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AD 1
14 Death of Roman emperor Augustus
43 Roman emperor Claudius invades Britain
60 - 61 Rebellion of Boudicca, queen of the Iceni, against Romans in Britain
64 Great Fire of Rome
68 - 69 Civil war in Roman empire after Emperor Nero dies
c. 80 Completion of colosseum amphitheatre in Rome

AD 100
116 - 17 Roman empire reaches its greatest extent, under Emperor Trajan (98 - 17)
122 - 38 Hadrian's Wall built to defend province of Britain
166 - 67 Roman empire devastated by plague
180 Death of Emperor Marcus Aurelius; end of Pax Romana

AD 200
212 Roman citizenship formally extended to all free-born people within the empire
235 - 84 Long period of civil war and chaos in Roman empire
271 - 76 Building of Aurelian walls around Rome
284 - 305 Diocletian is emperor of Rome; major reforms; forms "Tetrarchy" of four emperors to rule the empire together

AD 300
313 Christianity tolerated throughout Roman empire
324 Constantine becomes sole emperor (western emperor in 312)
330 New city of Constantinople (now Istanbul) inaugurated on site of ancient Greek city of Byzantium in European Turkey
360s First invasions of Europe by Huns from central Asia
378 Romans defeated at Adrianople by Visigoths: Emperor Valens killed

AD 400
410 Aaric the Goth, king of the Germanic people, the Visigoths, sacks Rome
432 St. Patrick introduces Christianity to Ireland
445 Attila the Hun attacks western Europe
c. 450 Saxons from Germany begin to invade Britain
451 Attila defeated at Ch_lons
476 Germanic invader Odoacer expels Romulus Augustus, last emperor of Rome, and takes control of the city

AD 500
527 - 65 Reign of Justinian, Byzantine emperor; he tries to reunite the eastern and western branches of the Christian church which are bitterly divided
529 St. Benedict founds monastery at Monte Cassino, south of Rome
529 - 34 Justinian introduces codes of law
552 - 53 Monks smuggle silkworms to Constantinople from China; start of important Byzantine silk industry
563 - 97 St Columba comes from Ireland to spread Christian religion in Scotland
597 Mission of St. Augustine to England to convert the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity

AD 600
c. 600 Beginning of an important period of art and literature in Ireland
c. 602 Slavic tribes begin settlement of the Balkans
664 Synod of Whitby in England; Roman Christianity chosen in preference to Celtic
c. 670 Syrian chemist, Callinicus, invents Greek Fire, a highly inflammable liquid used by the Byzantine army in battle; first used in Battle of Cyzicus c. 673
c. 675 Bulgars, nomadic people from the Russian steppes, settle in lands south of the Danube

AD 700
715 Muslim forces conquer most of Spain; only the mountainous north, home of the Basque people, remains independent
732 Charles Martel , king of the Franks, defeats Muslims at Poitiers in France, stopping Muslim advance northwards
768 Charlemagne becomes king of the Franks
784 - 96 Offa , king of Mercia in central England, builds defensive dyke between England and Wales
787 Vikings make their first raids on the coasts of Britain

AD 800
800 Pope crowns Charlemagne emperor of Rome on Christmas Day in St Peter's Church, Rome
c. 800 First castles built in western Europe
809 - 17 War between the Byzantine empire and the Bulgars - Khan Krum of Bulgaria defeats Byzantines in 811 and kills their emperor
814 Death of Charlemagne
841 Vikings found Dublin on east coast of Ireland
c. 843 Charlemagne 's Frankish empire breaks up
843 Kenneth /MacAlpin unites kingdom of Scotia and becomes first king of Scotland (dies c. 859)
844 - 78 Rule of /Rhodri Mawr , first prince of all Wales
c. 860 Vikings rule at Novgorod in Russia
862 Vikings led by /Rurik are invited by East Slavic and Finnish tribes of north Russia to rule them
871 - 99 Reign of Alfred The Great of England
878 Alfred defeats Vikings under Gudrum at Ethandune; Treaty of Wedmore divides England between them
885 - 86 Vikings raid Paris in France
c. 891 Monks write the history of England in Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

