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Showing 1–12 of 22 results

  • Asian Exploration c. 1430

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    Pre-Columbus, the greatest feats of maritime navigation belonged to the Polynesians. Before the Portuguese had reached even the Canaries, Polynesian seafarers had traversed most of the Pacific. The northern seaboards of the Indian Ocean were the conduits of the world’s most lucrative trade routes, with their control fiercely contested by... More
  • Decolonization 1950–97

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    A frequent catalyst for independence movements is the disruption to colonial rule occasioned by protracted conflict. The Napoleonic War was effectively the death-knell for the bulk of Spain’s South American empire; World War I completed Ottoman disintegration. Although France and Britain emerged on the winning side in World War II,... More
  • Global Exploration 1000–1673

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    The Franciscan monk, William of Rubruck, travelled to the Great Khan’s court in Karakorum from 1252 to 1255. This was not a ground-breaking journey; several missionaries preceded him, and at the court he encountered a French silversmith, and a woman from Lorraine doing the cooking. Until the 15th century, it... More
  • Imperial Rivals 1914

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    Although World War I was triggered by Austrian and Russian conflict over Serbia, prior to this there were tensions generated by the imperialist agendas of the different European powers. By 1914, the Ottoman Empire was in decline and Russia had lost a war with Japan over disputed territories in Manchuria,... More
  • International Organizations c. 2004

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    Independent organizations are collections of independent political entities or sovereign states, who help maintain stability and peace by encouraging cooperation and shared benefits, such as tariff elimination between member countries. In 2004, the EU (European Union) trade bloc had its largest single expansion and included many new countries from eastern... More
  • Monarchy in the World

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    Monarchy describes a system of government in which the sovereign rules by order of succession, usually hereditary. Since the 19th century, the growth of parliamentary authority and the rise of communism has steadily extinguished hereditary monarchies; between 2010 and the present, there were only 43 monarchies in the world. Half... More
  • Predominant Religions 2000

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    In 2000, Catholics were the largest Christian group globally. Catholicism, which still predominates in southern and central Europe, is particularly evident in former Spanish, French and Portuguese colonies, such as Latin America, Mexico and the Philippines. Canada and Australia have large Catholic communities, reflecting immigration from the Catholic Old World,... More
  • The Beginnings of Agriculture c. 5000 BC

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    The domestication of animals and crops for human consumption occurred independently in a number of regions around the world between roughly 13,000 BCE and 6000 BCE. Dogs were one of the first species to be domesticated, playing an important role in hunting wild animals and later herding livestock animals for... More
  • The World 1 CE

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    While Rome was pre-eminent at the dawn of the Christian era, its expansionist momentum was beginning to stall. The Parthians inflicted a crushing defeat in 53 BCE, the German tribes in 9 CE and Cush would prove too troublesome to subdue. The Han in China were also suffering from imperial... More
  • The World 1250 BCE

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    The Battle of Kadesh in 1274 BCE between the Egypt of Rameses II and the Hittites was a clash to determine supremacy in the Near East between the primary regional powers of the time. The result was inconclusive and over the next century the two rivals would increasingly be overshadowed... More
  • The World 1500 CE

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    The fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans (1453) shocked Christian Europe, but its subsequent renaissance was not purely cultural. By the dawn of the 15th century, the Holy Roman Empire, France, England and Spain had all acquired strong, secure dynastic rule, while Hungary, under John Hunyadi and Matthew Corvinus, was... More
  • The World 1700

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    There was a change in the European power balances in the 17th century, with the ground-breaking first colonizers from Iberia becoming increasingly outrivalled by the maritime powers of France, England and the Dutch. France under Louis XIV was also Europe’s dominant terrestrial power, but would soon be humbled, with its... More