The rise of cities depends on reliable productive farming -- particularly of grains and, in South America, potatoes. The domestication and breeding of reliable crops makes urban life possible.
Civic life depends on a stable number of specialists -- artisans, leaders, and cultural figures; and they must be supported by stable crops and reliable food sources --. The history of cities begins with farming and the domestication of grains (and, in South America, the potato).
One of the variables in the rise of cities in different areas of the world rests with the beginning of the cultivation of particular crops; once humans learned how to cultivate them. In Europe and Asia different varieties of wheat and barley made urbanization possible as early as 9,000 BC in the Middle East, and then Egypt, and in the Indus Valley. Later, the start of cultivation of Millet and Rice helped expand population growth in Asia.
Sub-Saharan Africa's slow development largely rested on Sorghum, which is less reliable than wheat and rice for successively generating surpluses.
Corn/Maize powered Meso-American civilization but it took a long several thousand years for more productive strains of corn to appear that could feed larger populations. Teosinte (first cultivated 7,000 BC) eventually resulted in something like the corn we would recognize around 1,500 BC, and gave rise to the first Olemec cities.
Potatoes are native to the Andes, and we are not sure when cultivation began -- possibly only as recently as 2,500 BC. This probably predates the arrival of early strains of Maize and means the first Andean cities were dependent on potatoes.
Adolf Hitler shot himself on April 30th, 1945.
Adolf Hitler spent the last weeks of his life in the Führerbunker in Berlin, located beside the Reich Chancellery.; and last saw daylight on April 20th (his birthday) when he decorated some Hitlerjugend in the Chancellery garden.
Increasingly frustrated and somewhat delusional in the last months of his life, he was aware that Berlin had first surrounded and in the process of being captured by Soviet troops. Early in the morning of April 29th, 1945, he married his long-time mistress Eva Braun -- it was a sign of the times that the official he performed the ceremony was killed shortly afterwards in the fighting with Soviet troops. Later that same afternoon, Hitler learned of the death of Mussolini -- presumably the treatment of Il Duce increased Hitler's determination not to be captured.
Early in the morning of April 30th, with Soviet troops within a few blocks of the Führerbunker; Eva Braun took cyanide and Hitler shot himself through the mouth with his Walther pistol. Their bodies were taken into the back garden, dropped in a shallow pit, and incinerated with gasoline. On May 2nd, the Battle of Berlin was over.
The Soviets were eager to ensure that Hitler's remains were recovered and identified (Hitler's notoriously bad teeth helped with this); but a quirk of Stalin's held that suicide with a pistol was somehow more honourable than with poison. Hitler's remains were moved several times and the Soviets denied that his death was accomplished with a gun shot.
Eventually, after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Soviet records about Hitler's body were recovered. In 1970, he and Eva Braun's remains were dug-up yet again, burned once again, ground to powder and tossed into a river at an undisclosed site.
The First World War broke several European powers, Russia being one of them.
The First World War was enormously expensive in terms of lives, finances, and material and the strain of the war broke several empires. Austro-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire were all broken by the war, the German lost their overseas colonies (and their financial stability). Even the French endured a major mutiny -- the British lost their place as the world's leading economy, but were alone among the major powers to not have armies collapse and/or mutiny in the field.
The Russian Empire performed badly in the field, and received several sound defeats in 1914 and 1915, largely at the hands of the Germans. The tactical paradigm of the war (in which defenders could reinforce failure faster than attackers could exploit it) saw 1916 emerge as the year in which the Allies tried to grind the Germans down through massive attrition at Verdun and the Somme on the Western Front, and with the Brusilov offensive.
The Brusilov Offensive was a massive Russian effort (and revealed some good generalship and tactical sense). It was aimed at the weaker Austro-Hungarian armies, but soon drew in German reinforcements. However, it wasn't decisive -- despite the loss of 504,000 Russian troops against some 730,000 Austrian and German casualties and 400,000 Austrian prisoners.
Russian morale, food shortages and unrest at the front and at home sank in the winter of 1916-17, resulting in the February revolution, where the Russians urged the Czar to reliqnish power and allow a Parliamentary system in stead. The Germans assessed that Russian willpower was wavering and unleashed a secret weapon.
