20th century

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The Blue Marble, Earth as seen from Apollo 17 in December 1972. The second half of the 20th century saw humanity's first space exploration. The Earth seen from Apollo 17.jpg
The Blue Marble , Earth as seen from Apollo 17 in December 1972. The second half of the 20th century saw humanity's first space exploration.

The 20th (twentieth) century was a century that began on January 1, 1901 [1] and ended on December 31, 2000. [2] It was the tenth and final century of the 2nd millennium. It is distinct from the century known as the 1900s which began on January 1, 1900 and ended on December 31, 1999.

A century is a period of 100 years. Centuries are numbered ordinally in English and many other languages. The word century comes from the Latin centum, meaning one hundred. Century is sometimes abbreviated as c.

2nd millennium millennium

The second millennium of the anno Domini or Common Era was a millennium spanning the years 1001 to 2000. It encompassed the High and Late Middle Ages of the Old World, followed by the Early Modern period, characterized by the Wars of Religion in Europe, the Age of Enlightenment, the Age of Discovery and the colonial period. Its final two centuries coincide with Modern history, characterized by industrialization, the rise of nation states, the rapid development of science, widespread education, and universal health care and vaccinations in the Western world. The 20th century saw increasing globalization, most notably the two World Wars and the subsequent formation of the United Nations. 20th-century technology includes powered flight, television and semiconductor technology, including integrated circuits. The term "Great Divergence" was coined to refer the unprecedented cultural and political ascent of the Western world in the second half of the millennium, emerging by the 18th century as the most powerful and wealthy world civilization, having eclipsed Qing China and the Islamic World. It differs from the millennium of the 1000s, which spans the years 1000 to 1999.

Contents

The 20th century was dominated by a chain of events that heralded significant changes in world history as to redefine the era: flu pandemic, World War I and World War II, nuclear power and space exploration, nationalism and decolonization, the Cold War and post-Cold War conflicts; intergovernmental organizations and cultural homogenization through developments in emerging transportation and communications technology; poverty reduction and world population growth, awareness of environmental degradation, ecological extinction; [3] [4] and the birth of the Digital Revolution, enabled by the wide adoption of MOS transistors and integrated circuits. It saw great advances in communication and medical technology that by the late 1980s allowed for near-instantaneous worldwide computer communication and genetic modification of life.

Spanish flu 1918 influenza pandemic

The 1918 influenza pandemic was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic, the first of the two pandemics involving H1N1 influenza virus. It infected 500 million people around the world, including people on remote Pacific islands and in the Arctic. Probably 50 million, and possibly as high as 100 million died, making it one of the deadliest epidemics in human history. Historical and epidemiological data are inadequate to identify with certainty the pandemic's geographic origin.

World War I 1914–1918 global war starting in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War, the Great War, the Seminal Catastrophe, and initially in North America as the European War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the resulting 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

World War II 1939–1945, between Axis and Allies

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from more than 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 70 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

The 20th century saw the largest transformation of the world order since the Fall of Rome: global total fertility rates, sea level rise and ecological collapses increased; the resulting competition for land and dwindling resources accelerated deforestation, water depletion, and the mass extinction of many of the world's species and decline in the population of others; consequences which are now being dealt with. The average global temperature on Earth has increased by about 0.8° Celsius (1.4° Fahrenheit) since 1880; Two-thirds of the warming has occurred since 1975, at a rate of roughly 0.15-0.20 °C per decade. [5]

Total fertility rate average number of children that would be born to a woman over her lifetime

The total fertility rate (TFR), sometimes also called the fertility rate, absolute/potential natality, period total fertility rate (PTFR), or total period fertility rate (TPFR) of a population is the average number of children that would be born to a woman over her lifetime if:

  1. She was to experience the exact current age-specific fertility rates (ASFRs) through her lifetime, and
  2. She was to survive from birth to the end of her reproductive life.
Sea level rise The current long-term trend for sea levels to rise mainly in response to global warming

Since at least the start of the 20th century, the average global sea level has been rising. Between 1900 and 2016, the sea level rose by 16–21 cm (6.3–8.3 in). More precise data gathered from satellite radar measurements reveal an accelerating rise of 7.5 cm (3.0 in) from 1993 to 2017, which is a trend of roughly 30 cm (12 in) per century. This acceleration is due mostly to human-caused global warming, which is driving thermal expansion of seawater and the melting of land-based ice sheets and glaciers. Between 1993 and 2018, thermal expansion of the oceans contributed 42% to sea level rise; the melting of temperate glaciers, 21%; Greenland, 15%; and Antarctica, 8%. Climate scientists expect the rate to further accelerate during the 21st century.

