Talk

Advanced search

Which 100 year period has seen the most change?

(31 Posts)
EmmaGrundyForPM Tue 15-Sep-20 04:49:45

I can't sleep and so am.pondering on all sorts of random crap, such as

If you took someone from any date in the past and could time travel them forward 100 years, what two dates would show the biggest change?

I'm thinking if you took someone from 1420 and plonked them in 1520, it wouldn't be as much of a shock to them than if you took someone from 1550 and put them in 1650, mostly because at that point we were a republic.

Something like 1815 to 1915 would be a massive shock because of the technological and social change. So things like railways, cars, planes, film/cinema, telephones etc were all invented in that period, plus the first world war had started, women had more freedom and were fighting for the right to vote.

Or would the change from 1920 to today be the biggest shock to someone? With the social changes eg gay marriage, legal abortion, women in parliament, the NHS plus technological innovation - the internet, smart phones, space travel.

My feeling is a person transplanted from 1818 to 1918 would experience the biggest shock because of the technological leap in that time but I'm prepared to be persuaded otherwise.

So, limiting it to the UK and to a date after, say, 1000AD, which 100 year gap would lead to the biggest culture shock for someone?

OP’s posts: |
DadDadDad Tue 15-Sep-20 08:49:24

I'm not knowledgeable enough to consider all the options, but I do think something encompassing most of the 20th Century would be hard to beat, partly for the reasons you mentioned. I would propose 1912 -> 2012: two world wars to catch up on, so many developments in science and technology (General Relativity to air travel, antibiotics, man on the Moon). By 2012, smartphones were widespread (the world's knowledge in your pocket!).

Plus 2012 has wonders of London Olympics, a coalition government, Queen's diamond jubilee, a black US president.

Kpo58 Tue 15-Sep-20 09:01:20

I think 1865 to 1965 would be a huge shock for people. Completely different clothing, building styles, interior styles. The NHS being formed. Motorised vehicles, indoor bathrooms, telephones and TVs because more common. More likely to be able to have a holiday. Time saving household devices such as vacuum cleaners and machines for washing clothes.

Porridgeoat Tue 15-Sep-20 09:02:42

.

YorkieTheRabbit Tue 15-Sep-20 09:45:06

My gran was born in 1898 and lived until she was 98. She saw, in no particular order, electric installed in her house, aviation, the car become commonplace, man on the moon, advances in medicine, computers invented. Huge amounts of change in daily life, two world wars, the NHS, benefits system.

midgebabe Tue 15-Sep-20 09:51:30

I agree that sometime between about 1850 and 2000

Also wonder about when the Romans left

SarahAndQuack Tue 15-Sep-20 09:57:42

I think the one of biggest would be England, 1310 to 1410. Imagine - in 1310 everything seems fine, universities are being founded everywhere, women are doing pretty well, there's quite a bit of prosperity, people feel fairly confident they know what's happening with the world. People are writing loads of books and there's a huge emphasis on educating people in English so they can understand their religion instead of just blindly following it.

Jump to 1410 and we're at war with France and with ourselves. The plague has happened and 1/3 of the population has died (oh, and there's been a minor resurgence to kill of more people, too). There's been a major popular revolt and the whole social structure is shifting. Someone has just told you the Bible in English has been banned and you could be burned for owning a copy.

You are very confused.

AuntieStella Tue 15-Sep-20 10:02:30

1920 to 2020

Yes, the industrial revolution had happened, but cars were new and ownership extremely low. Aeroplanes barely existed. The two Workd Wars hadn't happened. Children died in huge numbers from diseases we now vaccinate again.

Radio broadcasting was only just beginning and television wasn't even dreamed of, let alone computing and the internet

Contraception barely existed

Life revolved around your parish, and social security was charity or the poor house

SarahAndQuack Tue 15-Sep-20 10:06:56

Thinking about 1420-1520 - I do basically agree, but to play devil's advocate:

* A civil war that's been raging for ages has ended.
* Your country has basically been cut in half, because it no longer includes half of France.
* The printing press has become A Thing, and there are several people printing in England.
* From your English perspective, a huge amount of new land has been discovered by someone called Columbus.
* Some random German has made big waves with the Church.

Quite big things, I think?

Bramshott Tue 15-Sep-20 10:16:09

I love contemplating this kind of thing and was thinking about this just the other day.

I think it depends very much on where you live(d) and what you do (did). Someone had shared a farming photo from 1920 on a old photos group I'm on the other day and it occurred to me that the image would have been very familiar to someone from the 1820s (farming with hand tools and with horses), and pretty familiar to someone from the 1720s even. But to us in the 2020s it looks so far removed from what happens currently.

AllPlayedOut Tue 15-Sep-20 10:57:59

1920 to 2020

Yes, the industrial revolution had happened, but cars were new and ownership extremely low. Aeroplanes barely existed. The two Workd Wars hadn't happened.

The First World War had certainly happened.