AD 900
c. 900 Magyars, nomadic people from central Asia, invade Europe
910 Benedictine Abbey of Cluny is founded in Burgundy, France
911 Rollo, Viking chief, settles in Normandy, France
912 - 61 Rule of Abd-al-Rahman III, Omayyad caliph of Cordoba, Spain; during his peaceful reign he develops arts and industry, such as paper-making
936 - 73 Reign of Otto The Great, king of Germany; he is crowned Holy Roman emperor in 962
937 Athelstan of England defeats large army of Scots, Irish, and Danes at Battle of Brunanburh, northern England
942 - 50 Record of Welsh law is written down on the orders of Hywel Dda, Prince of all Wales
955 Otto defeats Magyars at Battle of Lechfeld, near Augsburg, and defeats Slavs at Reichnitz
963 Mieszko I founds kingdom of Poland; he is succeeded by Boleslav I, who expands its territory greatly
976 - 1025 Reign of Basil II, Byzantine emperor who defeats Bulgarians in 1014
978 Vladimir becomes Grand Prince of Kiev
c. 986 Eric The Red, Viking explorer, sets up a colony in Greenland
987 - 96 Reign of Hugh Capet, first Capetian king of France
c. 989 Vladimir of Kiev chooses Orthodox Christianity as the official religion for his people

AD 1000
1020 Italian towns, including Rome, Florence and Venice, become city states
1000 - 38 Rule of Stephen, first of Arpad dynasty of Hungary; he accepts Christianity for his people
1014 Brian Boru, High King of all Ireland, defeats Vikings at Battle of Clontarf, but is killed after victory
1016 - 35 Reign of Canute, Viking king of England, Denmark, Norway and Sweden
1019 - 54 Yaroslav the Wise, ruler of Kiev in Russia, unifies many Russian principalities
1020s Boleslav I of Poland creates a powerful state
1034 Scotland becomes united down to present border with England
1035 - 66 Normandy in north of France grows powerful
1037 Spanish kingdoms of Castile and Leľn unite
1054 Split between Catholic church of Rome and Orthodox Christian church of Byzantium
1066 William Duke of Normandy, defeats Harold of England at Battle of Hastings
1072 - 91 Norman armies conquer Sicily
1077 Pope Gregory expels Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV from church; Henry pleads forgiveness, but conflict between empire and Papacy continues into 12th century
1086 Survey of England by order of William I is recorded in Domesday Book
1098 Monastery founded at Citeaux in France; start of Cistercian order of monks

AD 1100
c. 1115 - 42 French teacher Henry IV makes Paris centre of religious learning
1115 - 53 Career of Bernard of Clairvaux, whose abbey becomes most important monastery in Europe
1119 Bologna University founded in Italy; Paris University, in France, is founded in 1150
1124 - 53 David I rules Scotland
1132 - 44 St Denis Abbey, the first Gothic church, built by Abbot Suger in Paris
1139 - 85 Alphonso I becomes first king of Portugal
1152 - 90 Reign of powerful Holy Roman emperor Frederick I, called Barbarossa (red beard)
1154 - 89 Reign of Henry II Plantagenet of Anjou as king of England; he reforms law and government
1171 - 72 Henry II invades Ireland and is accepted as its lord
1180 - 1223 Philip II Augustus rules France, conquering Angevin lands in the west
1190 Teutonic Order of knights, a military society, set up in Germany to defend Christian lands in Palestine and Syria

AD 1200
1209 St Francis of Assisi founds Franciscan religious order
1212 Almohads defeated by Christians at battle of Las Navas de Tolosa
1215 English King John seals Magna Carta, giving more power to barons
1240 Russian Alexander Nevsky defeats Swedes at great battle on the Neva river
1241 L_beck and Hamburg form a Hansa (association) for trade and mutual protection; beginning of Hanseatic League
1249 University College, first college of Oxford University, England, founded
c. 1254 Explorer Marco Polo born in Venice
1262 Iceland and Greenland come under Norwegian rule
1273 Rudolph I becomes first Habsburg ruler of Austria
1282 - 84 Edward I of England conquers Wales
1284 Peterhouse, first college of Cambridge University, founded in England
1284 Sequins coined in Venice, Italy
c. 1290 Invention of spectacles in Italy
1291 Three Swiss cantons join together to begin struggle for independence from Habsburgs

