History of Early modern Europe

The Modern Age, following the traditional chronological division, comprises the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. This period is identified by a specific political or social order or regime (the Old Regime), characterized by the jurisdictional and patrimonial conception of sovereignty.
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Elliot Fernández

Elliot Fernández

He has a degree in History from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (2009) and a Master's in World History from Pompeu Fabra University (2011).

24/05/2019 | Last update:


The Early Modern Age, following the traditional chronological division, comprises the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. This period is identified by a specific political or social order or regime (the Old Regime), characterized by the jurisdictional and patrimonial conception of sovereignty and the inequality of men and women before the law; His system of values and beliefs had a widely accepted Christian foundation, and manifested an almost absolute respect towards the tradition and authority of Greco-Roman classics; and it was based on technical resources and forms of organization of production and work that were not radically different from the medieval ones.

Course articles: Early Modern History in Europe

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16th century economy: the colonial expansion, agriculture and trade

The Early Modern period saw no major changes in the economic and social structures inherited from the Late Middle Ages.

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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.

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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.


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