For the philosophical concept, to see the Modernity.
- For the movement in painting, to see the Modernism.
- See also Modern times (homonymy).
- For the movement in painting, to see the Modernism.
The modern Time covers the historical period energy of the end of the Moyen-âge at the end of the French revolution. It is about the third period of the universal history, according to traditional Western division. From this point of view, the modern Time is that where the values triumph over the Modernité (progress, the communication, reason). Contrary, the previous period, the the Middle Ages, is traditionally regarded an obscure Age, or as a dark bracket. The spirit of the modern Time seeks to refer not to the Middle Ages, but to a more remote past, the Antiquité, seen like the traditional Time.
From the total point of view, the modern Time marks the moment of the integration of two human worlds which had completely been unaware of during more than 20.000 years: the America - or New World - and the Eurasia and the Africa - or Old World. One will speak about the Young World when the Australian continent is discovered.
Past time made move away from such a manner this time of the present that historians of certain countries, from which France, distinguish a fourth time, the contemporary Time. This fourth time is certainly not with the variation and even saw an extraordinary intensification of the tendency to modernization observed during the modern Time. However, this intensification was done with appreciably different characteristics, basically because it means the moment of the extraordinary development and the triumph of the economic forces and social which had been in slow gestation during the modern Time: the Capitalism and the Middle-class; as well as the political entities which were formed in parallel: the Nation and the State. It is this periodisation " with the française" who is adopted in this article. A description of the other periodisation (German, English…) is all the same at the end of the article.
The historiographic discipline studying this period names Modern history, and its historians " modernistes" (that one should not obviously confuse with the artists, writers or monk of the end of the 19th century or the beginning of the 20th century).
Geographical frameworkThe modern Time was regarded by its contemporaries as a division of the History of world range, but this vision is today perceived like a eurocentrée prospect (see the article devoteds to with the Histoire and the Historiographie).
Some indeed think that it is necessary to limit the use of this concept to the Western civilization, of seeing only with the Europe. It is however necessary to take into account does it this period coincides with the Grandes discoveries and the emergence of the first economy-world.
From a point of view even more restrictive, only some monarchs of Western Europe were identified with the period and the named historical social form Ancien Mode.
BeginningSeveral dates are generally quoted to begin the period, according to the object of the study and the school of thought. For France, the most appointed date generally corresponds with the advent of the king François 1st in 1515. But of other dates can be proposed, as well for the French history as for that of Europe. Here the principal ones:
- 1453 : end of the hostilities of the War One hundred Year old;
- 1483 : advent of Charles VIII;
- 1492 : end of the Reconquista in Spain with the January 2nd;
- 1492 : arrival of Christophe Colomb in America with the October 12th;
- 1492 : treated Étaples between the France and the England with the November 3rd, which prepared the Guerres of Italy;
- 1498 : advent of Louis XII;
- 1515 : advent of François 1st
- 1517: beginning of the Reform of Martin Luther in Germany;
- 1520 : Fernand of Magellan recognizes and forces the strait which will bear its name
The modern Time stops with the French revolution, which began on July 14th, 1789 with the Storming of the Bastille and was completed by the Coup d'etat of the 18 brumaire of the An VIII (November 9th 1799) of Napoleon Bonaparte. The exact final date of the modern time poses problem, according to whether one integrates there the various modes resulting from the Revolution and preceding the First Empire: national Convention, Directory, Consulate or not. Universally, the modern historians prefer today the year 1792 like " year pivot" ; with the falls of the Old Mode to the August 10th, 1792 and the proclamation of the République to the September 21st 1792.
Overflight of the period
The modern Time covers three centuries, of the end of the 15th century at the end of the 18th century.
In France, the modern Time opens with the treaty of Étaples (1492). This " traicté of peace faicte between Treschrestien Roy de France and Roy dangleterre " was signed by Charles VIII in November 1492. The precedent Traité of Picquigny with England (1475) put definitively fine at the Guerre One hundred Year old. The peace signed in 1492 between Charles VIII and Henri VII of England - follow-up of the treaties with the Austria and the Spain with Senlis and Barcelona in 1493 - opens the possibility in France of beginning as of 1494 in the Guerres of Italy. Wars which will last 65 years (intersected with Trier) and will finish in 1559 with the treated of Cateau-Cambrésis. Meanwhile, several kings controlled France, of which most famous during this péridode that " was called; beautiful the 16th siècle" , without question François 1st was, considered as the first large king of the modern period in France.
The modern time, a new era?If the modern time appears in the continuity of the Moyen-âge, one however notes a rupture in a certain number of fields of the European companies.
