World Events 1900-1950

1901               Death of Queen Victoria

1901               Edward VII comes to English throne

1901               Marconi sends first transatlantic radio message from Britain

1901               Commonwealth of Australia established

1901               Death of Giuseppe Verdi (composer)

1902               Death of Emile Zola (writer)

1902               Eruption of Mount Pelée, Martinique (40,000 killed)

1902               Boers surrender to British forces in South Africa

1903               Wright Brothers make first controlled flight in aeroplane

1903               Henry Ford designs first mass-produced cars

1903               Bolshevik Party established in Russia

1904               Russo-Japanese War

1904               Ivan Petrovich Pavlov wins Nobel Prize for work on animal behaviour

1905               Norway separates from Sweden

1905               Trans-Siberian Railway completed

1905               “Bloody Sunday” massace of protestors in St Petersburg

1905               Albert Einstein develops special theory of relativity

1905               Sinn Fein, Irish nationalist (Republican) movement, founded

1906               Movement for Women’s Suffrage becomes active in Britain

1906               Liberal landslide government in Britain

1906               Death of Henrik Ibsen (Norwegian dramatist)

1906               Norwegian Roald Amundsen navigates North-West Passage

1906               Death of Paul Cézanne (artist)

1907               Death of Edvard Grieg (Norwegian composer)

1907               Entente Cordiale between Russia, Britain and France

1908               Herbert Asquith becomes Liberal Prime Minister

1908               Lord Baden-Powell founds Boy Scouts and Girl Guides

1908               “Young Turk” Revolution establishes constitution in Turkey

1908               Bulgaria liberated from Turkish rule by Russia

1909               American Robert Peary first to reach North Pole

1909               Union of South Africa established

1909               Arnold Schoenberg explores musical atonality

1909               Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque develop Cubism

