Similarities and Differences in the Early Vs. Late 20th Century Europe

Topics: 20th century, Cold War, Soviet Union Pages: 4 (1260 words) Published: December 9, 2013

Europe in the 20th century underwent many drastic changes, as to be expected over the course of 100 years. During that time, an industrial revolution took place, a feminist movement swept Europe, and new methods of government replaced the old ones. The political, social, and economic similarities and differences between the first half and the second half of the twentieth century in Europe occurred mostly in the areas of women’s roles, industrial technology, and the structure of the government.

At the beginning of the 20th century, gender based roles were normal among middle class families all over Europe. Men were the main supporters for the family, working outside of the home and providing money and a home for the family. Women were to bear and raise children as well as tending to the needs of their husbands. As told by a woman living during the early 20th century, women were to “‘do anything which may please [her] husband, promote economy, or embellish [her] table,”’ (Sandford). “Women remained legally inferior, economically dependent, and largely defined by family and household roles,” (Spielvogel 422-423). When it came to education, “the education of women should, of course, be strictly feminine,” (Sandford). School for women was compared to “sipping like butterflies at every flower” (Sandford). Education was seen as unnecessary to women since they would never use it. For men, it was different though. They still had to go to school and learn logic from Aristotle, science from Newton, and history from Thucydides and Livy. It was expected for boys to attend school to get a good education. These roles were accepted socially and would not change until later in the century.

The second half of the 20th century was greatly different from the first half in terms of women. Women had more roles in the second half, and had greater access to education. Women were having less children on average and the population remained the same. This led to a bigger market for...
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