Period 3 1815-1914

What is (are) the primary contributions of the period to the course of modern history?

Many important contributions from this time period influenced the course of modern history. The first of these contributions is the Industrial revolution. The Industrial Revolution drastically changed the economy and traditional way of life in Europe. This movement allowed transportation and manufacturing to increase. There also was a bigger emphasis on capitalism, and this was encouraged by some governments, especially Great Britain’s. Another major contribution is the unification of Germany and Italy. These unifications lead to two more powerful countries in Europe. The centralized power enabled Germany to end the period as the most powerful state in Europe. This will lead to growing feelings of nationalism, especially in Germany. These two factors will influence World War I and Germany’s role in it. The creation of Zollverein, which is the economic agreement among the Prussian and Germanic states confederation. This helped further unite these states (before the unification of Germany) and can be seen as a precursor to European Union. The urban planning that took place among Europe during this time period affected the cities, specifically in Paris. The reconstruction and creation of wide boulevards and parks prevent revolutionaries from barricading in the streets. This is know the Paris that the world knows and recognizes today.

If you were a man on the streets during this time period what would be the vocabulary terms you would hear the most?

There are four words that I would most expect to hear on the streets during this time period. The first word is unification. During this time, a lot of effort (including different wars and alliances) went into unifying the Germanic states and the Italian states. This unification also led to two more powerful states in Europe. Nationalism is another word I would expect to hear. Nationalism was a growing feeling in many newly united countries and those winning the wars. I would also expect to hear the word romanticism because that was the art movement occurring at that time. Lastly, I would expect to hear the word revolution. I would expect to hear this because of the many revolutions that occurred during this time. These revolutions include the Hungarian revolution,

What are the greatest political events of the time period?

There are two great political events that occurred during this time. The first is the Congress of Vienna. This conference between was an effort to preserve the balance of powers in Europe. This established the overall goal and idea that this period represents. The unification of Germany and Italy would be the second great political event that happened.

What is the prevailing political theory of the time and who was the spokesperson?

Austrian foreign minister Metternich dominated discussions at the Congress of Vienna. He was very passionate about conservatism and emphasized this view at the meeting. Some of the components of conservatism that he stressed were monarchical status quo, obedience to authority and institutions, and importance of institutional religion. He was against revolutionary upheavals and liberal reforms, and nationalist aspirations. Metternich believed that these values created a well-ordered predictable society based on tradition.

Who are the philosophical spokesmen of the time? What is their point of view and what, if anything, did they write?

There weren't many important or influential philosophers during this time period. The two most prominent philosophers would be Arthur Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. Schopenhauer, who was German, argued the idea that people are animals. He said that withdrawal from worldly concerns to escape cruel competition is the path to human happiness. Nietzsche is known for more controversial beliefs. He denounced Christianity, which was not a very accepted belief. He had an idea of living free of rules and restrictions, which would result in a more intense level of life experience. Overall, Nietzsche challenged fundamental values of Western civilization.

What is the greatest social change of the time? Who is the leader of the movement and what is the outcome of this movement?

The greatest social change of this time was the emergence of a strong middle class. The urban middle class was diverse. The upper middle class included the most successful industrialists, bankers, and merchants. Increasingly, it merged with aristocracy. Middle ranks included doctors, lawyers, and moderately successful bankers and industrialists. The lower middle class included small business owners, salespeople, store managers, clerks, and other white collar employees. Middle class people were loosely united by a certain style of life and culture. They shared a code of behavior and morality and believed that hard work and personal achievement caused success. They denounced drunkenness and gambling and celebrated sexual purity and fidelity in order to separate themselves from the lower class. Dinner parties became a favorite and frequent social occasion, which boosted spending on food and entertainment. The middle class was not only well fed, but well housed. Greater emphasis was placed on outward appearance, especially their clothes.

What is the scientific movement of the time? Who represents this movement and what did he (they) do?

There were many new scientific movements during this time period. The first was the public health movement and bacterial revolution. Edwin Chadwick and Louis Pasteur made significant contributions to this movement. In England, Chadwick advocated and improved the sewage system, which was still very primal at the time. In France, Pasteur discovered bacteria caused disease, hence the germ theory. The theory of evolution from Darwin emerged at this time. This was a very controversial topic because it threatened religious beliefs. Social Darwinism also resulted in order to justify racist beliefs. Gobineau and Houston Stuart Chamberlain used Social Darwinism for these purposes. Gobineau asserted the superiority of the white race to Slavs and Jews. Chamberlain argued that Germanic virtues were superior to the Jews. Lastly, the atomic theory developed. John Dalton and Mendeleyev, who created the periodic table, were key players in the development of this theory.

What are the cultural advances or changes of the times? Who are the leaders of this movement (include art, literature, and music)?

During this time period, the Romanticism art period was occurring. Art, literature, and music all stressed the same values. These values included: emotions/passion, the individual/the dreamer, nostalgia, the middle ages, interest in history, nationalism, critique of progress/industrialization, romantic love, mysticism, nature (the power of nature and its beauty), childhood, innocence, and interest in folklore and folktales. Some key artists at this time were van Gogh, Picasso, Monet, and Manet. Important novelists included Tolstoy and Charles Dickens. The most important musicians were Beethoven, Chopin, and Schumann.

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