1910               First Post-Impressionist art exhibition (Cezanne/Van Gogh/Gauguin) in London

1910               Death of Florence Nightingale (nurse and hospital reformer)

1910               George V succedes to British throne

1910               Portuguese monarchy abolished in favour of republic

1910               Mexican Revolution under Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa leads to civil war

1910               Death of Leo Tolstoy (writer)

1910               Bertrand Russell and Alfred Whitehead publish “Principia Mathematica”

1910               Futurist Manifesto (modern art movement) published in Italy

1911               Norwegian Roald Amundsen becomes first to reach South Pole

1911               Vasily Kandinsky experiments with abstract expressionism

1911               Chinese Revolution – Sun Yat-Sen establishes Republic

1911               Death of Gustav Mahler (composer)

1912               African National Congress (ANC) formed in South Africa to fight apartheid

1913               Rabindranath Tagore receives Nobel Prize for Literature

1913               Igor Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” causes uproar

1913               Nijinsky and Pavlova perfoming Fokine and Diaghilev’s ballets

1914               First World War – Germany/Austria vs Britain/France/Russia

1914               Panama Canal opened

1914               Charlie Chaplin makes his first silent movies

1916               Albert Einstein publishes General Theory of Relativity

1916               Inconclusive battles at Verdun and Somme in France

1916               Grigory Rasputin murdered by nobles of Nicholas II’s court

1916               Unsuccessful Easter Rising by Irish Republicans

1916               Tristan Tzara develops Dada art movement

1917               Democratic constition established in Mexico

1917               Death of Edgar Degas (artist)

1917               Death of Buffalo Bill Cody (showman)

1917               Chicago takes over from New Orleans as capital of jazz

1917               US enters First World War – balance tips in Allies’ favour

1917               Bolshevik Revolution under Vladimir Ilych Lenin and Leon Trotsky

1918               Lawrence of Arabia aids British forces in Middle East

1918               Tsar Nicholas II killed

1918               Bolsheviks end Russian involvment in First World War

1918               End of First World War (25m killed) – Versailles Conference

1918               Women over 30 granted right to vote in Britain

1918               Earnest Rutherford splits the atom

1918               Death of Claude Debussy (composer)

1918               Jewish League formed by David Ben Gurion

1918               Spanish influenza pandemic (50 to 100 million killed worldwide)

1919               Start of “Indianization” of civil service

1919               Amritsar Massacre – beginning of limited self-rule

1919               Death of Adelina Patti (opera singer)

1919               Irish Republican Army (IRA) formed as radical military wing of Sinn Fein

1919               Death of Pierre-Auguste Renoir (artist)

1919               Treaty of Versailles – Germany loses annexed lands and colonies

1919               Germany proclaimed a republic

1919               Bauhaus art movement developed by architect Walter Gropius

1919               Prohibition of alcohol in North America

1919               Kemal Atatürk leads Turkish nationlist resistance

1919               Jewish Zionists start immigration into Palestine

1919               Poland recognized as independent state after First World War

1919               League of Nations formed

1920               Russo-Polish War

1921               Chinese Communist Party founded

1921               Death of Enrico Caruso (opera singer)

1921               Economic collapse and famine in Russia – 5 million die

1921               Modern Persian state created by Resa Khan

1921               British-Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein publishes his “Tractatus”

1921               Greece declares war on Turkey

1922               TS Eliot writes “The Waste Land”

1922               Dane Niels Bohr wins Nobel Prize for work on atomic theory

1922               Fascist Benito Mussolini siezes power as dictator in Italy

1922               James Joyce writes “Ulysses”

1922               Ireland partitioned into Ulster (North) and Irish Free State (South)

1922               Republic of Turkey declared under Kemal Pasha

1922               Britain grants independence to Egypt

1923               Arnold Schoenberg develops 12-tone system of music

1924               First Labour Government under Ramsay MacDonald voted in Britain

1924               Death of Giaccomo Puccini (composer)

1924               André Breton publishes first Surrealist Manifesto

1924               Joseph Stalin becomes Premiere of Russia after Death of Lenin

1924               Greece declares itself a republic

1925               Franz Kafka writes “The Trial”

1925               Art Deco movement at its height

1926               German physicist Werner Heisenberg develops his uncertainty principle

1926               General Strike in Britain

1926               Hirohito becomes Emperor of Japan

1926               Death of Rainer Maria Rilke (poet)

1926               Antonio Salazar leads military coup in Portugal

1926               Death of Antoni Gaudí (Catalan architect)

1927               Werner Heisenberg publishes treatise on Uncertainty Principle

1927               Charles Lindburgh makes first solo flight of Atlantic

1927               First “talkie” movie – “The Jazz Singer” starring Al Jolson

1927               Leon Trotsky expelled from Communist Party

1928               Sir Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin

1928               Equal adult suffrage established in Britain

1928               Kuomintang under Chang Kai-Shek subdues Chinese warlords

1928               Walt Disney introduces character of Mickey Mouse in “Steamboat Willie”

1928               Bessie Smith recording first Blues songs

1929               Kurt Weill writes “Threepenny Opera”

1929               Valentines Day Massacre – Al Capone gains control of Chicago underworld

1929               Astronomer Edwin Hubble shows that the universe is expanding

1929               US Stock Market Crash

1929               Massive collectivization push in Russia under Stalin

1930               Death of DH Lawrence (writer)

