As have world hegemony of Europeans, and “although

            As discussed in class, the twentieth
century was a century of change in Europe. These changes expanded the realm of
possibilities, causing a cultural mind shift, developing a greater influence on
the rest of the world and society even to this day. The political, social, and diplomatic
changes that occurred caused different opinions and actions which were all
perceived and used differently throughout the world.

            The wave of imperialism was the
first of the changes. Great Britain, France and Germany were the main imperial
powerhouses at the turn of the century controlling large portions of the globe.
(Stromberg, p.2) Competition between the European powers for new colonial possessions
grew, as it became a battle to acquire the last territories open for colonization.
It was their mission to have world hegemony of Europeans, and “although some European
liberals and socialist protested against inhumane methods of imperial rule, not
even they questioned the mission of Europe, by virtue of its higher
civilization, to impose its economic and social system on the more “backward”
peoples.” (Stromberg, p.3) In order to maintain these colonies and provide the
services needed for the natives, the imperial powers in Europe had to “spend
more money on the colonies than what they received in profit, favorable prices
on raw materials or other benefits.” (Stromberg, p.4) Asia, Africa, and Latin
America all became victims of imperialism, and although some may have resisted
the flood-tide of Western civilization, others were already interested in
adopting the ideas of the West. “India’s Jawaharlal Nehru, who thought that “the
very thing India lacked, the modern West possessed to excess,” hoped to inject
some but not too much of this dynamic outlook into the somnolent body of Mother

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            With competition always there,

            Another dramatic change that occurred
was the transition into Nationalism, which was everywhere in the ascendancy. “It
was found among intellectuals, common folk, and even among the socialists.”
(Stromberg, p.6) During this period, many people were discovering for the first
time that they were national peoples and revived ancient languages and sagas.
(Stromberg, p.6) England, France, and Germany were able to bring a steady
integration of the masses into the nation, by both action and propaganda.
Nation making/Nationalism was at its peak because of the technological
advancements in transportation and communication network, which inspired the
breakup of regional isolation. Nationalism was also assisted by democratization,
which “provided a link between government and people that helped integrate the
masses into the national community.” (Stromberg, p.7) The sovereign states of
Europe had already been shaped centuries before nationalism without consulting
the wishes of the people or determining their languages and cultures, yet with
the rise of democratic nationalism, it provoked changes in these arrangements. Stromberg
says that no more than any other component other than language sufficed as a
key definer of nationalism. (Stromberg, p.7)

            Changes to the industrial society
and urbanization also marked a major
turning point in history, which influenced in some way every aspect of daily
life in the world. During this period, Europe stopped preventing any significant
rise in the standard of living, which caused the population to increase dramatically,
and wealth to grow even more rapidly. There were many technological
advancements- railroads, steel production, automobiles, radio, electricity,
petroleum and immunization. “Mass production of electricity had begun and so
had the petroleum age, signaled by the first oil well in 1860.” (Stromberg,
p.10) Urbanization was seen
as “the most remarkable social phenomenon.” (Stromberg, p.16) Great Britain and
Germany were the most urbanized nations at the time. Death rates from infectious
diseases had decreased, streets and transportation facilities had improved.
Improvements and dramatic growth were happening in different cities like
London, Paris, Berlin, Budapest, and many more. Life became was safer, cleaner, and more comfortable for many because of
the drastic social change. “Human nature itself seemed to change in the new
environment of the city, the factory, the mass society.” (Stromberg 18)



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