Research topic: Modern history
The term modern history refers to the period from approximately 1800 to the present day. This period has been characterised by swift industrial and material growth and enormous developments in infrastructure and methods of communication.
The spread of industrial methods of production has provided the basis for strong economic growth in large parts of the world. Living conditions and ways of life have undergone fundamental changes. For example, average life expectancy has doubled from 36 years in 1820 to over 72 years in 2000.
Cross-border and intercontinental interactions have created challenges that have gone beyond the framework of national politics, necessitating the adoption of certain rules and guidelines of international interaction. One result of this has been the emergence of a number of international/supranational organisations, such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the United Nations and the International Court of Justice at the Hague.
Key aspects of the modern epoch have been the growth of nation states, colonisation and decolonisation, World Wars I and II and the War on Terror.