Some significant events and pieces of writing in Western history, 1740 to 1960:
Mid 1700s ‘The Enlightenment’ was at its peak: a new search for knowledge on the basis of human reason alone.
1776 American ‘Declaration of Independence’ from Britain
1789 French Revolution: an attempt to establish a radically new political system under the slogan ‘Liberty, Equality, Fraternity’
1790 Edmund Burke publishes Reflections on the Revolution in France – the classic statement of political conservatism (small ‘c’).
1791/2 Thomas Paine publishes The Rights of Man – in response to Burke, a defence of the principles of the French Revolution
1792 Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
C18–C19 Wilberforce and Clapham Sect campaign against the slave trade (outlawed 1808) and slavery (outlawed 1833)
C19 Spread of nationalist political thinking in Europe
1848 Attempted liberal/nationalist revolutions in several countries
1848 Marx and Engels publish The Communist Manifesto
1859 John Stuart Mill publishes On Liberty – the principal statement of British political liberalism
1864 Pope Pius IX, ‘Syllabus of Errors’ Strong anti-modern reaction
c.1850-1900 Formation of socialist political movements throughout Europe
1870-71 Nationalist movements bring unification of Italy and Germany
1891 Pope Leo XIII issues Rerum Novarum This addresses the condition of industrial workers, arguing against both laissez-faire liberalism and socialism, and in favour of employers guaranteeing just working conditions and wages, and of the formation of Christian trade unions.
Late C19-C20 Beginnings of the ‘welfare state’ in Germany, NZ, Britain, etc.
1910 Emergence of Christian Ecumenical Movement: Edinburgh Conference
1914-18 The ‘Great War’, now usually called the First World War
1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and start of the Communist or ‘Soviet’ regime
1920s-30s Rise of fascism in Italy and Nazism in Germany
1929-30s Great Crash and Great Depression in world economy
1939-1945 Second World War, including genocide of the Jews
1945 The USA uses the atomic bomb against Japan
1945 Establishment of Communist governments in most eastern and central European countries, mostly under Russian control
1949 Establishment of Communist regime in China
1945-60s Extension of ‘the welfare state’ in many developed countries
1945-89 ‘Cold War’ between Western powers and Soviet Russia
1940s-60s End of European imperial control of much of Africa and S. Asia
This is of course a very selective list and you may well have thought of other things that may reasonably be judged to be as significant as the above. Of course, this depends on what counts as historically ‘significant’ – you can study this in Module A, Unit 8. As stated at the top, the main way the list is selective is that it is ‘Western’. Indeed it is focused on Europe’s history. It is ‘Eurocentric’ because it is especially events in Europe that affected the emergence of modern CST.
END OF RESPONSE–
To return to 2.4.3, close this window.
Copyright © Newman University. If you wish to quote from this page, see Citation Information. N.B. If you are a student and make use of material on this page in an assignment, you are obliged to reference the source in line with the citation information.