1433—The Great Voyages of Admiral Zheng He

The Great Courses
Show More

Related videos

1592 Sacheon—Yi’s Mighty Turtle Ships
These great naval conflicts left deep imprints on two nations. Chart the 1592 Japanese conquest of Korea, the remarkable naval technologies involved, and the stunning victories of Korean admiral Yi Sun-shin, whose strategic actions defeated two invasions and established him as one of the greatest admirals of all time.
1839—The Opium War in China
Delve into the causes, conflicts, and consequences of the Opium Wars, in which China was psychologically devastated and subjugated by British imperialism.
1521 Tenochtitlán—Aztecs vs. Conquistadors
The 16th-century Spanish conquest of the Americas resulted in some of the most unusual military encounters of all time. Here, learn about the campaign under Hernan Cortes to conquer Mexico, and how fewer than 1,000 Spaniards defeated the mighty Aztec Empire, which possessed armies comprising tens of thousands of warriors.
1972—China Enters the World Balance
Nixon's meeting with Mao shifted the cold war's balance and returned China to the world stage. Learn the reasons for Nixon's trip, the consequences of which still reverberate, and plot the rise of Mao and communism in China. Then, see how Deng Xiaoping's promotion of private enterprise began a trajectory…
1805 Trafalgar—Nelson Thwarts Napoleon
In 1805, after subduing much of Europe, Napoleon Bonaparte turned his sights on England. Study the events leading to the largest naval battle of the age, as Napoleon's combined French and Spanish fleet met the British navy under Admiral Horatio Nelson. Witness the monumental engagement, marking the beginning of Napoleon's…
1676—Van Leeuwenhoek’s Microscope
Trace how Anton van Leeuwenhoek's striking discovery fit into the larger Scientific Revolution and shifted intellectual authority from classic texts to that which is observable and measurable.
1492—The Columbian Exchange
Without intending to, Christopher Columbus's search for Asia initiated an event that has been called the most important historical turning point of modern times. Investigate how Columbus's encounter with the Americas brought distant peoples together politically, culturally, and environmentally in ways that were simultaneously productive and deeply destructive.
A History of Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe has long been thought of as the "Other Europe", a region rife with political upheaval, shifting national borders, an astonishing variety of ethnic diversity, and relative isolation from the centers of power in the West. It has also been, and continues to be, pivotal in the course of…
The Penal Laws and Protestant Ascendancy
Continue your study of the Irish political context with an examination of the rise of William of Orange, who restored Protestantism to England and enacted severe penal codes that oppressed Irish Catholics and created the Protestant Ascendancy. See how writers such as Jonathan Swift championed the Irish poor by promoting…
The Issues and Events of 1857
Episode 25 of A History of India
Tension between the British and the South Asians came to a boil in 1857, when a group of Indian soldiers rose up against the British army--to disastrous consequences. Consider the context and historical impact of this pivotal year, which forever changed the nature of British rule in India.
1903—Kitty Hawk and Powered Flight
Witness the dawning of the air age and meet the Montgolfier brothers, the Wright brothers, and others who brought humanity's dream of flying to fruition. Then, explore how aviation shaped the experience of modernity, from the relative ease of travel to the stark reality of "total warfare."
The Russian Campaign
Follow Napoleon's harrowing march across Russia in 1812, and witness his doomed campaign from the viewpoint of his soldiers. Napoleon's fateful decision to invade Russia marked a turning point for his empire.