Difference between Middle Ages and Modern Age

We must say that, in order to understand the historical moments of humanity, researchers have divided history into different periods. These periods have made it possible to differentiate the most important and significant changes that have occurred throughout the transition of man on earth. This division process is known as periodization and this time span varies from one historical event to another.

In the same order of ideas, human history can be divided into two great periods such as Prehistory or Stone Age and History, where each culture has made it possible to differentiate four well-defined epochs:

  • The Ancient Age : begins with the invention of writing (3,000 BC) until the fall of the Roman Empire (476 AD).
  • The Middle Ages – spans from the Barbarian invasions (5th century AD) to the 15th century AD
  • The Modern Age : extends from the end of the Middle Ages to the beginning of the French Revolution.
  • The Contemporary Age : covers from the eighteenth century to the present day.

Having mentioned the above, in this article we will point out the most relevant aspects of the Middle Ages and the Modern Age in order to know how to differentiate them.

Middle Ages

With a duration of ten centuries, this period begins in the 5th century with the fall of the Roman Empire in the West and culminates in the 15th century after Christ with the discovery of the American Continent, being considered the longest period in history. Thus, all the events that took place during this time took place in Europe and were mainly marked by great cultural, political, economic, religious and social changes. In this sense, the most relevant aspects of this period were:

  • In economics : the substitution of the slave production model for feudal production.
  • Culturally : classical culture is replaced by Christian or Muslim theocentrism.
  • Socially : Roman citizenship disappears.
  • Politically : Roman centralized structures disappear.

Modern age

It is the third period of history and covers from 1453, the year in which the taking of Constantinople occurs and ends in 1789 with the outbreak of the French Revolution. It was a very short period, but with a great transcendence in the advances that were developed. In this sense, the most relevant aspects of this period were:

  • Politically : large European monarchies were formed with the support of united social classes and the bourgeoisie with political ambitions.
  • Culturally : with the Renaissance, there was great literary, artistic and scientific progress.
  • In the social sphere: a selfish and individualistic concept of man was generated, with personal triumph, wealth and fame being his only objective.

On the other hand, during the Modern Age great geographical discoveries were made, which allowed the understanding of most of the earth’s surface.

In summary, having made an analysis of these two historical periods, some differences between the Middle Ages and the Modern Age can be observed in the table below:

Middle Ages Modern age
It was the longest period in history. It was the shortest period in history.
The political system was based on feudalism. The monarchy was strengthened as a political system.
The poor did not receive any kind of education. Education is made available to most people.
The poor worked and paid tribute to the Feudal lord while the King had control of all the territory. Economic alliances were formed between the countries against the Kings.

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