Talk:20th century


The "6 largest mass killings" section is rather bad. Its standards of what constitutes a mass killing are vague at best -- if Mao's famine is included, which nobody seriously thinks was deliberately caused, is included, why not the Bengal Famine which WAS deliberately caused, and is at least comparable in scale to the Armenian genocide. Sorry, but I can only assume it's because the Bengal Famine was caused by the "good" British Empire, not some Communist enemy.

I suggest scrapping the single list, not to mention the emphasis on numbers, and going to a few different lists. One for deliberate mass killing-for-killing's-sake, as in the Holocaust and Rwanda. Another for war crimes & alleged war crimes which cost many civillian lives, such as the US/British saturation bombings of Germany and Japan. Another for famine, illness, etc caused or alleged to be caused by governmental policies, but which stop short of deliberate mass killing. And there should be a note that by far the greatest shorteners of life in the world are persistant social and economic conditions like lack of clean water, which NGO's have estimated could be almost eliminated with pretty modest contributions from the rich nations.

-- Eleland 19:31, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)

jeff dahmer? HAHAHAHAHahahha

might wanna put pol pot in there before you put dahmer in there.


I have removed "indeed probably the most remarkable century in human history", because it seems to be a-historical and subjective. --Tsja

I think I'll organize the "Significant Persons" section in a bit more useful way. It's been growing, and I don't dispute the significance of the people being listed, but the list is getting long enough that it's going to be hard to follow. -- Blain

Good grief! What a US-centric page! 2002/06/28 Perique

I think this page will need some cleaning up. The independence of Saudi Arabia and Estonia can hardly be called very important to world history, as are the Korean war and the Spanish Civil war. The Vietnam war could be mentioned, but only from a US point of view (and a Vietnamese point of view...). Similarly there's a bunch of "important people" I wouldn't expect here, such as Jozef Pilsudski (who the ... is he?), all of the aerospace pioneers and military leaders. Many of those could be mentioned in the "significant developments" or should only be mentioned implicitly there. Many of the other features can also be combined in shorter and more informative sections. The Soviet Union, the Cold War, Russian Revolution, socialism, Lenin, Stalin, Trotski, could all be combined in one or maybe two bullets. Similarly, the League of Nations and the UN could be put under internationalisation (or so), flight and space flight could be combined, etc., etc.

I'll have a go at this sometime, unless there are objections. Jheijmans 02:06 Jul 22, 2002 (PDT)

What's with this "Notorious figures" heading? That sounds rather difficult to maintain as NPOV. I just moved Freud out of it, since from a cultural point of view, he fits in better with the scientists (however questionable his attempts at science may have been) than with Rasputin and Goebbels. But come to think of it, should they be given such a classification either? I'm not fond of either of them (nor of Freud, when you get down to it), but surely Hitler is more notorious than Goebbels. Yet Hitler is neutrally placed alongside Churchill under "World Leaders" (which, while I'm on the subject, should say "Political" instead of "World"). Goebbels can be placed there too (or deleted entirely, since we're not listing any other Nazis), and Rasputin will fit in with "Religious Figures". Why do we single out certain individuals for especial censure? — Toby 12:05 Jul 26, 2002 (PDT)

Well, IMHO, in a global and historical perspective, Goebbels is a more significative figure in the field of propaganda and advertising than in the political arena. In fact, he probably will deserve a place in the enciclopaedias of the future centuries much more than 'who the ... is that Nimitz?'. Other than that, the article does not say a word on one of the most important invention of the century, one that freed hours of manual labor changed the life of milions: the washing machine.

 2002/07/29 Perique

You have a point about categorising Goebbels. I mentioned the washing machine, but it looks like you're going to have to write an article about it. — Toby 08:13 Jul 29, 2002 (PDT)


Surely Colin Powell should be removed from the list of military leaders, otherwise you should list every peace-time chairman of the US joint chief of staff.

Also with reference to the washing machine, surely the female contraceptive pill made more of a difference to the life and to the culture of the latter half of the20th century than any other single invention. Mintguy 6 Aug 2002.

