Unit 2: The Renaissanceand the Roots of theModern World
What does it mean to be modern? What, if anything, is modern in particular about the Renaissance & Reformation? To what extent is the Renaissance & Reformation not modern? Is the Renaissance & Reformation a logical beginning for the story of the modern world?
Invented Traditions“Traditions’ which appearor claim to be old are oftenquite recent in origin andsometimes invented…”
First modern man?“What else, then,is all history, ifnot the praise ofRome?” Petrarch, 1304-1374
“Let fate do her worst, there are relics of joy,Bright dreams of the past, which she cannot destroy;Which come in the night-time of sorrow and care,And bring back the features that joy used to wear.Long, long be my heartwith such memories fill’d! Farewell….Like the vase, in which roses By Thomas Moore,have once been distill’d- 1779-1852You may break, you may shatter the vase if you willBut the scent of the roses will hang round it still.”
Rise of Renaissance HumanismMiddle Age--Divine Law Renaissance-Natural Law
Humanism Emphasis more on here and now instead Role of individual Rights of Man vs. Rights of Men Exploration of wider world
Fairbanks, Alaska 12,000 years ago- Modern times or not— —depends entirely on perspective!
“Big History”Years before Present • 14 BILLION (universe) • 4.6 billion (solar system) • 2.5 billion (photosynthesis oxygen) • 1.5 billon (first complex cells) • 600 MILLION (first fossils) • 500 million (vertebrates) • 325 million (reptiles) • 250 million (mammals) • 240 million (dinosaurs) • 200 million (birds) • 65 million (extinction of dinosaurs) 7 million (first hominines, bipeds) 250,000 (Homo sapiens, language)
“Big History”Three Eras of Big Human History ERA NO. 1 FORAGING 250,000 to 10,000 Years Ago - “Paleolithic” (Old Stone Age) Energy use 2,000 to 5,000 calories per day per cap ERA NO. 2 AGRICULTURE 10,000 to 250 Years Ago - “Neolithic” (New Stone Age) to Bronze and Iron Ages Energy use 12,000 to 26,000 calories per day per cap ERA NO. 3 INDUSTRIAL 250 years to present - The Steam and Electric Age Energy use 77,000 to 230,000 calories per day per cap
14 billion years in 14 14 years ago (Big Bang) 1 minute (China, Persia, 4.5 years (solar system) India, Mediterranean 4 years (first life on earth) civilizations) 7 months (multi-celled life) 24 seconds Mongols, Black Death 3 weeks (dinosaurs extinct) 15 seconds Renaissance & 3 days (first hominines) Reformation 50 minutes (Homo sapiens) 6 seconds (Industrial 6 minutes (in Alaska) Revolution) 5 minutes (agriculture) 2 seconds (WWI) 3 minutes (writing) 1 second (WWII to present)
Gross World Product since One Million Years B.C.
2000 years of world history“…everything to the left of 1800 is an approximation of population distributionaround the world and everything to the right of 1800 is a demonstration ofproductivity divergences around the world -- the mastering of means ofmanufacturing, production and supply chains by steam, electricity, andultimately software…” Derek Thompson, The Atlantichttp://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/06/the-economic-history-of-the-last-2-000-years-in-1-little-graph/258676/
Hans Rosling 3d Visualization from Poor & Sick to Rich & Healthy in last 200 years http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbkSRLYSojo
“The Anthropocene,” The Age of ManMore change in past sixseconds—250 years—than inthe previous 250,000 years.Carbon Dioxide Emissions
Climate Change Science is never completely certain! “The doubters are right that uncertainties are rife in climate science. They are wrong when they present that as a reason for inaction.” (Economist, March 18, 2010)
The Great Mystery of Modern HistoryThe great mystery of the modern world is how and why the so-called “continent” of Europe, which in the 15th century, was an economic, cultural and political backwater, would come to dominate every sphere of human activity on the planet by the end of the 19h century.