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Cortes begins his conquest of South America, which becomes part of the wider world economic and political system.
William Shakespeare is born: his plays make fundamental statements about the human condition.
Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan is published: this is the origin of the modern idea of civil society, equality before the law and egoistic individualism]
Isaac Newton publishes Principia Mathematica, the foundation of modern physics.
American Declaration of Independence determines the political evolution of the New World and the rise of American power.
French Revolution marks a fundamental break with the tradition of monarchy; the “rights of man” are enshrined.
Battle of Waterloo: the Napoleonic Empire ends, and with it Napoleon’s ambition to rule and reform all of Europe.
Rocket steam locomotive built, marking the start of the railway age of cheap, fast land transport.
Publication of Darwin’s The Origin of Species. His theory of evolution transforms the view of Man and his environment, and belief in God.
Benz develops first petrol-driven car, starting the most profound technical and social revolution of the modern age.