Modern history

subset of modern history that describes the historical period from approximately 1450 to 1789, common in English-language historiography

Contemporary history, in English-language historiography, is a subset of modern history that describes the historical period from approximately 1946 to the present. Contemporary history is either a subset of the late modern period, or it is one of the three major subsets of modern history, alongside the early modern period and the late modern period. In the social sciences, contemporary history is also continuous with, and related to, the rise of postmodernity. Contemporary history is politically dominated by the Cold War (1947–1991) between the United States and the Soviet Union whose effects were felt across the world. The confrontation, which was mainly fought through proxy wars and through intervention in the internal politics of smaller nations, ultimately ended with the Revolutions of 1989 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. The latter stages and aftermath of the Cold War enabled the democratization of much of Europe, Africa, and Latin America. In the Middle East, the period after 1945 was dominated by conflict involving the new state of Israel and the rise of petroleum politics, as well as the growth of Islamism after the 1980s. The first supranational organizations of government, such as the United Nations and European Union, emerged during the period after 1945, while the European colonial empires in Africa and Asia collapsed, gone by 1975. Countercultures rose and the sexual revolution transformed social relations in western countries between the 1960s and 1980s, as seen in the protests of 1968. Living standards rose sharply across the developed world because of the post-war economic boom. Japan and West Germany both emerged as exceptionally strong economies. The culture of the United States, especially consumerism, spread widely. By the 1960s, many western countries had begun deindustrializing; in their place, globalization led to the emergence of new financial or industrial centers in Asia, starting with Japan, which was followed by the Four Asian Tigers of Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan, and later China after its economic reform, which exported its consumer and technological goods around the world. Science made new advances after 1945: spaceflight, nuclear technology, laser and semiconductor technology were developed alongside molecular biology and genetics, particle physics, and the Standard Model of quantum field theory. Meanwhile, the first computers were created, followed by the Internet, beginning the Information Age.
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main subject: Modern history

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