Assuming you'd want to, it's actually not that hard. Just watch stuff like this, perhaps my favorite TV show when I was a lad.
The Industrial Revolution simply changed everything, and I've touched on it before. It made the Modern World. But there were a lot of moving parts, all interrelated, all influencing each other. A change in one (say, credit) led to a change in another (transportation).
Long time readers will start to see from whence came Planet Borepatch after you watch a few of these. James Burke did a fabulous job of making the show interesting and funny. That opened the opportunity to get you thinking.
The bit about John Locke is particularly interesting, as Locke's phrasing is explicitly commercial: the Social Contract. The context of most of history has been forgotten. For many people, that's not a big deal - after all, we're all busy getting on with our lives. But for people (like me) who want to understand why the world is the way it is - so you can figure out how it might evolve - that context is everything.
Now, you might not want to blog like Borepatch. Rumor has it he's a terrible bore (work with me here), but you'll gain 10 IQ points watching this series, now helpfully posted to Youtube.
This series, The Day The Universe Changed, is a follow on to Burke's earlier Connections. I found that first one to be a bit to manic and ever shifting. This takes a single idea and develops it over the course of a show, exploring and reexploring it from different sides. I think it's quite frankly the best educational series ever made.