This scheme of historical periodization
(dividing history into Antiquity, Post-Classical, Early Modern, and Late Modern periods) was developed for, and applies best to, the history of the Old World
, particularly Europe and the Mediterranean. Outside this region, including ancient China
and ancient India
, historical timelines unfolded differently. However, by the 18th century, due to extensive world trade
, the histories of most civilizations had become substantially intertwined, a process known as globalization
. In the last quarter-millennium, the rates of growth of population
, knowledge, technology, communications, commerce, weapons destructiveness, and environmental degradation have greatly accelerated, creating unprecedented opportunities and perils that now confront the planet's human communities. (Full article...