Take the "פני יהושוע" for example (Jacob Joshua Falk), one of the most popular Talmudic commentators of the early acharonim period, and someone very suspect for being perceived as living in some sort of vacum, was a contemporary, for example, of (Gottfried) Leibniz (I know, not the most shocking thing in the world, but not often thought of). In fact, it turns out that "the pne yehoshua" was kicked out of a Rabbinical post in Berlin (during only his third year there) because he displeased 'Veitel-Heine Ephraim' by making a judgment against him. And this Ephraim guy is the same dude who was in charge of depreciating the Prussian currency during the Seven Years' War.
The same time Yisrael Meir Kagan ("the חפץ חיים") was putting together a yeshiva in Raduń, Linclon was "freeing the slaves" in America. When he died things like the Hindenburg were flying around Germany (there's actually a brand new 'Zeppelin' blimp starting flights in California right now- the height of innovation!).
And the "שונה הלכות", or the "דרך אמונה" (works by Chaim Kanievsky that might one day be named after him) and the "יחוה דעת" (Ovadia Yosef) are living not far from Shiri Maimon(!), and in the same world as Paris Hilton! ..I don't know why, I just think that's a little funny!
There are obviously infinitely more examples than these, but you get the picture...
(By the way, the links are in case someone doesn't know what the hell I'm talking about.)
And while I'm already mentioning European conlficts of the last couple of centuries I want to mention that I think it's ironic that the Western Europeans and their descendants make light of the struggle over the future of "دار الإسلام " ('dar al-Islam') taking place on many fronts today, by asking "how anyone in todays' modern world could act so barbaric?". While in the meantime their own ('enlightened', European) conflicts of the past few centuries were only about money and power- and the only reason they're not fighting now is because they've lost all they had!