Belle Époque | What is, Time and Society –

The Belle Epoque, when we name those two words, an idea of ​​fun and joy comes to mind, dancers from the Parisian Red Windmill, parties, etc. It was certainly a time of technological, economic and social progress, where faith in science is absolute, a time of great transformations. It’s the time of Gustave Eiffel, Richard Wagner, Sigmund Freud or Giuseppe Verdi among others, geniuses who would change the perception of life in an increasingly globalized society. It’s time to learn more in depth what was the belle époquewhat consequences it had, what their society was like, etc.

Belle Epoque | What is

The term belle epoquewas the French name that was given to a certain period in the history of Europe, period from the year 1871, ending with the outbreak of First World War. It is not one of the longest stages in contemporary history, but it did mark a before and after in our contemporary history.

The expansion imperialist, a new economic system the capitalismlarge advances in science and the appearance of new technologiesthey changed both the mentality and the values ​​of European society.

The new technologies influenced all social layers, the proletariat appears, while the bourgeois class gains more and more power.

Undoubtedly, the Belle Époque was a period in which Europe felt proud of itself, being the first world power that practically governed the designs of the world.

Belle Epoque | Politics

The first war in Europe after Napoleon was the Franco-Prussian Warwar that Prussia won, giving rise to the German empire, responsible in 1914 for the disaster of the First World War. The Franco-Prussian War meant the fall of the Napoleonic III Empire and the beginning of the Third French Republic.

After this convulsive period, Europe tried to establish a political balance between countries, most imperialists. Many of the European countries were true powers and governed the designs of the world, the frictions between countries were constant, exploding in 1914, as we have already mentioned.

The scientific and technical advances of France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Austria-Hungary and Italy were the consequence of these periods of peace. Economically London was the Financial Center of the world, while artistically Paris was the capital of Art.

After the partition of Africa, the European empires were perfectly delimited, reaching their maximum power and influence at all levels. Imperialism was understood as a perfectly valid State policy both at the political and social levels.

The colonies provided valuable raw materials, materials necessary for technological development and which Europe lacked. With cheap raw materials and technological improvements in industry, European production saturated internal markets, they needed new markets for this growing industrial production and they found it thanks to imperialism.

appear workers unions throughout Europe, they were groups of organized workers, even founding political parties, such as the European socialist parties that would soon become highly influential in European politics.

New ideological currents like conservatism or liberalism, currents that were put into practice both in the political and economic spheres.

We are seeing that belle epoch, it was lived in Europe, but what happened in the rest of the world. Japan and China were going through their own revolutions, foreign invasions and internal revolts that would end with an imperial tyranny, then they were not in economic, social or technological conditions.

On the other hand, the US already had a fairly developed industry, but it could not yet compete with the technology that countries like Great Britain and France had developed. South America was still experiencing its own process of disintegration from Spain and Africa was part of European Imperialism.

Belle Epoque | Society

We are in the midst of the second industrial revolution, cities are beginning to develop, boulevards appear in European capitals, which were places to walk and socialize, the creation of cafes, art galleries, concert halls, places frequented by a new class society that began to acquire great notoriety the Bourgeoisie and with them the middle class.

Today’s society is a society that trusts in scientific advances and sees in science the solution to all ills, moving further and further away from that blind faith in God as the remedy for all ills. Now you believe in something that you can see and check.

The cities with the new industrial revolution, where steel, electricity or chemical industry, open new forms of production, begins to need labor. It causes a exodus from the countryside to the citywhere opportunities to find work were assured.

These cities began to be filled with services, to cover the new needs of the cities, doctors, lawyers, teachers, merchants, employees, technicians, engineers, etc. were needed. all of them considered middle class.

On the other hand he was the industrial working class, a class product of a new industry destined for jobs in the mining, iron and steel or chemical industries, as well as in the railway industry. This new working class that had come from the countryside and had needed specialization, began to become aware of the power he could have by uniting in unions. We can conclude that within the industrial working society, the concept of Proletariat.

With technological expansion, The education it became necessary at all levels, new engineers, doctors, architects, etc. were needed. What meant an alphabetization of the population, if we also add that new technologies such as the submarine cable or the telegraph, facilitated the dissemination of knowledge, spreading foreign news at a faster rate.

Life in the cities was divideda, the wealthier classes moved in very small circles such as clubs, operas, casinos, racetracks, etc. Life no longer revolved around the church, but its decline is becoming more and more noticeable. The mass consciousness was noticeable both in the streets and in the squares, calling for new cultural forms, as was the music hall, the cinema, the popular press, sports, etc.

The new trades that technology had generated such as plumbers, electricians, plumbers, drivers, it generates workers’ associations, unions begin to flourish throughout Europe. Europe was proud of itself and thus expressed it in the various Universal Exhibitions, such as those in Paris in 1889 and 1990.

Exhibitions that were used as a means to spreading scientific progress and attracting world trade. The pride of man who is capable of overcoming any obstacle posed by nature through science and technology, was the idea that they wanted to convey.

Belle Epoque | Economy

appears the concept of Globalization, Due in large part to the expansion of the colonial countries, they managed to keep more and more parts of the world in contact and dependence. The creation of a heavy industry and a more developed industrial trade, causes the creation of markets throughout the world.

Raw materials were left to the colonies, while the more developed or industrialized countries like Great Britain and the US devoted themselves exclusively to industrialization. The discovery of new energies achieved greater production at a minimum cost.

electricity and oil it had replaced coal and steam. New forms of travel appeared, such as airplanes, cars or airships, and the invention of the telephone or the telegraph made rapid communication with any part of the world a reality.

advances in medicine like the discovery of X-Rays, Pasteurization or radioactivityprovoked the creation of institutions dedicated to research, such as the creation of the Pasteur Institute.

But it all ended suddenly when in 1914 war is declared, starting the first world war, where the planes that had an exploratory and romantic air now had an image of destruction.

The sinking of Titanics, It also influenced the society of the time, since for the first time society lost its confidence in technology, a ship that was claimed to be unsinkable had sunk.

Belle Epoque | Art

In painting it is the time of Expressionism, Modernism and Fauvism. New techniques that abandon the classic canons of pictorial expression to conceive new canons based on admiration for technology and futurism.

Appear psychoanalysis of Freud, as a new method of dealing with problems of the mind, Jung would later continue to delve into the world of psychology.

As for the musical period, it is a time of maximum splendor, you operate such as those composed of Verdi or Wagner, following the classic Italian and German style, compared to other schools where the classic and the popular merge as johann strauss. Russian music full of power and strength like that of Tchaikovsky or Rimsky-Korsakov.

The new bourgeois classes are interested in sports, attending fencing, tennis, cricket, football or cycling shows, without forgetting horse riding.

In short, it was a time of splendor that was lived in Europe, which ended up unleashing a war never seen before, on a brutal scale, where these new technologies turned against man, with the use of airplanes to kill, chemical products that had generated so many benefits for society, now turned against it.

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We also want to leave you a video about this beautiful time, called Belle Epoque.