Common section

World History: 50 Events You Really Need to Know

World History: 50 Events You Really Need to Know

People often complain that in history lessons at school they were taught just a few topics - the Romans, the Tudors, the Nazis - and how they have no idea at all about what happened in between. To remedy this, World History: 50 Key Milestones You Really Need to Know offers brief and stimulating outlines of key developments in the history of the world, from the beginning of agriculture 10,000 years ago to the attack on the Twin Towers on 9/11.

Ian Crofton, the author of several books of popular history including The Kings and Queens of England, Traitors and Turncoats and History Without the Boring Bits, brings his lively style to bear in a series of essays ranging from ancient Egypt to modern China, from the Vikings and the Mongols to the French Revolution and the Cold War.

Each essay is accompanied by a detailed time line of dates and events, and the flavour of the period concerned is brought to life by selected contemporary quotations from figures as diverse as Aristotle, Ashoka, Saladin, Christopher Columbus, Martin Luther, Suleiman the Magnificent, Galileo, Voltaire, Thomas Jefferson, Mary Wollstonecraft, Napoleon, Lincoln, Lenin and Winston Churchill. In addition, box features throw light on a range of related topics, from the Nazca Lines to Renaissance man, from Confucianism and the state to Alexander the Great's horse, from Islamic science and the Barbary corsairs to the Enigma code and the atomic bomb.

Chapter 1. The beginnings of agriculture

Chapter 2. The first cities

Chapter 3. Egypt of the pharaohs

Chapter 4. Classical Greece

Chapter 5. Alexander the Great

Chapter 6. The spread of Roman power

Chapter 7. The fall of Rome and its aftermath

Chapter 8. The rise of Islam

Chapter 9. The Vikings

Chapter 10. The Crusades

Chapter 11. The Black Death

Chapter 12. Precolonial India

Chapter 13. Imperial China

Chapter 14. The Mongols

Chapter 15. Japan, the island empire

Chapter 16. Incas and Aztecs

Chapter 17. Empires and kingdoms of Africa

Chapter 18. The Renaissance

Chapter 19. The Ottoman empire

Chapter 20. The voyages of discovery

Chapter 21. The Reformation

Chapter 22. The Counter–Reformation

Chapter 23. The English Revolution

Chapter 24. The Scientific Revolution

Chapter 25. The age of empire

Chapter 26. The Enlightenment

Chapter 27. The American Revolution

Chapter 28. The French Revolution

Chapter 29. The Napoleonic era

Chapter 30. The Industrial Revolution

Chapter 31. Nationalism in Europe

Chapter 32. Slavery

Chapter 33. The expansion of the USA

Chapter 34. The American Civil War

Chapter 35. The rise of socialism

Chapter 36. Women’s rights

Chapter 37. The First World War

Chapter 38. Lenin and Stalin

Chapter 39. The shadow of Fascism

Chapter 40. The Great Depression

Chapter 41. The Second World War: Europe

Chapter 42. The Second World War: Asia and the Pacific

Chapter 43. The Holocaust

Chapter 44. The Cold War

Chapter 45. The end of empire

Chapter 46. The Vietnam War

Chapter 47. The Arab–Israeli conflict

Chapter 48. The fall of communism

Chapter 49. The resurgence of China

Chapter 50. 9/11 and after