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Word Count: 517
20th Century Overview Profound changes occurred in Great Britain in the beginning of the 20th century Great Britain was in perfect position to become a world power however the rise in literacy the growing power and influence of the Labour Party and widespread interest in socialist ideology altered that plan as well as its society drastically The people of Great Britain began to question many social religious and economic beliefs of the Victorian period Karl Marx who was German philosopher and economist Sigmund Freud a doctor from Vienna and Charles Darwin who produced the theory of evolution all influenced the citizens of Great Britain and contributed to the British doubting their beliefs These factors all contributed to the decline of the European balance of power throughout the first half of the 20th century World War I the Great War began when Britain declared war on Germany in 1914 The British mostly young men marched off to faraway battlefields Sixty thousand British men were killed or wounded the first day of Battle of the Somme and 300000 were killed wounded or frozen to death at the Battle of Ypres Four years later the war ended and left a weakened economy a tottering colonial empire and a loss of life equal to the amount of deaths caused by many plagues Realism swept throughout the nation and people shied away from the romantic nonsense of the past Traditional values of beauty and order were challenged and new avenues of expression were opened Writers such as Joseph Conrad Virginia Woolf DH Lawrence and James Joyce shocked the British with their works They began experimenting with both form and content to challenge the conventions and limits of the novel World War I was considered the war to end all wars Ironically the war led to another one World War II Worldwide economic depression beginning in 1929 led to the rise of dictators in Germany Italy and Russia Because of
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