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The 19th Century

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Holly Lewis

on 29 February 2012

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Transcript of The 19th Century

The 19th Century Romanticism Wins the Day Inspired by the violent passion of the French Revolution (itself inspired by
the writings of Enlightenment Era Romantic Jean-Jacques Rousseau), Romanticism
storms through Britain, France, and Germany. The French Revolution The Brooding British Romantic Poets: Shelley, Byron, Keats The German Romanticist, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Goethe's most famous works are *Faust* and a book called *The Sorrows of Young Werther*. The latter was such a gloomy and emotional portrait of contemporary life that a rash of youth suicides followed the publication of the book. American Transcendentalism: Emerson and Thoreau Part of this new sense of the dark sublime is on account of the rise of the industrial revolution. Instead of working in the fields for feudal lords and working as craftsmen, now the majority of humanity are working in gloomy factories for a wage. The British Romantic Poet William Blake called these factories "dark satanic mills". Such gloomy landscapes inspire the rise of the gothic novel. Frankenstein
and Dracula are written in the 19th century. Frankenstein's Monster is part human, part science. The subtitle of the book is "The Modern Prometheus"
(Prometheus being the Greek figure who introduced fire to humanity--the symbol of intelligencec, but also
the danger of brilliance and inquisitiveness.) The Birth of the State The 18th century introduced discussions about the concept of Liberty. The American Revolution in 1776 and the French Revolution in 1789 challenged the social structure of Kingdoms for the first time in human history. A new system of social organizing was arising from the ashes of the Multinational Royal Empire (i.e. many ethnicities and cultures grouped under the control of a system of ruling families). Just as feudalism gave way to industrial capitalism, the Royal Empire gave way to the idea of "the State": a collection of people on a patch of land. maybe the same race/ethnicity, maybe not, who agree to abide by a set of laws. But who gets to make those laws? Should there be a ruling ethnicity or religion? A ruling economic class (farmers? factory owners?factory workers?) Should it be the "majority"of all those groups together? Do distinct groups have distinct interests? Who should govern this new state? By the turn of the 20th century (and with the help of World War I), many nations overthrow their monarchs and establish
Republics. Mexican War of Independence: 1810-1821
France: power oscillates between the Royals, Napoleon, and "the people" until the end of the 19th century.
Germany: overthrows the Kaiser after WWI
Russia: the Bolsheviks overthrow the Czar in Russia in 1917
China: The Chinese cut off their braids of obedience to the Qing Dynasty and form a Republic in 1912
Ireland: recognized as separate from Britain in 1922 While some nations keep kings as figureheads, the
Age of Kings is generally recognized as over. German Idealism The Industrial Revolution Back in the 18th Century, Kant argued that true reality outside the human mind exists. But he also said we can't experience it. We can only experience our sensory impressions of it. Hegel (1775-1854) states that the entire world is Mind. Mind is both the mind of the God and the mind of History. Human minds are a reflection of God's mind. Hegel says against Kant, that mind isn't a static and permanent thing, but that it is always developing and changing. Echoes of Plato Influenced by Heraclitus BEING NOT-BEING BECOMING Contradictions/Clashes of Ideas Historical Change DIALECTIC Now that you got me thinking about it... I call
myself a "master", but I'm really nothing without
this slave to push around. He kind of makes me
who I am. At my core, I'm really a nobody. This guy thinks he's all that. But he's
really nothing without me. He doesn't
even know how to tie his shoes. If I could
escape him, life would be great. But he'd
be a wreck if he lost me. Contradictions (being/nothingness) exist in every thing
and those contradictions fuel transformations of being
as beings exist interactively. Nietzsche Nietzsche (1844-1900) broke from the history of philosophy
including Kant (when Nietzsche heard Kant's name, he cried BAD AIR! BAD AIR!) and particularly Plato and Socrates, who
he thought were corrupt and pompous liars. He argued that
philosophy should reject Plato, go back to the Sophists, and
reaffilate itself with the arts. All the "great books" are really reproduced fragments, so there is no "original text" only fictions constructed from fragments of the past.
There is no "true being" or "real substances." for Nietzsche, there is only a flow of elemental stuffs that we organize and create through our will.
This means, all the words we use to talk about things are lies, creations. Talking is lying, but such lying has a positive aspect--through creating we inventive and we shatter received customs.
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