The 15th century began on January 1, 1401, and ended on December 31, 1500.

The period between 1401 and 1500 is when the world started to become substantially more interconnected. The fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans caused Europeans to seek new trade routes to the Orient, leading to contact with the Americas and the circumnavigation of the Cape of Good Hope. Chinese exploration peaked under Zhèng Hé (郑和) before being banned. Timur (Tamerlane) established a major Central- and West-Asian empire and the Incas rose to prominence.