Achievements and Crises (1900-1945)
The first half of the 20th century was one of rapid technological advances. It was a period when the tensions between industrialized nations resulted in World War I and set the stage for World War II. While World War II transformed the balance of world power, it was the most destructive and costly war in terms of human casualties and material resources expended.
13. Advances in technology, communication and transportation improved lives, but also had negative consequences.
Advances in technology during this time period improved lives through an increase in the availability and variety of consumer goods (e.g., appliances, synthetic fabrics, plastics).
Advances in communication and transportation that improved lives included the radio, radar, motion pictures, automobiles and airplanes.
In some cases, advances in technology, communication and transportation had negative impacts (e.g., pollution, social stratification, dramatic increases in war casualties). Battlefield weapons (e.g., machine gun, poison gas, hand grenades, tanks) and the atomic bomb increased the destructive power of war.
Expectations for Learning
Select examples of advancements in technology, communication and transportation and explain how some have improved lives and others have had negative consequences.