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9. Acceleration
Just 500 years ago, humans lived in four separate world zones, each with distinct cultures and technologies. Now, humanity is linked within one interconnected network of information and commerce that spans the entire planet.

9.0 Acceleration

In the last 500 years, our world has undergone a transformation. Connecting the four world zones fostered astounding innovation and pushed our species into the modern era.

9.1 Why did change accelerate

Communication, transportation, and greater connection: the pace of innovation continued to accelerate, stimulating a tremendous appetite for energy.

9.2 How was the modern world created?

For the first time, a single species can effect major change on the entire biosphere. The Industrial Revolution has led us into the modern world. Are we on the brink of a new threshold?

9.3 Ways of knowing: The modern revolution

Smith, Marx, and Keynes – acceleration gave rise to three dynamic thinkers who had great influence on the ideas of commerce, labor, and the global economy.

Practice and feedback

Test your knowledge and skills! Investigate to what extent the Modern Revolution has been a positive or negative force, take on the quiz and glossary challenge, and submit feedback to help improve the Big History Project.