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In the first half of the nineteenth century liberalism and nationalism were key concepts of the major political and economic movements within Western Civilization, As has been explained in the preceding chapter, by the end of the century new radical movements — socialism, syndicalism, and anarchism — had supplanted them on the extreme left of the political spectrum. By 1914 this new Left was a significant factor in many countries. However, it was still a minority movement and, for most people living in the Western World between 1871 and 1914, nationalism and liberalism were more important in determining the texture of politics. Even many conservatives now compromised with them. That these were not the same liberalism and nationalism which had been the watchwords of reform half a century before should not be surprising because the world in which they operated and often conquered had also changed. [excerpt]


This is a part of Section XVII: The Transformation of Liberalism and Nationalism, 1871-1914. The Contemporary Civilization page lists all additional sections of Ideas and Institutions of Western Man, as well as the Table of Contents for both volumes.

More About Contemporary Civilization:

From 1947 through 1969, all first-year Gettysburg College students took a two-semester course called Contemporary Civilization. The course was developed at President Henry W.A. Hanson’s request with the goal of “introducing the student to the backgrounds of contemporary social problems through the major concepts, ideals, hopes and motivations of western culture since the Middle Ages.”

Gettysburg College professors from the history, philosophy, and religion departments developed a textbook for the course. The first edition, published in 1955, was called An Introduction to Contemporary Civilization and Its Problems. A second edition, retitled Ideas and Institutions of Western Man, was published in 1958 and 1960. It is this second edition that we include here. The copy we digitized is from the Gary T. Hawbaker ’66 Collection and the marginalia are his.