Spielvogel Chapter 24 - “ An Age of Modernity, Anxiety, and


Spielvogel Chapter 24 -

“ An Age of Modernity, Anxiety, and Imperialism”

Focus Questions:

What developments in science intellectual affairs, and the arts in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries “opened the way to a modern consciousness,” and how did this consciousness differ from earlier world views?

What difficulties did women, Jews, and the working classes face in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and how successful were they in achieving their goals?

What were the causes of the new imperialism that took place after 1880, and what effects did the European quest for colonies have on Africa and Asia?

What was the Bismarckian system of alliances, and how successful was it at keeping the peace?

What issues lay behind the international crises that Europe faced in the late 19th and early and the

20th centuries?

What is the connection between the “new imperialism” of the late nineteenth century underlying causes for World War I?:


I. Toward the Modern Consciousness: Intellectual and Cultural Developments

A. Ideas of progress and enlightenments still important before WWI

B. Science was supposed to be hard facts and cold reason

C. Marie (1867-1934) and Pierre (1859-1906) discover new info about atoms

D. Max Planck (1858-1947) begins quantum physics

E. Albert Einstein (1879-1955) works on relativity and thermodynamics

F. Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) - glorifies the irrational -

G. Bergson and Sorel also look at rational thought

“God is dead” racism

H. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) examines human nature through psychoanalysis

I. Others apply Darwin’s theories to society and try to justify classicism and

J. Sometimes science and politics were hostile to the Christian church

K. Some churches reject new ideas, some reach compromises

L. Naturalists felt literature should be realistic

M. Symbolists were important in poetry at the end of the 19th c.

N. Impressionists threw out the old rules to give impression not realism

O. Post impressionists pay more attention to structure and form

P. Cubism uses geometric forms

Q. Modern music was influenced by nationalism, impressionism, primitivism

II. Politics: New Directions and New Uncertainties

A. Women’s movements fought for more protections, rights and suffrage

B. Suttner and Montessori were “new women”

C. Though Jews had won more rights, right wing groups were against them

D. Condition were worst for the Jews in eastern Europe

E. In Great Britain, liberal governments undermined liberal policies

F. Giovanni Gilitti achieved little for liberals through corrupt methods in Italy

G. William II (r. 1888-1918) of Ger. was erratic and faced tensions in society

H. Sergei Witte (1849-1915) guided Russian industrialization

I. Socialist parties came w/ indust.

J. Revolution of 1905 not a true revolution for changes were short-lived

K. US becomes world’s richest nation

L. Canada grew with continued immigration

III. The New Imperialism

A. One cause of this was social -

“the white man’s burden”

B. Another reason economic - materials and markets

C. British struggled with Boers for control of South Africa

D. The French grabbed most of west Africa

E. British wanted Egypt for control of Suez

F. Belgium took control of central Africa and rubber trade

G. By 1914 only Liberia and Ethiopia independent

H. Britain becomes interested in Asia with Captain Cook

I. Russians expanded south into Asia

J. Foreign powers had spheres of influence in China

K. Slowly the rest of Asia and the Pacific was encroached upon by westerners

L. Many just accepted new control

M. New intellectuals in Africa begin to challenge ruler’s ideas

N. China had violent outbreaks against foreign control

O. Japan modernized and became an imperialist power

P. Britain brought good and bad to India

IV. International Rivalry and the Coming of War

A. Decline of Ottoman Empire led to instability in the Balkans

B. New alliances were formed for new security

C. Germany and Britain face crises over each other’s power

D. Serbia arises as a strong national force in the Balkans

V. Summary