J. Edgar Hoover’s 50-Year Career of Blackmail, Entrapment, and Taking Down Communist Spies


The Mayan Civilization

250 to 900: The Mayan Classic Era

(See Main Article: The Mayan Classic Era)

During the Mayan classic era, A.D. 250 to 900, millions of Maya lived in dozens of great city-states. The Mayan culture reached its zenith in culture, monumental architecture, great trading networks, the arts, mathematics and calendrics, astronomy and cosmology, engineering, a fully developed writing system, intensive agriculture, and sophisticated religious ceremonies. The classic era is divided into the early (250 to 600), late (600 to 800), and terminal (900 to 1100).

925: Chichen Itza Becomes The Most Powerful City-State In The Region

(See Main Article: Rise and Fall of Maya Civilization Over 3,000 Years)

The 9th century saw a change in location for major Maya sites as they moved from the lowlands to the Yucatan peninsula. Gradually the Maya once again began building, establishing cities such as Chichen Itza, Tula, Uxmal, Edzna, and later, Mayapan. The Yalain, Ko’woj, and Itza Maya peoples remained in Guatemala’s Peten district. Their main sites include Tayasal, Zacpeten, and Q’umarkaj, the city of the K’iche (or Quiche) Maya who produced the Popol Vuh, a fascinating collection of historiography and Mayan myths. The Post-Classic era continues through the coming of the Spanish until the conquistadors finally subjugated the Yucatan in 1697.

1283: The City-State Of Mayapan Becomes The Capital City Of The Maya Civilization

(See Main Article: The Mayan Post-Classic Era)

Chichen Itza Pyramids - Plannersite

Chichen-Itza dominated the Yucatan during the earlier years of the Post-Classic era from A.D. 900 to 1250. After the decline of Chichen-Itza, its rival city Mayapan become dominant. The Mayans might have taken their name from this great Post-Classic city. Maritime trade around the Yucatan grew during the later years of the Post-Classic, from 1250 to the coming of the Spanish.



1517:  The Post-classic Period Comes To An End With The Arrival Of The Spanish

(See Main Article: The Mayan Post-Classic Era)

The Spanish began their conquest of the Mayans in 1527, but it took them 170 years to finish the process. Each Mayan city-state had to be conquered separately as there was no central Mayan government. As the Yucatan was poor in precious metals, the region was far less attractive to the Spanish than central Mexico. The Spanish finally won against the last Mayan city in the Peten in 1697. In the meantime, European diseases and enslavement demolished the Mayans and ended the Post-Classic era of Mayan civilization.

The Aztec Civilization

The Aztec Empire was the last of the great Mesoamerican cultures. Between A.D. 1345 and 1521, the Aztecs forged an empire over much of the central Mexican highlands.

At its height, the Aztecs ruled over 80,000 square miles throughout central Mexico, from the Gulf Coast to the Pacific Ocean, and south to what is now Guatemala. Millions of people in 38 provinces paid tribute to the Aztec ruler, Montezuma II, before the Spanish Conquest in 1521.

1325: The City Of Tenochtitlan Is founded, and It Becomes The Capital Of The Aztec Empire

(See Main Article: The Aztec Empire: Society, Politics, Religion, and Agriculture)

Backward and poor, other more settled people didn’t want the Aztecs to settle near them and drove them on. Finally, around A.D. 1325, they saw the god’s sign—the eagle perched on a cactus eating a serpent on an island in Lake Texcoco, or so the legend has it. The city established by the Aztecs, Tenochtitlan, grew to become the capital of their empire.

1428: The Triple Alliance Is Formed

(See Main Article: The Aztec Empire: Society, Politics, Religion, and Agriculture)

In 1428, the Aztec ruler Itzcoatl formed alliances with the nearby cities of Tlacopan and Texcoco, creating the Triple Alliance that ruled until the coming of the Spanish in 1519.


1440: Montezuma I Becomes The Fifth Leader Of The Aztecs

(See Main Article: Aztec Warriors: The Flower Wars)

Montezuma I reigned during the great famine. His brother Tlacaelel was Montezuma’s Snake Woman or first adviser, a general in the Aztec army and of the highest warrior order, the Shorn Ones.

