“Chaos and Complexity” – Why are these descriptors being used for the 20th century? Does it mean that the previous era was “Orderly and Simple” according to the narrative told in the book?
Reflect on this claim: Can you support or challenge the title of “Chaos and Complexity”?
There is no doubt that the use of the descriptor “Chaos and Complexity” for the 20th century is not exclusively reserved for that era only. Historically speaking, there have been many periods (before and after) that could be characterized as such; however, when speaking with regards to juxtaposing this time period (the 20th century) with its preceding time period, one must study what was previously established then to justify why the events led to an era of “Chaos and Complexity.” Anyhow, the previous era was by no means “Orderly and Simple” when it was really “Frustrations in Progress” as the textbook puts it. Furthermore, Armesto cites the rise, growth, and spread of imperialism across the globe (along with the struggles of the conquered/the unwilling to be conquered to comply with the imperialists need for expansion) as how progressionism was met with such frustration.
Ultimately, these frustrations would soon be experienced among the imperialist empires themselves as it became a contest for every empire to take the remaining untouched lands and/or to solve territorial disputes through warfare, the latter of which was one of the reasons why World War I became what it is now known for. This is precisely what led to this unit to be labeled as “Chaos and Complexity;” a new kind of world was born upon the heals of two World Wars and later, the Cold War as foreign affairs of each and every empire/nation-to- be mattered to everyone, strategy-wise (especially with regards to government structures- democracy vs communism).
In addition, nationalism became a big factor in shaping the minds of leaders for how to draw national borders, especially in Europe where Germany’s urge to unite their peoples sparked the start of World War II, Armesto claims.