What are the Most important dates in history? What are the dates that allow us to have a general vision of our common past?
This timeline proposes a list of events and periods that have shaped humanity up to now, in order to have a clear historical perspective on contemporary issues, but also a global reading of the way our world has been built.
Indeed, it is a question here of understanding the history of the world, and thus let us insist again, in its global dimension, involving all the continents.
For an article focused on the last century, see the 60 dates to know by heart about the world, Europe, and France since 1945.
– 20,000: First cave paintings in France and Spain
– 8,000: Beginning of agriculture in the Near East
– 5,000: Installation of the first agricultural communities in Egypt
– 4,000: Beginning of the Bronze Age in the Near East
– 3,100: King Menes unites Upper and Lower Egypt
– 3,000: Foundation of the main Sumerian Cities
– 3,000: Beginning of pottery in Mexico
– 2,685: Beginning of the Middle Kingdom in Egypt.
– 2,600: Beginning of the Minoan civilization in Crete
– 2,200: First Chinese dynasty (Xia)
– 2000: Beginning of metalworking in Peru
– 1600: Beginning of the Mycenaean civilization in Greece
– 1570: Beginning of the New Kingdom in Egypt.
– 1450: Destruction of Minoan Crete
– 1200: Fall of the Mycenaean Empire
– 900 – 750: Creation of city-states in Greece
– 814: Foundation of Carthage by the Phoenicians.
– 776: First Olympic Games
– 753: Foundation of Rome
– 720: Rise of Assyria.
– 650: Beginning of the Iron Age in China.
– 586: The Jewish people were taken into captivity in Babylon.
– 509: Creation of the Roman Republic
– 483 – 221: Period of the “Fighting Kingdoms” in China
– 202: The Han dynasty reunifies China
– 146: Greece comes under Roman rule.
– 52: Defeat of the Gauls before the Romans at Alesia
– 43: The Romans invaded England.
0: Buddhism is introduced in China
30: Egypt becomes a Roman province.
46: Saint Paul begins his missionary journeys.
131: The Jews rise up against Rome.
238: First incursions of the Goths into the Roman Empire.
300: Rise of the Mayan civilization in Central America
330: Constantinople becomes the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire.
370: The Huns invade Europe.
400: Establishment of the Incas on the west coast of South America
407 – 553: First Mongolian Empire.
410: Pillage of Rome by the Visigoths.
449: Invasion of England by the Angles and Saxons.
486: Foundation of the Frankish Kingdom by Clovis
497: Conversion of the Franks to the Christian religion
533 – 552: Justinian restores the Roman Empire in North Africa.
552: Introduction of Buddhism in Japan.
597: St. Augustine’s evangelical mission to England
600: Apogee of the Mayan civilization
624: Reunification of China under the Tang dynasty.
641: Conquest of Egypt by the Muslims.
700: Rise of the Empire of Ghana
711: Muslims invade Spain
732: Charles Martel stops the Arabs in Poitiers
793: First Viking raids.
800: Charlemagne is crowned emperor
874: The Vikings settle in Iceland.
907: China: the last Tang emperor is dethroned.
911: The King of France ceded the fief of Normandy to the Vikings.
920 – 1050: Apogee of the Empire of Ghana.
939: Civil wars in Japan.
969: The Fatimids conquered Egypt and founded Cairo.
979: Reunification of China by the Song dynasty.
987: Hugues Capet, Duke of France, crowned king in Reims
990: Rise of the Inca Empire.
c. 1,000: Beginning of the Iron Age in Zimbabwe
Eleventh century: Manco Capac, founder of the Inca Empire, settles in Cuzco
1016: King Knut rules England, Denmark, and Norway.
1054: Separation of the Eastern and Western Christian churches.
1066: William of Normandy defeated the Anglo-Saxons at Hastings.
1095: The pope preached the 1st crusade.
1147–1149: 2nd crusade.
c. 1150: Creation of city-states by the Yoruba civilization (Nigeria).
1151: End of the Toltec Empire in Mexico.
