Explain modernity as both an era of time and a quality.
As the concept of modernity can be interpreted in various ways, my explanations are as follows:
When describing modernity as an era of time, (at least as Amesto’s history book interprets on page 739) it is the era in which the world has started to accept two (one or the other or a little of both) schools of coexisting thought: religious and scientific.
The reason why I suggest this is because I feel that today’s post-modern world was really shaped by the consequences and aftermath of these kinds of thinking (i.e. scientific thought led to advancements in technology which further led the world to the technology we have today; religious thought likewise led to reformations or in some parts of the world, rebellion in reverting back to a pure but extreme form of region to combat new age lifestyles, customs and thinking from typically, the West).
Since Chapter 22 describes the Enlightenment (which is what led to modernity) as widespread throughout most the developed and developing world within the same time, I can say that modernity began in the 18th Century and flourished rapidly in the 19th and 20th centuries, leading up to the Cold War. Therefore, the quality of modernity in my opinion, can be measured by much that has been achieved and furthered in terms of standard of living, education, transportation, work, etc.
More specifically, modernity cannot be used to describe areas undergoing change through the fostering of “uncivilized behavior” (page 761) where modernist thoughts would include the spearheading of “civilizing” uneducated and unsocialized children of a society (akin to Manifest Destiny in how some settlers in the U.S. believed in the “good” of spreading modern Western culture and practice to “backwards people,” offensively referring to Native Americans).