Science and Technology – Measuring the beginning of the Modern World

Topics: Industrial Revolution, Scientific revolution, World War II Pages: 5 (1288 words) Published: September 20, 2014
Science and Technology – Measuring the beginning of the Modern World Using science and technology as a measure, the beginning of the modern world began through a series of events that where driven by the desire to explore new parts of world, to improve communications and to grow the economy. These events are known as the scientific revolution, industrial revolution, advancements in medicine, the age of electricity, and wars. As years go by, the modern world today is still impacted by these events and continues to strive to improve on quality and speed of what science and technology can deliver today. It can be argued that the modern world began with the scientific advancements that took place between 1550 and the 1700’s, thanks to the efforts of Copernicus, Galileo, and Sir Isaac Newton (text, 582), just to name a few. The Scientific revolution, as historians call it, is the era when Copernicus, developed the heliocentric model of the universe (text, 530).  This states that the sun is the center, and that the earth revolves around it (lecture, 107). Galileo continues Copernicus' work by observing the skies with a homemade telescope.  Although he was able to prove Copernicus correct, his work was rejected by the Church and he was forced to recant (take back) or face execution. Here we see the struggle between science and religion that we still experience today. Between 1642 and 1727, Sir Isaac Newton proposed universal laws and a mechanical universe. Newton used mathematics to describe gravity as the force that keeps planets revolving around the sun.  He also explained that this same force is what causes objects to fall to earth. The Scientific Method is we know and study it today was at the center of these discoveries. Amazingly this methodology consisting of specific steps is still applicable and used today to explain theories through the use of observation and experimentation. A culture and methodology of science was created and educated people increasingly began to look to science to explain the inexplicable. The Scientific revolution established standards for modern science as well as challenged the power of the Church. During this time knowledge and reason replaced mystical beliefs and religion. The result of the scientific revolution was the industrial revolution which clearly stimulated European economy leading to essential world domination by the European nations by 1900. The Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain and spread to Belgium, France, Germany, the United States and Japan. During 1750, most people in Europe lived on small farms and produced most of their needs by hand. A century later, many people lived in cities and most of their needs were produced by complex machines using steam power. It was a fundamental change in the way goods were produced, and altered the way people lived. The Industrial Revolution was a time of scientific and technological advancement. Advancements in agriculture took place in the 1700’s with Jethro Tull, a British farmer and inventor (BBC Online). He created the mechanical seed drill to aid in planting (BBC). Tull's complete system was a major influence on the agricultural revolution and its impact can still be seen in today's methods and machinery. Britain experienced a revolution in energy use as they switched from animal power, to water power, to steam power in a few short years. In 1712, Thomas Newcomen developed a steam engine powered by coal (BBC). This engine was used to pump water out of mines. Later, James Watt would improve on this engine, and Watt's steam engine would be the power source of the Industrial Revolution (BBC). Steam power had one great advantage: it allowed factories to be located anywhere that made economic sense instead of limiting the location to streams and rivers (Lecture 116). The transportation revolution came about with the building of canals which allowed boats to go to places not along rivers (Lecture 116). The next British...
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