Jacques Barzun has written a study: From Dawn to Decadence 1500 to the Present : 500 years of Western Cultural Life.  We will look at what he has to say about the rise of modernity. Part will be discussed here and another in the Enlightenment section. His book has IV parts: as follows -

I From Luther's 95 Theses to Boyle's "Invisible College"

II From Bog and Sand of Versailles to the Tennis Court

III From Faust, Part I too "Nude Descending a Staircase No.2"

IV From "The Great Illusion" to "Western Civ Has Got to Go"