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End Of An Age / Real Life

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  • Mars is divided by scientists into 4 periods, marked by different types of surface features. In Martian history, ends of ages could be marked by the loss of surface water, and by the decline of volcanism.
  • Venus at one point may have had oceans and water. At some point, its water was lost and conditions became more like they are today.
  • The formation of Snowball Earth ended an approximately billion year period of relatively slow changes on Earth, a period where life, climate, and oceans stayed relatively constant, while continental drift and growth had continued steadily.
  • Jupiter's moon Ganymede had been tidally heated in the past. At some point, its orbit changed, heat stopped being generated, and Ganymede became the geologically inactive place it is today.
  • Mass extinction events are this in general. Before one occurs, one group of animals forms the dominant species, evolving into the most wondrous beings. But then a Mass Extinction Event occurs, which means the ruling group of animals gets extinct, causing another to take its place, beginning a new age, in which evolution takes yet another route.
    • One of the most well-known examples of this would be the meteorite collision that ended the Mesozoic era, and hence the near-total extinction of the dinosaurs (only birds, who evolved from non-avian feathered dinosaurs, survived the extinction event). And with the end of the age of the dinosaur, the rise of the mammals soon followed.
    • The ending of the Paleozoic thanks to the Great Dying is an even earlier example.
    • And a bit more than two billion years before that, the "Oxygen Catastrophe" marked the extinction of most anaerobic organisms as oxygen first became a significant part of Earth's atmosphere.
    • The Toba catastrophe theory suggested that a supervolcano from 75,000 years ago erupted and the ensuing climate change nearly wiped out all humans and did wipe out nearly all subspecies of man, to the point where only around 1,000-10,000 human breeding pairs total remained.
  • The end of the Paleolithic Ice Age for a number of reasons. First was the extinction of most of the world's megafauna. Many large mammals that were once common throughout the world went extinct completely or were reduced to a handful of surviving examples (ex: rhinoceros used to live in almost every continent save Antarctica, South America, and Australia, now they are only found in Africa and parts of Asia). The second was that human beings evolved and rose to become the dominant species on the planet. This could be seen as either a good thing or a bad thing depending on your personal view.

    Ancient History 
  • The development of cities and agriculture changed the societies affected from hunter-gatherer societies to much more hierarchical, organized, and larger-scale societies of civilizations.
  • The end of the Bronze Age brought with itself a collapse of several ancient cultures like the Mycenaeans note , the Hittite Empire, the Mitanni, and with the Kingdom of Egypt somehow managing to survive by the skin of its teeth. Some archaeological evidence even suggests that this end was one of general chaos, disarray, and violence, with signs of war and hushed whispers in the few surviving sources talking about the mysterious "Sea Peoples" who may have been the cause of the collapse or a result of it. The exact cause of the collapse isn't clear, but various causes like famines, plagues, and war have been suggested.
  • In 256 BC, the last Zhou king was killed after about 800 years of rule. The dynasty had been declining slowly but surely over most of that time, and the king had almost no power when it ended, but the overthrow sealed things.
  • The conquest of Babylon by Persians could be said to have ended several thousand years of Mesopotamian power. After that point, the region would mostly be controlled by outside empires, though would still be an important center and even the site of many purpose-built capitals.
  • Egypt's conquest by Nubians, Assyrians, Persians, Romans, or some other empires could be considered this as well. Independent Pharaonic Egypt has lasted for thousands of years, but over time these conquests would reduce its independence, power, and eventually change the culture.
  • Alexander the Great is somehow both the End and the Dawn of an Era. On one hand, his conquests increased the knowledge of the world, spread Greek civilization as far away as the Indus River, and transformed society like few before him did. On the other hand, his empire brought the end of the Persian Empire, ended the classic period of Athenian civilization and the resulting Dark Ages saw the decline of Greece in favor of Rome as the hegemony of the Mediterranean.
  • The Assassination of Julius Caesar marks the end of The Roman Republic (Ironically, this was what the conspirators were hoping to avoid by killing him).
  • Pompey's invasion of Judea is seen as the beginning of the end of classical Judaism. The destruction of the Jewish Temple and the Revolt of Masada is also regarded by Jews as the beginning of their status as a diaspora.
  • The Roman Empire has many endpoints as well:
    • Emperor Julian the Apostate's failed attempt to curtail the spread of Christianity by reviving Hellenism is seen as the Death of the Old Gods, the end of classical paganism, and the unchallenged and unopposed rise of Christianity in cultural hegemony.
    • The barbarian invasion of Odoacer, forcing the abdication of Romulus Augustus marks the definitive end of the Western Roman Empire. The Byzantine Empire would continue however for some time.
  • The Christianization of Rome, conversion of other Europeans, and Muslim conquests replaced most ancient polytheistic religions in most of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

    Dark Ages, Warring States 
  • After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Europe was cast into the Dark Age, and large parts of Roman technology and culture were forgotten. Of course, sixth-century Europeans didn't see themselves as being in a Dark Age, and many may have been very happy not to be on the business end of Roman imperialism any longer. Also, "Dark Age" in this context doesn't necessarily refer to the standard of living at the time but rather the fact that we're "in the dark" about a lot of what went on then due to a dearth of contemporary writings. Nowadays most historians refer to this time period as the Early Middle Ages to avoid the connotations of the word "dark."
  • The Fall of the Sassanid Empire saw the end of the dominance of Zoroastrianism over the middle east and the last traces of the ancient world since the Bronze Age.
  • The Rise of Islam is seen as the end point of Late Antiquity since the conquests of the Umayyad Caliphate broke the joint story of the Mediterranean, dominated at the time by the Eastern Roman Empire and still having the religious factor as unification, and permanently began the rift between the East and the West, the former eventually becoming more Greek and Slavic while the West shifted its power from the Goths to the Franks.
  • After about four centuries of Han dynastynote  rule, in the 3rd century AD, the slow disintegration of the first long-lived empire to dominate all of China was punctuated by a coalition of nations south of the Yellow River effectively declaring themselves independent as new states. The fighting eventually ground to a halt as everyone went broke and had to sue for peace, splitting the empire into three de facto countries whose Emperors each claimed to be the sole legitimate heir (aka the 'Three Kingdoms' era). It would be several centuries before the Sui, and their almost immediate successors the Tang, managed to reunify all former Han territory, a difficult task in particular due to somewhat chaotic post-Han migration undermining the old ethnic status quo of the region.
  • Culturally, ethnically, and linguistically, the fall of the Western Roman Empire created a huge shift in the general population of Western Europe, which happened far more gradually than the political and military changes but was arguably much farther-reaching. For most of the Roman Empire's heyday, Western Europe was politically dominated by the Romans of Southern Europe, though most of the region was culturally dominated by various indigenous peoples who could be broadly described as "Celtic" (though that term was invented by Greek historians, and they never called themselves "Celts"). After Rome's legions deserted them, the Celtic peoples of Western Europe were suddenly at the mercy of the far more aggressive "Germanic" peoples of Central Europe, who became the predominant cultural force in the region within a few centuries. To this day, the region that was formerly known as "Gaul" is now known as "France" (after the Franks), while two of its largest regions are known as "Lombardy" and "Normandy" (after the Lombards and the Normans), and the country on the Northern side of the English Channel is called "England" (after the Angles), with "Anglo-" being a universally recognized prefix for all things English. As a result of centuries of invasions by the Angles, Saxons, and Normans, the Germanic-derived language of "English" is now the most widely-spoken language in the world, with the Celtic-derived tongues of "Irish", "Scottish Gaelic" and "Welsh" spoken only by a handful of faithful devotees. English speakers even still refer to the days of the week by names derived from the gods of the Norse pantheon, which was shared by the Anglo-Saxons.note 

    Middle Ages 
  • The beginnings of the Vikings' raids were the heralds of the end of the stability brought by the Carolingian Empire, replacing with the various sacks across all Europe.
  • The Viking Age itself ended fourfold with the failed settlement of Newfoundland, the Christianization of the rest of Scandinavia, the part where King Harald III of Norway failed to invade England months before the Norman Conquest, and the launching of The Crusades which opened up trade routes in the Middle East.
  • The destruction of Baghdad in 1258 at the hands of the Mongols ended the Arabian Golden Age, which had probably ended by the time of the crusades in most places, but probably continued on in Baghdad. Overall this was a period of decline in relative power for quite some time (thanks to the Crusaders, Mongols, and the Reconquista in Spain and Portugal) but it wasn't until Baghdad was utterly destroyed that Islam's decline really set in. The city of Baghdad was razed, the greatest center of Islamic learning was destroyed, and more people died in that city than (possibly) in the destruction of any other up to that point in time. Losing these centers of learning crippled the progress of Islam. After Baghdad fell, the momentum of Islam shifted from the Arabs to the Turks, the Mongols who assimilated into Islam much later as well as the Empires in India.
  • The Purge of The Knights Templar by King Philip le Bel is also seen as the final nail in the coffin of the Crusades, since having outlived its original purpose as a Church Militant, the Templars changed role as a banking organization was seen as a liability.
  • The Black Death, as well as the short cooling down of Northern Europe, are seen as parts of the end of the prosperity of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, replacing Europe with famine, conflict, and crisis of which the fifteenth century was famous for. It also delivered a major blow to the authority of both the feudal lord and the church: the ensuing labor shortage allowed serfs and artisans to negotiate their wages and relationship to their lords for the first time, while the church's response to the crisis shattered confidence in the institution and opened it to criticism.
  • The Battle of Crécy as part of The Hundred Years War is considered to be the beginning of the end of classic chivalry. Knights on both sides were part of the old warrior nobility of Europe, but the English longbowmen beat them both, having been training weekly with one of the most powerful but difficult-to-master weapons in history for at least a century before the war began. And knights, particularly French knights, were notoriously impetuous, and several battles in history were lost due to undisciplined, glory-hungry knights insisting on being the first into battle, even going as far as riding over their own archers, such was their eagerness to get to grips with the English. As such, the English forces led by Edward III and Edward the Black Prince defeated the French forces of Philip VI despite being outnumbered at least 4 to 1. And, after the battle, the peasants mercilessly killed the incapacitated knights.