1502: Montezuma II Becomes Ruler Of The Aztec Empire

(See Main Article: Overview of the Aztec Empire)

Moctezuma II Biography - Childhood, Life Achievements & Timeline

At its height, the Aztecs ruled over 80,000 square miles throughout central Mexico, from the Gulf Coast to the Pacific Ocean, and south to what is now Guatemala. Millions of people in 38 provinces paid tribute to the Aztec ruler, Montezuma II, before the Spanish Conquest in 1521.

1519: Spanish Conquistador Hernan Cortes Arrives In Tenochtitlan

(See Main Article: The Aztec Empire: Society, Politics, Religion, and Agriculture)


The Spanish entered the scene in 1519 when Hernan Cortes landed an exploratory vessel on the coast. Cortes was first welcomed by Montezuma II, but Cortes soon took the emperor and his advisors hostage. Though the Aztecs managed to throw the conquistadors out of Tenochtitlan, the Spanish regrouped and made alliances with the Aztec’s greatest enemy, the Tlaxcalans. They returned in 1521 and conquered Tenochtitlan, razing the city to the ground and destroying the Aztec empire in the process.

1522: The Spanish Begin To Rebuild The City Of Tenochtitlan; Now Called Mexico City

(See Main Article: The Aztec Empire: Society, Politics, Religion, and Agriculture)

The Aztecs built temples at the top of sacred mountains as well as in the center of their cities. The temple we know most about is the Templo Mayor in the heart of what was Tenochtitlan, now Mexico City. At the top of this 197-foot tall pyramid stood two shrines, one to Tlaloc, the god of rain, and one to Huitzilopochtli, the god of war. Templo Mayor was in the center of a great plaza, one of 75 or 80 buildings that constituted the religious center of the city. Sacrificial victims walked up the numerous steps to the top of the pyramid. After their hearts were extracted and given to the gods, their bodies were thrown down into the plaza.

The Mongol Empire

This Mongol Empire overview describes the most important aspects of this vast civilization. One empire, the largest contiguous empire in the history of the world, stemmed from the brilliant efforts and leadership of one man, Genghis Khan. Genghis, his sons, and grandsons, created this fast-spreading empire that ruled from the islands of Japan all across Asia to Eastern Europe and included China, Russia, Hungary, Iran, the Middle East, Mongolia, and Indochina.

1163: Genghis Khan Born Into The Borjigin Tribe Under The Name Temujin

(See Main Article: Mongol Empire: Who Was Genghis Khan?)

Genghis Khan, Champion of Religious Freedom? | American History ...

Genghis Khan was an orphaned child who grew up in one of the world’s most inhospitable climates despised by his tribe and family. He assembled an empire that conquered China, Iran, the Abbasid Caliphate, Russia, and Eastern Europe, and successfully united both ends of the Silk Road.

(See Main Article: What Made the Mongol Army So Successful, Part 2)

The Mongols were experts at the tactics of terror. Whenever they routed an enemy, they left a few alive to carry tales of the terrible bloodshed inflicted on the population. When a city resisted the Mongols, all of the inhabitants would be killed except a few, who were allowed to run to the next towns. These survivors told of piles of decapitated heads by the gates of destroyed cities and other atrocities. While many thousands died at the hands of the Mongol armies, these terror tactics saved lives as the next city encountered submitted immediately to Mongol demands. Conquered cities had to pay tribute and support the Mongol army, but they remained intact and unmolested.


1271: The Mongol Empire Ends

(See Main Article: Mongol Empire Overview)

Gradually, the Mongol empire broke up into four remaining empires: the Yuan of China, established by Kublai Khan, the Chaganate of Central Asia, the Ilkhanate of the Middle East, and the Golden Horde of Russia. All of these fell in their own time. The Mongol Empire grew to its great extent and dissolved all within 168 years, but its impact on the world was huge. The center could not hold, but the world never forgot Genghis Khan, a minor Mongolian herdsman turned exemplary military commander.

