Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-05-2017, 11:55 AM
Jim B. Jim B. is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 1,688
When Did the 'Modern Era' Begin?

There seems to be a lot of disagreement about when the "modern era" began. I have heard a lot of interesting interpretations. One view, for example, says it began in 1492, with the (re-)discovery of America.

Anyway, I won't bore you all with all of the different interpretations. But suffice it to say, all dates are long ago, and none include the Industrial Revolution.

Why not? I think more changed at the Industrial Revolution than any other time. All the technology and science that we know came into being then. Modern medicine came into being--as did modern philosophy. Most of the democracies we know, came into being. Society became more merciful and kind. No one was drawn and quartered anymore.

So why didn't the Modern Age begin with the Industrial Revolution, c. 1760, if you wonder what I am referring to?

__________________
"Love takes no less than everything." (from "Love Is", a duet by Vanessa Williams and Brian McKnight)

Last edited by Jim B.; 10-05-2017 at 11:58 AM. Reason: Typo
  #2  
Old 10-05-2017, 12:27 PM
PatrickLondon PatrickLondon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: London
Posts: 2,221
Modernity began whenever you would like it to have begun, surely?

I'd have said that with your chosen examples of modernity, the Enlightenment is as likely to have been as relevant as the Industrial Revolution, but there's a lot of room for debate about precisely when and how they interact. A lot of the scientific and technical change started earlier - maybe one could go back as far as Newton and the late seventeenth century; social change following on the Industrial Revolution (the factory system, the importance of common clock time and timekeeping, the development of different attitudes to community) came later in the nineteenth century. Some ideas of democracy came earlier, but were much disputed; democracy as we know it came much later than the Industrial Revolution, and some would argue that notions of a more merciful and kind society even later still.
  #3  
Old 10-05-2017, 12:36 PM
PastTense PastTense is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 6,067
Only historians answer that way, OP. For me it would be the general availability of electricity, the automobile, the telephone, the radio--so under a century. For a teenager it might be the general availability of the smartphone.
  #4  
Old 10-05-2017, 12:49 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 18,264
It depending on what you mean by modern. Do you mean liberal democracy, science, social justice, technology, medicine, wealth, etc? Then I'd agree with op, it started with the industrial revolution.

I don't understand why the modern Era would begin with discovery of the America's by the Spanish. Europe was still the global world power for another 500 years, and America was fine when it was filled with indigenous peoples.

Supposedly there have been two great technological revolutions in human history. The Neolithic revolution of ~10,000 years ago and the industrial revolution of 250 years ago. We are currently in the early stages of the third great tech revolution, the machine intelligence revolution.

Each one totally changes life, culture and how humans live. So each one ushers in a new age of modernity.
__________________
Sometimes I doubt your commitment to sparkle motion
  #5  
Old 10-05-2017, 12:57 PM
Buck Godot Buck Godot is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: MD outside DC
Posts: 4,349
It's all a matter of interpretation of the question, and what your goals are in defining a Modern Era, and so this may be more of a IMHO than GD. But I personally would be hard pressed to consider 1493 modern by any sense of the word. I also think that 1760 is too early as well. Although the Industrial revolution had officially started, it really hadn't reached its full level of infiltrating every aspect of society. I would view the modern era as the time at which we can look back and while things might be old fashioned, basically life was lived the same way. The two dates I would consider would be around 1920, or around 1995.

By the first date, cars had overtaken horses as the primary mode of transplantation, Electricity and indoor plumbing was widely available. Most consumer goods were manufactured etc. The average person drove or took a streetcar in an office building with electric lights, bought their food at a grocery store which was cooked by their wife in a gas or electric oven, and have instant communication over telephone lines. For entertainment they would watch movies or listen to the radio rather than attend live events. The 1995 date would be the time at which the internet and computers became ubiquitous. To the point that nearly everything is computer controlled and much is interconnected. However, I suspect that like comparing 1920 to the industrial revolution we haven't quite reached full potential of the information age, an in the future it will be decided that the modern age started when everyone to have self driving cars, computer controlled houses, and social media is the primary method of communication.

