I. The Chronologies
The chronological listing of important events is one of the most basic of historical tools. One needs to know the chronological order of events in order to determine causal relations.
The traditional chronology, however, is usually a simple, two-dimensional listing of events. WebChron uses the power of hypertext to create a more interesting, more useful, multi-dimensional chronology. Using hypertext, we are able to present chronologies in outline form, so that it is easier to see the relationship between long term and short term events. We are also able to interweave chronologies so that one can also more readily see the relation between events in one field to events in another.
Because they are intended for use in survey history courses, these chronologies are not intended to be exhaustive. Many significant events have been left out; many of the dates given are very coarse generalities. Nevertheless, we hope that what is presented is nevertheless pedagogically useful.
Developing the chronologies presented an opportunity to reconsider the periodization used to organize historical time. Periodization is grouping historical events based on shared characteristics. For example, the history of Western Civilization is conventionally divided into Ancient, Medieval and Modern periods.
The periodization used in the World History chronology is based on the work of Howard Spodek. The events after the development of empires has, however, been developed in greater detail.
The most extensive changes from convention are in the Western Civilization chronology. Placing Western history in the context of World history brings to the fore many of the limits of that convention. The chronology presented here is structured around the relation of the West to the rest of the world and to the role of Christianity within Western culture.
It should be clear that the periodization schemes offered are offered as suggestions to stimulate discussion. Any comments would be appreciated.
III. The Articles
Linked to the chronologies are articles describing the events listed on those chronologies. These articles were written by undergraduate students in survey Western Civilization and World History courses at North Park University and at Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center, Chicago, Illinois. While great care has been taken to insure the accuracy and reliability of these pages, these pages are student work. The pages reflect the author's understanding of the event based on secondary source research. These pages reflect the work of seasoned scholars, but should not be mistaken for that scholarship.
Because these articles are student work they are of uneven quality. Some of the pages are excellent and are as good and sometimes even better than what might be found in a conventional encyclopedia. Others are barely college level work. As a result, we are continually updating and revising the articles. Articles which have been significantly revised are indicated. We are always interested in suggestions for improving and correcting errors.
On another level, however, we are not troubled that these pages are not perfect. One of the skills we want our students to develop is the ability to critically read a source. It is our hope that if students know that these articles were written by their peers they will be more ready to engage in debate with the authors. With student written articles we are also able to raise issues of academic authority and how it should be assessed. Finally, having examples of less successful projects on the web allows students to see problems to avoid.
IV. Copyright and Permissions
Except as noted, David Koeller holds the copyright to all the original text on the WebChron site.
Permission is granted for temporary posting of ChronPages on course websites, distribution in print form for educational purposes and for personal use. If you do use WebChron material, please acknowledge the source. Permission is not granted for any commercial use of this site.
Except as noted, the images on this site are not copyright by David Koeller and are used either by permission from the copyright holder or under the Fair Use provisions of the US copyright law. If you believe your work has been posted here in violation of your rights, please contact David Koeller and appropriate action will be taken.
V. Conventions and Disclaimer
We accept no liability for the accuracy of the information presented or for any damages which might occur for using this site. Use at your own risk. If you have any comments or suggestions, please contact us at the address below.
Some basic conventions:
- indicates a link to a related chronology
- Highlighted text within a chronology provides a link to a WebChron article.
- All dates before Christ are labeled "BC."
- All dates after Christ are not labeled.
- "Web link" indicates a link to a website not formally part of the WebChronology Project