Portal:Modern history

The Modern History Portal

World population, 10,000 BCE – 2,000 CE (vertical population scale is logarithmic)

Human history (or world history) is the narrative of humanity's past. It is understood through archaeology, anthropology, genetics, linguistics, and (since the advent of writing) primary and secondary source documents.

Humanity's written history was preceded by its prehistory, beginning with the Palaeolithic ("Old Stone Age") era. This was followed by the Neolithic ("New Stone Age") era, which saw the Agricultural Revolution begin in the Near East's Fertile Crescent between 10,000 and 5,000 BCE. During this period, humans began the systematic husbandry of plants and animals. As agriculture advanced, most humans transitioned from a nomadic to a settled lifestyle as farmers in permanent settlements. The relative security and increased productivity provided by farming allowed communities to expand into increasingly larger units, fostered by advances in transportation.

Whether in prehistoric or historic times, people always needed to be near reliable sources of drinking water. Settlements developed as early as 4,000 BCE in Iran, Mesopotamia, the Indus River valley on the Indian subcontinent, as well as on the banks of Egypt's Nile River, along China's rivers and the short rivers that flow from the Andes in the central coast of Peru. As farming developed, grain agriculture became more sophisticated and prompted a division of labour to store food between growing seasons. Labour divisions led to the rise of a leisured upper class and the development of cities, which provided the foundation for civilization. The growing complexity of human societies necessitated systems of accounting and writing. Hinduism developed in the late Bronze Age on the Indian subcontinent. The Axial Age witnessed the introduction of religions such as Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Jainism. (Full article...)

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Powerloom weaving in 1835.jpg
Illustration of power loom weaving.
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The Earth seen from Apollo 17.jpg
"The Blue Marble" is a famous photograph of the Earth taken on December 7, 1972, by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft en route to the Moon at a distance of about 29,000 kilometres (18,000 mi). It shows Africa, Antarctica, and the Arabian Peninsula.
Darkgreen flag waving.svg
Author/Creator: TristanBomb, Licence: CC0
A dark green flag.
Plaque declaring "this property has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior"
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Author/Creator: Dr Brains, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
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C Puzzle.png
Author/Creator: unknown, Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0
Maquina vapor Watt ETSIIM.jpg
(c) Nicolás Pérez, CC-BY-SA-3.0
A beam engine of the Watt type, built by D. Napier & Son (London) in 1832. It drove the coining presses of the Royal Spanish Mint from 1861 to 1891. In 1914 it was donated to the Higher Technical School of Industrial Engineering of Madrid (part of the UPM) and installed in its lobby.
Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg
Author/Creator: F l a n k e r, Licence: CC BY-SA 2.5
It is easy to put a border around this flag image
Ortelius world map 1570
Chichén Itzá Mayan observatory.jpg
Author/Creator: Bruno Girin, Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0
Chichén Itzá Mayan observatory
Persepolis The Persian Soldiers.jpg
Author/Creator: Arad, Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0
Apadana Hall, 5th century BC carving of Persian and Median soldiers in traditional costume (Medians are wearing rounded hats and boots)
Royal Irish Rifles ration party Somme July 1916.jpg
A ration party of the Royal Irish Rifles in a communication trench during the Battle of the Somme. The date is believed to be 1 July 1916, the first day on the Somme, and the unit is possibly the 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles (25th Brigade, 8th Division).
French Battery 1805.jpg
French Napoleonic artillery battery. Photo taken during the 200th anniversary reenactment of the battle of Austerlitz.
Internet map 1024.jpg
Author/Creator: The Opte Project, Licence: CC BY 2.5
Partial map of the Internet based on the January 15, 2005 data found on opte.org. Each line is drawn between two nodes, representing two IP addresses. The length of the lines are indicative of the delay between those two nodes. This graph represents less than 30% of the Class C networks reachable by the data collection program in early 2005. Lines are color-coded according to their corresponding RFC 1918 allocation as follows:
  • Dark blue: net, ca, us
  • Green: com, org
  • Red: mil, gov, edu
  • Yellow: jp, cn, tw, au, de
  • Magenta: uk, it, pl, fr
  • Gold: br, kr, nl
  • White: unknown
Chemin de ronde muraille long.JPG
(c) Fabien Dany - www.fabiendany.com, CC BY-SA 2.5
Great wall of China at Mutianyu near Beijing.
US Army Afghanistan 2006.jpg
070822-A-6849A-667 -- Scouts from 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne), pull overwatch during Operation Destined Strike while 2nd Platoon, Alpha Company searches a village below the Chowkay Valley in Kunar Province, Afghanistan Aug. 22. www.army.mil
Flag of Kingdom of Syria (1920-03-08 to 1920-07-24).svg
Flag during the short lived Kingdom of Syria from March 8th to July 24th 1920
Ashoka pillar at Vaishali, Bihar, India.jpg
Author/Creator: Bpilgrim (talk · contribs), Licence: CC BY-SA 2.5
Ashoka pillar at Vaishali, Bihar, India
Sumerian 26th c Adab.jpg
Schøyen Collection MS 3029. Sumerian inscription on a creamy stone plaque, 9.2 x 9.2 x 1.2 cm, 6+6 columns, 120 compartments of archaic monumental cuneiform script by an expert scribe.