Last edited by Buck Godot; 10-05-2017 at 01:01 PM.
  #6  
Old 10-05-2017, 01:08 PM
boffking boffking is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: New England
Posts: 2,403
We've been in the Postmodern Era since the 1970's.
The Modern Era started with the Industrial Revolution, and ended with the social change in the 60's.
  #7  
Old 10-05-2017, 02:09 PM
Snarky_Kong Snarky_Kong is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 7,283
Modern era of what? The modern era for the USA is much different than the modern era for humanity is much different than the modern era for computing.
  #8  
Old 10-05-2017, 02:19 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: South Bay
Posts: 81,178
Withe the publishing of The Origin of Species in 1859.
  #9  
Old 10-05-2017, 02:39 PM
Ludovic Ludovic is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: America's Wing
Posts: 27,196
If we're going for the time when we definitively left the medieval than I'd agree 1492 wasn't anything special. I'd pick 1453, when Constantinople fell to the Turks and also during which Gutenberg was working on printing the Bible.

But when I hear the word, context is critical to the timespan I think of. Modern world of technology is different from the modern world of social attitudes which is also different from the modern world of music and all of them can have different sub-eras (for instance, eras when attitudes and rights toward minorities, women, and homosexuals advanced for some of that group but not others.)
__________________
Before you, my life was empty. Now, although my life is still empty, you are here with poetry! -- Captain RibMan
  #10  
Old 10-05-2017, 05:24 PM
Fiendish Astronaut Fiendish Astronaut is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: London - England
Posts: 1,021
This Wikipedia article states 1500 as the start of the modern era and splits those into three parts. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_by_period

This fits in roughly with how it was taught to me at university so I think this is the historians view. Putting the most recent (contemporary) era at the start of WW1 seems about right to me. The Great War caused huge social upheaval, the end of a great number of powerful dynasties, and political boundaries consolidating into the patterns we still see today. Not to mention a huge upwards usage of mechanisation.
  #11  
Old 10-05-2017, 05:35 PM
glowacks glowacks is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,564
I took an "Early Modern" history class in college. It covered basically the 1500s and 1600s. So historians seem to think it started around 1500. But that's only academic history. If you want to talk about art history, modernity started in the later 1800s. The "modern era" tends to mean something slightly differently in each sport as well, with it starting much more recently in general.
  #12  
Old 10-05-2017, 06:10 PM
griffin1977 griffin1977 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,804
In Britain (and by extension, the US) the traditional boundary between the middle ages and the early modern era is the Battle of Bosworth Field the outcome of which began the Tudor Dynasty.

Plenty of historians are earning their living debating the exact significance of the battle itself, and of the monarchies and wars before and after the battle. But not many modern historians would, I think, consider it anything other than an arbitrary line in the sand to help future historians describe periods of history, not anything contemparies would recognize as a watershed moment that changed everything.

Last edited by griffin1977; 10-05-2017 at 06:11 PM.
  #13  
Old 10-05-2017, 06:23 PM
E-DUB E-DUB is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 3,151
Hiroshima and Sputnik.
  #14  
Old 10-05-2017, 06:29 PM
Darvish Darvish is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Sacre' Tomato!!
Posts: 8
Well, taking a longer view...

The "Modern" era began when humanoids invented agriculture, and the seeds were sewn for the collapse of civilization.

With agriculture came attachment to land, restriction of freedom, possession and defense of property, evolution of fiefdoms, states, and nations..

And the application of science to the evolving system:
yielding excess CO2, and nuclear weapons;
and the "coming due" of forestalled effects long held off by creative accounting,
the lack of regulation;
and greed.

All of this in a short period of around 150,000 years:
with dramatic acceleration with the coming of the "industrial revolution".

So, despite the "classical definitions", the "modern period", may be noted to be
when homo-twolegs started using personal ego to get "what he/she wanted"
to the exclusion of whole-istic considerations.

Gimme gimme gimme
Whutchougot!