1156 – 1189: Civil wars in Japan
1174: Saladin conquers Egypt.
1187: Saladin seized Jerusalem.
1189 – 1192: 3rd crusade.
1190: Temujin federates the Mongolian clans, begins to create his empire in eastern Asia.
1198: Innocent III is elected pope.
c. 1200: Foundation of the Kingdom of Mali in West Africa. Rise of the city-states of the Hausa civilization
1202 – 1204: The 4th Crusade seized Constantinople
1206: Temujin takes the name of “Genghis Khan
1215: John the Great, King of England, promulgates the Magna Carta.
1217 – 1221: 5th crusade.
1228 – 1229: 6th crusade.
1234: The Mongols overthrew the Chinese Empire
1240: Collapse of the Empire of Ghana.
1248 – 1254: 7th crusade.
1250: Collapse of the imperial power in Germany and Italy at the death of Frederic II.
1270: 8th crusade.
1281: Failure of the attempt to conquer Japan by the Mongols.
1299: Foundation of the Turkish Empire.
c. 1300: Emergence of the kingdom of Ife (kingdom of Benin, West Africa)
1305: The pope moved to Avignon.
1325: Aztec foundation of the city of Tenochtitlan (Mexico City).
1337: Beginning of the Hundred Years War between France and England.
1348: The Black Death spreads in Europe.
1356: The English beat the French at Poitiers.
1363: Tamerlane, Turkish conqueror, attacked the Mongol Empire.
1368: Foundation of the Ming dynasty in China.
1370: Expansion of the Chimu kingdom (northern Peru).
1375: Rise of the Aztec Empire:
1378 – 1417: Great Western Schism (separation between Rome and Avignon); election of rival popes.
1385: Independence of Portugal.
1398: Sacking of Delhi by Tamerlane.
1401: Tamerlane conquers Damascus and Baghdad.
1402: Tamerlane invaded the Ottoman Empire.
1415: The English defeated the French at Azincourt.
1415: Beginning of the Portuguese colonial empire in Africa.
1421: Beijing became the capital of China.
1429: Joan of Arc broke Orleans and had Charles VII crowned in Reims.
1438: Establishment of the Inca Empire in Peru.
1440 – 1469: Reign of the Aztec emperor Montezuma.
1450: Conquest of the Chimu kingdom by the Incas.
1450: Apogee of the Songhai kingdom in West Africa.
1453: England lost all its French possessions except Calais.
1453: The Ottoman Turks seized Constantinople which became Istanbul
1455 – 1485: War of the Two Roses in England.
1482: The Portuguese colonize the Gold Coast (former name of Ghana).
1492: Reconquest of Muslim Spain by the Catholic kings Isabella and Ferdinand.
1493: Settlement of the first Spanish colonists in the New World (Cuba).
1510: First importation of African slaves to America.
1517: Martin Luther posts his ‘95 theses’ on the door of the church in Wittenberg.
1521: Cortez seized the capital of the Aztecs, Tenochtitlan.
1526: Foundation of the Mughal Empire, of Muslim princes, in northern India.
1529: Failure of the Turks before Vienna.
1531 – 1535: Pizarro conquers Peru.
1532: Calvin launched the Protestant movement in France.
1533: Ivan the Terrible, Tsar of Russia.
1535: The Spaniards explore Chile.
1545: The Council of Trent marks the beginning of the Counter-Reformation.
1546: Destruction of the kingdom of Mali by the Songhai.
1570: Apogee of the Bornou Empire in Sudan.
1562 – 1598: Religious wars in France.
1571: Battle of Lepanto. End of the Turkish maritime hegemony in the Mediterranean.
1571: First Portuguese colonies on the coast of Angola.
1588: The invincible Armada, the Spanish fleet defeated by the English.
1589 – 1610: Reign of Henry IV.
1607: Foundation of the first English colony in North America.
1608: Foundation of Quebec City by the Frenchman Champlain.
1618 – 1648: Thirty Years’ War.
