4. Scientific & Philosophical Revolutions

Historical Narrative:
 
During the three centuries after 1450, Western civilization changed in dramatic ways. Still a largely agricultural society in 1750, the West had become unusually commercially active and had laid out a growing manufacturing sector. Government powers had expanded, and new political ideas complicated the picture. Beliefs had changed. Science came to form the center of intellectually life for the first time in the history of any society. Popular beliefs, including ideas about family and nature, also had shifted.
 
Europe's internal changes unfolded amid much internal conflict. A host of terms such as Renaissance and Enlightenment, describe key phases of change. Although there was no master plan, there were focal points: Europe's transformation centered on commerce, the state, and culture, with some support from technology. Between 1450 and 1650, a series of cultural shifts held center stage along with the rise in trade. Thereafter, the scientific revolution and the advent of new political forms introduced additional changes, which were amplified in the 18th century Enlightenment.
 
Source:
Stearns, Peter N., Adas, Michael, Scwartz, Stuart B., and Gilbert, Marc Jason. World
    Civilizations: The Global Experience - Third Edition. p. 363. New York: Addison-Wesley
    Educational Publishers, Inc., 2003.
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