Ancient Egypt

3100BC – 2575BC: The Early Dynastic Period

(See Main Article: Ancient Egypt Timeline: From the Pre-Dynastic to the Late Periods)




Important People

Important Events

Late Predynastic 3100 BC – 2950 BC 0 Menes North and south Egypt united
Hieroglyphic writing developed
Early Dynastic 2950 BC – 2575 BC 1 Menes
Memphis capital of Egypt
First writing on papyrus
First pyramid built – step pyramid at Sakkara (Saqqara)
Old Kingdom 2575 BC – 2150 BC 4 Sneferu
Khufu (Cheops)
Pepi I
Pepi II
Great pyramids and sphinx at Giza built
Sun God Ra worshipped at Heliopolis Mummification first used
Trade for cedar wood
Noblemen became more important
Pharaohs had less power
Fall of government at Memphis
First Intermediate Period 2150 BC – 1975 BC 9 Achthoes Book of the Dead created
Rebellions against the Pharaoh
Drought and famine caused by low rainfall
Middle Kingdom 1975BC – 1640 BC 11 Mentuhotep
North and south Egypt reunited capital Thebes
Lower Nubia conquered
Second Intermediate Period 1640 BC – 1520 BC 15 Khyan Hyksos tribe took over north Egypt
Horse drawn chariot introduced
New Kingdom 1520 BC – 1075 BC 18 Ahmose I
Rameses I
Rameses II
Rameses III
Hyksos people expelled from Egypt
Hatshepsut first female Pharaoh
Temple at Karnak built
Valley of the kings used as burial site
Capital moved to Memphis
Third Intermediate Period 1075 BC – 715 BC 21 Shoshenk I Egypt divided again northern capital Tanis, southern capital Thebes
Shoshenk reunited Egypt
Egypt lost control of Israel and Lebanon
Late Period 715 BC – 332 BC 25 Nephrites I Egypt invaded by Libyans and Assyrians
Persians conquered Egypt
Alexander the Great conquered Egypt for Greece 332BC

Ancient Greece

The Greeks, or Hellenes, are the natives of Greece and other countries around the Mediterranean Sea like Cyprus, southern Albania, Italy, Turkey, and Egypt. Ancient Greek civilization, the period following Mycenaean civilization (which ended about 1200 BCE) lasted up to the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BCE. It was a period of political, philosophical, artistic, and scientific achievements that formed a legacy with unparalleled influence on Western civilization.

Is There a Trojan Horse in Your | Inc.com

1194 BCE: The Trojan War Begins

(See Main Article: Guest Post: How the Mythical Odysseus tricked Troy)

The Trojan war is one of the most popular myths about ancient Greece. Let’s start with how the Trojan war began. Like many things in Greek mythos, it began with the gods.


1184 BCE: The Trojan War Ends

(See Main Article: Guest Post: How the Mythical Odysseus tricked Troy)

The Trojan war lasted for nine years, Agamemnon and his armies couldn’t take Troy because of the strategic location, thick walls, and impressive army, so they besieged it. Achilles and Ajax’s armies raided Trojan allies and farmers. Homerus said that Achilles conquered around 11 cities and 12 islands.

So all seemed lost, and Troy seemed invincible until Odysseus came with one brilliant, final plan – the Trojan horse, a giant wooden horse. They left it at the beach with the inscription: ‘The Greeks dedicate this thank-offering to Athena for their return home. The Trojans had to think that the armies were leaving and admitted that they could never conquer Troy. But in fact, it was filled with soldiers led by Odysseus himself. The rest of the armies burned down the camp and sailed away. The trick worked exactly as planned… Troy took the horse inside of their walls and started feasting, not knowing that they had just brought in their deaths. While all soldiers were getting themselves drunk, Odysseus and his soldiers got out of the horse and opened the gates just when Agamemnon’s whole army had returned.

776 BCE: The First Olympic Games Are Held

(See Main Article: Ancient Greece – Ancient Olympics)

The Ancient Olympics were held at Olympia, one of the sacred places of the ancient god Zeus. One legend states that the games were started by Heracles while another states that they were started by a king who wanted to bring peace to the region.

