I love history. But until recently, I have only loved history from the end of the Victorians and before. That, to me, was proper history. 1900 onwards… that was just rubbish. Nothing interesting happened then. Now, my horizons have been extended, to use a cliche, and I realise how much stuff actually happened in the 20th century. And it was all interesting!
Let’s start at the very start of the 20th century. It was still pretty Victorian then, because, well, Victoria was still around. Then in 1901, she died. End of the Victorians. There’s a few years where nothing much happens that I know of, then BANG. WWI. I wouldn’t say it’s interesting, this massive war, because it was one of the worst wars in history (trench warfare… STUPID.) and it’s a hard topic to talk about, much like WWII. People around then could be alive now, so it’s difficult to say things about the war without awakening some sort of bad memory in them. Plus, WWII was probably worse than WWI (because of one certain man), so… OK, maybe the two world wars were not so interesting. Not to me, at least.
Oh, I forgot. In like 1914, Russia had a bit of a revolution and got rid of the Tsars. I learned from Horrible Histories (Rowdy Revolutions) that lots of other countries decided to join in the revolution fever and a few countries hosted their very own revolution.
(Most of this information comes from dictionary.com, where on Word Dynamo they have challenges about different 20th century stuff. I’ve done all of them so hopefully I can get some information right.)
The consequence of WWII, aside from the millions of deaths, was the start of the Cold War (I think), which went on for ages. As far as I know, a ‘cold war’ is when countries are not exactly at war, but they’re not on good terms. I believe Russia and the USA were pretty opposed to each other. During the Cold War, they had the ‘arms race’ to get the best weapons. I think this was when there was this whole nuclear weapons business and the doomsday clock went to 1 minute to midnight. Scary. Another part of the arms race was the… space race! This part of the 20th century wasn’t too much of a bad thing. So it was Russia vs America in the first one to get to the moon. I’m guessing now some of my readers are going to remember the following events, so I won’t go into too much detail, and you can fill me in on any interesting bits I missed.
Russia was the first to get a man into orbit (a guy called Yuri Gagarin) but the USA managed to get those guys we all know of on the actual surface of the moon. Then we had the ‘one small step for man’ speech thing.
Also, either before, during, or a bit after this year (1969), there was some sort of revolution in, I think it was, Cuba, with a certain Che Guevara. I read about this in Rowdy Revolutions, but I’m not entirely sure what actually happened. There was something about, possibly, a rubbish rule over the country, so they gathered some people and, like medieval peasants, stormed the castle. (Metaphorical castle) Fun fact I learned: the literacy rate went up loads after the revolution.
Hopefully most of my readers are going to remember from here onwards.
After all this revolutionary, warry business, we have to touch on a wonderful part of history. Because now, following the space race, Cuba and the moon, it’s MONTY PYTHON TIME. Now we have the glorious years of the 20th century. Now the Pythons have got their Flying Circus AND they’re making movies. It’s a wonderful time. We all should know a lot about Python. If you don’t, SHAME ON YOU.
Now back to some more historyish stuff. I think it was in 1975, there was a war in Vietnam, called, surprisingly, the Vietnam War. There’s a song about this war, if you’re in the mood. (I don’t know what it’s called, so no link here) All I know is that LOADS of people died (why do people always die in history?) and Vietnam, I think, broke away from the French rule they were under (I could be completely wrong), or joined up into one country, or something. But something happened.
In 1979, what I recently learned from Persepolis, there was an ‘Islamic Revolution’. They got rid of the Shah (the ruler) and got a republic. There was a really strict regime, like no makeup, girls have to wear the veil, nothing too Western, stuff like that. So the revolution sort of failed, and they got back a bad way of life. (Should have learned from the French Revolution then really.) Then a war against Iraq started, for a reason I have no clue about. I guess it went on for ages, with all sorts of bombings and stuff. I don’t know if it’s still going on now (or is that Afghanistan? One of them has stopped, right?).
I’m not sure when the Cold War actually finished, but it went on for ages. I’ll put it here. If I’m wrong, I’ll just let you know that there was a detente (the easing of the hatred and tension between the countries; didn’t have to look that word up, clever me) and the Cold War ended. At least there was no large-scale PROPER war.
Now we come up to basically the present. Well, there’s a blank space of I-don’t-know-what-happened-then, but after that I was born, and I guess the rest is just NOT history. Nothing too crazy has happened (YET.). OK, that’s a lie. There’s been the whole Libya thing, Egypt, then finally Syria. These stupid wars better stop >:|
Although the stuff that happened in the 20th century was largely quite rubbish, it was still a… colourful time. I can’t think of any other word. But I imagine it was colourful. Lots of stuff happened, and at least there’s not TOO much dispute about what happened, like older history, where it’s mostly biased. But that raises the question of ‘are the news companies biased?’ The answer to that is probably yes. Still, at least people get to form their own opinion on the event, thanks to the lovely 20th century invention of the Internet. People can actually research, collect all sorts of info, and make up their own conclusion. So I think now is quite a… colourful time to be alive. All sorts of stuff is happening. Plus, scientists think they’ve found the Higgs-Boson particle (or, as some people call it, the ‘God’ particle), and that’s something I never thought would happen.
To finish, here’s a fun fact: I didn’t have to look up ANYTHING when I wrote that. It all came from my little mind.
So, what do you think of history? What do you think of 20th century history? What’s your favourite historical era? (Try and guess what mine is, hehe.) Is 20th century history as interesting as I think it is (considering I was only around for the last couple of years of it)?
Your 20th century blogger, Jaz