The greatest changes in world history during the early modern period have to do with the ongoing contact between the different regions of the globe that began with Columbus's (quite literally) misguided voyage in 1492. By the seventeenth century, the peoples of Africa, the Americas, Europe, and Asia were all linked by commerce, trade, politics, slavery, and warfare. Obviously, those contacts would only grow stronger going into the modern period.
Image Citations (Wikimedia Commons):
VOC Stock - Public Domain
Rembrandt Painting - Public Domain
Triangle Trade - SimonP
Slave Ship - Public Domain
Spanish Americas - Luis Wiki