No definition of an historical period is precise or absolute. However, the period between the mid-fifteenth century, ca. 1450 and the late eighteenth century includes the advent of printing, the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-Reformation, overseas exploration and colonization, the Scientific Revolution, the Englightenment, and the French Revolution, movements and events that have been identified as significant in the history of western Europe and its relationship to the world beyond Europe.
Early modern Europe, 1450-1789 [D208 .W54 2006] by Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks (Cambridge University Press, 2006) is a recent survey of the period that includes guides to further reading.
Europe 1450 to 1789: encyclopedia of the early modern world [Main Reference D209 .E97 2004] provides basic information on people, places, events, and economic, social, and cultural topics with bibliographies of key titles in the historical literature of the subject.
Time and Space
Historical atlases trace the changing contours of European space through time.
Oxford Atlas of World History (2002), Main Library Ref G1030 .O85 2002
The Times Atlas of European History (1998), Main Library Map Collection, Folio G1797.21 .S1 T5 1998
The University of Texas's Perry Castaneda Map Library includes historical maps of Europe and European countries at various points in time.
The British Library's Online Gallery includes Mercator's 1570 atlas of Europe.
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