Top 10 Events that Wrote the History of the World
The world has not been the same as we know it today. Humanity has come a long way since the Stone Ages, creating history over the sands of time. Great men, great deeds and great events – the world has never fallen short of them. Perhaps the most important thing that happened to the world was the evolution of great civilizations like the Indus-Valley Civilization and the Mesopotamian Civilization. It was actually when man came to know the essence of human life and strived to steer it forward in every possible direction. No wonder that important and interesting events have kept happening in this world that have contributed much to the shaping of modern world. In the words of Abe Lincoln, “History prefers legends to men. It prefers nobility to brutality, soaring speeches to quiet deeds. History remembers the battle, but forgets the blood. Whatever history remembers me, if it remembers anything at all, it shall only remember a fraction of the truth.” Change is what keeps man going. It is what never stops us from making history!
10. The Great Tsunami
Tsunamis are not very new to this world, and they have always contributed to the shaping of the territories on the Earth’s surface. There have been mention of The Great Flood, which is said to have cleansed the world of all evil! Noah, is said to have rescued the last of all life forms, which has led to the world as we know it today. A Tsunami is nothing but a form of oceanic flood, generated by earthquakes that originate underwater. They can generate giant waves that can submerge a whole island. Of all tsunamis, the worst that the world ever faced was the Indian Ocean tsunami of 26th December, 2004. It had originated near Indonesia, and had submerged quite a few islands from Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Indira Point no longer exists as the southernmost tip of India. The amount of lives lost, which mostly included tourists and residents of coastal towns, is by far larger than most other natural disasters the world has ever seen.
9. Medical Revolution
The discovery of Penicillin as an antibiotic still remains as one of the greatest of all medical discoveries. It has cut down the human mortality rate by large figures. Not just health, but the discovery led to a series of other discoveries which have impacted human life. Then we have the discovery of vaccination by Louis Pasteur, which again changed the kind of life we enjoy today. There was a time, when a small cut would have killed a man, or diseases like smallpox were regarded as the ultimate form of divine punishment for the evil-doers. Without these discoveries, the human race would perhaps have long gone into extinction!
8. The Apollo Mission
Well, of course the invention of the Wright Brothers, did actually fulfil the human urge to fly, but it was actually the invention of space flights, that actually proved to be a “giant leap for mankind!” Commissioned by NASA, Apollo 11 was the first ever vehicle that put man on the surface of the Moon. Though people would normally look at it as a scientific revolution, the impacts of the success of this mission were far greater. First of all, it made the world look at space exploration from a closer and a completely different perspective. It was no more restricted by the observatory walls, peeping through telescopes. A new race started among nations to engineer its own space programme. Also, the photographs of the Earth, taken by the astronauts from space, made the people look at the world with a greater air of admiration. It eventually led to various peace propaganda, to rise above boundaries and protect the beautiful world! In the words of William Bainbridge, Apollo Mission was “a grand attempt to reach beyond the world of mundane life and transcend the ordinary limits of human existence through accomplishment of the miraculous”.
7. Cold War
It was one of the aftermath of the Second World War. However, it had its own implications. It marked a period of tension between The United States of America and the Soviet Union. Though there was no active warfare, but it led to the Korean and Vietnam wars. The Cuban missile crisis brought the world on the verge of a nuclear warfare. There was a drift in the relationship of the Soviet Union and China. The war came to an end with the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the nuclear disarmament of nations. The scientific advancements made during this period included the development of microwave integrated circuits, advanced satellite communication, Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile, GPS and the supercomputer. Most importantly, America emerged as a pioneer of peace-keeping nations.
6. Industrial Revolution
In the words of Robert E. Lucas, Jr., “For the first time in history, the living standards of the masses of ordinary people have begun to undergo sustained growth. Nothing remotely like this economic behaviour has happened before.” Be it the discovery of the printing press, or the textile making machines, the industrial revolution, spanning over a century, did change the socio-economic conditions of the masses in a drastic fashion. The era also gave us the precious steam engine and the there was a sudden development in the field of roads and railways. The invention of the Differential Engine by Charles Babbage gave a new direction to the world of computing! Then the invention of the radio and the telegraph changed the way the world communicated. In other words, it will not be incorrect to say that the industrial revolution was one of the events that taught man to do more than just farming and domesticating of animals.
