The "Modern" World is said to have begun with the...
....fall of the Roman Empire. In the West, The "Ancient" world could be considered to have begun with the advent of agriculture, which enabled people to settle in one area rather than roaming. Once established, the settlements would provide security for the population, and in concentrating the food supply in one area, certain individuals could become craftsmen rather than farmers. Eventually, having craftsman would lead to trade, and the establishment of barter or money systems, and eventually the rise of the city. These could evolve into city-states or empires. The last of these was Rome. Usually, when an empire falls, another takes its place; after the fall of Rome for nearly 1000 years the West regressed, trade diminished, living standards declined, and areas depopulated. Only after the Renaissance 500 years ago did culture begin to move forward. Interestingly, the Medaeval or "Middle" Ages, defined between the fall of Rome and the Renaissance, defines the grey area or "no man's land" between the Ancient and Modern world.
What a great conversations starter! I am sure that you will get many responses and great debates. If I had to take a guess I would say that the modern world began with the Greeks and the Romans. They were so advanced in so many areas and it would take Europe nearly 1500 year to rediscover what these people already accomplished. For example, the Romans were masters at architecture. Some of their buildings, as you know still survive. The Greek and Romans had advanced governments and we could trace democracy back to the Greeks in Athens. They also had incredible literature and arts. We still read them today and these works still resonate with us. The Greeks were also incredibly far ahead in science and math. If you think about any of these things, then they were very modern. But unfortunately through warfare, Europe was set back or many centuries until the Renaissance. It was only then that people started matching the accomplishments of the Greeks and Romans.
The divergence in thought on this could be seen in the topics being offered. Seeing that there can be no correct answer, I would say that the modern setting "began" with the invention of the Printing Press. The ability to print and disseminate information to more people on a mass scale helped to create the culture of information and the climate of individuals who wish to know. The invention of the printing press helped to set the table for all the other innovations that followed. News organizations, then and now, owe a great deal to Gutenberg's invention. The development of books and periodicals are realities based from Gutenberg's creation. The growth of radio and the emergence of the television are both applications of the Printing Press. The modern internet is an another application of it, also. It seems to me that Gutenberg's invention started the development of culture and technology that is an intrinsic part of modern consciousness today.
There is surely no one correct answer for this so I assume that your teacher or text has some answer that they expect to see.
With no other information, I could answer this in a number of ways. I could say that it started with the Renaissance which led to more humanism and interest in science. I could say that it began with the Reformation, which split the Christian world. I could say that it started with the French Revolution, which helped cause the spread of democratic ideas and of nationalism, both of which were important ideas. I could even argue that it started with WWI. And many more...
The beginning of monetary systems as opposed to barter. When manufacturing began in Europe in towns and cities that attracted population growth away from the farm regions. That is the basis for our world culture today. True the Renaissance and scientific discoveries contributed to this. But a uniform method of trading for goods and services has developed into the system we have today.