The early modern period is the period between the years 1500 and 1800. It was the beginning of the recognizable nations in the world at present. On the other hand, the medieval period, also known as the middle age period, is the period between the 5th and 15th centuries, which commenced with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The medieval period was characterized by old-style disposal of classical antiques of both the medieval period and the modern period. The medieval period is divided into late, high, and early ages. These two periods differ in terms of various aspects such as religion, politics, the role of individuals, and the natural world.
As a result of various influences, the undoing of the papal authority marked the end of the mediaeval era and the commencement of the new modern period. At this point, the west and east parted their company. This period marked the divisions within the church, where there were multiple religions and the emergence of new religions. Christians restructured churches and in some cases it was associated with the separation of powers, the prominence of popular participation, and the independence of the church from the state control (Sayles 2). On the other hand, the only recognized religion in the medieval period was Christianity. Religion was extremely important in this period where life was dominated by the church. It was at this era where the numerous saints and pious men and women of the middle ages arose. In the medieval period, the Pope had the supreme authority. The second in command after the pope was the emperor. The church was very powerful in this period and people were required to pay tithe to the church. There was also was the exemption of the church from taxation. In this period, the power of the church was portrayed, where it went to the levels of owning armies as well as cities in addition to playing a great role in regulating the state affairs.
The political life in the medieval era was mainly feudalism. Some monarchs and knights maintained control and power of other powerful people referred to as lords. Lords owned extravagant homes, and estates throughout the nations. The feudal loyalty was often ignored but was dealt with at least the dominant political value overall Europe (Sears 10). There was an interplay between the three centers of power which included royal, noble, and church. This interplay had diverse outcomes in altered places. An example is France, where the church and the leadership were in contract. Therefore, the balance of power shifted in a way which was from magnates, and towards the king. As a result, the country had a centralized state. Germany on the other hand in this period was frequented by magnates who were against the church and politics, hence did not agree on many issues. Power, therefore, slipped away from the emperors to the magnates. England was also similar, wherein this period tussles led to the beginning of the political system, where there were different centers of power in the country. The differences were solved in the context of parliament.
On the other contrary, politics dominated the early modern period and there were empires that dominated and supported by military forces. Some of these empires include the Ottoman empires, Mughal and Safavid, amongst others (Dickinson and Sharpe 35). The political transformation to the early modern state occurred not only in Europe, but also in the Middle East. There was political justice concerns as expressed in variety of languages and genres. This led to changes in the government across the region, a factor that affected the relationship between the state and the social groups. This shows that there were both similarities and differences between the early period and the mediaeval period. Politics was a key factor that determined how the societies in these eras were governed.
The Place and Role of The Individual
There were different roles of people in the medieval period. The period was characterized by migration of people, invasion and population distribution. In this period there was also the deurbanization of people, as a result of the migration. People were very creative in art and architecture. The church was vital in facilitating the development of structures such as monasteries and cathedrals which contributed to the religious and political leadership of the time (Sayles 5). The economic power, which was characterized by the art and architecture development, began to shift from the eastern Mediterranean to Western Europe. The period was also characterized by the development of towns and cities. Communication also started getting advanced, as well as trade, which brought forth the rise of merchants. Human activities also included agriculture, where there was increased cultivation of beans. This led to a surge in population and also the disintegration of the preexisting feudal structures.
The early modern periods were characterized by the different roles of men and women. Women were domestic workers, with little economic independence. The husbands to the women gained chief fruits of the labor from women (Miller and Yavneh 14). The period was characterized by the advancing age of the first marriage of women. There were also different artists, who in this period had various types of art and architecture which is a similar case to the medieval period.
The Natural World
The two periods have different definitions and views of nature. Nature included the environment and the natural world excluding the humans and the urban environment. The air, water, and earth were very crucial to society, where they maintained them and ensured that they took care of forest and animals. The medieval historians have produced various scholarships on land and water where they were certain about the role of humans in this period in maintenance of the environment (Sayles 3). Despite the numerous agricultural activities by people, during the medieval period, they ensured that the environment was constantly maintained. For the early period era, there was the scientific revolution, which transformed the creative nature into a machine. Nature replaced God as the ultimate base for legitimation (Dickinson and Sharpe 49). The natural law shaped the political and social orders, where the natural desires justified the deregulation and expansion of commerce.
It is evident that there were various differences between the medieval and the early period era. The differences were with regard to nature, religion, art, and politics. However, the two eras also shared some similarities mostly in terms of religion, family structures, and the role of nature to society.