What Is Taught in Modern World History?

Modern world history covers a vast expanse of time, from the late 15th century to the present day. It encompasses the political, social, and cultural changes that have shaped the modern world. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what is taught in modern world history.

The Age of Exploration

The early modern period was marked by great exploration and discovery. European powers such as Spain, Portugal, England, and France sent explorers around the world in search of new trade routes and territories. The Age of Exploration brought about significant changes in the way people thought about geography and their place in the world.

The Enlightenment

The Enlightenment was an intellectual movement that began in Europe in the 17th century. It emphasized reason, individualism, and skepticism towards traditional authority. The Enlightenment had a significant impact on politics, society, and culture throughout Europe and North America.

The Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution began in Britain in the late 18th century and spread throughout Europe and North America during the 19th century. It marked a significant shift from manual labor to machine-based manufacturing. The Industrial Revolution had profound effects on society, including urbanization, new forms of labor organization, and increased economic growth.

World War I

World War I was a global conflict that lasted from 1914 to 1918. It involved many of the major powers of Europe as well as several other countries from around the world. World War I had far-reaching consequences for both Europe and the rest of the world.

World War II

World War II was another global conflict that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved many of the same powers as World War I but also saw the rise of new superpowers such as the United States and Soviet Union. World War II had a profound impact on the world, leading to the emergence of the United States as a global superpower and the beginning of the Cold War.

The Cold War

The Cold War was a period of political and military tension between the Western powers, led by the United States, and the Eastern powers, led by the Soviet Union. It lasted from the end of World War II in 1945 until 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed. The Cold War had significant implications for world politics and international relations.

The Post-Cold War Era

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 marked the end of the Cold War and ushered in a new era in world history. The post-Cold War era has been marked by globalization, technological advancements, and increased international cooperation. However, it has also been characterized by new conflicts and challenges such as terrorism, climate change, and economic inequality.


Modern world history is a vast subject that covers many different topics and periods. From the Age of Exploration to the post-Cold War era, there have been many significant events and changes that have shaped our world today. By studying modern world history, we can gain a better understanding of where we come from and where we might be headed in the future.