  • The capture of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453 marked the end of The Middle Ages, and it was also the final defeat of the Roman Empire that had been in existence for almost two thousand years (as the Byzantine Empire in its medieval phase). By then, the Empire was just The Remnant and Land of One City, but the defeat sent shockwaves through all of Christendom. The fifteenth century also brought the flowering of the Italian Renaissance and the beginnings of the Protestant Reformation that ended the religious dominance of the Catholic Church in Western Europe.
    • Of course, this is a highly contentious issue - for others, the End of The Middle Ages is marked not by the fall of Constantinople, but by Columbus' first voyage (1492) or Luther's Reformation. And from a Greek-Byzantine point of view, there were no Middle Ages, the fall of Constantinople marking the end of antiquity. To a large extent, "The Middle Ages" is a construct of snooty Renaissance writers badmouthing their antecedents. In the view of many (social) historians, the Middle Ages went on until the 18th century in many respects throughout large parts of Europe.
  • 1453 also signaled the end of the Hundred Years War, which meant the end of the English dream of taking the French throne (and uniting both crowns). Despite losing a good chunk of its population, France won the war and recovered nearly all English territory on French soilnote . This led to England becoming an island nation for the first time since the pre-Norman Conquest era; the losses also drastically weakened Henry VI of England in many ways and helped contribute to the Wars of the Roses.
  • The abandonment of the Congress of Mantua's planned crusade against the Turks before it had even begun at Ancona in 1464 is considered to mark the final death of the temporal power of the Papacy over the Princes of Europe. Envisaged by Pope Pius II as a grand final crusade, creating a United Europe to fight and finally annihilate Christendom's common enemy, Islam, the "paper crusade" was ignored by almost every European power of note. When the miserable Crusade fleet, a tiny flotilla of barely seaworthy Italian warships, finally sailed into Ancona, the elderly Pope crossed the Despair Event Horizon and died two days later. The Vatican's power was never quite the same.
  • The end of the Wars of the Roses in 1485 spelled the end of the feudal system in England. Its conclusion, the Battle of Bosworth Field, is also seen as the Twilight of Chivalry. Richard III became the last English king to be killed in battle, as well as the last king of the old Plantagenet bloodline. His successors, the Tudors, were quick to establish a top-down royal bureaucracy and civil service to keep the nobles in line—largely because no one wanted a repeat of the Wars of the Roses.
  • In 1492, a mediocre sailor named Christopher Columbus led three ships across the Atlantic in an attempt to reach China and India. What they found was something different, and what happened next was nothing short of The End of the World as We Know It for Native Americans. European diseases spread far in advance of European settlers, killing up to 90% of the Indians infected (estimates for the number of Indians killed by disease at the time exceed ten million). When the Europeans themselves followed, the results were no less tragic, with widespread pillaging, forced conversions, and genocide. Thousands of years of Native American civilization, including two of the mightiest empires the world had ever known, were destroyed in less than a century, leading to the concept of Indians as backward primitives.
    • While not less dramatic, the treatment of the Amerindians was something that varied between the areas of influence of either European power: in the Spanish kingdoms, there were laws to protect the Amerindians from the abuse that the original Conquistadores and their descendants made them suffer (how much were these laws enforced varied between the continent) and actively required the assistance of the native nobility and a sort of respect towards the works of the original populations; the Portuguese and the French, although as not as active as the Spaniards, allowed native populations to be integrated into their territories; on the other hand, the English colonists actually argued that because the Amerindians that lived in their borders had not reached the cultural and technical level of either the Aztecs or the Incas, they couldn't become part of the colonial system. In short, if you were a native and lived in a Catholic zone of influence, your chances of living were better than in the Protestant zone of influence.
  • The 1512 defeat of Florence by the Medici and the Pope (supported by Spanish troops) marked the end of the Florentine Republic and the classic period of the Renaissance. Until then, Florence had been the center of European finance and arts, the home of Giotto, Cimabue, Donatello, Leon Battista Alberti, Pico della Mirandola, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci. By 1512, the center of gravity had shifted to Rome, the Medici were no longer a banking family but had become hereditary nobility and after the fall of Florence, Niccolò Machiavelli — who had formed the Florentine Militia — was sacked, tortured, and exiled. In his retirement, he worked as a playwright and later wrote a small book called The Prince.
  • The age of the Italian Renaissance ended with the Italian Wars of the 1490s, and its subsequent invasion by Spain, France, and the Holy Roman Empire in the early 16th century. Of course, the invasion of Italy spread the Renaissance ideals to the rest of the continent, making it also a Dawn of an Era to the European Renaissance.

    Early Modern (15th-18th Century) 
  • There are two points at which the Sengoku Jidai are said to have ended. The first is the official point, the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, where the forces of Tokugawa Ieyasu defeated those of Ishida Mitsunari. Despite some resistance beyond the battle, including the 1614-1615 Siege of Osaka that ended with the destruction of the Toyotomi clan, and officially ended the largest resistance to the shogunate's rule, the Sengoku period is usually declared to be over after this by most historians. The other is more symbolic, the Battle of Nagashino twenty-five years prior, where Oda Nobunaga destroyed the famed Takeda clan cavalry by using European arquebuses in rotating volumes of fire. Guns had been used before this battle, but the tactics used by Nobunaga kick-started an arms race and forever altered the Japanese attitude towards warfare. Both are seen as the point when the traditional age of samurai engaging in honorable single combat, ronin wandering aimlessly from town-to-town, and the political plotting of the daimyo ended. Often viewed in the same light as the declared end of the Western frontier in American culture.
  • The English Civil War (1642-1651) and the subsequent Glorious Revolution (1688-1689), marked the decline of the English monarchy from rule by divine right to the status of constitutional figurehead. From then on, the Parliament were the real rulers of Great Britain and continued to call the shots right to the present day.
  • The rise of Louis XIV (reigned 1643-1715) and absolute monarchy was seen as the end of the old feudalism later celebrated in the books of Alexandre Dumas. Formerly, the King ruled by feudal contracts. By fully taking power, the King eroded the powers of the old aristocracy, made them mere figureheads without armies and levies, brought them to Versailles to live a life of Conspicuous Consumption. By centralizing power at Versailles, Louis XIV also began the process of transforming France from a kingdom to a nation-state.
  • The year 1672, also known as Rampjaar (disaster year) marked the end of the Dutch golden age of the 17th century and consequently the Dutch Republic. Before this year, the Netherlands was a progressive republic amidst a Europe filled with conservative monarchies and yet were a world power to be reckoned with, due to their impressive navy and great skill in economics. In 1672, the Dutch Republic came under attack by France, England, and several German states. This war resulted in the Dutch economy being crippled, the death of the republic's leaders Johan and Cornelis de Witt, and the end of the Republic itself, because William III was crowned Stadtholder to replace the De Witts. After this war, the Netherlands sank into decline and never returned to being the massive world power they were during the 17th century.
  • The Siege of Vienna (1683) ended the Ottoman Empire's expansionist campaign into Europe. While previous battles such as the Great Siege of Malta and the Battle of Lepanto were just as decisive since they shattered the perception of Ottoman invincibility, from Vienna onwards the Ottomans would only gradually lose more and more of their territories into the next centuries, with their decline formalized by the Americans crushing their Barbary corsairs and Imperial Russia seizing the Crimean Khanate, which ended their slave raids into Europe. On the flip side, it allowed Westerners to have a more nuanced and diplomatic view of their people and religion.
  • The Glorious Revolution (1688-1689) was also seen as the end of Scotland as a distinct society, the 1706-1707 Acts of Union led to Scotland acceding to England and forming the state of Great Britain. This Hanover-Stuart Wars and the Jacobite Rebellion was the last major civil conflict on English soil. The Battle of Culloden (1746) was seen as the final nail in the coffin of the Stuart Kings and the end of Scotland as an independent power.
  • The Great Northern War (1700-1721) caused the total collapse of the Swedish Empire; after its grave losses - including their king itself. Rose in the eve of the Thirty Years' War, the Swedish Empire was immediately threatened by the emerging Russian Tsardom (later reformed as the Russian Empire) and a couple of other nations that they immediately declared war on them from which they were lost. Afterward, while Sweden is still capable of dealing with international affairs after the war; the The Napoleonic Wars, and their total loss of what's left of their territory - namely all of Finland and the chunk of the Pomeranian region - gave the Swedes no choice but to retreat from the international affairs and became a neutral nation instead; ending their great power status as a whole.
    • The war also became the final nail of the coffin for the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth. Well known for its type of monarchy that focuses on electability rather than the succession through familial heirNote  and a constitution that is considered as one of the earliest examples in the European continent, right after the drafting of the American Constitution itself; the PLC immediately went into a total decline thanks to internal troubles as well as the dual invasion by the Swedish and the Russian forces in the middle of the 16th Century which devastated the Commonwealth as a whole. When the above war happened, it finally sealed the fate for the decline of the PLC, and their existence would disappear by the next couple of decades, despite several attempts of reforms, thanks to partitions committed by Russia, Austria, and Prussia itself.
  • The Golden Age of Piracy, which began in the mid-17th century, petered out in the wake of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714) with the passage of the Treaty of Utrecht and the rise of conscript armies. The most iconic era of the period centered on the Pirate Republic (1706–1718) was a brief seven-year period that ended when the English Governor Woodes Rogers occupied Nassau. The death of Bartholomew Roberts, the most successful pirate of that era, in 1722, is seen as the end of the period.
  • France's defeat in the Seven Years' War (1756-1763) marked the end of its North American Empire. It also marked the beginning of the end of Native tribes on the East Coast. Formerly courted by either France and England as an ally against the other, the rise of a single European colonial hegemony in North America left them with fewer allies than before. Their losses of life and land in the period from the French and Indian War to The American Revolution marked the migration of the tribes westward, and the start of their marginalization and exploitation as minorities in a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant dominated America.
  • The American Revolution (1775-1783), in which France played a vital role, had its own impact. Seeing a bunch of colonists revolt against the British crown, fomented thoughts of revolution in the French, who came to see their aristocracy as something to overthrow and became enamored of the idea of a French republic.
  • The French Monarchy overall suffered constant defeats and decline in the 18th Century which in turn led to The French Revolution (1789-1799). The death of Louis XVI (died 1793) by guillotine in a formerly Catholic nation (as opposed to a Protestant nation in the case of Oliver Cromwell and the English Civil War) was the end of the Divine Right of Kings as a concept of sovereignty and absolute monarchy. The 1793-1794 French Revolutionary Wars, as per Carl von Clausewitz and later observers, was the first total war and France's victory, despite later revolutionary reversals, marked the rise of the nation and the end of Kingdoms.
  • The Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815), in turn, led to the end of feudalism across Europe, started the process of de-ghettoizing Jews, and introduced meritocracy and modern bureaucracy via the Napoleonic Code. Napoleon's conquest of Spain marked the end of Spain's rule over its Latin American colonies. Napoleon's final defeat likewise marked the end of France as a major European power on the Continent. The period afterward was characterized mainly by the dominance of the British Empire in European affairs, which itself would end with the World War I.
  • The rise of total wars in the wake of the French Revolution changed the nature of warfare. For about the previous 150 years, warfare, while bloody, was conducted by relatively small armies led by nobles for relatively small gains. By the late 18th century it had become almost ritualistic. The Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) threw all that out the window, with whole national populations mobilized for the first time in centuries and armies swelling to hundreds of thousands. It could also be considered the birth of modern Nationalism. Previously the nobles and monarchs of Europe were a class unto themselves - having more in common with each other than with their own people. At the start of the Napoleonic Wars, the entire Russian court spoke in French. By the end of it, they were speaking only Russian.
  • In 1806, Napoleon requiring Francis II to abdicate as Holy Roman Emperor ended a title that went back to 800 A.D. with Charlemagne himself. The empire was officially dead and would never be reformed.