One can see that the political executives of the company of modern time remains similar to those of the feudal time and that the Monarchie dominates everywhere in Europe, however, this period see a great number of transitions starting.
Some technological advances are at the origin of what one can call a “inflection” marking a rupture with the Middle Ages. The discovery of the Artillerie gives a new form to the Guerre. The invention of the Imprimerie (fine of 15th) accelerates the diffusion of the knowledge. The introduction of the Potato coming from America into the European cultures (starting from 1534 in Spain) will attenuate the problem of the Famine S.
In parallel, of the consequent social phenomena touch Europe. Thus, one notices progressive a Sécularisation European companies, a development of the Protestantisme and Humanisme and the rise of a Social class: the Middle-class of business.
So in oneself the modern time is not the symbol of the absolute change, it prepares the radical changes (Révolution S, Capitalisme, Nationalisme, Rationalization…) who will take place in the contemporary period.
The Rebirth, term which indicates an artistic current and ideological which milked with the redécouverte ancient knowledge. It was reinforced by the end of the Roman Empire of the East (taken Constantinople by the Othoman in 1453) and the arrival which followed of Eastern scientists exiled in Italy. The Rebirth prepared the birth of Modern times. The invention of the Printing works and the Grandes discoveries mark the beginnings of this new time. The Rebirth, born in Italy, gains the worldwide of Europe and lasts nearly one century.
On the religious plan, the Protestant Reform (In Germany, Luther, 1517 and in France, Calvin, 1532) mark end of the influence without limits of the Roman Catholic church on the spiritual life in Western Europe. After the Counter-Reformation and especially after the end of the Wars of religion which ensanglantent Europe, - especially in France - a monarchical Absolutisme is established.
Birth of the State-nations
The signature of the Treated of Westphalia, in 1648, mark the beginning of a new era, by putting an end to the Holy Germanic Roman Empire and by reducing the role of the the Holy See in the European relations. The 17th century and 18th century are marked by wars between the European States, then by the Franco-English competition for the domination of the world. Thus, the structure of the State-nations becomes most current and the theater of the war widens, while continues the European domination on the rest of the world.
Lights of the XVIIIe century
See also: Age of Enlightenment
The end of the former modern Time coincides with the end of the Ancien Mode and the beginnings of the domination of the British colonial empire.
Characteristics of the periodThe component of the modern Time (especially in Europe, first engine of the changes) is its transformer character, certainly slow and filled up doubts, but decisive, structures economic, social, political and ideological of the Moyen-âge. Contrary to what will arrive during the revolutionary changes suitable for the contemporary Time, the modern Time is marked by the inertia of passed and the slowness of the rate/rhythm of the changes. There thus no was abrupt passage of the Middle Ages at the time modern, but a transition. The principal historical phenomena associated with the Modernité (the Capitalism, the Humanism, the State-Nations, etc) were prepared for a long time, although they appeared all at the hinge between 15th and the 16th century, creating a new historical stage.
These changes occur simultaneously in several distinct sectors which feed then mutually: in the economy, with the development of capitalism; in the policy with the emergence of the State-Nations and the first colonial Empires; in the war with the changes of military strategy rising from the use of the powder; in arts with the Rebirth; in the religion with the Reform; in philosophy with the humanism and the appearance of a secular philosophy which is distinguished from the medieval scholastic and which proposes a new vision of the Man and company; in sciences, with the abandonment of the magister dixit and the development of the empirical investigations, which will end up joining technologies of the Industrial revolution. Already before the 17th century, these forces had changed the face of Europe, especially in its north-Western part, even if the relegation of the traditional social actors of the Middle Ages (the Clergé and the Noblesse) to the profit of the new protagonists (the modern State and middle-class) were still far.
From the point of view materialist, the process of transformation begins with the development of the productive Forces, in a context of increase in the population (with tops and bottoms, unequal in each continent and still subjected to catastrophic mortality suitable for the Ancien Mode because of the which this population growth cannot be compared with that of the contemporary Time). It occurs a passage of an economy before very agrarian and rural, based on a social system and political feudal, with another, which without the being mainly, includes/understands a new commercial and urban dimension. It will be the base of a political system being articulated in State-Nations (the Monarchie, in its forms authoritative, absolute and, in some cases, parliamentary). One can detect the beginning of this change at the time of the revolution of the 12th century and his precipitation in the crisis of the 14th century, when the transition from feudalism to the Capitalisme starts to finish at the 19th century.
