When we can use "recent past"? How much past time qualifies for "recent past"?
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It would depend on the subject at hand. In certain circles, anything in the Cenozoic Era might count as the 'recent past'. I've certainly used the term myself in ordinary conversation to mean 'since the last ice age'.
When referring to historic and architectural resources, there is the "fifty year rule", which means that the resources are younger than fifty years old.