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European History

            After 1500 there were many signs that a new age of world history was beginning, for example the discovery of America and the first European enterprises in Asia. This new age was dominated by the astonishing success of one civilization among many, that of Europe. There has certainly been "progress" in Western history since 1500. Europeans eventually became masters of the globe and they used their mastery to make the world one. That resulted in a unity of world history that can be detected until today. Politics, empire building, and military expansion were only a tiny part of what was going on. Besides the economic integration of the globe there was a much more important process underway: The spreading of assumptions and ideas. The result was to be one World. The age of independent civilizations has come to a close.
             The history of the centuries since 1500 can be described as a series of wars and violent struggles. Obviously men in different countries did not like another much more than their predecessors did. One could also say that the world was Europeanized, for the period of modernization was a matter of ideas and techniques that have a European origin. A great change in Europe was the starting-point of modern history. There was a continuing economic predominance of agriculture. Agricultural progress increasingly took two main forms: Orientation towards the market and technical innovation; they were interconnected. Agricultural improvement favored the reorganization of land in bigger farms, the reduction of the number of small holders, the employment of wage labor, and high capital investment in buildings, drainage and machinery.
             In the late sixteenth century one response to the pressure of expanding population upon slowly growing resources had been the promoting of emigration which urged further progress throughout Europe. By 1800, Europeans had made a large contribution to the peopling of new lands overseas.

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