Follow-up Comment #9, patch #1698 (project freeciv):
The term "early modern" does have a definition, in the sense that it is used
to refer to the years named in European history. So in that sense it is not
open to interpretation: it begins with a break from the past (widespread
access to books/the Protestant reformation/discovery of the new world), and
ends with more disruption (French revolution/mass industrialization).
I'm less certain about that modern/contemporary distinction, which I would
suggest might be dated to the fall of the Berlin wall...but I never studied
modern history, so I am much less sure of this division. It may be that it
is as closely defined in the eyes of modern historians as the term 'early
The problem, of course, with any division which is made, is that the
divisions are made on the basis of European history (as they already are, to
some extent). The more fine-grained the divisions become, the more the
history of just one region is highlighted.
On the other hand, more divisions are needed, as the number of nations grows.
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