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World History

Does history really repeat itself, or can we learn from the mistakes of those who came before us? History provides a chronological, statistical, and cultural record of the events, people, and movements that have made an impact on humankind and the world at large throughout the ages. Investigating the causes and results of past events is critically important in gaining a full understanding and perspective of present-day issues.
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Featured content, July 20, 2020

5 Fast Facts About the East India Company
Learn more about the East India Company, whose actions had a huge impact on world history.
Companion / World History
"The Duyfken off Australia, 1606". Produced 2011. "The Dutch East India Company vessel 'Duyfken' sailed south from Batavia in 1606 to discover and partially map for the first time the coastline of northern Australia. The painting imagines the landfall in
Pirates, Privateers, Corsairs, Buccaneers: What’s the Difference?
What we talk about when we talk about pirates.
Demystified / World History
Portrait of Edward Teach, known as Blackbeard, image taken from A General History of the Pyrates, 1725; illustration by B. Cole. (pirates)
Nikola Tesla's Weird Obsession with Pigeons
Scientist Nikola Tesla is known for many things, but not many people know that he was kind of obsessed with pigeons.
#WTFact / World History
bird. mourning dove. pigeon and dove. Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) family Columbidae.
The Great Molasses Flood and 6 Other Strange Disasters
Weird happenings that turned into large messes.
List / World History
tornado, digitally altered image. (storm; wind; clouds; natural disaster)
World War I
World War I, an international conflict that in 1914–18 embroiled most of the nations of Europe along with Russia, the United...
Encyclopedia / World History
A British soldier inside a trench on the Western Front during World War I, 1914–18.
Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire, the eastern half of the Roman Empire, which survived for a thousand years after the western half had crumbled...
Encyclopedia / World History
The Virgin Mary holding the Christ Child (centre), Justinian (left) holding a model of the Hagia Sophia, and Constantine (right) holding a model of the city of Constantinople; mosaic from the Hagia Sophia, 9th century.
Russian Revolution
Russian Revolution, two revolutions in 1917, the first of which, in February (March, New Style), overthrew the imperial government...
Encyclopedia / World History
Vladimir Lenin
Renaissance
Renaissance, (French: “Rebirth”) period in European civilization immediately following the Middle Ages and conventionally...
Encyclopedia / World History
Petrarch

World History Quizzes

Tanks of World War II. (Left) German Pz. IV (foreground) and Pz. III (background) tanks, 1942.
Wartime Germany: Fact or Fiction?
Did Nazi Germany invent the nuclear submarine? Were Germany and Japan allies in World War II? Learn more about wartime Germany...
Red Fort (Lal Qil'ah or Lal Qila), UNESCO World Heritage Site, Old Delhi, India. (mughal, architecture, Indian, sandstone)
Exploring India: Fact or Fiction?
When did India became an independent nation free of British rule? From the Gupta period to the "Julius Caesar" of India,...
D-Day. Detail of one of six components of the National D-Day Memorial, Bedford, Virginia, June 12, 2006. D-Day the first day of the Normandy Invasion of World War II launched June 6, 1944. WWII
The Second World War: Fact or Fiction?
Did Japan win World War II? Did World War II begin with the invasion of Poland? Strap on your thinking caps—and flight helmets—and...
"What about India?" Poster of India, Buddha, Gandhi, and the Taj Mahal by Maurice Merlin, an artist with the Federal Art Project, of the Works Progress Administration. WPA, Mahatma Gandhi, Indian independence, Quit India movement, Mohandas Gandhi.
India’s History: Fact or Fiction?
Was Bangladesh once a part of India? Was Gandhi born with the name Mahatma? Learn about government, the Gupta dynasty, and...
Ivan IV. Woodcut of Ivan the Terrible, Tsar of Russia, c16th century. Ruler of Russia as grand duke (1533-47) and czar (1547-84). aka Ivan Vasilevish, Ivan Vasilyevich, Ivan Grozny
Exploring Russia: Fact or Fiction?
Although it is the largest country in the world, how expansive is your knowledge of Russia? From historic tsars to contemporary...
Flag of South Africa (1994-). The flag of the Republic of South Africa adopted on April 27, 1994. A flag of Africa. African flag. exploring africa
Africa at Random: Fact or Fiction?
You may be familiar with the West African stories of the spider and tortoise, but are you familiar with the riddle of the...
A Yeoman Warder of the guard (Beefeater) at the Tower of London in London, England.
English Culture and Custom: Fact or Fiction?
You may know that Britons love to drink tea, but have people driven on the left side of the road in England since the Middle...
The Order of the Garter one of four European orders of chivalry James V belonged to and had engraved above the arch at the fore entrance to Linlithgow Palace in Scotland around 1533. English royalty, coat of arms, royal insignia
English Royalty: Fact or Fiction?
William the Conquerer. Queen Elizabeth I. Catherine of Aragon. You may be familiar with the names, but how much about these...
8:152-153 Knights: King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table, crowd watches as men try to pull sword out of a rock
English Men of Distinction: Fact or Fiction?
In Britain, is a knight given the title "Sir?" Is Prince Charles the Earl of Inverness? Sort fact from fiction in this quiz...
France, Paris, Eiffel Tower, low angle view
Exploring Italy and France: Fact or Fiction?
Was France named for the Franks, a German people? Was the Republic of Venice once ruled by a king? From lilies to the Eiffel...
Image Gallery
World History
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World History Subcategories

