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Old 05-27-2011, 06:21 PM
Location: Cushing OK
14,545 posts, read 20,339,017 times
Reputation: 16933


Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
20th Century is fascinating because that's when Everything Changed.

Communications. While the telephone was invented in 1876, think about its spread. Then consider radio, television, satellites, and the Internet.

Transportation. In 1901, the steam train was advanced transportation. But really, most transportation still depended on the horse. Within 100 years came the automobile, the propeller-driven airplane, the jet aircraft, and spacecraft.

Technology. Heck, the computer alone is world-changing. But look at everything else.

Medicine. In 1901, medicine was barely out of the stone age. Very little was even understood about germ theory. Now we can even treat cancer with results that would have been considered miraculous just 10 years ago.

Society. Think about this. If you were a white European male in the upper echelons of a handful of countries, then life was okay in 1900. Everybody pretty much had a life that sucked. With equal rights for all ethnicities, genders, and faiths, huge advances have been made for the lot of people around the world. To be sure, there's still a lot of work to be done, but anybody who denies that quantum leaps forward have been made in this arena are simply smoking crack.
But then, there are other times when "everything changed". I'm very torn between the 20th century with its dark intensity and especially the holocaust, and the medieval world.

Because then, everything changed too. The Roman Empire fell and left anarchy out of which a wholly different society was born. It wasn't us but it was what came before us. Reading about it--and there are plenty of first person accounts left to read--its like reading about an alien world. We see a miserable world with death around each corner, but I doubt for those at the time it was percieved quite like that.

Then came the 14th centrury, their version of the 20th, and the black plague. Take away a third of the population, in mass waves of death and the way things are changes. It gave birth to our world when the surviving serfs could move on to another place since there were so few suddenly they had value, suddenly land owners were willing to compete and pay them. It was the violent and terrible birth pains of what we still live in.

For me its more fascination to read of something like the end of Rome or the 14th century than now. I remember when tv was a black and white fuzzy blob. I remember when we got the first cell and microwave and all the goodies we have now and to me the more interesting place is 1910 and the world rapidly falling into a war with reasons born of many centuries before and weapons nobody had ever thought could be and had no idea how terrible a century they'd begin.
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