Ecological collapse refers to a situation where an ecosystem suffers a drastic, possibly permanent, reduction in carrying capacity for all organisms, often resulting in mass extinction. Usually, an ecological collapse is precipitated by a disastrous event occurring on a short time scale. Ecological collapse can be considered as a consequence of ecosystem collapse on the biotic elements that depended on the original ecosystem.

The repercussions of the World Wars, Cold War and Globalization crafted a world where people are more united than any previous time in human history, as exemplified by the establishment of the United Nations. The Marshall Plan—which spent $13 billion $100 billion in 2018 US dollars) [6] to rebuild the economies of post-war nations—launched "Pax Americana". For decades, the United States shouldered the burden of protecting other nations so as to limit threat of nuclear proliferation, and this global stabilizing hegemony influence impeded the expansion of communism while allowing for democratic proliferation to more than half of the existing countries. Open warfare amongst large armies disappeared; an unprecedented historical period, dubbed the "Long Peace", occurred after the World Wars, in which the world transitioned from active wars between nation states to internal civil wars or local insurgency conflicts.

United Nations Intergovernmental organization

The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization responsible for maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations, achieving international cooperation, and being a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. It is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. The UN is headquartered on international territory in New York City; other main offices are in Geneva, Nairobi, Vienna and The Hague.

Marshall Plan U.S. initiative to help Western Europe recover from World War II

The Marshall Plan was an American initiative passed in 1948 to aid Western Europe, in which the United States gave over $12 billion in economic assistance to help rebuild Western European economies after the end of World War II. Replacing an earlier proposal for a Morgenthau Plan, it operated for four years beginning on April 3, 1948. The goals of the United States were to rebuild war-torn regions, remove trade barriers, modernize industry, improve European prosperity, and prevent the spread of Communism. The Marshall Plan required a reduction of interstate barriers, a dropping of many regulations, and encouraged an increase in productivity, as well as the adoption of modern business procedures.

Pax Americana is a term applied to the concept of relative peace in the Western Hemisphere and later the world beginning around the middle of the 20th century, thought to be caused by the preponderance of power enjoyed by the United States. Although the term finds its primary utility in the latter half of the 20th century, it has been used with different meanings and eras, such as the post-Civil War era in North America, and regionally in the Americas at the start of the 20th century.

It took over two-hundred thousand years of human history up to 1804 for the world's population to reach 1 billion; [7] world population reached an estimated 2 billion in 1927; by late 1999, the global population reached 6 billion. [8] Global literacy averaged 80%. Up until a couple hundred years ago, life expectancy was about thirty in most populations; global lifespan-averages exceeded 40+ years for the first time in history, with over half achieving 70+ years (three decades longer than it was a century ago). [9]

World population milestones

World population milestones were unnoticed until the 20th century, since there were no reliable data on global population dynamics.

Literacy ability to read for knowledge, write coherently, and think critically about the written word; ability to read, write, and use arithmetic

Literacy is traditionally defined by dictionaries as the ability to read and write, although broader interpretations insist that any particular instance of reading and writing is always taking place in a specific context, as the proliferation of concepts like "conventional or basic literacy, functional literacy, digital literacy, media literacy, legal literacy, computer literacy, medical literacy and information literacy" suggest. The general consensus among researchers that literacy always includes social and cultural elements is reflected by UNESCO's inclusion of numbers, images, digital media, cultural consciousness, and other means of understanding, communicating, gaining useful knowledge, problem-solving, and using the dominant symbol systems of a culture in its definition of literacy. The concept of literacy is expanding across OECD countries to include skills to access knowledge through technology and ability to assess complex contexts.

Overview

Map of the British Empire (as of 1910). At its height, it was the largest empire in history. Arthur Mees Flags of A Free Empire 1910 Cornell CUL PJM 1167 01.jpg
Map of the British Empire (as of 1910). At its height, it was the largest empire in history.

The century had the first global-scale total wars between world powers across continents and oceans in World War I and World War II. Nationalism became a major political issue in the world in the 20th century, acknowledged in international law along with the right of nations to self-determination, official decolonization in the mid-century, and related regional conflicts.

A world war is a large-scale war which affects the whole world directly or indirectly. World wars span multiple countries on multiple continents, or just two countries fighting a war with battles in many theaters. While a variety of global conflicts have been subjectively deemed "world wars", such as the Cold War and the War on Terror, the term is widely and usually accepted only as it is retrospectively applied to two major international conflicts that occurred during the 20th century: World War I (1914–18) and World War II (1939–45).

