What Are the Eras of World History?

World history is a vast and complex topic that encompasses all of human history. To help make sense of this vast expanse of time, historians have divided it into different eras based on different criteria. In this article, we will explore the eras of world history and what distinguishes them from each other.

The Paleolithic Era

The Paleolithic Era, also known as the Old Stone Age, is the earliest era in world history. It spans from the emergence of early humans to around 10,000 BCE. During this time, humans lived as hunter-gatherers and relied on hunting animals and gathering wild plants for their survival.

The Neolithic Era

The Neolithic Era, also known as the New Stone Age, followed the Paleolithic Era and began around 10,000 BCE. During this time, humans developed agriculture and domesticated animals for food production. This marked a significant shift in human society as people began to settle in one place instead of being nomadic.

The Bronze Age

The Bronze Age is characterized by the widespread use of bronze tools and weapons. It began around 3000 BCE in some parts of the world and lasted until around 1200 BCE. This era saw the rise of early civilizations such as Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Indus Valley Civilization.

The Iron Age

The Iron Age followed the Bronze Age and saw the widespread use of iron tools and weapons. It began around 1200 BCE in some parts of the world and lasted until classical antiquity. This era saw significant developments such as the rise of empires such as Rome, Greece, Persia, China among others.

The Middle Ages

The Middle Ages spanned from approximately 500 CE to 1500 CE. Also known as medieval times or Dark Ages by some historians, this era saw the rise of feudalism and the spread of Christianity. It also saw significant developments in science, art, and literature.

The Renaissance

The Renaissance was a period of cultural and artistic rebirth that began in Italy during the 14th century and lasted until the 17th century. This era saw a renewed interest in classical art, literature, and learning. It also marked significant advances in science and technology.

The Age of Exploration

The Age of Exploration began in the 15th century and lasted until the 18th century. This era saw European powers explore and colonize new territories around the world. It also marked significant advances in navigation, shipbuilding, and cartography.

The Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution began in Britain during the late 18th century and spread to other parts of Europe and North America. This era saw significant advances in manufacturing, transportation, and communication technologies. It also marked a shift from agrarian societies to industrial ones.

The Modern Era

The modern era begins with World War I (1914-1918) which marks a significant turning point in world history. This era has seen significant political, economic, social changes as well as technological advancements like computers, internet among others.

  • In conclusion, world history is divided into different eras based on different criteria like tools & weapons used or cultural & societal changes etc. Understanding these eras helps us make sense of our past as well as understand how we got to where we are today.

References:

  • Huntley-Jones, A., & Gillingham, J. (2010). The medieval world: An illustrated atlas.
  • Roberts, J. M., & Westad, O. A.

    (2013). The Penguin history of the world.

  • Stearns, P. N. (2017). World history: The basics.