Is Modern History Really that Modern?

Is Modern History Really that Modern?

Lord John Acton (1834-1902).

Modernity is often presented as a negation or suppression of the past. It is considered a novel way of looking at all aspects of society. However, that vision is not based on reality. Modernity did not erase the past but actually built upon it.

One of the best definitions of modern history comes from Lord John Acton (1834-1902).

”Modern history,” says Lord Acton, “tells how the last four hundred years have modified the medieval conditions of life and thought.”

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This might seem a generalization but the fact is that many of the modern systems of representation, class structures, law and scientific inquiry can only be seen as coming from the Middle Ages. So many of those Western institutions associated with family, community and faith find their origins in medieval roots. So much of the debate over principles and structures centered on points that were substantially medieval.

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  • Ernest Zenone

    I teach an adult Sunday School class: In the matter of private property, I quoted the Catholic Catechism on the 8th Commandment: “The shalt not steal”. According to the statement, property belongs to the state and not to individuals. This is what Communism believes! Government controls wealth and distribution. This is a fatal blow to freedom. America is great because of it’s Constitution and protection of private property. Yet the Constitution is being ignored and income is more and more the property of the State! Does anyone realize this? Could you quote the Catechism on the 8th Commandment so everyone can read exactly what it says?