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1450- Course Begins 🌍
Everything you need to know starts at 1450 (with the exception of Petrarch). Why 1450? Many historians use this date to mark the end of the Middle Ages and the start of the Renaissance. Furthermore, in 1453, the Turks took over Constantinople, ending a long period of European influence over eastern trade.
1492- Columbus Explores the Americas ⛵️
Columbus's voyages marked the beginning of European colonization of the Americas. This ushered in a new era of international trade, moral debates on the treatment of indigenous peoples, and mercantilism.
1517- Martin Luther Posts the 95 Theses 📜
This was the very beginning of the Protestant Reformation and an era of increased religious conflict.
1588- Defeat of the Spanish Armada ⛵️
Elizabeth I's defeat of Philip's armada marked an important moment for Protestant countries in their struggle against Catholic forces. Her ability to defy the expectations of her era resulted in the nickname "The Virgin Queen." Her reign marked a golden era in English history.
1648- Treaty of Westphalia Signed ✏️
The signing of this treaty is known as the end of religious wars in Europe. It's also the end of Period 1.
1688- Glorious Revolution 🏳
The Glorious Revolution was truly revolutionary because it instituted a government the people approved of, indicating engagement with the social contract. The absence of warfare resulted in it being termed "glorious."
1815- Congress of Vienna 🥂
This date marks the fall of Napoleon and the end of the French Revolution in Europe. It also marked the beginning of a conservative period in European history (think Metternich). Lastly, it ends Period 2.
1871- Unification of Germany 👫
The unification of Germany started the rise of a military state that almost immediately began engaging in an arms race with England.
1914- World War I Begins ⚔
In 1914, at the beginning of Period 4, WWI began, starting an era of war and poverty throughout Europe and beyond.
1939- World War II Begins ⚔
The beginning of World War II marked an unprecedented involvement of nations throughout the world, indicating the rise of globalization.
1945- Bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima 🎇
These bombings ended WWII while ushering in the Cold War and nuclear tensions.
1989- Berlin Wall Falls 🏗
The fall of the Berlin Wall, with the help of glasnost and perestroika, ended the Cold War and ushered in a new wave of cooperation among Western countries. From this point on, European history trends away from warfare between states.