2nd millennium

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New World American Revolution French Revolution Black Death Napoleon Bonaparte Telephone Aeroplane Moon landing Atomic Bomb Light Bulb Gutenberg Bible
From left, clockwise: in 1492, Italian navigator Christopher Columbus arrives in America; the American Revolution; the French Revolution; the Atomic Bomb from World War II; an alternate source of light, the light bulb; for the first time, a human being sets foot on the moon in 1969 during the Apollo 11 moon mission; aeroplanes become the most-used way of transport though the skies; Napoleon Bonaparte, in the early 19th century, affects France and Europe with expansionism and modernization; Alexander Graham Bell's telephone; in 1348, the Black Death kills in just two years over 100 million people worldwide, and over half of Europe. (Background: An excerpt from the Gutenberg Bible, the first major book printed in the West using movable type, in the 1450s)

The second millennium was a period of time spanning the years AD 1001 to 2000 (11th to 20th centuries).[note 1] It encompassed the High and Late Middle Ages of the Old World, followed by the Early Modern period, characterized by the Wars of Religion in Europe, the Age of Enlightenment, the Age of Discovery and the colonial period. Its final two centuries coincide with Modern history, characterized by industrialization, the rise of nation states, the rapid development of science, widespread education, and universal health care and vaccinations in the Western world. The 20th century saw increasing globalization, most notably the two World Wars and the subsequemt formation of the United Nations. 20th-century technology includes powered flight, television and semiconductor technology, including integrated circuits. The term "Great Divergence" was coined to refer the unprecedented cultural and political ascent of the Western world in the second half of the millennium, by the 18th century emerging as the most powerful and wealthy world civilization, eclipsing Qing China and the Islamic World.

World population has grown without precendent over the millennium, from 310 million in AD 1000 to about 6,000 million in AD 2000. Doubling time was at first seven centuries (reaching 600 million in 1700), and during the final three centuries population growth accelerated extremely, growth rate peaking at 1.8% p.a. in the second half of the 20th century. Unchecked globalization and population growth also caused considerable social and environmental consequences, giving rise to extreme poverty, climate change and biotic crisis.[1]

Political history

List of political entities in 1143, 1400, 1495, 1528, 1648, 1660, 1777, 1800s, 1900s, List of sovereign states in the 1950s, 1990s

Middle Ages

Near East
see also Crusades, Mongol invasions
North Africa
East Asia
Sahel / Sudan and Sub-Saharan Africa
see Islamization of the Sudan region, List of kingdoms in pre-colonial Africa
Pre-Columbian Americas

Early Modern period

Colonial empires

sub-Saharan Africa

Modern history



The events in this section are organized according to the UN geoscheme.

Events of the 2nd millennium AD
  Africa Americas Asia Europe Oceania
11th century

1043 Eze Nri Ìfikuánim becomes first king of Nri Kingdom
1054 Almoravid dynasty established[2]
1060 Kingdom of Kanem converts to Islam[2]


1000 Cahokia (present-day Illinois, USA) becomes regional chiefdom of Mississippian culture

1005 Treaty of Shanyuan signed
1008 The Tale of Genji completed[3]
1044 Gunpowder recipe published[3]

1054 The East–West Schism divides the Christian church
1088 The foundation of the first University[3]
1095 First Crusade[3]

12th century

1143 Almohad dynasty take control from the Almoravids[2]
1171 Salah-ad-Din deposes Fatimid ruler of Egypt and establishes the Ayyubid dynasty[2]
1173 Ayyubids capture Qasr Ibrim in Nubia[2]

1100 Toltecs establish capital at Tula[4]
1124 Arnaldur appointed first bishop of Greenland[4]
1175 Destruction of Toltec civilization[4]

1117 The magnetic compass is used at sea[3]
1120 Meng Yuanlao describes four-star dining in Kaifeng[3]
1150 Construction of Angkor Wat[3]
1192 Defeat of Prithviraj Chauhan in second Battle of Tarain