High Hurdles and White Gloves - The Atlantic

431- 404 BCE: The Peloponnesian War

(See Main Article: The Greek Triple Agent: Alcibiades, The Strategist Who Fought On 3 Sides of the Peloponnesian Way)

The Peloponnesian wars between Athens and Sparta. Athens lost the Peloponnesian Wars. The Athenian democratic government was removed and replaced by a ruling body of 30 tyrants.


Alcibiades, (born in 450 BC) was a brilliant but unscrupulous Athenian politician and military commander who provoked the sharp political antagonisms at Athens that were the main causes of Athens’ defeat by Sparta in the Peloponnesian War. Alcibiades was intertwined with the conflicts in Athens between democracy, oligarchy, and tyranny. Depending upon the circumstances, he could be said to be a proponent of each form of regime. Those shifting allegiances became even more complicated with Persia, as all of the parties within both Athens and Greece sought Persian support.

338 BCE: Battle of Chaeronea

(See Main Article: Battle of Chaeronea)

Philip II, King of Macedon conquered Greece

333 – 323 BCE: Alexander The Great Conquers the Persians And Declared Himself King of Persia. Conquers Egypt, and Dies

(See Main  Article: Engines of Destruction, The Evolution of Siege Warfare: Alexander the Great)

Alexander the Great - Greece Is

In January 332 B.C., Alexander began the Siege of Tyre. While the rest of the cities on the coast of modern Lebanon had surrendered to Alexander, he could not leave Tyre in the hands of the Persian fleet in his rear as he took his army to Egypt. Capturing Tyre was a strategic necessity for Alexander’s war plans.

146 BCE: The Romans Defeated The Greeks At The Battle of Corinth And Greece Became Part Of The Roman Empire

(See Main Article: The Greek Military Owned The Ancient World. Why Did They Roll Over For the Romans?)

When did the ancient Greeks stop making armies or supplying fighting men? One moment they’re beating up the Persian empire and conquering the known world, and the next, they’re slave tutors for the Romans or philosophers in their major cities.

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The Roman Empire

The Romans and their empire at its height in 117 CE was the most extensive political and social structure in western civilization. By 285 CE the empire had grown too vast to be ruled from the central government at Rome and so was divided by Emperor Diocletian (284-305 CE) into a Western and an Eastern Empire.

753 BCE: The City Of Rome Is Founded

(See Main Article: The Romans: The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire)

The legend says that Romulus became the first King of Rome in 753BC and populated his new city with runaway slaves and convicted criminals. He stole women from the Sabine tribe to provide wives for the slaves and criminals and to populate his new city.

509 BCE: Rome Becomes A Republic

(See Main Article: The Romans: The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire)

Frustrated Ambitions: The 10 Stages of How the Roman Republic Became an ...

In 509 BC, Lucius Junius Brutus freed the city from its last Etruscan king, but then learned that his grown sons were conspiring to return Tarquin to the throne. He sentenced them to death. In the Roman imagination, the city was an extension of the family, and treason against the patria was tantamount to parricide. We see this identification everywhere, this rule by fathers. The historian Livy preserves for us the language of an archaic oath between warring factions: the legate entrusted to act for one of the sides in a controversy is called a pater patratus, a “father enfathered,” a father endowed with the full authority of a father. The members of the Senate, a body that predates the establishment of the Roman Republic, are literally “old men,” seniors. They are the revered heads of the most powerful families.

45 BCE: Julius Caesar Become The First Dictator Of Rome

(See Main Article: The Romans – Roman Government)

From the time of Julius Caesar, 48 BC, Rome and the Roman Empire was ruled by an Emperor. The Emperor was wise if he listened to the advice of the Senate but some chose to be dictators and do what they wanted rather than follow the Senate’s advice.

44 BCE: Julius Caesar Is Assassinated

(See Main Article: How Did Julius Caesar Die?)