The Russian Bolshevik leader, Vladimir Lenin was confined to Switzerland by the war, and angry at his inability to sway events. The German General Staff offered him transport through Germany in a sealed railway car, and thence by ferry to Neutral Sweden. This put Lenin back into play, and the turmoil of the continuing war was something he could work in his favor.
The Great depression caused much social strife- which caused extremist/radical ideologies to gain traction as they promised solutions to the problems caused by the great depression.
Warning: Very long explanation!
Communism, Fascism, and Nazism and Japanese militarism all promised solutions to the troubles caused by the Great Depression, and most nations fell under far-right ideologies characterized by military conquest and expansionism (Italy, Japan, and Germany). Communism also had their own solutions to the economic troubles by putting everyone to work in the 5-year plans. (Although only the USSR was communist at this point, communism still had many supporters in other countries- but they had already embraced communism during WWI so I would not count it for this question)
There is actually a lot of evidence to suggest that the Warmongering/totalitarian nations (Japan, Italy, Germany) were actually relatively peaceful up until 1929- right after the Stock Market crash occurred in Manhattan on black Tuesday, which was the start of the great depression. I will go through the European nations first and then Japan, which was although not as totalitarian as Germany or Italy, was a great cause for aggression in Asia due to their strong, independent army.
Germany , although having been punished by the Treaty of Versailles of 1919, gradually opened up to the rest of Europe- which was officially settled with the Locarno treaty of 1925, where Germany, Britain, France, and others settled the post-war relations, causing widespread enthusiasm for the future. Germany joined the League of Nations a year later in 1926. This can be attributed to the skillful handling by German politician Gustav Stresemann. The German economy was also helped by the American Dawes plan by 1923, and later by the Young plan in 1929, both of which provided economic aid. Here we can see that Germany was still peaceful and was starting to rebuild- but then the depression happened and the American economic aid was halted to Germany, causing much misery in the country due to hyperinflation (people's money became worthless).
The Nazis capitalized on the depression and people's disappointments and promised solutions to Germany's problems- and Hitler was a frantic campaigner who used extensive propaganda.
In 1928 the Nazi party only gained 4% of the vote share in the German election (prior to the depression), but in the next election of 1932(after the depression began), they gained 32% of the vote share. (See the connection?) Hence Hitler became chancellor in 1933 and started taking more control of Germany- turning it into a totalitarian state. People did not anticipate this and probably thought that it cannot possibly get worse- and to some extent, this was right, as Hitler initiated the building of the autobahn to stimulate the economy, which helped to alleviate the economy.
Italy is a similar case. In 1915 they were promised a great amount of territory by Britain if they joined WW1 on the Entente side by the treaty of London, but they did not get everything that was promised in the treaty of Versailles- causing them to feel cheated. This was facilitated by the fact that during the Italian election of 1919 the two biggest parties failed to form a government- causing even more unrest.
Having formed the Fascist party in Milan in 1919, Benito Mussolini promised stability and a hard-line policy to restore Italy's former glory through conquest and military expansion( though this came later). In 1922 the Fascists had their "March on Rome",- which arguably was a coup, but Mussolini was appointed prime minister by the Italian king as, according to the king, Mussolini represented much-needed stability for Italy. This caused Mussolini to gain great power and he began turning Italy into a totalitarian state- although he was initially pretty peaceful during the 1920's.
However after the depression began in 1929, Italy became more expansionist. In 1935 Italy invaded Ethiopia due to their lack of resources at home,(and partially for Mussolini to gain prestige)- causing more tension in Europe and showing the ineffectiveness of the league of nations.
Finally, we have Japan. Although perhaps not authoritarian, the Japanese War Party and the Japanese army gained more and more autonomy- to the point of near totalitarianism. Although Japan was comparable to Germany in the sense that thanks to some politicians, like their Foreign minister Sidehara, they signed many international treaties- Versailles in 1919, Washington naval treaty and the 9-power treaty of 1922(restricting navies and to respect Chinese sovereignty), and the Kellogg-Briand pact of 1928 (outlawing war) and they were thus pretty internationalist rather than nationalist prior to 1929.
However, owing to Japan's growing population and lack of resources they sought a "life-line" even before the depression- and found it in Manchuria (the region North of the Korean peninsula). Japan was dependent on trade for their well-being, Hence when the depression hit in 1929 and nations stopped trading due to tariff barriers and protectionism, the Japanese economy suffered. The War Party and Japanese army gained tremendous traction and more or less acted out of the Government's control. They then managed to stage an attack on themselves (The Mukden incident of 1931) to motivate an invasion of Manchuria- starting the Japanese expansion in Asia.