    19th Century 
  • In Europe the slow decline of autonomous noble power began in this period. From the greater military power of politically unified nations, a rise of absolute monarchs, the spread of revolutionary political thought, and the growing economic power of lower classes the nobles were unable to compete. While there were holdouts for a long time (some European states still have official positions for nobles) it was never the same.
  • In 1842, the British forced the Chinese Empire to accept a humiliating peace after two years of Curb-Stomp Battle in the First Opium War. While it was hardly the first time that the Chinese military forces were defeated by foreign "barbarians," it was the first clear reminder that the Chinese had fallen decidedly behind technologically and needed to change significantly.
  • In 1853, Commodore Perry's arrival in Japan hastened the end of isolationist feudal shogunate rule. The end officially came with the ascension of Emperor Meiji in 1867 and started the Meiji Restoration in 1868. From that point, Japan embarked on a programme of rapid industrialization.
  • The Bakumatsu (1853-1867) — The End of the Curtain and the Meiji Restoration (1868), were the definite end of the samurai rule. People saw that the samurai regime of Tokugawa couldn't defend the country from the dang-blasted foreigners and feared that Japan would become the next China. Wars ensued. The new country that rose from the ashes of war then allowed every citizen to hold positions of significant power, not just the samurai.
  • The Crimean War (1853-56) is considered this in the history of European diplomacy. While it was relatively insignificant militarily, and characterized by blunders and incompetence, it broke the international system based on "legitimacy" created (or restored, depending on your perspective) after the Congress of Vienna and opened the way for the rise of nationalism and nation-states. It set the stage for the creation of Germany and Italy, and later the Balkan states, and in so doing, paved the way for World War I.
  • The 1857 Indian Mutiny was something of a Fully Absorbed Finale for Indian feudalism as a whole. It was the last time Indian kings and queens led and commanded armies in battle, it saw the final end of the Mughal Empire with the final two heirs brutally executed and the Emperor exiled to Burma. Delhi was formerly a Land of One City of a Vestigial Empire. Now it was occupied by the British. The Mutiny also marked the end of the East India Company as a major player in international commerce. The British government took over the administration and formed the British Raj.
  • The American Civil War (1861-1865) marked the end of several American political and social concepts, chattel slavery only being the most obvious. The Union victory redefined the United States as a singular nation with a strong federal government that had supreme authority over its constituent states, rather than a loose alliance of semi-independent nations. Moreover, the idea of voluntary and legal secession from the Union was dead in the water, as per an 1869 Supreme Court decision. It was also one of the first modern industrialized wars, along with the Crimean War and the unification wars in Germany, bringing the concept of modern warfare on a vastly more destructive scale to bearing. The cultural tensions between the North and South, however, would prove more elusive, and they still linger to some extent to this day. True legal and social equality for Blacks and other minorities would also take another 100 years or so to be actualized.
  • In 1890, the US Census officially declared that the "Frontier" no longer existed. This marked the end of American expansionism and of the "frontier culture" that had characterized the United States until then. Interestingly, this is about the time that the United States started to turn outward to gain more resources, much to the dismay of its Latin American neighbors and, later, countries in the Eastern hemisphere. A lot of historians have noted this.

    20th Century 


  • In China, the Xinhai or 1911 Revolution (1911-1912), coupled with the Beijing-region General Yuan Shikai turning on the Emperor, saw the Empire of the Qing and the Chinese Empires ended forever in favor of a protracted civil war known as The Warlord Era (1916-1928). The victory of Chiang's Guomindang in the 1931 Central Plains War (over the forces of three of China's five remaining Great Warlords) was the effective end of The Warlord Era, though the nominal end had come when - in 1928 - The Guomindang had taken Beijing and been recognized abroad as the first legitimate Chinese government since Yuan Shikai had died in 1916. And then, the Communist victory in the 1946-1950 Civil War (the official end coming in 1949 when the Communists declared the foundation of the People's Republic) was an even bigger End of an Age. So yes, China had a lot of these in the 20th century (in fact, there was another one in 1978 - see below).
  • World War I (1914-1918), the War To End All Wars, is considered to have ended an era. Before that, human progress seemed unlimited, and war and many other ills were viewed as likely to be abolished. Alas, the mighty technologies of mass production and automation can be applied to killing people. The realization pretty much put the kibosh on the centuries-old idealism of the Enlightenment, and in hindsight, the War is widely considered the true cultural and political start of the 20th century for this reason. Nice work, fading monarchies of Europe (and France, the United States, recently-turned-Republican Portugal and China, Brazil, and Japan).
    • It also signaled the end of many old European powers, with the German, Austro-Hungarian, and Russian Empires imploding from a mix of war fatigue, ethnic nationalism, and revolution.
    • Very much the sense of Sir Edward Grey's famous words about the outbreak of the war:
      Sir Edward Grey: The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.
    • For all his flaws, Woodrow Wilson also had serious reservations about what would come next:
      Woodrow Wilson: I can predict with absolute certainty that within another generation there will be another world war if the nations of the world do not concert the method by which to prevent it.
    • WWI also brought the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, which is (today) largely seen as the last Caliphate. Turkey saw a secular zeal to overthrow anything that smelt like Islam in the government. The Arabs and Persians carved new states out of Ottoman-ruled lands, in many cases with the eager help of the more successful, non-Muslim empires of the time: British, French, American, Russian, and so on. Arab Nationalism was in vogue, and it seemed that government backed by God is 'so yesterday'.
    • In a similar way, World War I is sometimes considered to have dealt a fatal blow to the concept of Christendom. Unlike in the Middle East, the triumph of secularism in the West seems permanent and appears to only be getting more entrenched with time, notwithstanding some reactionary backlash.
  • World War I and the sinking of the Titanic (1912) two years earlier were arguably the one-two punch that brought an end to The Gilded Age, as the elites of Europe and America were confronted with the realization that they were Not So Invincible After All.


  • The stock market crash of October 29, 1929, ended the economic prosperity of The Roaring '20s, triggering The Great Depression for years to come. It also cemented the rise of Fascist regimes in Europe during the following decade.
  • WWII (1939-1945) had several examples of this:
    • It marked the shift from naval supremacy to air power, the culmination of a process that began during WWI. War and devastation could be brought to cities far behind enemy lines, and the mighty navies of the world were sitting ducks without adequate air defense.
    • The impact of naval aviation meant that the aircraft carrier dethroned the battleship as the king of the sea. While the American Iowa-class battleships would see intermittent service up until the 1990s, almost all the other battlewagons were either turned into museum ships or relegated to the scrap heap after the end of World War II.
    • While its power had been waning since World War I, the Second World War saw the definitive end of the Royal Navy's supremacy at sea. Between wartime losses, draw downs from budget cuts, and the loss of many of its overseas bases, the Royal Navy became a shadow of its former self and the United States Navy became the undisputed ruler of the waves.
    • The close of World War II in 1945 (and the freeing of various formerly "conquered" and "settled" territories) marked the end of Fascism and Imperialism. Decolonization became a watchword, and when taken together with rebellion and revolution in the Empires of Britain, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Portugal the 1970s saw a world without military-political colonialism (so-called 'economic colonialism' is another matter) and geographically large empires.
    • Some analysts specifically credit the publicizing of The Holocaust as the biggest factor in starting the age of decolonization, as the genocide brought the horrors of colonialism to the forefront by utilizing common colonialist ethnic cleansing techniques against a predominantly white population.
    • The end of WWII also marked the end of roughly a century of power concentrated largely in European hands and marked the rise of two superpowers outside of Europe, the United States and the Soviet Union— and with it, the Cold War. The Soviet Union and America, both adhering to modern and cosmopolitan ideologies despite being at odds, more or less pushed the world to abandon its old ways in favor of global capitalism and communism once the shifting power was concentrated in their hands. Both sides managed to get Europe to decolonize the third world one way or another, but of course, this instead marked the era of proxy and puppet states because even though the United States and the Soviet Union were officially anti-imperialist, they still fought over who would indirectly control these nations via loyal governments.
    • The War also helped further the decline of European Monarchies, as the Italian, Yugoslavian, Romanian, and Bulgarian thrones were abolished within the next few years, the latter two seeing Communist governments rise in their place. It also led to the Emperor of Japan becoming a symbolic figurehead.
    • Arab Nationalism got a rude awakening immediately after World War II and the following decades, which saw the UN acknowledging the state of Israel. The inability of Arab nations to put an end to Israel caused Arab Nationalism to meet its end of age, and in many cases replaced by religious zeal. Within the Islamic world, there was a slow but unrelenting trend of the end of inclusive nationalism, with the idealism of re-building the Caliphate that was lost following World War I. It would be interesting to see where this cycle leads...


  • The onset of the Cold War (1947-1991) essentially marked the end of the age of traditional warfare, largely because the advent of nuclear weapons suddenly made it obsolete; while the United States and the Soviet Union remained bitter enemies until the latter's downfall, they never formally declared war on each other, knowing full well that the resultant nuclear exchange could very well bring about the end of human civilization. Every war that the two superpowers waged during the Cold War was a small-scale "proxy war", aimed at containing or spreading Communism. Likewise, every major war that the United States has declared since the fall of the Soviet Union has been a small-scale war aimed at containing terrorism and rogue states. It is quite unlikely that the world will ever see another war on the scale of World War II, with the world's most powerful nations duking it out on the field of battle.
  • The 1956 Suez Crisis is seen as the final nail in the coffin of British Imperialism and marked its end as a global superpower, with the United States and the Soviet Union calling the shots. Likewise, French defeat at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu (1954) and the Algerian War (1954-1962) ended the French empire as well.
  • The 1960s is considered the End of American Innocence (or Naïvete). Symbolically tied into that, President John F. Kennedy's New Frontier (also known as "Camelot"), ended when he was assassinated in 1963.
    • Much of the nostalgia surrounding both New York World's Fairs (1939-40 and 1964-65) focuses around the former being held just before WWII and the latter being one of the last straight examples of the shiny jetpack future prior to The Vietnam War and The '60s "back-to-nature" movement.
    • August 1968 saw the withdrawal of the last remaining mainline steam locomotives in Britain, under the 1955 Modernisation Plan, which called for the withdrawal of all steam locomotives in favor of diesel and electric locomotives. Since July 1967 and the end of Steam in the South of England, steam had been restricted to lines in the Northwest. By August 1968, these locomotives were restricted to Lancashire, on goods working and the odd passenger service. The last revenue-earning runs were made on 3rd August, followed by a series of special trains the following day. After one last excursion a week later, the age of steam in Britain officially ended.
    • The "Summer of Love" (1967) is said to have died with the Altamont concert in 1969. The Manson Family murders (1969) can be seen as putting the kibosh on the hippie romanticism of the 1960s. The Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975, that ended the Vietnam War was considered the end of the 1960s as the Post-Vietnam hippies began to be seen as cloudcuckoolanders.
    • The 1960s saw the end of the golden era of ocean liners. Although ships on the UK-South Africa route lasted into the 1970s, most cite the retirement of the SS United States, the last ship entirely committed to a transatlantic route,note  in 1969 as the end of the grand liners. This was because jet airliners could now do their job in a fraction of the time. The next few decades would see the end of ocean liners as a whole as more airports were constructed and there was no longer a need to transport people by ship. The ocean liner would endure in the form of the Queen Elizabeth 2 (and later the Queen Mary 2), but both were built with the intention of doubling as cruise ships, their scheduled transatlantic crossings more for the tourist trade, and even then, only seasonally (though they still carry mail on these crossings, keeping that tradition alive).


