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what's the meaning of "in the understanding of the times"

When a power center (state) seeks to grow, consolidate its authority, or modernize (in the understanding of the times), it is likely to harden its borders, centralize ...

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closed as off-topic by tchrist, Matt E. Эллен, MrHen, David M, oerkelens Apr 8 '14 at 8:00

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions that can be answered using commonly-available references are off-topic. A list of these references can be found here: List of general references" – tchrist, Matt E. Эллен, MrHen, David M, oerkelens
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

'Modernize' means different things to different people at different times.

At one time 'modernize' might have meant installing a bathroom in your house instead of throwing your waste into the street.

Now 'modernize' might mean improving your bathroom to have a bath, shower, bidet, jacuzzi, heating, expensive tiles etc

'In the understanding of the times' means whatever was thought to be modern at those particular times.

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