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50 Defining Events in World History
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 11:24 am    Post subject: 50 Defining Events in World History Reply with quote

Can any of you guys throw in any suggestions for a list I'm trying to compile of the above. I'm of course a westerner and thus can't help but see a list skewed toward a western perspective and maybe here is where some outside help would be most usefull.

I'm going to pitch in with a few ideas, and perhaps reasons why they warrent inclusion and any mistakes you see in my reasoning or any candidates you'd like to pitch in would be greatly appreciated.

1) I'll start with the development of cave painting [circa 30,000 BC]. Ok - it's strictly 'pre-historic' but I think warrents inclusion because it is our first depiction of ideas graphically and intended to convey information from individual to individual by a medium other than speech. It is representative and perhaps the very first evidence of the 'cognitive revolution' said to have occured some time prior to this.

2) The Crucifiction of Christ [29AD]. Little can be known of the facts of Jesus' life, but that he was put to death by Roman Consular order around the time stated above there can be little doubt. This event, irrespective of your beliefs, would be hard to deny as one of the most significant in world history. If Jesus had not been crucified or otherwise executed, it is hard to see that the world shaping movement of Christianity could ever have gained the momentum which it subsequently did - and the course of world history would have been irrevocably different thereby.

3) Charles Martel and the Battle of Tours [AD 732] Regarded as the 'turning point' at which the ever north and eastward movement of Islam was finally halted, the Battle of Tours in which Martel defeated and ended the influence of Abdul Rahman al Ghafiqi is seen by many historians as the decisive event that 'preserved chistianity in Europe'.

4) The American Revolutionary War [AD 1775 - 1783] The war which in many senses ushered in the modern world. Increasing dissatisfaction with being ruled by a distant power that legislated in it's own favor and used it's colonies as no more than a source of revanue for self-enrichment, this was the war in which the Americans truly became a people and stood up to their British overlords and said 'enough is enough!'. Frenchmen who had seen the power of 'the people' when united returned to France from this conflict with the ideals of liberty and freedom deeply burned into their minds. Thus was the modern world born.

5) The Renaissance [Europe 15th Century]. Forming a bridge between the Middle ages and modern times, this flowering of intellectual and humanist thought, freed for the first time from the stifling effects of religious dogma and patronage, owes much of it's stimulus to the 'rediscovery' of classical works brought about by increasing trade links with cultures in the east by an emergant merchant class. The resultant increase in knowledge, particularly by the studies of 'natural philosophers' in what we now call the sciences, paved the way for 'The Enlightenment' of the 17th Century.

6) The Industrial revolution [Great Britain 18th Century]. The transition from traditional cottage industries where goods were produced largely by hand, to a mechanised process whith division of labour and powered machine tools, began in the UK and rapidly spread to Western europe and North America and transformed the world beyond recognition. The increased standard of living resulting from cheap mass produced goods was a while in coming but is still with us to this day in the form of the mass consumerism in which we daily indulge.

7) The Theory of Evolution [Europe 19th Century]. Culminating in the Publication of "The Origin of Species by Natural Selection" in 1859, the laying down of a scientifically testable theory that accounted for the diversity of types encountered in the natural world placed the final nail in the coffin of church authority in the dogma of Creation. Building on a process that had begun with Coppernicus displacing the earth from the center of the Universe, following the publication of Darwins book it became increasingly difficult to ignore the significant divergence between the stories of revealed scripture and the evidence of hard scientific study. These developments literally changed the way we thought and the way we saw our place in relation to our own world and our place in the Universe.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll see your number 1 with the shell middens on the coast of South Africa. The earliest evidence for shellfish collecting, dating to 164,000 years ago. It was the exploitation of this stable and nutritionally valuable food source that got us to where we could make cave paintings in the first place. Wink

The Manhattan project would probably be one, Alfred's (start of the) founding of England, Genghis Khan's empire and the subsequent founding of Yuan dynasty by his grandson in China, the decline and fall of Rome, the Eastern Roman empire and the barbarian diaspora before Atilla, the Reformation, the Peninsular wars...

Lemme think about it. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

+JMJ+



1985 - Shigeru Miyamoto gives the world Super Mario Bros.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hahaha, I like it. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All good ideas Av - many thanks. Perhaps it'll help focus this thread [even if just for me] if I outline what my purpose is in this. My [step] grand-daughter is 10. She exibhits both an interest in history and in art - and loves to play card games. I have a friend at work who can do printing etc, so my idea is to take 50 or 52 key events from history and find appropriate pieces of art to illustrate them. I'll write short accounts of what event the picture shows or relates to and then devise a game to play that involves some knowledge of the event account [or maybe just incorporate the card into a standard 'deck' in some way [it's a 'work in progress' as you can see Razz ]. One problem I've encountered so far is how easy it is to slip into just a list of technological inventions, the wheel, the printing press, the silicon chip etc etc, so I'm going to try to avouid that if I can. The printing press I think has to be in because it resulted in a huge increase in literacy that in turn made universal education possible.

I'll number my entries just to keep track of where I am, but if anyone has additions to make please do so as you see fit - actually no I won't number any more, I'll just pitch 'em in.

The invention of the printing press for the reason given above. [Holy Roman Empire 1440]

The system of 'democracy' [ancient Greece 6th C. BC].

The Bretton Woods Conference [New hampshire USA, Nov 1944.]

Abolitionism [England 18th C.]

Universal Sufferage [new Zealand 1893].

European Colonialism [Europe 16th to 19th C.]

The combination of mathematics and experiment in the study of science [Italy 17th C.]