  • The 1970s also brought about several events that caused an end to several things:
    • This decade is often considered the end of an age for boxing, especially the heavyweight division.
    • The post-WWII economic certainty of the Bretton Woods system (1944-1971) was thrown into disarray by the costs of the Vietnam War (1955-1975), industrial unrest, emerging culture wars and the oil crises of the 1970s. The knockout blow came with the election of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, signaling the start of the neoliberal financial deregulation era.
    • In particular, one of the more visible effects of the oil crises was a turning point in global car industry trends. Detroit's Big Three, unaffected by World War II and which dominated the global car industry for years with land yachts and muscle cars, were caught napping by Japanese and European car makers which had rebuilt from near nothing and were able to supply smaller and fuel-efficient vehicles. The Big Three are still around today, although they're no longer in pole position.
    • Speaking of economics, the 20th century largely saw the end of feudal and semi-feudal economies. While there had been a long slow-going process to replace a system dependent on personal loyalties with more modern economics, World War I and the Russian Revolution really incentivized either reform or revolution. The interwar period saw major reforms in Europe while the Cold War saw the rest of the "third world" seized by either socialism or capitalism. The last feudal rents based on European manorialism would be paid in 1970. After 1991, the few holdouts part of the "third way" largely saw no reason not to embrace capitalism. There are a some "traditional economies" still left, but they are an extreme minority.
    • The Watergate scandal (1972-1974), leading to President Richard Nixon's resignation in 1974, has also been considered an end of American innocence, in terms of the public trust formerly held for the office of Presidency. The Presidency lost a lot of prestige in the eyes of the public.
    • With Deng Xiaoping's triumph in ousting Mao's hand-picked successor in 1978, there came the de facto end of Communist economic policies in China, and state capitalism was gradually introduced.
    • July 2, 1978 was the last day the New York Times was made via manual typesetting; the following day, it computerized the whole process.
    • The Iranian Revolution of 1979 ended the reign of the Pahlavis and started a radical change in Iran.
    • Color television sets began to outnumber black-and-white sets for the first time in the mid-1970s. Analogue color broadcasting would itself be superseded by digital in the 21st century (see below).


  • Just like the last two decades, the 1980s has its own moments to begin with:
    • The 1980s and AIDS are considered the end of the Sexual Revolution.
    • The death of Tito in 1980 led to a situation where the one unifying figure in Yugoslavia was gone and no other figure was capable of stepping in without sparking resentment and distrust from leaders of the other ethnic groups. Happening at the same time as the collapse of the Soviet Union, this meant the end of Yugoslavia and its own (much more violent) dissolution.
    • The critical and financial failure of 1980's Heaven's Gate killed two eras. First was the era when United Artists was an independent studio, as it led to its sale to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer a year later. The second thing it killed, along with the rise of the blockbuster, was the New Hollywood era, as its bad publicity from its Troubled Production led studios to be more weary of giving directors the Auteur License.
    • The 1982 film 48 Hrs. actually arrived at the end of a cultural arc, with its in-your-face but comic take on race relations. The '70s were full of that stuff, with everything from Norman Lear sitcoms to "Blaxploitation" films. It had begun to run out of steam and seemed less culturally relevant. But the social and political conservatism of the 1980s really tamped down that fire. By "conservatism", this meant a "play it safe" attitude that took over American culture in the 1980s. 48 Hrs. itself, seems like a bridge between the 1970s and The '80s. Nick Nolte's character Jack Cates comes across like a variation of Popeye Doyle from The French Connection. The language Cates uses would have been acceptable in the movies of that era.
    • The Golden Age of Video Games came to a screeching halt with The Great Video Game Crash of 1983, and coincided with the rise of home computing and the Japanese video games industry.
    • For all intents and purposes, Walt Disney's indirect influence over the future of Walt Disney Productions ended with the release of The Black Cauldron in 1985. That movie's box office failure gave Disney's new management team of Michael Eisner, Frank Wells, Roy E. Disney, and Jeffrey Katzenberg the leverage they needed to fire the remaining Walt-era executives and transform the studio into the more business-minded and Hollywood-esque Walt Disney Company, which not only led to its revival in the late 1980s but also set it on its course into becoming the multimedia empire it is today.
    • The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster on January 28, 1986, exposed the thin façade of that era's folksy jingoism. The event was more or less, carefully calculated to piggyback on Ronald Reagan's "Morning in America" to boost support for what was (unfairly) seen as a tired, bloated government program.
    • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for all intents and purposes, ceased being a major film studio in May 1986, when Ted Turner bought it, kept the back library, and then sold the studio back to Kirk Kerkorian. MGM has since this time, emerged twice from bankruptcy in the 2010s.
    • The stock market crash of 1987 triggered the end of the "Greed is Good" mentality of the 1980s.
    • The June Democracy Movement of 1987 triggered the end of nearly 40 years of dictatorship in South Korea: while the country's last dictator, Chun Doo-hwan, did succeed in appointing his hand-picked successor, Roh Tae-woo, to the presidency, his acquiescence to the June Democracy Movement's demands ensured that it would be done through the country's first properly free and fair election, with Roh's ascension marking the first peaceful transition of power in South Korea's entire history. Following his inauguration in 1988, Roh would institute constitutional revisions that would democratize the nation and establish the incumbent Sixth Republic.
    • The Cold War era ended after the fall of Communism in Europe (1989) and friendship between the reforming USSR and America was called The New World Order by Bush 41. Some took it another (facepalming) way.
  • The James Bond films had several eras and clear ends to them:
    • Diamonds Are Forever (1971) was the final Bond film:
      • To star Sean Connery in the Eon Productions series.
      • To feature Big Bad Ernst Stavro Blofeld and his organization, SPECTRE. Those were taken away by lawsuits, and would not officially come back to the Eon series until Spectre 44 years later.
    • The Man with the Golden Gun was the final Bond film to be jointly produced by both Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli and Harry Saltzman. Saltzman left out of financial, personal, and health issues, the franchise had gone an uncertain/unconfident route under his tenure since Diamonds are Forever before bouncing back with The Spy Who Loved Me.
    • Moonraker (1979) was the final Bond film to:
      • Have a main theme sung by Shirley Bassey.
      • Feature large sets by Ken Adam. More down-to-Earth locations would prevail afterwards.
      • Feature Bernard Lee as M.
    • For Your Eyes Only was the final Bond film to be distributed by United Artists as a stand-alone company. They were facing financial problems due to the failure of the infamous Heaven's Gate the year before and merged with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer not long after the release. And since then, all future Bond films are distributed by MGM in some form.
    • A View to a Kill (1985) was the final Bond film:
      • To feature Roger Moore as Bond. He contemplated quitting the role several times before due to his age but was always lured back by Cubby Broccoli. Not this time.
      • To feature Lois Maxwell as Moneypenny. She was there since Dr. No all the way back to 1962.
    • The Living Daylights (1987) was the final Bond film:
      • To feature a blonde Bond Girl (or if you're feeling punny, a Blonde Girl) in a lead role, until Léa Seydoux as Madeleine Swann in Spectre 28 years later.note 
      • To feature the Soviet Union as a major player.note 
      • To be based off a piece of Ian Fleming's original Bond fiction (in this case, a short story), until Casino Royale was finally made to reboot the franchise with Daniel Craig as Bond.note 
      • To feature the legendary John Barry's music; he retired from the series after this film.note 
      • To receive a PG rating from the MPAA; the much grittier Licence to Kill would receive a PG-13 rating and all subsequent films in the series would follow suit.
      • To feature Walter Gotell and Geoffrey Keen in the recurring roles of KGB head General Gogol and UK Defense Minister Frederick Gray, respectively, after appearing in each film from The Spy Who Loved Me through this.
    • Licence to Kill (1989) was the final Bond film:
      • To be produced by Albert R. Broccoli. By the time GoldenEye was being made, his health issues (which would kill him seven months after the film's release) prompted his daughter Barbara and his stepson Michael G. Wilson, already a co-producer in Licence to Kill, to take over the reins.
      • To feature Richard Maibaum as a scriptwriter. He had contributed to all but three of the previous Bond films and suffered a fatal heart attack in January 1991. (You Only Live Twice, Live and Let Die and Moonraker were the only ones he didn't contribute to.)
      • To open in the summer. It faced tough competition from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Batman (1989), Lethal Weapon 2, Ghostbusters II, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and The Abyss at the summer box office, and ever since, Bond films have opened in autumn or winter. Due to production delays, No Time to Die would have been the first entry since Licence to Kill to open at a different time of the year, with a release originally set for April 2020. But along came COVID-19... and not one, not two, but three release date changes, first to November 2020, then April 2021, and then October 2021.
      • To have Maurice Binder design the opening title sequence, as he died of lung cancer in April 1991. He had done every title sequence for the series up to this point, save for From Russia with Love and Goldfinger, and was succeeded by one of his alumni, Daniel Kleinman, in GoldenEye.
      • To feature a Bond Girl - Carey Lowell - born before the franchise began with Dr. No in 1962.
      • To be made before the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the end of the Cold War.
      • Also the last film to use the classic office sets for M and Moneypenny (at least until Skyfall).
      • To feature Smoking Is Cool throughout the film.
      • Not to have any CGI (and thus, also the last to feature cheesy rear projection shots).
      • To feature Timothy Dalton as Bond. He was signed to star in three Bond films, but the franchise entered Development Hell in the early 1990s and his contract expired, with Pierce Brosnan replacing him as Bond in GoldenEye.
      • To have a male actor playing M until Spectre 26 years later not counting the ending of Skyfall, where Ralph Fiennes takes over from Judi Dench after the latter's death.
    • The World Is Not Enough (1999) was the final Bond film:
      • Of the 20th century.
      • To be made pre-9/11.
      • To have Desmond Llewelyn as Q. Bar one film, he's been around since 1963. Even moreso since the actor died in a car accident a few weeks after the film's release.
    • Die Another Day (2002) was the final Bond film:
    • Skyfall (2012) was the final Bond film with Judi Dench as M (she's been there since GoldenEye in 1995).note 
    • No Time to Die (2021) is set to be the last to star Daniel Craig, the actor who remained the longest in the role in number of years (since 2006).
  • Doctor Who has had many of these over its fifty-year history:
  • The 1989 Major League Baseball season served as NBC's last year of broadcasting baseball in some shape or form since 1947 and the Saturday afternoon Game of the Week since 1957 (and exclusively since 1966). It also marked ABC's last year of covering baseball, having done so alongside NBC since 1976. CBS would take over the network broadcast television package for the next four years.