Surely? Some would argue that the invention of synthetic ammonia had a bigger impact than the Pill. After all, the fertilizer it produced was the key component in the Green Revolution (along with improved cereals, irrigation, and mechanization), which in turn prevented much starvation and war. Nobel prize winner Borlaug wrote It is estimated that 40% of today's 6 billion people are alive, thanks to the Haber-Bosch process of synthesizing ammonia (Vaclav Smil, University Distinguished Professor, University of Manitoba) [1]. Personally, I think there was a tangled web of causes and effects from 20th century inventions, and it's impossible to separate out the effect of a single invention.

List 'em! — Toby 00:05 Aug 7, 2002 (PDT)

I think that the recent edit of the description of the World Wars is worse in every way. Listing specific European powers is wrong, since more were involved in each case. It's true that more of Asia than just the east was in WWII, but that was true for WWI as well; the addition of the east is the change. We could change "Europe" to "Europe and nearby regions of Africa and Asia" for WWI, but otherwise I think that it should go back to how it was. — Toby 00:05 Aug 7, 2002 (PDT)

Couldn't this page be a little more condensed, maybe some of the actually not so important facts be removed? Like a summary of the 20th century because the century covers to much to be listed on one page. --BL

I'm surprised that there isn't a single mention on this page about the Civil rights movement in America. Yes there's a mention that women got the vote, but black people were elevated from not-much-better-than-animals to normal citizens. Darac

Longest running tv shows

This section is completely inacurate. It should either be removed, or the title changed to most popular tv shows or something like that, or the shows should be replaced with the genuinely longest running ones. Saul Taylor 12:54, 12 Feb 2004 (UTC)

1890s & 2000s?

Why are the 1890s and 2000s included? --Hemanshu 05:48, 17 Mar 2004 (UTC)


Wow. WhisperToMe duplicated almost the entire article and nobody noticed. --Eequor 23:03, 21 May 2004 (UTC)

20th century, 20th Century, Twenieth Century, or twentieth century? Which is it? --Carl 01:57, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

Historical summary of the century

Should this article contain a historical summary of the 20th century? Should it have its own article (emerging, though terribly slowly, into a possibly great article at The 20th century in review)? Should this article link to that one? What should be the relation to History of the world, History of Europe etc? I think it's extremely important to have this overview of the century, and so it's nice if we agree on the forms – and also if we make it easy to find, as The 20th century in review seems quite unknown to most. -- Jao 05:54, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Highest grossing films

shouldn't these be in adjusted-for-inflation dollars, which would render 'Gone with the Wind' #1 I believe

Yes, but this is too US-centric anyway and should not be there. --Erauch 19:15, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Too negative

Not enough attention is given to the really positive developments. Material should be paraphrased from the paper "Slouching Towards Utopia: The Economic History of the Twentieth Century" by Brad Delong. E.g.

"What took a worker in 1890 an hour to produce takes an a worker in a leading economy today only seven minutes: by this measure we today have some eight times the material prosperity of our counterparts of a little more than a century ago. But such a calculation is a substantial underestimate of the boost to productivity and material prosperity of the past century. We today are better at making the goods of a century ago, but we also have the technological capability to make an enormously expanded range of goods and services: from videocassettes and antibiotics to airplane flights and plastic bottles.

--Erauch 19:15, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Significant scientists

Some of those most significant scientists of the 20th century are a little, err, less significant than others not listed. I am sympathetic to trying to include non-Western scientists but if Ali Javan is not significant enough to warrant more than a stub, is he really worth being put on a list that seems to be something like the top 14 scientists of the 20th century? Is Andrey Nikolaevich Kolmogorov important on the same level as Heisenberg, Einstein, and Fermi (or even Ivan Pavlov)? Should Ernest Rutherford be on there? What about James Watson or Francis Crick or Francis Galton or Marie Curie or Jonas Salk? I'm not saying all of these people should be on there, but I think some people could be dropped. I know that any list has to be arbitrary at some point, but if we're only going to include a dozen or so people they should all be world-shaking in what they accomplished. --Fastfission 03:40, 27 Oct 2004 (UTC)