Modern Thought and Culture in 1900: Crash Course European History

If history is not just the study of leaders and events, wars, elections, coup d’etats, but the history of thought, the arts, culture, ideas, philosophies, psychology, science, social relations (women’s history), global strategy and quests for dominance, it is indeed an extraordinarily broad discipline. That’s the tact that John Green seems to take in this Crash Course European History lecture (15 minutes). “Europe was in transition politically and culturally at the beginning of the 20th century. Today, we’re looking at the dawn of modern science, and the rise of Modernism in the arts, especially in music, dance, and visual arts. We’ll look at changes in music and dance with Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, and explore the groundbreaking visual art of the Impressionists.” Transcript.

I’m not sure I agree with his take on the period. Isn’t the world always “in transition politically and culturally,” not just at the beginning of the 20th century? The lecture is too short to explain how all of these things are connected, or cause and effect. It would take a book or several volumes to do so. Perhaps that’s one reason he includes his sources. Or maybe this lecture is kind of a promo for Crash Course History of Science, 45 10-minute lectures by his brother Hank. I might have to try them out.

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