Damn!
  #15  
Old 10-05-2017, 06:30 PM
eburacum45 eburacum45 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Old York
Posts: 2,570
Quote:
Originally Posted by griffin1977 View Post
In Britain (and by extension, the US) the traditional boundary between the middle ages and the early modern era is the Battle of Bosworth Field the outcome of which began the Tudor Dynasty.

Plenty of historians are earning their living debating the exact significance of the battle itself, and of the monarchies and wars before and after the battle. But not many modern historians would, I think, consider it anything other than an arbitrary line in the sand to help future historians describe periods of history, not anything contemparies would recognize as a watershed moment that changed everything.
That was the date I would have suggested as well, although Edward IV was pretty modern compared to many of his predecessors.
https://edwardv1483.com/index.php?p=...naissance-King
  #16  
Old 10-05-2017, 07:00 PM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 4,897
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darvish View Post
Well, taking a longer view...

The "Modern" era began when humanoids invented agriculture, and the seeds were sewn for the collapse of civilization.

With agriculture came attachment to land, restriction of freedom, possession and defense of property, evolution of fiefdoms, states, and nations..
I'm increasingly of the opinion that we all made a big mistake coming down from the trees in the first place.
  #17  
Old 10-05-2017, 07:43 PM
Yllaria Yllaria is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Stockton
Posts: 10,020
Nah. The trees were a bad move and no-one should ever have left the oceans.
  #18  
Old 10-05-2017, 08:11 PM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 4,897
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yllaria View Post
Nah. The trees were a bad move and no-one should ever have left the oceans.
I would have been so disappointed with the Dope if this reply hadn't happened.
  #19  
Old 10-05-2017, 08:20 PM
Yllaria Yllaria is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Stockton
Posts: 10,020
I'm just surprised that I got there first.
  #20  
Old 10-05-2017, 08:28 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 73,120
Personally, I would say that the Industrial Revolution was the start of the Industrial Era, with the Modern Era coming later. But that might just be my time playing Civilization. Offhand, I'd probably put the start of the Modern Era at the release of the Model T, when self-propelled vehicles became available to the general public. That's also pretty close to the time of powered flight and of wireless communication, also highly significant inventions. And personal weaponry has advanced almost not at all since that time, with many weapons designed (or even, possibly, built, if they've been maintained well) in that era still being popular today.
  #21  
Old 10-06-2017, 12:43 AM
2sense 2sense is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Bower Hill Battlefield
Posts: 3,466
In ancient Athens 9 out of 10 people farmed to feed everyone and to provide other agricultural products. In 1760 the same was true. The technology had improved and there were probably somewhere between twice to three times as many humans on the planet but the rhythms and pace of life hadn't changed much. There were few clocks and time was strictly local. News traveled no faster than people. As John Mace points out there were important things we hadn't come to understand yet. The ancient Athenian definition of a democracy as a relatively small domain where citizens voted on laws directly was the same definition used in colonial America. Societies were still structured with the lower orders owing deference to their betters. That's too early for me to consider modern.

At least, that's just my subjective view as an American. I'm not sure where I would draw the line to be frank. 1859 might be as good a place as any.
  #22  
Old 10-06-2017, 05:38 AM
eburacum45 eburacum45 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Old York
Posts: 2,570
My own preference is for 1825, with the opening of the Stockton and Darlington Railway; but this railway was opened in a landscape that was already heavily industrialised, and there were innumerable stationary steam engines throughout the Western world. But the construction of the first railways was a phase-change in the connectivity of human society.
  #23  
Old 10-06-2017, 07:09 AM
septimus septimus is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Land of Smiles
Posts: 14,918
Context is everything. When a sportscaster speaks of "the best 3rd baseman of the modern era" you can be sure baseball before, say, 1895 (when the infield fly rule was adopted) is excluded. I'm not sure what "warship of the modern era" means but it certainly does not include the sail-powered USS Constellation!