Total war conflict in which belligerents engage with all available resources

Total war is warfare that includes any and all civilian-associated resources and infrastructure as legitimate military targets, mobilizes all of the resources of society to fight the war, and gives priority to warfare over non-combatant needs. The Oxford Living Dictionaries defines "total war" as "A war that is unrestricted in terms of the weapons used, the territory or combatants involved, or the objectives pursued, especially one in which the laws of war are disregarded."

Nationalism is an ideology and movement that promotes the interests of a particular nation, especially with the aim of gaining and maintaining the nation's sovereignty (self-governance) over its homeland. Nationalism holds that each nation should govern itself, free from outside interference (self-determination), that a nation is a natural and ideal basis for a polity, and that the nation is the only rightful source of political power. It further aims to build and maintain a single national identity—based on shared social characteristics such as culture, language, religion, politics, and belief in a shared singular history—and to promote national unity or solidarity. Nationalism, therefore, seeks to preserve and foster a nation's traditional culture, and cultural revivals have been associated with nationalist movements. It also encourages pride in national achievements, and is closely linked to patriotism. Nationalism is often combined with other ideologies, such as conservatism or socialism for example.

The century saw a major shift in the way that many people lived, with changes in politics, ideology, economics, society, culture, science, technology, and medicine. The 20th century may have seen more technological and scientific progress than all the other centuries combined since the dawn of civilization. Terms like ideology , world war , genocide, and nuclear war entered common usage. Scientific discoveries, such as the theory of relativity and quantum physics, profoundly changed the foundational models of physical science, forcing scientists to realize that the universe was more complex than previously believed, and dashing the hopes (or fears) at the end of the 19th century that the last few details of scientific knowledge were about to be filled in. It was a century that started with horses, simple automobiles, and freighters but ended with high-speed rail, cruise ships, global commercial air travel and the Space Shuttle. Horses, Western society's basic form of personal transportation for thousands of years, were replaced by automobiles and buses within a few decades. These developments were made possible by the exploitation of fossil fuel resources, which offered energy in an easily portable form, but also caused concern about pollution and long-term impact on the environment. Humans explored space for the first time, taking their first footsteps on the Moon.

(The map shows the flag of the Austrian Empire but in 1914 that did not exist, only the Austro-Hungarian Empire.)
World powers and empires in 1914, just before the First World War World 1914 empires colonies territory.PNG
(The map shows the flag of the Austrian Empire but in 1914 that did not exist, only the Austro-Hungarian Empire.)
World powers and empires in 1914, just before the First World War

Mass media, telecommunications, and information technology (especially computers, paperback books, public education, and the Internet) made the world's knowledge more widely available. Advancements in medical technology also improved the health of many people: the global life expectancy increased from 35 years to 65 years. Rapid technological advancements, however, also allowed warfare to reach unprecedented levels of destruction. World War II alone killed over 60 million people, while nuclear weapons gave humankind the means to annihilate itself in a short time. However, these same wars resulted in the destruction of the imperial system. For the first time in human history, empires and their wars of expansion and colonization ceased to be a factor in international affairs, resulting in a far more globalized and cooperative world. The last time major powers clashed openly was in 1945, and since then, violence has seen an unprecedented decline. [10]

The world also became more culturally homogenized than ever with developments in transportation and communications technology, popular music and other influences of Western culture, international corporations, and what was arguably a truly global economy by the end of the 20th century.

Summary

Technological advancements during World War I changed the way war was fought, as new inventions such as tanks, chemical weapons, and aircraft modified tactics and strategy. After more than four years of trench warfare in Western Europe, and 20 million dead, the powers that had formed the Triple Entente (France, Britain, and Russia, later replaced by the United States and joined by Italy and Romania) emerged victorious over the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria). In addition to annexing many of the colonial possessions of the vanquished states, the Triple Entente exacted punitive restitution payments from them, plunging Germany in particular into economic depression. The Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires were dismantled at the war's conclusion. The Russian Revolution resulted in the overthrow of the Tsarist regime of Nicholas II and the onset of the Russian Civil War. The victorious Bolsheviks then established the Soviet Union, the world's first communist state.

Ukraine, early days of the 1941 Nazi invasion. The Soviet Union lost around 27 million people between 1941 and 1945, almost half of all World War II deaths. Bundesarchiv Bild 101I-020-1268-36, Russland, russischer Gefallener, Panzer BT 7,.jpg
Ukraine, early days of the 1941 Nazi invasion. The Soviet Union lost around 27 million people between 1941 and 1945, almost half of all World War II deaths.