1143 Establishment of the Kingdom of Portugal[5]

1169 Averroes translates Aristotle[3]

  Africa Americas Asia Europe Oceania
13th century

1200 Kingdom of Mwenemutapa established in Zimbabwe[2]
1203 Sumaguru Kante of Sosso conquers kingdom of Ghana [2]
1250 Mamluk soldiers take Egypt from the Ayyubids [2]

1200 Chichén Itzá abandoned[4]
1200 Kingdom of Cuzco founded [4]
1200 Expansion of Chimú state of Chimor [4]

1206 Genghis Khan Builds an Empire[3]

1215 Magna Carta[3]
1260 Dedication of the Cathedral at Chartres[3]

1279 Establishment of the oldest bourders in Europe today, the Portuguese boundering[6]

1200 Tahitians colonize Hawaii [4]

14th century

1324 Musa's pilgrimage to Mecca[3]
1365 Crusade led by king of Cyprus sacks Alexandria[2]
1375 Kingdom of Songhai breaks away from Mali [2]

1315 Founding of Tenochtitlan[3]
1350 Norsemen abandon Greenland[4]
1350 War between Inca and Chimú[4]

1350 Coffee was first brewed[3]
1368 Zhu Yuanzhang ousts the Mongols from power[7]

1348 Black Plague[3]
1350 Emergence of fashion[3]
1382 Wycliffe's Bible

1300 Polynesian immigration to New Zealand[8]
1300 Hawaiians develop class structure[9]
1300 Huge stone statues erected on Easter Island[9]

  Africa Americas Asia Europe Oceania
15th century

1400 capital of Sayfawa Dynasty moved to Borno
1400 Funj settled Alodia
1496 Spain conquers Melilla, Morocco[2]

1428 Aztecs conquer Atzcapotzalco, ally with Texcoco and Tlacopan, become the dominant state in Mexico[4]
1470 Incas conquer Chimú empire [4]
1492 Voyages of Christopher Columbus[3]

1407 Work begins on Forbidden City, Beijing[7]
1431 Ayutthaya conquers Angkor [7]

1413 The invention of modern linear perspective[3]
1453 Ottoman conquest of Constantinople[3]
1455 Gutenberg Bible printed[3]
1494 Luca Pacioli publishes the first work on accounting[3]

1498 Vasco da Gama discovers sea route to India[10]
1500 Discovery of Brazil by Pedro Álvares Cabral[11]

1400 Tongans build ceremonial centre at Muʻa[9]

16th century

1509 African slaves arrive in the Americas[3]
1517 Ottomans capture Egypt[12]
1535 Holy Roman Emperor Charles V conquers Tunis[12]
1546 Songhai Empire takes Niani

1535 Europeans discover tobacco[3][dubious ]
1537 Europeans discover potatoes[3]
1545 The discovery of silver in the Andes mountains[3]

1555 Rise of the Mughal Empire in South Asia;

1517 The Ninety-Five Theses published[3]
1541 Publication of Quartic function on the Ars Magna (Gerolamo Cardano)
1543 Publication of On the Structure of the Human Body[3]
1596 Invention of the toilet[3]

1550 Maoris of New Zealand build fortified enclosures[13]

  Africa Americas Asia Europe Oceania
17th century

1600 Kingdom of Rwanda founded
1600 Dahomey Kingdom founded
1644 Start of the Char Bouba[12]

1607 Virginia colony founded[14]
1624 Manhattan island purchased from Native Americans[14]
1697 Last Mayan resistance defeated [14]

1610 Tea spreads to the world[3]
1637 Japanese prohibition against European contact[15]

1603 First performance of Hamlet[3]
1610 Galileo publishes his observations of Jupiter[3]
1666 Discovery of gravitation[3]

