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Friday, June 24, 2011

Western Aesthetics - Pre-modern, Modern and Post-modern Eras.

Given below is a brief explanation of the three different Eras into which the Western World (more specifically, the United States of America and certain European countries) divide the history of the world.

The Pre-modern Era:
The Pre-modern Era generally refers to the period prior to industrial revolution, when production and distribution were on a small scale, and more importance was given to religion and spirituality than to materialism. As sacred as religion, was tradition, which was strictly enforced on the common people. Society had a rigid hierarchical structure and, essentially, was divided into three estates: The Clergy, the Nobles and the Common People.At one point, Feudalism was believed to be the law of the land, which basically gave the nobility and the clergy power over the serfs (the peasants). The feudal system was constructed mainly for the sake of security - the delegation of power to the nobles helped the kings ensure that control was maintained over their far-reaching kingdoms. Food production was entirely organic and the food for the lord and his serfs was produced in the fields of the manor farm. Feudalism worked well for hundreds of years. However, during the medieval era of the middle ages, there was a decline in feudalism due to the crusades, the Plague in Europe, the revolt of the peasants, the centralization of the government and the movement from a land-based economy to a money based economy. The final blow to European feudalism came with King Henry VIII (king of England from 1509-1547) breaking away from the Church in his quest to find a consort who would bear him a male heir.

The Modern Era:
With the decline of feudalism, and the determination of people to better their social and economic situation came the Modern Era. Portions of the Modern World revalued the importance of religion and the power of the monarchy. There were advancements made in almost all fields of human life, including politics, economics, communication, transport and technology. Science and technology began to play an important role. There was mass literacy, leading to the rise of mass media. Industrialization, individualism and urbanization also played a major role in the transformation of society.

The Post-modern Era:
The post-modern era is believed to refer to the period after the Second World War. This period is characterised by Europe's loss of faith in the popular understanding of science. With the war, people began to feel a serious breach of their fundamental right to voluntarily not participate in the war, and this led to a distrust of the State. The post-modern era is, essentially, the coming together of the pre-modern and the modern era to produce ideas that celebrate plurality and diversity.


Anshuman Manur said...

Hello and thank you. I'd missed this class!

Teena George said...

You're most welcome. =)