20 Jan 2015

Characteristics of the centuries


I added this helpful Characteristics of the Centuries chart to the back of my Book of Centuries today.

It comes from this Parents Review article on the teaching of chronology, written by Dorothea Beale. We don't know if Ms Beale's chart was ever taken up by Miss Mason, or her schools, but since Miss Mason was editor of the Magazine, and other ideas from the article were adopted, we can assume that she at least thought a chart of this type was a good idea. I do too.

Ms Beale says this:

I would place before the child a map, in which the eighteen Christian centuries are brought together thus on a small scale with some characteristic to give it individuality.

I wonder why she said 18? At any rate, I have twenty. I haven't added the 21st - it's a little early to identify a characteristic for this present century yet, isn't it? The 20th Century is a different matter. More than 120 years have passed since Miss Beale wrote her article, and the century that was yet to be, now forms part of history.

So help me. What should we call the 20th Century, do you think? World Wars? Information Technology? Help me fill the blank space. What would you put there? Please help!




  1. Every time this comes to my attention, I think, "What a great idea." Now I just need to actually make one—for my own use, if not yet for my young children's. I think I would label the 20th century "Industrialization." It covers economics, war, social upheaval, as well as the birth of the technology that is such a large oart of our lives today.


  2. How interesting!!! :D I don't have any grand ideas on what to name the 20th century...sorry!

  3. i'd say 'globalization'. it sums up the world wars AND technology.

    HEY! no wonder we're friends. we think exactly alike. i had this open for a day so i didn't see your latest comment until i signed back in. :)
    great minds. only 'cause we're image-bearers though, i 'spose. ;)

  4. I came across this just now in the Epilogue of The Story of Charlotte Mason by Essex Cholmondley. Cholmondley writes:

    "Many names are given to the present day. Passing through the Machine Age, we are said to be advancing into the Atomic Era; our needs are those of a Technological Age and above all our times are part of the Age of Science."

    Interesting to see what she puts forward, writing mid-century.

    I like Globalization. "It's a small world, after all" and all that. How much of our day is conducted by and influenced on a scale that is so vast and so unique from all the world before this time? From our news to our ability to communicate and know folks everywhere to tastes and availability of food to ease of travel...it is a small world.

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