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Old 10-12-2005, 01:28 PM   #1
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Default What Would Surprise Them the Most?

Lets say if Americans from the 1700's could see what is going on today what would astound them the mostt?

I say time in travel. Like their ocean crossings took three months and we can do it in a week or less.

Also aircraft would be a shocker and how fast we could travel to China like in 20 hours from the USA.

What do u think would astound our old friends about 2005?
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Old 10-12-2005, 01:43 PM   #2
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That we are talking about things on a computer from all over the world.
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Old 10-12-2005, 03:30 PM   #3
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Electricity? Not too sure when that was invented.
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Old 10-12-2005, 03:48 PM   #4
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The divorce rate.
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Old 10-12-2005, 04:43 PM   #5
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how screwed up the government has become
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Old 10-12-2005, 04:52 PM   #6
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Some of the things that would interest them since the 1700s...

World War 2, Nuclear bombs, the American Government(revolutionary war only ended in 1775), electricity, computers, and just about anything in technology.

The biggest thing that would amaze them though is our culture. If they saw how we traveled, what music we listened to, what we wear, how we present ourselves they would be amazed. There is no way anyone in the 1700s could have predecited what our culture would be like.
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Old 10-12-2005, 10:09 PM   #7
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The Internet.
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Old 10-13-2005, 02:13 AM   #8
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If we are going from the 1700s roughly...probably the fact that The Enlightenment hasn't gone as far as they wished it would. That's when it sprang up.

The 2 "founding fathers" of the movement...
-John Locke: the way you raise a kid depends on what it becomes (wow, what a novel idea).

-Isaac Newton: scientific laws guide us, not "God." The human race can be improved. Let reason guide you in the political/social arena, not religion or superstitions. I guess we could show him the 2004 election...yikes!

Voltaire called for religious toleration. Oh yeah, mission accomplished. In all fairness, many less people die today in the name of "God" than before 1700. Still a helluva count we got going though.

I guess Adam Smith would be happy. The father of capitalism got his way and 95% of the wealth in this nation is owned by 5% of the people. Fantastic! Locke had capitalistic ideals too, so no one is perfect.

Oh, how could I forget perhaps the biggest development: We would all be drinking tea and watching soccer because the French wouldn't have bailed us out a million times against British rule in the 1700s after seeing how badly we have forgotten it.

Internationally speaking, the fact China is such an emerging economic power with vast trading power would be surprising. They held out as long as they could before the dealt with outsiders.
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Old 10-15-2005, 03:54 AM   #9
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Internet and computers are good ones.

A good thinker from the 1700s could've guessed that trends from their time might continue: shorter time travel, improved health, screwed up gov't (when hasn't it been), population growth, etc.

I'm not sure about culture. There were culture changes in the past, but they generally seemed to be thought of as improvements or refinements and happened gradually. Culture change almost seems random today, or at least it changes much faster and is more disaggregated (or maybe not... i'm thinking tv's effect now)


Jump-off Q: What would shock us in the future? I'm pretty sure we'd be ready for most changes, given the pace of changes in our lifetimes and the amount of people writing about the stuff that could happen down the road. Probably whatever "big issue" comes to dominate the future would shock the most: flu pandemic, nuclear war, cloned humans, robots fighting wars, Martians, major solar storm, part of a continent split off, etc.-- consult a science fiction mag for more ideas. Some of that stuff is almost too weird to truly imagine... unless it happened.
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Old 10-15-2005, 02:08 PM   #10
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How about the rights of women and Black Americans in today's society.

Actually most Americans wern't racist in the 1700's-they just thought the Blacks were uneducated which they were so they felt superior to blacks, but that was still wrong.

Even President Lincoln said blacks were not equal with whites-he was just saying white Americans had all the knowledge at this time. Again blacks were denied a good education or just a plain education. So they had to depend on whites.
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Old 10-15-2005, 11:32 PM   #11
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Bama...

Why did you happen to pick the 1700s as a starting point for this exercise? Just curious.

I wouldn't say the rights of women and African-Americans would be shocking. I'm pretty sure the liberals of the day knew it was just a matter of time (I say this with a grain of salt, because things are far from equal in reality). I'd actually say they would be more amazed that we are still so far behind in these areas if you look at the temperance, abolition, and women's rights movements during the 1800s (especially in upstate New York). Some of the writings and conferences of this era were decades, even a full century, ahead of their time if you ask me.

Doesn't matter what side of the fence you are on, does anyone here honestly believe equal rigths for homosexuals (in theory more so in fact I guess) won't be part of our future? Just a matter of time if you ask me. 5 years...15 years...100 years. Some things are just predictable, no matter if they lean left or right. If they are part of our cultural pattern, they will happen. Capitalism and the evils it represents in my mind will be with us in 5 years...15 years...100 years as well. Just have to gage our past to give a good estimate on this kinda stuff for the good and the bad...depending on how you look at who we are.
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Old 10-16-2005, 04:02 PM   #12
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Because I read mainly about that era. You can use the 1500's if you want.
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Old 10-16-2005, 11:52 PM   #13
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As a history nerd, I agree that the 1700s is a good place to start. You've probably picked the best spot to do this kinda thing from. Many historians argue that the 300 year span from 1700-2000 saw more change on earth than in any other 300 year period in history. Some even go as far as saying that the current 300 year span saw more change than from conception to around 1700. Pretty accurate in many ways if you ask me. Hobbes and Locke were doing their thing in the late 1600s and the industrial revolution (more of an evolution technically speaking) comes in around 1760 outta England. The American and French revolutions in the late 1700s would establish the western forms of government that live on to this day.

There was a history class in college (I avoided it, but my brother took it) that had you pick an invention from history and show the impact it had on the world. My brother picked the cotton gin from 1793 and did a paper on it. The ramifications of Eli Whitney's invention were staggering on all levels. Another good example of the importance of this era. He did a good paper on it. Still has it.

I'll stop know for the 99% on this board watching a history psycho ramble on and on about this junk.
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Old 10-17-2005, 06:54 PM   #14
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I love history keep it coming.

I think foilks from the 1700's would be pleasantly surprised to have the telephone or Cable TV for that matter lol
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Old 10-18-2005, 12:41 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckeyefan78
Many historians argue that the 300 year span from 1700-2000 saw more change on earth than in any other 300 year period in history.
Is that even an arguement? I took that as an absolute given, unless you're talking about an asteroid hitting. But as far as human time... am i forgetting something?

Anyway, i'll slowly back out of this conversation........
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