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The Progressive Society Essay

950 words - 4 pages


By the early twentieth century the belief in human progress and the progressive evolution of human history, which has been at the center of modern though since the Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century, was being seriously challenged. Identify the main established concepts and traditions that were challenged, who the most influential challengers were, and the new theories, arguments, works, etc. that they produced

“The term Modernism is widely used to identify new and distinctive features in the subjects, forms, concepts, style of literature and other art in the beginning of the twentieth century.” (M.H. Abrams) The truth on the progressive thought at the end of the nineteenth century had to do with much more than just art though, it involved: science, technology, economics, religion, and politics. Ideas and thoughts that were once accepted fact were now being challenged. The movement was given prestige through the number of greater thinkers whom helped envelop it like Nietzsche, Marx, Darwin, and Freud. The background leading up to the Progressive Movement were a combination of the Industrial and Scientific Revolutions, Marxism, and the introduction of Psychology. The progressive movement could be reflected in the politics of the Classical Liberal Party.
Religion was questioned mainly by the Philosopher Nietzsche whom published work on his atheist theories. He admired personal traits that enhanced survival instead of the basic Christian traits to strive towards. He was influenced a great deal by Charles Darwin’s theory of Evolution which was also of much hated debate to this day. Even Classical liberalism was challenged in the fact that it wasn’t progressive enough in its economics which eventual changed their entire party to a more socialized stance on economics which was influenced greatly by the writings of Karl Marx. Sigmund Freud brought into question the rationality of human which was the entire platform for what the Classical Liberalism stood for.
The Modernization of society brought about many challenges and changes to a progressing society. It questioned and changed many fields and spheres of influence. The Classical Liberalist Party changed into new Liberalism because of many of the times greatest thinkers. The theory of Evolution especially marked many reforms in thought and society. I have read that Hitler even mentioned Darwinism as an excuse to perpetrate the Holocaust. These are not my views. Present day we are still a progressive society and who knows where we will be centuries from today.

Short Answer

1. Explain the birth of Zionism in the context of what was happening in European society and culture generally at the end of the nineteenth century.

Their were two trends that began the idea and spread of Jewish assimilation or Zionism. The Centuries before the Jewish people haven't...

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