The difference between new and recent history.

Modern scholars distinguish such periods of the development of civilization as modern and recent history. What characterizes each of them?

Facts about modern history

New history is, in accordance with the concept widespread among Russian researchers, the period between the English Revolution, which took place in the middle of the 17th century, and the end of the First World War.

This global confrontation partially coincides in time with the socialist revolution in Russia in 1917. This is significant from the point of view that many researchers associate the beginning of a new history with the collapse of the Russian Empire, one of the last states in Europe, with virtually unlimited monarchical power. In addition, the revolution in Russia marked the beginning of the formation of the USSR - a state with a completely unique social system for world history - socialist.

It should be noted, however, that the term "new history" in European scientific thought appeared long before the First World War, as well as the February Revolution in Russia. Even in the Renaissance - in the 14-16 centuries - it was used along with the concepts of ancient and middle history.

As for the content of the period of modern history, it was characterized by:

  • rapid growth of capitalist relations;
  • modernization of the means of production;
  • development of printing and mass media, education;
  • theoretical development and implementation into practice of new political forms of government, alternative to monarchical government, such as a republic with 3 branches of government.

Between the countries of the world in modern times, wars began every now and then - for the colonies, for the intra-European territories. New states were formed as a result of the unification of peoples close in culture and language.

Facts about recent history

Recent history is the period between the end of modern history (determined in accordance with the criteria we discussed above) and the present. It can be noted that some researchers believe that there is a certain transitional period between the two stories - from the end of the 19th century to about the 20s of the 20th century. The fact is that during it a large number of events took place that significantly influenced the formation of the picture of the world. This is not only the First World War and the socialist revolution in Russia, but also, for example, the armed conflict between the British and the Boers, which began in 1899, or the war between Spain and the United States, which broke out in 1898.

The period of modern history is characterized by:

  • further development of capitalist relations - in particular, in the form of such forms as stock and foreign exchange markets;
  • transformation of the majority of states into a republican form of government;
  • the rapid introduction of various technological innovations into everyday life (especially in the field of computing and communications);
  • the relative stabilization of the borders of the states of Europe, and then - the colonies that became independent from them.


The main difference between modern history and modern history is in their periodization. Modern history is a period from about the middle of the 17th century until the end of the First World War (or the socialist revolution in Russia). Next comes recent history. At the same time, some researchers distinguish a transitional period between them.

Both historical periods differ significantly, of course, in their content. In recent history, capitalist relations, the development of technology, and political communications have reached a completely different level.

Having considered the difference between new and recent history is most obvious, we will fix the criteria we have identified in a small table.


New history Recent history
Corresponds to the period from the middle of the 17th century to the end of the First World WarCorresponds to the period from the end of modern history (according to one version - the last years of the 19th century) to the present day
Most states are monarchies, republican institutions were gradually introducedMost states are republics, constitutional monarchies
new statesThe borders of European states, as well as their colonies - upon their independence - have generally remained unchanged
Characterized by a moderate development of production and communication technologiesCharacterized by the rapid development of production and communication technologies