The 20th Century -Europe and the World
The emphasis in this website is on Europe as the epicenter of cataclysmic world events in the 20th century including two world wars, the rise and fall of fascism, decolonization, and the origins of the modern political structures and divisions that continue to shape our interconnected world today. Europe's history became the world's history during this pivotal century.
- History of the Earth: This video depicts the geological and biological evolution of the Earth from its formation to present day, using estimates of temperature, atmosphere, and day length.
- The History of the World: Every Year: This video shows the major events and changes in human history from 200,000 BCE to 2023 CE, using maps and animations.
- Geopolitical tour of the world
- Drainage of the world's major rivers
- World's major mountain ranges
Long 19th Century
The Long 19th Century, spanning from the French Revolution in 1789 until the outbreak of World War I in 1914, was a period of profound transformation and upheaval in Europe and beyond. The era witnessed the rise of industrialization, which brought about significant economic, social, and technological changes. Urbanization accelerated, and the shift from agrarian economies to industrial ones led to the emergence of new social classes.
Revolutionary movements and ideas were hallmark features of this era. The principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity were championed, leading to numerous revolutions and reform movements. Moreover, the concept of nationalism gained traction, contributing to the unification of Italy and Germany, among other significant geopolitical shifts.
Colonialism and imperialism were also prominent during the Long 19th Century. European powers expanded their overseas empires, which led to a scramble for Africa and parts of Asia, marking a period of intense colonial rivalry.
The Long 19th Century set the stage for many of the political, social, and economic dynamics that would shape the 20th century, making it a pivotal era in modern history.
- Screencast on the literature and culture of the Victorian fin de siècle by Merrick Burrow
- Victorian England in Color
- Industrial Revolution England: Industrialization of Great Britain
- Paris - The Belle Epoque (1871 - 1914) in Colour
- La Belle Époque - documentary
- Belle Époque documentary
- Vienna - City of Dreams
- The Language Of The New Music - Documentary about Wittgenstein and Schoenberg
- 1890's-1900's German Empire in Color
- Franco Prussian War documentary
- Franco-Prussian War Lecture
- Documentary about Wilhelm II of Germany
- Italy before WWI
- Giovanni Giolitti - Italy's first real statesman - IPTW
- Italian Front WWI
- Italy after WWI (10 min video)
- Mussolini Speaking (for American audiences) - 1929. WWI WWII
- Mussolini makes an important speech. WWI WWII
- Origins of Mussolini's Italy . WWI WWII
- Mussolini vs Italy. WWI WWII
- Anthony Gramsci . WWI WWII
- Victor Emmanuel the 3rd. WWI WWII
- The March on Rome that never happened: 100 years on. WWI WWII
- Prezi presentation about the disparate views of Lenin, Trotsky, and Bernstein that influenced discourse in the pre-WWI revolutionary period in Russia
- Russia's Two revolutions (15 min)
- Lenin documentary
- Texts by Lenin
- 1905 Russian Revolution (short documentary)
- October Manifesto (1905), the Fundamental Law (1906) and backsteps by the Czar (Khan Academy lecture)
- Rasputin: Murder in the Tsar's Court (documentary)
- Short video on communism
- Trotsky documentary
- 1900 United States
- 1900 Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Brazil 1910
- German Submarine Warfare became unrestricted, which had profound effects due to the history of the 1915 Lusatania incident
- The Zimmermann Telegram
- America enters WWI
- 1st Sino-Japanese War (part 1)
- (part 2)
- Japan in 1900
- China 1901-1904
- East and South-East Asia - 1900
- 1900 India
- Africa: States of independence - the scramble for Africa
- The Great War: World War I (1914-1918) - World history took a dramatic turn with the first global industrial war in Europe, drastically reshaping political boundaries and sowing seeds for further conflict.
- PRELUDE TO WW1: This is a playlist, consisting of three videos, highlighting the conditions that led up to WWI
- Early 20th Intellectual History
- Key powers at the start of WWI (45 min documentary)
- WWI - 5 min overview
- World War I
- Why WWI Was Thought To Be The Last | Great War In Numbers
- The Last Voices of WW1
- Key Battles and Events of World War I
The First Battle of the Marne (September 1914)
This battle took place near the Marne River in France. It was a crucial victory for the Allies as it halted the German advance towards Paris. The success in this battle effectively ended the German Schlieffen Plan.
The Battle of Tannenberg (August 1914)
This battle occurred between Russia and Germany on the Eastern Front. It was a significant victory for Germany, with the Russian Second Army being almost completely destroyed, setting the tone for Russian struggles on the Eastern Front.
