World History

Modern World History

The modern world history, the modern era or the modern period is the global, linear, historical-geographical approach to the time frame that comes post the classical history. Perhaps, this view is in contrast to the non-linear or rather the organic view of history which was initially put forth by the famous historian and philosopher Oswald Spengler in the early 20th century.

Suggested Videos

previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrownext arrow


Division of Modern History

We can divide the modern history into three main periods i.e. the early modern period, the late modern period and the contemporary history.

Early Modern Period

The early modern period began approximately at the beginning of the 16th century. In this period, the major historical milestones include the Age of Discovery, the European Renaissance as well as the Protestant Reformation.

Browse more Topics under World History

Late Modern Period

On the other hand, the late modern period started in the mid of 18th century. The American Revolution, the French Revolution, the Great Divergence, the Industrial Revolution and the Russian Revolution happened in this period. Primarily, it took most of the human history up to the year 1804 for the population of the modern world to reach its 1 billion mark. However, the next billion came just over a century later in the year 1927.

Contemporary History

The contemporary history includes the span of historical events starting from 1945. These events are most relevant to the present time and scenario. Many historians describe the early modern period as the time frame between 1500 and 1800. This period mainly follows the Late Middle Ages period. Further, it is marked by the initial European colonies, beginnings of recognizable nation-states as well as the rise of strong centralized governments.

Impact on the Modern World

In the Ottoman Empire and Africa, the Muslim expansion took place in East and North Africa. However, in West Africa, several native nations existed. The civilizations of Southeast Asia and the Indian Empires played a pivotal role in the spice trade. In the Indian subcontinent, the presence of Great Mughal Empire was strong. Moreover, the archipelagic empires, the Sultanate of Malacca and later the Sultanate of Johor, exercised power over the southern areas.

In the Asian subcontinent, different Japanese shogunates and the Chinese dynasties held power. The Edo period from 1600 to 1868 in Japan is regarded as the early modern period. On the other hand, in Korea, the period from the rising of Joseon Dynasty to the enthronement of King Gojong is referred to as the early modern period.

In the Americas, Native Americans started a huge and distinct civilization which included the Aztec Empire and alliance, the Inca civilization, the Mayan Empire and cities, and the Chibcha Confederation. However, in the west, the European kingdoms and movements were in a movement of reformation and expansion. Russia made its way to the Pacific coast in 1647. It went on to consolidate the control over the  Russian Far East in the 19th century.

More About Modern World History

The religious trends of this period witnessed the rise of the Muslim community and the Muslim world. Christians and Christendom saw the end of the Crusades. Religious Unity under the Roman Church came to an end. Moreover, in this period, the Inquisitions and Protestant reformations also took place.

Also during the early modern period, people witnessed the age of discovery and trade. This happened as a result of the collective effort of the Western European nations. Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and France went on a colonial expansion. These nations took possession of lands and set up colonies in Africa, southern Asia, and North and South America. Turkey went on to colonize Southeastern Europe, and parts of the West Asia and North Africa. Russian on the other hand, took possession in Eastern Europe, Asia, and North America.

Solved Examples for You

Question: Describe the Industrial Revolution in brief

Answer: No one knows the exact date of the Industrial Revolution. Eric Hobsbawm was of the view that the Industrial Revolution broke out in the 1780s. However, one could not feel the effect of revolution till the 1830s or 1840s. On the other hand, T.S. Ashton believed that the Industrial Revolution roughly occurred between 1760 and 1830.

The major changes witnessed in the centuries before the 19th were mainly associated with the ideas, religion or military conquest, and technological advancements. However, all these things had a very little impact on the material wealth of the ordinary people.

A merger of the first Industrial Revolution and the Second Industrial Revolution took place in 1850. This happened as a result of the technological and economic progress that took place because of the development of steam-powered ships and railways. The launch of the internal combustion engine and the electric power generation followed it.

Several innovations happened in the chemical, electrical, petroleum, and steel industries. Some specific innovations included the introduction of an oil-fired steam turbine and internal combustion driven steel ships, the development of the aeroplane, the practical commercialization of the automobile, mass production of consumer goods, the perfection of canning, mechanical refrigeration and other food preservation techniques, and the invention of the telephone.

Share with friends

Customize your course in 30 seconds

Which class are you in?
Get ready for all-new Live Classes!
Now learn Live with India's best teachers. Join courses with the best schedule and enjoy fun and interactive classes.
Ashhar Firdausi
IIT Roorkee
Dr. Nazma Shaik
Gaurav Tiwari
Get Started

One response to “Current Trends of World History”

  1. Devendra says:

    Thanks for sharing such a beautiful History article. with us. Keep posting like this Good luck.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Download the App

Watch lectures, practise questions and take tests on the go.

Customize your course in 30 seconds

No thanks.