History Timeline

  • Period: 1300 to

    Renaissance

    Renaissance, (French: “Rebirth”) period in European civilization immediately following the Middle Ages and conventionally held to have been characterized by a surge of interest in Classical scholarship and values.
  • 1347

    The Black Death

    The Black Death
    The Black Death arrived in Europe by sea in October 1347 when 12 Genoese trading ships docked at the Sicilian port of Messina after a long journey through the Black Sea. The people who gathered on the docks to greet the ships were met with a horrifying surprise: Most of the sailors aboard the ships were dead or alive, but gravely ill. Over the next five years, the mysterious Black Death would kill more than 20 million people in Europe–almost one-third of the continent’s population.
  • 1397

    Giovanni de Medici moves to Florence

    Giovanni de Medici moves to Florence
    The Medici family, which controlled Florence throughout much of the Renaissance, played a large part in the patronage of the arts and the political development of the city. In 1397, Giovanni de Medici, the banker to the Papal Court, established headquarters in Florence. As a wealthy and influential citizen, Giovanni had virtually no choice but to participate in public life, holding almost every political office in Florence at some point.
  • 1470

    Malory: Morte d'Arthur

    Malory: Morte d'Arthur
    Le Morte d'Arthur tells the story of King Arthur and his Knights at the Round Table. Arthur, who is son of King Uther Pendragon but was raised by another family, takes his rightful place as king when, as a boy, he is able to pull the sword called Excalibur from the stone. Although he rules wisely and is counseled by Merlin the magician, Arthur makes enemies of other kings and is often at war.
  • 1480

    Botticelli: Primavera

    Botticelli: Primavera
    Sandro Botticelli was one of the most well-known of the Medici employees. He studied under Fra Filippo Lippi and had a technique which focused on line, and his forms were lightly shaded. While art historians consider Botticelli to have been an expert at using line, he was also adept at using color.
  • 1544

    Bandello: Novelle

    Bandello: Novelle
    Matteo Bandello was born at Castelnuovo Scrivia, near Tortona (current Piedmont), c. 1480. He received a good education, and entered the church, but does not seem to have been very interested in theology. For many years he lived at Mantua and Castel Goffredo, and superintended the education of the celebrated Lucrezia Gonzaga, in whose honour he composed a long poem.
  • Period: 1550 to

    Age of Absolution

    The Age of Absolutism describes a period of European history in which monarchs successfully gathered the wealth and power of the state to themselves. Louis XIV is the poster image of the absolute monarch. ... France was powerful and prosperous and represented that which all European monarchs aspired to.
  • Spanish Inquisition

    Spanish Inquisition
    Spanish Inquisition, (1478–1834), judicial institution ostensibly established to combat heresy in Spain. In practice, the Spanish Inquisition served to consolidate power in the monarchy of the newly unified Spanish kingdom, but it achieved that end through infamously brutal methods.
  • King Louis XIV

    King Louis XIV
    The reign of France’s Louis XIV (1638-1718), known as the Sun King, lasted for 72 years, longer than that of any other known European sovereign. In that time, he transformed the monarchy, ushered in a golden age of art and literature, presided over a dazzling royal court at Versailles, annexed key territories and established his country as the dominant European power.
  • Hobbes Publishes "Leviathan"

    Hobbes Publishes "Leviathan"
    Its name derives from the biblical Leviathan. The work concerns the structure of society and legitimate government, and is regarded as one of the earliest and most influential examples of social contract theory. Leviathan ranks as a classic western work on statecraft comparable to Machiavelli's The Prince. Written during the English Civil War (1642–1651), Leviathan argues for a social contract and rule by an absolute sovereign.
  • Peter The Great

    Peter The Great
    Peter the Great was born Pyotr Alekseyevich on June 9, 1672 in Moscow, Russia. Peter the Great was the 14th child of Czar Alexis by his second wife, Natalya Kirillovna Naryshkina. Having ruled jointly with his brother Ivan V from 1682, when Ivan died in 1696, Peter was officially declared Sovereign of all Russia. Peter inherited a nation that was severely underdeveloped compared to the culturally prosperous European countries.
  • The Palace of Versailles

    The Palace of Versailles
    In 1789, the French Revolution forced Louis XVI to leave Versailles for Paris. The Palace would never again be a royal residence and a new role was assigned to it in the 19th century, when it became the Museum of the History of France in 1837 by order of King Louis-Philippe, who came to the throne in 1830. The rooms of the Palace were then devoted to housing new collections of paintings and sculptures representing great figures and important events that had marked the History of France
  • Period: to

    Enlightenment

    The Enlightenment (also known as the Age of Enlightenment or the Age of Reason;[1] in French: le Siècle des Lumières, lit. '"the Century of Lights"'; and in German: Aufklärung, "Enlightenment")[2] was an intellectual and philosophical movement that dominated the world of ideas in Europe during the 18th century, "The Century of Philosophy"
  • The Steam Engine is Invented

