World History

Does history really repeat itself, or can we learn from the mistakes of those who came before us? History provides a chronological, statistical, and cultural record of the events, people, and movements that have made an impact on humankind and the world at large throughout the ages. Investigating the causes and results of past events is critically important in gaining a full understanding and perspective of present-day issues.
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Featured content, November 17, 2020

Causes of the Great Depression
What brought about the worst economic downturn in modern history?
Companion / World History
Groups of depositors in front of the closed American Union Bank, New York City. April 26, 1932. Great Depression run on bank crowd
9 Mysterious Disappearances of People Other Than Amelia Earhart
People other than Amelia Earhart have disappeared without a trace. Really!
List / World History
Engraving of Solomon Northup, c. 1853. (Twelve Years a Slave, 12 Years a Slave, slavery, African-American, Black History)
Radium Girls: The Women Who Fought for Their Lives in a Killer Workplace
Being poisoned by their employer led these women to fight back.
#WTFact / World History
Marie Curie, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics (1903) and Chemistry (1911).
What Is an Executive Order?
How does the U.S. president’s primary instrument of executive action work?
Demystified / World History
President Barack Obama signs the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans Executive Order in the Oval Office, July 26, 2012
Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan, Mongolian warrior-ruler, one of the most famous conquerors of history, who consolidated tribes into a unified...
Genghis Khan
American Revolution
American Revolution, (1775–83), insurrection by which 13 of Great Britain’s North American colonies won political independence...
Encyclopedia / World History
The Surrender of Lord Cornwallis
World War II
World War II, conflict that involved virtually every part of the world during the years 1939–45. The principal belligerents...
Encyclopedia / World History
World War II: Germany invading Poland
South African War
South African War, war fought from October 11, 1899, to May 31, 1902, between Great Britain and the two Boer (Afrikaner)...
Encyclopedia / World History
South African War: Boer troops

World History Quizzes

Prohibition - Whisky is poured down a sewer during Prohibition in the 1920s in the United States.
Quiz: Al Capone, Public Enemy Number One
Al Capone is perhaps America’s most famous gangster, with his participation in organized crime making him the first Public...
Encyclopaedia Britannica thistle graphic to be used with a Mendel/Consumer quiz in place of a photograph.
Is There a Whale in a Peruvian Desert?
The Nazca Lines are geoglyphs...
Portrait of Marie Antoinette by Jean-Francois Janinet, 1777. Color etching and engraving with gold leaf printed on two sheets, 30x13.5 in.
True or False: Famous Misconceptions
“Napoleon was short.” “Dracula was based on a real person.” Do you know the truth behind these famous...
General view of Alcatraz Island, San Francisco Bay, California. (prisons, penitentiary
True or False: Daring Escapes
Whether you’re stuck behind the Berlin Wall or behind bars at Alcatraz, it seems like there’s always something to escape....
Salem Witch Trials. A women protests as one of her accusers, a young girl, appears to have convulsions. A small group of women were the source of accusations, testimony, and dramatic demonstrations.
True or False: Famous Curses
Were the Chicago Cubs cursed because of a pet rooster? What do we really know about the Bermuda Triangle? See how much you...
Charles I of England.
Off With His Head Quiz
Whether by rifle, sword, guillotine, or axe, there’s no shortage of murdered rulers in history. Take this quiz to discover...
Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Cochrane), c. 1890. Head and shoulders portrait from a cabinet card by H.J. Myers.
Quick Quiz: Around The World With Nellie Bly
How much do you know about the journalist who traveled around the globe, investigated corruption, and fought sexism while...
Sojourner Truth, c. 1870, photograph by Randall Studio. To earn a living, Truth sold her autobiography and portraits like this one. Here, her inscription, "I Sell the Shadow to Support the Substance," emphasizes her financial acumen.
Fast Facts About Abolitionism Quiz
When did France abolish the slave trade? Who founded the American Anti-Slavery Society? See how many of these fast facts...
Suffragettes with signs in London, possibly 1912 (based on Monday, Nov. 25). Woman suffrage movement, women's suffrage movement, suffragists, women's rights, feminism.
Quick Quiz: Women In The Voting Booth
You may know everything about the Seneca Falls Convention and the 19th Amendment. But do you know these lesser-known facts...
Cleopatra hieroglyphic carving the Ancient Egyptian queen Cleopatra. Wall of the Temple of Horus at Edfu, Egypt.
Cleopatra: Fact or Fiction?
Was Cleopatra a manipulative imperialist? A gifted scholar and ruler? A romantic heroine? Press “start” on this quiz to see...
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World History
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World History Subcategories

Challenger explosion, 1986 Accidents & Disasters
Technology and its related processes have been the site of great innovation and advancement over the course of time, but sometimes such improvements came at a high price, after serious accidents, disasters, or tragedies belatedly prompted closer scrutiny of existing procedures. Advances in science have also improved the accuracy of human predictions on some of nature's most forceful manifestations, but earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and other natural phenomena still yield devastating consequences worldwide.
Louis XVI: execution by guillotine Age of Revolutions
This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.
China: Han dynasty The Ancient World
The modern world has inherited many cultural elements from ancient civilizations, from communications systems to ways of improving technology. Their stories, battles, and views on life are still relevant today for a full understanding of our world and our cultural legacy.
Ibn Khaldūn Historians
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Leopold de Rothschild, 1917. Historic Dynasties & Families
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Diana, princess of Wales Historic Nobility
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Daniel Boone Global Exploration
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Bayeux Tapestry: Battle of Hastings The Middle Ages
The Middle Ages comprise the period in European history that began with the collapse of Roman civilization in the 5th century CE and lasted until the dawn of the Renaissance in the 13th, 14th, or 15th century. This interval of time saw the development of the Gothic style of art and architecture, flying buttresses and all. It was also the era of the Crusades and of papal monarchy, and it was during this period that the idea of Europe as a distinct cultural unit emerged.
Frederick II Military Leaders
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League of Nations The Modern World
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Desert Archaic culture split-twig figurines Prehistoric Age
The prehistoric age covers the millions of years that transpired before human beings began to create written records of their life and of the world in which they lived. Archaeology and similar fields of study allow us to fill in the gaps and piece together an image of what life was like for our ancestors, including what kinds of flora and fauna they might have encountered.
Black Hills expedition, 1874 United States History
As with most nations, the history of the United States contains a number of twists and turns throughout the centuries, from the time of English colonization of North America up to the modern-day America that we're familiar with. Learn more about the people, events, and movements that left an indelible mark in history and shaped the development of the United States as a nation.
western Mediterranean during the Punic Wars Wars, Battles & Armed Conflicts
Wars, battles, and other domestic or international conflicts, whether armed or diplomatic, are often the outcome of a dispute over natural resources or a struggle for power, influence, and wealth. Major conflicts between nations, peoples, and political groups can end up shifting the cultural and political geography of the world and can also effect change, whether intentional or not, in societal values and the balance of power.
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