Looking back I can’t say much about my own meandering experience of these great 100 years of disgrace and glory. The world has been an ever-changing cosmos since the very day the calendar turned to 1900 from the dreary black and white days of last century. I may not be turning 100 years old this year but considering my family I have a great grand mother in England who is one of those lucky people to have experienced the whole of this century and be turning the ripe old age of 100. At the beginning of this century we had the people who were out to discover the new and fascinating things that have always amazed man.
One of these being the will to fly like a bird, the Wright brothers accomplished this in 1903. Motorcars had just been invented at the end of the last century and now the model T Ford; the new inexpensive motorcars were being manufactured in mass. All through the first 10 years of this century man has been out to discover new and exciting things that were never available before. Apart from man discovering he could extend the limits of invention, people began to think for themselves and this was where revolution came into it from as wide as Russia’s Soviet Union to Latin American’s.
Also the once European imperialism that reined over great continents like Africa and Asia in the 19 century was coming to an end and more and more countries took their newfound independence and have gone onto building great nations. In this century we have also had the people who have said to what they thought was wrong and dedicate their lives to bringing freedom for everyone some examples of this have been Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King, just to name a few have changed and made this century one unlike others.
Our Century has not just been one of heroes though we have also produced men and women with some of the cruelest and destructive ideologies ever known to man. In August 1914 people around Europe rejoiced for war had broken out and the fact that nationalism was a strong ideology influencing the young people of the time didn’t help the cause to stop it. This was the war to end all wars but by the end in 1918 countries like Germany were just left exhausted and bankrupt and much of countries like France were left in ashes.
This Great war or so it was called then ended and the allies started a league of nations to prevent another war but harsh terms set upon the Germans only led to the aggression of one of the world’s most evil men twenty one years later, when Adolf Hitler was to emerge. In the twenty-one years between the two world wars there wasn’t much to do for the rest of the world except suffer the great depression and clean themselves up after World War 1.
This eventually led to Hitler taking Germany and looking to build a great empire which was apposed by other nations which in 1939 marked the beginning of World War 2 which was to cost more lives than any other before it. This war went on until 1945 when it stopped and another milestone of this century occurred in the dropping of the two atomic bombs, which showed the world just how powerful man could become in the near future. It was only after this terrible war that the real horrors emerged in the cruelties of the Holocaust and the concentration camps.
This time the leaders of the world vowed not to ever let something this outrageous ever happen again. The world rebuilt and ideologies came into practice once again. Strong after Germany’s defeat communist Russia was spreading socialist ideas into the world sparking the beginning of the Cold War. Which was to include many wars in places such as Vietnam, Korea, Cuba and Yugoslavia. In all these the two super powers were to be at each other’s throats without officially ever declaring war. This century has birthed many technological wonders even during the dark eras of war.
However war produces technology of a darker nature. The dawning of the computer has shown what man is capable of achieving such feats as to send a man to the moon and learn more about what is around us. But not just in space exploration but in the biological field of cloning mammals and learning more about ourselves in the structure of DNA. My great grandmother has counted a century of years she tells many tales of wonder at the achievements of society in this meagre period, but looking back at her memories wonderful and less pleasant she can always comment on ‘What a century it was’.