Long 19th century

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According to Eric Hobsbawm, the long 19th century is understood as the phase from 1789 to 1914. In the French Revolution , the bourgeoisie broke through the domination of the nobility . The end of the long 19th century results from the political upheavals in the wake of the First World War , which were reflected in democratization or popularization . Hobsbawm did not use the term as a book title, but did mention in 1987 that he had dealt with "that 'long 19th century'" in his three-volume work on this period. In a posthumous new edition in 2017, the term was made the title of the trilogy.

The path to modernity is characteristic of this epoch, which is reflected in historical progress thinking as well as in secularization and rationalization, nation building and democratization. It finds its theoretical basis in the Enlightenment , which finally took on political and social shape. The 19th century rests on the cornerstones of industrialization , demographic change (emigration, internal migration and urbanization are mass phenomena), the implementation of the nation-state principle and the bourgeoisisation of society. Science and education gained recognition and were made available to a broader class.

For the non-European world, the subjugation, colonization and, in some cases, settlement of large parts of Africa , Asia and Australia by the major European powers, especially in the phase of imperialism from 1885 to 1914, while in America, mostly dominated by European elites, new republics emerged .

Since the epoch, which is regarded as characteristic of the 19th century, spans around 125 years, the 19th century seems to be around 25 years "too long". Analogously, the period from 1914 to 1989 is also understood as a unit and speaks of the “ short 20th century ”. These two centuries are separated by what is known as the “ great catastrophe of the 20th century ” - the First World War.

See also

German edition


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Hobsbawm: The Imperial Age, Frankfurt a. M. 1989, p. 15. He leaves the exact beginning of the period open and gives p. 18 "about 1776".

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