5. Birth of Christianity
Though of the widely followed religions in the world, Christianity is quite a young religion that had its roots in Jewish religion and Paganism. The birth of Jesus Christ is a big event in itself, because it changed the way we measure the chronological timeline of the world! The concept of Before Christ (BC) and Anno Domini (AD) have helped up separate the events that happened after the birth of Christ from the ones that happened before. Christianity has inspired and guided the modern lifestyle of people. It taught people to take a closer look at the sanctity of life and imbibed principles like love and compassion in great depths. It played a major role in bringing the practices of slavery and human sacrifices to an end. All Men of Letters, have always had some connection with the religion. Christianity has inspired great works of literature and art. Various languages began to be scripted by Christian missionaries themselves. The Ten Commandments did clearly lay the framework for the Magna Carta of 1215. No wonder “The Bible” is considered to be the greatest Book ever written and Jesus Christ as the greatest Man who has ever lived.
4. The Birth of Islam
One of the great religions of the world, Islam spread overnight as Prophet Muhammad made his historic journey from Mecca to Medina. Most medieval civilizations flowered in the light of Islam, as it led to numerous milestones and achievements in the fields of art and science. It acted as a bridge of knowledge between the East and the West. From the discovery of the pinhole camera to the Mariner’s compass, Islamic inventors gave a new outlook to the way science was used in everyday life. To some extent it had even set the stage for the Italian renaissance. It gave the world a new message on peace, tolerance, equality and justice. However, it also gave us The Crusades and Islamic territories spread over the world in a very short time. The birth of international terrorist groups like Al-Qaida and several others is often suggested to have an Islamic connection. No wonder, the religion has done a lot in shaping the modern world.
It was an era of cultural rebirth of Europe after the devastations caused by the Black Death. The explorers like Columbus and Vasco da Gama, changed the way the world looked on the maps, leading to the discovery of new civilizations. Knowledge was no more limited to the scriptures and the educated were no more limited to the priests and monks. Books began to be printed and knowledge spread as people bought books on poetry, travel and almanacs. Renaissance gave the world a plethora of artists and architects. Picasso, Vinci, Michelangelo, and a large number of other artists, created works of wonder that are beyond any word of appraisal. The knowledge and creativity of the men of that era still makes the world wonder in utter amazement. This cultural breakthrough has really come a long way in enriching the world.
2. World War I
The world has always been a witness to wars and bloodshed since the times when epics were written. But the World War was the first of its kind that involved so many nations on such a vast scale with casualties of around thirty seven million. And its repercussions were irreparable. There were drastic changes in the political, social and economic conditions across Europe, Asia and Africa and a lot of other nations. The greatest impact was to turn Germany and United Kingdom into mass electoral democracies, while other empires collapsed in the aftermath of the war. It also precipitated The Russian revolution of 1917. However, there were several scientific advancements that took place in the shadows of the war, like the discovery of the four-wheel drive and the hydrophone. Several military advancements also took place in this period. There was a sudden drift in the field of art as well. Victorian language was diluted with newer versions of prose styles, and visual art saw a shift towards surrealism. The League of Nations was formed as a peacekeeping organisation, which however failed gravely and the Treaty of Versailles, was strong enough to spur the inception of another war.
1. World War II
The Second World War saw the greatest amount of bloodshed and fury among nations, which shook the entire globe. It began with the dictatorship of Hitler and Mussolini, and ended in the downfall of some great nations and rise of new world powers. The social structure changed to a great extent and men and women began to enjoy equal powers in social and economic arena. The United Nations was founded, that have come a long way in keeping world peace. The scientific developments made by the Nazis and the Americans created a new craze for rockets, missiles, and nuclear power. The atomic bomb developed by the Americans was a major event that has left its marks even on generations that came after the war. The weakening of the United Kingdom played a major role in the Indian Independence. Russia’s position as a world power was taken over by America. Though a grave event, yet World War II continues to remain one of those events in the world history that will have its impact on the generations to come.