Well... well... well. Look at you. You made it! The FINAL ERA! The era you were born in! 1900-Present. The 20th Century is full of so much historical stuff that you need to know that I won't bog you down with some long intro. It basically breaks into three categories: 1. Science and the Environment; 2. Global Conflict; 3. Globalization... This is the Contemporary Era.
Rapid advances in science altered the understanding of the universe and the natural world and led to the development of new technologies. These changes enabled unprecedented population growth, which altered how humans interacted with the environment and threatened delicate ecological balances at local, regional, and global levels.
1. Researchers made rapid advances in science that spread throughout the world, assisted by the development of new technology.
2. As the global population expanded at an unprecedented rate, humans fundamentally changed their relationship with the environment.
3. Disease, scientific innovations, and conflict led to demographic shifts.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, a European-dominated global political order existed, which also included the United States, Russia, and Japan. Over the course of the century, peoples and states around the world challenged this order in ways that sought to redistribute power within the existing order and to restructure empires, while those peoples and states in power attempted to maintain the status quo. Other peoples and states sought to overturn the political order itself. These challenges to, and the attempts to maintain, the political order manifested themselves in an unprecedented level of conflict with high human casualties. In the context of these conflicts, many regimes in both older and newer states struggled with maintaining political stability and were challenged by internal and external factors, including ethnic and religious conflicts, secessionist movements, territorial partitions, economic dependency, and the legacies of colonialism.
Before we get going with the major geo-political movements of the CONTEMPORARY PERIOD, I figured we needed to talk about the Soviet Union. The AP doesn't bring up nations like they did in previous periods (Ex. Persian Empires, Dutch Maritime Empires). But, lasting from 1917-1991, the "Evil Empire" is all over this era. So, here is a page devoted to the Soviet Union;
1. Europe dominated the global political order at the beginning of the twentieth century, but both land-based and transoceanic empires gave way to new forms of transregional political organization by the century’s end.
2. Emerging ideologies of anti-imperialism contributed to the dissolution of empires and the restructuring of states.
3. Political changes were accompanied by major demographic and social consequences.
- The proliferation of conflicts led to various forms of ethnic violence (Armenia, Holocaust, Rwanda, Cambodia) and the displacement of peoples resulting in refugee populations (Palestinians, Darfurians).
4. Military conflicts occurred on an unprecedented global scale.
- World War I and World War II were the first “total wars.” Governments used ideologies, including fascism, nationalism and communism, to mobilize all of their state’s resources (Gurkha soldiers in India, ANZAC troops in Australia, Military conscription), including peoples, both in the home countries and the colonies or former colonies, for the purpose of waging war.
- Governments also used a variety of strategies, including political speeches, art, media, and intensified forms of nationalism, to mobilize these populations.
- The sources of global conflict in the first half of the century varied. Required examples of the sources of global conflict:
- Imperialist expansion by European powers and Japan
- Competition for resources
- Ethnic conflict
- Great power rivalries between Great Britain and Germany
- Nationalist ideologies
- The economic crisis engendered by the Great Depression.
- The global balance of economic and political power shifted after end of World War II and rapidly evolved into the Cold War. The United States and the Soviet Union emerged as superpowers, which led to ideological struggles between capitalism and communism throughout the globe.
5. Although conflict dominated much of the twentieth century, many individuals and groups — including states — opposed this trend. Some individuals and groups, however, intensified the conflicts.
Picasso's Guernica (Click HERE to take a 3D tour)
The twentieth century witnessed a great deal of warfare and the collapse of the global economy in the 1930s. In response to these challenges, the role of state in the domestic economy fluctuated, and new institutions of global governance emerged and continued to develop throughout the century. Scientific breakthroughs, new technologies, increasing levels of integration, changing relationships between humans and the environment, and the frequency of political conflict all contributed to global developments in which people crafted new understandings of society, culture, and historical interpretations. These new understandings often manifested themselves in, and were reinforced by, new forms of cultural production. Institutions of global governance both shaped and adapted to these social conditions.
1. States responded in a variety of ways to the economic challenges of the twentieth century. (2013 COMPARE/CONTRAST ESSAY)
- In newly independent states after World War II, governments often took on a strong role in guiding economic life to promote development (Nasser's promotion of economic development in Egypt, the encouragement of export-oriented economies in East Asia).
2. States, communities, and individuals became increasingly interdependent, a process facilitated by the growth of institutions of global governance.
3. People conceptualized society and culture in new ways; some challenged old assumptions about race, class, gender, and religion, often using new technologies to spread reconfigured traditions.
- Increased interactions among diverse peoples sometimes led to the formation of new cultural identities (Negritude) and exclusionary reactions (Xenophobia, Race riots, Citizenship restrictions).
- Believers developed new forms of spirituality (New Age Religions, Hare Krishna, Falun Gong) and chose to emphasize particular aspects of practice within existing faiths and apply them to political issues (Fundamentalist Movements, Liberation Theology).
IV.Popular and consumer culture became global. (2012 DBQ FREE RESPONSE QUESTION)