When anyone asks us to describe the present modern world ,the immediate words that we remember are REPUBLIC , LIBERTY , EQUALITY , HUMAN RIGHTS , DEMOCRACY , SOVEREIGNTY, FRATERNITY etc…Today , Nations all over the globe are trying to move towards establishment of Republican governments ( either directly elected by the people or indirectly elected by the people).Here comes two main questions :
1.What/Who gave birth to these concepts of liberty , equality , democracy etc…?
2.What are the causes for this social change?
WHAT/WHO GAVE BIRTH TO THE MODERN WORLD CONCEPTS:
We can with no doubt say that the basic foundation for the modern world concepts was laid down during the Renaissance period . The Renaissance was a fervent period of European cultural, artistic, political and economic “rebirth” following the Middle Ages. Generally described as taking place from the 14th century to the 17th century, the Renaissance promoted the rediscovery of classical philosophy, literature and art.
It is during this period that many Renaissance thinkers like Leonardo da vinci ,Desiderius Erasmus( led humanity movement in northern Europe) , Dante , Niccolo Machiavelli(The prince), Thomas More etc… have written many articles , published news journals and books which supported the concepts of Humanism , Equality , Liberty etc… and made the people of Europe to acknowledge the importance of the afore said concepts and the development they can bring to the people of all classes.
Later the historic revolutions like American revolution and French revolution have laid the profound foundation for the present day world. These two historical events were mainly caused due to the change of the society and the theories and ideas of the then famous political thinkers like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Baron de Montesquieu, Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau( The Social Contract) etc… who are known as the Enlightened thinkers.These thinkers introduced and popularised the Democratic principles like Right to vote, rights of man and citizens , Women education and economic participation , republican governments , constitution , Congress/parliament/Duma etc…
The main and most important change or feeling that these revolutions have brought into the general public was the feeling of ‘Nationalism’ and ‘patriotism’. This is the time when many ‘Nation-states’ have sprung up in Europe and American continents.
CAUSES FOR THE SOCIAL CHANGE :
The following are the causes for the social change that was seen during Renaissance and American and French revolutions. They are :
1.Historians have identified several causes for the emergence of the Renaissance following the Middle Ages, such as: increased interaction between different cultures, the rediscovery of ancient Greek and Roman texts, the emergence of humanism, different artistic and technological innovations, and the impacts of conflict and death.
2.International: struggle for hegemony and Empire outstrips the fiscal resources of the state
3.Political conflict: conflict between the Monarchy and the nobility over the “reform” of the tax system led to economic paralysis and bankruptcy.
4.The Enlightenment: impulse for reform intensifies political conflicts; reinforces traditional aristocratic constitutionalism, one variant of which was laid out in Montequieu’s Spirit of the Laws; introduces new notions of good government, the most radical being popular sovereignty, as in Rousseau’s Social Contract ; the attack on the regime and privileged class by the Literary Underground of “Grub Street;” the broadening influence of public opinion.
5.Social antagonisms between two rising groups: the aristocracy and the bourgeoisie and Economic hardship, especially the agrarian crisis of 1788-89 generates popular discontent and disorders caused by food shortages.
6.Increasing feeling of unity due to extreme exploitation by the colonial empires like Britain through imposing heavy taxs in the name of a number of laws including the Sugar Act, Currency Act, Quartering Act, and the Stamp Act.
However , there are other features of the Modern World like Technological developments , Medical science development , Mass Communication networks and Advanced Transport facilities etc… which have also found their foundation from the above mentioned period of history.
Due to the increasing Geographical discoveries and imperialism, these social changes have spread to the eastern countries/the then colonies.In India , famous personalities and scholars like Tippu sultan , Raja Rammohan Roy and Derozio have got inspired from the western revolutions like the French revolution and talked about its significance , and many others debated of the post-revolutionary Europe.The development in the colonies , in turn , reshaped these ideas of societal changes.And finally evolved into the present day MODERN WORLD.