Wikijunior:Introduction to History/The Renaissance
That changed about five hundred years ago, in Europe, in a period called the Renaissance. Human life began to change, and change dramatically. Beginning with a Polish scientist, Nicholas Copernicus, in 1543, modern science grew to a point where it was self sustaining. No nation without science could successfully compete with a nation that knew science, and mankind entered the scientific age. This change is called the industrial revolution. The majority of people were still, as always, ignorant and superstitious, but governments were usually careful to nurture scientists, because of the wonderful inventions they could make.