This course takes you through the points that the human experience has changed, from the transition to urban settlements through to growth of the internet. Each lesson provides a detailed explanation of the topic. Many also include videos and podcasts to further expand your knowledge. Once you have completed the course you can test yourself with our history quizzes.
The transition to farming and permanent settlements allowed for the specialisation of labour and food surpluses to be produced. Rulers emerged to distribute these surpluses and lead the first cities.
Egypt became a complex state and saw the prolific construction of pyramids.
Under Cyrus the Great and Darius the Great, the Achaemenid Empire became the first global empire.
Greek warfare evolved from an originally limited and formalised form of conflict, to all-out struggles between city-states, with large-scale atrocities.
The Bantu speaking people, who were agriculturalists who used iron tools, occupied much of Southern Africa, displacing many of the previous inhabitants.
In a little over 30 years, Alexander the Great created one of the largest empires in the ancient world, using his military and tactical genius.
The Qin Dynasty unified China for the first time and saw rich cultural and technological innovation, as well as commencing the construction of the Great Wall of China.
Rome becomes the dominant force in Europe and the Mediterranean.
9. THE MAYA
The Maya developed an agriculturally intensive, city-centred civilization consisting of numerous independent city-states of varying power and influence.
10. THE GUPTA EMPIRE
Initially a period of territorial expansion through war, the Gupta Empire began a period of peace and prosperity marked by advancements in science, technology, engineering, art, dialectics, literature, logic, mathematics, astronomy, religion, and philosophy across India.
As the Western Roman Empire fell, the Eastern Roman Empire, now known as the Byzantine Empire, thrived.
12. THE TANG DYNASTY
A high point in Chinese civilisation and a golden age of cosmopolitan culture, the Tang capital at Chang’an (present-day Xi’an) was the most populous city in the world.
The Umayyad Caliphate became one of the largest unitary states in history and one of the few states to ever extend direct rule over three continents.
Charlemagne was crowned Emperor of the Romans, creating the Holy Roman Empire, which was a dominant force in Europe for a millennium.
The Kievan Rus came to power, ruling what is now European Russia, Ukraine and the Baltic coast from their capital in Kiev.
An alliance of city-states, the Aztecs had their capital at Tenochtitlan, which was built with a series of canals that allowed for easy transportation.
17. KINGDOM OF AKSUM
The Aksumite Empire at its height extended across most of present-day Eritrea, northern Ethiopia, western Yemen, southern Saudi Arabia, and Sudan. The capital city of the empire was Aksum, now in northern Ethiopia.
18. THE CRUSADES
The Crusades were a series of military conflicts conducted by Christian knights to take and occupy the ‘Holy Land’ around Jerusalem.
The Mongol invasions were some of the deadliest conflicts in human history, allowing the Mongols to establish largest land empire in history.
20. GREAT ZIMBABWE
Great Zimbabwe was a centre for trading, with a trade network extending as far as China.
21. THE RENAISSANCE
Best known for its artistic developments, for the development of Humanism and an increased reliance on observation in science.
22. THE INCA
Centred in Cusco, the Inca Empire extended from modern-day Chile to modern-day Colombia and was the largest of the empires in the America’s before the arrival of Europeans.
The Reformation began as an attempt to reform the Roman Catholic Church, by priests who opposed what they perceived as false doctrines and ecclesiastic malpractice. It lead to a schism within Western Christianity.
Many lands previously unknown to Europeans were discovered during this period, though most were already inhabited, and, from the perspective of non-Europeans, the period was not one of discovery, but one of invasion and the arrival of settlers from a previously unknown continent.
The creation of the Protestant Church of England was the beginning of a greater sense of English nationalism. The aftermath of the English Civil War saw the regulation of the relationship between the monarch and Parliament, with limits on the powers of the monarch and clear rights for Parliament. This included the requirement for regular meetings of Parliament, free elections, and freedom of speech in Parliament.
One of the longest and most destructive conflicts in European history, resulting in millions of casualties. A vortex that drew in all the powers of Europe.
The scientific revolution, which emphasized systematic experimentation as the most valid research method, resulted in developments in mathematics, physics, astronomy, biology, and chemistry. These developments transformed the views of society about nature.
In the wake of the French Revolution France became the dominant power on the European mainland, as well as having an extensive overseas empire.
After their success of the American War of Independence the USA expanded to become the dominant power in North America and a growing influence in the region.
This changed nearly every aspect of the industrial society, including where people could live, labour, and travel; how goods were produced, marketed, and sold; and what technological innovations followed.
The Latin American Wars of Independence, which took place during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, were deeply influenced by the American and French Revolutions and resulted in the creation of a number of independent countries in Latin America.
32. BRITISH INDIA
The British East India Company evolved from a company chartered by the British Crown to trade with the East Indies into de facto British administrator of India, which set off the era of British colonisation of the Indian Subcontinent.
The transition from isolationist foreign policies to the rapid industrialization resulted from a carefully engineered transfer of Western technology, modernization trends, and education led by the government in partnership with the private sector.
After the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, the German princes proclaimed the founding of the German Empire in 1871 at Versailles, uniting all scattered parts of Germany except Austria.
In the late 19th century European colonialism in Africa accelerated, conquering and occupying the majority of the continent.
At the peak of the Qing dynasty (1644-1912), China ruled more than one-third of the world’s population, had the largest economy in the world, and by area was one of the largest empires ever.
37. WORLD WAR I
The largest and most destructive war yet seen by humanity.
The Russian revolution and subsequent civil war resulted in a communist government ruling a new country that spanned Eastern Europe to North Eastern Asia.
The Great Depression was the longest, deepest, and most widespread depression of the 20th century, beginning after the devastating 1929 Black Tuesday stock market crash.
The largest and most destructive war yet seen by humanity, spanning the globe and devastating in its impact.
The Holocaust united much of the world Jewish community behind the Zionist project, which lead to the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.
44. COMMUNIST CHINA
The Chinese civil war ended with the Nationalist government retreating to Taiwan and the communists taking control of the mainland China and establishing the People’s Republic of China in 1949.
Competition between the USSR and the West saw a series of flashpoints and proxy wars.
Gorbachev’s policies of glasnost and perestroika gained a popular momentum that lead to a largely peaceful overthrow of the USSR.
The European Union was formally established when the Maastricht Treaty—whose main architects were Helmut Kohl and François Mitterrand—came into force on November 1, 1993.
The world embraced the digital revolution as well as a significant increase in international trade and travel.
War, inequality, poverty and climate change. Many elements that were issues in the past remain today, some better than they were, some more concerning now than in the past.