The Greatest Century

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The Greatest Century

-By Caleb Jones

What was the greatest century in all of human history? The 20th? The 17th? Something earlier perhaps?

There's actually some consensus about this. Most historians consider the century between 1815 and 1914 as the greatest century of all of human history.

Why? Primarily because of two factors:

A) Massive advances in technology, trade, and standard of living.

B) Worldwide, it was a comparatively peaceful 100 years as compared to just about any other 100 year block of time you can find.

Most laypeople consider the 20th century as the "best", but it really isn't if you consider all the horrible things that happened during that time, such as:

* World War One (by far the dumbest war in human history) * The Holocaust * Stalin's Great Purge * World War Two * The Soviet famine * The Great Leap Forward * Khmer Rouge Cleansing * Rwandan Genocide

Yeah, we invented the car and the internet and a few other cool things, but I don't think all that death makes up for it.

I've always thought that living in the late 1800s would be hugely exciting. If I had a time machine, I would visit many eras, but if I was forced to live in a past era, it would be the mid to late 1800s, hands down.

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This article was originally published on May 18, 2014
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  • Johnny Caustic 2014-05-18 20:03:45

    Not to mention the art. Liszt and Chopin, Tchaikovsky and Wagner, late Beethoven. Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Dickens, Shelley, and Poe. On these grounds, the 20th century doesn't compete at all.

  • Caleb Jones 2014-05-18 22:07:48

    I didn't mention that but that's very true. Not to mention all the late 19th century philosophers also.

  • Steven C. 2020-08-09 18:15:00

    The period between the Napoleonic wars and WWI was a great age of expansion, invention and discovery; without many large-scale wars.  But is lacked air-conditioning, refrigeration, modern sanitation, vaccination, antibiotics, fast and cheap communication and transportation. The period following that saw all of those advances, plus even more in the way of invention and discovery.  But it also saw huge wars, massacres, zealous ideologies, and a descent into first depravity and then into insanity. Now that the SJW's, and political correctness, have infected western civilization; I expect a collapse followed by a new dark age.

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