This timeline is intended as a "survey" of important world events, starting about ten years before start of game. It does not discuss each event in detail, but rather serves as a starting point for additional research.
- The Boxer Rebellion begins in China.
- Great Britain, the Boers of Transvaal, South Africa, and the nearby Orange Free State fight the Boer War.
- Sigmund Freud publishes The Interpretation of Dreams.
- The US Navy accepts its first submarine.
- Max Planck publishes his quantum theory.
- The first zeppelin is developed; it is capable of a maximum speed of 14 mph.
- Queen Victoria dies and is succeeded by her son, Edward VII.
- The country of Australia is created out of six British colonies.
- US President McKinley is assassinated; Theodore Roosevelt assumes the presidency.
- Cuba becomes a US protectorate.
- The Russian Trans-Siberian railroad is completed.
- The Chinese Boxer Rebellion ends.
- Marconi sends first transatlantic wireless (radio) signals.
- The Boer war is concluded in the Treaty of Vereeniging.
- The Wright brothers fly the first motorized aircraft.
- Henry Ford founds the Ford Motor Company and begins selling the first "Model A" car for $850.
- The Russian Socialist party splits into the rival Bolshevik (led by Lenin) and Menshivik parties.
- Construction of the Panama Canal begins.
- Russia and Japan, competing for "spheres of influence" in Manchuria and Korea, begin the Russo-Japanese War.
- Concerned about the growing power of the "Triple Alliance" (Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy), historical enemies Britain and France form the "Entente Cordiale" ("friendly understanding"). This alliance eliminates all traditional points of contention, and recognizes Egypt as Britain's sphere of influence and Morocco as France's.
- Rutherford and Soddy publish the general theory of radioactivity.
- The first section of the New York City subway opens.
- Theodore Roosevelt's Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine justifies US intervention in Latin America.
- Japan wins the Russo-Japanese war, shocking the world and elevating Japan to the status of world power. The Treaty of Portsmouth recognizes Japan's control of Korea and restores southern Manchuria to China. President Roosevelt is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the treaty.
- The Russian Revolution of 1905 begins on "Bloody Sunday" when troops fire onto a group of demonstrators in St. Petersburg. Strikes and riots follow. In response, Czar Nicholas II issues the October Manifesto, instituting reforms that include the establishment of the first Duma (Parliament).
- Albert Einstein publishes his Special Theory of Relativity.
- The "Tangiers Crisis" begins when forces opposed to the Moroccan Sultan kidnap a wealthy American retiree and his English stepson. European powers compete for control of the country. France offers Morocco badly-needed loans in exchange for political control. The Germans undermine this by proclaiming their support for Moroccan sovereignty. Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany visits Tangiers and recognizes the Sultan as the independent ruler of Morocco. Fears of imminent war spread.
- Algeciras Conference convenes in January to resolve the "Tangiers Crisis." France and Spain gain practical control of Morocco, in order to ensure "order, peace and prosperity" there.
- San Francisco earthquake and three-day fire causes massive property damage and leaves more than 500 dead.
- Britain launches the Dreadnought battleship.
- "Muckraker" journalist Upton Sinclair publishes The Jungle, raising a public outcry against the meat-packing industry. As a result the US passes the Pure Food & Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act.
- Kelloggs begins selling Corn Flakes.
- First electric washing machine used.
- 46 nations convene for the second Hague Peace Conference and agree to adopt 10 conventions on rules of war.
- Financial panic strikes the U.S.
- Oklahoma becomes the 46th state in the US.
- In response to murders of European citizens by angry mobs in Marrakesh, French warships bombard Casablanca, Morocco. France commits 15,000 troops to garrison Casablanca and insure the safety of French citizens.
- Under the "Gentlemen's Agreement" between the US and Japan, Japan agrees to withhold passports from laborers intending to migrate to the United States. In return, the United States agrees not to formally limit Japanese immigration.
- President Roosevelt launches 16 battleships known as the "Great White Fleet" for a voyage around the world. The voyage underlines American naval superiority and the US desire to influence world events.
- The first helicopter flies, but suffers from severe control and stability issues. It flies for only twenty seconds and gets a mere five feet in the air.
- Russia forms an alliance with France and Britain to create the "Triple Entente."
- The Ford Motor Company introduces the Model T.
- The first skyscrapers, the Singer Building (47 stories) and Metropolitan Life Building (50 stories) are built in New York City.
- Roosevelt creates a team of "special agents," the forerunner of the FBI.
- Chinese Empress Dowager Tzu-Hsi dies; the child emperor Puyi takes the throne.
- Spain decides to send Spanish troops to Morocco, precipitating general strikes and riots over inequalities in military service. Spain is forced to impose martial law. Spanish Prime Minister Maura resigns; the King invites the Liberal Party to form a government.
- American explorers Robert E. Peary and Matthew Henson reach the North Pole.
- The first newsreel is shown in a Paris theater.
- First motorized flight across the English Channel.
- Ex-president Theodore Roosevelt leaves for an African safari.
- Boy Scouts of America are founded.
- Japan annexes Korea and renames it Cho-sen
American Civil War (1860)
US southern states secede; northern states fight to keep them in the Union. Won by the North.
Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895)
Japan fights China over control of Korea. Japan wins easily, demonstrating the contrast between the successful modernization of Japan and the decline of the Chinese Qing dynasty. The war is resolved in the Treaty of Shimonoseki, which declares Korea independent and cedes Taiwan, the Pescadores, and the Liaodong peninsula to Japan. China must also pay a large indemnity. However, Russia, France, and Germany intervene and force Japan to return the Liaodong peninsula to China.
Spanish-American War (1898)
Cuba and the Philippines revolt against Spain, and the US backs them. The US wins, and the war is resolved in the Treaty of Paris. Cuba wins independence; the US acquires Puerto Rico and Guam and annexes the Philippines. The US also acquires Hawaii during the war.
Boxer Rebellion (1900)
Members of a Chinese secret society known as the "Boxers" revolt and attempt to throw all foreigners out of China, with the semi-secret support of the Qing dynasty. Russia, Britain, Germany, France, America, and Japan form an alliance to defeat the Boxers. The resulting peace treaty is heavily in favor of the alliance; it humiliates China, breaks the power of the Qing Dynasty, and encourages the rise of revolutionary groups.
Boer War (1899-1902)
Great Britain and the Dutch Boers of Transvaal and the Orange Free State fight over control of South Africa. Britain captures the two main Boer cities in 1900, but the war drags on for two more years of guerilla warfare. Britain wins, but the war is much more brutal and difficult than expected.
Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905)
Japan and Russia fight over "spheres of influence" in Korea and Manchuria. Japan wins, shocking the world and elevating Japan to world power status. The war is often viewed as evidence of Japan's successful modernization/westernization.
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