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Western Civilization is “the very idea…opposing one form or branch of civilization from others as if they were distinct, even unrelated (Brooks).” Throughout Western Civilization, many events have occurred, such as The Protestant Reformation, the African Slave Trade, the Industrial Revolution, The Renaissance, The Rise Of Christianity, the Civil Rights Movement, and so much more that were significant to what has made us become the present day. These events, all had a force behind historical change throughout Western history from the beginning of the Early Modern period to the present, Either economically, politically, religiously, ideology, geography, individual leadership, and significantly more. Even though multiple of these forces contributed to the historical change of Western Civilization, From my standpoint, I believe the most important force behind historical change throughout Western History from the beginning of the Early Modern period to the present is Politics.

The French Revolution was a drastic constitutional reform in what had been one of the most conservative and strongest of the great European states. Although, it was also bloodshed; Many of our lives were killed through ours. France’s ruler, King Louis XVI spent millions of dollars on himself, including wars, causing debt in the nation and; therefore a rise in taxes and necessities, like food. The French Revolution was long, as it lasted 10 years, from 1789 to 1799. The French Revolution’s primary importance was that it stripped power from a few light rulers and established a political leadership reflecting French citizenship. The three main causes of the Revolution were the tax burden on the Third Estate, social inequality, and the rise of Richmond and women. The goals of the French Revolution war” were liberal Liberty,”, which was their motto. The aim of the French Revolution was the abolition of Imperial law, which spread across Europe. The French Revolution’s effect on the nation was that France went from a Catholic absolute monarchy to a revolutionary, Democratic Republic with equal male suffrage, a new calendar, a revolutionary system of weights and measures, and a goal of Conquering the rest of Europe. The revolution abolished the feudal system and brought a new way of living, Capitalism. The French Revolution was able to annihilate the feudal system by removing any trace of feudalism. The Revolution is reforming not only France but also other nations. The French Revolution brought many radical advancements and it helped shape the economic, political, and social structures of France. The French Revolution made a political historical change throughout Western history from the beginning of the Early Modern by providing more power and control for the Third Estate. The Third Estate was treated unequally, compared to the First and Second Estate. It is important that the Third Estate had equal power and control as the 1st and 2nd Estate in Early Modern because it helped with the votes in the nation, it made it equal. This political change is still as important in the present day because the Third Estate is being treated equally as the First and Second. They have the same rights and opportunities as people in different social classes. Therefore, the French Revolution was a political war that contributed to the historical change in Western Civilization through social classes.

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In the 19th century, women were treated less than men; therefore, women started a movement to obtain equal rights as men. Women and men had different roles in society. Women’s roles were to clean, cook, and care for their children. However, Men were to go to work and provide for the family. Women didn’t have as many opportunities as men; “Women across Europe could not vote, could not initiate divorce…, could not control custody of children, could not pursue higher education, could not open bank accounts in their name, could not maintain ownership of the inherited property after marriage, could not initiate lawsuits or serve as legal witnesses, and could not maintain control of their wages if working and married (Brooks).” The first goals of first-wave feminism was woman suffrage- the right for women to vote because “suffrage itself was seen by feminists as only one component of what was needed to realize women’s equality (Brooks).” Women held peaceful protests, however, they turned militant when the government didn’t recognize their issue as mainstream. By this action, the Constitution finally made the 19th amendment to let women have the right to vote. Despite the importance of the suffrage movement, in the time before World War I, feminists won other legal rights before they had the freedom to vote. This political movement made a historical change throughout Western history from the beginning of the Early Modern because it changed the gender roles of women and how they were treated. Women were treated more equally to women, which gave women more opportunities in getting jobs. However, not only did it make changes to Early Modern, but this movement has changed what’s going on in the present. This movement has made many advancements in women’s rights. Today, women are much more privileged in society, we can vote, get a good education, work in whatever profession we wish to, initiate divorce, control our wages and property, and fight for the custody of children. Many women did not have this privilege in the 19th century, until the movement. Thus, politics through the Women’s Movement had a significant impact on historical change in Western Civilization.

The Youth Movement of the 20th century focused on social justice after the wars that occurred (WW1 & 2). The end of all discriminatory policies and the underlying prejudice in American culture, in general, has been advocated by several youth movement members. Furthermore, a movement developed for the first time promoting the concept that homosexuality was a valid sexual orientation and not an “irrational” social order danger. In May, the youth movement reached its most radical manifestation. The legacy of the youth movement was significant because Western society as a whole has become much more tolerant of personal freedoms, especially sexuality, and generally less fascistic and strict. This Movement made a historical change throughout Western history from the beginning of the Early Modern because it helped change the views people had on sexuality, as it was more open to sexuality, and our freedoms, and made the civilization less strict. This movement contributes to the present day because people can express their sexuality without getting shamed. Also, with the 1st Amendment, every human is born with the freedom of religion, speech, petition, and assembly. Thus, the Youth Movement brought immense political changes to both Early Modern History and Present Day.

In conclusion, throughout Western Civilization, politics was the most important historical change from Early Modern history to the present- day in my opinion. Events such as the French Revolution, the Women’s Suffrage Movement, and the Youth Movement all made immense changes in Early Modern History and the Present day. The French Revolution brought equality among the social classes, the Women’s Suffrage Movement gave women the right to vote, along with other rights, and the Youth Movement brought social justice. These events have made a great impact on how we live today.

Works Cited:

    1. Brooks, Christopher. “Western Civilization: A Concise History”, Portland Community College, February 2020, https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uz0SnatD0t0EAZw-i_dS7q7lQ4W9qDBBCB5R2A5d50k/edit#. Accessed October 22, 2020.
    2. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uz0SnatD0t0EAZw-i_dS7q7lQ4W9qDBBCB5R2A5d50k/edit#

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