What was the greatest century in all of human history? The 20th? The 17th? Something earlier perhaps?

There’s actually some consensus about this. Most historians consider the century between 1815 and 1914 as the greatest century of all of human history.

Why? Primarily because of two factors:

A) Massive advances in technology, trade, and standard of living.

B) Worldwide, it was a comparatively peaceful 100 years as compared to just about any other 100 year block of time you can find.

Most laypeople consider the 20th century as the “best”, but it really isn’t if you consider all the horrible things that happened during that time, such as:

* World War One (by far the dumbest war in human history)
* The Holocaust
* Stalin’s Great Purge
* World War Two
* The Soviet famine
* The Great Leap Forward
* Khmer Rouge Cleansing
* Rwandan Genocide

Yeah, we invented the car and the internet and a few other cool things, but I don’t think all that death makes up for it.

I’ve always thought that living in the late 1800s would be hugely exciting. If I had a time machine, I would visit many eras, but if I was forced to live in a past era, it would be the mid to late 1800s, hands down.

2 thoughts on “The Greatest Century

  1. Not to mention the art. Liszt and Chopin, Tchaikovsky and Wagner, late Beethoven. Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Dickens, Shelley, and Poe. On these grounds, the 20th century doesn’t compete at all.

  2. I didn’t mention that but that’s very true. Not to mention all the late 19th century philosophers also.

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