer. There was a much smaller bomb effort in the UK called "Tube Alloys" that was merged into the Manhattan Project in 1943. After the war it became clear that the Germans abandoned their effort in 1942 and never made a serious effort to create a bomb.  

1939-1945 WW2 UK, France, Russia, USA vs. Germany, Japan, Italy. As Germany rearmed, Europe desperately tried to  avoid another blood bath including the Munich Agreement.  Hitler signed a treaty with the USSR and used the  timidity  of the West to invade Sudetanland (German extraction Austrians), and Poland. Eventually the allies responded, but only the British Islands avoided being overrun in the Blitzkrieg thanks to radar and the RAF. In 1941, Germany broke their treaty and invaded Russia, only to stall just outside Moscow by the onset of Winter. As Germany started to struggle, the Nazis slaughtered over 6M European based Jews in the Final Solution. Japan took over the Far east displacing the colonial powers through  to Burma. In late 1941, Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor Hawaii, forced the USA into the war and again manpower and material led to D Day and the opening of the Western Front in France.  The Germans led by Werner Von Braun launched the V2, the first guided missiles. The Jet powered Messerschmitt came to late to impact. Russia pushed all the way to  Berlin and Germany was defeated. The war in the Pacific continued with the US establishing Naval domination. Right before the invasion of Japan, 2 fission nuclear bombs triggered Japanese surrender and the era of nuclear deterrence was born.  

Key dates 

1939 Poland Invasion & West declares war

1940 Battle of Britain 

1941 Pearl harbor, Germany gets to edge of Moscow, Japan takes Singapore,

1942 Russia blocks at Stalingrad, USA win at Midway and  Guadacanal, UK win at El Alamain

1943 Allies invades Sicily and Italy, Bombing of Germany.

1944 D-Day 

1945 Berlin, Hiroshima & Nagasaki

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Cold War era  1945 - 1989 

In the aftermath, the Allies co-opted  Germany and Japan with residential armies that remain 80 years later. The Marshall plan was an effort to fund reconstruction, block rearmament, establish healthy economies and democracies to avoid the mistakes of WW1.  The Communist powers in Russia and China had fought imperial forces bankrolled by the capitalist West, and had been invaded by countries that they had peace treaties with, so they moved quickly to a defensive  position against their previous allies. In the US, a panic search for communists (McCarthy era) destroyed an number of careers, including Oppenheimer. number of British  traitors were exposed who gave secrets to the Russians, including Klaus Fuchs, McClain, Burgess, and  Philby added to the paranoia.  After the development of the H bomb in the US, led by Edward Teller, and Russia in 1951-1952, a Cold War developed between Capitalist and Communist blocs, Direct conflict was deterred by Mutually Assured Destruction between nuclear powers. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization formalized the collective defense of Western Europe and USA against the Soviet Block. The European economic union (EU) added economic co-dependence to European stability with free markets, free movement of capital and free movement of people. 


After 2 world wars, the United Nations was created as a body to resolve national conflicts peacefully, with limited success. Reviewing the first 50 years of the UN's history, the author Stanley Meisler writes that "the United Nations never fulfilled the hopes of its founders, but it accomplished a great deal nevertheless", citing its role in decolonization and its many successful peacekeeping efforts.

In 1944, the first successful open heart surgery operation to treat blue baby syndrome occurred at Johns Hopkins University. Through a collaboration between pediatric cardiologist Helen Taussig, surgeon Alfred Blalock, and surgical technician Vivien Thomas, the Blalock-Thomas-Taussig shunt was created.

In 1947, Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in level flight.

After the horror of the Final Solution,  there was a immigration push for the remaining Jews into British controlled Palestine.  A guerrilla war ensued to obtain independence from UK.  On 14 May 1948, on the day the last British forces left from Haifa, the Jewish People's Council gathered at the Tel Aviv Museum and proclaimed the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel. The fate of the Palestinians was ignored, and Palestine became the symbol of Islamic resistance to the Wests latest colonialism.  The reality is that there is now  a large stateless group of Palestinians trapped in a open air prison within Israel boundaries, that has become a lasting source of instability. Israel settlers continued to displace Palestinians. The instability re-emerged again in 2023, with a terrorist attack by Hamas from the Gaza Strip followed by  Israel retaliation.

After the World Wars, the USA was the only  industrial power  that had not been decimated by the conflicts.  The Marshall Plan was designed to help Europe recover and avoid a repeat of the post WW1 return to fascism. The old European powers had been decimated by the war, and their colonies moved quickly to gain self rule. The British Empire was effectively dismantled in 10 years, with a few countries such as South Africa and Rhodesia clinging to white minority rule. Many colonies looked to the Communists for support for self rule, which reinforced opposition from the Capitalist powers.

