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Modern world

Modern World, Modern Period, New World, Modern Times, Progressive Age, or Modern Era is recognized by historians as being that period of time commencing roughly in 1750 up until the present times.

During this time earth-shattering changes occurred in politics, industry, society, economics, commerce, transportation, communication , mechanization, automation, science, medicine, technology and culture which transformed the "Old World" into the Modern or New World, culminating in the Nuclear Age, the Sexual Revolution, the Information Age and finally a Leisure Age[?]

The years 1500 - 1750 are in rough outline the times of the Early Modern Period[?] being the years following the European Renaissance.

The modern world was basically shaped by three great Revolutions:

  1. The American Revolution of 1776.
  2. The French Revolution of 1789.
  3. The Industrial Revolution in Great Britain during the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries.

These events in turn sowed the seeds for:

The American and French Revolutions ended the role of omnipotent monarchies to do as they wished in the world. Henceforth the world would become a "Modern" place where Democracy, and Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity[?] became the new standards of government and of the rules of society.

Men such as the Emperor Napoleon introduced new codes of law in Europe based on merit and achievement, rather than on a class system rooted in Feudalism. The modern political system of Liberalism (derived from the word "Liberty" which means "Freedom") empowered members of the dis-enfranchised Third Estate. The power of elected bodies swept aside traditional rule by royal decree. A new attachment to one's nation, culture and language produced the powerful forces of Nationalism . This in turn ultimately contributed to new very modern ideologies such as the ideology of: Fascism; Socialism and Communism

Taken to an extreme, the desire to demolish all vestiges of the past and create a classless society, resulted in the abuses of Communism following the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, which executed the Czar and his family, created the Soviet Union, transformed serfdom, and forcibly modernized Mother Russia. In Germany, once the Kaiser had abdicated in 1918, chaos ensued, paving the way for the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazism.

The new republic of the United States of America granted the vote to citizens, and placed reins on government based on the new Constitution and creating a system of checks and balances between the three different branches of government of the legislature, judiciary, and executive headed by a President who won a national election.

The mechanical and scientific inventions that were discovered, studied and implemented changed the way goods were produced and marketed. For example, modern machines in Great Britain speeded up the manufacture of commodities such as cloth and iron. The horse and ox were no longer needed as beasts of burden. The newly invented engine powered the car, train, ship, and eventually the plane produced rapidly each year. Artificially created energy powered any motor that drove any machine that was invented. Raw goods could be transported in huge quantities over vast distances and manufactured quickly and then marketed all over the world, making Great Britain into a very wealthy country.

Progress continued as Science saw so many new scientific discoveries. The telephone, radio, X-rays, microscopes, electricity all contributed to rapid changes in life-styles and societies. Discoveries of antibiotics such as penicillin brought new ways of combating diseases. Surgery and drugs kept on making progressive improvements in medical care, hospitals, and nursing. New theories such as Evolution and Psychoanalysis changed humanity's "old fashioned" views of itself.

Warfare was changed with the advent of new varieties of rifle, cannon, gun, machine gun, armor, tank, plane, jet, and missile. And weapons such as the atomic bomb and the hydrogen bomb, known along with chemical weapons and biological weapons as weapons of mass destruction actually made the devastation of the entire planet Earth posssible in minutes. All these are among the markings of the Modern World.

New attitudes to religion, with the church diminished, and a desire for personal freedoms, induced desires for sexual freedoms, which were ultimately accepted by large sectors of the Western World. Theories of "free love" and uninhibited sex were touted by radicals in the 1960s, spawing a hippie movement.

Equality of the sexes in politics and economics, women's liberation movement[?], gay rights for homosexuals and the freedom afforded by contraception allowed for greater personal choices in these intimate areas of personal life.

The combination and confluence of all these evolving extreme political, economic, industrial, scientific, medical, technological, psychological, and cultural changes continue to produce what we know today as the Modern World.

Famous people

The Modern world replaced the old Biblically oriented value system , the monarchical system of government, and the feudal system , with new democratic and liberal ideas in politics , science , psychology , sociology ,and economics derived from the writings of people such as:

(Note: The list below is not comprehensive by any means. To name all the thinkers and personalities who helped shape the modern age would be a voluminous undertaking. This selection is meant as a profile of the way major thinkers contributed to the creation of the world as we know it today.They are listed chronologically by year of death.)

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