I don't think "modern era" is often applied to science. Major advances occurred shortly before the time of Galileo and since then science has accelerated and accelerated faster and accelerated some more. Much of the science taught when I was a youth would hardly be called "modern science" today. Key milestones in science were fast and furious. Gutenberg? Galileo? Newton? Don't forget Lavoisier's key discoveries in chemistry shortly before he was unheaded during France's Reign of Terror.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2sense View Post
In ancient Athens 9 out of 10 people farmed to feed everyone and to provide other agricultural products. In 1760 the same was true. The technology had improved and there were probably somewhere between twice to three times as many humans on the planet but the rhythms and pace of life hadn't changed much.... News traveled no faster than people.
I mostly agree with this. Human life in 1700 A.D. had perhaps much more in common with life in 500 B.C. or even 2500 B.C. than it has with today's life.

Nitpick: "Five to eight times" is probably a better estimate than "twice to three times" of the planet's total population ratio for 1760 to Athen's Periclean Golden Age.

And, while "news traveled no faster than people" was true in 99.99% of cases, don't forget that the sighting of the Spanish Armada off Lizard Point of Cornwall was relayed along England's southern coast faster than automobiles can travel that route today. They used essentially the same method that had been used much earlier to summon the Rohirrim to the defense of Minas Tirith.
  #24  
Old 10-06-2017, 10:22 AM
Horatio Hellpop Horatio Hellpop is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Gumi, S. Korea
Posts: 9,130
I'd say 1863-ish, when medical doctors stopped being church officials and started being scientists. This is approximately when the Four Bodily Humours fell out of fashion and got replaced by Cell Pathology and palliative medicine as the dominant mode for diagnosing and treating illnesses. And if you needed surgery, they'd send you to another doctor instead of to a barber.

In terms of art, I'd start with the Impressionists.

Last edited by Horatio Hellpop; 10-06-2017 at 10:23 AM.
  #25  
Old 10-06-2017, 02:23 PM
DrCube DrCube is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Caseyville, IL
Posts: 6,643
This will depend on the field. "Modern" means something completely different if you're talking about basketball than if we're discussing, say, warfare. Language, medicine, music, politics, technology -- each has a different definition and timeline for "modern".
  #26  
Old 10-06-2017, 02:32 PM
squidfood squidfood is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 343
In terms of paleontology, my understanding is that 1950 is a dividing line, in that it marks where distictively man-made radio-isotopes will first appear in sediment layers worldwide. (An actual paleontologist may correct me).
  #27  
Old 10-06-2017, 02:44 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 75,083
The problem is the traditional division of history into three era: the classical era, the medieval era, and the modern era. If you try to follow it strictly, it leads to some strange results.

For example, let's say you define the start of the modern era as the beginnings of the industrial revolution (a reasonable premise). That's going to have the modern era starting some time around 1800.

So events before then must, by default, be part of the medieval era. Which means that George Washington, among others, was a figure from medieval history. And that seems absurd.

The same thing happens if you go the other way. If you pick an early event for the start of the modern era, like the European discovery of the Americas or the invention of the printing press (also reasonable premises) you move the start of the modern era back to around 1500. But now you're saying the Aztecs were part of modern history and that also seems absurd.
  #28  
Old 10-09-2017, 08:06 AM
MrDibble MrDibble is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Cape Town, South Africa &
Posts: 21,443
I'd say 1585, as that seems to be when the use of the word "modern" is first attested.
  #29  
Old 10-09-2017, 01:05 PM
JohnT JohnT is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 18,823
October 31st, 1517, when Luther posted his theses, unwittingly destroying Christendom and giving Nationalism a major boost, breaking the dam of medieval mental disciplines, eventually allowing the rise of the scientific mindset.

Or not. But if I had to name a specific date, 10-31-1517 is a stronger candidate than others. Again, depends upon your definition of "modernity", etc.
  #30  
Old 10-09-2017, 02:31 PM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: The Middle of Puget Sound
Posts: 21,050
Let's just be clear that we're talking Western Civilization here. Other regions have different histories.

So if I were to divide history into broad strokes, we'd have:

Pre Homo sapiens sapiens. Goes back a couple million years.

Anatomically modern humanity. Something like 200,000 years ago, but going farther back the more we discover.