Conflicts were limited to proxies, "He might be a SOB, but he is our SOB", was FDR describing the dictator of Nicaragua, shows the importance of allies no matter what they did.  There was also a  new form of soft colonial control, even as the pre-war colonies were gaining independence. The soft colonization included   economic access viewed by many proxies with weak capitalist control as just a new form of exploitation. This usually comes with language and cultural replacement. This economic colonization was even worse for technology "have not" countries.  


The Korean War 1950-1953 morphed into a US vs China confrontation, and ended with a permanent US military presence.

In 1952 the De Haviland Comet jet powered passenger airplane was put into service with BOAC. 

In 1953, Crick and Watson discovered molecular basis for inheritance in DNA using crucial crystallographic data that they stole from Rosalind Franklin.

In 1954, the first kidney transplant started the era of organ replacement.

In 1954, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka,  was a landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court which ruled that U.S. state laws establishing racial segregation in public schools are unconstitutional, even if the segregated schools are otherwise equal in quality. This was the first big legal victory for civil rights since the Civil War.


The Vietnam War 1955-1975 started as war for independence from France, which the US decided was a world vs. Communism conflict. The conflict ended with US withdrawal, replaced by a Communist proxy, The easing of Communist control in 1976 with the death  of Mao Zehdung in China has led to successful socialist market economy 40 years later.   

In 1957, Russians launch Sputnik and start the space race.

In 1960, the first fully integrated circuit was built by Fairchild Semiconductor based on the invention of Robert Noyce. By 1971, Intel introduced the first commercially available microprocessor  the Intel 4004, built in MOS technology. The semiconductor revolution was up and running.  

In 1960, the Beatles started the Rock and Role era. 

In 1961, the US launches a hopeless invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs. This demonstration of incompetence opened the door in 1962, to the Cuban Missile crisis which pushed the world to the edge on nuclear war after USSR placed nuclear weapons on Cuba. The US under President Kennedy called Khrushchev's bluff and he backed down, after a secret quid pro quo of removing US nuclear weapons from Turkey.

In 1963, August, Martin Luther King made his iconic "I have a dream speech" as the civil rights movement gained nation wide momentum.  In November, President Kennedy was assassinated. Guided by the promoted Vice President Johnson, in 1964 the Civil Rights Act passed prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, signaling the end of Jim crow and separate but equal in the US South. A new black middle class started to emerge. At the last minute the ban on sex discrimination was added a huge impact on women in the workplace. 

In 1969, Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated just as the resistance to the Vietnam war was starting to build. The US was in turmoil. 

in 1969, the Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the Moon using rockets designed by Werner Von Braun, ending the space race with the USSR. There were a total of 6 landings before the program was shelved.  Since then there have been numerous robotic missions to all regions of the solar system, including the Voyager mission that left the gravitational pull of the sun. In 1975, the first observation of an astronomical black hole was confirmed.  There has also been long term human presence in earth orbit.

By the 1970's, the Arab  oil states in the Middle East had effective control over the worlds economies, cultivated by the West while overlooking very repressive  politics and support for Islamic extremists.

In 1974, Nixon resigns as US president after attempting to illegally disrupt the Democratic party in Watergate. 

In 1974, the first universal network protocol using packet-switching among the nodes was described by Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn.  This has formed the basis for the telephone, internet and TV service in the 2000's. Line switching for directing calls was over.

Some colonies viewed independence as an opportunity to establish a theocracy to prevent a "godless" liberal democracy.  The Iranian Revolution  1979 replaced the Shah who was a west oriented proxy leader, with an Islamic Theocracy. Other Middle East Monarchies used Islamic control of the population but maintained stability using huge oil revenues.

China since 1976 has evolved into a dynamic "socialist market economy" under tight political control. It has pursued a strategy of soft economic colonization to spread its influence.

Soviet - Afghan war 1978-1989. The locals (Mujahadeen) eventually rejected the Soviet installed puppet government with extensive help from the USA. However they had no plan for a replacement government. In the chaos, the Taliban emerged as a Islamic Emirate. 

In 1979 to 1990, Margaret Thatcher was the controversial  Prime Minister of the UK who took on and crushed the power of the Unions. This set the scene for the modernization of the UK economy.

In 1980, a team of researchers led by Nobel prize-winning physicist Luis Alvarez, his son, geologist Walter Alvarez, and chemists Frank Asaro and Helen Vaughn Michel discovered that sedimentary layers found all over the world at the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary (K–Pg boundary,  (or K–T boundary) contain a concentration of iridium hundreds of times greater than normal which could only come from a huge meteor. At the boundary, the dinosaur fossils  disappear and mammals thrive. 

In 1980, Apple introduced the Macintosh low cost personal computer and  started universal access to computing power with 3 key inventions;  graphical user interface, Ethernet network connectivity, and object oriented computing. All these were invented at Xerox PARC, stolen and commercialized by Apple.

