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The term Modern Age, while identifying something new or current, does not refer to our times, the 21st century. It refers historically to the period between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries, and it was the Europeans of that time who called themselves modern.
For some historians, the Modern Age was a great period of transition from the feudal medieval world to the capitalist and bourgeois world, which opened in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
Thus, in the so-called Modern Age, there remained coexistences of the medieval world and elements that formed the foundations of the capitalist system. Agrarian economics, persistent servitude, privileges of the nobility, social values based on tradition, blood, and private appropriation of the state were aspects of the medieval world. But in parallel, profound social and cultural transformations took place in this transitional period: the relationships between different social groups, worldviews, and beliefs, other forms of work, of power, changed.
The Modern Age was not essentially capitalist and no longer medieval. But none of this happened suddenly; The typical elements of feudalism still persisted, with greater or lesser intensity and durability, in the different regions of Europe, but the changes were reaching all fields and bringing modernity.
But what did it mean to be modern at that time?
To be modern, according to the intellectuals of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, was to be in tune with the advances of science and the new mentalities.
It was therefore no longer to believe only in transcendence, that is, in divinity, but also in the materiality and individuality of the human being; conceive him, finally, as a being that has dreams, desires and passions.
There was a place for God in that world, but man now also required his space of freedom, to learn, to grow, to enrich, to discover new truths.
The city was the ideal setting for all these transformations. Here people felt strong and free to change the course of their lives away from the servitude of the countryside. Here it was possible to keep up, each day, with the pace of changes that were accelerating, gaining new dynamism.
To the modern man, feeling at the center of all things, even time seemed to run faster, contrary to that almost static view of the Medieval Period. Everything now seemed possible and achievable.
Fundamental aspects of this modern world are the processes of formation of National States and of royal absolutism; the Cultural Renaissance and the religious reforms; the expansion of trade and manufacturing and the formation of European colonial empires with the Maritime Expansion.
Timeline - Modern Age
1492- Christopher Columbus came to America and declared it a colony of Spain.
1492- The Spaniards conquered Granada and ended the Moors' dominance of Spain.
1517- The Reformation began in Germany.
1519-1522 Ferdinand Magellan led the first trip around the world.
1526- Baber, a Muslim ruler, conquered India and established the Mughal Empire.
1532- Francisco Pizarro invaded Peru, initiating the Spanish conquest of the Inca empire.
1588- The Royal Navy of England defeated the Spanish Armada and consolidated the position of England as great naval power.
1613- Michael Romanov became Tsar of Russia and began the 300-year rule of Russia by the Romanovs.
1644- The Manchus conquered China and established their rule that lasted until 1912.
1688- The Glorious Revolution deposed James II of England.
1763- The Treaty of Paris ended the Seven Year War in Europe and the war between the French and Indians in North America.
1776- The 13 English colonies of North America signed the Declaration of Independence.
1789- The French Revolution has begun.