Over 40 people were involved in the plot to murder Julius Caesar, or, as they called it, commit tyrannicide. They organized a gladiator game and a meeting of the Senate. During the meeting, Casca struck at Ceasar with a dagger, after which Caesar acted in surprise. Casca called for help and the whole group, Brutus included, stabbed him. He tried to get away but was surrounded by a mob of about 60 men. He was stabbed 23 times, although only one of the wounds was fatal.

476 AD: The Roman Empire Falls

(See Main Article: What Caused the Fall of the Roman Empire?)

By AD369 the Empire was beginning to crumble for the following reasons: The Government was running out of money. The people had to pay very high taxes – up to a third of their money. The rich were given grants of money and land which made them richer while the poor got poorer. There was not enough money to pay for the army. Barbarians from Germany called vandals were conquering parts of the Empire and there were not enough soldiers to fight back.


Although the outer edges of the Empire were well defended, there was no defense within the Empire. This meant that once barbarians had broken through there was nothing to stop them from marching to Rome. The Roman network of roads allowed invaders an easy route to Rome. No one had decided on a good way to choose an Emperor. This meant that any general could march into Rome, kill the Emperor and make himself the next Emperor. In 73 years there were 23 Emperors and 20 of them were murdered.


(See Main Article: Mesopotamia: Overview and Summary)

Mesopotamia is the region within the Tigris and Euphrates rivers located south of Anatolia and West of the Iranian plateau. It hosted the earliest large-scale civilizations, who bequeathed the earliest forms of organized government, religion, warfare, and literature. Mesopotamian civilizations flourished from the founding of the Sumerian Empire in 3100 BC to the fall of Babylon in 539 BC to the Achaemenid Empire.


Sumer’s history began long before humans invented writing to record historical events. Much of what we know of prehistoric Sumer was found in archeological ruins, which told of a people who gradually switched from a hunting and gathering society to a settled, agriculture-based culture. As agriculture could produce a surplus of food, people found they could devote their time to other work besides that in the fields. A surplus of food could also sustain a larger population, which congregated at first in small villages.

The Sumerians - From Nomads to Civilization - mrdowling.com

4000 B.C: Sumeria Begins Building Its Villages And Towns

(See Main Article: Sumer, the First Mesopotamian Culture)

The Sumer form the first towns and cities.

3500 B.C: City-States Begin Forming

(See Main Article: Sumer, the First Mesopotamian Culture)

the Sumerian city-states began forming, all centered around temples to the gods. By this time, Sumerian people had invented writing, the wheel, irrigation and water control and sailboats. One of the names for Mesopotamia is the “cradle of civilization,” as the land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers was the birthplace of civilization as we know it.

3300 BC: The First Writing Is Invented By The Sumarians

(See Main Article: Mesopotamia)

Sumer’s history began long before humans invented writing to record historical events. Much of what we know of prehistoric Sumer was found in archeological ruins, which told of a people who gradually switched from a hunting and gathering society to a settled, agriculture-based culture. As agriculture could produce a surplus of food, people found they could devote their time to other work besides that in the fields. A surplus of food could also sustain a larger population, which congregated at first in small villages.

2700 BC: The Famous Sumerian King Gilgamesh Rules The City-State Of Ur

(See Main Article: The Epic of Gilgamesh)

Epic of Gilgamesh: Summary in 10 Interesting Points

The oldest epic tale in the world was written 1500 years before Homer wrote the Illiad. “The Epic of Gilgamesh” tells of the Sumerian Gilgamesh, the hero king of Uruk, and his adventures. This epic story was discovered in the ruins of the library of Ashurbanipal in Nineveh by Hormuzd Rassam in 1853. Written in cuneiform on 12 clay tablets, this Akkadian version dates from around 1300 to 1000 B.C.

2330:  Sargon I of the Akkadians Conquers Sumerian City States; Creates The World’s First Empire, The Akkadian Empire

(See Main Article: Sargon the Great, the Akkadian Emperor)

Sargon, king of Akkad, reigned from 2334 to 2279 B.C. From humble beginnings, he rose to great power, conquering Mesopotamia and parts of Iran, Turkey and Syria. Not only did he found an empire, but he kept it operating smoothly with the innovative use (at the time) of Akkadian bureaucrats installed in every conquered city. Akkadians, who spoke a Semitic language, originated in northern Mesopotamia, while Sumerians held the south. Sargon became the first person in history to create an empire, ruling over a multi-ethnic people. Sargon became a legendary figure; for thousands of years, Mesopotamians told heroic, epic tales of Sargon the Great and the Akkadian golden age.