1620: The Mayflower colonists land in Plymouth, Massachusetts (America).
1626: Foundation of New Amsterdam by Dutch settlers, future New York.
1635: The French in Martinique and Guadeloupe.
1643 – 1715: Reign of Louis XIV.
1644: The Manchus founded the Qing dynasty in China.
1649: English Revolution: execution of Charles I in London.
1652: Foundation of the Cape Colony (South Africa) by the Dutch.
1654: The French occupied Madagascar and Bourbon Island (Reunion Island).
1673: Beginning of the French colonial conquest in West Africa.
1685: Revocation of the Edict of Nantes.
1689: England: the ‘Bill of Right’ founded the constitutional monarchy.
1690: The English founded Calcutta.
1694: Beginning of the personal reign of Peter the Great in Russia.
1701 – 1713: Wars of the Spanish Succession.
1707: Act of the union of England and Scotland.
1707: Collapse of the Mughal Empire.
1713: Treaty of Utrecht.
1740 – 1748: War of the Austrian Succession.
1756: Beginning of the Seven Years’ War.
1759: The English take Quebec from the French. The colonists of America oppose the import taxes: the ‘Tea Party’ of Boston.
1775 – 1783: the American War of Independence.
1776: Declaration of American independence.
1783: By the India Act, the British government takes control of India.
1788: The first English settlers move to Australia.
1788: The British established Freetown, in Sierra Leone, which received freed former slaves.
1789: Beginning of the French Revolution
1789: Washington, first president of the United States
1791: Slave revolt in Haiti
1798: Bonaparte in Egypt.
1803: Bonaparte sells Louisiana to the United States.
1804: Napoleon proclaimed emperor; battle of Austerlitz.
1805: Battle of Trafalgar.
1811: Mohammed-Ali takes power in Egypt.
1812: Campaign of Russia.
1815: Napoleon defeated at Waterloo; abdication of Napoleon
1818: Foundation of the Zulu Empire in South Africa.
1819: Foundation of Singapore by the British.
1819: Spain cedes Florida to the United States.
1822: Liberia is founded as a home for freed slaves.
1830: Revolution in France, Germany, Poland and Italy.
1830: Beginning of the conquest of Algeria by France.
1833: England abolished slavery.
1840 – 1842: Opium War; Treaty of Nanking.
1848: France abolished slavery.
1848: Year of revolutions in Europe
1848: Beginning of the gold rush in California.
1852 – 1870: Second Empire
1854 – 1856: Crimean War
1857: Cipayes revolt in India.
1858: India becomes a colony of the British crown.
1859: The French occupied Saigon. French expansion in Indochina.
1860: French expansion into West Africa.
1861 – 1865: Beginning of the Civil War in America.
1865: Assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
1869: Opening of the Suez Canal.
1872 – 1914: Triple Alliance between Germany, Austria and Italy.
1876: Battle of Little Big Horn. The Sioux Indians repel the American army of General Custer.
1877: Victoria became Empress of India.
1879: Zulu War.
1882: The British occupied Egypt.
1885 – 1930: Belgium occupied the Congo.
1886: England annexed Burma.
1894 – 1895: Sino-Japanese war.
1898: Spanish-American War.
1899 – 1902: Boer War.
1903: Independence of Panama. Cession of the Canal Zone to the United States.
1904: French-English entente cordiale.
1905: First Russian Revolution.
1909 – 1919: Zapata’s revolution in Mexico.
1910: Creation of the South African Union.
1911: Revolution led by Sun Yat-sen, end of the Chinese Empire.
1911: Conquest of Libya by Italy.
1912: French protectorate over Morocco.
1914 – 1918: 1st World War
1914: British protectorate over Egypt.
1914: Opening of the Panama Canal.
1917 – 1921: Russian Revolution and Civil War
1917: Declaration of Lord Balfour proposing the creation of a ‘Jewish National Home’ in Palestine
1917: The United States enters the war on the side of the Allies
1919: Treaty of Versailles. The creation of the League of Nations.
1922: Creation of the Irish Free State.