Hopefully, this gave some perspectives into why the three "Key nations" behind WW2 became expansionist and totalitarian.
Chinese protectionism and a culture disdain for the outside world kept trade with the outside world limited -- China would only accept silver in return for silk, tea and ceramics.
The Chinese experience for thousands of years led to an ingrained belief that they constituted the entirety of the civilized world; in contrast to the empires of Europe, the Middle East, and South Asia who all knew there were other kingdoms and polities that they had to deal with. For China, civilized peoples shared their alphabet, culture, philosophy; those who didn't weren't civilized.
To be fair, this degree of chauvinism isn't quite unique to Ancient China, but the 19th Century Emperors of China remained dangerously ignorant about the rest of the world. Since the first European sailors made it to Chinese ports, an appetite for tea, silk, and ceramics grew in Europe; but aside from ginseng, sea otter furs, and a few luxury items, there was nothing that China was willing to accept in return... except silver.
As the 18th Century wore on, silver became increasingly scarce in the Western World, causing inflationary pressures -- particularly with the onset of the Napoleonic Wars. British (and French) traders putting into Canton -- the only port they were allowed to enter --noticed that some Chinese were addicted to smoking opium. While this was prohibited by the severe laws of China, the demand was still strong.
The British East India Company and independent traders soon started selling cargoes of opium in China and then, as now, contraband narcotics will always find a way to get to market. Soon enough, opium consumption in Southern China soared to new levels, revenues fell, Chinese officials were growing corrupt, and the bumptious barbarians from over the sea obviously didn't know their place in the Middle Kingdom.
The more the mandarinate tried to regain control of the situation, the worse it got. In the end, the Chinese tried to ban imports completely, but the British were having nothing of that and sent troops and warships to pry-open the trade routes with China again. Hence the Opium War of 1839-1842 and all that followed from it.
The Government of the United Kingdom is a Parliamentary Monarchy, operating under the Westminster System.
The Governments of the UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand are Parliamentary Monarchies. Other countries have a similar system specifically, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Spain and Sweden. The system is very stable (perhaps the most stable form of government yet devised) and consistently delivers high standards of human rights and individual freedoms.
The Monarch holds the executive power as the head of state-- with the understanding they use it as little as possible -- usually reserving it to authorize legislation and engage in ceremonial duties. In practice, because of their longevity in office, heads of government will usually consult with the Monarch on key issues.
The head of the government (usually the party leader of a winning party or coalition) must themselves also be elected to office; and must answer for their decisions and actions on the floor of Parliament. The second-place party or coalition is the loyal opposition and -- despite their opposition to the governing party -- also plays a direct role in negotiating laws and regulations.
Cooperation and compromise between the Monarch (or her representatives), the government and the opposition makes the system work. The civil service are also supposed to be strictly neutral as regards political parties; and look to the Monarch for their recognition and rewards.
Parliamentary privilege also means any issue can be discussed in the House (usually a lower chamber and an upper chamber), and there is legal immunity for statements made there. Ambiguous or incomplete legislation can be massaged or interpreted by the courts.
The seven years war or French and Indian Wars caused resentments and distrust that were causes of the Revolutionary War.
The Seven years war to the American Colonists centered on the battle for control of the Ohio River Valley and reducing the power of hostile Indian tribes.
During the Seven Year War, the American Colonists fought alongside the British army. The western most settlers suffered huge losses of life due to the Indian attacks from tribes fighting for the French and fighting to prevent the American Colonists from taking their lands.
The American militias were instrumental in the conquest of French Canada, and the conquest of the French forts in the Great lakes and Ohio Valley. The militias suffered casualties in these campaigns and learned to distrust and disrespect the British military leaders. The British military did not treat the American colonists and their militias with respect.
The American Colonies suffered economically due to the disruption of trade due to the Global nature of the Seven Years War. The Colonist focused only the part of the conflict in North America did not understand the losses economically being suffered by England.
At the end of the war the American Colonist felt that the Colonies had gained nothing for their sacrifices during the war. The British raised their taxes to help pay for England lose of income and expenses to fight the global war. The British block western settlement of Indian lands to keep peace with the Indians. This meant that the Ohio River Valley that the colonists had fought for belonged only to the hostile Indian tribes and the British. This felt like a betrayal to the American Colonists.
