Last 500 Years in a Tiny Newsletter | World History + Top Jobs
If we don't know where we come from, we won't know where we are going.
Today we are going to understand the major factors that shaped history of the last 500 years. You may remember our newsletter on the mental models to understand history. If you didn’t have time to read through it, just go through this image
The History of the Last 500 Years | Key Concepts and Timelines
The world in 1500
The age of exploration started in 1500. It was led by the Portuguese and the Spanish and brought them in contact with empires faraway. It was propelled by technology, particularly the invention of shipping that could travel the world, accumulate riches and trade.
There were no countries back then. Territories were run by families.
Religions and religious leaders were powerful. Science didn’t really exist.
The world was much less egalitarian. Not that it is egalitarian today but back then it was much worse. To give you an example, consider the Catholic Church. It acquired vast wealth mainly from poor farmers who gave money to the church and worked without pay on church agricultural lands.
The world has changed dramatically since then largely because of the change in thinking about how wealth and power should be shared. These changes are referred to as revolutions. To understand world history, you need have a sense of them. Let’s dig in.