    The Steam Engine is Invented
    In 1712, Thomas Newcomen invented an effective and practical steam engine. The steam engine designed by him consisted of a piston or a cylinder that moved a huge piece of wood to drive the water pump.
  • Period: to

    Industrial Revolution

    The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in the period from about 1760 to sometime between 1820 and 1840. This transition included going from hand production methods to machines, new chemical manufacturing and iron production processes, the increasing use of steam power, the development of machine tools and the rise of the factory system.
  • Death of King Louis XIV

    Death of King Louis XIV
    After a week of agonising pain, four days before his 77th birthday, Louis XIV died in Versailles just after 8.15 am on 1 September. He had been king for 72 years, the longest reign in the history of France. A new reign, which would be almost as long (1715-1774), was about to begin: that of Louis XV.
  • Voltaire Published "Candide"

    Voltaire Published "Candide"
    Candide, probably written in 1758 and published in 1759, is a novel of satire, irony, sarcasm, and hyperbole. Candide has also been identified by the French term conte philosophique, meaning philosophical novel or philosophical story, a genre Voltaire is credited with inventing.
  • The Spinning Jenny is Invented

    The Spinning Jenny is Invented
    The spinning jenny is a multi-spindle spinning frame, and was one of the key developments in the industrialization of weaving during the early Industrial Revolution. It was invented in 1764 by James Hargreaves in Stanhill, Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire in England.
  • Period: to

    American Revolution

    The American Revolution (1775-83) is also known as the American Revolutionary War and the U.S. War of Independence. The conflict arose from growing tensions between residents of Great Britain’s 13 North American colonies and the colonial government, which represented the British crown.
  • Lexington and Concord

    Lexington and Concord
    The Battles of Lexington and Concord, fought on April 19, 1775, kicked off the American Revolutionary War (1775-83). Tensions had been building for many years between residents of the 13 American colonies and the British authorities, particularly in Massachusetts.
  • Battle of Bunker Hill

    Battle of Bunker Hill
    During the American Revolution, British General William Howe lands his troops on the Charlestown peninsula overlooking Boston and leads them against Breed’s Hill, a fortified American position just below Bunker Hill. As the British advanced in columns against the Americans, Patriot General William Prescott reportedly told his men, “Don’t one of you fire until you see the whites of their eyes!”
  • British Surrender at Saratoga

    British Surrender at Saratoga
    British Surrender at Saratoga: October 17, 1777. On October 17, 1777, British and German troops under British general John Burgoyne surrendered to American general Horatio Gates, turning the tide of the Revolutionary War in the Americans' favor.
  • Kings Mountain Victory

    Kings Mountain Victory
    During the American Revolution, Patriot irregulars under Colonel William Campbell defeat Tories under Major Patrick Ferguson at the Battle of King’s Mountain in South Carolina. One thousand American frontiersmen under Colonel Campbell of Virginia gathered in the backcountry to resist Ferguson’s advance. Pursued by the Patriots, Ferguson positioned his Tory force in defense of a rocky, treeless ridge named King’s Mountain.
  • U.S Constitution Replaces The Articles of Confederation

    U.S Constitution Replaces The Articles of Confederation
    The need for a stronger Federal government soon became apparent and eventually led to the Constitutional Convention in 1787. The present United States Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation on March 4, 1789.
  • Condorcet Published a Treatise on Womens Rights

    Condorcet Published a Treatise on Womens Rights
    Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas de Caritat, Marquis of Condorcet (French: [maʁi ʒɑ̃n‿ɑ̃twan nikola də kaʁita kɔ̃dɔʁsɛ]; 17 September 1743 – 28 March 1794), known as Nicolas de Condorcet, was a French philosopher, mathematician, and early political scientist whose Condorcet method in voting tally selects the candidate who would beat each of the other candidates in a run-off election.
  • Estates General

    Estates General
    The political and financial situation in France had grown rather bleak, forcing Louis XVI to summon the Estates General. This assembly was composed of three estates – the clergy, nobility and commoners – who had the power to decide on the levying of new taxes and to undertake reforms in the country. The opening of the Estates General, on 5 May 1789 in Versailles, also marked the start of the French Revolution.
  • Period: to

    French Revolution

    A watershed event in modern European history, the French Revolution began in 1789 and ended in the late 1790s with the ascent of Napoleon Bonaparte. During this period, French citizens razed and redesigned their country’s political landscape, uprooting centuries-old institutions such as absolute monarchy and the feudal system.
  • Tennis Court Oath

    Tennis Court Oath
    In Versailles, France, the deputies of the Third Estate, which represent commoners and the lower clergy, meet on the Jeu de Paume, an indoor tennis court, in defiance of King Louis XVI’s order to disperse. In these modest surroundings, they took a historic oath not to disband until a new French constitution had been adopted.
  • France Declares War on Austria and Prussia