AD 1300
1308 Papal court moves to Avignon; Great Schism follows
1314 Scots defeat English at Battle of Bannockburn
1337 Edward III of England claims French throne - 100 Years War (1337 - 1453) begins
1346 English defeat French at Battle of Cr_cy
1347 Bubonic plague or Black Death reaches Europe
1358 Jacquerie Revolt; peasant uprising north of Paris, France
1370 Geoffrey Chaucer writes first book, Book of the Duchess
1373 Treaty of Anglo-Portuguese friendship; the English and Portuguese are still allies today
1381 Peasants' Revolt in England led by Wat Tyler
1389 Christian Serbs defeated by Ottoman Turks at Kossovo in Serbia
1397 Kalmar Agreement unites three Scandinavian kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden

AD 1400
1403 Ghiberti sculpts human bodies in realistic style for bronze doors of Florence baptistry, heralding the Renaissance
1415 John Hus, Bohemian religious reformer, burnt at stake
1417 End of Great Schism in Catholic church; a single pope elected in Rome
1429 Joan of Arc leads French forces against occupying English army at Siege of Orl_eans
1431 Joan of Arc is burnt at the stake by the English
1430s Gutenberg, a German metalworker, experiments with printing using moveable type
1447 Casimir IV of Poland unites Polish kingdom with Grand Duchy of Lithuania
1453 Ottomans besiege and capture Constantinople, ending Byzantine empire
1453 End of 100 Years War; English expelled from all France except Calais
1455 - 56 First Bible printed in Europe by Gutenberg
1456 Hungarians under nobleman John Hunyadi storm Belgrade and drive out Turks
1462 - 1505 Reign of Ivan III (the Great), Grand Prince of Muscovy
1466 Birth of Desiderius, Dutch scholar and leader of revival of learning in northern Europe
1478 - 92 Rule of Renaissance art patron, Lorenzo de' Medici
1479 Crowns of Aragon and Castile in Spain united under Ferdinand and Isabella
1480 Spanish Inquisition introduced to uncover heresy
1485 Henry VII becomes first Tudor king of England and Wales after defeat of last Plantagenet king Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth
1492 Christian Spanish capture Granada in Spain from Muslims
1492 Christopher Columbus lands on Bahama islands, Cuba, and Hispaniola; he is first European to reach Americas since Vikings
1497 - 98 Portuguese Vasco da Gama rounds Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, and sails on to India
1498 Italian religious reformer, Savonarola, burnt at stake

AD 1500
1500 Black-lead pencils used in England
1506 - 1612 Construction of basilica of St Peter's in Rome
1517 Martin Luther, German scholar, publishes 95 objections to Catholic practices
1519 Charles, archduke of Austria (and king of Spain), elected Holy Roman emperor (retires in 1556)
1519 Death of Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci
1527 Troops of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, sack Rome and capture Pope Clement VII
1534 Henry VIII of England breaks with Rome; makes himself head of English church
1541 - 64 Leadership of John Calvin in Geneva, Switzerland
1545 - 63 Council of Trent, Italy; Catholics efforts to reform
1547 Tsar Ivan IV "the Terrible" (reigns 1533 - 84) takes power in Russia
1556 - 98 Reign of Philip II of Spain
1558 - 1603 Reign of Elizabeth I of England
1559 - 84 Building of palace of Escorial outside Madrid
1560s - 90s French Wars of Religion: Protestant minority in conflict with Catholic majority as leading nobles struggle for power under weak Valois kings
1564 - 1616 Life of English playwright, William Shakespeare
1568 - 1648 Dutch campaign for independence from Spanish rule
1571 Don John of Austria smashes Ottoman fleet at Battle of Lepanto
1572 Massacre of St Bartholomew: 8,000 Protestants die in Paris, France
1572 Dutch Sea Beggars take Brill
1575 - 86 Stephen Batory, prince of Transylvania in Romania, is elected king of Poland
1577 - 80 English seaman Francis Drake sails round the world
1580 - 1640 Spain united with Portugal
1588 English fleet defeats Spanish Armada off south coast of England
1598 Henry IV, first Bourbon king of France, grants equal rights to Protestants