The Assyrian Empire

For 300 years, from 900 to 600 B.C., the Assyrian Empire expanded, conquered and ruled the Middle East, including Mesopotamia, Egypt, the eastern coast of the Mediterranean, and parts of today’s Turkey, Iran and Iraq. Since around 1250 B.C., the Assyrians had started using war chariots and iron weapons, which were far superior to bronze weapons. These tools and tactics made the Assyrian army the most powerful military force of its time, both doctrinally and technologically advanced.

1900 B.C: The City Of Ashur

(See Main Article: Assyrian Empire: The Old Kingdom)

The Assyrian story began in the city of Ashur in northern Mesopotamia. Although Ashur had been inhabited from 3000 B.C. onwards, scholars date the founding of the city to 1900 B.C. since that is the date of the extant ruins. Its early kings, who worshipped the god Ashur, were called the “kings who lived in tents,” which implies a nomadic people rather than a settled, agricultural one. Little is known about this time period (circa 1900 to 1791 B.C.). The information we do have is sourced in thousands of clay tablets, mostly containing letters from merchant families involved in trade with Anatolia (modern-day Turkey).

1791 to 1360 B.C: The Middle Empire

(See Main Article: Assyrian Empire: The Middle Empire)


For a few centuries after the death of Shamshi-Adad I, Assyrian cities were subjugated by a succession of outsiders: Babylonians under Hammurabi, Hittites and Mitanni-Hurrians. From 1791 to 1360 B.C. control over Assyria passed back and forth, although Assyria itself remained more or less stable. After a power struggle between the Hittites and Mitanni, the Hittites successfully broke the power of the Mitanni in the region. Assyria then began to take control over territories that had belonged to Mitanni. The Hittites battled with the Assyrians, but the Assyrian king Ashur-Uballit stamped out any remaining Mitanni or Hittite control over northern Mesopotamia.

745 B.C: The Beginning Of The End Of The Assyrian Empire

(See Main Article: Assyrian Empire: The Most Powerful Empire in the World)

The final stage of the Assyrian empire began in 745 B.C. when Tiglath Pileser III took the throne. Tiglath Pileser III received the empire in a slump with a demoralized army and disorganized bureaucracy. He took control and began reorganizing all aspects of the empire from the army to the bureaucracy to re-conquering rebellious provinces. Tiglath Pileser ended military conscription, replacing it with levy requirements from the provinces and vassals. His reorganized army became the model for efficiency, training and tactics for any military coming later.

1000 to 609 B.C: The Neo-Assyrian Empire

(See Main Article: Neo-Assyrian Warfare)

While the Sumerians, Akkadians and Babylonians were all good at war, they were pikers compared to the Assyrians who took warfare to new heights. During the time of the Neo-Assyrian Empire (c. 1000 to 609 B.C.), the Assyrian army was the most powerful military force yet seen. The 300-year duration of this empire consisted of never-ending wars, as the Assyrians based their economy and wealth on conquering all of Mesopotamia, Babylonia, Egypt, Elam (or western Iran), Syria, parts of Anatolia (Turkey) and Urartu (Armenia).

612 B.C: The Assyrian Empire Is Over

(See Main Article: Mesopotamia: Overview and Summary)

Ashurbanipal was the last great Assyrian king. After his reign of 42 years, the huge empire began to fall apart. It had become too large, taxes were too high and entire regions rebelled. In 612 B.C., Nineveh itself was razed by a host of Persians, Babylonians and Medes. The great Assyrian empire was over.

