24 November 2009

The Three Stages in the History of the World

Based on how man satisfies his needs, that is, based on how man produces goods, the history of the world can be divided into the following three stages:

1. Hunting-gathering (began 2,00,000 years ago)
2. Agricultural (began 12,000 years ago)
3. Industrial (began 200 years ago)

These stages can also be called, respectively:
1. Primitive
2. Traditional
3. Modern

The primitive stage of hunting-gathering corresponds to pre-history, while the traditional/agricultural and modern/industrial stages together correspond to history.

History is usually classified into three periods: ancient, medieval and modern. The periodisation, in the case of Europe and India, is like this:

AncientClassical age of Greece and Rome (–500 AD)The Hindu period (–712 AD)
MedievalChristian age of the Catholic Church (500–1500 AD)The Islamic period (712–1707 AD)
ModernSecular/humanistic age after the Renaissance (1500 AD– )The European period (1707 AD– )

So the 'Modern' period is different for different civilisations*. However, when speaking of the history of mankind as a whole, the Modern Age is the Industrial Age (and 'modernity' refers to industrial society). When did this Modern Age begin?

The Industrial Age began with the Industrial Revolution, which occurred from 1775 to 1850. However, most of the major developments happened between 1775 and 1800. Therefore, 1800 can be taken as a convenient year for the birth of the modern world.

Btw, the Ancient and Medieval periods together come under the Agricultural/ Traditional stage.

*The word 'modern' means 'present' or 'contemporary' (from Latin 'modo' = 'just now').

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