AD 1600
1605 End of Boris Godunov's reign in Russia
1605 Gunpowder Plot fails
1609 Italian Galileo Galilei confirms that the sun is the centre of the universe
1611 - 32 Reign of Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden
1613 Michael becomes tsar of Russia; Romanov dynasty begins
1613 - 29 Reign of Bethlen Gabor in Hungary
1618 - 48 30 Years War involves almost all Europe except Britain
1619 - 28 In London, England, William Harvey discovers the circulation of the blood
1624 Cardinal Richelieu becomes first minister in France
1625 Dutchman Hugo Grotius publishes De Jure Belli ac Pacis, which becomes the basis of international law
1627 - 28 Catholics besiege Huguenots in La Rochelle on western coast of France
1628 Petition of Right, England; parliament curtails king's powers
1629 - 40 British king Charles I tries to rule without parliament
1632 - 54 Reign of Queen Christina of Sweden
1640 Portugal gains independence from Spain
1642 - 47 Civil war in England, Scotland, and Ireland
1643 Italian physicist Torricelli invents the barometer
1643 - 1715 Reign of Louis XIV of France
1645 - 69 Candian War between Venice and Ottoman Turks
1648 Treaty of Westphalia ends 30 Years War
1648 - 53 The Frondes; revolts against mazarins rule in France
1649 Charles I of England and Scotland executed
1678 Imaginary "popish Plot" to overthrow Charles II of England invented by Titus Oates
1679 Habeas Corpus Act in England ensures no imprisonment without court appearance first
1682 - 1725 Reign of Peter the Great of Russia
1683 Turks besiege Vienna; beaten off by John Sobieski
1685 Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in France
1688 Revolution in England against James II brings William of Orange to the throne
1689 Formation of Grand Alliance of Habsburgs, the Dutch, and the English against France
1697 Treaty of Ryswick between France and Grand Alliance
1697 - 98 Peter I (the Great) of Russia travels through western Europe in disguise
1699 Treaty of Karlowitz; Habsburgs gain almost all Hungary

AD 1700
1700s Age of Enlightenment introduces revolutionary new ideas to Europe
1700s Agricultural Revolution begins in Britain; later spreads across Europe
1700 - 21 Great Northern War: Russia is victorious and replaces Sweden as the dominant power in northeastern Europe
1701 - 13 Much of Europe involved in War of Spanish Succession; French routed at Battle of Blenheim, 1704
1703 Peter the Great, Tsar of Russia, founds St Petersburg
1707 Act of Union unites England and Scotland
1712 In England, Thomas Newcomen invents a workable steam pump for use in mines
1712 Religious warfare in Switzerland
1713 - 40 Reign of King frederick william I of Prussia
1715 First Jacobite rising in Britain attempts to restore exiled Stuart dynasty to throne
1720 South Sea Bubble - financial scandal in England
1721 - 42 Robert Walpole is first and longest-serving British prime minister
1724 Peter the Great founds Russian Academy of Sciences
1726 - 43 Cardinal Fleury governs France peacefully
1733 - 35 France and Austria fight War of Polish Succession to make their candidates Polish king
1740 - 86 Frederick The Great rules Prussia; he greatly expands its territory and Prussia becomes a major power in Europe
1740 - 48 Prussia attacks Austria and drags much of Europe into War of Austria Succession
1741 - 61 Reign of Elizabeth I of Russia, daughter of Peter the Great; she founds Russia's first university at Moscow
1745 - 46 Second Jacobite rising in Britain led by Bonnie Prince Charlie attempts but fails to restore exiled Stuart dynasty to British throne
1750 - 77 Sebastian de Carvalho (later Marquis of Pombal) appointed foreign secretary and acts as chief minister to Jose_ I of Portugal; introduces reforms
1754 Concordat with Vatican gives Spanish church independence from Rome
1755 The great Lisbon earthquake in Portugal; many thousands killed
1756 - 63 Seven Years War; Prussia and Britain versus France, Austria, and Russia
1757 Battle of Rossbach; Frederick The Great of Prussia defeats French and Austrians
1762 Publication of French philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau's Contrat Social
1762 - 96 Reign of Russian empress Catherine the Great
1764 - 95 Reign of King Stanislas Poniatowski, the last king of Poland
1772 - 95 Poland is divided between Russia, Austria, and Prussia
1773 - 75 Emelian Pugachev leads uprising of Cossacks and peasants in Russia
1774 - 92 Reign of Louis XVI, king of France
1777 Accession of Maria as queen of Portugal; she exiles Pombal but continues his work
1778 War of Bavarian Succession between Prussia and Austria
1780 Joseph II, co-ruler of Austria with his mother Maria Theresa in 1780, becomes sole ruler on her death; ten year period of important reforms
1783 Russian government annexes the Crimea
1783 - 1801 William Pitt the Younger is prime minister of England
1787 - 92 Turkey fights Russia to regain the Crimea, but is defeated
1788 - 90 Sweden attacks Russia, but a peace treaty confirms the pre-war borders
1789 Outbreak of French Revolution; Paris Bastille stormed (14 July)*
1795 France overruns Netherlands; creates dependent Dutch republic
1798-99 Wolfe Tone organizes Irish revolt against English rule