Viking History

Vikings’ history is as extensive as the people it studies. The seafaring Vikings (in Danish, the Vikinger) were a group of people that came from the Scandinavian countries of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. They made an enduring name for themselves in the 8th through the 11th centuries for being tactical warriors, smart traders, and daring explorers. In fact, they arrived in America 1,000 years before Columbus ever did, and archeologists have found some of their remnants scattered as far east as Russia.

Viking Surge | Military History Matters

861: Iceland Is Discovered By Vikings

(See Main Article: Viking Explorations and Settlements: Iceland, Greenland and Vinland)

Norwegian Vikings first discovered Iceland. The first was Naddod, who was blown off course sailing from Norway to the Faroe Islands in 861. He called the new island Snowland. Naddod returned to Norway and told people of his discovery. Six years later, Floki Vilgerdarson was the first Viking to set out for Iceland and find it. Floki gave the island its present name of Iceland

870: Settlers Arrive In Iceland

(See Main Article: Vikings History: An Overview of the Culture and History of the Viking Age)

The Norwegian people arrive to settle in Iceland.

874: Rekjavik Is Created

(See Main Article: Viking Explorations and Settlements: Iceland, Greenland and Vinland)


A Norwegian chieftain, Ingolfur Arnarson brought his family to Iceland in 874, settling on the southwest peninsula in a place he called Reykjavik or Cove of Smoke. Many other families from Norway, Scotland and Ireland followed.

980: Icelanders Settle In Greenland

(See Main Article: Viking Navigation: Sailing the Open Seas)

Icelanders discovered and settled in Greenland starting in the 980s. Erik the Red, an adventuresome and belligerent man, was exiled from Iceland for killing a man. During his three year-exile, Erik explored the southwest coast of Greenland. When he returned to Iceland, he bragged of the good land he had found, calling it Greenland to attract settlers. Icelanders settled in two main areas, the Eastern Settlement and the Western Settlement.

1000: Viking Attempt To Settle In Vinland

(See Main Article: Viking Society: Men, Women and Children)

Leif and a crew sailed across 1,800 miles across open sea, following Bjarni’s description of his voyage. The Greenlanders made a small settlement in the land they called Vinland. Due to hostile natives that the Vikings called skraelings, the settlement eventually failed.

The Normans

(See Main Article: The Normans)

The Normans that invaded England in 1066 came from Normandy in Northern France. However, they were originally Vikings from Scandinavia. From the eighth century Vikings terrorized continental European coastlines with raids and plundering. The proto-Normans instead settled their conquests and cultivated land. Over time they assimilated into medieval European society, abandoned paganism, and upheld conventional Christian norms.

1030: The Normans Conquer Italy

(See Main Article: The Normans: Overview of the Conquerors of England)

The land became known as Northmannia, the land of the Northmen. It was later shortened to Normandy. The Vikings intermarried with the French and by the year 1000, they were no longer Viking pagans, but French-speaking Christians. They still held to their Viking enthusiasm of conquest abroad, however. In the year 1030 a group of Normans conquered land in Italy. By 1099 they had taken over most of Southern Italy.

September 28th, 1066: William The Conquerer Invades England

(See Main Article: William the Conqueror Timeline)

William Duke of Normandy landed at Pevensey in the South of England and began a march towards Hastings.

Who Were the Normans and Why Did They Conquer England? | History Hit

1066: The Battle Of Hastings

(See Main Article: Why the Battle of Hastings in 1066 and the Norman Conquest of England Changed Everything)

It was the Battle of Hastings in 1066 that forever enshrined in the pages of history the name of William the Conqueror, whose military and political prowess made the Norman Conquest a success. After that England was never the same.

King Harold marched his army south to meet the Normans. The two forces met at the top of Senlac Hill on October 14, 1066. The two sides fought all day. Both sides had about the same number of soldiers, but William had the advantage of having more archers and cavalry. Eventually, William’s army won the battle when King Harold was killed by an arrow.


William continued to march towards London. The English were still resisting his rule. They even elected another man, Edgar, as king. William would not be denied, however. He fought and won a few more battles along the way and reached London in late December. The English leaders finally admitted defeat and crowned William King of England on December 25, 1066.

