It encompassed the High and Late Middle Ages of the Old World, the Islamic Golden Age and the period of Renaissance, followed by the Early Modern period, characterized by the Wars of Religion in Europe, the Age of Enlightenment, the Age of Discovery and the colonial period. Its final two centuries coincide with Modern history, characterized by industrialization, the rise of nation states, the rapid development of science, widespread education, and universal health care and vaccinations in the Western world. The 20th century saw increasing globalization, most notably the two World Wars and the subsequent formation of the United Nations. 20th-century technology includes powered flight, television and semiconductor technology, including integrated circuits. The term "Great Divergence" was coined to refer the unprecedented cultural and political ascent of the Western world in the second half of the millennium, emerging by the 18th century as the most powerful and wealthy world civilization, having eclipsed Qing China and the Islamic world. This allowed the colonization by European countries of much of the world during this millennium, including the Americas, Africa, Oceania, and South and Southeast Asia.
World population grew without precedent over the millennium, from about 310 million in 1000 to about 6 billion in 2000. The population growth rate increased dramatically during this time; world population approximately doubled to 600 million by 1700, and doubled more than three more times by 2000, ultimately reaching about 1.8% per year in the second half of the 19}}