More specifically, the modern era is generally considered to have begun sometime between 1870 and 1970. Some further limit modernity to the 1910-1960 period, after which the post-modern era is said to have started.
Modernity started as a prevailing popular social attitude in Western Europe during about the seventeenth century (which subsequently developed a world-wide influence). Modernity is characterized by changes in the economy-the advent of industrialism and capitalism, with social class as the main form of social division. Modernity is characterized also by urbanization, or the rapid birth and growth of cities. Modernity also means changes in government-the government is now centralized and, in effect, more powerful (although modernity also means generally more power to the individual).In modernity there is also a rise in general knowledge-society becomes more rational and scientific, and the dependence on religion and superstition is less.
According to Peter Berger, among the characteristics of modernity are the disintegration of traditional communities, the broadening of individual freedom and choice, the diversification of beliefs, and the future-oriented or progress-centric attitude of society in general.