Traits of the Modern World
Modern ideas are first formed from a simple hypothesis, with little evidence and much hope of truth lying beneath. These ideas become more greatly researched, and develop and change over time, due to more evidence. The modern societies today are such as this, with greatly updated advancement, but true to their original roots, of ancient times, when the beliefs and ideas were only theories, not facts to be found true. According to A History of the Modern World, there is "in our time a kind of uniform modern civilization which overlies or penetrates the traditional cultures of the world." Some of these traits are pressures for an increased democracy, countries affecting each other's growth, and Europe holding the key to the traditional times, which date back to ancient times.
One example of using ancient times as a basis for modern civilization is the pressures for an increased democracy. In order for a country to improve its social and ethical conditions, changes must be made in the political powers to help its affected state grow. "Ã¢â‚¬Â¦and all modern governments, democratic or not, must seek to arouse the energies and support of their populations" (Palmer 10). Also, with acquired knowledge, the current morals and beliefs of the community may change, and the democracy of the community must adjust to these changes. "In modern society old customs loosen, and ancestral religions are questioned. There is a demand for individual liberation, and an expectation for higher living" (Palmer 10). People yearn for equality, in every ethical aspect, and need a strong democratic system to support this. The fast changing social desires become social movements, and since the beginning of civilization, the ideas taken from the old world are brought to improve the new world.
Another way the traditions of the old world affect the new world are the way modern countries affect each other. In order for the countries of our planet to function without constant war, communication and joint growth is critical. Technology is used to improve the quality of life, and communication is vital for peacekeeping. "States and nations fight wars by advanced methods, and negotiate or maintain peace by diplomacy" (Palmer 10). Every action a country makes somehow affects another country, such as pollution, nuclear wars, or lack of industrial production. In early civilizations, when one country seized another, they were forced to endure the cultures and traditions as well.
Europe was the location for many large empires, such as the Greek and Roman empires. When society today makes decisions, it is based on experience learned from years back. The United States borrows much of their technology from Europe, meaning that the United States also underlies the traditional times of Europe. Europe, being such a large world power, influenced many other continents in their modern development. "Ã¢â‚¬Â¦Europe radically transformed itself, and also developed an overwhelming impact on other continents and other cultures in America, Africa, and Asia, sometimes destroying them, sometimes stimulating or enlivening themÃ¢â‚¬Â¦" (Palmer 9).
As before, lessons are learned from the past. When a person has touched a hot pan on the stove, they learn quickly not to touch it again, and use this knowledge for the future. This is exactly like the link between ancient European and modern worldly times. The positive and traditional ways of life that have been successful in the past are reused, even in the greatest changes of modern civilization. The changing democracy, countries' joint growths, and Europe being an important contributor to modern times are all reasons for why our modern civilization "overlies and penetrates the traditional cultures of the world."
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