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Year Events
1853 American sailor Matthew Perry arrives in Tokyo Bay to demand that Japan open up to trade with the United States and allow foreigners to enter Japan; British, French and Russians soon follow
1854-56 Crimean War; Britain, France and the Ottomans fight against Russia for control of the Crimea and Black Sea
1857 Britain crushes the last major uprising and takes full control of most of the Indian sub-continent
1861-1865 U.S. Civil War
1868 Meiji Restoration in Japan -- reformists overthrow Tokugawa regime; reforms included representative legislature, compulsory education, disenfranchisement of samurai class to establish modern military; Japan became a modern, industrialized nation
1875 British banking house the Rothschilds buy majority interest in the Suez Canal Company, giving Britain ownership of canal, protecting sea route to India
1878 Congress of Berlin; treaty that officially divided sub-Saharan Africa amongst colonial powers
1898 Philippines & Guam become U.S. territory, as result of Spanish - American war; U.S. also acquires Puerto Rico while Cuba attains independence
1899 U.S. government issues diplomatic statement outlining what is known as The Open Door Policy towards China
1900 Boxer Rebellion in China; Movement takes over Tiananmen Square to protest foreign imperialist interests in China and the Qing Dynasty's collaboration with them. Qing administration allows foreign nations to send troops to suppress the rebellion. Britain, France, Germany, and Japan all contribute soldiers to the cause.
1904-05 Russian - Japanese war
1907 Henry Ford begins production on Model T in Detroit, Michigan, USA; Ford producing a million cars per year by 1915
1908 Young Turk Revolution; three revolution leaders, Enver, Talat, and Djemal (Cemal) Pashas take over the Ottoman government and force constitutional reforms
1911 Sun Yat Sen elected president of the new Republic of China; Porfirio Diaz' dictatorship deposed in Mexico
1914 Archduke Ferdinand assassinated; World War I begins; Second Balkan War; Japan joins Allied Forces in war against Germany & Central Powers; attacks German holdings in Shantung, China
1917 Russian Revolution overthrowing Czar Nicholas II, soon followed by the Bolshevik Revolution; U.S. joins Allied Forces
1919 Paris Peace Talks; Treaty of Versailles; Wilson rejects Japan's "racial equality clause" amendment to League of Nations charter, but concedes Shantung in violation of the Fourteen Points; Germany penalties; Ottoman Empire territories divided up -- British take Egypt, Sudan, Iraq, France takes Syria, Lebanon; Italy gets Libya
1920 Mahatma Ghandi begins India's non-violent independence movement; Treaty of Sevres partitions Ottoman lands into territories ruled by Britain, France, Greece, and Italy; U.S. Congress fails to ratify Versailles Treaty and League of Nations; 19th Amendment to U.S. Constitution ratified, granting women in the U.S. the right to vote
1922 Japan agrees to return Shantung to China, under pressure from U.S. & Britain; Arab Republic of Egypt achieves independence from Britain
1923 Treaty of Lausanne, concluding Kemal Ataturk's campaign against the Treaty of Sevres agreements, established the Republic of Turkey, renounced Ottoman claims to Arab lands
1929 New York Stock Market crash; Great Depression Era -- by 1933, 11,000 of 25,000 U.S. banks fail. Since U.S. had been the major creditor for nations during WWI, worldwide economic depression follows.
1932 Kingdom of Sa'udi Arabia formed
1933 Adolf Hitler named chancellor in Germany; Franklin D. Roosevelt elected president in U.S.; Reza Shah cancels Anglo-Persian Oil Company's contracts (British-owned)
1934 Philippines achieve independence from U.S.
1936 Anastasio Samoza Garcia establishes dictatorship in Nicaragua; Spanish Civil War breaks out
1937 Japan launches full scale invasion into China
1939 Germany invades Poland; Britain and France declare war on Germany
1941 Japan attacks U.S. at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; U.S. enters WWI in support of the Allied Forces
1944 D-Day: Allied Forces land at Normandy; Syrian Arab Republic achieves independence from France
1945 U.S. drops atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan; U.S. and British bomb Dresden, Germany; Axis Powers surrender; United Nations Charter formed from the Yalta Conference; Ho Chi Minh declares the Democratic Republic of Vietnam; France re-occupies Laos and Cambodia; United Malaya National Organization forms to oppose British Rule in Malaysia and Penang
1946 Republic of Lebanon achieves independence from France; First Indo-China War -- Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia struggle for independence from France (until 1954); Juan Peron elected president in Argentina
1947 India wins independence from Britain; Pakistan created as separate state for Muslim India; sovereignty of Kashmir ambiguous
1948 Korea divided into two states, North and South Koreas; Arab-Israeli War; State of Israel established; Burma/Myanmar achieves independence from Britain after having been occupied by Japan during WWII
1949 Kuomintang retreat to Taiwan after being defeated by Communist forces and re-establish Republic of China; Mao Tse-dong declares the People's Republic of China on the Mainland; Indonesia achieves independence from the Netherlands.

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