  • WrestleMania VI in 1990 is often regarded as the end point of the World Wrestling Federation's "golden era".
  • Jim Henson's sudden death in 1990, just as he was preparing to sell his studio to The Walt Disney Company so he could focus more on the artistic side of creation than the business side, turned out to be this in a way. After his death, the deal with Disney fell through— this was followed by years of sales and resales fracturing ownership of the company and its properties, while both his original work and new productions building upon his legacy were rarely capitalized on by distributors and often overlooked or dismissed by audiences as old-hat. In particular, in The '80s the "classic" Muppets looked set to join the panoply of Disney animated characters as beloved by multiple generations, but by The New '10s they were at the low point of the Popularity Polynomial — even the 2011 revival film The Muppets made their fall from attention a plot point. When that movie became a hit it seemed as if a comeback was all but certain, but its sequel Muppets Most Wanted flopping three years later seems to have hindered a true revival, leaving the Muppets' parent Disney (who ended up buying the Muppet franchise in 2004, but not the company itself) back at square one.
  • Game 5 of the 1990 NBA Finals served as CBS' final National Basketball Association broadcast after being the NBA's network television partner for the past 17 years. The package would move over to NBC for the next 12 years.
  • The death of Miles Davis in 1991 marked the final death knell for jazz music as a mainstream force. The movement had already been declining since the rise of rock in the 1950s, but still maintained a grip through artists like Davis who adapted it to fit the changing musical and social climate of the following decades, enjoying one last period of mainstream success via the smooth jazz boom in the '80s. Davis' death occurred just as that boom began to peter out from backlash among both the general public and diehard jazz fans, and as contentious as Davis' 80s period was for playing into it, the general consensus was that his loss deprived jazz as a whole of having any sense of further direction. Since then, jazz has generally been relegated to novelty appeal at most, with its more devoted following being reduced to cult status.
  • The breakup of Talking Heads in 1991 marked the final nail in the coffin for the worldbeat boom, a trend of mixing World Music with western rock that dominated the first half of the 80s. It already started to die out in 1986 with the release of Graceland by Paul Simon and the controversy surrounding its recording in South Africa (during an international cultural embargo meant to protest apartheid), but it still lingered on up to the start of the 90s (Simon in fact released his equally worldly follow-up to Graceland, The Rhythm of the Saints, in 1990). However, the movement was widely agreed to be on life support by then, and the end of Talking Heads (a band that helped spark the boom in the first place) pulled the plug, signaling that it was no longer the same major cultural force that it had been ten years prior; most of its major artists would either move away from the sound in the years ahead or be reduced to cult status at best.
  • The dissolution of the Soviet Union (1991) dissolved one of the largest political entities in human history, sparked a rise in ethnonationalism, and completely altered Central Asian, Balkan, and Eastern European politics. For a while, U.S. foreign policy became confused. For decades, the U.S. had centered its foreign policy on battling the Soviet Union, so its disappearance was met with a So What Do We Do Now? reaction.
  • The Japanese asset price bubble's collapse in late 1991 and early 1992, led to an economic downturn known as "The Lost Decade" (1991-2000). Japan's global dominance in the automotive and computer manufacturing fields suddenly ended, leading to a steady decline that some say mirrors the "Great Recession" America suffered a decade later. While still an important player in both industries, Japan is no longer seen as taking over the world and focus has instead shifted to China.
  • The early '90s saw India transitioning from a mixed-economy to a free market economy, marking the end of India's formerly socialist leanings and the move towards middle-class consumerism and Conspicuous Consumption.
  • The 1993 Major League Baseball season was the final season of two-division play in each league before the Central Division was added the following season, giving both the NL and AL three divisions each. It was also the last season in which CBS was MLB's primary network television partner.
  • The NFC Championship Game between the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers on January 23, 1994 was the final National Football League game that CBS would televise for the time being. Having been outbid by the upstart Fox network in December 1993, CBS would be without the National Football League for the first time since 1956. CBS would however, ultimately resume coverage of the NFL in 1998 when it purchased the American Football Conference package from NBC.
  • The opening of Usenet to all AOL users in 1994. See also Eternal September.
  • Several moments in computer history have been cited in hindsight as when IBM lost dominance of the PC platform and its transition to "Wintel":
    • The successful reverse engineering of the PC's BIOS by companies such as Compaq and Phoenix, which allowed the production of 100%-compatible clones.
    • Compaq using the 386 chip in its own computer before IBM did.
    • The PC clone manufacturers rejecting IBM's Micro Channel Architecture (MCA) used in the PS/2.
    • The success of Windows over OS/2.
    • The bankruptcy of Commodore in 1994 marked the end of prominent alternatives to the PC platform. A combination of mismanagement and difficulties producing a decent upgrade without breaking compatibility saw the Amiga winding down into a very small hobbyist platform, while the competing Atari ST had already been out of production for a while. At the same time, Japan's PC-98 and FM-Towns started slowly integrating PC compatibility until they eventually became completely homogenized. Only the Apple Macintosh remains, and even that has migrated twice, first to Intel chipsets and now (in a currently ongoing migration) to Apple-designed ARM chipsets.
    • Finally, IBM exited the PC manufacturing business altogether in 2005, transferring it to Lenovo.
  • 1995's Waterworld was one of the final massive epic type of movies to be filmed and produced entirely practical, with huge sets and dangerous stunts. Two years prior, Steven Spielberg showed with Jurassic Park that CGI was the future for Hollywood blockbusters. And come 1999, George Lucas proved that large parts of a movie could be made through the computer.
  • Since the release of Super Mario Bros. 3, the last game developed by Nintendo's internal teams for a console indicates that the current console generation is coming to an end and the next console's release is imminent.
  • The launch of the Nintendo 64 in 1996 marked the end of Nintendo's 13-year dominance in the home console industry. While the TurboGrafx-16 and Sega Genesis provided stiff competition in Japan and the west, respectively, during the early 90s, Nintendo's own Super Nintendo Entertainment System ultimately outsold both, and they seemed poised to continue that streak in the second half of the decade. However, a combination of obtuse technology and old grudges caused the vast majority of Nintendo's third-party support to jump ship to the PlayStation, giving the latter a much more vibrant and active library that allowed it to outsell the N64 and secure Sony's place as the leading console maker for the next ten years.
  • The 1996 Major League Baseball season would serve as the final one before the implementation of Interleague play.
  • Although The British Empire had long been a shadow of its former self, the handover of Hong Kong to China (1997) is popularly seen as its official end. Adding to the symbolism was the decommissioning of the royal yacht Britannia the same year; its last overseas mission was conveying the Prince of Wales and the last Governor of Hong Kong back to the UK after the handover ceremony. The death of Princess Diana, and the subsequent backlash against the lack of public mourning by the Royal Family, also permanently changed how the British people (and those in the other Commonwealth realms) would view the monarchy.
  • Super Bowl XXXII between the Denver Broncos and Green Bay Packers at the end of the 1997 season, was NBC's final National Football League broadcast after spending the past 33 years the holder of the American Football Conference package. The following season, CBS would take over NBC's rights to the package. NBC wouldn't broadcast NFL games again until the 2006 season when they launched Sunday Night Football.
  • The Trisakti Incident in Indonesia in 1998 marked the end of the Suharto era, known as Orde Baru (New Order) when many of Suharto's dirty secrets were exposed. For 32 years, he used corruption to build up Indonesia as a strong powerhouse in Asia and swiftly shutting down any of his oppositions, installing himself as a dictator. With the end of Orde Baru, Indonesia entered a new era of democracy, with all its advantages and disadvantages, but most of the stability provided by Orde Baru are gone.
  • The launch of the iMac ended two ages for computers. In terms of aesthetics, its transparent blue exterior case ended the era of beige computer cases, leading other manufacturers to retire the color soon after the iMac launched. Technologically, by including only a CD drive and USB ports, it marked the beginning of the end for both floppy disks and as well as various legacy and proprietary PC connectors and cables.
  • Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals between the Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz was the end of the NBA's "golden era" that began with the 1984 Finals between Larry Bird's Boston Celtics and Magic Johnson's Los Angeles Lakers. It not only marked the end of the '90s Chicago Bulls dynasty led by Michael Jordan and head coach Phil Jackson but Game 6 earned the NBA their highest television ratings of all time. After Michael Jordan retired, interest in the NBA declined, especially after the 1998–99 NBA lockout.
  • While the '90s were by no means considered a peaceful decade, the 1999 Columbine shooting marked an abrupt end to the more idealistic side of it, casting any optimism people had about the forthcoming 21st century into serious doubt.
  • The 1999 World Series between the New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves was not only the final World Series of the 20th century, but it also served as the final time (to date) that a World Series was broadcast on a television network other than Fox. In this case, NBC broadcast its 39th and final World Series thus far. It also marked the final time that the American League and National League officially operated as separate legal entities.
  • February 2000 saw the death of Charles Schulz and the last Peanuts comic ever made (which ironically was meant to announce Schulz's retirement), thus ending what many people consider to be the golden age of Newspaper Comics. Out of all the comics considered the best ever made (the others probably being Calvin and Hobbes and The Far Side), it was the last to go. This has led to the rise of Webcomics, which are now the preferred form of using comic strips to tell stories. Of all the biggest Cash Cow Franchises in the world, Peanuts was the longest-running of them to have an official end.
  • 1999 marked the end of Morse Code in commercial and military communications as digital terrestrial and satellite modes came to the fore. This was coupled with the gradual relaxation of the FCC’s Morse requirement for Amateur Radio licenses throughout the '80s and '90s, leading to the code requirement being dropped altogether in 2007, marking the end of a legacy stretching back over 150 years to the birth of telecommunications. Morse still enjoys popular use in ham circles though, and even the most bleeding edge software-defined radios include support for Morse.

    21st Century and Beyond 

  • The 20th Century was said to have ended, both politically and culturally, on September 11, 2001, and the Long War/Terrorism era began. The optimism from the celebrations of both the new millennium and the end of the Cold War 10 years prior had been replaced by a culture of fear, paranoia, and increasing authoritarian control over all aspects of everyday life, as everyone lived in constant fear of the next major terrorist attack (fortunately, no attack on the scale of 9/11 has taken place since then, though smaller-scale attacks still happen regularly).

Business & Commerce

  • March 2018 saw the end of Toys "R" Us as a retail chain when they filed for bankruptcy, joining former rival chain KB Toys, who had closed their doors nine years prior and ending a 70-year legacy. Later subverted when the chain came Back from the Dead the very next year, in what may be the greatest comeback in retail history, until January 2021 when both of the stores that the chain had opened during its revival closed, sending it back into dormancy.note 
  • On March 20, 2019, 20th Century Fox ended its 84-year-long run as an independent film studio when it was acquired by Disney. On January 17, 2020, Disney announced they were dropping the Fox branding altogether renaming the studio simply 20th Century Studios, officially ending the 85-year history of 20th Century Fox.note 