The image is a detail, showing about half of one face of the plaque.

The text is a list of "gifts from the High and Mighty of Adab to the High Priestess, on the occasion of her election to the temple".
Pavillon royal de la France.svg
Author/Creator: Oren neu dag (talk), Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Royal flag of France before the Revolution (heraldic banner of "France modern")
World 1914 empires colonies territory.PNG
Author/Creator: Andrew0921, Licence: CC BY 3.0
World empires and colonies in 1914, just before the First World War.
Chagall IandTheVillage.jpg

Marc Chagall

, Licence: PD-US

Marc Chagall, I and the Village, 1911, oil on canvas, 192.1 cm × 151.4 cm (75.6 in × 59.6 in), Museum of Modern Art, New York

World distributionofwealth GDP and population by region.gif
World distribution of wealth, GDP, and population by region in the year 2000. Created with openoffice.org Calc. Data obtained from the UNU-WIDER report on worldwide distribution of household wealth:
Apollo 17 Cernan on moon.jpg
In December of 1972, Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt spent about 75 hours on the Moon in the Taurus–Littrow valley. Near the beginning of their third and final excursion across the lunar surface, Schmitt took this picture of Cernan flanked by an American flag and their lunar rover's umbrella-shaped high-gain antenna. The prominent Sculptured Hills lie in the background while Schmitt's reflection can just be made out in Cernan's helmet.
Arthur Mees Flags of A Free Empire 1910 Cornell CUL PJM 1167 01.jpg
The Flags of a Free Empire, Showing the Emblems of British Empire Throughout the World
Map Europe 1923-en.svg
Author/Creator: , Licence: CC BY-SA 2.5
Map of Europe in 1923.
Montage for WWI article.
Wright First Flight 1903Dec17 (full restore 115).jpg
The first powered, controlled, sustained airplane flight in history. Orville Wright, age 32, is at the controls of the machine, lying prone on the lower wing with hips in the cradle which operated the wing-warping mechanism. His brother, Wilbur Wright, age 36, ran alongside to help balance the machine, having just released his hold on the forward upright of the right wing. The starting rail, the wing-rest, a coil box, and other items needed for flight preparation are visible behind the machine. (Orville Wright preset the camera and had John T. Daniels squeeze the rubber bulb, tripping the shutter.)

