17th and 18th Century, Europe Term Paper

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Not only was this theme fully explored within the historical context, but thoroughly analyzed within Europe as well. The teachings of such notable thinker as Sigmund Freud points to this direction of development. He concluded that there modernism within Europe had become characterized by the disorder of the mind. More precisely, there was a lack of any fixed system of reference for living and thinking. Europe, which had formerly been the center of intellectual development and revolutionary thinking now suffered under the burden of a weak political infrastructure. As a result, many of their greatest talents and knowledge now flowed away from Europe to other developing nations such as the United States.

The Age of Anxiety was coined not by historian but by Europeans of the age themselves. They reflected upon the disturbing trends that were occurring within European nation-states. It gave rise to radical social, political and scientific ideas that ultimate challenged the establishment. Karl Marx and his theory of communism arose during this era, he argued for the rebellion against established tyrannies and traditional European political structures towards a socialist conception of state-hood as a means to enrich the populace. His ideation grew very much from the prevalent anxiety that was occurring over the political instability within Europe. The lack of unity in the wake of World War I implied a growing weakness within sovereignties and a deviation from the traditional way of political thought.
Marxism represented the political division that occurred as a result of this anxiety. Similarly, Darwinian evolution grew out of this period of anxiety, capitalizing upon the philosophy of anxiety that pervaded Europe, he used a theory of natural selection that articulated a unique vision for the evolution of the human species.

This new understanding of human development not only challenged our understanding of biology, but also of religion and the conception of mankind. These doubts about our existence and the very nature of our being all arose from the Age of Anxiety.

The transition between the Age of Enlightenment to the Age of Anxiety occurred very much because of external factors, it resulted from a shift within political, social and religious awareness that went beyond the comfort zone of traditional European thought. World War I became the catalyst for Europeans to doubt the strength of their polities and therefore, the strength of the rest of their ideas and philosophies. From this period of Anxiety arose some of the most revolutionary political doctrines, scientific theories and social understandings. Yet it came at the cost of affecting the confidence of an….....

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