Film & TV

  • Many animated films and TV shows in the early 2000s would help end The Renaissance Age of Animation, causing the industry to transition into The Millennium Age of Animation:
  • The 2001 cancellation of The Bozo Super Sunday Show (formerly Bozo's Circus) on WGN-TV in Chicago marked the final death knell for local children's television programming in the U.S. Although these staples of local television began to decline in the early 1970s, the biggest blow came in a 1973 FCC ruling that restricted advertising on children's programming. Deprived of their revenue sources, coupled with subsequent E/I requirements handed down by the FCC, these programs faded quickly from the airwaves (and even before its cancellation, Bozo was clearly a pale shadow of its old self).
  • With The Millennium Age of Animation, many traditional animation techniques died out in lieu of digital technology, with the last animated series to be hand-painted on celluloid either ending or switching to newer methods. The success of Toy Story in the previous decade and the aforementioned Shrek at the beginning of the millennium also led to the effective end of 2D animated features in North America as Disney's last few 2D films were box-office bombs, and the public began viewing 2D animated films as quaint and out-of-step compared to the hipper, edgier films DreamWorks was putting out, as well as the more wholesome Pixar films.
  • "These Are the Voyages", the much-maligned series finale of Star Trek: Enterprise marked the end of 19 continuous years of Star Trek productions that started with Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home as well as 18 continuous years of Star Trek TV series that started with Star Trek: The Next Generation. While the feature film Star Trek (2009) would come along four years later, Star Trek would be absent from television screens until the launch of Star Trek: Discovery in 2017.
    • A case can also be made for the "It's A Wrap!" auction. Shortly after Enterprise concluded, Paramount Pictures sold nearly its entire lot of Star Trek props and costumes. As one of the factors that had made Star Trek such a profitable franchise was the ability to reuse props and costumes across multiple productions, this was a clear message from Paramount's management that the franchise would not continue as it did under Rick Berman's tenure.
  • DVDs were invented in 1996, but by 2006, they had made the VHS format completely obsolete. The last mainstream film to be released on VHS was Cars. And while DVDs are still alive and well, streaming media from the likes of Netflix is eating into DVD market share, meaning DVD's may suffer from the same fate as VHS soon.
  • The original cancellation of Toonami in 2008 is considered to be the end point of the 1990s anime boom. While other animation blocks with a focus on Japanese animation existed before and since, the Cartoon Network run of Toonami is the longest-lasting of these and is credited for giving a large number of action anime mainstream exposure before the advent of streaming sites such as Crunchyroll, due to being on a general family channel rather than a Niche Network.note 
  • The announcement that Studio Ghibli might be closing its doors for good and Hayao Miyazaki's possibly permanent retirement is seen by many as the definitive end of an age for Japanese animation. Later subverted, when Miyazaki announced he'd be working on a new movie.
    • Still, Ghibli would see a true end of an era with the death of Isao Takahata, the studio's other primary film director, in 2018. Takahata had already retired following My Neighbors the Yamadas in 1999, only briefly returning to direct The Tale of the Princess Kaguya in 2013 and produce The Red Turtle three years later but nonetheless, his passing was widely considered the definitive end-point of a career that was just as vital of a foundation for Ghibli as Miyazaki's.
  • 2014–2015 was considered to contain the end of an age for several types of late-night shows:
  • Saturday Morning Cartoons slowly started to decline around the early 2000s as station affiliates (namely NBC, Fox, ABC, The WB, CBS, and finally the CW) began ceasing their animation blocks with the rise of digital cable channels such as Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and ToonDisney (now Disney XD), and Moral Guardians lobbying for more educational shows (which is a rather defeatist strategy because most kids utterly hate these educational shows, as they want to watch cartoons, not have to sit through what is essentially school on the weekends, especially since these Saturday morning educational shows tend to be much more bland than the Edutainment shows that are the rule on PBS Kids, Nick Jr., and Disney Junior), mainly those of Litton Entertainment. The Vortexx was the last of these and even then was made up of reruns of previous shows. However, in 2014, its spot was bought out by Litton, thus bringing an end to the era of Saturday Morning Cartoons.
  • In 2015, the Sazae-san anime switched entirely to digital animation, marking the definitive end of cel animation in mainstream media. The format had previously been dying out in the '90s (for animated movies) and 2000s (for TV shows) and had already been dead in the West since 2004, when Ed, Edd n Eddy switched to digital.
  • The rise of Netflix, Redbox, Hulu, and other sites geared towards renting/streaming movies and TV shows online led to the decline and eventual extinction of Blockbuster and other video rental stores. Well as franchises anyway, there is still one manager-owned store left in Oregon. The independently owned video store chain Family Video did quite well for a while (to the point of actually taking over old Hollywood Video storefronts) until they announced that they're gonna be closing all their stores in early 2021.
  • Doraemon and Crayon Shin-chan, moving from their long time Friday evening slot in the 7 PM hour to Saturday afternoons from 4:30 to 5:30 PM in the Fall of 2019, marks the end of anime airing during Golden Time,note  in turn ending decades of the top anime for families being aired during the most-watched hours.note 
  • The 2020 announcement of Apple TV+'s acquisition to exclusive television rights to the Peanuts specials marked the end of nearly 55 consecutive years of at least one Peanuts special airing on broadcast TV, which began when A Charlie Brown Christmas debuted on CBS in 1965. The era had already begun seeing signs that it would not be permanent around 2017 when ABC began giving the specials the Invisible Advertising treatment, which caused ratings to disappear, in favor of promoting uncut airings of newer specials produced by their owners, Disney. Eventually averted with PBS' announcement that it would broadcast A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Christmas on its stations and PBS Kids alongside Apple TV+.
  • Around the latter half of the Turn of the Millennium and continuing into The New '10s, Soap Operas began to decline, with the end of Guiding Light in 2009, As the World Turns in 2010, All My Children in 2011, and One Life to Live in 2012. Today, only a few soaps remain on US television: The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful on CBS, Days of Our Lives on NBC, and General Hospital on ABC. Multiple reasons are cited for the decline of the genre, including the rise of women in the workforce (meaning fewer people watching TV in the early afternoon hours), the original audience aging and dying off (and the nature of the genre making it difficult, or even impossible for a new audience to catch up), the changing landscape of television, the 1988 writer's strike, the O. J. Simpson trial, and the rise of Reality TV.
  • The end of Brooklyn Nine-Nine in September 2021 may have also signified the end of the era of single camera sitcoms styled by the likes of Tina Fey, Dan Harmon, and Michael Schur on network television. Those being faux documentary-style workplace shows with back and forth banter, quick cutaway visual gags, and a positive sensibility. More specifically, they have an optimistic outlook with characters who generally like and care for one another. The Office (US) and 30 Rock pioneered this style back in 2005-06. It would continue with shows like Community, Parks and Recreation, A.P. Bio, Superstore, and The Good Place.


  • There are a pair of video game age endings that happened during the The Sixth Generation of Console Video Games:
    • "The Death of the Dream"— the end of the Sega Dreamcast— saw SEGA go from a major console developer to a third-party game publisher, ending the rivalry between them and Nintendo that stretched all the way back to 1989 and that had defined the medium during the early '90s. As a sign of just how radically SEGA's place in the industry changed, their last Sonic the Hedgehog game to be released on their own hardware, Sonic Adventure 2, became the first Sonic game for a Nintendo platform via an Updated Re-release on the Nintendo GameCube.
    • Concurrently with the fall of SEGA came the rise of Microsoft as a console maker via the Xbox, ending 18 years of Japanese developers being the main players in the hardware business. For the first time since the early '80s, an American-made console had become a major figure in the console war, and Microsoft would take its place alongside the skyscrapingly-popular Sony and the cult favorite Nintendo among gaming's "Big Three."
  • Nintendo's Wii marked the end of an age for the company where their consoles would compete directly with other consoles based on horsepower and instead by distinguishing itself from the competition. When Nintendo released their GameCube in 2001, despite being more powerful than Sony's PlayStation 2 and Sega's Dreamcast while being roughly on par with Microsoft's Xbox, it was the second worst-selling console of the 6th generation (ahead of the Dreamcast, which was already dead in the water by the time the GameCube came out, meaning it was the worst-selling console out of the three still being produced during the generation), and for their next console, they turned to the late Gunpei Yokoi's development philosophy of "lateral thinking with withered technology" and applied it to their console line. As a result, the Nintendo Wii was the only console of the 7th generation not to feature HD graphics and was severely underpowered compared to the competition, but despite this, it was the best-selling system of the generation thanks to its motion control capabilities winning over casual gamers and even people who don't normally play video games, to the point where Sony and Microsoft tried to get into the motion control market (and ultimately failed). The Wii U and Nintendo Switch would follow the Wii's lead on prioritizing unique player experiences over having the fanciest graphics.
  • The PlayStation 3's discontinuation in 2017 in Japan meant the end of the Ken Kutaragi-era PlayStation line, as Mark Cerny took over development for the PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. It also marked the end of proprietary chipsets in video game consoles. When the PlayStation 3 came out in 2006, it was panned by developers for its difficult-to-understand Cell architecture, who favored the Xbox 360 and Wii's weaker yet more conventional and simpler to understand architectures. Sony saw where the console market was heading, and the PlayStation 4 along with its competitor, the Xbox One, would use a slightly modified x86 architecture, the same architecture found in most PCs. Meanwhile the Wii U would continue using a custom CPU from the PowerPC line, most likely for backwards compatibility reasons, but after its disappointing sales, the Nintendo Switch was designed around an off-the-shelf Nvidia Tegra system-on-a-chip with an ARM CPU, the same kind used in modern smartphones and other mobile devices.
  • The shutdown of the original Xbox Live marked the end of both the original Xbox and Xbox-era Halo (officially, at any rate; some people kept going while their consoles still worked). December 2021 will also mark the official end of Xbox 360-era Halo, as the online servers for Halo 3; Halo 3: ODST; Halo Wars; Halo: Reach; Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary; Halo 4; and Halo: Spartan Assault are slated by 343 Industries to be shut down sometime in the month.


  • The success of Kanye West's Graduation in 2007 and failure of Curtis by 50 Cent (both released on the same day) marked the end of the Glam Rap boom and the rise of Alternative Hip Hop as the dominant force in rap music, setting a trend that would grow in prominence during the 2010s.
  • Similarly to what Miles Davis' passing did for jazz, the death of David Bowie in 2016 not only marked the end of one of the longest-lasting and most influential careers in popular music but also signaled the end of rock's wider influence on popular music as a whole. Analysis of rock became more skeptical in the years following Bowie's death, with many decrying its former dominance as having been marked by undercurrents of racism, sexism, and homophobia. Consequently, positive reception of rock in a post-Bowie era is typically reserved for acts like Bowie himself who pushed social boundaries and openly supported groups that mainstream rock typically eschewed.
  • In February 2018, Best Buy announced that starting on July 1 of that year, they would no longer sell CDs. Around that same time, Target also announced that they were considering a major policy change regarding how they stocked CDs that would likely discourage record labels from shipping them to Target; specifically, they would only offer CDs on a consignment basis rather than placing them on store shelves. Since these two companies were the largest retailers that still sold CDs, it largely signaled the end of the mainstream distribution of music on CDs and other kinds of physical media. Additionally, the fact that this occurred during the height of the Vinyl Revival (an ongoing period of increasing sales of the formerly-"dead" gramophone records that started in 2007) may end up re-cementing the vinyl record as the de facto form of physical media for music in modern society, after thirty years of CDs being the dominant physical format for music. Things reached another tipping point in 2021 when Lorde's new album Solar Power was released on digital, vinyl, but not CD, marking the first time in perhaps decades that a major music release didn't come out on CD.