Challenger explosion, 1986 Accidents & Disasters
Technology and its related processes have been the site of great innovation and advancement over the course of time, but sometimes such improvements came at a high price, after serious accidents, disasters, or tragedies belatedly prompted closer scrutiny of existing procedures. Advances in science have also improved the accuracy of human predictions on some of nature's most forceful manifestations, but earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and other natural phenomena still yield devastating consequences worldwide.
Articles
Louis XVI: execution by guillotine Age of Revolutions
This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.
Articles
China: Han dynasty The Ancient World
The modern world has inherited many cultural elements from ancient civilizations, from communications systems to ways of improving technology. Their stories, battles, and views on life are still relevant today for a full understanding of our world and our cultural legacy.
Articles
Ibn Khaldūn Historians
This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.
Articles
Leopold de Rothschild, 1917. Historic Dynasties & Families
This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.
Articles
Diana, princess of Wales Historic Nobility
This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.
Articles
Daniel Boone, lithograph after a painting by J.W. Berry Global Exploration
This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.
Articles
English axman in combat with Norman cavalry during the Battle of Hastings, detail from the 11th-century Bayeux Tapestry, Bayeux, France. The Middle Ages
The Middle Ages comprise the period in European history that began with the collapse of Roman civilization in the 5th century CE and lasted until the dawn of the Renaissance in the 13th, 14th, or 15th century. This interval of time saw the development of the Gothic style of art and architecture, flying buttresses and all. It was also the era of the Crusades and of papal monarchy, and it was during this period that the idea of Europe as a distinct cultural unit emerged.
Articles
Frederick II Military Leaders
This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.
Articles
League of Nations The Modern World
This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.
Articles
Desert Archaic culture split-twig figurines Prehistoric Age
The prehistoric age covers the millions of years that transpired before human beings began to create written records of their life and of the world in which they lived. Archaeology and similar fields of study allow us to fill in the gaps and piece together an image of what life was like for our ancestors, including what kinds of flora and fauna they might have encountered.
Articles
Black Hills expedition, 1874 United States History
As with most nations, the history of the United States contains a number of twists and turns throughout the centuries, from the time of English colonization of North America up to the modern-day America that we're familiar with. Learn more about the people, events, and movements that left an indelible mark in history and shaped the development of the United States as a nation.
Articles
The western Mediterranean during the Punic Wars. Wars, Battles & Armed Conflicts
Wars, battles, and other domestic or international conflicts, whether armed or diplomatic, are often the outcome of a dispute over natural resources or a struggle for power, influence, and wealth. Major conflicts between nations, peoples, and political groups can end up shifting the cultural and political geography of the world and can also effect change, whether intentional or not, in societal values and the balance of power.
Articles
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