Modern Age


The word age has a large number of meanings but when we put it with the modern word, it indicates or tells us about that period in which the history of humanity was located at a certain moment. Land and civilizations have had over the years a number of phases different and the Modern Age is one of them, located in terms of years , between century XV and XVIII century.


What is the Modern Age?

It is a stage in the history of man that occurred between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries and begins with the arrival of Europeans to the American continent and ends with the French Revolution.



The Modern Age is known for being the period that spans from the 15th century to the 18th century of universal history , a very important stage in which the values ​​that exist today were formed and which included the transformation of the traditional order into a modern order . The Modern Age is the first period in history in which the world at large came together in a single historical narrative . This age was the continuation of the Middle Ages and surpassed the religious dogma that existed during that period, giving rise to a new era that was ruled by the rational thinking of man.


Characteristics of the Modern Age

The main characteristics of the Modern Age are the following:

  • It begins in the era of discoveries , with the reordering of world economic relations under the control of Western civilization.
  • The modern values ​​of the Modern Age are born of anthropocentric humanism
  • The Modern Age reached its peak with the Industrial Revolution .
  • It introduced new values , such as progress, the scientific, technological, industrial and economic order.
  • The scientific knowledge was very important at this time.
  • It was the time when the great discoveries occurred that allowed us to know a greater part of the earth’s surface.
  • The Renaissance was born as an artistic expression, and later the Baroque.
  • Philosophy focuses on Humanism , which puts Man at the center of all things.
  • Great artistic , literary and scientific progress .


We know by the name of Modern Age the historical period that occurred after the Middle Ages and in which, according to the studies of historians and authors, had its beginning in the year 1453 after the impressive fall of Constantinople into the hands of the Turks or seen from another point of view, in the year 1492 with the discovery of America . The date on which the Modern Age ended is known with certainty and is said to have happened in the year 1789, the year in which the French Revolution began . It was a period that was characterized by being a period that included and produced great changes in the political , social and scientific fields.literary , artistic , etc. Regarding the type of human thought and philosophy , different currents of human thought originated such as humanism, a rationalist thought that had already occurred in subsequent centuries where man is going to be the center of all things, giving more importance to the concept of individualism .

The main objectives of the Modern Age were man and nature , literary , scientific and artistic studies . In turn, an anthropocentric concept of life arises where man, without leaving religion aside, seeks earthly happiness, and seeks to live fully.


The stages of the Modern Age were the following:

  • The Renaissance : it was a cultural phenomenon that began in the Modern Age and that worked by replacing the omnipresence of religion with the increase in world values , accompanied by the vision of the new world, political and social changes .
  • Modern discoveries and inventions : it was an era that began thousands and years of human invention .
  • The development of commerce and the bourgeoisie : the bourgeoisie was important for international trade and commercial activity took place in the squares of Levante, with the North Sea and the Cantabrian Sea.
  • Absolutism : it was a new form of political-economic organization that replaced the feudal regime and was characterized by the centralization of power in the monarch .
  • Bourgeois revolutions: they  were movements mainly related to the Protestant Reformation, the English Revolution, the War of Castile and others.
  • French Revolution : represented the end of the old regime and the beginning of the modern age

Highlights of the Modern Age

Among the outstanding events we can mention:

  • Renaissance: a cultural movement and a period of transition between the Middle Ages and the Modern Age.
  • Illustration: political, scientific and cultural movement in which reason and scientific knowledge were used more.
  • Technical advances such as navigation, nautical charts, the compass, gunpowder, printing and paper.


The first civilizations that arose in the Modern Age arose in America after the discovery and the conquest , which was in charge of restructuring the way of life of the inhabitants of the place with the creation of the viceroyalties of New Spain , New Granada , and Peru. and the Río de la Plata.


In the aspect of the economy, the Modern Age imposed an absolute change in the feudal scheme , because at the end of this time, the birth of the bourgeoisie began . In this way, many economic models were also born, such as proto- capitalism , slavery and colonial exploitation , mercantilism, finally reaching the conformation of modern capitalism that was strengthened and exploited thanks to industrialization .


The forms of political order that existed before reaching the Modern Age, such as authoritarian monarchies, parliamentary monarchies and principalities, acquired new characteristics during this stage depending on the countries where they were practiced. New political currents such as  absolutism , enlightened despotism and republicanism were born, which were the basis for the modernity that we enjoy today, the national state with the correct separation of powers.