At the beginning of the period, the British Empire was the world's most powerful nation, [12] having acted as the world's policeman for the past century. Fascism, a movement which grew out of post-war angst and which accelerated during the Great Depression of the 1930s, gained momentum in Italy, Germany, and Spain in the 1920s and 1930s, culminating in World War II, sparked by Nazi Germany's aggressive expansion at the expense of its neighbors. Meanwhile, Japan had rapidly transformed itself into a technologically advanced industrial power and, along with Germany and Italy, formed the Axis powers. Japan's military expansionism in East Asia and the Pacific Ocean brought it into conflict with the United States, culminating in a surprise attack which drew the US into World War II. After some years of dramatic military success, Germany was defeated in 1945, having been invaded by the Soviet Union and Poland from the East and by the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and France from the West. After the victory of the Allies in Europe, the war in Asia ended with the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan by the US, the first nation to develop and use nuclear weapons. In total, World War II left some 60 million people dead. After the war, Germany was occupied and divided between the Western powers and the Soviet Union. East Germany and the rest of Eastern Europe became Soviet puppet states under communist rule. Western Europe was rebuilt with the aid of the American Marshall Plan, resulting in a major post-war economic boom, and many of the affected nations became close allies of the United States.

With the Axis defeated and Britain and France rebuilding, the United States and the Soviet Union were left standing as the world's only superpowers. Allies during the war, they soon became hostile to one another as their competing ideologies of communism and democratic capitalism proliferated in Europe, which became divided by the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall. They formed competing military alliances (NATO and the Warsaw Pact) which engaged in a decades-long standoff known as the Cold War. The period was marked by a new arms race as the USSR became the second nation to develop nuclear weapons, which were produced by both sides in sufficient numbers to end most human life on the planet had a large-scale nuclear exchange ever occurred. Mutually assured destruction is credited by many historians as having prevented such an exchange, each side being unable to strike first at the other without ensuring an equally devastating retaliatory strike. Unable to engage one another directly, the conflict played out in a series of proxy wars around the world–particularly in China, Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, and Afghanistan–as the USSR sought to export communism while the US attempted to contain it. The technological competition between the two sides led to substantial investment in research and development which produced innovations that reached far beyond the battlefield, such as space exploration and the Internet.

Albert Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physics. Albert Einstein Head.jpg
Albert Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physics.

In the latter half of the century, most of the European-colonized world in Africa and Asia gained independence in a process of decolonization. Meanwhile, globalization opened the door for several nations to exert a strong influence over many world affairs. The US's global military presence spread American culture around the world with the advent of the Hollywood motion picture industry, Broadway, rock and roll, pop music, fast food, big-box stores, and the hip-hop lifestyle. Britain also continued to influence world culture, including the "British Invasion" into American music, leading many rock bands from other countries (such as Swedish ABBA) to sing in English. After the Soviet Union collapsed under internal pressure in 1991, most of the communist governments it had supported around the world were dismantled—with the notable exceptions of China, North Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, and Laos—followed by awkward transitions into market economies.

Following World War II, the United Nations, successor to the League of Nations, was established as an international forum in which the world's nations could discuss issues diplomatically. It enacted resolutions on such topics as the conduct of warfare, environmental protection, international sovereignty, and human rights. Peacekeeping forces consisting of troops provided by various countries, with various United Nations and other aid agencies, helped to relieve famine, disease, and poverty, and to suppress some local armed conflicts. Europe slowly united, economically and, in some ways, politically, to form the European Union, which consisted of 15 European countries by the end of the 20th century.

In the last third of the century, concern about humankind's impact on the Earth's environment made environmentalism popular. In many countries, especially in Europe, the movement was channeled into politics through Green parties. Increasing awareness of global warming began in the 1980s, commencing decades of social and political debate.

The computer is a major technological advancement in this century. Apple II Plus, Museum of the Moving Image.jpg
The computer is a major technological advancement in this century.

The nature of innovation and change

Due to continuing industrialization and expanding trade, many significant changes of the century were, directly or indirectly, economic and technological in nature. Inventions such as the light bulb, the automobile, and the telephone in the late 19th century, followed by supertankers, airliners, motorways, radio, television, antibiotics, nuclear power, frozen food, computers and microcomputers, the Internet, and mobile telephones affected people's quality of life across the developed world. Scientific research, engineering professionalization and technological development—much of it motivated by the Cold War arms race—drove changes in everyday life.