  • The 2008 financial crisis marked the end of the (unopposed) laissez-faire neoliberal form of economics that had dominated Western Europe and the Americas since the 1980s. The collapse of such high profile banking giants, forcing governments around the world to bail them out, and the failure to throw anybody responsible in jail afterwards, led the public to turn on the economic system that had brought an end to the Cold War and marked the return of banking regulations, as well as numerous populist political movements.
  • The 2015 Charleston church shooting marked the end of the "post-racial" idealism that had encapsulated much of the Barack Obama era, as the explicitly ethnonationalist motives of the perpetrator made it clear to a mainstream public that white supremacy was still alive and active in America, embodied by a now-infamous CNN segment just after the shooting where black reporter Don Lemon displayed both the Confederate battle flag and the n-word, uncensored, as a commentary on American perception of racism. The political rise of Donald Trump, the rise of the alt-right during the 2016 election cycle, the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia the following year, deaths by police brutality and the BLM movement in response, and the attack on the U.S. Capitol Building in January 2021 only further hammered in this reality. Although some will argue that this attitude died all the way back when Trayvon Martin was killed in 2012.
  • In December 2014, US President Barack Obama and Cuban leader Raúl Castro announced their plans to normalize relations between their two nations by re-establishing one another's embassies (the first US embassy in Cuba opened July 1, 2015), effectively ending a 50-year embargo.
    • Fidel Castro's passing in November 2016 also marked this to some. Many saw him as the Last of His Kind, thanks to his status as the last surviving Marxist-Leninist world leader. Vox elaborates on the subject:
      "Castro matters because he was the last living symbol of the Cold War at its peak. His death puts an exclamation point on the end of the Cold War-style of ideological conflict between capitalism and communism. In some ways, it’s the most 2016 thing imaginable."
  • In October 2017, the New York Times published damning allegations against Harvey Weinstein, detailing multiple instances of sexual coercion, assault, and outright rape. This led to an avalanche of other women coming forward with their own stories of similar experiences under the #MeToo hashtag and numerous other powerful figures in media, politics and other industries were accused of abusing their positions for sexual gratification. This led to renewed investigations, prosecutions, and convictions of offenders, many careers were irreparably damaged or even ended and the idea that powerful men could sexually exploit vulnerable younger women by threatening their careers and using fear, intimidation, and the "culture of silence" to enforce this was ended. By 2020, Weinstein and many others were either in jail or industry pariahs, and even seemingly untouchable targets such as Bill Clinton were having their past actions anaylysed and having to defend themselves as the entire zeitgeist changed around them. The movement shows no signs of slowing down and it's safe to say that this is the end of the whole "casting couch" culture that stretches back to when women first started to enter the workforce in serious numbers.
  • The midterm elections of November 2018 have largely been cited as the moment where Florida stopped being an evenly-divided swing state and began to become more solidly Republican-leaning. While it was a great night for Democrats across the country, Florida was a different story; not only did Democrats fail to take back the governor’s mansion after a two-decade dry spell, but they lost the Senate seat Bill Nelson had held for 18 years, giving the GOP control of both of Florida’s senate seats for the first time since Reconstruction. If 2018 wasn’t the final nail in the coffin, then 2020 definitely was: while President Donald Trump lost re-election, he actually improved on his performance in the Sunshine State from 2016.
    • Conversely, Virginia and Colorado went from solidly Republican-leaning to solidly Democrat-leaning from 2008, likely due to rapid expansions of urban areas including the Washington DC and Denver metro areas.
  • The election of Donald Trump in 2016 was the end of an unbroken line of US Presidents who'd all served in some sort of government office, the military, or both prior to taking office as president.
  • The US withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 marks the end of not just one of the longest wars in the former's history thus far (having started in 2001) and one of the most significant wars in The War on Terror, but it also marked the end of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, with the country quickly falling back under the Taliban's rule during America's withdrawal.


  • Depending on who you ask, WrestleMania X-7 (2001) signified the end of the Attitude Era.
  • The New York Yankees' defeat by the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series obstensively marked the end of the Yankees' championship dynasty that began in 1996. While the Yankees did once again win the American League pennant in 2003 and the World Series in 2009, they never again (at least the core that was led by shortstop Derek Jeter) had that aura of invincibility.
  • Super Bowl XXXVI on February 3, 2002 was the final National Football League game to be called by the broadcasting team of Pat Summerall and John Madden, who first worked together back in 1979 and on a regular basis beginning in 1981. Summerall and Madden called eight Super Bowls together, five for CBS and three for Fox. Afterwards, Summerall retired while Madden would move over to ABC's Monday Night Football. In total, Pat Summerall broadcast 26 Super Bowls either on television or radio. Super Bowl XXXVI was the final Super Bowl played on the first-generation AstroTurf surface, being that it was played at the Superdome in New Orleans.
  • At the end of the 2012-13 Premier League season, Sir Alex Ferguson retired from his post as Manchester United manager, a job that he'd held since 1986. Having taken them from a group of nearly-men living in the shadow of bitter rivals Liverpool to the most successful team in English football, for many people, he was Manchester United. Similarly, Chelsea's erstwhile captain John Terry, who'd been at Chelsea since the late 1990s and had won every trophy going, left the club in 2017 to spend his final season as a player at Aston Villa, while Arsenal's long-serving manager Arsène Wenger retired at the end of the 2017-18 season.
  • The 2021 Stanley Cup Finals officially marked the end of NBC's 15 and a half year run (beginning in the 2005-06 season) as the primary American television network broadcaster of the National Hockey League

Technology & Transport

  • In 2001, both Microsoft and Apple, the two remaining competitors in the Computer Wars, released new versions of their operating systems that abandoned the legacy OS technologies both of them had been using since the introduction of the original IBM Personal Computer and Apple Macintosh in the early 1980's.
    • Microsoft launched Windows XP, the first consumer version of Windows to not run on top of MS-DOS, ending of the age of DOS that started with the first PC.
    • Apple launched the Unix-based Mac OS X, replacing the classic Mac OS that started out on the original 1984 Macintosh, a long-overdue move given that the classic OS lacked key features such as preemptive multitasking and protected memory. Steve Jobs cemented this at the 2002 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), where he staged a mock funeral for Mac OS 9. Mac OS X, or macOS as it is now called, still serves as the Mac operating system to this day and later became the basis for all of Apple's other OS's, including iOS, tvOS, and watchOS.
  • In 2005 Apple announced that they were transitioning the Mac to Intel CPUs, meaning that Macs would no longer have distinct hardware from PCs, and would even be able to boot Windows. In a broader sense, it also meant the end of challengers to the Intel/x86 architecture in the desktop space. Though the performance and efficiency advantages of Intel's chips were indisputable, many Apple fans lamented that Apple's computers no longer "Thought Different" than the competition.
    • 15 years later, Apple announced another CPU transition, this time from Intel to its own in-house designed ARM chips, which they have branded as "Apple Silicon". This in turn could mark the end of another era, not just for Apple, but for PC industry as a whole; that of the dominance of x86-based chips in the desktop and laptop sphere, which had reigned since the mid-to-late '80s when the IBM Personal Computer and its clones took over the industry, with Apple being the lone holdout using other architectures until they too switched to Intel. It remains to be seen if ARM-based CPUs will take off for Windows computers, but Apple has grown to be such a significant part of the market that even if it's just them that makes the switch, it will have profound impacts on the industry as a whole.
  • Western Union officially ceased offering telegram services in 2006—a mere year before the launch of the iPhone.
  • The switch from analog to digital television. For decades, television programs were broadcasted with an analog signal and many people watched their programs with antennas on their TV sets. By the 2000s, when high definition started to take off, many television sets produced at that time were made with digital signals instead of analog, which meant the sound and picture came out more crisp. TV programs took advantage of the digital signal for better quality images and sound (including HD formats) and by 2009, the federal government ordered that all basic programs/television channels had to convert to digital formatting in order to free up space on the analog spectrum for emergency services that needed them (such as firefighters and police). The transition looked likethis. It also meant the end of "cable ready" televisions, meaning television sets that need only a coaxial cable to access cable TV programming; nowadays, every TV set needs a converter box in order to access digital cable or satellite. (Unless maybe you live in a very remote, rural area that's still analog or mostly analog.)
    • The 2009 mandate only applied to full-power stations; low power stations could continue broadcasting in analog until July 2021, when the FCC mandated that they switch to digital too, finally making analog television fully extinct in the US.
  • The landing of STS-135 at Cape Canaveral on July 21, 2011, marked the end of the space shuttle program. More significantly, it represented the end of an era of NASA sending astronauts into space on American soil. For the rest of The New '10s, American and European astronauts would have to piggyback on Russian spacecraft to get to and from the ISS. However, this situation wasn't permanent: the SpaceX Crew Dragon made its first manned flight in 2020.
  • With the Windows XP OS officially having support from Microsoft cut off on April 8, 2014, many people consider the end of XP to be the end of the golden era where many people to this day still consider XP as the best OS by Microsoft. While Windows 7 has come close to being what an upgraded XP would be, and Windows 10 is now considered a worthy successor to both when compared to the ill-fated Windows 8, XP itself is considered the standard.
    • On top of that, the desktop computer market which Windows XP was tied to has been sent into a slow decline by the rise of smartphones and tablets. Microsoft's failure to get a meaningful foothold in the mobile arena has led to them going from the primary way people got on the Internet to account for only about 1/5th of Internet access worldwide. Pretty much the only thing propping the consumernote  desktop computer market up are gamers, which companies such as Alienware and Asus have gladly capitalized on.
  • In 2018 it was announced that China's Sandaoling coal mine, the last to use steam locomotives, would shut down in 2020. China was historically regarded as the "final frontier" for revenue steam operations, keeping them on long after other countries had dropped them. After Sandaoling closes, only a few scheduled trains with steam power will remain in countries like Poland, India, and Germany— all of them primarily operated for tourists. 2020 or so will mark the end of a global age of steam that stretches back over 200 years.
  • The 2018 retirement of RMS St. Helena marked the end for the last ocean-going "Royal Mail Ship" still used for transport instead of leisure travel (and The Remnant of the above-mentioned UK-South Africa service). The opening of an airport on St. Helena made the ship obsolete.
  • In 2019, Microsoft announced that they were abandoning development of their own HTML and JavaScript engines used in Microsoft Edge and rewriting the browser to use Google's Blink and V8 engines, essentially making Edge a re-skinned Google Chrome, thus marking the end of Microsoft's long and often tumultuous involvement with web browser development.
  • The start of 2021 marks the end of Adobe Flash on the internet. Flash first gained traction due to it being the best way to create interactive and/or multimedia content on the early web, but its capabilities were eventually surpassed by web standards such as HTML5. This, combined with Flash's notorious security and performance issues (the latter having prevented its use on mobile devices), led Adobe and all web browsers to drop their support for Flash Player after December 31st, 2020. All the web browser-based games and animations that required Flash to run are no longer playable in standard web browsers, and can only be enjoyed using special software made for the purpose of preserving Flash content such as Flashpoint.

