The 20th Century
The 20th Century is the time-period between the years 1900 and 1999, and sometimes includes the year 2000. The 20th Century saw the most technological and social progress in human history, as well as the largest population growth worldwide... as well as the two worst wars in history. It also saw the growth of many new movements.
The 20th Century started with the invention of many modern devices, such as the escalator in 1900, the radio in 1901, the teddy bear in 1902, and the airplane in 1903. The first airplane, created by the Wright Brothers, flew for just 12 seconds. It was maybe the most important invention of the early years of the century. Just eleven years after its invention, it would be used in World War I by nearly all countries.
World War I exploded after the Archduke of Austria, Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated. The countries involved were the Allied Powers of France, Britain, Russia, Japan, and the United States on one side, and the Central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire on the other, along with other smaller countries. Since Britain had colonies on every continent, and many people all over the world were drafted to fight, this was the first global war. Inventions like airplanes, bombs, tanks, poison gas, and machine guns, combined with outdated military tactics, made this the most horrific war in history with over 18 million dead, and 20 million wounded.
The Allied Powers won the war after four years, and decided to blame the war on Germany, forcing Germany to pay a huge amount of money. This caused a bad recession in Germany, and a lot of political turmoil. Meanwhile, in the United States, the Great Depression, caused by the failures of several banks, meant many people were out of work, and in Russia, the Bolshevik Revolution overthrew the imperial government and installed a communist system.
In Germany, Adolf Hitler rose to power by promising the German people he would solve the country's problems. Upon rising to power, he invaded several countries, including Poland, launching World War II in 1939. The war included the Allied powers of Britain, France, Russia, and the US, and the Axis powers of Germany, Italy, and Japan. The war ended in 1945 as Nazi Germany was overrun, and the U.S. dropped the atom bomb on Japan. Russia and the U.S. emerged as superpowers, whereas Britain, which had been the superpower beforehand, gave up many of its colonies.
In the U.S., social movements like Civil Rights reshaped society to be less racist. WWII also ended the Great Depression, making the US economy rich and healthy. Soon after, Soviet Russia developed nuclear weapons, leading to the Cold War, where the U.S. and Russia tried to out-do each other without actually fighting, because a 'hot' war would lead to the destruction of both countries. There was an explosion of new music, new thought, and new technology. The US and Russia had a competition, called the Space Race, as to who can conquer space first, and the U.S. won by putting the first man on the moon in 1969.
The last part of the 20th Century was a time of great social and technological change. Airplanes became a common method of travel. Antibiotics and frozen food became the norm. Computers were invented and started to appear in American households. Sexism dropped significantly in many parts of the world, as women were permitted to vote and started to get jobs in large quantities. The Internet was developed during this time, along with many advances in medicine. The world population went from 2 billion in 1927 to 6 billion in 1999. The Soviet Union fell, and the US became the only superpower in the world.
However, many problems, like climate change, world poverty, and terrorism, remained to be solved.
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