Another post from our dear Katherine Jones:
This week I am going to finish up the post on the different time periods. Again, I want to remind you that I am looking at one area (e.g. European and Western History) and that for different cultures these developments took place at different times.
Renaissance 1400-1600 C.E.:
This was a time of “rebirth” for the love and study of the classic Greek and Roman literature and values that were lost during the “Dark Ages.” It started in Italy and moved all over Europe; it was a time where great literature flourished and the designing of some of the greatest churches happened. The time was of individualism; artists were breaking away from the idea that one had to be creative in just one style. There were setbacks during this period though. It was during this age that the Black Death took place killing two-thirds of the European population. One point of interest is that the Black Death was introduced into Europe due to the exchange of goods from the Middle East into Italy. This expansion of trade was part of the Age of Discovery.
The Age of Discovery: 1500’s-1700’s:
This particular age overlaps not just one other time period but two different ones. Without the Age of Discovery the Renaissance would not have spread as far as it did; the impact of the particular time would have been far smaller. It during this period that the new printing press helps spread the thoughts of the day to a greater population. The spread of humanism took place and the interest of sciences, intellectual thoughts grew. This particular age is important to any world, although it might look different in your world than it does in our history. This age saw the mapping of the entire world (well, generally speaking), trade, and the shaping of cultures as new worlds were discovered. It was here that the Americas were discovered. During the Age of Discovery cultures discovered one another, and this was a time of great cultural exchanges. All of this is important when building a world.
The Age of Reformation 1600’s-1700’s:
It was during this time period that those of Religious backgrounds felt that Europe needed a Spiritual awakening. Technically the Reformation started when Martin Luther nailed his “Ninety-five Theses” in 1517 (on Halloween, actually); this is the age of the Pilgrims leaving for the New World (1620s). It is the time of great Roman Catholic persecution of the Protestants, and of Protestant persecution of the various Anabaptist groups. The Reformation was a time where the religious people started taking a stand and making a difference in Europe. Again, the Reformation is overlapped by the Industrious Revolution.
The Industrious Revolution 1600’s-1800’s:
This particular time period saw the decrease of homemade productions and the rise of machine made items. People started moving into the cities where items were now being made in mass production. This period changed the way families were spending their money. This is an extremely important time period to have if you are writing in a modern or postmodern world. The shift from small production to being able to produce for the masses is vital for the survival of an advanced civilization. After the peak of the Industrious Revolution there was a push once again to think and act according to reason.
The Enlightenment or the Age of Reason 1650’s/1700’s to 1800’s
This particular time period is one of my favorites; here you get some of the greatest thinkers of all times. (I personally believe that some of their reasoning was deeply flawed, but how they reached some of their conclusions was brilliant.) Philosophers such as Voltaire, Rousseau, and Montesquieu from France, in England you have John Locke and Thomas Hobbes; Scotland you have Adam Smith and David Hume all highlight this period. All of these thinkers helped influence some of the founding fathers of the United States of America. It is important to have some kind of “enlightenment” period where someone or a particular group of people break away from the common ideas of the “day” and explore something different.
Industrial Revolution 1750-1850/Second Industrial Revolution 1850’s-1890’s:
It was during this period that you see the rise of different machinery. The Revolution spread and made its way the America where in 1793 Samuel Slater started his mills and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution came to America. This was the age of mill workers, which inevitably led to the introduction of child labor laws because of all the children working in the unsafe mills. When the First Revolution ended and the Second one began: steel and the production of it was the main focus. These both were needed to propel the world into the “modern” age.
The Modern and Post-Modern Ages 1900’s-Present:
The Ages to follow the Industrial Revolutions are extremely hard to break up because some only last a few years and others are still going. So, I will do my best to sum it up. Once the industrial ages end it propelled the World into World War I which introduced the use of very basic flying machines. This was the last time that warfare included the significant use of trench-fighting. Thereafter a brief time of peace leads to the progression of airplanes technology. During World War II tanks and other “heavy” machinery are first introduced on the battlefield. Trains and communications start playing a more major role in the battles. The Atomic bomb was created during this time and used to end the Second World War. Historians often call this period the Machine Age.
The Post-Modern Age, which is generally considered to have started with the Cold War, is the age that many scholars would place us in today. However, it may be split into smaller sub-periods such as the Information Age (or Computer Age) and the Social Age, which basically means that we are using Social outlets in ways that were never available before. In another twenty years we may very well see the rise of a new age of the world, but that is for future historians to determine.