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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, January 25, 2021

      What Is an Executive Order?
      How does the U.S. president’s primary instrument of executive action work?
      Demystified / World History
      President Barack Obama signs the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans Executive Order in the Oval Office, July 26, 2012
      Timeline of the Spanish Civil War
      Who did what and when?
      List / World History
      Spanish Civil War (1936- 1939), Loyalist machine gunners, 1937.
      7 Massachusetts Bay Colonists to Know
      You know about the Pilgrims and Plymouth colony. Learn about Massachusetts’s other colony and colonists.
      Companion / World History
      Anne Hutchinson. Illustration from 1916. (died 1643) One of the founders of Rhode Island. Banished by Puritans from Massachusetts Bay Colony. Believed in freedom of religion. Religious leader.
      Gilles de Rais: History’s First Serial Killer?
      Gilles de Rais was a wealthy nobleman and a war hero. Today, though, he is remembered for something much more sinister.
      #WTFact / World History
      Gilles de Rais (1404-1440). Breton baron, marshal of France. Fought in guards of Joan of Arc. Accused of being serial killer of children.
      Mexican Revolution
      Mexican Revolution, (1910–20), a long and bloody struggle among several factions in constantly shifting alliances which resulted...
      Encyclopedia / World History
      combatant in the Mexican Revolution
      Seven Years' War
      Seven Years’ War, (1756–63), the last major conflict before the French Revolution to involve all the great powers of Europe....
      Encyclopedia / World History
      Seven Years' War: Battle of Zorndorf
      Thirty Years' War
      Thirty Years’ War, (1618–48), in European history, a series of wars fought by various nations for various reasons, including...
      Encyclopedia / World History
      Thirty Years' War
      French Revolution
      French Revolution, revolutionary movement that shook France between 1787 and 1799 and reached its first climax there in 1789—hence...
      Encyclopedia / World History
      Louis XVI: execution by guillotine

      World History Quizzes

      George I (1660-1727) by Sir Godfrey Kneller, c. 1714. Portrait showing him in his coronation robes, wearing the chain of the Order of the Garter. His right hand rests on the Orb and the Crown is on the table.
      Historic Firsts Quiz
      There’s a first time for everything—and there’s a lot of everything across all of history. Take a deep dive into who, or...
      Tutankhamen. Modern copy of Tutankhamun's sarcophagus aka funeral mask of king Tutankham. King Tut, Pharaoh, Egypt, mummy, Mummified, gold mask, Egyptian
      Egyptian History Quiz
      From the pyramids to the Suez Canal, Egypt has a vast history. How well do you know it? Test your knowledge with this quiz.
      Flag of France
      France: A History Quiz
      The historian Jules Michelet once claimed that “England is an empire, Germany is a nation, a race, France is a person.” This...
      Margaret Thatcher at the Tory Party Conference in Blackpool, Oct. 14, 1981. British Conservative politician and first woman to hold the office of Prime Minister of Great Britain (1979-90).
      Notable Prime Ministers Quiz
      The term prime minister means, literally, the “first,” or most important, minister. Take this quiz to learn more...
      The Battle of Actium, 2 September 31 BC, oil on canvas by Lorenzo A. Castro, 1672.
      Ancient Rome Quiz
      Rome began as a small town, grew to a vast empire, collapsed, and gave rise to this quiz. Figure out how much you know about...
      Siege of Leningrad. 900-day siege. Defences of Leningrad: Radio Picture from Moscow, 1941-43. Sappers of the Red Army cross area near Leningrad through barbed wire barriers and create fortified zones to stop German invaders. World War II
      Russia: A History Quiz
      Russia is the world’s largest country by area, and it has a history to match. Test your knowledge of Russian (including Soviet)...
      Mary I of England painted by Anthonis Mor, 1554; in the collection of the Prado, Madrid.
      Queens in England Quiz
      British royal history includes a great number of queens, some of them reigning over England, others reigning over the United...
      Saladin, the leader of Islamic forces during the Third Crusade; undated engraving.
      Crusades Quiz
      There were at least eight Crusades, beginning in the late 11th century and ending in the late 16th century. Test your knowledge...
      Adolf Hitler participating in a Nazi parade in Munich, Germany, circa 1930s.
      Nazi Germany Quiz
      Which book was considered the bible of National Socialism in Germany’s Third Reich? Who were Hitler’s elite bodyguards? How...
      Marine Corps War Memorial Arlington, VA. Iwo Jima Memorial. By Felix W. de Weldon based on Joe Rosenthal news photo of afternoon flag raising Feb. 23, 1945 WWII World War II. Hompepage blog 2009, history and society, memorial day veterans day 4th of July
      United States at War Quiz
      A war was fought to create the independent United States. Another war was fought that reunited a divided United States. Test...
      Image Gallery
      World History
      Never Miss a Day in History
      Sign up for daily fun facts about this day in history, updates, and special offers delivered right to your inbox.

      World History Subcategories

      Chile earthquake; Concepción 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
      The ancient Middle East. 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
      Livy Historians
      This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.
      Articles
      branches of the Medici family Historic Dynasties & Families
      This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.
      Articles
      subcategory placeholder Historic Nobility
      This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.
      Articles
      David Livingstone. Global Exploration
      This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.
      Articles
      Clement VII 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
      Kemal Atatürk Military Leaders
      This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.
      Articles
      Kindertransport The Modern World
      This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.
      Articles
      Mississippian culture: Ocmulgee National Monument 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
      Pearl Harbor attack 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
      World War I 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
      Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership.
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