Appendix C

Events shaping changes in World Leadership Centers

 

 

ANCIENT (BC)

Start Date event

End Date event

4300

2700

First major cities in Mesopotamia

Warfare among Sumerian cities

2700

1075

First pyramids built

Last of New Kingdom pharaohs, Egypt in chaos

1075

745

Phonecian cultural, trading leadership

Phonecian city Tyre conquered by Assyrians

745

612

Assyrians conquer Tyre

Nineveh falls to Babylonians

612

539

Babylonians conquer Nineveh

Babylon conquered by Persians

539

478

Persian Cyrus conquers Babylon

Xerxes loses 2 battles to Greeks

478

323

Athens creates the Delian league

Death of Alexander the Great

323

197

Ptolemy gains rule of Egypt

Macedon conquered by Rome

197BC

378AD

Rome defeats Macedon

Visigoths defeat Romans at Adrianople

MIDDLE (AD)

378

467

** Chandragupta II starts reign 376

Death of last great Gupta king. Hun invasions, major Gupta territory lost.

467

589

Events leading to Rome's fall in 476 put focus on Byzantium

Byzantine army pay cut 25%, leading to revolts and civil strife

589

756

Emperor Wen reunites China

Rebel An Lushan takes Tang capital Chang'an

756

929

Abbasids/ Iraq in power 750

Cordoba caliphate established 929

929

976

Cordoba caliphate established 929

Weak caliphs in Cordoba after 976

976

1071

Basil II becomes Byzantine ruler

Byzantine defeats at Manzikert and Bari

1071

1294

Wang An-shih's governing/ fiscal reforms foster prosperity*

Death of Kublai Kahn

MODERN (AD)

1294

1434

** By the late 13th century, Venice is the most prosperous city in Europe.

Plague deaths and Ottoman empire victories weaken Venice

1434

1508

Cosimo de Medici takes lead in Florence

Michaelangelo leaves Florence for Rome

1508

1527

Michaelangelo starts Sistine painting

Sack of Rome by Habsburg forces

1527

1588

New world riches flow to Spain, Charles V emperor 1530

Defeat of Spanish Armada

1588

1609

English defeat Spanish Armada

James I dissolves parliament (1611)

1609

1672

Spanish driven out of N. Netherlands

France and Britain declare war on the Dutch

1672

1814

French troops rout Dutch army, enter Rhineland

Napoleon abdicates

1814

1830

Congress of Vienna starts

Beethoven dies 1827, loss of Vienna vigor

1830

1918

First railroad operates (in Britain)

Britain/ France need US help to win WWI

1918

present

Wilson leads WWI treaty

 *Military power is normally part of the world leadership centers above. A notable exception is Sung China. In a 1141 peace treaty, they declared themselves vassals of the Jurchen in northern China. The Sung also agreed to pay an annual tribute in silver and silk. But the huge prosperity in their remaining lands nevertheless made them the world's cultural leader. The splendors of the Sung era are regarded by many as the apogee of traditional Chinese civilization.

As shown above, often war losses (or victory) are major factors in the shifting of the world's top civilization from one nation to another. But other major devastations have not affected top standings. Examples: A Venice plague in 1347-9 wiped out 3/5 its population. But Venetian prosperity continued. The French Revolution 1789-1799 brought anarchy. But its ideals added to France's world intellectual leadership.

 **Neighboring power shifts are apparent in most of the leading civilization changes. Two exceptions:

1. from Rome to India. By the time of Augustus up to 120 ships were setting sail every year from Myos Hormos (a Red Sea port in Egypt) to India. So much gold was used for this trade, and apparently recycled by the Kushan Empire for their own coinage, that Pliny the Elder complained about the drain of specie to India:[11] "India, China and the Arabian peninsula take one hundred million sesterces from our empire per annum at a conservative estimate: that is what our luxuries and women cost us." from Wikipedia on Indo-Roman trade and relations

2. from China to Venice. The prosperous Silk Road trade encouraged Venetians like Marco Polo to travel to China and bring back reports of what that civilization had accomplished.

Go to: Cities, empires and dates of above civilizations

Go to: outline of this World Civilizations section of the website

Comments to: VanSloan@yahoo.com