Social change

Martin Luther King, Jr., an African American civil rights leader. Martin Luther King - March on Washington.jpg
Martin Luther King, Jr., an African American civil rights leader.

At the beginning of the century, strong discrimination based on race and sex was significant in general society. Although the Atlantic slave trade had ended in the 19th century, the fight for equality for non-white people in the white-dominated societies of North America, Europe, and South Africa continued. During the century, the social taboo of sexism fell. By the end of the 20th century, women had the same legal rights as men in many parts of the world, and racism had come to be seen as abhorrent. [13] Attitudes towards homosexuality also began to change in the later part of the century.

The world at the end of the 20th century

Communications and information technology, transportation technology, and medical advances had radically altered daily lives. Europe appeared to be at a sustainable peace for the first time in recorded history. The people of the Indian subcontinent, a sixth of the world population at the end of the 20th century, had attained an indigenous independence for the first time in centuries. China, an ancient nation comprising a fifth of the world population, was finally open to the world, creating a new state after the near-complete destruction of the old cultural order. With the end of colonialism and the Cold War, nearly a billion people in Africa were left in new nation states after centuries of foreign domination.

The world was undergoing its second major period of globalization; the first, which started in the 18th century, having been terminated by World War I. Since the US was in a dominant position, a major part of the process was Americanization. The influence of China and India was also rising, as the world's largest populations were rapidly integrating with the world economy.

Terrorism, dictatorship, and the spread of nuclear weapons were pressing global issues. The world was still blighted by small-scale wars and other violent conflicts, fueled by competition over resources and by ethnic conflicts. Despots such as Kim Jong-il of North Korea continued to lead their nations toward the development of nuclear weapons.

Disease threatened to destabilize many regions of the world. New viruses such as SARS and West Nile continued to spread. Malaria and other diseases affected large populations. Millions were infected with HIV, the virus which causes AIDS. The virus was becoming an epidemic in southern Africa.

Based on research done by climate scientists, the majority of the scientific community consider that in the long term environmental problems may threaten the planet's habitability. [14] One argument is that of global warming occurring due to human-caused emission of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide produced by the burning of fossil fuels. [15] This prompted many nations to negotiate and sign the Kyoto treaty, which set mandatory limits on carbon dioxide emissions.

World population increased from about 1.6 billion people in 1901 to 6.1 billion at the century's end. [16] [17]

Wars and politics

Map of territorial changes in Europe after World War I (as of 1923). Map Europe 1923-en.svg
Map of territorial changes in Europe after World War I (as of 1923).

The number of people killed during the century by government actions was in the hundreds of millions. This includes deaths caused by wars, genocide, politicide and mass murders. The deaths from acts of war during the two world wars alone have been estimated at between 50 and 80 million[ citation needed ]. Political scientist Rudolph Rummel estimated 262,000,000 deaths caused by democide, which excludes those killed in war battles, civilians unintentionally killed in war and killings of rioting mobs. [18] According to Charles Tilly, "Altogether, about 100 million people died as a direct result of action by organized military units backed by one government or another over the course of the century. Most likely a comparable number of civilians died of war-induced disease and other indirect effects." [19] It is estimated that approximately 70 million Europeans died through war, violence and famine between 1914 and 1945. [20]

Richard Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev aboard the USS Sequoia, June 19, 1973 Richard M. Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev aboard the Sequoia - NARA - 194518.tif
Richard Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev aboard the USS Sequoia, June 19, 1973
Hong Kong, under British administration from 1842 to 1997, is one of the original four Asian tigers. 20091002 Hong Kong 6269.jpg
Hong Kong, under British administration from 1842 to 1997, is one of the original four Asian tigers.

Culture and entertainment

I and the Village, 1911, by Marc Chagall, a modern painter. Chagall IandTheVillage.jpg
I and the Village , 1911, by Marc Chagall, a modern painter.

Music

Led Zeppelin are widely considered one of the most successful, innovative, and influential rock groups in history. Jimmy Page with Robert Plant 2 - Led Zeppelin - 1977.jpg
Led Zeppelin are widely considered one of the most successful, innovative, and influential rock groups in history.

The invention of music recording technologies such as the phonograph record, and dissemination technologies such as radio broadcasting, massively expanded the audience for music. Prior to the 20th century, music was generally only experienced in live performances. Many new genres of music were established during the 20th century.