    France Declares War on Austria and Prussia
    Revolutionaries wanted war because they thought war would unify the country, and had a genuine desire to spread the ideas of the Revolution to all of Europe. On April 20, 1792, the Legislative Assembly (France's governing body, formed in 1791) declared war on Austria.
  • Thomas Paine Wrote "The Age of Reason"

    Thomas Paine Wrote "The Age of Reason"
    Barlow published the first English edition of The Age of Reason, Part I in 1794 in London, selling it for a mere three pence. ... When James Monroe, at that time the new American Minister to France, secured his release in 1794, Paine immediately began work on Part II of The Age of Reason, despite his poor health.
  • Danton executed

    Danton executed
    Georges Danton, in full Georges-Jacques Danton, (born October 26, 1759, Arcis-sur-Aube, France—died April 4, 1794, Paris), French Revolutionary leader and orator, often credited as the chief force in the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of the First French Republic (September 21, 1792). He later became the first president of the Committee of Public Safety, but his increasing moderation and eventual opposition to the Reign of Terror led to his own death at the guillotine.
  • French Victory Over Austrians at Fleurus (Belgium)

    French Victory Over Austrians at Fleurus (Belgium)
    Battle of Fleurus, (June 26, 1794), the most significant battle in the First Coalition phase of the French Revolutionary Wars. Jean-Baptiste Jourdan and Jean-Baptiste Kléber led 73,000 French troops against 52,000 Austrians and Dutch, under Friedrich Josias, prince of Saxe-Coburg, and William V, prince of Orange, stadholder of Holland. Jourdan had taken Charleroi, in the rear of Coburg’s main forces, on June 25, after besieging it since June 12.
  • Period: to

    Napoleonic Era

    The Napoleonic era is a period in the history of France and Europe. It is generally classified as including the fourth and final stage of the French Revolution, the first being the National Assembly, the second being the Legislative Assembly, and the third being the Directory.
  • Renewed War with Britain

    Renewed War with Britain
    The Napoleonic Wars continued the Wars of the French Revolution. Great Britain and France fought for European supremacy, and treated weaker powers heavy-handedly. The United States attempted to remain neutral during the Napoleonic period, but eventually became embroiled in the European conflicts, leading to the War of 1812 against Great Britain
  • Treaty of Tilsit

    Treaty of Tilsit
    The Treaties of Tilsit were two agreements signed by Napoleon I of France in the town of Tilsit in July 1807 in the aftermath of his victory at Friedland. The first was signed on 7 July, between Tsar Alexander I of Russia and Napoleon I of France, when they met on a raft in the middle of the Neman River.
  • German Campaign

    German Campaign
    The German Campaign (German: Befreiungskriege, lit. 'Wars of Liberation') was fought in 1813. Members of the Sixth Coalition fought a series of battles in Germany against the French Emperor Napoleon and his Marshals, which liberated the German states from the domination of the First French Empire.[d]
  • Napoleon Abdicated as Emperor

    Napoleon Abdicated as Emperor
    After his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo, instead of remaining in the field with his shattered army Napoleon returned to Paris in the hope of retaining political support for his position as Emperor of the French. With his political base secured he hoped to then be able to continue the war. It was not to be; instead the members of the two chambers created a Provisional Government and demanded that Napoleon abdicate.
  • Napoleon Escaped from Elba

    Napoleon Escaped from Elba
    The Hundred Days (French: les Cent-Jours IPA: [le sɑ̃ ʒuʁ]) marked the period between Napoleon's return from exile on the island of Elba to Paris on 20 March 1815 and the second restoration of King Louis XVIII on 8 July 1815 (a period of 111 days).
  • Napoleon Died

    Napoleon Died
    Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French statesman and military leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars.
  • Samuel Morse Invents the Telegraph

    Samuel Morse Invents the Telegraph
    Developed in the 1830s and 1840s by Samuel Morse (1791-1872) and other inventors, the telegraph revolutionized long-distance communication. It worked by transmitting electrical signals over a wire laid between stations. In addition to helping invent the telegraph, Samuel Morse developed a code (bearing his name) that assigned a set of dots and dashes to each letter of the English alphabet and allowed for the simple transmission of complex messages across telegraph lines.
  • Elisha Otis Invents the Sewing Machine

    Elisha Otis Invents the Sewing Machine
    A descendant of a James Otis who immigrated from England to New England in 1631, the young Otis grew up in Vermont and, at age 19, moved to Troy, New York, and later to Brattleboro, Vermont, working at various jobs. From 1838 to 1845, in Brattleboro, he manufactured wagons and carriages and then moved his family to Albany, New York, where, while employed as a master mechanic in a bedstead factory, he invented several labour-saving machines.
  • Henry Ford Creates The Model T.

    Henry Ford Creates The Model T.
    The first production Model T was produced on August 12, 1908 and left the factory on September 27, 1908, at the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant in Detroit, Michigan. On May 26, 1927, Henry Ford watched the 15 millionth Model T Ford roll off the assembly line at his factory in Highland Park, Michigan.