December 25, 1066: The English Leaders Admit Defeat And Crowned William King Of England 

(See Main Article: The Saxon Herald 1066: December 25th)

William, Duke of Normandy, was crowned King in Westminster Abbey.

The Tudors

The Tudors reigned from 1485 until 1603. There were 5 crowned monarchs and Lady Jane Grey reigned as Queen for just 9 days. The Tudor kings and queens were very powerful and they are noted for the numbers of people executed during the period.

1485 – 1509: Henry VII Becomes King Of England Beginning The Reign Of The House Of Tudor

(See Main Article: British Monarchy – Tudor Monarchs)

Henry VII came to the throne after defeating Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. He was a serious man and faced many challenges to his place on the throne, the most notable being from Lambert Simnel and Perkin Warbeck. He married Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV uniting the houses of Lancaster and York and ending the Wars of the Roses. Henry successfully established the Tudor dynasty and when he died in 1509, his son’s succession was not challenged and England was a rich and prosperous country.

1509 – 1547: Henry VIII Becomes King

(See Main Article: The Tudors – The Six Wives of Henry VIII)

is the best known of the Tudor Monarchs, he was the second son of Henry VII and became King because his brother, Arthur had died. He married his brother’s widow, Catherine of Aragon when he became King, but divorced her when she did not produce a male heir to the throne. In order to gain his divorce, Henry had to establish the Church of England and end Catholicism. Henry went on to marry another five wives – Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard and Katherine Parr. Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard were executed for treason. He died in 1547.

7 Surprising Facts About King Henry VIII - Biography

1547 – 1553: Edward VI Becomes King At 9 Years Old

(See Main Article: British Monarchy – Edward VI – Protestantism)


Edward VI was just nine years old when his father died and he became King. His father had made provision for a Regency government comprised of 16 trusted men. However, Edward’s uncle, Edward Seymour, seized the regency for himself and the title ‘Protector of all the realms and dominions of the King’s majesty.’ Seymour placed Edward firmly under his control by removing him from his home and forbidding contact with his stepmother or sisters. He also gave himself the title Duke of Somerset.

1553: Lady Jane Grey Is Chosen To Be Queen By The Duke Of Northumberland

(See Main Article: Lady Jane Grey)

By 1552 it was apparent that Edward VI would not survive to adulthood. John Dudley realized that if Mary or Elizabeth were to take the throne he would lose his high position. Since both Mary and Elizabeth had been declared illegitimate, Jane Grey had a claim to the throne. Dudley, therefore, decided to marry Jane to his son Guildford. The wedding took place on 25th May 1553.

1553 – 1558: Mary I Becomes Queen Of England

(See Main Article: Mary I)

Mary I was the daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon and was a committed Catholic. When she came to the throne she vowed to return England to Rome and Catholicism. She is known as Bloody Mary because of the numbers of people who were executed for being Protestants.

Lady Jane Grey | Biography, Facts, & Execution | Britannica

1558: Elizabeth I Becomes Queen Of England

(See Main Article: Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots)


When Elizabeth came to the throne in 1558 she made England Protestant. Consequently she had many Catholic enemies who wanted to see her replaced by Mary Queen of Scots. In 1558 Mary Queen of Scots, granddaughter of Henry VIII’s elder sister Margaret, had challenged Elizabeth for the throne of England, but had failed. The Catholics believed that because Elizabeth had been declared illegitimate in 1536, Mary’s challenge to the throne was stronger than Elizabeth’s.

1603: Elizabeth I Dies, Ending The Reign Of The Tudors

(See Main Article: Elizabeth I)

As queen, Elizabeth established a moderate Protestant church with the monarch as Supreme Governor of the Church of England. Her action led to her excommunication by the Pope and also made her subject to Catholic plots to remove her from the throne and replace her with her cousin Mary Queen of Scots. This ultimately led to Elizabeth being forced to sign the warrant for Mary Queen of Scots’ execution. Her foreign policy was largely defensive, however, her support of the Dutch against Spain was a contributory factor that led to the invasion of England by the Spanish Armada in 1588. Elizabeth died in 1603. Her death marked the end of the Tudor dynasty.



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