2nd millennium

New World American Revolution French Revolution Black Death Napoleon Bonaparte Telephone Aeroplane Moon landing Atomic Bomb Light Bulb Gutenberg Bible
From left, clockwise: in 1492, Italian navigator Christopher Columbus; the American Revolution; The French Revolution; the Atomic Bomb from World War II; an alternate source of light, the light bulb; for the first time, a human being sets foot on the moon in 1969 during the Apollo 11 moon mission; aeroplanes become the most-used way of transport though the skies; Napoleon Bonaparte, in the early 19th century, affects France and Europe on subjects of expansionism and modernization; Alexander Graham Bell's telephone; in 1348, the Black Death kills over 100 million people worldwide, and over half of Europe, in two years. (Background: An excerpt from the Gutenberg Bible, the first major book printed in the West using movable type, in the 1450s)

The second millennium was a period of time that began on January 1, 1001 and ended on December 31, 2000 of the Gregorian calendar. [1] It was the second period of one thousand years in the Anno Domini or Common Era.

It encompassed the High and Late Middle Ages, the Mongol Empire, the Renaissance, the Baroque era, the early Modern Age, the age of Enlightenment, the age of colonialism, industrialization, the rise of nation states, and the 19th and 20th century with the impact of science, widespread education, and universal health care and vaccinations in many nations. The centuries of expanding large-scale warfare with high-tech weaponry (of the World Wars and nuclear bombs) were offset by growing peace movements, the United Nations, plus doctors and health workers crossing borders to treat injuries and disease, and the return of the Olympics as contest without combat.

Scientists prevailed in explaining intellectual freedom; humans took their first steps on the Moon during the 20th century; and new technology was developed by governments, industry, and academia across the world, with education shared by many international conferences and journals. The development of movable type, radio, television, and the internet spread information worldwide, within minutes, in audio, video, and print-image format to inform, educate and entertain billions of people by the end of the 20th century.

The Renaissance saw the beginning of the second migration of humans from Europe, Africa, and Asia to the Americas, beginning the ever-accelerating process of globalization. The interwoven international trade led to the formation of multi-national corporations, with home offices in multiple countries. International business ventures reduced the impact of nationalism in popular thought.

The world population doubled over the first seven centuries of the millennium (from 310 million in 1000 to 600 million in 1700) and later increased tenfold over its last three centuries, exceeding 6 billion in 2000. Consequently, unchecked human activity had considerable social and environmental consequences, giving rise to extreme poverty, climate change and biotic crisis. [2]


The 2nd millennium was a period of time that began on January 1, 1001, and ended on December 31, 2000. It was the second period of one thousand years in the Anno Domini or Common Era. [1]

The Julian calendar was used in Europe at the beginning of the millennium, and all countries that once used the Julian calendar had adopted the Gregorian calendar by the end of it. So the end date is always calculated according to the Gregorian calendar, but the beginning date is usually according to the Julian calendar (or occasionally the proleptic Gregorian calendar).

Stephen Jay Gould argued that it is not possible to decide if the millennium ended on December 31, 1999, or December 31, 2000. [3] The Associated Press reported that the third millennium began on January 1, 2001, but also reported that celebrations in the US were generally more subdued at the beginning of 2001, compared to the beginning of 2000. [4]

The second millennium is perhaps more popularly thought of as beginning and ending a year earlier, thus starting at the beginning of 1000 and finishing at the end of 1999. Many public celebrations for the end of the millennium were held on December 31, 1999 – January 1, 2000 [5]—with few on the actual date a year later.