What was the most important year in human history? Andrew Marr, history columnist for Intelligent Life, has a few ideas--1776, 1945, 2009, perhaps--and some Economist writers have submitted their own. Ann Wroe, The Economist's obituaries editor, proposes 1439:
Since 1439 words printed by Gutenberg’s process have driven every invention, change of thinking and political idea. And in Gutenberg’s type—if not in our uniform, lifeless electronic fonts—words also contain light and shade, and dance.
But what about Jesus? Adrian Wooldridge, The Economist's Washington bureau chief, suggests 5BC:
You do not have to be a believer (and the author of this article is not) to recognise that Jesus’s birth was the most important event in human history. Jesus inspired the world’s most popular religion and plays an important role in both Judaism and Islam. But he also shaped all subsequent secular history.
A few other years have been tossed into the ring as well (1204, 1791, 1944), and you have suggested some ideas of your own. Now it's time to vote. What was the most important year ever? Visit our very first More Intelligent Life poll (bottom right) and weigh in. Winners will earn the prize of being part of a consensus view of the world. Losers will stare on with lonesome disdain. Let us know what you think.
~ EMILY BOBROW
Picture credit: gregoryjameswalsh (via Flickr)