The world's most popular / famous / revered music artists of the 20th century include : Louis Armstrong, Little Richard, Igor Stravinsky, Gustav Mahler, George Gershwin, Sergei Prokofiev, Benjamin Britten, Maurice Ravel, Arnold Schoenberg, Dmitri Shostakovich, Aaron Copland, Béla Bartók, Ernesto Lecuona, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Richard Strauss, Thelonious Monk, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Bing Crosby, ABBA, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Harry Belafonte, Chuck Berry, James Brown, Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Eagles, Michael Jackson, Elton John, Bee Gees, Barbra Streisand, Cher, Nat "King" Cole, Robert Johnson, Led Zeppelin, Leonard Cohen, Queen, Madonna, Bob Marley, Metallica, Charlie Parker, Pink Floyd, Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Tupac Shakur, Nirvana (band), The Notorious B.I.G., Amr Diab, Fairuz, Umm Kulthum, Abdel Halim Hafez, Randy Newman and many more.

Film, television and theatre

Charlie Chaplin in his 1921 film The Kid, with Jackie Coogan. Chaplin The Kid edit.jpg
Charlie Chaplin in his 1921 film The Kid , with Jackie Coogan.

Film as an artistic medium was created in the 20th century. The first modern movie theatre was established in Pittsburgh in 1905. [26] Hollywood developed as the center of American film production. While the first films were in black and white, technicolor was developed in the 1920s to allow for color films. Sound films were developed, with the first full-length feature film, The Jazz Singer , released in 1927. The Academy Awards were established in 1929.

Video games

Ralph Baer's Magnavox Odyssey, the first video game console, released in 1972. Magnavox-Odyssey-Console-Set.jpg
Ralph Baer's Magnavox Odyssey , the first video game console, released in 1972.

Video games—due to the great technological steps forward in computing since the second post-war period—are the new form of entertainment emerged in the 20th century alongside films.

Art and Architecture

The Empire State Building is an iconic building of the 1930s. Empire State Building (HDR).jpg
The Empire State Building is an iconic building of the 1930s.

Sport

Science

Mathematics

The pioneer of computer science, Alan Turing Alan Turing portre.jpg
The pioneer of computer science, Alan Turing

Multiple new fields of mathematics were developed in the 20th century. In the first part of the 20th century, measure theory, functional analysis, and topology were established, and significant developments were made in fields such as abstract algebra and probability. The development of set theory and formal logic led to Gödel's incompleteness theorems.

Later in the 20th century, the development of computers led to the establishment of a theory of computation. [30] Other computationally-intense results include the study of fractals [31] and a proof of the four color theorem in 1976. [32]

Physics

Astronomy

Biology

Norman Borlaug, father of the Green Revolution, is often credited with saving over a billion people worldwide from starvation. Norman Borlaug.jpg
Norman Borlaug, father of the Green Revolution, is often credited with saving over a billion people worldwide from starvation.

Medicine

A stamp commemorating Alexander Fleming. His discovery of penicillin had changed the world of modern medicine by introducing the age of antibiotics. Faroe stamp 079 europe (fleming).jpg
A stamp commemorating Alexander Fleming. His discovery of penicillin had changed the world of modern medicine by introducing the age of antibiotics.

Notable diseases

Energy and the environment

Oil field in California, 1938. The first modern oil well was drilled in 1848 by Russian engineer F.N. Semyonov, on the Apsheron Peninsula north-east of Baku. Oilfields California.jpg
Oil field in California, 1938. The first modern oil well was drilled in 1848 by Russian engineer F.N. Semyonov, on the Apsheron Peninsula north-east of Baku.

Engineering and technology

First flight of the Wright Flyer I, December 17, 1903, Orville piloting, Wilbur running at wingtip. First flight2.jpg
First flight of the Wright Flyer I, December 17, 1903, Orville piloting, Wilbur running at wingtip.

One of the prominent traits of the 20th century was the dramatic growth of technology. Organized research and practice of science led to advancement in the fields of communication, electronics, engineering, travel, medicine, and war.

Space exploration

American Buzz Aldrin during the first moonwalk in 1969. The relatively young aerospace engineering industries rapidly grew in the 66 years after the Wright brothers first flight. Buzz salutes the U.S. Flag.jpg
American Buzz Aldrin during the first moonwalk in 1969. The relatively young aerospace engineering industries rapidly grew in the 66 years after the Wright brothers first flight.

Digital Revolution

The MOSFET (MOS transistor) is central to the Digital Revolution, and the most widely manufactured device in history. It was invented by Mohamed Atalla and Dawon Kahng at Bell Labs in November 1959. MOSFET Structure.png
The MOSFET (MOS transistor) is central to the Digital Revolution, and the most widely manufactured device in history. It was invented by Mohamed Atalla and Dawon Kahng at Bell Labs in November 1959.

