Major Historical events in the World

May 10, 2021
The World Was Never the Same:


The Atlantic (or Trans-Atlantic) slave trade began roughly in the 16th century, reaching its peak in the 17th century until finally being all but abolished in the 19th Century. The main driving force behind this trade was the need for European empires to establish themselves in the New World. European and American settlers therefore began to use mainly West African slaves to fill the vast labor needs on plantations. Estimates vary on the amount of slaves who died, but it is said that for every ten slaves taken on a ship, four would perish from causes related to mistreatment. 9

Late Yuan Warfare & Transition to Ming Dynasty

Death Toll Estimate: 30 Million

The Yuan dynasty was founded by Kublai Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan, around 1260. Yuan literally translates as ‘Great is the Heavenly and Primal’, though there proved to be nothing either great or heavenly about it.

An-Shi-RebellionThe dynasty turned out to be one of the shortest-lived in the history of China, covering just a century until it fell in 1368. Chaos reigned during the twilight years of the Yuan Dynasty, and the lands were marked by warring tribes, outlaws, political struggle, famine, and bitterness among the populace. After all this carnage, the Ming Dynasty took control. Their reign is described by some as “one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history.” 8

An Lushan Rebellion

Battle Of Sanhe A Major Engagement Of The Taiping RebellionDeath Toll Estimate: 36 Million

Around 500 years before Yuan, the Tang Dynasty was in control of China. An Lushan – a general in the north of China – sought to take control, and declared himself emperor (creating the Yan Dynasty). The An Lushan rebellion lasted from 755 until 763, when the Yan Dynasty was finally defeated by the Tang empire. Medieval warfare was always a bloody affair – and this rebellion was no exception. Millions died and the Tang Dynasty never fully recovered. 7

Taiping Rebellion

Death Toll Estimate: 40 Million

Jump forward a thousand years and the Chinese are at it again – this time with some help from the French, the British, and some American mercenaries. In 1850, the Qing Dynasty is now in charge of China. They had suffered some major problems before the rebellion, with natural and economic disasters causing havoc – not to mention the Europeans bringing opium addiction to China. So up stepped Hong Xiuquan, who amongst other things claimed to be the younger brother of Jesus Christ.China-Famine-Great-Leap-Forward Hong established the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom – and the carnage began. The Taiping Rebellion happened at roughly the same time as the American civil war, though the latter conflict proved to be far less bloody. 6

Great Chinese Famine

Death Toll Estimate: 43 Million

Another century later and we’re now in a Communist-led China. The period 1958 to 1961 is also know as ‘the great leap forward’ – and it’s a sombre lesson in what can happen when a government attempts to change a country too quickly.

Although droughts and poor weather conditions led to the famine, the disaster can quite easily be seen as a consequence of the government’s attempts to rapidly transform the country from an agrarian economy into a modern communist society. Chinese peasants describe this period as the ‘three bitter years’, which is something of an understatement. Several decades later the Chinese economy became the largest in the world – but at quite a price.

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