The resentments and distrust that began during the conflict on the North America continent were increased after the war. For the American Colonists the war was a disaster, It cost them lives, money and land. In return the colonists were disrespected, taxed and blocked from western expansion. The way the British fought the Seven Years War and treated the colonies after the war started the Revolutionary War.
These three men were the rulers of France ruing the medieval ages.
Charles Martel was the grandfather of Charlemagne.
Clovis was the first king of the Franks. Clovis established a kingdom in the area of what had been Gaul after the disintegration of the Western Roman Empire. His kingdom is dated about 466 AD. The Merovingian Kings ruled France until Pippen III the son of Charles Martel disposed the last Merovingian King.
Charles Martel 728- 741 was a military leader under the Merovingian kings. He effectively ruled kingdom of the Franks in the name of the king.
Charles Martel ( Charles the Hammer) conquered several smaller kingdoms in the area of Gaul. Charles Martel organized a trained organized army of professional soldiers supported by the previous free farmers of the Franks.
In 732 this professional army defeated the invading Muslim army at the battle of Tours/ Poitiers. This was the first defeat that the Muslim armies had experienced in 100 years and stopped the invasion of Europe by the Muslim Empire.
The prestige of the battle in 732 won Pippin III, Charles Martel's son the Crown as King of the Franks. Charlemagne 768-814 the grandson of Charles Martel inherited the crown. Charlemagne used his throne as king of the Franks to also conquer northern Italy and most of what is know Germany.
Charlemagne turned the kingdom of the Franks into what became the Holy Roman Empire. The kingdom of the Franks started with Clovis I. Charles Martel brought the kingdom of the Franks into power and prominence.
Sub-Saharan Africa prior to the 19th Century largely consisted of large tribes, save in West Africa where -- ironically -- the Slave Trade had led to the creation of larger social organizations.
Sub-Saharan Africa had largely been handicapped by nature in two particulars. One was its isolation due to distance, disease barriers, and a shortage of harbours with navigable rivers permitting inland access. While -- at great cost -- the Sahara Desert could be crossed, Tse-tse flies and altitude (in Ethiopia) were formidable barriers to travel much beyond it.
The consequence was that Sub-Saharan Africa never really had the chance to advance beyond tribal iron age cultures except on the very edge of the Sahara (Mali, the Sudan and Ethiopia).
The other barrier was the natural shortage of domesticable plants. Wheat, maize, rice, millet, barley and potatoes had allowed other civilizations to appear, but Sorghum was not reliable enough to allow civic culture to be maintained in most of Sub-Saharan Africa: Save were coastal enclaves let Arabs (from 700 AD) and Europeans (from 1450 AD or so) set up trading posts for slaves, gold and ivory.
Cattle had been domesticated for millennia in Europe and Asia, but disease resistant strains that could survive in Sub-Saharan Africa only appeared around 1000 AD -- allowing Bantu pastoralists to slowly spread through much of the continent.
The back-handed gift of the Slave Trade from both the Arabs and the Europeans was the importation of new food-crops: Yams, Rice, Millet, Maize, etc. That finally allowed greater concentrations of people, and new kingdoms were emerging just as Europeans got quinine, breech-loading firearms, and other advantages that let them go far beyond the coastal enclaves.
There were two Mongol invasions of Japan, one in 1274 and the other in 1281. Both resulted in Mongol defeats.
There were several small land battles during both invasions. The small islands of Tsushima, Iki, Hirado, and others were invaded by the Mongols. During the 1274 invasion the small Japanese garrisons of most of these islands were defeated. There were two land battles on Honshu island, at Akasaka and Torikai-Gata, both of which the Japanese won. The Mongol commander decided to withdraw to mainland China, and during this operation a typhoon wrecked most of the Mongol fleet.
During the invasion of 1281 several battles were fought, for the same small islands as before: Tsushima, Iki, and Hirado. However, most of these battles ended with Japanese victories. The Japanese then attacked and defeated the Mongol fleet, and the Mongol commanders decided to leave the invasion. Some thousands of Mongol soldiers were left stranded without leaders, and the Japanese forces attacked and soundly defeated them.
These invasions were some of the few times that the Samurai armies fought foreign soldiers instead of each other.