A Brief Timeline of World History

Tracing the history of mankind in the world is an inexplicably great challenge. However, developments in science and social studies have significantly contributed to this endeavor. Here is a brief timeline of World History.


2.6 million years ago - In the Paleolithic Era, early humans gained awareness, developing tools, language, and methods for their nomadic hunting life.

8,000 BCE - Modern humans had spread in various continents, and they developed farming in the Agricultural Revolution. People began staying at fertile areas near bodies of water.

3,500 BCE - Because agriculture allowed settlement, it led to the creation of early cities, and therefore, civilization. The first of these was in Mesopotamia, around the area of what is now Iraq.

Ancient times

3,300 BC - The three-age system began, consisting of the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age. Throughout these periods, civilizations had sprung up around the world. Each had great advancements in aspects like literature, authority, and trade.

3,100 BC - The first empire was established in Egypt. Many other empires then followed. With the growth of empires, the concepts of territory and military force became the major themes.

500 BCE - Cultures prospered largely, with the Greeks and Romans leading in the West, and the Chinese and Indians in the East.

5th century - Powers began to fall. The Roman Empire suffered religious conflicts, while Chinese dynasties were attacked by invaders. In contrast, Central America was developing with the rise of the Maya culture, while Islamic conquests resulted to the Islamic golden age.

1340s - The world fell prey to the Black Death, one of the most tragic pandemics for humanity.

Modern World

14th century - The European Renaissance marked a reawakening of cultures and recovery from societal deterioration.

1600 - Singular authorities ruled the major realms: the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East, the Mughal Empire in India, and the Ming Dynasty in China. Europe also rose and expanded across countries.

18th century - The Industrial Revolution kicked off, significantly modernizing technologies. At the same time, British and Dutch forces respectively gained power in parts of various continents, including the Americas and the East Indies. Other colonizers also expanded, and later on, colonies began fighting for autonomy.

1941 - World War I commenced. As a result, many of Europe's regimes were destroyed, communism arose in Russia, and fascist dictatorships held other European countries like Italy and Germany.

1939 - World War II commenced, triggered largely by sharp rivalries during the heavy economic troubles of the Great Depression. Dictatorships, mainly of Europe and Japan, and including Adolf Hitler's rule in Germany, were defeated, allowing communism to expand in Europe and Asia.

1945 - The United Nations was established after the two world wars.

1946 - A political, military, and economic tension developed between the two most influential nations, the United States and the Soviet Union. This was the beginning of the Cold War.

1991 - The Soviet Union disintegrated. The United States became the only superpower in the world.

Today - The greatest world wars may have ended, but across the globe, various conflicts still exist. Natural threats, such as climate change and resource scarcity, have also risen. Still, the 20th century saw giant leaps in science and social studies, dawning such developments as information technology.

Despite all its great changes and sagas, the history of the world endures, as long as humankind exists. This only means that, in its efforts in science and social studies, it is humankind that has the foremost power to drive the course of history in the many years to come.

Websites For Learning All About World History Time Lines and Time Period

  1. CIA World Factbook
  2. eHistory
  3. HyperHistory Online
  4. International World History Project
  5. The Major Events in World History
  6. World Vital Records News