World History Chronology

Evolution of Hominids

Foraging Societies

Settled Agriculture

Primary Urbanization

Classical Empires

Unification of Eurasia

Unification of the Hemispheres

Formation of World Culture

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Voyages of Exploration


Chinese Treasure Fleet: 1405-1424

  • 1405-1407: Zheng He's first voyage Ming Dynasty
  • 1412-1415: Zheng He's third voyage reaches Hormuz
  • 1421-1422: Zheng He's fifth voyage reaches Mogadishu

Portuguese explorers seek a route to India and China: 1415-1510

  • 1415: The Portuguese capture Ceuta.
  • 1433: Cape Bojador is rounded by Gil Eannes.
  • 1482: Elmina Castle is built.
  • 1484: Diogo Cao discovers the Congo estuary.
  • 1488: Bartolomeu Dias rounds the Cape of Good Hope.
  • 1494: Treaty of Tordesillas.
  • 1497-1498: Vasco da Gama sails to India.
  • 1500: Pedro Cabral discovers Brazil.
  • 1510: The Portuguese capture Goa.

The Spanish colonization of Central and South America: 1492-1540

  • 1492: Christopher Columbus discovers islands in the Caribbean.
  • 1513: Nunez de Balboa is the first European to see the Pacific Ocean from the Americas.
  • 1519-1538: Hernan Cortes conquers Mexico.

British and French colonization of North America: 1497-1600

  • 1497: John Cabot makes his voyage to North America.
  • 1534-1535: Jacques Cartier explores the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.
  • 1585: The First English colony in North America is established on Roanoke Island.
  • 1600: The English East India Company is founded.

Global Exploration: 1500-1650

  • 1519-1522: The first circumnavigation of the global is begun under the leadership of Ferdinand Magellan and completed by Sebastian del Cano.
  • 1553: Richard Chancellor sails to Archangel seeking a Northeast Passage.
  • 1576-1578: Martin Frobisher sails in search of a Northwest Passage.
  • 1596: Willem Barents sails to Novaya Zemlya.
  • 1606: Willem Janszoon discovers Australia.
  • 1642: Abel Tasman discovers Tasmania and New Zealand.


Primary Sources

Secondary Sources

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