AD 1800
1800 Italian scientist Volta invents electric cell
1801 - 25 Reign of Tsar Alexander I of Russia
1804 First oil lamp made in England, designed by Frenchman Argand
1804 Napoleon becomes Emperor of the French
1805 Battles of Trafalgar (British naval victory) and Austerlitz (French army victory)
1806 Napoleon brings the Holy Roman empire to an end
1807 Britain abolishes slave trade; slavery continues until 1833
1808 - 14 The Peninsular War in Spain
1812 First tin cans produced in England for preserving food
1812 Napoleon reaches Moscow; is forced by partisan warfare and burning of Moscow to retreat to France
1813 Napoleon defeated in the "Battle of the nations", Leipzig
1815 Battle of Waterloo; final defeat of Napoleon
1815 Congress of Vienna follows defeat of Napoleon; map of Europe decided
1821-29 Greek War of Independence, against Turks
1827 Frenchman Nic_phore Ni_pce takes the first photograph
1827 Battle of Navarino Bay; British, French, and Russian navies destroy Turkish fleet
1830 Russians suppress Polish revolt
1830 Revolution in France
1830 - 31 Kingdom of Belgium is founded
1832 First Great Reform Bill gives more men the vote in Britain
1833 Abolition of slavery in British empire
1840 Penny postage stamp introduced in Britain; postage stamps transform postal systems
1841 Nationalist leader Lajos Kossuth founds Hungarian liberal reform newspaper
1844 First effective Factory Act in Britain
1847 - 48 Civil war leaves Switzerland a federal state
1848 Publication of the Communist Manifesto
1848 Year of Revolution throughout Europe
1851 The Great Exhibition in England
1852 Louis Napoleon becomes Emperor Napoleon III of the French
1853 - 56 Crimean War: Russia fights Turkey, Britain, France, and Sardinia
1860 Italian parliament meets in Turin; Garibaldi takes southern Italy; most of Italy unified
1861 Tsar Alexander II abolishes serfdom in Russia
1862 - 90 Career of Bismarck as chief minister of Germany
1863 - 64 Poles rebel against Russian rule
1866 Prussia defeats Austria at Sadowa in Seven Weeks War
1867 Disraeli introduces Second Reform Bill in Britain
1868 - 74 Gladstone is British prime minister for first time
1870 - 71 Franco-Prussian War; Napoleon III abdicates, Third Republic established in France (to 1940)
1871 Unification of Germany: Prussian king William I becomes emperor of Germany
1874 - 80 Disraeli's second and last government in Britain
1876 Turks put down Bulgarian rising with great cruelty
1878 Congress of Berlin ends Russo-Turkish War (1877 - 78); freedom for some Balkan countries
1881 Assassination of Tsar Alexander II of Russia
1882 Triple Alliance is formed between Germany, Austria, and Italy
1885 German Karl Benz is first to sell motor cars
1887 Bulgaria elects Ferdinand of Coburg king; it becomes leading Balkan state
1888 - 1918 Kaiser (Emperor) William II reigns in Germany
1891 - 94 Franco-Russian agreement
1895 In France, the Lumi_re brothers invent the film projector
1895 Assassination of Bulgarian prime minister Stambuloff
1895 Marconi invents wireless telegraphy

