Early modern period

The early modern period of modern history spans the period after the Late Middle Ages of the post-classical era (c. 1400–1500) through the beginning of the Age of Revolutions (c. 1800). Although the chronological limits of this period are open to debate, the timeframe is variously demarcated by historians as beginning with the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453, the Renaissance period in Europe and Timurid Central Asia, the Muslim conquests in the Indian subcontinent, the end of the Crusades, the Age of Discovery (especially the voyages of Christopher Columbus beginning in 1492 but also Vasco da Gama's discovery of the sea route to India in 1498), and ending around the French Revolution in 1789, or Napoleon's rise to power.[1]

Historians in recent decades have argued that from a worldwide standpoint, the most important feature of the early modern period was its spreading globalizing character.[2] New economies and institutions emerged, becoming more sophisticated and globally articulated over the course of the period. The early modern period also included the rise of the dominance of mercantilism as an economic theory. Other notable trends of the period include the development of experimental science, increasingly rapid technological progress, secularized civic politics, accelerated travel due to improvements in mapping and ship design, and the emergence of nation states.


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