The new social actor who appears, and with which one can associate the new ideological values (the Individualisme, the work, the Marché, the Progrès…) is the middle-class. However, the prevalence of the clergy and the nobility is not called in question seriously during most of the period. Consequently, the traditional values (honor and reputation of noble, honesty, the obedience and the chastity of the monastic vows) are those which are essential like dominant ideology, justifying the persistence of an old company.
However, certain historians deny that the social category of class (definite with economic criteria) is applicable to the company of the modern Time. They prefer to define it as a company of orders (defined by the prestige and the relations of customers). But from the fuller point of view, considering the period as a whole, it is undeniable that the powerful forces which were based on the new values, was in conflict and clashed, at the speed of the continents, with the great historical structures specific to the Middle Ages (the Catholic church, the Empire, the feudal ones, constraint, privileges) and others which developed during the modern Time, like the colonies, slavery and racism. The Era of the Révolution S was a final cataclysm which occurred only when one sufficient energy was concentrated.
While these secular conflicts proceeded in Europe, the totality of the world, consciously or not, was affected by the European expansion. As we saw in the historical overflight, the modern Time means for the non-European world, the irruption of Europe in a more or less large measurement according to the continent and civilization. Only one exception to that: the Islamic Civilization. This civilization, with its champion, the Ottoman Empire, positioned during the whole of the period like a rival. In America, the modern period means the European irruption as well, as the gestation of the independence which will give rise to new the State-Nations American
The role of the Middle-classmiddle-class - name which was given during the Moyen-âge to the inhabitants of the boroughs, have an ambiguous position during the modern Time. A linear vision, which takes as point of arrival the middle-class revolution, would seek them apart from the feudal system, like the free men who in Europe, became powerful thanks to the creation of trade route which recovered it north in the south. The cities which made a success of a free existence between the Empereur and the Pape, like Venice and Genoa, created true commercial empires. For its part, Hanse will dominate the economic life of the Baltic until the 18th century. The role of the European city during the modern time can be regarded as a process of long life within a thousand-year-old process of Urbanisation: the creation of an urban network is a preparation necessary to the achievement of the social functions of the modern industrial world. Only metropolises like London and Paris are about there to arrive at the 18th century; Lisbon, Seville, Madrid, Naples, Rome or Vienna is late and do not have the capacity to articulate an nation's economy of size sufficient for industrial development… Lastly, of the cities like Mexico City, Moscow, Saint-Petersbourg, Istanbul, Alexandria, Cairo or Beijing play in another division, at the functional level.
Even if the difference in position economic were enormous between the upper middle classes, the lower middle class and bottom people, it were not it extremely as regards social condition: did everything part of the people. The difference between the middle-class and the Paysan S is more significant, since the vast majority of the population lived apart from the cities, being devoted to agro-pastoral activities with low productivity, which condemned them to historical invisibility: the documentary production, which made extraordinary great strides at the time modern (not only thanks to the Imprimerie, but also because of the bureaucratic fever of the States and the private individuals) is primarily urban. The European funds of files then start to compete of density of documentary sources with the Chinese, which had the enormous advantage of a thousand-year-old continuity. Middle-class of Time modern can to be seen as well like ally of Absolutism, as like aggregate social without true Class consciousness, whose individuals especially prefer the Tradition which enables them to be anoblir by purchase or marriage, when the dominant ideology condemn the lucre and sanctify the revenue of the ground. Its role of revolutionary agent had caused the urban popular revolts during the Middle Ages, and will continue to do it, but in a rarer way, sometimes for reasons of religious ideology and other times for anti-tax reasons.
In the other continents, the social characterization of a class defined by its urban activity, its identification with the capital and its condition not-privileged people is much more problematic. However, the term was applied to the Japan, of which the form economic and social is close to feudalism, and, with much more difficulties, with the China, even if interpretations of its history are closely related to the ideological positions.
The Islamic world had as of its origins a strong commercial component, with a development impressing of the roads with long distance (as well naval as by Caravane S) and a Artisanat higher than what this made in Europe under many aspects. On the other hand, the development of the productive forces was shown less dynamic. The Arab markets or the Souk S, without ceasing being animated and to reflect the popular discontent in crisis periods, never were in condition of causing a modification of the structures.
America was, since the beginning of its colonization, a promised land where to make social experiments. The missions Jesuits or the forwarding of the Mayflower are extreme cases, but the Spanish colonial city is a more important phenomenon. It includes/understands a Urbanisme traced with the chalk line starting from a great Place on virgin lands, or with the site of cities précolombiennes, sometimes including the conversion of a town of pilgrims, changing his site for medical reasons. It is possible to find the formation of a middle-class in America during the modern Time, that it is in the British colonies in North or the creole colonies of Latin America. This middle-class will give the impulse to the process of independence and will contribute in a final way at the end of the Old Mode and the establishment of the values of the contemporary Time.
