2000 - Present
21st CenturyThe current century.
2000 - Present
3rd MillenniumThe current thousand year period.
1995 - Present
Internet AgeThe commercialization of the internet that represented the large scale connection of computers into a single network that rapidly transformed economies and societies.
1989 - 2019
Heisei EraThe reign of Emperor Akihito in Japan.
1970 - Present
Postmodern EraThe theory that the current period is being defined by the ideas of postmodernism.
1970 - Present
UNIX EpochThe UNIX and Linux operating systems represent time as the number of milliseconds since 00:00:00 Thursday, 1 January 1970. This can be viewed as the start of the computer era.
1950 - Present
Third Industrial RevolutionThe use of computers by business to automate work and improve decision making.
1946 - 1991
Cold WarA period of intense conflict between Capitalist and Communist societies that ended with the collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1991.
1945 - Present
Atomic AgeDefined by the existence of nuclear weapons such that the planet has been placed in a state of existential threat.
1945 - Present
Contemporary AgeDefined by the end of WWII. Requires future redefinition as contemporary refers to a period of history that currently living people have experienced.
1943 - Present
Information AgeThe age of information technology defined here as beginning with the first electronic programmable computers such as Colossus introduced in the middle of WWII.
1929 - 1939
The Great DepressionThe longest, deepest and most widespread economic downturn of the 20th century.
1926 - 1989
Showa EraThe reign of Emperor Hirohito in Japan. A turbulent period characterized by Japan's aggressive imperial expansion, WWII, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the occupation of Japan by the United States from 1945–1952.
1920 - 1933
ProhibitionAn American constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages from 1920 to 1933. This largely backfired resulting in an explosion in the vibrancy of nightlife known as the Roaring Twenties and the Jazz Age.
1901 - 1914
Edwardian EraThe brief reign of King Edward VII of Britain.
1890 - 1920
Progressive EraA period of political activism in the United States that resulted in major political change such as women's suffrage and prohibition.
1880 - 1914
Second Industrial RevolutionAn economic and social revolution driven by advancements in technology such as interchangeable parts, electricity, telegraphs, railroads and automobiles.
1870 - 1900
Gilded AgeA period of rapid economic growth in the United States fueled by immigration and industrialization.
1868 - 1912
Meiji PeriodThe reign of Emperor Meiji in Japan.
1837 - 1901
Victorian EraThe era of British history corresponding to the long rein of Queen Victoria.
1800 - 1970
The Modern AgeThe period between the French Revolution and the establishment of computer-based societies beginning around 1970. This is often defined with other dates that begin as early the Renaissance and end as early as 1950.
1799 - 1815
Napoleonic EraAn age defined by the rise of Napoleon and the subsequent Napoleonic wars in Europe.
1760 - 1840
First Industrial RevolutionThe transition to semi-automated manufacturing processes in Europe and the United States.
1715 - 1800
Age of EnlightenmentDefined mostly by the French Revolution in 1789 and the lead up to this coinciding with the reign of Louis XV beginning in 1715. A time of revolutionary thinking and institutionalization of ideas such as liberty, progress, toleration, constitutional government and separation of church and state.
1714 - 1837
Georgian EraThe period of British history defined by the reins of George I, George II, George III and George IV.
1644 - 1911
Qing DynastyThe last imperial dynasty of China.
1600 - 1868
Edo EraA period of peace and stability in Japanese History defined by the movement of the capital to Tokyo. Ends with the fall of the Tokugawa shogunate triggered by the Americans forcing Japan to open to trade.
1558 - 1603
Elizabethan EraThe reign of Queen Elizabeth I of Britain.
1485 - 1603
Tudor PeriodThe dynasty of the House of Tudor in England.
1467 - 1600
Sengoku PeriodThe age of "warring states" in Japanese history characterized by constant conflict and political intrigue.
1368 – 1644
Ming DynastyA period in Chinese history defined by the rule of the the Great Ming dynasty.
1300 - 1600
RenaissanceA period of profound advancement in thinking and achievement in art, architecture and literature.
793 - 1066
Viking AgeA period of European history defined by exploration, conquest and colonization by Scandinavian Norsemen.
710 - 794
Nara PeriodA period of Japanese history defined by the capital being Nara.
500 - 1500
Middle AgesThe middle ages began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and ends in 1500 for no authoritative reason around the time of Christopher Columbus's first voyage to the Americas in 1492.
500 - 1500
Dark AgesAnother term for the middle ages that implies that civilization slid backwards after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. This is largely viewed as a biased and exaggerated claim.
450 - 1066
Anglo-Saxon PeriodA period of British history beginning with the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain and ending with the Norman Conquest of England.
220 - 280
Three KingdomsA period of Chinese history when China was divided into three states.
27 BC - 476
Roman EmpireA period of the classical age defined by the dominance of the Roman Empire. Begins with the rise of the first Roman emperor Augustus and ends with the fall of the Western Roman Empire.
476 BC – 221 BC
Warring States PeriodA period of ancient Chinese history characterized by conflict, instability and warfare.
800 BC - 600 AD
Classical AgeThe rise and decline of ancient Greece and Rome on the Mediterranean Sea that represented a large interlocked civilization that wielded significant influence throughout Europe, North Africa and Western Asia.
1200 BC - 600 BC
Iron AgeA historical period characterized by the use of iron.
3200 BC - Present
HistoryStarts with the invention of writing.
3200 BC - 800 BC
Ancient HistoryFrom the beginning of recorded history to the start of the classical age.
3200 BC - 600 BC
Bronze AgeA historical period characterized by the use of bronze.
3.3 Million BC - 3200 BC
PrehistoryStarts with the first stone tools used by early humans and ends with the invention of writing.
11,650 Years Ago - Present
HoloceneThe period since the last ice age.
3.3 Million Years Ago - 11,650 Years Ago
PaleolithicThe earliest humans to the end of the last ice age. Comprises 99% of human history.
3.3 Million Years Ago - 3200 BC
Stone AgeA period characterized by the use of simple stone tools that ends with the earliest metalworking.
66 Million Years Ago - Present
CenozoicThe age of mammals.
252 - 66 Million Years Ago
Mesozoic EraThe age of the dinosaurs.
485 - 443 Million Years Ago
OrdovicianA period that starts and ends with major extinction events.
541 Million Years Ago - Present
PhanerozoicThe period in which abundant complex life has existed on the Earth.
541 - 485 Million Years Ago
CambrianA period where complex, multicellular organisms enter the geological record. Ends with a major extinction event.
4600 - 541 Million Years Ago
PrecambrianThe earliest part of Earth's history that accounts for 88% of the Earth's geologic time. Begins with the formation of the Earth 4.6 billion years ago. Life existed in the Precambrian eon but little is known about it and it is unknown when it began. It is possible life began as early as 4.280 billion years ago.