Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Modern history

For those who wish to do their historical research on the web rather than looking at books, a couple of starting points are: World History Web Resources: An Annotated Guide. You might also try World History Blog I'm also making other inquiries for print resources, and I should have some recommendations in a few days.

I have divided Modern history by century:

16th Century (1501 - 1600). This is noted for the Reformation, the Copernican revolution in science, and the age of Exploration, as the Spanish and Portugese, and to a lesser extent the French began to followed up the discoveries of the Americas with colonization and conquest in the Americas, India and Southeast Asia, and the coast of Africa.

17th Century (1601 - 1700). This is noted for the continuing development of natural science and for religious warfare in Europe. The English, French, and Dutch began to compete with the Spanish and Portuguese as major colonial powers.

18th Century (1701 - 1800). This period is known as the "Enlightement", as discoveries in science began to overthrow long-held beliefs about the world and nature.

19th Century (1801 - 1900). This is the period of the Industrial revolution, as railroads and long-distance communication were introduced. The British empire became the dominant power in the world, as the French and Spanish lost most of their colonies to independence, and explorations into the interior of Africa and Asia established Western presence throughout the world.

20th Century (1901 - present). This century is noted for automobile and air transportation and mass communications, the World Wars, and the relative decline of Western political influence. The United States replaced the British empire as the dominant power in the world. In my own studies, the 21st century is still too new to have its own section, and is temporarily included with the 20th.

The sciences have developed greatly during the modern period, although they are rather indirectly connected to human history. Studies of the human body and psychology have also developed, and there are numerous prominent individuals. World population has increased and people have mixed and migrated, they have begun to significantly affect the environment, and studies of race and anthropology have also been produced and debated. Literacy has become widespread, occupations and the arts have changed significantly, and all kinds of new inventions have created massive changes in society. These have caused significant changes and strains in all the institutions of society, including family life, education, economics, government, and religion. The pace of social change has greatly accelerated, there are numerous communities and cities. All these changes have affected all the peoples of the earth.

Once again, I have been able to only mention a few of the highlights of this period: It is possible to devote an entire career to only a small part of this study. Again, I recommend making your own timeline to list the historical "landmark" events that are most important or most interesting to you.

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