- Early modern Europe
The early modern period is a term used by historians to refer to the period in Western Europe and its first colonies which spans the three centuries between the
Middle Agesand the Industrial Revolution. The early modern period is characterized by the rise to importance of scienceand increasingly rapid technological progress, secularized civic politicsand the nation state. Capitalist economies began their rise, beginning in northern Italian republics such as Genoa. The early modern period also saw the rise and dominance of the economic theory of mercantilism. As such, the early modern period represents the decline and eventual disappearance, in much of the European sphere, of feudalism, serfdom and the power of the Catholic Church.
The period includes the
Protestant Reformation, the disastrous Thirty Years' War, the European colonization of the Americasand the peak of the European witch-huntphenomenon.
Early Modern, historically speaking, refers to
Western European history from 1501 (after the widely accepted end of the Late Middle Ages; the transition period was the 15th century) to either 1750 or circa 1790—1800 by which ever Epochis favored by a school of scholars defining the period—which in many cases of Periodization, differs as well within a discipline such as Art, Philosophy, or History.
The beginning of Modern Period or Modern Era being defined by the epoch events chosen as the beginning of the
modern era—by some as from mid-18th century with the epoch being the " Industrial Revolution" in England, or by others from the " French Revolutionand the following Napoleonic Wars", which reshaped Europe and European thought.
Epochs selected, the Early Modern period includes the European Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation, and the Age of Enlightenment—the end of Early Modern and the end of Age of Enlightenment both correspond to the new European nationalismthat arose around 1800 as the Napoleonic Wars waxed. In the broadest sense, this period is characterized by the rise of scienceand technological progress, the secularization of politics, and the diminution of the absolute authority of the Roman Catholic Churchas well as the lessening of the influence of all faiths upon national governments. Of most fundamental importance, people in the modern era began to think of themselves as part of an national polity, not just as a person living on some lord's estate in Greater Europe. Prior to this change in mindset, most people did not know or much care about politics—which was the province of the kings and nobility and their mercenary armies—but the new era, after the huge citizen armies fielded during the early days of post-revolution France brought about French victories against the reactionary forces trying to restore the French monarchy resulted in national armies and subsequently national mindsets and the rise of nationalismitself. In the modern era, people just didn't live in a place, but thereafter "now lived in a place that was part of a larger state with whom they now identified and with whom they had common cause and vested interests." The days of a town belonging to this heir or that in petty princedoms was over and the day of strong national governments was unavoidable in the decades of war.
The beginning of the early modern period is not clear-cut, but is generally accepted to be in the late 15th century or early 16th century. Significant dates in this transitional phase from medieval to early modern Europe can be noted:
* 1447: The invention of the first European
movable typeprinting process by Johannes Gutenberg, a device that fundamentally changed the circulation of information. Movable type, which allowed individual characters to be arranged to form words and which is an invention separate from the printing press, had also been invented in, but not known outside of, China.
* 1453: The conquest of Constantinople by the
Ottomanssignalled the end of the Byzantine empire; the Battle of Castillonconcluded the Hundred Years War.
**: The last
Plantagenetking, Richard III, was killed at Bosworth and the medievalcivil wars of aristocratic factions gave way to early modern Tudor monarchy, in the person of Henry VII.
**: The first documented European voyage to
the Americasby the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus; the end of the Reconquista, with the final expulsion of the Moorsfrom the Iberian Peninsula; the Spanish government expels the Jews.
**: French king Charles VIII invaded Italy, drastically altering the status quo and beginning a series of wars which would punctuate the
* 1513: First formulation of modern
politicswith the publication of Machiavelli's " The Prince".
* 1517: The
Reformationbegins with Martin Luthernailing his ninety-five theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg, Germany.
* 1545: The
Council of Trentmarks the end of the medieval Roman Catholic Church.
The end date of the early modern period is variously associated with the
Industrial Revolution, which began in Britain in about 1750, or the beginning of the French Revolutionin 1789, which drastically transformed the state of European politicsand ushered in the Napoleonic Eraand modern Europe.