AD 1900
1900 German naval law introduces 20-year building programme for a high seas fleet to compete with the British navy
1901 - 05 Separation of the church from the state in France
1901 Foundation of Russian Social Revolutionary party (Bolsheviks)
1903 Assassination of Alexander, king of Serbia
1903 - 05 Scandal breaks in Belgium over Belgian rule in Zaire
1904 "Entente Cordiale" between Britain and France
1904 - 05 Russo-Japanese War
1905 Revolution in Russia
1905 Norway breaks away from Sweden; elects King Haakon VII
1906 Liberal government comes to power in Britain; many reforms
c. 1906 Navy arms race escalates
1908 Young Turk revolution
1908 Carlos I of Portugal assassinated
1908 Austria annexes Bosnia and Herzegovina
1908 Ferdinand I proclaimed emperor of Bulgaria
1910 Portuguese revolution brings about the end of the monarchy
1912 - 13 Balkan Wars
1913 Coup d'_tat of Young Turks in Turkey
1914 Assassination of heir to Austrian throne leads to outbreak of World War I
1914 Battle of the Marne
1914 Battle of Tannenberg between the Germans and the Russians; German victory
1915 Dardanelles Campaign; British try to force passage to Constantinople
1915 Germans start submarine campaign to blockade British Isles
1916 Battle of Jutland between British and German fleets; stalemate
1916 Easter Rising against British government in Ireland
1917 Russian Revolution: Liberal revolution (February); Bolshevik revolution (October)*
1918 Armistice ends World War I
1919 Ernest Rutherford splits atom for first time
1921 Lenin introduces New Economic Policy in Russia
1922 Irish Free State founded
1922 Mussolini becomes Italian prime minister; dictator from 1925
1923 - 30 Dictatorship of Primo de Rivera in Spain
1924 First British Labour party victory at a general election
1924 Death of Vladimir Lenin
1925 Locarno Agreements between major European powers aim to maintain peace and stability
1926 In Britain, John Logie Baird invents the television
1928 French begin to build fortification, the Maginot Line, on German border
1928 Stalin launches five-year plan to expand Soviet industry
1931 Republic declared in Spain after King Alfonso XIII abdicates
1931 Statute of Westminster makes dominions of British empire self-governing
1933 Nazi leader Hitler appointed German chancellor; Nazis begin organized persecution of Jews
1934 Mussolini meets Hitler
1936 Germany invades Rhineland region on French-Belgian border
1936 - 39 Civil War in Spain
1937 Eamonn de Valera becomes prime minister of Ireland (Eire)
1938 Hitler compels Austria to form union with Germany (the "Anschluss")
1938 Munich crisis: France and Britain agree to let Germany partition Czechoslovakia
1939 Stalin and Hitler agree to divide Poland between them
1939 Germany invades Poland; this leads to World War II
1940 British scientists develop radar
1940 France surrenders to Germany
1941 Jet aircraft developed in England and Germany
1943 German Sixth Army fails to capture Stalingrad (present-day Volgograd) in Soviet Union, and surrenders
1944 Allies invade France and begin to reconquer Europe
1948 - 49 The Berlin airlift
1949 Britain recognizes the independence of Ireland
1951 Sir Winston Churchill forms his first peacetime government in England
1953 Death of Stalin in Russia; Nikita Khrushchev takes power
1953 DNA discovered
1955 The Warsaw Pact is signed
1956 Soviet troops invade Hungary and quash revolt
1957 Russians launch Sputniks; Laika, a small dog, becomes the first living creature in space
1957 The Treaty of Rome ushers in the EEC
1958 Charles de Gaulle brings strong presidential rule to France
1961 Russian Yuri Gagarin becomes first human in space
1961 Berlin Wall built to stop East Germans fleeing to the West
1961 Female oral contraceptive pill comes onto the market
1964 Leonid Brezhnev takes over from Khrushchev as ruler in Russia
1968 Paris erupts into student riots followed by general strike
1968 Czechoslovakia tries to initiate internal reforms; Soviet troops enter Prague and end "Prague Spring"
1972 "Bloody Sunday" in Londonderry, Northern Ireland; troops fire on civil rights marchers
1972 Munich Olympics; Israeli athletes killed by Arab "Black September" organization
1976 Helsinki convention on human rights adopted
1977 240 Czech intellectuals sign Charter 77 stating that democratic freedoms are still denied
1979 Britain elects first female prime minister, Margaret Thatcher
1980 Independent trade union, Solidarity, formed in Poland
1985 Mikhail Gorbachev elected Soviet Communist party leader; introduces reforms
1986 Nuclear power disaster at Chernobyl in Ukraine
1989 Berlin Wall dismantled
1990 East and West Germany are unified as one nation
1990 Solidarity's Lech Walesa is elected president of Poland
1991 Break-up of the Soviet Union, resignation of Gorbachev; Yeltsin takes power in Russia
1992 Yugoslavia breaks up and erupts into bloody civil war

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