Friday, October 23, 2009

Revolution & Rise of Science

As we concluded reading the Age of Empire, by Eric Hobsbawn we talked briefly about this concept of “revolting,” or “revolution,” if you will. As European powers continued to rise, so did the wars between them. These “fueds” between the countries obviously stirred up some controversy amongst the people living in them, sometimes sparking a “change of thought.” This “change of thought” or, as we more commonly know it, “revolution” wanted to bring about a social change, and looks at new ideas. People began to challenge just exactly why they believed in what they did!

In these last three chapters of Age of Empire, Hobsbawn talks about two important things: 1) the rise of science and 2) the “fall” of religion. As I talked about in my last post, nationalism was becoming more present in these countries – couple that with the fact that everyone was now being educated – religion was quickly slipping from first place to second. Individuals were now attempting to understand medical things, and new technology. With the understanding of science becoming more prevalent, this opened up an avenue for people to question religion – something many did not like. In my personal opinion, I think it’s good to question why you do what you do, say what you say, think what you think, and believe in what you believe.

One thing I would have loved for Hobsbawn to expound upon would have to be those who didn’t take hold to nationalism, and those who didn’t fall into this period of rise in science. What were their reactions to the changes happening around them? Do they eventually embrace what everyone else does, or do they hold their ground?

1 comment:

  1. A lot of intellectual revolutions occurred in the world throughout history that didn't even affect the lower classes or country folk. The world as a whole at this point was becoming more industrial and urban, but there were still a large amount of people living in near seclusion in the countryside who were completely unaffected. A lot of the poor may have seen many things happening and even participated in it, working in factories, but they may not have had the money to benefit from it. It probably took more time before it was all completely institutionalized and that the goods became very cheap that the poor could have opinions on this change besides their new employment opportunities. I think in something as major as this industrial revolution and rise of science, no one really has much choice but to eventually embrace it because it completely revolutionized the standard or living and daily life.