Departmental Bulletin Paper On the Transition from European to American Dominance in the 20th Century

Steven L.,Rosen

 The purpose of this paper is to help students understand and appreciate the tremendous historical transition which brought about what we all the modern age, or modern history. In the late 19th century, the British Empire was at its zenith, but it’s important for students to appreciate how this global phenomenon was built on a combination of colonial control, capitalist aspirations, and technological innovation. After this history is reviewed, our study goes on to see how the dissolution of this colonialist/imperialist world order occurred in the context of World War I. This war, ending in 1918, resulted in the ending of British-European hegemony and was, simultaneously the beginning of the rise of the American colossus. An examination of the period of the 1920’s shows how America was instrumental in establishing and spreading a new cultural order based on cultural relativism, in contrast to traditional norms of Biblical Christianity. Thus, modernity has two important dimensions which the student will be led to appreciate: economic dominance alongside the generation of a new, modern, American culture.

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