Behaviorally modern humanity. Something like 50,000 years ago. Now we start seeing an explosion of art, new tools, new behaviors. It's still not clear what this was all about, why earlier anatomically modern humans didn't seem to have the full panoply of modern human physical culture. Is it an artifact of taphonomy? Black monoliths?

The Neolithic. The first farmers. An obvious behavioral change from the hunter-gatherers of the Paleolithic. But this wasn't some radical new discovery, hunter-gatherers knew seeds and roots grew into plants, they just mostly didn't bother to do anything with the knowledge. They tended wild plant patches. So agriculture isn't anything radically new, it's just an intensification and elaboration of previous practices, which is the whole history of technological advance. Almost nothing comes out of nowhere, it's always prefigured earlier, it's just that nobody understood it, or could make it work, until for some reason when the time was ripe everyone started doing it.

The Ancient Era. This is all the history of the first city-states and small empires. Could also be called the Bronze age.

The Classical Era. The Persian, Hellenic, and Roman empires. Around 600 BC there's this wave of empire-building. It's happening over in China and India as well. I think the Persian empire doesn't get the attention it deserves as the prototype for these empires, it's all on the Hellenic world that replace the Persians. But without the Persians to conquer, Alexander couldn't have left behind the Hellenic world. He "conquered the world", if you define "the world" as "the Persian empire". The existence of the Persian empire to conquer was a precondition of his conquering it. As for the Romans, that's so well known not much needs to be said.

The Medieval Era. Western Roman empire falls, the Easter Empire decays into just one state among many. Of course this conflates that chaos of the Early Medieval period with the developed and stable states of the High Middle Ages.

The Renaissance. Here we get another shift. Gunpowder changes from a toy to the standard. Sailing ships head all over the world. Extracontinental empires appear. Population grows. Banking and commerce explodes. But sailing ships and horses are still the only methods of transportation.

The Industrial Age. Starting in the 1800s, we start to see steam engines, which are put to work on the existing water and wind powered factories. Railroads, steamships, telegraphs, coal power. But this also includes the age of revolutionary government. The American Revolution, the French Revolution, the South American revolutions

Now, the Modern Era. I'll just give the transition as World War I. Again, most of the technologies that transformed the world In WWI already existed, but in WWI they ran rampant. Airpower, radio, IC engines, political organization, mass media, and the famous destruction of various monarchies. Of course we had to go through the depression and WWII, which transformed everything yet again. 1914-1945 is the transition period, everything after that is fully modern.
  #31  
Old 10-09-2017, 04:17 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 75,083
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
October 31st, 1517, when Luther posted his theses, unwittingly destroying Christendom and giving Nationalism a major boost, breaking the dam of medieval mental disciplines, eventually allowing the rise of the scientific mindset.

Or not. But if I had to name a specific date, 10-31-1517 is a stronger candidate than others. Again, depends upon your definition of "modernity", etc.
I don't know. I sort of feel this was more an effect than a cause. There had always been anti-papal protesters. Luther was just another in a long line. His protest succeeded because the times had already changed. The invention of the printing press was a major factor in why Luther succeeded while past protesters had failed. Another was the dissemination of classical texts after the fall on Constantinople. And another was the discovery of new lands that were unknown to the Bible.

As evidence, I'll offer Calvin and Zwingli - they were leading similar protest movements at the same time as Luther's. I think it's hard to argue that these three men independently succeeded due to some aspect in their characters that previous protesters lacked. My belief is that they were just the individuals who happened to lead protest movements when the times were right for protest movements to succeed.

In short, Luther didn't create the modern age; the modern age created Luther.
  #32  
Old 10-10-2017, 08:24 AM
JohnT JohnT is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 18,823
I also like that date because we're coming up on the 500th anniversary, so what better answer than "the modern world began 500 years ago, today!"
  #33  
Old 10-10-2017, 08:53 AM
Ludovic Ludovic is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: America's Wing
Posts: 27,196
Another possibility: 1735, the year of the Witchcraft Act, in which it became no longer illegal to practice witchcraft, but instead it became illegal to claim to practice witchcraft. A symbol of the enlightenment leading toward the acceptance of the scientific method which started to reap its fruits from the early 1800s onward.