This image was restored by User:Wright Stuf in November, 2018 using GIMP.
11:01 p.m., Nov. 4, 2003. Detainee with bag over head, standing on box with wires attached. All caption information is taken directly from CID materials. U.S. Army / Criminal Investigation Command (CID). Seized by the U.S. Government. Note: The Hooded Man. This is one of Staff Sgt. Ivan Frederick’s photographs of the prisoner nicnamed Gilligan and later correctly identified as Abdou Hussain Saad Faleh standing on the box with wires attached to his left and right hand. In another photo, which was taken approximately three minutes after the iconic picture with a different camera, Frederick is standing to the right of Abdou Hussain Saad Faleh.
Head of an Oba MET DP231468.jpg
Author/Creator: unknown, Licence: CC0
Edo peoples; Head; Metal-Sculpture
Saint Peter's Basilica facade, Rome, Italy.jpg
Author/Creator: Jebulon, Licence: CC0
Facing Saint Peter's basilica, Rome, Italy, Vatican City.
(c) MesserWoland, CC-BY-SA-3.0
Abstract stick-figures gesticulating around a table.
My Lai massacre woman and children.jpg
Unidentified Vietnamese women and children before being killed in the My Lai Massacre
Hoysala emblem.JPG
(c) Dineshkannambadi at the English-language Wikipedia, CC-BY-SA-3.0
Photograph taken by Dineshkannambadi in at Chennakesava Temple in Belur, Karnataka, India, June 2006 - Dineshkannambadi
Ahu Tongariki, 15 moais.JPG
Author/Creator: Vanessa.blasco, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
This is a photo of a national monument in Chile:
Grande Mosquée de Kairouan, vue d'ensemble.jpg
Author/Creator: weetoon66, Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0
This is a photo of the protected monument identified by the ID 41-33 in Tunisia.
Mushroom cloud above Nagasaki after atomic bombing on August 9, 1945. Taken from the north west.
Sankore Moske Timboektoe.JPG
(c) Baz Lecocq at nl.wikipedia, CC BY 2.5 nl
De Sankoré Moskee in Timboektoe. De op twee na oudste moskee van de stad was het centrum van geleerdheid in het Songhay rijk. J.S. Lecocq 2005 (egen werk).
First flight2.jpg
First successful flight of the Wright Flyer, by the Wright brothers. The machine traveled 120 ft (36.6 m) in 12 seconds at 10:35 a.m. at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. Orville Wright was at the controls of the machine, lying prone on the lower wing with his hips in the cradle which operated the wing-warping mechanism. Wilbur Wright ran alongside to balance the machine, and just released his hold on the forward upright of the right wing in the photo. The starting rail, the wing-rest, a coil box, and other items needed for flight preparation are visible behind the machine. This is described as "the first sustained and controlled heavier-than-air, powered flight" by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, but is not listed by the FAI as an official record.
World population growth (lin-log scale).png
Author/Creator: Waldir, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
World population curve. A log scale is used for the population figures to allow better reading of the data.
Image of a horse from the Lascaux caves made by the Cro-Magnon peoples at their hunting route in the Stone age
Mōko Shūrai Ekotoba.jpg
7th drawing from the first roll of the Illustrated Account of the Mongol invasion of Japan, showing Samurai Takezaki Suenaga fighting back Mongolian warriors, during the Battle of Bun'ei, in 1274.
Oilfields California.jpg
Oil fields. Kern County, California
Bundesarchiv Bild 101I-020-1268-36, Russland, russischer Gefallener, Panzer BT 7,.jpg
(c) Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-020-1268-36 / Hähle, Johannes / CC-BY-SA 3.0
For documentary purposes the German Federal Archive often retained the original image captions, which may be erroneous, biased, obsolete or politically extreme. Info non-talk.svg
Russland, russischer Gefallener, Panzer BT 7
Sowjetunion-Süd.- "Unternehmen Barbarossa", brennender sowjetischer Panzer BT-7, davor deutscher Infanterist vor gefallenem russischen Panzersoldaten; PK 637
Buzz salutes the U.S. Flag.jpg
Buzz Aldrin salutes the U.S flag on the Moon (mission time: 110:10:33). His fingertips are visible on the far side of his faceplate. Note the well-defined footprints in the foreground. Buzz is facing up-Sun. There is a reflection of the Sun in his visor. At the bottom of Buzz's faceplate, note the white 'rim' which is slightly separated from his neckring. This 'rim' is the bottom of his gold visor, which he has pulled down. We can see the LEC straps hanging down inside of the ladder strut. In the foreground, we can see the foot-grabbing loops in the TV cable. The double crater under Neil's LM window is just beyond the LM shadow.
Alan Turing portré.jpg
Alan Turing az 1930-as években.
20091002 Hong Kong 6269.jpg
Author/Creator: Jakub Hałun, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Hong Kong island seen from Kowloon
Chaplin The Kid edit.jpg
Publicity photo from Charlie Chaplin's 1921 movie "The Kid". Pictured are Charlie Chaplin (left) and Jackie Coogan (right). This photograph has been edited by the uploader to reduce JPEG artefacts and remove some dust and scratches
Bandera de España 1808-1813.svg
Author/Creator: This SVG coat of arms includes elements that have been taken or adapted from this coat of arms:, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Drapeau de l'Espagne sous Joseph Bonaparte. Enfin Joseph Bonaparte a, en 1808, changé ses armoiries et créé un nouveau drapeau : retour au blanc pour le fond, dessus, un écu divisé en six avec les armes de la Castille, du Leon, de l’Aragon, de la Navarre, de Grenade et des possessions américaines, avec par dessus encore l’aigle de la famille impériale.
All Gizah Pyramids.jpg
Author/Creator: Ricardo Liberato, Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0
All Giza Pyramids in one shot.
Crac des chevaliers syria.jpeg
Author/Creator: Xvlun, Licence: CC BY-SA 2.5
Krak des Chevaliers in Syria. It is an 11th century castle and was used in the Crusades. It was one of the first castles to use concentric fortification, ie: concentric rings of defence that could all operate at the same time. It has two curtain walls and sits on a promontory.
Countries by Real GDP Growth Rate (2014).svg
Author/Creator: Ali Zifan, Licence: CC0
Countries by real GDP growth rate in 2014, based on data from The World Factbook.
Notredame Paris.JPG
View of Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Paris from the river
Empire State Building (HDR).jpg
Author/Creator: Eric Kilby, Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0
HDR shot of the Empire State Building from the Top of the Rock observation area
The Magnavox Odyssey, the very first video game console. Released in 1972, the Odyssey was a simple and crude device that generated shapes on the television that could be controlled and interacted with. It only produced black and white graphics and had no sound, but was limited to only using discrete components like diodes and transistors. It was replaced in 1975 with the Magnavox Odyssey series, a line of dedicated Pong consoles.
Post WWI Conflict Map In New-York Tribune November 9 1919 Page 26.jpg

