So while Great men lived their lives and made ours not so greats with the cramming up required to pass that history test, history is much beyond the battles and wars we’ve read about. History is history because it’s responsible for having changed the most basics of living of mankind. Can you imagine a day without using the telephone? Does not the discovery of that too have its grounds in deep rooted history? Matters so trivial are everyday affairs, imagine India minus the Muslim Sultanate, the tourism industry would have been in for a doom for India would have no monuments to boast of. Come to think of Britain without the Britannia or China without the Great wall of China. Further still imagine an Egypt without the mummies and the Pyramids, not so much a destination for your next vacation, is it?
That said about Architectural and Monarchical history, it is really the turning of eras that has changed the World. And a few discoveries, a group of voyages, and the battles we’ve all hated to rote learn all our lives, you know how important they really were? Imagine a world without America! Don’t give me that look please! Yeah, sure we can do without it more than we can do without China but who’s going to invest it China if not for America’s economy, which by the way is in more debt than you can probably imagine. So that’s how history works, it’s the story that changed the world but I am rather offended why it was almost always his story and not her story. No pun on the naming game, history has always been more about patriarchal norms and dominance of men. Alright now Mr. History? How about subtracting from you the episodes of absolute rule of Britannia? Now you know why they say there’s a woman behind every successful man?
10. 9/11- World Trade Centre Attacks
I’m sure you know of how four planes were hijacked by terrorists bringing about enormous destruction in New York on September 11, 2001. What you might be wondering is how it changed the World! It triggered the Global War on terrorism which you’d be surprised to know is one with most diversified nations participating. All those Antiterrorism laws we are now proud of were lead by these attacks and the general stereotyping of Muslims as terrorists and a major hatred towards the religion in United States in particular is still evident. Invasion of Afghanistan by USA to depose the Taliban and the Iraq war in 2003 are too believed to have been triggered by these attacks. They changed how the world reacted to terrorism, and the financial losses incurred due to closed stock markets for six days changed how the world economy functioned.
9. The Birth of Muhammad -570 A.D.
The Birth of Prophet Muhammad is not as important for being his birthdate as it is for giving birth to Islam as a religion. Muhammad was the founder and promulgator of one of the most influential religions in the world and believe it or not Islam is much beyond the terror it believes to have perpetrated. It was once the prophecy of love and it has acted like a bridge of knowledge leading to many discoveries of art and science. From pinhole camera to Mariner’s compass, from Islamic architecture to Urdu literature. Setting stage for Italian Renaissance and ultimately the Crusades. Islam is much beyond Al-Qaeda.
8. Birth of Christianity
And you think Christianity didn’t the World? Where do you believe the concept of devil came from? Hell, Heaven and Purgatory besides Satan are concepts given to the world by Christianity. Would you believe that Christianity had its roots in the early Jewish Culture and Paganism? That said, how it changed our world is that Christianity made men literate, it is often correctly said that no man of words could not know Christianity. Schools, welfare centres and Healthcare were first managed by the missionaries of the Church and if not for the authoritative church, the world would have lost on science, art and multiple revolutions. Now you know why the Bible is the best book ever written and the Roman Catholic Church is still the authority you’d not look beyond?
7. The Reformation
The Reformation was led to by the publishing of Martin Luther’s 95 thesis and was originally an exercise to question absolute authority and practises of the Roman Catholic Church. People in the 16th century were more literate than their ancestors and they reasoned more than they felt, and this made the Protestant Reformation a major European Movement. The world sprang up with Protestant churches while the reformers moved to the New World or America, but what was most important was the decentralization of power of the Roman Catholic Church and its Clerics and the idea to question ancient beliefs and lead life with a scientific approach. Industrial Revolution was never a possibility without the Reformation.
6. Medical Revolution
Imagine a world with no medical help or doctors? Scary much? That was how it used to be, why else were pandemics more deadly then than they are now? The discovery of Penicillin has saved more lives than the discovery of water purifiers (if you thought that was an important invention). Vaccinations prevented human race from extinction at a time when small pox was believed to be a punishment for evil doers. Realize now how life without medical revolution was? NO? Try not having medicines for a day when you’re sick the next time.
5. Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria- 1914
Now you wonder if that ever meant anything at all. It did, the First World War. It was only when Austria- Hungary declared war on Serbia post the assassination that the circumstances so invited the First World War and the world changed. It was the first time that wars witnessed modern lethal weapons including chemical weapons and tanks killing almost 9 million people. Entire Empires collapsed in countries like Russia and Austria. It lead to formation of the League of Nations, also giving rise to Russian revolution and ultimately the Second World War.
4. The Renaissance
You know what Renaissance gave to the world? Picasso, Michelangelo and Da Vinci and you’d still ask how it changed the world. Renaissance was no event but an age that triggered the cultural rebirth of Europe after it was struck by the destruction caused by the Black Death. Columbus and Vasco da Gama changed the World maps intended to look with new civilizations to offer. Books were printed and no more the educated were from the church, the common man had just as much to read as the priests and monks. It was not a cultural change but a breakthrough that made the conservative orthodox Europe adapt to the more logical ways of the world. And since there was no looking back in being the most culturally and architecturally rich continent in the World.
3. Invasion of Poland by Germany- 1939
Another event that made no change in the world? Read your history again because if not for this, Hiroshima would have been spared the atom bomb. With the UK and France declaring war on Germany post invasion of Poland by Hitler, what followed was the world war II which lead the USA and Soviet Union to become the superpowers of the World with Immediate Effect. Germany was divided into east and west to be occupied by Soviets and Allies respectively. Europe had lesser countries with their borders redefined and many British and French colonies celebrated independence. The Cold war and Arms Race too are blamed to have been triggered by the war to change world politics for years to come. But how it changed the world the most was that United Nations was formed (and how children in Nagasaki and Hiroshima were deformed).
2. The Industrial Revolution
You realize how today you are sitting in front of your screens in posh offices and are employed? Probably because somewhere in the 1760, the Industrial Revolution in England happened, or atleast began. It was not just an explosion of new technological inventions, the press and new ideas based on logic and reason but also an entire drive to drive mankind away from feudalism. An aftermath of the Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution was best received in other parts of Europe post the French Revolution that to an extent abolished Feudalism. All the healthcare, transportation and technology we today enjoy was due to the Industrial Revolution some ancestors brought about in the heart of the world.
1. Boston Tea Party-1773
You thought the list could have been better topped by what preceded, who cares what happens over a tea party after all, important stuff happens over coffee. Not really, not when coffee has been boycotted as the drink of the English and the climax to the American Revolutionary War is triggered? You know how that changed your world? America was the first nation to oppose the monarchy or tyranny of her majesty and with 13 colonies striving for absolute independence against the British Military, it was not only a war between America and England but also among major Nations of Europe with the French siding with the colonies. With congress declaring independence in July 1776, not just 13 colonies of the world were free but it gave rise to French Revolution, then Russian and then the war for independence in all major colonies was not far to follow. Great Britain lost not just colonies but faced major financial loses for its own economy rested majorly on the exploitation of these economies. So you know why America poses as the saviour of Mankind? They had once inspired you to not be a Britannic colony, then again the civil war freed the slaves and maybe just once more or once less.