It's terribly easy to just retreat into 'isms' when putting together a list like this; as I sit here they come flowing in thick and fast, and it's not that they're not important - they're just not events [and certainly not events with which to hold the attention of a ten year old!].

The Silk Road [1st C. BC to 15C. AD.]

Discovery of The Americas [Columbus 1492]

The Sykes-Picot Agreement [1916]

The French Revolution [Paris 1789]

The Treaty of Versailles [France 1919]

The Russian Revolution [Russia 1917]

The British Agricultural Revolution [Gt. Britain 18th C.]
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:

Discovery of The Americas [Columbus 1492]


Objection. The Vikings were here centuries before Columbus. There are runestones as far south as Oklahoma.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair point Hashi - I should have said the 'rediscovery of the Americas by Columbus'. [That has to be the significant one because the world never really looked back from that point on, where the vikings never really capitalised on their find; Are there, by the way any Native American stories told that describe the Viking presence. Surely the two would have had contact if the Norsemen traveled as extensively as the finds indicate?]
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not folklore but related to the question above.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/11/101123-native-american-indian-vikings-iceland-genetic-dna-science-europe/
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The internet.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
Fair point Hashi - I should have said the 'rediscovery of the Americas by Columbus'. [That has to be the significant one because the world never really looked back from that point on, where the vikings never really capitalised on their find; Are there, by the way any Native American stories told that describe the Viking presence. Surely the two would have had contact if the Norsemen traveled as extensively as the finds indicate?]


It would have been too far to make the journey often and any settlements left behind would have required herd animals for hides and meat and some farm plots for basic vegetables and grains, not to mention the wood for building shelter. They weren't here looking for gold (at least that probably wasn't their primary reason) or easy trade routes to India like the Spanish and Portuguese were seeking in the late 15th century.

I am unaware of any oral tradition stories about Vikings in North America but that is the problem with oral history--it tends to die out fairly quickly.

caveat: some researchers think the runestones are from 18th or 19th century settlers but the problem with that assessment is that people weren't using runes as a form of writing at that time, at least as far as I know. Literate settlers during that time would have used a more modern lettering system.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hashi Lebwohl wrote:

caveat: some researchers think the runestones are from 18th or 19th century settlers but the problem with that assessment is that people weren't using runes as a form of writing at that time, at least as far as I know. Literate settlers during that time would have used a more modern lettering system.


Errr runes were in use during those periods. One example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalecarlian_runes
As to whether the stones might be genuine, this depends on the type of runor utilized.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frostheart Grueburn wrote:

Errr runes were in use during those periods.


Really? I had no idea. Well, what do you know? Something I didn't already know.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fist and Faith wrote:
The internet.


Yes - I'd thought at least some refference would have to be made to to the increase in 'connectivity' and it's subsequent effects on different cultures; but would the intoduction of the 'WWW' be of more significance to the world at large than the initial [millitary?] development of ARAPNET [was that what it was called?]?

[Interesting link Frosty; I see no reason why an Indian woman could not have returned with the vikings back to the North despite what some in the report seemed to feel.]
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's what it was called. Very Happy Within 6 months, more personal communication was being sent by it than the research data it was developed to transmit. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The triumph of reason over madness methinks Wink
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
My [step] grand-daughter is 10. She exibhits both an interest in history and in art - and loves to play card games. I have a friend at work who can do printing etc, so my idea is to take 50 or 52 key events from history and find appropriate pieces of art to illustrate them. I'll write short accounts of what event the picture shows or relates to and then devise a game to play that involves some knowledge of the event account...
Neat! Thumbs Up

History stuff... where's Iolanthe when ya need her?
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you mean only things peeps have DONE? Or are you including things that just happened?
Cuz there's the Plague....

On human but related: penicillin can't be overrated.

And mass sanitation [including especially indoor plumbing]

Penicillin and sewer systems together---without them, we'd probably have less than half the peeps we do, and they'd be dying young, nasty, and in a cesspool.
[[admittedly, penicillin is more noble and prettier Smile ]]

Also---leather. There's more than one ancient way, but without leather/tanning [and also weaving/cloth] we'd have had a hard time expanding and evolving---

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to try to limit it in the main to events or people - because if you get into the 'tech' or 'ideas' fields the list becomes endless and the sorting almost pointless. By sticking to people and events I hope to take the [normally considered by kids] 'boring bits' and fix them to images of power and beauty. The girl has shown no small interest in bits of history already [she knows all about Henry VIII and can name all of his wives and their particular form of demise] and has also enjoyed looking at the 'big pictures' in The National Gallery in London. I'm going to try and tie these two together such that when she starts her 'history proper' [ie at exam level], she will already have pictures in her head of what is being refered to.

{As an aside I used to play a game with her where I'd say "Look - I'm King Midas; every thing I touch turns to Gold!" I'd then touch about ten different gold coloured things in the kitchen affecting shock as I did so. Last term her final lesson was - nothing other than the story of King Midas and she already knew it better than the teacher! Laughing }

I think by the way Napoleons 18 Brumaire Coup will have to feature in the list; As the point at which the Revolution was ended and Napoleons power was consolidated across Europe it has to be one of the turning points of world history.

[The plague has to be in V. with it's massive impact on population levels and the subsequent freeing of labour to sell itself to the highest bidder rather than being bound in feudal servitude to one given individual.]
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2015 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
{As an aside I used to play a game with her where I'd say "Look - I'm King Midas; every thing I touch turns to Gold!" I'd then touch about ten different gold coloured things in the kitchen affecting shock as I did so. Last term her final lesson was - nothing other than the story of King Midas and she already knew it better than the teacher! Laughing }

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2015 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing It was good Linna.
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