Era Nicknames and What They Mean

There were a few historical era names I wasn’t sure about: where they landed in history, why they were called that and what happened during that time. I investigated.

Note: Many of these events relate to European (particularly western European). If you want to add some history to this post or if there is an era you think should be included here, leave it in the comments! I’ll continue to update this post as I run into new nicknames.


AGE OF DISCOVERY

When: Late 1400s-1700s

The period when globalization began due to extensive overseas exploration by European pioneers. Colonialism, trade and the rapid spread of European religion and illnesses soon followed.


AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT

When: 1715-1789

The cultural movement in France associated with major developments to science and politics that lead to the downfall of the monarchy.


ANCIENT HISTORY

When: The beginning of recorded history to the Middle Ages.

The invention of agriculture; Bronze Age, Neolithic Age, Iron Age; the building of the pyramids in Egypt and the rule of Hatshepsut; first Olympic games in Greece; Alexander the Great.


DARK AGES

When: Early Middle Ages (450-1000), just after the fall of Rome

Byzantine Empire; Christianity is adopted in many parts; Viking raids begin in Britain.


EDWARDIAN ERA

When: 1901-1910, or sometimes until WWI

Women fight for the vote. General peace and prosperity leading up to World War I.


ELIZABETHAN ERA

When: 1558-1603

Elizabeth I’s rule over England. A prosperous time of economic and cultural growth. Shakespeare arrives in the London theatre scene. Trade with the Americas ramps up.


FRENCH REVOLUTION

When: 1789-1799

The overthrow of the French monarchy as a direct result of the Age of Enlightenment. France establishes a republic but at the cost of violence, turmoil and a rough economy.


GEORGIAN ERA

When: 1714-1830

England during the reigns of George I, II, III and IV. An era of social and political change, including the establishment of Robert Walpole who is considered to be the first prime minister.


GILDED AGE

When: 1870s-1900 in the United States

A boom in economic growth in the US, drawing an influx of European workers.


GLORIOUS REVOLUTION

When: 1688-89

The overthrow of the James II and the ascension of William of Orange/William III.


HIGH MIDDLE AGES

When: 1001-1300

Norman conquest in 1066; William the Conquerer is crowned; rapid increase of European population; signing of the Magna Carta; rise of chivalry; the Crusades; Eleanor of Aquitaine is Queen consort of England and France.


INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

When: 1760-1830-ish

The transition to new manufacturing methods in many different industries. Major developments in water, steam, chemical and machine manufacturing. Many aspects of daily life are forever changed and standard of living increases.


INTERWAR

When: Mid-Nov, 1918 – Aug 1939

The span of 20 years between World War I and World War II.


LATE MIDDLE AGES

When: 1301-1500

The Great Famine; the Black Death; the Hundred Years’ War; Peasants’ Revolt; War of the Roses; Italian Renaissance begins.


MEDIEVAL PERIOD

Another title for the Middle Ages.


MIDDLE AGES

When: 5th-15th century

Covers the time between the fall of the Roman Empire until the Renaissance.


NAPOLEONIC ERA

When: November 1799-June 1815

Final stage of the French Revolution when Napoleon seizes power in France until his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo.


PROTESTANT REFORMATION

When: 1517-1648

Began in Germany but eventually spread throughout Europe, in response to many Christians disagreeing with the Catholic Church on certain practices.


REGENCY ERA

When: 1811-1820

A sub-era of the Georgian period. Due to mental illness, George III was deemed unfit to rule England so his son, the future George IV, ruled in his stead for nine years until his father’s death. A period of great achievement in fine arts, notably the publication of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.


RENAISSANCE

When: Between 1300-1600

Cultural movement across Europe, most notably in Italy; da Vinci, Botticelli, Donatello, Michelangelo, Titian, Raphael, El Greco, van Eyck and Holbein create great works of art during this period.


ROMANTIC ERA

When: 1800-1850

Major cultural movement across Europe in art, literature, music and intellectualism.


SCOTTISH ENLIGHTENMENT

When: 1700s-early 1800s

Rapid advancements in Scotland in industries related to science, politics, philosophy, architecture, engineering, medicine and more.


VICTORIAN ERA

When: June 1837-January 1901

Queen Victoria ruled for a long time over a lot of different territories. Industrial and population boom in Britain as well as a change to a more strict moral code. Ironically enough, Jack the Ripper is one of the best-known figures from Victorian times.

Written by

Jillianne Hamilton is a history enthusiast, author, graphic designer, paper crafter and artist living on Canada's beautiful east coast.

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