1600 Tu'i Konokupolu dynasty take power in Tonga[13]
1642 Abel Tasman sights New Zealand[16]

18th century

1700 Maravi Empire tears apart
1754 Usman dan Fodio is born
1799 Discovery of the Rosetta Stone[3]

1742 Native American revolt against Spanish in Peru[3]
1776 United States Declaration of Independence published[3]

1751 Chinese occupy Tibet[15]
1760 Rise of the British Rule in India

1722 Bach composed the Well-Tempered Clavier[3]
1769 Invention of the steam engine[3]
1796 The first vaccination[3]


1795 Formation of the Kingdom of Hawaii

  Africa Americas Asia Europe Oceania
19th century

1869 The Suez Canal opens[3]
1879 Battle of Isandlwana
1896 Battle of Adwa

1821 Bolívar liberates Venezuela[3]
1876 Menlo Park opens[3]
1876 First telephone transmission[3]

1868 End of Japanese seclusion[3]

1830 First steam railway[3]
1859 Origin of Species[3]
1882 Germ theory proven[3]

1840 Treaty of Waitangi signed[17]
1845 New Zealand land wars[18]
1845 Formation of the Kingdom of Tonga by Taufaʻahau

20th century

1956 Suez Crisis[19]
1967 Six-Day War[19]
1994 End of apartheid[19]

1903 First controlled, powered airplane flight[3]
1908 Ford builds the Model T[3]
1928 First television broadcast[3]
1942 Creation of the world's first nuclear reactor[3]

1969 First Moon Landing

1917 The Russian Revolution[3]
1934 Mao's long march[3]
1945 Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki[3]
1947 Partition of India
1971 Formation of Bangladesh
1992 Destruction of the Babri Mosque by Hindus

1901 First transatlantic radio transmission[3]
1906 Alberto Santos-Dumont realizes the first officially recorded powered flight in Europe
1914 Beginning of World War I
1918 End of World War I
1922 Establishment of Italian Fascism
1928 Discovery of penicillin[3]
1933 Adolf Hitler appointed Chancellor of Germany[3]
1939 Beginning of World War II
1945 End of World War II

1915 Australians and New Zealanders serve in the Gallipoli Campaign
1985 Nuclear Free Zone established in New Zealand[20]
2000 Autonomous Bougainville Government established

Cultural and technological history

Inventions, discoveries and introductions
Communication and Technology Science and Mathematics Manufacturing Transportation and
Space exploration
  1. Printing press[21]
  2. Thermometer
  3. Electrical battery
  4. Telegraph
  5. Photography
  6. Telephone
  7. Animation
  8. Television
  9. Computer
  10. Transistor
  11. Satellite
  12. Internet[21]
  13. Electrostatic generator
  1. Accounting
  2. Probability
  3. Calculus
  4. Vaccination[21][22]
  5. Atomic theory[22]
  6. Anesthesia[21][22]
  7. Natural selection[22]
  8. Genetics[21][22]
  9. Special relativity[22]
  10. Penicillin[21][22]
  11. DNA[22]
  12. Quantum mechanics[22]
  13. Electricity
  1. Canned food
  2. Plastic[22]
  3. Assembly line
  4. Sliced bread
  5. Frozen food
  6. Nuclear reactor
  7. Food processor
  8. Finite geometry
  1. Barometer
  2. Bicycle
  3. Steam engine
  4. Steam turbine
  5. Internal combustion engine
  6. Steam locomotive
  7. Human flight
  8. Moon landing
  9. Space shuttle
  10. Space station
  11. GPS navigation
  1. Longbow
  2. Rockets
  3. Aircraft carrier
  4. Nuclear weapon
  5. Submarine
  6. Tanks
  7. Firearms


The Julian calendar was used in Europe at the beginning of the millennium, and all countries that once used the Julian calendar had adopted the Gregorian calendar by the end of it. For this reason, the end date of the 2nd millennium is usually calculated based on the Gregorian calendar, while the beginning date is based on the Julian calendar (or occasionally the proleptic Gregorian calendar).

In 1999, there was some public debate as to whether the millennium should be taken to end on on December 31, 1999, or December 31, 2000. Stephen Jay Gould at the time argued there is no objective way of deciding this question.[23] Associated Press reported that the third millennium began on 1 January 2001, but also reported that celebrations in the US were generally more subdued at the beginning of 2001, compared to the beginning of 2000.[24] Many public celebrations for the end of the second millennium were held on December 31, 1999 – January 1, 2000[25]—with a few people marking the end of the millennium a year later.

