23. Modern Age



In the late fifteenth century and early sixteenth century, Europeans cross the Atlantic and reach the unknown lands by them. Is the era of so-called discoveries, which for Europeans, this means new products, new investment opportunities and new business further strengthening national states with the formation of colonial empires. The capitalist world economy is about to rise and changes in Christian Europe in the fifteenth century were so great that eventually producing a new epoch in history known as the Modern Age, was in this period that the Renaissance emerges.

In the Renaissance, the world appears as a setting of human actions, and not as an expression of divine will. The word Renaissance indicates, in all its aspects, the pursuit of economic, social and cultural life that happened in Italy and then the rest of Europe. The society of the time took a lot of Renaissance culture, which today comes to us. The Renaissance was undoubtedly the dawn of the Modern Age.

It is during this period that the great voyages and the discovery of the Americas happened. And Brazil was discovered in 1500 by Portugal , which did not arouse much interest to the Portuguese crown would rather trade with the Indies and keep in Brazil only removes brazilwood. Afraid of losing the land to other nations, Portugal in Brazil to create calls hereditary captaincies, large tracts of land that were donated to worthy within the Lusitanian court. General government was also created in Salvador, considered the first capital of Brazil and was Tomé de Sousa, the first Governor of Brazil, who arrived in 1549. The General Government remained until the arrival of the royal family to Brazil in 1808 and was the colonial period the longest period of Brazilian history. Over more than three centuries, which had its extinction formally in 1821, a year before the Declaration of Independence.

While Brazil was colonized by Portugal in Europe, Germany lived divided among various feudal lords and practicing an agrarian economy, the Church gathered there numerous taxes and owned large tracts of land, and to make matters worse, sold the church offices to the highest bidder and offered forgiveness of sins by paying indulgence. It was during this period that Martin Luther, the German monk, criticized the abuses and began to publicly denounce the corruption of the Roman Church and expounded his ideas that became known as the 95 Theses Luther. The Lutheran doctrine spread throughout Germany, Sweden, Norway and Denmark, also emerging in Geneva, at the preaching of John Calvin, Calvinism, and in England, under the reign of Henry VIII, met a new religion called Anglicanism, which recognized the king as supreme head of the Church and the State. The Protestant movement has reduced the influence of the Roman Church in several countries and led to the loss of their lands in these areas.

The rapid expansion of Protestantism and the pressure of Catholics for the moralization of religion made a reaction to affirm the Catholic faith arise, but the Church could only reassert itself definitively after the promulgation of the resolutions of the Council of Trent established that the rejection of Protestantism, maintenance of the seven sacraments, the mandatory use of Latin in the Mass, maintenance of celibacy for priests, order the sale of indulgences and the restoration of the Holy Inquisition courts for trial of actions and ideas contrary to Catholic thought. The moral rehabilitation of the Church stopped the advance of Protestantism, but did not prevent the division of doctrines. From the Reformation, the world was no longer subjected to the supremacy of the Roman Church.

It was in this period of European history that absolutism arose, this time enlightened and progressive, established a political order expressed in the constitution of the modern state and the existence of a new collective entity that, as of today, would form the nation. All that remained absolutism in Europe during the sixteenth , seventeenth and eighteenth centuries its final breakup encouraged the development of new economic policy. This meant that England could provide favorable conditions for being a pioneer in the Industrial Revolution and France with its ideals of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity in the French Revolution that occurred between the years 1789 to 1799 and was a period of intense political and social unrest France, which had a lasting impact on the country's history and, more broadly, the entire European continent, with the end of the Modern Age and the entry of humanity in the Contemporary Age, which is the current specific period in the history of the Western world.


Chronology of the Modern Age


  • 1453 - Taking of Constantinople.
  • 1453 - End of the Hundred Years War.
  • 1455 - Preparation and printing of the first book printed on a press of reusable furniture types: the Gutenberg Bible.
  • 1492 - Voyage of Christopher Columbus to America.
  • 1497 - Vasco da Gama leave to India.
  • 1500 - Official discovery of Brazil by Pedro Alvares Cabral.
  • 1517 - Martin Luther published the "Ninety-Five Theses". Beginning of the Protestant Reformation.
  • 1545 - First session of the Council of Trent. The last session was held in 1563.
  • 1776 - Independence of the United States on July 4.
  • 1789 - Start of the French Revolution.




23. Modern Age



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