A technological revolution began in the late 20th century, variously called the Digital Revolution, the information revolution, [37] [38] [39] [40] the electronics revolution, [41] the microelectronic revolution, [42] the Information Age, [43] the silicon revolution, [44] [45] the Silicon Age, [44] [45] [46] and/or the third industrial revolution.

Religion

Economics

See also

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Integrated circuit electronic circuit manufactured by lithography; set of electronic circuits on one small flat piece (or "chip") of semiconductor material, normally silicon

An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit is a set of electronic circuits on one small flat piece of semiconductor material that is normally silicon. The integration of large numbers of tiny MOS transistors into a small chip results in circuits that are orders of magnitude smaller, faster, and less expensive than those constructed of discrete electronic components. The IC's mass production capability, reliability, and building-block approach to circuit design has ensured the rapid adoption of standardized IC's in place of designs using discrete transistors. ICs are now used in virtually all electronic equipment and have revolutionized the world of electronics. Computers, mobile phones, and other digital home appliances are now inextricable parts of the structure of modern societies, made possible by the small size and low cost of ICs.

A semiconductor material has an electrical conductivity value falling between that of a conductor, such as metallic copper, and an insulator, such as glass. Its resistance falls as its temperature rises; metals are the opposite. Its conducting properties may be altered in useful ways by introducing impurities ("doping") into the crystal structure. Where two differently-doped regions exist in the same crystal, a semiconductor junction is created. The behavior of charge carriers which include electrons, ions and electron holes at these junctions is the basis of diodes, transistors and all modern electronics. Some examples of semiconductors are silicon, germanium, gallium arsenide, and elements near the so-called "metalloid staircase" on the periodic table. After silicon, gallium arsenide is the second most common semiconductor and is used in laser diodes, solar cells, microwave-frequency integrated circuits and others. Silicon is a critical element for fabricating most electronic circuits.

Transistor Basic electronics component

A transistor is a semiconductor device used to amplify or switch electronic signals and electrical power. It is composed of semiconductor material usually with at least three terminals for connection to an external circuit. A voltage or current applied to one pair of the transistor's terminals controls the current through another pair of terminals. Because the controlled (output) power can be higher than the controlling (input) power, a transistor can amplify a signal. Today, some transistors are packaged individually, but many more are found embedded in integrated circuits.

MOSFET Transistor used for amplifying or switching electronic signals.

The metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET, MOS-FET, or MOS FET), also known as the metal–oxide–silicon transistor (MOS transistor, or MOS), is a type of field-effect transistor that is fabricated by the controlled oxidation of a semiconductor, typically silicon. It has a covered gate, whose voltage determines the conductivity of the device. This ability to change conductivity with the amount of applied voltage can be used for amplifying or switching electronic signals. The MOSFET was invented by Egyptian engineer Mohamed M. Atalla and Korean engineer Dawon Kahng at Bell Labs in November 1959. It is the basic building block of modern electronics, and the most widely manufactured device in history, with an estimated total of 13 sextillion (1.3 × 1022) MOSFETs manufactured between 1960 and 2018.

CMOS Technology for constructing integrated circuits

Complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS), also known as complementary-symmetry metal–oxide–semiconductor (COS-MOS), is a type of MOSFET fabrication process that uses complementary and symmetrical pairs of p-type and n-type MOSFETs for logic functions. CMOS technology is used for constructing integrated circuits (ICs), including microprocessors, microcontrollers, memory chips, and other digital logic circuits. CMOS technology is also used for analog circuits such as image sensors, data converters, RF circuits, and highly integrated transceivers for many types of communication.

The Information Age is a historic period in the 20th century characterized by the rapid shift from traditional industry that the Industrial Revolution brought through industrialization, to an economy further based upon information technology. The onset of the Information Age can be associated with the development of transistor technology, particularly the MOSFET, which revolutionized modern technology and became the fundamental building block of digital electronics in the information age.

Semiconductor industry companies manufacturing semiconductor devices

The semiconductor industry is the aggregate collection of companies engaged in the design and fabrication of semiconductors. It formed around 1960, once the fabrication of semiconductor devices became a viable business. The industry's annual semiconductor sales revenue has since grown to over $481 billion, as of 2018. The semiconductor industry is in turn the driving force behind the wider electronics industry, with annual power electronics sales of £135 billion as of 2011, annual consumer electronics sales expected to reach $2.9 trillion by 2020, tech industry sales expected to reach $5 trillion in 2019, and e-commerce with over $29 trillion in 2017.