New-York tribune. November 9, 1919, Page 26

  1. In the Baltic region there is a four-cornered struggle between the Lett and Esth nationalist troops, the German-Russian monarchist force of Colonel Bermondt, and the Bolsheviki.
  2. South of Petrograd the alleged anti-Gerynan forces of General Yudenich are in contact with the "red" armies.
  3. On the North Russian front the troops of the anti-Bolshevik Archangel government arc still "sticking it out" in spite of the withdrawal of the British expeditionary force.
  4. In Eastern Russia Kolchak's army is suffering one defeat after another at the hands of the "reds."
  5. In Southern Russia there is the volunteer army of General Denikin making war on the "reds" and the Ukrainians.
  6. In Volhynia and Podolia the troops of the Ukrainian directorate, under Symon Petlura, are facing the Bolsheviki on one side, the Poles on the other.
  7. Along the Dvina the Polish-Bolshevik war continues.
  8. In Silesia there is no actual fighting, but something very much like a truce between the Poles and Germans.
  9. Hungary, what with the Romanian occupation and the White Terror, with its pogroms and wholesale executions, is very much in the state of war.
  10. On the Adriatic fighting may start any moment between the Italians and Jugo-Slavs, with Gabriele D'Annunzio's volunteers still holding "conquered" Fiume.
  11. In Albania promiscuous fighting is going on, with Italians, French, Greeks, Serbians and Albanians participating.
  12. In Asia Minor the Turkish nationalist forces of Mustappa Kemal Pasha are defying the Allies.
Ambox globe.svg
A new globe icon in the Ambox style
Machu Picchu, Perú, 2015-07-30, DD 47.JPG
(c) Diego Delso, CC BY-SA 4.0
View of the ancient houses of Machu Picchu houses, Urubamba Province, Cusco Region, today Peru. The 15th-century Inca citadel, abandoned one century later, is situated in the Sacred Valley on a mountain ridge 2,430 metres (7,970 ft) above sea level.
P countries-vector.svg
Author/Creator: Al MacDonald, he:משתמש:נעמה מ and Offnfopt, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Vector to replace File:P countries.png, used oval instead of circle to keep it consistent with the other P icons
Gandhara Buddha (tnm).jpeg
One of the first representations of the Buddha, Kushan period, 1st–2nd century AD, Gandhara, Pakistan: Standing Buddha (Tokyo National Museum). Edit this at Structured Data on Commons
Flag of the First Spanish Republic.svg
Author/Creator: Ignacio Gavira (original image), B1mbo (modifications), Licence: CC BY-SA 2.5
The flag of the First Spanish Republic (1873–1874).
MOSFET Structure.png
Author/Creator: Brews ohare, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
MOSFET structure
Angkor wat temple.jpg
Author/Creator: The original uploader was Fuzheado at English Wikipedia., Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0
Angkor Wat temple, by Andrew Lih
Stela aksum.jpg
Author/Creator: unknown, Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0
Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) - the epitome of Byzantine architecture - panoramio.jpg
(c) G Da, CC BY-SA 3.0
Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) - the epitome of Byzantine architecture