2.1.5 Response to Exercise

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Some significant historical events in the past 100 years:

1914-18  First World War

1917  Bolshevik Revolution and start of the Communist regime in Russia, leading to formation of the Soviet Union in 1922

1920s-1930s  Rise of fascism in Italy and Nazism in Germany

1929-1930s  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  Foundation of the United Nations

1945-1949  Establishment of Communist governments in many eastern European countries, most controlled by the Soviet Union

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 Union

1950s-1960s  End of European imperial control of most of Africa and South Asia

1960s  Second Vatican Council

1960s-1970s  In many Western countries, the ‘sexual revolution’ makes sexual relationships outside marriage widely acceptable; abortion is legalized in some countries

1960s-1980s  Rise of feminism, seeking equality for women (this is now known as feminism’s ‘second phase’; the first was the movement for women to have the vote in the decades around 1900)

From mid-1970s  In US and UK, rise of the New Right: a revival of ‘economic liberalism’, now called ‘neo-liberalism’, and critique of welfare state

1980s  Emergence of widespread concern about ecological destruction

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

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.

2007-2013  Financial and economic crises mainly affecting Western countries

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’ – we shall look at this question in Unit 8.

END OF RESPONSE

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