1923: Proclamation of the Turkish Republic, end of the Ottoman Empire.
1924: Joseph Stalin in power.
1929: Wall Street stock market crash.
1931: Japan occupies Manchuria.
1933: Adolf Hitler’s chancellor in Germany
1933: Roosevelt proposes the New Deal to combat the economic crisis
1934: The ‘Long March’ of Mao Zedong in China.
1936 – 1939: Civil war in Spain.
1936: Italy annexes Ethiopia.
1937: Japan invades China.
1939 – 1945: World War II
1940: Japan allies with Germany
1941: Japan attacks Pearl Harbor: the United States at war.
1945 (August): American atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
1945 (June): Creation of the United Nations
1945 (November): three-party government MRP-PCF-SFIO around de Gaulle in France.
1946: de Gaulle resigns against the ‘party’ regime and new constitution: IV Republic
1947–1989: cold war
1947 (March): Truman’s doctrine and Marshall Plan
1947 (April): creation of the Rassemblement du Peuple Français: RPF.
1947: UN outline for the partition of Palestine
1948: birth of Israel and 1st Arab-Israeli war
1949: proclamation of the People’s Republic of China.
1950–1953: Korean War
1951: creation of the ECSC (European Coal and Steel Community).
1955–1975: Vietnam War.
1955: Bandung Conference.
1956: Suez crisis
1957 (March): establishment of the EEC (European Economic Community) and EURATOM (European Atomic Energy Community)
1958: de Gaulle becomes President of the Council and is granted full powers
1958 (September): Referendum on the constitution giving birth to the Fifth Republic (79% yes).
1958–1959: The Great Leap Forward and the Great Famine in China.
1961: putsch of the generals in Algiers.
1962 (March 18): the Evian agreements marked the end of the Algerian war.
1962: Cuban crisis
1963: “Ich bin ein Berliner” — Kennedy
1966–1969: the cultural revolution in China.
1968: movements, strikes and demonstrations known as May 68
1969 (June): Georges Pompidou is president of France.
1973: coup d’état in Chile.
1973: Yom Kippur War and first oil shock.
1974: Valéry Giscard d’Estaing won the presidential elections by a narrow margin.
1975–1990: Civil war in Lebanon.
1976–1979: death of Mao Zedong; Deng Xiao Ping begins the transformation of China.
1979: Islamic revolution in Iran.
1980–1988: Iran-Iraq war.
1981: François Mitterrand was elected President of the Republic in France.
1981: the assassination of Anwar Al-Sadat.
1986: first cohabitation in France with Jacques Chirac as prime minister.
1987: 1st Intifada.
1988: François Mitterrand was re-elected President of the Republic in France
1989 (June 4): Crushing of the student revolt in Tien Amman.
1989 (November 9): fall of the Berlin Wall
1991: Gulf War
1992: referendum on the Maastricht treaty (51.04% of yes)
1991 (December 25): resignation of Gorbachev
1992: intervention in Somalia.
1993: Washington’s agreements between Israelis and Palestinians.
1995: Jacques Chirac is elected President of the Republic in France.
1995: American intervention and end of the war in Bosnia.
2000: Second Intifada.
2001: attacks in the United States against the World Trade Center towers and war in Afghanistan
2002: Jacques Chirac was re-elected president against Jean-Marie Le Pen in the second round
2003: 1st Chinese taikonaut.
2003: American intervention in Iraq, Dominique de Villepin opposes an intervention at the UN Security Council.
2005: the referendum on the European Constitution failed in France (54.68% no).
2007: Nicolas Sarkozy was elected President of the French Republic
2008 (August): Olympic Games in Beijing
2008: the election of Barack Obama
2010: Shanghai World Expo
2011: the “Arab Spring
2011 (May 2): the death of Osama bin Laden
2014: summary of the news of 2014
2015: summary of the 2015 news
2016: summary of the 2016 news
2017 :2017 news summary
2018 :2018 news summary
2019:2019 news summary
→ Chronology of the construction of the European Union