Changes and continuities in western europe 1000 1700

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Changes and continuities in western europe 1000 1700

The nature of modern society General features Modernity must be understood, in part at least, against the background of what went before. Industrial society emerged only patchily and unevenly out of agrarian society, a system that had endured 5, years.

Industrial structures thus took much of their characteristic form and colour from the rejection, conscious or unconscious, of preindustrial ways. Industrialism certainly contained much that was new, but it remained always at least partly an idea that in both its theory and its practice was to be understood as much by what it denied as by what it affirmed.

The force of the modern has always been partly a reactive force, a force that derived meaning and momentum by a comparison or contrast with, and by rejection or negation of, what went before. Considered at the most general level, this point suggests a view of modernization as a process of individualization, differentiation or specialization, and abstraction.

Second, modern institutions are assigned the performance of specific, specialized tasks in a social system with a highly developed and complex division of labour; in this they stand in the sharpest possible contrast with, for instance, the family in peasant society, which is at once the unit of production, consumptionsocializationand authoritative decision-making.

Third, rather than attaching rights and prerogatives to particular groups and persons, or being guided by custom or tradition, modern institutions tend to be governed and guided by general rules and regulations that derive their legitimacy from the methods and findings of science.

Nevertheless, they do illustrate the dependence of the concept of modernity on past structures that form the basis of comparison and exclusion. Indeed, it is such a set of contrasts, not necessarily carefully distinguished, that most people have in mind when they speak of modern as opposed to traditional society.

With regard to the more positive features of industrialism, industrial society can best be thought of as consisting of an economic core around which other, noneconomic structures crystallize.

The relation of the economic to the noneconomic realm is mutual and interactive, as can be seen by considering the impact of scientific ideas on economic and technological development.

Modernization - The nature of modern society |

Still, it is true to say that, fundamentally, it is the economic changes that most dramatically affect industrial society. Economic change Economic historians and theorists have been inclined to stress economic growth as the central defining feature of an industrial as opposed to a nonindustrial economy.

Thus, the British historian Edward Anthony Wrigley b. Underlying this phenomenon of growth are certain core components of the industrial system. These include technological changewhereby work is increasingly done by machines rather than by hand; the supplementing or replacement of human and animal power by inanimate sources of energy, such as coal and oil; the freeing of the labourer from feudal and customary ties and obligations, and the consequent creation of a free market in labour ; the concentration of workers in single, comprehensive enterprises the factory system ; and a pivotal role for a specific social type, the entrepreneur.

It would be easy to vary and extend this list. Not all components are of equal importance, nor are all equally indispensable to the industrial economy. They are drawn largely from the experience of the first industrializing nations, in western Europe and North America.

Later industrializers were able to dispense with some of them, or at least to try to do so. The Soviet Unionfor instance, industrialized on the basis largely of forced rather than free labour and made a point of doing away with entrepreneurswhile in Japan the entrepreneur was throughout stimulated and sustained by strong state involvement in industrialization.

Moreover, it should be remembered that states—as, for instance, Denmark and New Zealand—can industrialize largely through the commercialization and mechanization of agriculture.

Agriculture simply becomes another industry; farms are simply rural factories. Even in this latter case, there is no place for a distinctively rural way of life in industrial society.

Changes and continuities in western europe 1000 1700

Mechanization brings an increase in productivity that renders a large portion of the rural labour force superfluous. Even where agriculture remains an important part of the industrial economy, the proportion of the labour force employed in agriculture drops steadily with industrialization.

A majority of the workforce comes to be employed in the production of manufactured goods and in services rather than in the primary sector of agriculture. In both the United Kingdom and the United States, for instance, by the end of the 20th century more than 97 percent of the employed population worked in manufacturing and service jobs, while the number in agriculture had declined to less than 3 percent.

Japan, as an example of a late developer, showed the same pattern: By the late s the declining number of workers involved in Japanese agricultural production represented only 5 percent of the workforce.


These figures should be compared with the normal condition of preindustrial agrarian societies, where typically 90 percent of the adult population are peasant farmers or farm workers. The vast increase in agricultural productivity on which this sectoral change in employment depends is characteristic of industrialism.

Industrial society breaks through the historic limits of scarcity. In the past, the potential for economic growth was always cut short by Malthusian checks on population, by limitations of food supply, or by the shortage of easily available raw materials such as wood. Industrialization permits the creation of large food surpluses that can feed a largely urban population.

The entire world, both on land and in the sea, is scoured for raw materials and further energy sources to supply industry. Science has so far proved remarkably effective at finding substitutes for those sources that have dried up and those materials that have become dangerously scarce.

Population change There have been two major population explosions in the course of human social evolution. Following the Neolithic or agricultural revolutionthe population made its first major leap, reaching over the short span of 8, years around million by the year bc 2.Feb 27,  · Please help, I need examples of how the region of Western Europe changed and what continued between the years I need at least two changes and two Resolved.

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Between the years CE Western Europe and Russia have gone through several political and economic changes, though they have existed in different districts of Europe. Continuity and Change over time for Unit 2. Western Europe: Continuities. Christianity (stayed the most dominant religion in Western Europe throughout the post-classical era), Feudalism (stayed popular even through the rise of nation states) Eastern Europe: Political.

The changes and continuities that took place within Western Europe’s economy from CE influenced its society into becoming a more globally connected/economically successful social order.

A.P World History Wiki. Questions of Periodization Nature and causes of changes. The fall of classical empires led to decentralization of government in China and in Europe .

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