Modern Age

What is the Modern Age and its characteristics

Currently, the Modern Age is understood as the period that covers from the fifteenth century to the eighteenth century of universal history, in which the values ​​of the modernity. It meant the gradual transformation of the traditional order into a modern order.

It has its beginning in the Age of Discovery, which involved the reordering of the world’s economic relations under the control of Western civilization. It is, therefore, the first period of history in which the whole world is articulated in a single historical narrative.

The Modern Age succeeds the Middle Ages. It is proposed to overcome the religious dogmatism of this period and aims to lead to an era governed by rational thought.

Modern values ​​start from anthropocentric humanism Renaissance, although they did not stop there. This current understood the human being as the center of interest of life and knowledge, in opposition to theocentric humanism.

The Modern Age reaches its peak with the industrial revolution, in the mid-eighteenth century, and the French revolution, which occurred in 1789, in an environment mobilized by the ideas of the Enlightenment or Enlightenment.

The French revolution and its motto of “equality, fraternity and liberty” first led to the enactment of the rights of man and changes the political perspective of nations.

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Little by little, the Modern Age was configuring new values, such as the idea of progressinextricably linked to the scientific, technological (industrial) and economic order.

Characteristics of the Modern Age

in the sciences

Scientific knowledge played a leading role in the Modern Age, since it allowed to unveil the mysteries of nature and intervene in it in a different way, in addition to questioning the theocentric vision of the world.

In the first part of the Modern Age, the most impressive scientific discoveries at the cultural level took place, such as the verification of the roundness of the Earth, the heliocentric theory of Copernicus and the description of the elliptical orbits of the planets according to Kepler, among many others. others.

These findings had such an impact that they became authentic cultural revolutions, even causing persecution by religion.

In politics

The forms of political order prior to the Modern Age, such as authoritarian monarchies, parliamentary monarchies and principalities, acquired new modalities during this period, depending on the countries and their historical conditions.

The models that were developed during modernity were absolutism, enlightened despotism and republicanism. These expressions finally derived in a vital conception for the modernity that reaches our era: the National state with separation of powers.

In the economy

From the economic point of view, the Modern Age marked the definitive transformation of the feudal scheme, which was already beginning to transform at the end of the Middle Ages with the birth of the bourgeoisie.

Thus, in the Modern Age different economic models were registered, such as proto-capitalism, slavery and colonial exploitation, mercantilism and, finally, the formation of the capitalism modern (powered by industrialization).

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in art

The Modern Age is responsible for the notion of art as we know it. Then the idea of ​​the artist (genius) as opposed to craftsman, and the idea of art object as valuable in itself (autonomy of art), opposed to crafts.

This era begins with the art of the Renaissance, which is followed by Mannerism, Baroque and Rococo. However, from the eighteenth century begin the ismsthat is, the artistic movements that are born associated with programs, such as neoclassicism and romanticism.

It is these movements and their successors that are considered fully “modern” in artistic terms.

in philosophy

The philosophical movements known as rationalism (with authors such as Descartes, Spinoza, Malebranche), empiricism (Locke, Hume, Berkeley), Enlightenment or Enlightenment (Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau) and criticism (Kant) are typical of the Modern Age.

Around the eighteenth century aesthetics appeared for the first time as an autonomous discipline of philosophical knowledge, despite the fact that the discussion about beauty is as old as the very birth of philosophy.

See also:

  • Middle Ages.
  • Old age.
  • Modernity.