Research topic: Early Modern History
The term “early modern period” is used particularly in European history, and covers the period from ca. 1500 to ca. 1800, which is to say from the Reformation to the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution. In Norway, the division between the periods typically coincides with the political upheaval in 1814.
This is a period in which one finds “modern” features such as the development of branches of government and bureaucracy, standing armies, overseas colonies and world trade, the scientific revolution and the Age of Enlightenment.
But we also find features we would now perceive as distinctly different from today’s forms of Western modernity, such as absolutist regimes, strict regulation of the very disparate rights and privileges of social classes, religiously motivated laws, politics and wars, witchcraft trials and magic. The contrast is therefore striking in some areas, while in many others one can clearly see that many basic features of the modern period can also be found in the early modern period.