Television set Device for viewing computers screen and shows broadcast through satellites or cables

A television set or television receiver, more commonly called a television, TV, TV set, or telly, is a device that combines a tuner, display, and loudspeakers, for the purpose of viewing and hearing television shows broadcast through satellites or cables, or viewing and hearing a computer. Introduced in the late 1920s in mechanical form, television sets became a popular consumer product after World War II in electronic form, using cathode ray tube (CRT) technology. The addition of color to broadcast television after 1953 further increased the popularity of television sets in the 1960s, and an outdoor antenna became a common feature of suburban homes. The ubiquitous television set became the display device for the first recorded media in the 1970s, such as Betamax, VHS and later DVD. It has been used as a display device since the first generation of home computers and dedicated video game consoles in the 1980s. By the early 2010s, flat-panel television incorporating liquid-crystal display (LCD) technology, especially LED-backlit LCD technology, largely replaced CRT and other display technologies. Modern flat panel TVs are typically capable of high-definition display and can also play content from a USB device.

History of telecommunication aspect of history relating to telecommunications

The history of telecommunication began with the use of smoke signals and drums in Africa, the Americas and parts of Asia. In the 1790s, the first fixed semaphore systems emerged in Europe. However, it was not until the 1830s that electrical telecommunication systems started to appear. This article details the history of telecommunication and the individuals who helped make telecommunication systems what they are today. The history of telecommunication is an important part of the larger history of communication.

History of electrical engineering aspect of history

This article details the history of electrical engineering.

Digital Revolution change from analog, mechanical, and electronic technology to digital technology

The Digital Revolution is the shift from mechanical and analogue electronic technology to digital electronics which began anywhere from the late 1950s to the late 1970s with the adoption and proliferation of digital computers and digital record keeping that continues to the present day. Implicitly, the term also refers to the sweeping changes brought about by digital computing and communication technology during the latter half of the 20th century. Analogous to the Agricultural Revolution and Industrial Revolution, the Digital Revolution marked the beginning of the Information Age.

Nanocircuits are electrical circuits operating on the nanometer scale. This is well into the quantum realm, where quantum mechanical effects become very important. One nanometer is equal to 10−9 meters or a row of 10 hydrogen atoms. With such progressively smaller circuits, more can be fitted on a computer chip. This allows faster and more complex functions using less power. Nanocircuits are composed of three different fundamental components. These are transistors, interconnections, and architecture, all fabricated on the nanometer scale.

A transistor is a semiconductor device with at least three terminals for connection to an electric circuit. The vacuum-tube triode, also called a (thermionic) valve, was the transistor's precursor, introduced in 1907. The principle of a field-effect transistor was proposed by Julius Edgar Lilienfeld in 1925.

Digital Transformation is the use of new, fast and frequently changing digital technology to solve problems often utilising cloud computing, reducing reliance on user owned hardware but increasing reliance on subscription based cloud services. Some of these digital solutions enhance capabilities of traditional software products whilst others are entirely cloud based.

In engineering, electromechanics combines processes and procedures drawn from electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. Electromechanics focuses on the interaction of electrical and mechanical systems as a whole and how the two systems interact with each other. This process is especially prominent in systems such as those of DC or AC rotating electrical machines which can be designed and operated to generate power from a mechanical process (generator) or used to power a mechanical effect (motor). Electrical engineering in this context also encompasses electronics engineering.

This article details the history of electronic engineering. Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionary (1972) defines electronics as "The science and technology of the conduction of electricity in a vacuum, a gas, or a semiconductor, and devices based thereon".

Dawon Kahng South Korean engineer

Dawon Kahng was a Korean-American electrical engineer and inventor, known for his work in solid-state electronics. He is best known for inventing the MOSFET, also known as the MOS transistor, with Mohamed Atalla in 1959. Atalla and Kahng developed both the PMOS and NMOS processes for MOSFET semiconductor device fabrication. The MOSFET is the most widely used type of transistor, and the basic element in most modern electronic equipment.

Mohamed M. Atalla mechanical engineer

Mohamed Mohamed Atalla was an Egyptian-American engineer, physical chemist, cryptographer, inventor and entrepreneur. His pioneering work in semiconductor technology laid the foundations for modern electronics. Most importantly, his invention of the MOSFET in 1959, along with his earlier surface passivation and thermal oxidation processes, revolutionized the electronics industry. He is also known as the founder of the data security company Atalla Corporation, founded in 1972, which introduced the first hardware security module and was a pioneer in online security. He received the Stuart Ballantine Medal and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for his important contributions to semiconductor technology as well as data security.

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Further reading