Last edited by Ludovic; 10-10-2017 at 08:54 AM.
  #34  
Old 10-10-2017, 10:00 AM
Ruken Ruken is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: DC
Posts: 5,715
We could look at future archeological fingerprints. Fusion byproducts appeared very suddenly and globally in the 40s.

I don't know how the spike in atmospheric CO2 looks.
  #35  
Old 10-10-2017, 10:05 AM
Ruken Ruken is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: DC
Posts: 5,715
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruken View Post
We could look at future archeological fingerprints. Fusion byproducts appeared very suddenly and globally in the 40s.

I don't know how the spike in atmospheric CO2 looks.
Fission byproducts
  #36  
Old 10-14-2017, 02:49 AM
Stringbean Stringbean is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 2,824
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
Withe the publishing of The Origin of Species in 1859.
Hmm
  #37  
Old 10-20-2017, 02:12 PM
Ovdeyevich Ovdeyevich is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 11
I think it's around the year 1995 which could be designated as the start of the modern era. Several things that happened at that time - the first being the release of Windows 95. Its release, as well as of Office 95, took the computer from the job and put it into the home. With more people having personal computers, the PC started to slowly change the world. We could do more than just type up spreadsheets, and the Internet revolution of the early-to-mid 90s changed the world, and our modern age was born. Increasing use of the Internet for both business and entertainment contributed a lot of the growth in the 90s.

When you think about it, 1995 was not all that long ago - which I feel gives us a lot more time to find solutions to the problems we have today. The next two big ones I think will be the global warming and overpopulation.
  #38  
Old 10-20-2017, 02:43 PM
JohnT JohnT is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 18,823
August 9th, 1995 is the date you want:

Netscape IPO
Jerry Garcia died
  #39  
Old 10-20-2017, 02:46 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 73,120
Quote:
Quoth septimus:

I don't think "modern era" is often applied to science.
I don't know about science as a whole, but the label "modern physics" is often used to refer collectively to relativity (special and general) and quantum mechanics. Which meshes well with my notion that the "modern era" began in the early 20th century.
  #40  
Old 10-20-2017, 03:27 PM
griffin1977 griffin1977 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,804
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
August 9th, 1995 is the date you want:
So we've narrowed it down to somewhere between the battle of Bosworth Field, and the Netscape IPO, well that's that settled

It was as if a thousand cardigan wearing early-modern history professors cried out in despair....
  #41  
Old 10-20-2017, 03:42 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 75,083
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruken View Post
Fusion byproducts appeared very suddenly and globally in the 40s.
No, sun tans started becoming fashionable in the nineteen-twenties.
  #42  
Old 10-23-2017, 09:03 AM
manu manu is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 3
i would tend to pinpoint the seed of the modern era as 1666 or so, when Newton began creating and organizing scientific principles, axioms, and equations that completely shaped the development of Western scientific thinking and culture. he took the Greeks' early scientific leanings, and geniuses like Galileo to an entirely new and systematic level that ultimately transformed the world (though that didn't actually happen for centuries).

Newton even says he was at the top of his game then.
  #43  
Old 10-24-2017, 11:53 AM
Crane Crane is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 841
Manu,

I agree in essence, but the turning point that produced the modern era was the Torricilli experiment in 1643. Because of Torricilli, science moved from the study of ancient texts to experimentation. That produced the concept of fact as we know it today - information that can be demonstrated by independent observers. The Newcomen engine was based on Toricelli. From there it was a small step to the steam engine and the industrial revolution began.

So, the modern era began in 1643.

Crane
  #44  
Old 10-24-2017, 02:27 PM
psikeyhackr psikeyhackr is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 415
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck Godot View Post
The two dates I would consider would be around 1920, or around 1995.

