The history of literature in the Modern period in Europe begins with the Age of Enlightenment and the conclusion of the Baroque period in the 18th century, succeeding the Renaissance and Early Modern periods.
In the classical literary cultures outside of Europe, the Modern period begins later,in Ottoman Turkey with the Tanzimat reforms (1820s),in Qajar Persia under Nasser al-Din Shah (1830s), in India with the end of the Mughal era and the establishment of the British Raj (1850s), in Japan with the Meiji restoration (1860s), and in China with the New Culture Movement (1910s).
The 18th century sees the conclusion of the Baroque period and the incipient Age of Enlightenment with authors such as Immanuel Kant, Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau or Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. European cultural influence begins to spread to other continents, notably Edo period Japan, with notable authors of the period including Ueda Akinari and Santō Kyōden.
Early American literature appears towards the end of the century, e.g. with The Power of Sympathy by William Hill Brown (1789). The late 18th century in Germany sees the beginning Romantic (Novalis) and Sturm und Drang (Goethe und Schiller) movements.