When Queen Victoria died, Britain was one of the most powerful nations in the world but the twentieth century saw the decline of Britain that was caused by the tremendous growth of German industry.
New powers emerged outside Europe, Japan and the USA and the first decade of the twentieth century is known as the Edwardian period, after King Edward VII, who pursued a policy of peace and good relationships.
The Liberals launched a program to help the poor and the elderly, thus laying the foundations of the Welfare State and when World War I was declared, the whole nation was wild with excitement.
The intervention of the USA helped to end the war and the Treaty of Versailles established peace in Europe and another important issue that the Government had to tackle was India’s progress to independence.
Another important event in Europe and the USA was The Great Depression that was an economic crisis and the Wall Street Crash marked the beginning of a period of sacrifices in fact there were millions of unemployed living only on the dole.
King George V was succeeded by his eldest son King Edward VIII who abdicated ceding the throne to his brother King George VI and when in 1939 Britain and France declared war on Germany, the World War II had started.
The 20th century witnessed a profound change, in thought and feeling, labeled as Modernism and one of its most important features was the break with the traditions of the 19th century.
There was the urgency to represent the variety of modern urban life using also primitive myths to compare with contemporary society.
Sigmund Freud explained that the development of personality is very affected by the unconscious and also even the theory of relativity by Albert Einstein affected the faith in its solidity.
The idea that everything was relative was also introduced by anthropology that affirmed that there weren’t better or worse societies because behaviour depended on the environment.
Intellectuals losted all the certainties they had and the result was a profound feeling of anxiety and one of the most important movements of Modernism was Italian Futurism with Filippo Tommaso Marinetti.
Futurism praised the machine age and later born a group of poets, the Imagists, such as Ezra Pound and Thomas Hulme, whose descriptions were accurate, precise and definite and another movement that involved Ezra Pound was Vorticism.