In 1983, Motorola introduced the first "portable" cell phone known as the "Brick". Over the next 20 years the advances in semiconductors shrunk the phone in size and cost. Along with the build out of nationwide cell coverage, the cell phone became universal. 

In 1983, The FDA approved Cyclosporine for commercial use. Jean Borel discovered Cyclosporine in the mid-1970s as a block to organ rejection. Organ transplant became relatively routine and widely available.

In 1986, The Chernobyl disaster began  with the explosion of the No. 4 reactor of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, near the city of Pripyat in the north of the Ukrainian SSR, close to the border with the Byelorussian SSR, in the Soviet Union. It is one of only two nuclear energy accidents rated at seven—the maximum severity—on the International Nuclear Event Scale, the other being the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan.

In 1988, the Olympics allowed professionals to compete ending the "shamateurism" era in sports that for example allowed military employed amateurs, and under the table appearance money.  

In 1988, the reality of global warming caused by fossil fuel use, was brought to the worlds attention by Jim Hansen. It took another 30 years before the impact on the earth became impossible to ignore and energy generation started to change. 

The Globalization era  1989 - 2020

​The collapse of Soviet power starts in 1989 as the Berlin wall falls, was complete in 1991 as the  the old satellite countries become independent democracies when Yeltsin replaced Gorbachev. The Russian transition to democracy under Yeltsin was disastrous for the man on the street with oligarchs enriched by exploiting national resources. They eventually return to authoritarian control under Putin in 1999. Putin re-established authoritarian control through staged bombings, and assassinations by poisoning including a candidate for president of Ukraine. 


The repeated lesson is that when you  defeat a country, you must help them rebuild to a healthy state or risk collapse to another authoritarian. We saw the collapse after WW1, avoided it after WW2 with the Marshall Plan, and then let it happen again in Russia. 

In 1994, the Ukrainians give up their nuclear weapons in exchange for a security "assurance" from the USA, much good it did them.  


Classic capitalism, Fascism and Communism had all been exposed as  menaces.  As a result, democratic managed capitalism became the planet wide dominant culture that we see today. The resulting homogenization of culture has inevitably  triggered an effort by many groups to try to protect their uniqueness, and created resistance. 

Starting in the 1990's, the US control of advanced technology started to move to the Far East. Packaging of chips had aways been done in low cost centers such as Malesia. First Japan and then Korea became very successful chip manufacturers.  Just as the US was dominating the world, globalization was empowering the poorer economies. The invention of packet switched networks enabled world wide  internet and cell phone service, and for good and bad - social networks. 


Starting with Hubble space telescope in 1990, we have discovered billions of galaxies looking back over 10 billion light years, and thousands of planets orbiting stars in the Milky Way.

US Iraq war 1991 "Desert Shield" attempted to impose stability in oil supplies in  response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.  Kuwait was  liberated, and the US attempted to disable the Iraq military but deliberately did not take over Iraq. 

In 1994, Nelson Mandela was democratically elected as President of South Africa ending Apartheid in the last state with constitutional discrimination. 

In 1999,  World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is established, leading to comprehensive year around random testing. Since 1972, performance enhancing drugs had become larger factor in all sports. It took till 2012 for  Lance Armstrong to be exposed as a fraud and loose his TDF wins 1999-2005.

in 1999, the Blackberry was introduced as the first cell phone that could also exchange emails, and it became the fancy tech tool of choice until the smart phone in 2007. 

On 9/11/2001, Osama bin Laden, funded by the Saudi Royal family but based with al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, orchestrated the attack on the US using planes as human guided bombs. The attack seems to have been designed trigger an overreaction from the US that would re-ignite anti- USA sentiment in the Arab world - the US obliged. 

US - Afghan war 2001-2021. The resistance of the Islamic theocracies, funded by the Arab oil states,  to external control led to the 9/11 terrorist attack on the US. In response to 9/11, the US invaded Afghanistan to eliminate al-Qaeda which it did, and establish a functioning liberal democracy which failed. Eventually accepting Taliban control. 

The Iraq War 2003 to 2011. It began with the invasion of Iraq by the United States-led coalition that overthrew the Ba'athist government of Saddam Hussein based on supposed nuclear weapons, that proved wrong. The conflict continued for much of the next decade as an insurgency emerged to oppose the coalition forces and the post-invasion Iraqi government. US troops were officially withdrawn in 2011.  

In 2003, The Human Genome Project (HGP)  mapped and sequenced all of the genes of the human genome from both a physical and a functional standpoint in a project lasting 13 years. This has spawned numerous rapid sequencing technology that has enabled the detection of a number of critical disease  mutations. We now have cancer treatments that  are selected based on genes. Mass access has led to countless family secrets being uncovered. 