By the first date, cars had overtaken horses as the primary mode of transplantation, Electricity and indoor plumbing was widely available. Most consumer goods were manufactured etc. The average person drove or took a streetcar in an office building with electric lights, bought their food at a grocery store which was cooked by their wife in a gas or electric oven, and have instant communication over telephone lines. For entertainment they would watch movies or listen to the radio rather than attend live events.
1912 was the year that the number of motor vehicles in New York equaled the number of horses. Cars and trucks dominated after that.

We rarely hear about the horse manure crisis of 1894.

http://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK...risis-of-1894/

Horses were significant to history for thousands of years.
__________________
Physics is Phutile!
Fiziks is Fundamental
Since 9/11 Fiziks has been History
  #45  
Old 10-24-2017, 02:53 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 75,083
Quote:
Originally Posted by manu View Post
i would tend to pinpoint the seed of the modern era as 1666 or so, when Newton began creating and organizing scientific principles, axioms, and equations that completely shaped the development of Western scientific thinking and culture. he took the Greeks' early scientific leanings, and geniuses like Galileo to an entirely new and systematic level that ultimately transformed the world (though that didn't actually happen for centuries).

Newton even says he was at the top of his game then.
How about we call the period from 1666 to 1887 the early modern age. And start the modern age in 1887 with the Michelson-Morley Experiment that showed that there were gaps in Newtonian physics.
  #46  
Old 10-24-2017, 03:19 PM
Crane Crane is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 841
Little Nemo,

Without Newton, Torricelli, Leibnitz et al the concepts of facts and experimentation would not have existed for Michelson and Morley to apply. Without Newcomen there would have been no machines to power the industrial revolution.

A major initial difficulty for the creation of steam engines is that there were no machines capable of building them. Transition to the modern era required a lot of ground work.

Crane
  #47  
Old 12-10-2017, 10:10 AM
Derleth Derleth is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Missoula, Montana, USA
Posts: 19,827
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ovdeyevich View Post
I think it's around the year 1995 which could be designated as the start of the modern era. Several things that happened at that time - the first being the release of Windows 95. Its release, as well as of Office 95, took the computer from the job and put it into the home.
I think you're putting the cart well before the horse. The big personal computer revolution was in the 1980s, when a combination of games and home office software like VisiCalc made a strong case that things that had been for either hobbyists or serious computer people could be used by a much broader class of person. Windows only succeeded because of a broad installed base of IBM PC clones and companies ready to ramp up production as the demand boomed.

Anyway, a strong case can be made for the beginning of geopolitical modernity being the Peace of Westphalia, which established the notion that sovereignty should be respected and countries should deal with each other using treaties as the default. This pushes it back to 1648.

But "modern" is so slippery, because people wrongly imagine it to apply to current times, like they imagine the New College won't be one of the oldest institutions, the fools. Anyway, a more restrictive definition of modern, but one which still distinguishes it from "recent", is since 1991, which ended the Cold War and turned the bi-polar world into a multi-polar one. It also demonstrated that the First Tier countries could militarily defeat Third or Fourth Tier countries in a conventional war pretty much between commercial breaks, and do essentially unlimited amounts of damage using only conventional weapons without going on a "war footing" economically. The British gave some hint of that during the Falklands War, but Argentina didn't get rolled up like Iraq did. The Gulf War drove it home.

Maybe more fields should be like Art: In Art, Modernism is dead and buried and its tomb has been defaced a few times. Nobody dares imagine that recent or current art is Modern, don't be absurd. The modern era is not Modern in the slightest.
__________________
"Ridicule is the only weapon that can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them."
If you don't stop to analyze the snot spray, you are missing that which is best in life. - Miller
I'm not sure why this is, but I actually find this idea grosser than cannibalism. - Excalibre, after reading one of my surefire million-seller business plans.
  #48  
Old 12-12-2017, 08:48 PM
SeniorCitizen007 SeniorCitizen007 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 192
Towards the end of the 19th century scientsts were confidently claiming that human knowledge had reached a point where there was little more to be discovered ... it was now a case of applying the accumulated knowledge. Then, in the 1890s, the discovery of radioactivity, x-rays, etc. messed things up.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:18 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2017 Sun-Times Media, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017