The Maya were one of the most powerful of the Mesoamerican societies and were centered in one geographical block in the Yucatán Peninsula, Guatemala, Northern Brazil, and Southern Mexico.
Period: 1200 BCE to 600 BCE
Located in ancient Mexico, the Olmecs were the first Mesoamerican civilization including the Mayas and the Aztec.
Pope Urban Calls for Crusades in the Holy Land
European kings supported the Pope and sent knights to the Holy Land to fight the Muslims. The Crusades lasted 200 years.
Europe is a Farming Economy
The people live in a manor under a Lord of the Manor and grow their own food
The Age of Exploration
Europe changed its focus from a farming economy to a focus on trade.
Period: 1200 to 1521
The Aztec a Mesoamerican culture that thrived in central Mexico.
Marco Polo was Born
Polo was born to a family of merchants in Venice, Italy.
Marco Polo Travels to the East
Marco Polo journeyed to China and traveled along the Silk Road and brought products from the East back to Europe.
The crusades ended and the Pope failed to conquer the Muslims but there was increased knowledge and demand for goods in the East.
Polo's Journey Home
The Polo's returned to Europe by ship and brought back ivory, jade, jewels, porcelain, and silk.
Polo Imprisoned and Writes His Book
Polo was captured and became a prisoner of war. He wrote a book about his adventures Asia which became a bestseller.
The 1300's was the beginning of the time known as the Renaissance or "rebirth" and continued until the 17th century.
Period: 1400 to 1532
The legendary Mesoamerican Inca Empire extended along the Pacific Coast and Andean Highlands.
Portuguese Capture Ceuta
In 1415 the Portuguese captured the Fortress of Ceuta in Africa. They set up trading posts to trade gold and silver.
Portuguese Discover Madeira Islands
In 1419 the Portuguese had made advancements in shipbuilding and navigation which led to the discovery of the Madeira Islands.
Portuguese Discover Azores Islands
The discoveries of these islands encouraged Prince Henry to navigate farther south along the coast of Africa.
In 1434 Prince Henry's ships were the first to successfully sail around Cape Bojador and return home.
Printing Press was Invented
The most important invention during the Renaissance. Invented by Johann Gutenberg.
Marriage of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella
The marriage of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castille in 1469 unified Catholic Spain and helped to make the nation a global power.
Bartolomeu Dias Rounds the Cape of Good Hope
In 1488 Dias traveled further down the coast of Africa than any explorer before him and made it around the Cape of Good Hope to the east coast of South Africa.
Columbus Discovers Hispañola
Columbus traveled west, funded by Spain, to try to find a faster route to Asia but discovered Hispañola in 1492 instead.
Cortes Invades the Aztec
Hernán Cortés, a Spanish conquistador, conquered the Aztec claiming Mexico for Spain.
Pizarro Invades the Inca
In 1529, Francisco Pizarro, a Spanish explorer and conquistador invaded the Incan empire.
The Inca Fall Under Pizarro
In 1532, the Inca Empire fell to Pizarro. His timing was perfect, because the Inca Empire was involved in a civil war that had wiped out the population and divided the people.
Thomas Hobbes writes The Leviathan
Thomas Hobbes was an enlightened thinker who wrote the book The Leviathan which used reason and not religious thinking to explain his beliefs about man, government and kings.
John Locke writes The Second Treatise on Government
John Lock was an enlightened thinker who wrote the book The Second Treatise on Government which explained his belief that people are equal and have natural rights and should be governed by reason.
The United States declares Independence
On July 4, 1776, the United States declared independence from England.
France writes the Declaration of the Rights of Man
In 1789 France wrote the Declaration of the Rights of Man at the time of the French Revolution. It was modeled after The Declaration of Independence.
Haiti Gain Independence
The Haitian Revolution was a slave rebellion that led to the independence of Haiti. The revolution ended slavery and the control of the French over the island.
Bolivar and His Soldiers Begin Venezuela’s Fight for Independence
Bolivar's homeland was Venezuela, and he wanted to see it freed from Spanish rule. The campaign was known as the Campaña Admirable and was successful, but a civil war broke out and Bolivar had to flee to Jamaica.
Bolivar’s Gran Columbia Gains its Independence
Bolivar received support from Haiti and was finally able to establish independence from Spain. The new government, Gran Columbia, was created which included Venezuela, Colombia, Panamá and Ecuador.
Jose de San Martin frees Peru from Spain
José de San Martín, a Argentine soldier helped lead the revolutions against Spain in South America. After two years assembling a fleet of ships, he arrived in Peru and took the capital on July 28, 1821 and declared Peru independent from Spain.
Mexico Gains Independence
After many years of fighting the Spanish for their independence and losing their leader, Miguel Hidalgo, the Mexican rebel forces did not give up. They eventually won their independence in 1821.