The Early Modern Period
is a term used by historians to refer to the transitional period in Western Europe between the Middle Ages
and modern society. The latter is assumed to be characterised by the importance of science, technological progress, secular civic politics and capitalist economics, all monitored by the nation state. The term 'Early Modern', then, applies to the period from the fifteenth to the early eighteenth century when these developments were in the process of formation. The expression has typically replaced the term Renaissance
, which is now used much more as a cultural rather than historical periodising label.
See also periodization.
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