In the social field there were a series of changes, colonial trade developed due to the discovery of America and Asia, they exported products from America and Asia. They had an economy based on livestock and agriculture. With so much technology and new discoveries, an increase in slavery appeared in society, mainly from Africa and they were in charge of the hard work in the field and mining. The population increased, the bourgeoisie originated and the Bourgeois Revolution took place.


In the Modern Age the art that we know today was born, the artist was seen as a genius , quite the opposite of how the craftsman was seen . Art gained autonomy and the Renaissance , Mannerism , Baroque and Rococo began . In the 18th century the isms also appeared, which were the artistic movements associated with programs, such as neoclassicism and romanticism .


The literature of this time became known as contemporary and began with the French Revolution . It was characterized by its originality and the breakdown of tradition and continuity . Romanticism occurred as a cultural and political movement, of great help to literature, there was the rejection of reason, putting sentiment and fantasy first . The most important characteristics are: the predominance of the “I” , the evasion of reality , nationalism , formal freedom and the search forbeauty and balance .

Inventions of the Modern Age

Some important inventions of the Modern Age were:

  • The heliocentric theory of Nicolás Copernicus.
  • The printing press
  • The hand grenade .
  • The microscope
  • The thermometer .
  • The submarine or submersible.
  • the calculator
  • The lightning rod, the parachute and the sewing machine .


In the Middle Ages, science and scientific knowledge played a very important role because it allowed to reveal a series of mysteries of nature and to question the theocentric vision that existed with respect to the world. Important scientific findings were made, it was possible to verify that the earth was round instead of flat, the heliocentric theory of Copernicus was created and the description of the elliptical orbits of the planets according to Kepler was achieved , to mention some of them. Those scientific discoveries of the Modern Age had a very important impact on modern life and on thescientific revolution we see today.


In the area of ​​medicine, important advances were made, such as blood circulation, a discovery made by Miguel Servet.


In the religious field, there were many intellectual changes that reformed the church, which we now know as the Protestant Reformation and the Counter-reform , which caused a series of religious confrontations that dominated Europe , eliminating the Christian unity that existed at the time between Catholics and Protestants .


Varenius was the father of modern geography and his proposals had a wide diffusion influencing the study of geography for years. Varenius established the limits of geography as a discipline of knowledge , he stated that geography should be divided into two main branches: general or universal geography and regional geography . Scientific advances of the 18th century specialized knowledge by delimiting fields of study of botany , physics , geology and chemistry , which were previously part of general geography.


Latin came several products from Europe , such as pork, wheat, olives, but the most important was the sugar cane. Recipes began to be prepared that influenced the different types of food that existed. They ate fruits as entrances to the main course, and they reduced the use of spices , so that the flavor of the food was more natural . With the agricultural revolution , crops improved and food was more complete.


There were many changes in the way of dressing. During the Renaissance , feathers , hats and accessories , pointed shoes, corsets in women and long skirts were used . With the influence of France , dresses and hairstyles were greatly accentuated, silk was used and closed sleeves with rolled collars. At the end of the Modern Age, the use of wigs and hats appeared .

The communication

The first means of communication was telegraphy, promoting the transmission of data and news , mainly financial and economic , in search of development. Some time later the optical telegraph was born and then the electric one . Over time, the telephone and telegrams were also born.

Women in the Modern Age

A patriarchal model was followed that gave women a subordinate role , although there were some exceptions of women who had an intellectual role , especially in the seventeenth century. Some educated ladies could read and write, and attended literary academies and noble salons.

Prominent figures

Some prominent figures of the Modern Age were the following:

  • Christopher Columbus
  • Nicolaus Copernicus
  • Isaac Newton and Galileo Galilei.
  • In the arts musicians such as Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart, Händel stood out; the writers Machiavelli, Voltaire, Montesquieu, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Lope de Vega and Góngora; the plastic artists Miguel Ángel, Da Vinci, Botticelli, Caravaggio, Donatello, Rafael, Rubens, Velázquez and Goya.


The Modern Age was a very important stage in world history due to the great changes and innovative inventions that were made during that time that are and continue to be the basis of many of the scientific activities that are carried out today.

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