Historical events

Historical events that would shake society if they happened today


It’s easy to think of the fundamental moments in history that shaped the company into what it is today. One small change, one tiny alteration – and history, and by extension the world we know today – could be profoundly different. With that in mind, what are the events that changed us? And what would they look like, if they performed today? We would like to know too. We took a look at some well-known and lesser-known historical moments in history and set out to theorize how these events would change us if they rocked our world today.

1. The discovery of the tomb of King Tuts

Howard Carter opens the most intimate shrine of King Tutankhamun’s tomb near Luxor, Egypt

The discovery of the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun in 1922 shocked the world. While it had long been understood that the powerful and the elite were buried with riches, until this discovery, much of the excavated graves had previously been looted. The tomb of this 18th Dynasty ruler, however, still contained much of the breathtaking splendor of gold, alabaster, and lush riches that fired the world’s imaginations. The West has exploded with a new love for all things Egyptian, with fashion and cinema reflecting the craze. The discovery of such an important historical figure today, with all the attributes of his station, would undoubtedly trap the world with the culture surrounding that of discovery. Beyond cultural sensationalism, the historical revelations that we would discover based on our current scientific advances would undoubtedly advance our understanding of the ancient world.

2. A major political assassination

Half-length portrait of Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria-Este (1863-1914) in uniform.

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria is often cited as one of the main factors in the outbreak of the First World War. This devastating global event changed the tendencies and forces of modern power and spawned four bloody years of war and massacre. Just days after the assassination, Germany, in support of Austria’s indignation, declared war on Russia (Serbia’s ally) in retaliation for the assassin, a Serbian nationalist. The war saw the rise of nationalism, a European arms race, and intense cultural and social divides between entire populations. Today, our politics and our power are still largely a delicate dance of diplomacy, and there is no doubt that the open assassination of a powerful politician, no matter how valid the reason, would shock and would horrify the world.

3 the black plague

Pieter Bruegel’s Triumph of Death reflects the social upheaval and terror that followed the plague, which devastated medieval Europe.

The Black Death devastated the world in the 1300s. It is considered a major event in European history, but it affected much of the world. The population knew much less about hygiene and health care than we know today, which is causing the bacteria known as Yersinia Pestis to spread rapidly. From flagellants who fought to repent of their sins, to mass labor and wool shortages due to the high death toll, the effects have been widespread and widespread. Today, we are experiencing our own pandemic, COIVD-19. We can be reassured by our superior medical advances and contact tracing. While vigilance and strict adherence to expert medical advice is constantly required, we can hope that the damage caused by a pandemic today will not be as devastating as the Black Death.

4. An agricultural revolution

Plowing with a yoke of horned cattle in ancient Egypt. Painting of the burial chamber at Sennedjem, c. 1200 BC.

As far as we know, our first agricultural revolution happened around 12,000 years ago, when humans began to settle down to cultivate crops, instead of foraging for food. With this change came a massive population boom and technological advancements. It’s hard to imagine what a revolution of this magnitude would look like on a today’s scale, perhaps the development of agricultural colonies on other planets. If this were to happen successfully, population growth and technological expansion would likely follow in a way that would revolutionize the appearance of our civilization today.

5. A new type of standardized currency

Damastion Silver Coin. Image Credit: John Ward / Public Domain

Multiple cultures throughout history have developed a standardized system of value and currency for commerce. The Greeks, Egyptians, Persians, and (somewhat later) the Phoenicians all developed coins in the 5th and 6th centuries. In China, standardized gold currency was developed during the Quin Dynasty (221-207 BCE). If a new type of currency became standardized and accepted globally, it would dramatically change the landscape of the economy. With the delicate balance of international debt and the effect of the value of independent national currencies, financial exchanges around the world would change dramatically.

6. A large-scale empire

A statue of Genghis Khan. Image credit: Needpix.com

Few things in our modern world can truly capture the extent of the reach of the Mongol Empire. Genghis Khan first united the Mongolian and Turkish tribes in the early 1100s. Over the next hundred years, he and his descendants would spread their empire across East, Central and West Asia. The advancement of the Mongol Empire created large-scale cultural and technological trade, but also caused the deaths of millions of people. Genghis Khan was a brilliant military leader and strategist, but known for his cruelty and also for his lineage. It is estimated that one in 200 men is a direct descendant of Genghis Khan. If an empire spread to this point today, the effects would be felt globally for generations.

7. A workers’ revolt

The death of Wat Tyler at the hands of Walworth, Mayor of London, under the eyes of young Richard II. Image source: Wikimedia.org

The Wat Tyler uprising of 1381 is one of the most frequently cited workers’ revolts in history. With labor shortages and increased taxes resulting in part from the devastation of the Black Death, demands began to rise from the working class. The king met with the people to discuss the changes to their system. Much of the material discussed was later disowned by the king, but the peasants succeeded in overturning the poll tax, the inciting incident for the event. If a major popular revolt were to take place today, where people in droves have stopped working to enact social change, the impacts could be far more dramatic than a simple tax change.

8. A religious reform

Massacre of Saint-Barthélemy, painting by François Dubois

The Protestant Reformation of the 16th century was largely led by John Calvin and Martin Luther. The division within the church has created political, economic and social changes and has dramatically altered public opinion of the Church and its power structures. Major changes to the church during this period would establish three main ramifications of Christianity, including Protestantism. If large-scale religious reform were to take place today, it might not have as many large-scale effects, but for countries and cultures where religion is a major factor in daily life and l policy making, these changes could have a drastic impact on society.

9. An educational revolution

For most of human history, education was basic and taught at home, revolving around the tasks required to carry on with daily life. Science, philosophies, music, art, multiple languages, and other subjects of formal education were reserved for the wealthy, royalty, elite, and religious professionals. As societies progressed and specialized, the desire for the opportunities offered by advanced knowledge led to various ramifications of education, including tutoring, religious schools, trade schools, apprenticeships and education. creation of both private and public schools. Today, an educational revolution can take the form of free and publicly accessible education for all, up to and including postgraduate education. In many cultures today, finances have an impact on an individual’s ability to continue with their education. With the removal of the barrier of entry, the advancement of human culture and technology could expand considerably.

10. Pax Romana

Image Credit: LittlePerfectStock / Shutterstock.com

Pax Romana translates to “Roman peace”. During this 200-year period, the Roman Empire was essentially more peaceful than before. With peace came stability, economic and social growth, the development of infrastructure and industry. This led to innovations that we still have in one form or another today, such as the basis of many legal systems and an early postage system. If a modern day “Pax Romana” were to bring peace to long-standing conflict areas around the world, the advancements we might see in generations to come, as resources shift from war to society, could usher in a new era of prosperity.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.