    Other/Multiple Periods 
  • Chinese scholars have described China as this since the time of Confucius himself, if not before. This hasn't been affected by the fact that China's had at least three Golden Ages since unification.
  • The idea that man is in a state of cultural degeneracy from a perfect golden age is Older Than Feudalism. Plato complained that the youth of his age were degenerate and anti-authoritarian.
  • Hesiod, above, was writing during the age after the Dorian conquest. They brought iron with them, but a lot of things were lost from the previous age — like writing. So, it was the dark Iron Age.
  • Due to an asymmetry in the space of all events, we perceive time as flowing from a state of low entropy to a state of high entropy.
  • Atlantis in new-age/pop-culture/pseudohistory.
  • Mass Extinctions as a whole.
  • A Growing Up Sucks example is when your most significant role models in childhood start succumbing to the mortal coil. David Bowie's death due to cancer on 10 January 2016, is a prime example. The passing of celebrities Lemmy and Natalie Cole during the final few days of 2015, and Alan Rickman, Glenn Frey, Paul Kantner, and Terry Wogan within weeks of Bowie – and each other – compounds the sense of loss. Later in the year, there were the passings of Prince, Muhammad Ali, Gene Wilder, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds (Fisher’s mother), Leonard Cohen, and George Michael, among others. In particular, 2016 has been cited as being significant because the celebrities involved represented a golden era of bold cultural risk-taking, coupled with the increasing ubiquity of social media. Additionally, earth-shaking political events that year like the Brexit referendum and the election of President Donald Trump created a rather cynical climate, which made the 2016 deaths feel more impactful than otherwise.
  • Since the rise of rock music in the '50s and its legitimization in the '60s, each decade has had its own defining event for the end of its music scene:
    • The Day the Music Died, which saw the simultaneous deaths of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper in a 1959 plane crash, marked the end of the '50s in terms of music, creating a void in rock music that would not be filled again until the emergence of The Beatles a few years later.
    • In turn, the breakup of The Beatles in 1970 marked the end of the '60s music scene, creating its own void that would remain unfilled until the rise of David Bowie two years later.
    • The '70s was musically taken out by a mix of Disco Demolition Night in 1979 and the murder of John Lennon in 1980. The void left by those two events wouldn't be filled until the rise of MTV in 1981.
    • The music scene of the 80s in turn died with the Milli Vanilli lip-syncing scandal in 1990 and subsequent surprise success of Nirvana the following year. The dethroning of Michael Jackson's Dangerous from the top of the Billboard 200 by Nirvana's Nevermind at the start of 1992 only hammered the point home, acting as the final nail in the coffin for the '80s and its emphasis on internationally-famous mega-acts like Jackson.
    • The '90s are an interesting case in that their music scene had two clearly-defined "eras" that are so starkly different from one another that they feel like their own mini-decades:
      • The "edge" era of the early '90s was killed off by the suicide of Kurt Cobain and the murders of Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G., all of which delegitimized grunge and Gangsta Rap as mainstream forces, resulting in the more eclectic and fragmented music scene of the late '90s to start taking hold.
      • The "whatever goes" era of the late '90s first started to end with the high-profile release of both Kid A by Radiohead and The Marshall Mathers LP by Eminem in 2000. Both albums openly rejected the styles that brought their respective artists to fame in the late '90snote , shedding off those skins to do the same for the broader music scene, and laid the groundwork in re-legitimizing Electronic Music and Darker and Edgier Hip-Hop in the mainstream eye.
    • In turn, the breakup of R.E.M. in 2011 marked the final death knell of the 2000s musically, as while that decade's scene was also fairly nebulous, the end of R.E.M. marked the dying breath of rock as a mainstream force, galvanizing the grip that hip-hop, pop, and EDM already gained in the 2000s and allowing them to take over as the dominant forms of mainstream western music as the 2010s progressed.
  • When the Boston Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, it ended 86 years of misery (the alleged "Curse of the Bambino" that supposedly arose when the Red Sox traded Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees) for them and their fans, creating a golden age for the Red Sox as they won the title 3 more times after ending their drought: one in 2007 a 2nd in 2013 and more recently in 2018. It also signaled the rise of the Curse-Buster era in American sports, when several teams ended long droughts since their last title if they had even won it at all, including:
    • MLB
      • The 2005 Chicago White Sox (88 years)
      • The 2006 St. Louis Cardinals (24 years)
      • The 2008 Philadelphia Phillies (28 years), bonus points for this being Philadelphia's first major title in 25 years.
      • The 2010 San Francisco Giants (56 years, dating back to when they were based in New York)
      • The 2015 Kansas City Royals (30 years)
      • The 2016 Chicago Cubs (108 years)
      • The 2017 Houston Astros (55 years)
      • The 2019 Washington Nationals (50 years, dating back to their beginnings as the Montreal Expos)
      • The 2020 Los Angeles Dodgers (32 years)
    • NHL
      • 2008-09 Pittsburgh Penguins (17 years)
      • 2009-10 Chicago Blackhawks (49 years)
      • 2010-11 Boston Bruins (39 years)
      • 2011-12 Los Angeles Kings (45 years)
      • 2017-18 Washington Capitals (44 years), bonus points for this being D.C.'s first major title in 27 years.
      • 2018-19 St. Louis Blues (52 years)
      • 2019-20 Tampa Bay Lightning (16 years)
    • NBA
      • 2005-06 Miami Heat (18 years)
      • 2007-08 Boston Celtics (22 years)
      • 2010-11 Dallas Mavericks (31 years)
      • 2014-15 Golden State Warriors (40 years)
      • 2015-16 Cleveland Cavaliers (46 years), bonus points for this being Cleveland's first major title in 52 years.
      • 2018-19 Toronto Raptors (23 years), bonus points for this being both Toronto and Canada's first major title in 26 years.
      • 2020-21 Milwaukee Bucks (50 years)
    • NFL
      • 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers (26 years)
      • 2006 Indianapolis Colts (36 years, dating back to when they were based in Baltimore)
      • 2007 New York Giants (17 years)
      • 2009 New Orleans Saints (42 years)
      • 2013 Seattle Seahawks (37 years), bonus points for this being Seattle's first major title in 35 years.
      • 2017 Philadelphia Eagles (57 years)
      • 2019 Kansas City Chiefs (50 years)
      • 2020 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (18 years)
  • Early in 2017, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus, the "Greatest Show On Earth!", announced it would cease performing, citing a massive drop in audiences (and thus, profits) arising from the elimination of their elephant, and increased pressure from animal rights groups.
  • The history of the Universe itself. Several events marked the final of different epochs, and unless it ends before, it will pass through eras whose ends are marked by the death of all stars, proton decay, and finally the evaporation of black holes... and, as Science Marches On, later who knows.
  • Jeopardy!:
    • The 1993 Tournament of Champions was the last to invite the top winners of only the preceding season. Starting with the 1994 Tournament of Champions, the eligibility period for TOCs became the entire time between tournaments.
    • The 1996-97 season was the last to use the synthesizer theme from its 1984 premiere, the last to use the classic "Jeopardy!" Thinking Music from the Art Fleming era, and the last to use the "Grid Set" which was introduced in the 1991-92 season.
    • The 2000-01 season was the last full season to use the original scoring system ($100-$500 in the "Jeopardy!" round and $200-$1000 in the "Double Jeopardy!" round). During the 2001-02 season, those values were doubled to where they've stayed ever since.
    • The 2002-03 season was the last season in which players were able to win up to 5 games before being retired as undefeated champions. Starting in the 2003-04 season, the show introduced a "sky's the limit" rule, where winners could keep playing until they were defeated, which led to Ken Jennings's 74-game winning streak stretching across the 2003-04 season and the 2004-05 season.
    • The 2014-15 was the last to use the "co-champion rule", where players tied for first place could each return the next day to play. It was dropped due to several players becoming co-champions, and all ties are now broken with a "sudden death" question, much to the chagrin of fans.
    • The 2017-18 season was the last full season that Alex Trebek hosted before he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March 2019. The 2019-20 season was stopped early due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, and he died from his cancer in November 2020, midway through the 2020-21 season. After his last shows aired in early 2021, the remainder of the season has had several guest hosts filling in for him.
  • Boxing has been in a slow but steady decline since its heyday in The '70s, where the likes of Muhammad Ali and George Foreman duked it out in epic heavyweight fights, for numerous reasons:
    • The greater understanding of the dangers involved in the sport have led to a big downturn in the number of young men taking the sport up. It used to be the case that especially for poor black urban youths, boxing was a legitimate way of getting out of the ghetto. These days black youths with athletic ability are far more likely to opt to take up American football, basketball, or other sports where the dangers are far less.
    • The proliferation of ranking bodies, increase in the number of weight divisions, and adding more types of belts have diluted the sport - there are now over one hundred 'championship' belts spread across the sport making each one far less prestigious than the earlier versions.
    • The lack of a unified heavyweight champion. It's said that boxing as a whole follows the heavyweight division's lead and there hasn't been a unified (as in someone holding all four major title organisations' heavyweight belts) since the retirement of Lennox Lewis in 2000 - over twenty years without one.
    • The lack of any "big personalities" able to attract attention from people who were not fans of boxing since the retirement of Mike Tyson. No one since (aside from possibly Floyd Mayweather Jr.) has had anything like the same sort of mainstream profile.
    • The rise of the "undefeated" boxer. Promoters have realised that having a boxer who's never lost is very lucrative and have sought to skew a fighter's bouts in order to make sure they are very unlikely to lose. This was exemplified in the career of Floyd Mayweather Jr. who won fifty fights with no losses by only fighting on the most favourable terms possible and not fighting anyone who could legitimately challenge him, ducking them until the odds were well in his favour. This contrasts to earlier boxing history where the profile and value of a fighter was based on them taking on the toughest challengers possible. This has led to a lot of cynicism about the sport as a whole.
    • The slow decline of skills and training. As fewer and fewer young men are entering the sport, their haven't been nearly as many opportunities for retiring boxers to become trainers. Boxing, like most martial arts, depends heavily on skills being passed down the generations by hand - boxers are trained by excellent trainers, then become excellent trainers later in their career - it's simply not possible to become a good or great boxer without hands-on training from a good trainer. Boxers today might well be bigger and stronger than their earlier contemporaries but simply lack their skills and abilities, the knowledge has simply been lost over time as previous generations have died.
    • The top of the current heavyweight division being considered very poor historically.
      • Tyson Fury is the best boxer of the current crop, has good ring IQ and a lot of heart but lacks athleticism and power - while he was able to take out Deontay Wilder in seven rounds in their second fight, it took him eleven rounds to stop Wilder in their third contest and generally has to rely on his size and weight in big matchups. As Lennox Lewis once said "never has such a big man punched so small."
      • Anthony Joshua has power and is a decent boxer but there are persistent questions about his chin. Getting outpointed by jumped up cruiserweight Usyk has also lead to questions about his ability to deal with more skilled opponents.
      • Wilder has ferocious power and is considered to be the best natural athlete in the division but simply can't box - his skills are extremely rudimentary and if he’s put up against someone who has the skill to dodge his looping punches he’s got nothing else to fall back on as Fury has proved twice.
      • Andy Ruiz can't stop eating. His conditioning is considered to be a complete joke and while he does have a punch, his skills are only at journeyman level - he only ranks as high as he does due to the poor quality of the other boxers at the top of the heavyweight division.
      • Dillian Whyte is just sub par overall - he's been described as a very high grade and high quality tomato can, but that still makes him one. He just doesn’t have anything to really threaten the top fighters which considering their limitations is very telling.
      • Usyk is a unknown quantity, having only recently stepped up from cruiserweight - he did outpoint Joshua and is clearly a far better boxer technically than most of the other fighters at the top of the division but he’s at a disadvantage in terms of size and weight - whether his superior skill can compensate is debatable. The fact that he didn’t go in for the kill against suspect chinned Joshua just in case he got tagged with a lucky punch says a lot.
      • Joseph Parker is a decent fighter, but lacks outstanding ability in any area - in any other era he'd be a (high class) journeyman and he often struggles to put away opponents far below him in the rankings.
    • Ongoing issues between the International Olympic Committee and the International Boxing Association mean the number of boxers at the 2024 Olympics will be reduced by 11.5%. There's persistent speculation that the sport may be dropped completely in the future. This is exacerbated by the vast differences between the Olympic boxing rules and the rules for professional boxing, meaning professional boxers are unlikely to compete. The 2016 games have been dogged by allegations of bout fixing and corruption to the point the International Boxing Association was stripped of its right to organise the 2020 contest under the auspices of the Olympics, instead an ad-hoc task force took over.
    • All of the above have caused a massive decline in the profile of the sport outside of its die-hard fans who are falling in number every year. In The '70s, even someone who was utterly indifferent to the sport would have been able to name several high-profile boxers such as Ali, Foreman, etc. without any issue. Asking a non-boxing fan today who one of the heavyweight champions is will probably get a "no idea" response.
    • The probable final nail in the coffin of boxing as a mainstream sport is the rise of "gimmick" bouts, such as Mayweather's one-sided bout against MMA fighter Conor McGregor and his exhibition match against YouTube celebrity Logan Paul. These are rapidly making the sport a laughing stock and driving away fans looking to see legitimate bouts between good fighters.
    • All of the above mean boxing is unlikely to ever return to the same profile it enjoyed through much of the twentieth century and it is very likely to become a niche sport, of interest only to a minority of sports fans and even fewer members of the general public, essentially becoming the equivalent of jazz in sporting terms.


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