Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Turning Points in the History of the West until 1600

The following is a list of 30 events (not conclusive) that changed the course of Western History. These are great to build 'What If' stories around.

1. The End of the Ice Age.
2. Abraham discovers philosophy of ethical monotheism.
3. The birth of Western Philosophy in Ancient Greece (Miletus with Thales)
4. Rome defeats Carthage to gain control of the Western Mediterranean.
5. The Life of Jesus Christ.
6. Paul develops Christianity as a seperate entity from Judaism.
7. Constantine legalizes Christianity in the Roman Emperor.
8. The fall of Rome and the Barbarian Invasions.
9. The Arabic Exapansion of the 7th-9th centuries.
10. Charles Martel saves Europe from Islam.
11. Charlemagne strengthens Western european power.
12. The Viking invasions impact on the continent. Height of the Dark Ages.
13. Spread of Feudalism throughout Europe.
14. Split between Catholic and Orthodox Churches.
15. Marco Polo makes contact with China - Silk Road re-ignited.
16. The Crusades encourage mixing of ideas between Europe and the East.
17. The Mongols fail to advance into Western Europe.
18. The Monastic Orders (especially in Ireland) protect Western Culture during Dark and Middle Ages.
19. Decline of Church Power after the Crusades. Church no longer seen as all-powerful. Growth of the secular ruler.
20. Black Plague decimates European population (1/3rd dead). Leads to improvement of Worker rights (more demand for Labour). End of Feudalism. Further weakening of the Church.
21. Venetians and Turks dominate Mediterranean sea trade routes.
22. Invention of the Printing Press accelerates a cultural, scientific revolution in Europe.
23. Birth of the Early Art Renaissance in Italy. Power of Florence grows.
23. Constantinople falls to the Turks. End of Byzantine Empire. 1453.
24. Hundred Years War (1337-1453) between England and France Ends.
25. Italian City States reach peak of Power, Italian Wars will however ravage Italy.
26. Growth of Spain, France and Austria as continental powers.
27. Beginning of the Age of Exploration. Early domination by Portuguese and Spanish. Later English, French and Dutch.
28. Discovery of the New Worlds (Americas) - Colonization to follow.
29. The Protestant Reformation further splits the Cheristian World.
30. March of Physics - Copernicus (The Heliocentric Universe), Kepler and Galileo.
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