In 2004, Facebook started as a Harvard U meet up site, which rapidly mushroomed and "social media" was born. 

In 2005, forensic pathologist Bennet Omalu, along with colleagues in the Department of Pathology at the University of Pittsburgh, published a paper, "Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in a National Football League Player". This has changed attitudes to head injuries in American Football, rugby, soccer, ice hockey etc. 

In 2007, Apple introduced the iPhone, the worlds first "smart phone" that was both a phone and a internet browsing terminal that could also send and receive email. By 2020, these are used throughout the world. Land lines have almost disappeared, developing countries have moved straight to cell networks. 


China has bolstered its military to try and become the global challenger to the US, and threaten US allies Taiwan.  At the same time as challenging the US, it is also a key supplier of many key technologies, and is threatening Taiwan the home of TSMC the only supplier of many of the worlds key chips. This gives it unique leverage in a future possible conflict.

Globalization has resulted in wealth and growth being concentrated  in the thriving democracies which has led to increased pressure from migrants and resistance from the locals to job and multicultural pressures. Globalization has also led internally to the evolution of a new low tech underclass, and the inevitable rise of fascist theocratic politicians trying to use the "have nots" to take political power. 


In 2016, Trump rode this discontent to the US presidency which ended with the US getting close to an insurrection after the next election.  Brexit in the UK and far right success in Italy, France and the Netherlands all show the resistance to migration.

In 2019 (5 year data delay), in the US the gun death rate continues to rise, over 50% of all gun deaths are suicides. Of the homicide victims 48.9% are unknown because of patchy reporting , 28.3 percent of homicide victims were killed by someone they knew other than family members (acquaintance, neighbor, friend, boyfriend, etc.), 13.0 percent were slain by family members, and 9.9 percent were killed by strangers.

Misinformation era 2020-????

Social media on internet capable mobile devices has become a new unmanaged source of global information, the days are over where journalists acted as the gatekeepers for information that is widely disseminated. Misinformation is rife as opinion, deliberate propaganda, malicious troublemaking, religious zealotry, or just sales and marketing. 


in 2020, the UK leaves the European Union in "Brexit", generally viewed as a triumph of misinformation. The first crack in the post WW2 shared markets, the break up has been identified with the groups who are unhappy having lost out on the wealth associated with globalization. 

In 2020 Covid started, probably in a animal market Wuhan China. For 2 years, until a combination of vaccination and herd immunity, the world essentially self - isolated as the only way to control the spread of an infectious disease. The rapid development of tests and vaccine, were enabled by CRISPR RnA editing technology. CRISPR  uses RnA tools to identify specific DNA segments, and cut the DNA at the end of the segment. A significant fraction of US society choose to challenge the safety and utility of vaccines without any evidence resulting in significant loss of life.  In 2021, Doudna and Charpentier won the Nobel Prize for CRISPR. 

In Jan 2021, Trump attempted an insurrection to disrupt the results of the 2020 election based on false accusations of voter fraud. These falsehoods have infected US politics and threaten to derail the Republican Party into a series of positions based on lies. Trump has made a career of misinformation, particularly over election fraud and anyone who opposes him. 


Ukraine War 2022-? Russia under Putin, invades Ukraine in an attempt to prevent the West and Nato getting closer to its borders. Ukraine had established a successful liberal democracy and technology industry. Russia post communism  has become a energy and raw materials supplier to the industrial west making a number of oligarchs, who took over state businesses, very rich. The west encouraged business connections for economic gain, and in the belief that economic codependence was good for stability, ironically it also gave Soviets unexpected leverage of the west in key areas such as gas to Germany. Russia  is now mired in another extended conflict. It tried used its global businesses as leverage against the Wests support for Ukraine- a telling lesson that China has played close attention to. 

Climate change is the critical issue of our time that will overwhelm all the petty conflicts, misinformation from the fossil fuel industry and political opportunists is rife. 


Where we are ...

The days of capitalism vs. state run communism and fascism are long gone. Todays global culture is  dominated by Western  countries with  democratic managed capitalism; challenged internally and externally by cultural retention and technology have nots, by economic partners competing for power, and by planetary challenges caused by industrialization.  Attempts at military takeover meet swift local resistance. The only military solutions that stick involve permanent placement of the winning military because the locals will eventually fight back, a lesson that has been true from the first military conquests. 

The only way to break long running feuds is to give the next generation a reason to abandon the feud. The current generation will never abandon until they are about to become irrelevant. The EU undercut the N Ireland feud. The Israelis have to give nationhood to the next generation of Palestinians. 

The need for planet wide cooperation has never been clearer, the only rational solutions with long term stability are those where everyone feels like they are making progress. The risk of irrational psychopaths coming to power and use economic interdependence as a weapon has been highlighted by Hitler, Trump and Putin. The jury is out on Xi in China. 

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