The history of the Early Modern Age in Europe, following the traditional chronological division, includes the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. This period is identified with a specific political and social order (the Ancien Régime or Old Regimen), characterized by the jurisdictional and patrimonial conception of sovereignty and by the inequality of men and women before the law.
The system of values and beliefs of the Ancien Régime had a widely accepted Christian foundation, and showed an almost absolute respect for the tradition and authority of the Greco-Roman classics. It was based on technical resources and forms of organization of production and work that were not radically different from medieval ones.
Early modern Europe: an introduction
The fall of Constantinople and the discovery of America are considered the two seminal events that serve to mark the beginning of the Early modern in Europe.
16th-Century Economy: Colonial Expansion, Agriculture, and Trade
At the beginning of the Modern Age, no great changes were observed in the economic and social structures inherited from the Late Middle Ages.
Cities and Countryside in 16th-century Europe
In 16th century Europe, only 2% of the population lived in cities of more than 40,000 inhabitants. Major urban centres began to emerge on an eminently rural continent.
Renaissance and Humanism in Europe
Humanism was a movement for cultural renewal, which emerged in Italy in the 14th century and spread throughout Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Protestant Reformation and Counter-Reformation
The 16th century in Europe was a period of religious conflicts, in which the unity of Western Christianity was definitively broken.
Alliance System and military conflicts in Europe (1494-1606)
The politics of the 16th century was marked by the establishment of large monarchical states in Europe, which struggled to consolidate their power by controlling more territory, both in Europe and in the newly discovered territories in America and the Pacific.
The Iron Age: Baroque economy and society