Early Modern Civilizations

Safavid Empire (1501 – 1736)

The Safavid Empire started life as a quiet, spiritual movement, but eventually became a powerful gunpowder empire, centered around the modern region of Iran.

Songhai Empire (1464 – 1591)

The Songhai Empire was a powerful trading state in West Africa, and the largest empire that the African continent has ever seen.

Spanish Empire (1492 – 1976)

When the Spanish Empire rose to prominence at the end of the 15th century, they ushered in an age of exploration and colonization.

British Empire (1583 – 1997)

The British Empire established their first overseas colony, on the coast of North America, in 1607.

Mughal Empire (1526 – 1857)

Before the start of the early modern period, Central Asia was dominated by two of the most powerful emperors in history: Timur and Genghis Khan.

Tokugawa Japan (1603 – 1867)

For most parts of the world, the early modern period was a time of exploration, colonization, and cultural exchange.

Qing Empire (1644 – 1912)

The Qing Dynasty was founded by the Manchu people, a foreign tribe who took control of China in 1644.

Incan Empire (1438 – 1533)

The Incas were a powerful civilization that flourished in the Andes Mountains of South America.

Aztec Empire (1300 – 1521)

The Aztecs were a Mesoamerican people who rose to power in the 14th century, around the same time that the Ottoman Empire was rising in Anatolia.

Ottoman Empire (1299 – 1922)

The early modern period is usually defined as the span of centuries between 1450 and 1800.