The role of nobles in the Feudal System had yielded to the notion of the
Divine Right of Kingsduring the Middle Ages(in fact, this consolidation of power from the land-owning nobles to the titular monarchs was one of the most prominent themes of the Middle Ages). Among the most notable political changes included the abolition of serfdomand the crystallization of kingdoms into nation-states. Perhaps even more significantly, with the advent of the Reformation, the notion of Christendomas a unified political entity was destroyed. Many kings and rulers used this radical shift in the understanding of the world to further consolidate their sovereignty over their territories. For instance, many of the Germanic states (as well as English Reformation) converted to Protestantismin an attempt to slip out of the grasp of the Pope.
The intellectual developments of the period included the creation of the economic theory of
mercantilismand the publication of enduringly influential works of political and social philosophy, such as Machiavelli's " The Prince" (1513) and Thomas More's "Utopia" (1515).
This period refers to England 1558–1603. The
Elizabethan Erais the period associated with the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558–1603) and is often considered to be a golden agein English history. It was the height of the English Renaissance, and saw the flowering of English literatureand poetry. This was also the time during which Elizabethan theatregrew. William Shakespeare, among others, composed plays that broke away from England's past style of plays. It was an age of expansion and exploration abroad. At home the Protestant Reformationwas established and successfully defended against the Catholic powers of the Continent.
This period refers to 16th century Europe. The
Protestant Reformationwas a movement in the 16th century to reform the Catholic Church in Western Europe. The Reformation was started by Martin Lutherwith his 95 Theseson the practice of indulgences. In late October of 1517 he posted these theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, commonly used to post notices to the University community. In November he mailed them to various religious authorities of the day. The reformation ended in division and the establishment of new institutions. The four most important traditions to emerge directly from the reformation were the Lutherantradition, the Reformed( Calvinist, Presbyterian) tradition, the Anabaptisttradition, and the Anglicantradition. Subsequent Protestant traditions generally trace their roots back to these initial four schools of the reformation. It also led to the Catholic or Counter Reformation within the Roman Catholic Church through a variety of new spiritual movements, reforms of religious communities, the founding of seminaries, the clarification of Catholic theology as well as structural changes in the institution of the Church.
Age of Enlightenment
This period refers to 18th century Europe. The
Age of Enlightenmentrefers to the 18th century in European philosophy, and is often thought of as part of a period which includes the Age of Reason. The term also more specifically refers to a historical intellectual movement, "The Enlightenment". This movement advocated rationality as a means to establish an authoritative system of aesthetics, ethics, and logic. The intellectual leaders of this movement regarded themselves as a courageous elite, and regarded their purpose as one of leading the world toward progress and out of a long period of doubtful tradition, full of irrationality, superstition, and tyranny, which they believed began during a historical period they called the " Dark Ages". This movement also provided a framework for the American and French Revolutions, the Latin American independence movement, and the Polish Constitution of May 3, and also led to the rise of liberalismand the birth of socialismand communism.Fact|date=May 2008 It is matched by the high baroqueand classical eras in music, and the neo-classical period in the arts, and receives contemporary application in the unity of science movement which includes logical positivism.
Difference between 'early modern' and the Renaissance
The expression "early modern" is sometimes, and incorrectly, used as a substitute for the term
Renaissance. However, "Renaissance" is properly used in relation to a diverse series of cultural developments; which occurred over several hundred years in many different parts of Europe—especially central and northern Italy—and span the transition from late Medievalcivilization and the opening of the early modern period.
The term early modern is most often applied to Europe, and its overseas empire. However, in
Japan, the Edo periodfrom 1590 to 1868 is also sometimes referred to as the early modern period.
Kingdom of Portugal
Early Modern Britain
Early Modern France
* Early Modern Italy
Early Modern Romania
Kingdom of Hungary
Early Modern English
Early Modern warfare
Tokugawa period- the period of Japanese history often called "early modern".
*cite book|last=Rice|first=Eugene, F., Jr.|title=The Foundations of Early Modern Europe: 1460-1559|year=1970|publisher=W.W. Norton & Co.|authorlink=Eugene F. Rice, Jr.
* [http://www.uni-mannheim.de/mateo/camenaref/cmh/cmhint.html Discussion of the medieval/modern transition from the introduction to the pioneering "Cambridge Modern History" (1903)]
* [http://www.rensoc.org.uk/ Society for Renaissance Studies]
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