InglouriousBasterd Tue 15-Sep-20 11:10:33

1920 to 2020. When I think how much has changed in the last twenty years in terms of technology, can you imagine dropping somebody in a world where we can access any information from anywhere in the world at our fingertips, using a device that can also video call anybody anywhere in the world in real time? Tapping that device to pay for goods in shops, online and on public transport? Being scanned using a CT/ MRI / PET scan? Hopping in an aeroplane to anywhere (usually wink) at any time? Streaming films and music to tv or any device? Driving cars running off electricity? Maternity care - including ultrasounds scans, 4d so you can see your baby’s face before they’re even born - voting rights, inoculations, universal education til 18, the welfare state.

I have thought about this at length!!

DadDadDad Tue 15-Sep-20 11:49:46

AuntieStella

1920 to 2020

Yes, the industrial revolution had happened, but cars were new and ownership extremely low. Aeroplanes barely existed. The two Workd Wars hadn't happened. Children died in huge numbers from diseases we now vaccinate again.

Radio broadcasting was only just beginning and television wasn't even dreamed of, let alone computing and the internet

Contraception barely existed

Life revolved around your parish, and social security was charity or the poor house

WW1 had happened which is why in my previous post, I suggested 1912 -> 2012 as a good tweak.

I think 2012 has plenty of interest to a time traveller from 1912. (If they then stuck around for 8 years, there would be plenty more to shock them!)

SallySeven Tue 15-Sep-20 11:52:58

Moon landing minus 100 must be a contender.

QuentinWinters Tue 15-Sep-20 11:53:38

yeah I agree with 1310-1410
Look at the shit we are going through with corona. Imagine if it killed a third of those who got it, you had no idea where it came from or how it spread. It was around for 40 years. Anyone who was a young adult (say 20) before it arrived and managed to live through that must have found it very shocking.

QuentinWinters Tue 15-Sep-20 11:54:16

with the plague I mean.

SallySeven Tue 15-Sep-20 11:56:41

If you restrict it to the UK yes the black death before and after would have been apocalyptical.

BertieBotts Tue 15-Sep-20 11:58:03

This is on a similar theme and I think it's a fascinating question!

waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-1.html

I don't feel well informed enough to respond, but I love the question.

Coldemort Tue 15-Sep-20 12:02:44

I think it would depend on the person. What sex/race/class.... for example peasant farmers probably wouldn't have seen much of a change throughout the middle ages, but the aristocracy would have (they were speaking a different language for starters!)
Will now be pondering this all day grin

SarahAndQuack Tue 15-Sep-20 12:53:15

If you restrict it to the UK yes the black death before and after would have been apocalyptical.

The Black Death wasn't restricted to England or to the UK, and it was worse in some parts of the world than it was in England. There were places where it stirred up some absolutely horrific anti-Semitic violence, as well. I can't imagine - like living through the Holocaust and a plague.

@Coldemort - YY, definitely agree it depends who you are. But I disagree about the peasants of the Middle Ages. For one thing, for most of the Middle Ages, they weren't necessarily speaking a different language from the aristocrats. And some of the changes would have been breathtaking for them. There are big developments in how you farm land (the heavy plough; crop rotation) that might seem boring to us, but probably seemed as amazing to them as the shift from gas lamps to electric light, or the wireless to the internet.

I know we're talking about 100 year periods, but it always blows my mind to think that someone living at the end of the middle ages is almost twice as close to our own time period than someone living right at the start of them.

yourestandingonmyneck Tue 15-Sep-20 15:09:58

Love this question. I think about this a lot.

I sometimes think "am I just being arrogant to think that my own time period is the one with all the really big, important changes?" but I'm really not, and I would narrow it down to the last 40 (?) or so years due to the Internet.

I always find it very poignant and quite sad to see old furniture. For example in old shops, offices etc. You know, the old wooden bureaus, writing desks, pigeon holes etc, built in filing cabinets, map holders, etc. Beautifully designed pieces of furniture that are now defunct because everything is floating about "on the cloud" (or whatever.) And even that has changed rapidly over the past few decades from floppy discs, cds, mp3s etc.

For 100s and 100s of years, somebody could walk up to a desk and open a drawer and look for a file of paper / parchment and flick through and have a go at reading it. And then, in the blink of an eye, they would be faced with a pc / laptop / tablet and electronic files and would be absolutely bamboozled.

Fascinating.

wegetthejobdone Tue 15-Sep-20 16:01:54

1828-1928.

margaritasbythesea Tue 15-Sep-20 16:11:41

I think one argument for including the late 20th century would be how much we travel and move to different places to work, resulting in most neighbours being relatively unknown to us. I think this wpuld totally freak someone from, say, pre 1850 out.

Dowser Tue 15-Sep-20 16:32:12

I think 1896 when my gran was born to now too
She witnessed huge families, she was one of 8
Poverty like we’ve never seen the like, she had to go into an orphanage when grandfather died aged 39

Lived through two world wars
Every thing pp said about Industrial Age and now technology

No more going into service for poor women

More opportunities for women
Heavens in my lifEtime I’ve seen loads being able to control families being one
Cats being king and affordable to many people
Travel

The stately homes having to open their doors to keep afloat
Nhs
Dwp
Until now I’ve been thankful i was born in the 50s

Dowser Tue 15-Sep-20 16:34:29

Cars..but yes cats too

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in