8.1.2 Response to Exercise


Below is a chronology of events since 1776 that includes many things you will be familiar with, at least to some extent, from study of the module.

For several items in the chronology, I indicate in which unit of the module they have come up.

Of course the list is very selective and you may well have thought of other things that may reasonably be judged to be as significant as what is below.

N.B. In terms of CST, the chronology includes only the main documents which we’ve looked at in this module, not those you can study in Module B (such as Populorum Progressio of 1967).

1776                Adam Smith publishes The Wealth of Nations which inspires laissez faire or economic liberalism

1776                American Declaration of Independence

1779                Death of British explorer James Cook in Hawaii, symbolizing an end to European ‘discoveries’ of other parts of the world and the extension of European empires

1789                French Revolution in the name of the ‘rights of man’

c.1770s-1900  Industrial Revolution in Britain and then across Europe

1790s & C18    Catholic Church reacts against the French Revolution and the ‘declaration of independence from God’ it appears to stand for

1800-1900      Emergence of industrial capitalism and of ‘socialist’ movements opposed to it

1848                Marx and Engels publish The Communist Manifesto

1864                Pope Pius IX issues the Syllabus of Errors, rejecting ‘liberalism’, ‘the rights of man’ and religious freedom

1891                Pope Leo XIII publishes Rerum Novarum: constructive engagement with issues raised by industrial capitalism (U4: work and rest)

Late C19-C20  Rise of women’s movement (now called the ‘first wave’ of feminism), seeking equal political rights, especially suffrage, for women

1914-18          First World War

1917                Bolshevik Revolution and start of the Communist regime in Russia

1920s-30s       Rise of fascism in Italy and Nazism in Germany

1929-1930s     Great Crash and Great Depression in world economy

1931                 Pius XI, Quadragesimo Anno (U6: principle of subsidiarity)

1939-1945       Second World War, including genocide of the Jews

1930s-’50s       Jacques Maritain writes on how Catholic Christianity requires support for human rights, democracy, etc. (U1, U7)

1945                The USA uses the atomic bomb against Japan

1945-49           Establishment of Communist governments in many eastern European countries, most coming under Soviet Russian control

1948                 UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights is agreed (U7)

1949                 Establishment of Communist regime in China

1945-1960s     Establishment of ‘the welfare state’ in many European and some other countries

1945-1989        ‘Cold War’ between Western powers and Soviet Russia

1952                  In UK, the ‘Great London Smog’ kills c.8000 people (U3: ecology)

1945-1970        End of European imperial control of most of Africa and South Asia

1962                  Rachel Carson publishes Silent Spring (U3: ecology)

1963                  John XXIII, Pacem in Terris – affirms human rights

1962-65            Second Vatican Council issues (among other documents) Gaudium et Spes and Dignitatis Humanae (U7)

1960s                Rise of ‘second wave’ of feminism, seeking, as well as political rights, economic and cultural equality for women

1960s-1970s     In many Western countries, the ‘sexual revolution’ makes sexual relationships outside marriage widely acceptable; abortion is legalised in some countries; large increase in civil divorces in several countries

Late 1960s-’70s  Emergence of Liberation Theology in Latin America, arguing for a ‘preferential option for the poor’ (U1)

1975                  Paul VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi (U1)

From mid-’70s   In US and UK, revival of ‘economic liberalism’, now called ‘neo-liberalism’, inspired especially by the writings of Friedrich Hayek and backed politically by Reagan in USA and Thatcher in UK (U5: business)

1978                  Karol Wojtyła from Communist Poland becomes Pope John Paul II, the first Pope not born in Italy for 450 years

1980                  In Poland, a new trade union movement, ‘Solidarity’, is formed, making an unprecedented challenge to Communist rule

1981                  John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio (U6: family)

1981                  John Paul II, Laborem Exercens (U4: work and rest)

1980s-2010s     Large increase in proportion of single-parent families in most Western countries (U6: family)

1980s                Emergence of widespread concern about ecological destruction (U3)

1980s                Beginning of ‘fair trade’ movement (U5: business)

1985                  Mikhail Gorbachev becomes leader of the USSR and begins unexpected reform of the Communist regime

1987                  In Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, John Paul II addresses ‘structures of sin’

1989-91            Revolutions in central/eastern Europe bring an end to Communist rule, and to the Cold War

1990                  John Paul II, ‘Peace with God the Creator, Peace with All of Creation’ (U3: ecology)

1991                  John Paul II, Centesimus Annus: advocates a solidary market economy (U5: business)

1990s                 In UK and USA, Blair and Clinton advocate a ‘third way’ – embracing capitalism but holding that the wealth it generates must be used for social purposes (U5: business)

1990-2010        Growing international consensus that global climate change is happening and is human-caused (U3: ecology)

2001                  Islamist extremists succeed in the largest peace-time terrorist attack in history, on the World Trade Centre on New York and Pentagon in Washington DC.

2005                  Joseph Ratzinger from Germany becomes Pope Benedict XVI

2005                  Benedict XVI’s first encyclical: Deus Caritas Est (U1)

2008-2013        Financial crisis followed by recession in Western countries

2009                  Benedict XVI issues major contribution to CST: Caritas in Veritate (U5: business)

2010                  Benedict XVI, ‘If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation’ (U3: ecology)

2013                  Jorge Bergoglio from Argentina becomes Pope Francis

You might well have included things not in this chronology.  You might wish to use what is here as the basis for building up your own, fuller outline for future reference.



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