History, humanity, International Relations, People, politics, War, World Politics

HISTORICAL EVENTS WHICH CHANGED THE COURSE OF WORLD POLITICS

History helps us understand many things, contemporary world politics for example can be understood when we look at various events that have happened over the years. This list however is not comprehensive but will give you an understanding of the changing dynamics of the world’s balance of power and the conflicts that have come up between countries over the years.

People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them. James Baldwin

  • 1517 Protestant Reformation in Europe led by Martin Luther against the Roman Catholic Church.
  • 1648 The Treaty of Westphalia-This Treaty was signed among the countries in Europe; the concept of Sovereignty was recognized in this treaty for the very first time  
  • 1688 Bloodless Revolution in England which overthrows the Roman Catholic King James II. Rise of Protestantism in England
  • 1760 Rise of the Industrial Revolution in the UK and other parts of Europe
  • 1773 Boston Tea Party
  • 1776 Formation of the United States of America
  • 1789 French Revolution and the popularity of the Ideals of Liberty Fraternity and Equality
  • 1803 Napoleonic Wars between Great Britain and France. France was led by Napoleon Bonaparte
  • 1812 French invasion of Russia. This fails due to the harsh Russian Winter Conditions
  • 1815 Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon Bonaparte, one of the very famous French leaders was defeated
  • 1830-1850 Trail of Tears in the US where several Native Americans died
  • 1839 First Anglo-Sino war or the Opium War
  • 1845 Irish Potato Famine and the death of over a million people in Ireland
  • 1848 Unification of Italy begins and formation of modern Italy
  • 1861 American Civil War and the victory of the Northern Free states led by Abraham Lincoln
  • 1863 The formal end of Slavery in the United States
  • 1868 Meiji Restoration in Japan and the Rise of Japan as a World Power
  • 1870 Franco Prussian War between France and Prussia. Beginning of the Unification of Germany
  • 1871 Unification of Germany and the formation of the German Empire
  • 1905 Russo Japanese War and the Victory of Japan
  • 1912 Fall of the Qing Dynasty in China, Yuan Shikai becomes President
  • 1914-1918 World War 1 or the Great War between UK,France,US, Japan, Italy and Germany, Austria and the Ottoman Empire
  • 1916-1917 Fall of the Romanov dynasty in Russia, the death of Tsar Nicholas II and the rise of the USSR under Vladimir Lenin. Popularly called the Russian Revolution. Established the first Communist state.
  • 1919 Paris Peace Conference which started the peace process after WW1
  • 1919 Treaty of Versailles imposed on Germany. Many in Germany felt that clauses in the Treaty were unfair to Germany and this led to the rise of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party.
  • 1920 Foundation of the League of Nations following the Paris Peace Conference
  • 1921 Washington Naval Conference called by Woodrow Wilson
  • 1922 The reign of Fascism in Italy under the rule of Benito Mussolini and his National Fascist Party.
  • 1923 Fall of the Ottoman Empire in Turkey
  • 1929 The Great Depression
  • 1939-1945 Second World War between the Allied Powers (US, UK,France, USSR and China) and the Axis powers (Germany, Japan and Italy). The same period saw the Holocaust of Jews across Europe and the rise of Nazism in Germany.
  • 1939 Nazi Germany invaded Poland; this becomes the major cause of the Second World War
  • 1941 Pearl Harbour, this attack by Japan on US soil brings the US into the Second World War
  • 1942 Quit India Movement launched by Gandhi against the British in India. His methods of non-violence becomes popular across the world and many anti-colonial movements come up
  • 1944 Bretton Woods Conference in New Hampshire which would lead to the formation of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
  • 1945 Formation of the United Nations in New York
  • 1945 The Dropping of Nuclear Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the US
  • 1945 US sponsored Marshall Plan for Europe- to aid in reconstruction  post 2nd world war
  • 1947 Division of United India into India and Pakistan
  • 1947 Prime Minister Nehru takes over India. He becomes a founding member of the Non-Alignment Movement
  • 1948 Formation of Israel in the Middle East region of Asia. Start of the Arab Israeli War.
  • 1949 The formation of Communist China under Mao Zedong
  • 1949 Formation of the NATO, countries allied with the USA. It was primarily a military alliance
  • 1949 Death of Mahatma Gandhi in India
  • 1953 Start of the Communist Revolution in Cuba
  • 1954 Civil Rights Movement in the US demanding equal rights for Black Americans and the end of segregation. Led by Leaders like Martin Luther King Jr.
