• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Assess how society was changing at the turn of the century. Refer to at least four different countries in your answer.

Extracts from this document...


Assess how society was changing at the turn of the century. Refer to at least four different countries in your answer. By 1914, Europe stood at the height of its power. Society had seen immense changes at the turn of the century and these changes were still being felt by all whom lived in Europe. By the beginning of The Great War, Europe dominated the world's trade and actively exported both European-made goods and European culture to every corner of the globe. It represented a vibrant capitalist economy based on free trade and low tariffs. Its expanding economy and new relationship with the rest of the world bares resemblance to the emergence of globalisation occurring now at the turn of the 21st century. Although the rest of the world saw Europe as strong, powerful and relatively stable, the people back home were not fooled. They were experiencing immense changes whilst feeling the tension created by the bridge between specific countries. Social changes were occurring not only within countries, but also between countries as influenced by political and economic changes. The relationship between the Great Powers was dynamic, affected by alliances and the ever-present arms race that was undergoing huge expansion within all countries. ...read more.


This change provided British society with a sense of superiority and security, in knowing that no other army could match the power created by the new naval battleships. No other army could match the power created by the new naval battleships, however they did try. The rise of aggressive nationalism, colonialism and militarism resulted in a strong refusal by any of the European nations to back down, especially Germany who placed itself at head-to-head battle with Britain. Soon after the launching of the Dreadnought, Germany launched the Invincible, its version of Britain's overpowering naval weapon. Although it did not overpower the Dreadnought, it signified the rivalry between Germany and Britain. The rest of the countries continued to build up armaments also, with the knowledge that they would need to continue producing innovative weapons to keep up with industrialisation. This was affirmed by Winston Churchill in his speech to the House of Commons in March 1914, when he stated: "We are witnessing this year increases of expenditure by Continental Powers in armaments beyond all previous experience. The world is armed as never before". While Germany's Kaiser Willhelm II struggled to keep up with Britain's navy, his country was experiencing massive changes on the home front. ...read more.


This coagulation of society was burdened by several affairs that shaped France at the turn of the century, portraying the country as discriminatory and controversial. The most apparent affair was the Dreyfus Affair in which an innocent Alsatian Jewish army officer was accused of passing French military secrets to the Germans. The entire country divided into two sides: the pro-Dreyfusards (generally radicalists and Jewish supporters who supported his innocence) and the anti-Dreyfusards (generally conservatives, anti-semitics and supporters of the Church). This distinction led to the separation of Church from State, disestablishing the Roman Catholic Church through a 1905 legislation passed by Premier Combes. This eased much social tension and led to greater peace between Church and State as indifferences were reconciled. Though manifested somewhat differently, the internal events in Britain, Germany, Russia and France at the turn of the 20th century display similarities: they mark the rise of the masses as a political force able to change the social, political and sometimes the economic status of the country. Whether it be the Liberalists, the Conservatives, the Social Democats, the Mensheviks, the Bolsheviks, the Proletariat, the Aristocrats, the Radicals, or even the anti-Semitics, they managed to shape the society of each and every country leading to social changes that changed the composition of that nation before the outbreak of the First World War. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Politics essays

  1. "The Colonisation of Africa was Inevitable in the Late Nineteenth Century" Discuss.

    Nevertheless, in order to even further ensure the safety of their 'jewel in the crown', the British aspired to safeguard their sea routes to it. Since 1869, when the Suez Canal was built, these sea routes ran along the northern coastline of Africa, therefore, acquiring colonies in this part of

  2. Free essay

    Why has Britain changed in the 20th century?

    Also with the growth of Europe, and seeing, in the case of Nazi Germany, how badly certain people are treated, the importance of people's rights became a lot more emphasised on. Other factors that have changed quite drastically include Britain's economic situations, and political parties in the country.

  1. Malta at the turn of the 19th Century.

    If a certain knight, had lands in France this meant that his lands were confiscated and that he no longer received the feudal dues paid by the peasants, hence the Order was economically declining due to a drastic decrease in their income from lands.

  2. Citizenship - participating in society

    This website was extremely good as it talked about a child's general health and how smoking could affect the vital organs inside your body. The website had lots of pictures and lots of facts which is what I was looking for.

  1. The causes and the political and social consequences of the Dreyfus Affair in France

    while the monarchist group saw an opportunity to attack the "Gueuse" (the Republic). From 1893, the Government passed little by little into the hands of people whom the Left did not consider as republican and which it detested, particularly the Presidents of the councils Jules M´┐Żline and Charles Dupuy.

  2. The Changing Role and Status of Women in Britain Since 1900

    Moreover the Liberal government had bigger problems to deal with, and women's suffrage was at the bottom of its agenda with the insurrection of Ireland, rebellion by the House of Lords and the widespread action of trade unions. The Liberal government had made promises to women's suffrage groups to help

  1. Which features of Russian society were likely to cause problems for the Tsarist government ...

    There was also opposition from the Kadets. Middle class and liberal landowners wanted a parliament like England. Influence from other political systems in other countries meant many people wanted a change, however this caused problems for the Tsar, as they found it difficult to please everybody and still remain in power.

  2. After World War II, Australia launched a massive immigration program, believing that having narrowly ...

    By the end of World War II, millions of people residing in Europe were forced to leave their homes and were unable to return. In Australia, a census taken at the end of the war showed that Australia's population was too small.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work