The explorations sponsored by the European monarchs and carried out by characters like Christophe Colomb, Jean Pooch, Vasco de Gama or Fernand of Magellan, ventured in unknown seas of Europeans and were established on also unknown grounds, bringing a series of nautical improvements: the caravel and the Compass. The relations that the individualistic spirit and the research of glory could have with the middle-class values are not clear: there probably was no modification since the time Marco Polo and they thus have probably more bonds with the chivalrous spirit and the values nobilières of the end of the Middle Ages. Benefitting from their discoveries, Spain, Portugal and Holland initially, France and England then, built colonial empires. Their richnesses, especially the extraction of the Or and the American Argent, stimulated even more accumulation of the capital and the development of industry and the trade, even if sometimes more outside the country that inside, as it was the case of the Castille which suffered from the trend of prices. They also stimulated an economic policy, the paternalist Mercantilisme, which sought more the consumer protection (and of privileged) that of the producer.
To the 17th century, the middle-class was due however, apart from England and of Holland, only one relative economic capacity and any political power.
Capacity of the kings
Since the end of the Middle Ages in Western Europe, monarchs tend to the formation of what one will call at the end of the modern Time of the State-nations, located in geographical spaces definite and having unified markets of adequate size for economic modernization. Without arriving at the extreme Nationalism of XIXe and 20th century, the identification of certain monarchs with a national character becomes obvious and they seek and exaggerate these features, which can be the traditional laws and habits, the religion or the language. One can in particular quote the reintroduction of the vernacular language at the court of England (where French was spoken during all Middle Ages) or the acceptance of the Grammaire Castilian of Antonio de Nebrija by the catholic Kings in 1492.
This process was not continuous and knew tops and bottoms, and at the beginning of the period, one did not know if the imperial idea of the cultural mosaic of the Habsbourg of Charles Quint were going to triumph or if the Ottoman Empire were going to still progress to Europe. So at the 18th century, Spain, Portugal, France, England, Sweden, Holland or Denmark appeared strongly established, nothing did not let suppose the destiny of Poland, divided between its neighbors. In addition, the dynastic interests of the monarchs were changing and produced throughout the modern Time an incalculable number of territorial modifications, for military reasons, matrimonial, successoriales or diplomatic. The borders were thus changeantes, and with them their subjects.
The increase in the capacity of the kings goes in three directions: the elimination of all the countervailing powers inside the State, the expansion and the simplification of the political borders (concept of natural borders ) in competition with the other kings and the fight against the supranational feudal structures (Papacy, Empire).
The authoritative monarchs seek to liquidate any possible opposition. In XVIe century, they approve the Protestant Reform to separate from the Catholic church (German principalities, Scandinavian kings) or then are identified completely with it (France, Spain), although that does not occur without conflict (even, for example, the Gallicanisme). English monarchy (under Henri VIII, Marie Tudor and Elisabeth Anger) adopts alternatively the two options for dédicer finally to be held with the Anglicanisme, an intermediate position. The kings try to impose a single religion on their subjects. In Spain, Jews and Moslems are expelled, in England, Henri VIII persecutes the catholics, whereas in France, Richelieu persecutes the Protestants. The principle Cuius regio eius religio (such king, such religion) becomes the guiding line of the international relations since the Diète of Augsburg, even if that is not enough to avoid the wars of religion until the conclusion of the Traité of Westphalia in 1648.
Long Périodisation of the modern TimeIt is in France only that the Time known as modern stops with the end of the French revolution.
This convention traditional of the French historians is not divided by the other historians of the whole world. In the terminology of the latter, all the history since the French revolution hardly forms part of the Modern history, as it was it, certainly, still at the end of the 19th century.
Thus certain Anglo-Saxon or German historians contemporary divide the history since the end of the Middle Ages (variable exact dates) :
1492 - 1792 : " Modern time antérieure" with the fall of the Old Mode, (German cf: and in English: .)
- 1792 - 1920 : " Modern time I" , therefore posterior with the fall of the Old Mode and until the promulgation of the Treated of Versailles the January 10th 1920.
- since 1920 : " Modern time II" , therefore since the end of the First World War. This time judiceusement is judiceusement called the
See: contemporary Time.
See tooWikiversity|Department: Modern history
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