  • 1955 Vietnam War. A proxy war between the US and the Soviet Union
  • 1955 Space race between the USSR and the United States starts
  • 1955 Warsaw pact between the countries allied with the USSR
  • 1956 Suez Crisis following the Nationalisation of the Suez Canal by General Nasser of Egypt. 
  • 1961 Formation of the Non-Alignment Movement of countries who were not aligned with the US or the USSR
  • 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion by Anti-Castro Cubans into Cuba. The invasion however failed.
  • 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom by Civil Rights activists. Martin Luther King delivers the famous “I have a Dream” speech.
  • 1963 Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
  • 1965 India China War
  • 1966 Soviet-China split. Both of them being Communist countries were natural allies but differences rose due to Ideological reasons between them.
  • 1968 The Cuban Missile Crisis, where the world was on the brink of Nuclear Conflict, the Soviet Government wanted to have a middle base in Cuba which was obviously opposed by the US Government under John F Kennedy.
  • 1971 India- Pakistan war and the formation of Bangladesh
  • 1972 Munich Massacre of Israeli Athletes during the Munich Olympics by terror group Black September
  • 1978 Iranian Revolution and the end of the Pahlavi Dynasty in Iran. The country now comes under the rule of Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini.
  • 1978 Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel.
  • 1979 Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan
  • 1980 Boycott of Moscow Olympics by the US
  • 1982 Falklands War between UK and Argentina
  • 1984 Boycott of the Los Angeles Olympics by USSR
  • 1984 Assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in India
  • 1988 Iraq-Iran war. Iraq being predominantly Sunni Muslim and Iran being predominantly Shia.
  • 1989 The fall of the Berlin Wall which divided East German Berlin and West German Berlin. The fall was a symbolic end to the Cold War
  • 1990 US war with Iraq over the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq. Operation Desert Storm and the defeat of Iraq.
  • 1990 Nelson Mandela freed from prison
  • 1991 Fall of the USSR and the formation of several new post-Soviet countries like Ukraine, Russia, and Kazakhstan etc.
  • 1992 Maastricht Treaty which formalizes the European Union
  • 1993 End of the  Apartheid regime in South Africa
  • 1994 Rwandan Genocide. Ethic conflict between the Hutu and Tutsi tribes.
  • 1995 Bosnian Genocide and Ethnic conflicts in the region
  • 1995 WTO formed
  • 1997 Kyoto Protocol to deal with rising emissions in the atmosphere
  • 1998 Good Friday Agreement between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland which stopped the bloody conflict that plagued this region for several years.
  • 1999 India Pakistan- Kargil War.
  • 2001 terror attacks, the first ever major terror attack on US soil.
  • 2001 Start of the Global War on Terror by the US against Terror groups like the Al-Qaeda.
  • 2003 The Iraq War between the US and their Allies and Iraq under Sadam Hussein
  • 2008 Election of Barack Obama, the first Black President of the USA.
  • 2009 Economic Recession hits across the world. US Dollar Collapses.
  • 2010 Arab Spring revolutions in countries like Libya and Egypt. Overthrow of the Regimes of Hussein Mubarak and Col. Gadhafi.
  • 2011 Death of Osama Bin Laden, the world’s most wanted terrorist. Killed by American Forces.
  • 2012 Paris Climate Accords
  • 2014 European Refugee crisis. Massive influx of refugees into Europe due to civil unrest in the Middle East and some parts of Africa.
  • 2014 Rise of the Islamic State, a terror group in Iraq and Syria. Rise of Terror attacks across the World including major ones in Sydney, Paris, Colombo, Iraq, Syria.
  • 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 2016 Election of Donald Trump and Brexit Referendum in the UK. The majority vote for the UK to leave the EU
  • 2018 Singapore Summit between North Korea and USA. First ever formal meeting between their Heads of State.
  • 2018 US withdraws from Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 2019 Global movement for Climate Action, protests held in various cities across the world. Green Parties see a surge of support in Europe and Canada.
  • 2019 US- China Trade War
  • 2020 Abraham Accords between Arab countries like the UAE and Israel. Normalizing relations between them for the first time.
  • 2020 Talks start between the Taliban and the US Government
  • 2020 UK formally leaves the EU.
  • 2020 Conflicts arise between Turkey and Greece and Turkey and Cyprus
  • 2020 Border conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan re-emerges once again
  • 2020 Increased tensions between USA and Iran

Think we have missed out anything? Feel free to comment the event below!

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