Centuries and decades

11th century 1000s[note 2] 1010s 1020s 1030s 1040s 1050s 1060s 1070s 1080s 1090s
12th century 1100s 1110s 1120s 1130s 1140s 1150s 1160s 1170s 1180s 1190s
13th century 1200s 1210s 1220s 1230s 1240s 1250s 1260s 1270s 1280s 1290s
14th century 1300s 1310s 1320s 1330s 1340s 1350s 1360s 1370s 1380s 1390s
15th century 1400s 1410s 1420s 1430s 1440s 1450s 1460s 1470s 1480s 1490s
16th century 1500s 1510s 1520s 1530s 1540s 1550s 1560s 1570s 1580s 1590s
17th century 1600s 1610s 1620s 1630s 1640s 1650s 1660s 1670s 1680s 1690s
18th century 1700s 1710s 1720s 1730s 1740s 1750s 1760s 1770s 1780s 1790s
19th century 1800s 1810s 1820s 1830s 1840s 1850s 1860s 1870s 1880s 1890s
20th century 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s


  1. ^ The year 2000 is technically the last year of the 2nd millennium, however it is generally considered the first year of the 3rd millennium. See more at century and millennium.
  2. ^ 9 of the 10 years of the decade are in this millennium


  1. ^ "The Sixth Extinction – The Most Recent Extinctions". Archived from the original on 2015-12-18. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Africa AD 600–1500". World Timelines. The British Museum. 2005. Retrieved 2008-11-17. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd Toast, Scott (2002-02-19). "Top 100 Events of the Millennium". adapted from LIFE Magazine. Scott Toast. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Americas AD 1000–1492". World Timelines. The British Museum. 2005. Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  5. ^ nationsonline.org, klaus kästle -. "Portugal – Portuguese Republic – Country Profile – República Portuguesa – Travel and Tourism Portugal". www.nationsonline.org. Retrieved 2015-09-15. 
  6. ^ "www.visitportugal.com". www.visitportugal.com. Retrieved 2015-09-15. 
  7. ^ a b c "Asia AD 1200–1500". World Timelines. The British Museum. 2005. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  8. ^ Whitmore, Robbie. "Timeline of events in New Zealand history". New Zealand in History. Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  9. ^ a b c "Oceania AD 1000–1520". World Timelines. The British Museum. 2005. Archived from the original on 21 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  10. ^ Society, National Geographic. "Da Gama Discovers a Sea Route to India". Retrieved 2015-09-15. 
  11. ^ "Cabral Discovers Brazil | History Today". www.historytoday.com. Retrieved 2015-09-15. 
  12. ^ a b c "Africa AD 1500–1850". World Timelines. The British Museum. 2005. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  13. ^ a b "Oceania AD 1520–1770". World Timelines. The British Museum. 2005. Archived from the original on 21 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  14. ^ a b c "Americas 1492–1800". World Timelines. The British Museum. 2005. Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  15. ^ a b "Asia AD 1500–1800". World Timelines. The British Museum. 2005. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  16. ^ "European discovery of New Zealand". Encyclopedia of New Zealand
  17. ^ Michael King (2003). The Penguin History of New Zealand. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-301867-1. 
  18. ^ Belich, James (1986). The New Zealand Wars and the Victorian Interpretation of Racial Conflict. Oxford University Press. ISBN 1-86940-002-X. 
  19. ^ a b c "Africa AD 1950–2000". World Timelines. The British Museum. 2005. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  20. ^ "New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act". Retrieved 25 November 2008. 
  21. ^ a b c d e f Keeley, Larry (2007-02-16). "The Greatest Innovations of All Time". BusinessWeek. The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. Archived from the original on 7 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-12. 
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "The Big 100: the Science Channels 100 Greatest Discoveries". Discovery Communications, LLC. 2008. Archived from the original on 31 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-12. 
  23. ^ Stephen Jay Gould, Questioning the Millennium: A Rationalist's Guide to a Precisely Arbitrary Countdown (New York: Harmony Books, 1999), ch 2.
  24. ^ Associated Press, "Y2K It Wasn't, but It Was a Party", Los Angeles Times, January 1, 2001.
  25. ^ "Millennium FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions". When does the Millennium start?. Greenwich2000.ltd.uk. 2008-08-12. Archived from the original on 12 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-29. 
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