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In the Victorian Era, and since the Nineteenth Century, it seems that Western intellectuals have been obsessed with the idea of modernity. Indeed, there is a unique character to thought in the Age of Industrialism, as the world began rapidly speeding up and changing, not over the course of a century, but within the space of a decade. A Victorian Era research paper often uses the example of Karl Marx in describing the modern world as a unity of disunity. By the Victorian Age, the concerns of unity are linked in a dis-unified dance that culminated in the First World War. The fin de siècle witnessed a cultural anxiety not unlike the Y2K hysteria: what seems laughable now was serious business at the time. But unlike the potential post-Apocalyptic computer crash that was predicted two years ago, the end of the 19th century was an indefinable ennui that showed up throughout society. The end of the 19th century sought an artificial structure in a world they feared.
Elements of the Victorian Era to Include in a Research Paper
A Victorian Era Research Paper is quick to point out the following elements:
- The Victorian Era was one of cultural insecurity.
- The strict moral code of Victorian England (or double standard, depending on your perspective) is indicative of a culture attempting to regain some sort of control over society.
- Solid, clear lines of black and white provide an agreed-upon framework for acceptable behavior.
- As imperialism brought cross-cultural contact, Englishmen used their new political mode to create metaphors for society.
The 19th century did not pass away peacefully. The machine had come to so dominate European society that the men of the age could not do anything but unleash it on less technological societies. However, this was a false bravado, like Kaiser Wilhelm II, who for all his military bluster and naval construction, panicked when he realized the inevitability of mobilization. Glorifying the nation was the only way to absolve the machine of the ills it had wrought. For all the social anarchy of the age, men sought to redefine the lines of control, to delineate themselves from women, the lower classes, and savages and set the rules for an orderly society of their own making. The arrogance of this generation would lead to debacles like Passchendaele and the Somme, as millions of lives were sacrificed at the altar of modernity.
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