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Discuss the 19th and 20th centuries in terms of social and political changes in the West. What were the most important ideas an - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Class 3 May 2013 Social and Political Changes in the West during the 19th and 20th Centuries Every century has its significant ideas and events, but some of them are powerful enough to have enduring impacts on existing national and international political systems…
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Discuss the 19th and 20th centuries in terms of social and political changes in the West. What were the most important ideas an
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In the nineteenth century, the most significant ideas and events were nationalism, feminism, and the Industrial Revolution. Nationalist sentiments resulted to numerous revolutions all over the world. These revolutions occurred from 1820 to 1848, and included the Spanish Revolution of 1820, Greek Revolution of 1821, and the Revolution in France in 1830. Throughout this time, America was growing economically, but was ravaged politically, until the American Civil War erupted in 1861 and lasted until 1865 (Duiker and Spielvogel 586). After this war, nevertheless, nationalism formed as the states greatly united toward nationalist directions and interests (Duiker and Spielvogel 587). Feminism grew alongside these changes, particularly after the Emancipation Proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucrita Mott organized the Seneca Falls Convention, where they signed a Declaration of Sentiments, which was designed to emulate Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence (Larson). The Declaration of Sentiments called for women’s right to vote, aside from women equality, which was considered a revolutionary change in the aspirations of women’s movement in America (Larson). Feminism is important because it supported the ideals of modernism and the civil rights movements during the twentieth century. Aside from Feminism, the first phase of the Industrial Revolution occurred, which technological developments supported. Britain's industrial expansion throughout the 19th century began from the latter part of the 1800s. Throughout the 1900s, Britain became the most powerful nation in the world through its formation of rail networks and steamships that stimulated national and international business and trade (Atterbury). Britain ruled the sea with the British India Steam Navigation Co., created in 1856, the biggest shipping line in the world, and dominated the world steel industry (Atterbury). The winners in the nineteenth century were those who had access to production resources, while the losers were the workers because labor rights hardly existed yet and agrarian sectors. Industrial Revolution did not accompany industrial rights, and so workers were employed in unjust and unsafe working conditions. Farmers lost many lands, while becoming slaves to emerging manufacturing plants. The injustice is felt at the increasing gap between the rich and the poor, although the middle class was increasing. The twentieth century brought forth modernism and World War I, which influenced other movements and events. Modernism broke off with Victorian morality and asserted a pessimistic understanding of the world economy and politics (Childs 20). The literature and art world challenged morality and traditional conventions, wherein T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, W.B. Yeats, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, and Franz Kafka experimented with literary form to shape modernist literary content (Childs 20). Modernists supported the later waves of feminism and the civil rights movement too, which produced important civil rights legislation from the 1960s onwards. Apart from modernism, World War I erupted, the Greatest War in terms of casualties and expenditures during this time, as well as technological dev Read More
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