1930               Mahatma Ghandi leads Salt March in India

1930               Civil War in China between Nationalists and Communists

1930               Pluto (last planet) discovered by Clyde Tombaugh

1930               Military coup in Brazil, start of Vargas dictatorship

1930               Heile Selassie becomes Emperor of Ethiopia

1931               National Coalition Government in Britain

1931               Japanese invade Manchuria

1931               Spain proclaimed a republic

1931               Floods in Central China kill up to 4 million

1932               Aldous Huxley writes “Brave New World”

1932               Eamonn de Valera becomes Republican Fianna Fail leader

1933               Adolph Hitler becomes dictator after coup

1933               End of Prohibition of alcohol

1933               FD Roosevelt becomes US President

1934               Death of Sir Edward Elgar (composer)

1934               Long March by Chinese communists under Mao Tse-Tung

1934               Bonnie Parke and Clyde Barrow (“Bonnie and Clyde”) killed in Louisiana

1934               Social Realism art movement encouraged in Russia

1935               Benito Mussolini invades Abyssinia

1935               France concludes pact of mutual assistance with Russia

1935               Germany under Hitler begins persecution of Jews (6m killed)

1935               Count Basie leads his Big Band Orchestra

1936               King George V dies – Edward VIII abdicates – George VI accedes

1936               Popular Front government in France under Léon Blum

1936               Joe Louis becomes heavyweight boxing champion

1936               Great purge of Russian political parties by Stalin

1936               Spanish Civil War starts

1936               Assassination of Federico García Lorca (Spanish poet)

1937               Neville Chamberlaine’s government appeases Germany and Italy

1937               Japanese advance into Northern China and Mongolia

1937               Eire (Southern Ireland) declares itself completely independent state

1937               Death of Maurice Ravel (composer)

1937               German bombing of Guernica, Northern Spain

1938               Enrico Fermi wins Nobel Prize for work on atomic energy

1938               Hitler siezes Austria (Anschluss) and Czechoslovakia

1939               Russia signs non-agression pact with Hitler’s Germany

1939               “Wizard of Oz” and “Gone with the Wind” movies released

1939               Britain and France enter Second World War after Hitler invades Poland

1939               Fascists under Francisco Franco triumph in Spanish Civil War

1939               Discovery of nuclear fission by German physicists Hahn, Meitner, Strassmann & Frisch

1940               Sir Winston Churchill becomes British Prime Minister

1940               Battle of Britain – Germany defeated in air

1940               Marshal Pétain agrees armistice with Hitler – France occupied

1940               Japan occupies Indo-China

1941               Death of Virginia Woolf (writer)

1941               Germany invades Russia – Russia enters Second World War

1941               Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbour brings US into Second World War

1941               Orson Wells’ movie “Citizen Cane” released

1941               Josip Broz Tito leads coommunist revolution in Yugoslavia

1942               British army under Montgomery drives Germans out of Egypt

1942               Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus develop Existentialism

1942               Manhattan Project established to develop atomic bomb

1943               Mussolini overthrown and Fascist Party dissolved

1944               Iceland declares independence from Denmark

1944               D-Day – Allies make crucial push into France

1944               International Monetary Fund (IMF) established

1944               Charles de Gaulle organizes provisional government after Paris liberated

1945               Germany surrenders – end of Second World War (45m killed)

1945               US drops first atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki – Japan surrenders

1945               Clement Attlee becomes Labour Prime Minister of Britain

1945               Jackson Pollock pioneers action painting

1945               ENIAC considered to be first functional computer

1945               Russian intransigence after Potsdam conference starts “Cold War”

1945               Death of King Zog of Albania

1945               Death of Bela Bartok (Hungarian composer)

1945               United Nations (UN) formed

1946               Italy votes to become a republic

1946               Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal

1946               Start of First Indochina War for independence from French rule

1946               League of Nations formally abandoned

1946               General Juan Perón elected president of Argentina

1947               British withdraw from India – Partition of India and Pakistan

1947               “Iron Curtain” effectively drawn around Soviet-controlled countries

1947               US Marshall Plan aid spurs European economic recovery

1948               George Orwell writes “1984”

1948               British pull out of Palestine – state of Israel established

1948               Enver Hoxha leads Albania as independent Stalinist state

1948               Organization of American States (OAS) formed

1948               Afrikaaner National Party comes to power in South Africa – apartheid

1948               Korea divided into North and South Republics

1948               Mahatma Ghandi assassinated

1949               People’s Republic of China proclaimed by Mao Tse-Tung

1949               West Germany declared a republic – Konrad Adenauer becomes Chanceller

1949               Comecon setablished to coordinate Soviet block economies

1949               North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) formed

1949               Council of Europe formed

1949               Indonesia under Sukarno gains independence from Netherlands

1949               William Faulkner wins Nobel Prize for Literature

1950               Death of George Bernard Shaw (dramatist)

1950               Bertrand Russell receives Nobel Prize for Literature

1950               Korean War starts – Communist North vs Capitalist South

1950               US becomes involved in Korean War

 

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