The transition from the nineteenth to twentieth centuries saw massive technological changes (electricity, the automobile, powered flight) combined with political changes (the collapse of Qing China, the unifications of Italy and Germany) and social changes (urbanization, massive migration).
This led, unsurprisingly, to cultural shifts that reflected the unsettled world. Some of these were confined to the upper reaches of high culture. Others were visible within the popular culture. Below are some examples of these sweeping cultural changes.
Modernist Thought: The Futurist Manifesto
The Futurist Manifesto- Filippo Tommaso Marinetti (1909)
Futurism was an artistic and literary movement which emerged in the early twentieth century in Italy, spreading to other nations in Europe within a few years. Like many artistic and cultural trends in the Fin de siècle era, it rejected the Enlightenment era past and glorified the new. Marinetti (1876-1944) was an Italian poet who claimed to undergo a conversion of sorts to more modern ideas after a car accident caused him to re-evaluate art.
Choose three of the images located at the Imaging the French Revolution site. Answer the applicable questions below (note: not every question is relevant to every picture!)
- How do the images you’ve chosen characterize the people of France?
- How do the images you’ve chosen characterize the political rulers of France?
- How do the images you’ve chosen characterize the religious rulers of France?
- Describe some of the different ways the images present women.
During the 1950s, some American thinkers expressed concern that deviation from accepted behavior, would contribute to a weakening of American society. This educational film from 1958 addresses some of the perceived consequences of premarital sex. While premarital sex was certainly not invented in the 1950s, concerns about “proper” behavior were enhanced by the tensions of the Cold War.