Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Social acceleration
(1,345 words)

The first attempts to establish social acceleration as a “historical epistemological category” cited the years around 1800, understood by many historians as an “axial age” [4. 368 f.]. Since then the entire early modern period has come to be viewed as a period in which the tempo of life increased. At the outset, the fast-moving 1520s might come to mind (the period of the wars of religion [Religion, wars of]), the revolutionary 1640s, or the “Atlantic” revolutions of the late 18th century, in which the rapid change in conditions gave contemporaries the impression that time was accel…

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Behringer, Wolfgang, “Social acceleration”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 02 October 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_017527>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180208

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