Chapter 7 - People Multiply and Dominate the Globe: The Modern Wave

The Modern Wave emerges around 1500 CE when some Western European countries rise to prominence, beginning with the conquest of the Western hemisphere and followed by interaction with and subjugation of societies throughout the world. Modern characteristics, shaped largely by Western Europeans, diffuse around the world after 1500. The Modern Wave is arranged into the early modern era, the modern industrial era, and the modern 20th century.

On the right are links to 10 categories of teacher resources.
Most are in PDF format (requires Adobe Reader)

Author’s Comments

What I call the Modern Wave has been the subject of lots of textbooks, research, and classes. Information in this wave is taught in U.S. History, Western Civilization, World History, and government courses. What new might I add, you may ask. And with good reason. This topic is already stuffed with information overload!

What I tried to do in this chapter on the Modern Wave is take out some of the detail and provide a framework for seeing this part of human history. With this framework the significant changes that have shaped our lives today emerge in skeletal form. Most of the attention in this wave is focused on Western Europe, since that is the area where most modern changes took place. But most of the world, even much of Western Europe, experienced modern changes relatively slowly. Characteristics of the Urban Wave continued in much of the world, the Ming and Qing Dynasties in China, the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East, and the Mughal Empire in India, for example. The Communal and Agricultural Wave continued as well. But modern forces were unrelenting and battered the empires of the Urban Wave and the villagers in the Agricultural Wave into accepting modern changes in one way or another.

The key to this chapter is to understand the modern forces. What are they? They come in different forms but they emerge out of the modern worldview that started to develop around the 1500 date. Join with me in examining this Modern Wave and understanding the tremendous impact it has had on our planet and way of life today.

Kind regards,
Denise Ames