A Look at the Western History Timeline

The term “western civilization” is often used to distinguish a strand of history from other strands. However, western history doesn’t really refer to any geographic region — it is a set of concepts and ideas that have developed over time. The development of these ideas has had a profound effect on the lives and cultures of all peoples across the globe.

The idea of western civilization developed in Europe, but it quickly spread into all corners of the world. In doing so, it created a new form of human society that will have major implications for its future.

Like all ideas, it takes time for the concept of western civilization to develop and gain acceptance. It was not until the 1920s that the idea began to coalesce into a distinct strand of historical development.

During the 19th century, it was the Industrial Revolution that brought about sweeping changes in western culture. Cities and towns boomed, populations exploded and new classes of citizens were born. At the same time, revolutionary ideas began to reshape traditional religious and political beliefs. Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, for example, challenged the biblical accounts of creation and encouraged a more secular outlook.

As the 20th century approached, rivalries between European powers reached a fever pitch. These rivalries, combined with nationalist movements on the continent, contributed to the outbreak of World War One. By the end of this horrific conflict, which cost more than 10 million lives, the three major empires that had fought on European soil were all destroyed.

The post-war years saw the dismantling of the remaining worldwide empires, and as a result many once-dominant nations became independent. Some of these independent states began to move towards a more unified world, while others took on a more non-aligned stance. It was during this period that the Cold War – a struggle for global control between the two most powerful superpowers in history – began to take shape.

During this time, the western concept of identity was also being shaped by immigration from other parts of the world. The arrival of millions of peoples from Asia, Africa and the Middle East in European cities reshaped the societies in which they lived. The tension between these new communities and the existing populations has never been completely resolved, and the resulting cultural clashes are still being felt today. This, too, has helped to shape our current view of western civilization.

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