The Battle of Verdun (February-December 1916)
One of the longest and bloodiest battles in WWI, it took place in Verdun-sur-Meuse in France. Despite massive casualties on both sides, the French eventually held their lines, making the battle a symbol of French determination.
The Battle of the Somme (July-November 1916)
This battle, primarily between British and French forces against Germany, is known for the significant use of artillery and the first use of tanks. However, it resulted in huge casualties for both sides with small territorial gains. Watch the Battle of the Somme (BBC documentary).
The Brusilov Offensive (June-September 1916)
Launched by the Russian army on the Eastern Front, this offensive is considered one of the most lethal in history. It initially achieved significant success but eventually stalled, resulting in heavy casualties for both sides. Short lecture on the Brusilov Offensive.
- Tank WarfareTank Warfare in WWI (1917)
- The First Battle of the Marne (September 1914)
Ancient and Medieval Periods
- The History of Rome (Every Year) - YouTube
- Century of Crisis - Why the 1300s Were the Worst - Medieval DOCUMENTARY: This documentary explores the challenges and crises of the 14th century, shedding light on why it's considered one of the worst centuries in history.
- The Black Death: Worst Pandemic in History Visualized: A visualized narrative of the Black Death, the devastating pandemic that swept through Europe during the medieval period.
Renaissance and Early Modern Period
- Political Power of the Merchant Class📜 Renaissance (Part 2): This video discusses the rise in political power of the merchant class during the Renaissance, a key factor in the period's social and economic changes.
- Holy Roman Empire Explained in 13 Minutes: A concise explanation of the Holy Roman Empire's complex political structure and its role in European history during the early modern period.
- The Holy Roman Empire (1961) - YouTube
- Don Draper at his finest: A compelling scene from the television series Mad Men, showcasing the character Don Draper's prowess in advertising.
- Mad Men - The Carousel (Higher Quality): Another iconic scene from Mad Men, exemplifying the nostalgic and emotional storytelling of the era.
- Adam Curtis is a genius. From Can't Get You Out Of My Head Documentary on BBC: This video showcases Adam Curtis's insightful storytelling in his documentary, exploring complex societal and historical themes.
Books and Articles
- Michael Saler: THE FIN-DE-SIÈCLE WORLD
- Zweig: The World of Yesterday
- MET: The Belle Epoque
- Misc Late 19th and Early 20th Century Europe Books
BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, Electrickery
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the dawn of the age of electricity. They explore its development in the 18th and 19th centuries and its impact on society.
BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, Maxwell
Melvyn Bragg discusses the life and work of James Clerk Maxwell, a 19th century Scottish scientist who made significant contributions to the technological age.
BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, Michael Faraday
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Michael Faraday, the most famous British scientist of the 19th century. They delve into his pioneering research into the relationship between electricity and magnetism.
BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, Rutherford
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Ernest Rutherford, known as the father of nuclear science. They explore his contributions to the sub-atomic world.
BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, Radiation
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the history of the discovery of radiation, from light waves to gamma rays.
BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, Kinetic Theory
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the growth of ideas about gas pressure, from Newton's theory that static particles push against each other to Maxwell and Boltzmann's moving atoms.
BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, The Physics of Reality
Melvyn Bragg examines the physics of reality. When Quantum Mechanics was developed in the early 20th century reality changed forever. In the quantum world particles could be in two places at once, they disappeared for no reason and reappeared in unpredictable locations, they even acted differently according to whether we were watching them.
BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, Quantum Gravity
Melvyn Bragg discusses the attempts to understand the Quantum world, which deals with the smallest invisible particles, and to which classical theories of gravity, motion and relativity do not apply.
BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, The Physics of Time
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the physics of time. When writing the Principia Mathematica, Isaac Newton declared his hand on most of the big questions in physics. He outlined the nature of space, explained the motions of the planets and conceived the operation of gravity. But with the theories of Albert Einstein time became more complicated; it could be squeezed and distorted and was different in different places.
BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, Relativity
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss Einstein's theories of relativity. Between 1905 and 1917 Albert Einstein formulated a theoretical framework which transformed our understanding of the Universe. The twin theories of Special and General Relativity offered insights into the nature of space, time and gravitation which changed the face of modern science. Relativity resolved apparent contradictions in physics and also predicted several new phenomena, including black holes.
BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, The Measurement Problem in Physics
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the the measurement problem, one of the deepest problems in contemporary physics. The measurement problem arises because we don’t really understand how the atoms that constitute our world behave. They are fundamentally mysterious to us, even shocking, and they defy our attempts to measure and make sense of them. Possible solutions range from the existence of multiple realities to the rather more mundane possibility of an error in our mathematics - but a solution, if found, could transform our understanding of reality.