Thursday, February 17, 2011
Our modern (or contemporary) world has its origins in the 19th century. Particularly in regard to developments in politics, economics and in the Industrial Revolution which occurred in Europe (including Russia) and in the US and which spread in a significant manner to Japan during the 19th century.
It seems these developments have spread across our modern world to such a significant degree that countries today are considered "modernized" or "developing" in regard to how they compare with what emerged from the 19th century in Europe and the US.
In considering the 19th century, it might be helpful to expand its time period from perhaps the American Revolution to the outbreak of WW I in 1914. Of course, a more firm starting point could be the French Revolution.
For 1,000 years and more Europe had been dominated by blood and religious faith, or the aristocracy and the Christian religion. Apparently this circumstance mostly dissolved in the 19th century as an emerging non-aristocratic citizenry challenged the political power of the aristocracy while secularism and a new materialism ascended. It took WW I to remove from power the last European emperor, kaiser and czar.
Many things developed during (and emerged from) the 19th century. It seems the Industrial Revolution is still proceeding (having evolved into our modern Technology Revolution.) A growing middle class desired democratic societies. Darwin happened. So did Nietzsche. So did Dostoyevsky. And so did Marx (eventually one-third of all the people in the whole world would be ruled by governments and regimes based on a 19th-century social/economic/political philosophy.)
Among the many revolutions which occurred in the 19th century (some failed, some succeeded) there was also a revolution in the Arts. Painters broke free from traditional ways of depicting reality, and this continues today. A more modern kind of literature developed (especially in regard to crime novels, which continue to be best-sellers in the US. Thank you Mr. Poe, Mr. Doyle, and Mr. Dostoyevsky.) Mr. Verne began writing sci-fi tales.
It seems, in regard to the making of our modern world -- worldwide --the 19th century might have been the pivotal turning point in history. Would you agree? Disagree?
Can anyone add some knowledge and detail in regard to the things which developed or originated in the 19th century? Nationalism? Imperialism? Atheism? Socialism? Capitalism as well as Marxism? Also, Feminism, the embryonic but growing movement for equal rights for women? Ground-breaking inventions? What about developments in other parts of the world during the 19th century such as in Asia, India, Africa, South America, etc.?
What things have I left out or missed (or gotten wrong?)