Three Critical World’s Turning Points

Posted: November 14, 2016


The world has gone through tremendous changes that have been responsible for shaping the present world as we know it today. The previous three centuries have been particularly significant as they have been characterized by a shift in civilization, advancement of technology and changes in the political and social systems of the world as we know them among other dramatic outcomes. This paper seeks to analyze three major turning points such as the Scientific Revolution 1650-1700, Hiroshima 1945, and 1968 the year the world changed forever. With the analysis of the presented turning points, it will be easy to identify the causes of the presented situations and the effects.

The Scientific Revolution 1650-1700

This has been taken to refer to the critical historical changes that were characterized by a shift in the social and institutional organization that took place in Europe between 1500 and 1700. They began with Nicholas Copernicus in the 1500s and was concluded by Isaac Newton in the 1700s. The cause of the revolution has its cause embedded into the history of the world, with the actual genesis being the changes in scientific thought that were introduced during the Aristotelian Age, the Ptolemaic Age, and the similar times. The ancient researchers and scientists had been largely handicapped by the lack of scientific capabilities to test the feasibility of their works, an aspect that was improved during the scientific revolution.

The causes that influenced the Age include the fact that the previous age had been characterized by an increasing interest to explore the world coupled with the need to understand scientific phenomena. Sea voyages are characteristic of this. The findings and developments of medieval universities and schools such as those associated with Plato, Aristotle, Ptolemy and others provided the needed background for the scientific age. Other factors that fueled the times include the growth and spread of humanism, the Renaissance period and Reformation.

As there has been growth and increase in scientific thought over time, it is, however, important to appreciate that the actual scientific revolution happened during the period specified above and was characterized by many achievements in the field of science. Besides the rise of great scientists such as Newton and their findings, there was the development of critical instruments of measurement and capabilities that have been impactful to the world at large. Galileo developed the telescope that has helped space exploration, and further invented the thermometer and the barometer. There was a general increase in the level of scientific knowledge and mathematical knowledge such as logarithms. The period further created a need for accurate mapping of the world, leading to the development of maps and atlases which enabled easy exploration of new territories.

There was a further increased awareness in other fields such as medicine, botany, chemistry and many others. Perhaps a man who has come to be the symbol of the revolution is Isaac Newton, who had many inventions such as the discovery of gravity, Laws of motion and other physical laws that have been critical for the modern civilization.

Hiroshima 1945

In the modern historical dispensation, most historians agree, the biggest turning point was the dropping of the Atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 by the United States’ troops. The choice to use the atomic bomb over the cities was approved by President Truman of the United States, and it remains the only time the bomb has been used in modern history. The main reason that was used to justify the use of the weapon was the need to end the war at the earliest time possible, ensuring that the war ends with the US claiming victory, and aptly justifying the Manhattan Project that was used to develop the bomb. The Japanese bombing of the Pearl Harbor had unanimously placed it at war with the United States. The failure by Japan to surrender as early as possible was a justifying factor too. Truman argued that it was important to inflict the biggest possible blow on Japan if the war was ever to end.

The effects of the bomb can be felt to date, a fact that has led to the categorization of the event as one of the biggest turning points in modern history. The bombing effectively led to the surrender of Japanese and was one of the events that led to the end of the war. In Hiroshima, the bombing led to a death toll of an estimated 140,000 people. The deadly radiation emissions have led to may deformities among the people up to date. Being an industrial town, there was massive destruction of the industries that effectively curtailed the economy of the town.

The fact that the atomic bomb was used in Hiroshima makes the event an important turning point in the history of the world. The bomb nearly erased Hiroshima and Nagasaki from existence and effectively showed the destructive power that the weapons wielded. In the present times, the influence of the bombing persists, with many powerful leaders recognizing the possession of the atomic bomb as a pivotal symbol of superiority and they further agree that the use of the bomb was not justifiable and cannot be justified even in the present times.

1968 turning point year

1968 is largely recognized as one of the most critical years in the history of the United States and the world at large. This year was very turbulent and was characterized by mixed fortunes, feelings of fear and anxiety. The United was in the midst of a war that was gaining a lot of unpopularity at home in Vietnam. This was particularly the year of the Tet Offensive and led to an increasing lack of morale among the fighters. The Massacre of MyLai also took place during the same time.

            The war had ended in the late 1940s and the period after that was characterized by a lot of domestic activities and little on the international front. Three events marked 1968: the assassination of the civil rights’ leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. happened. The murder of King was significant in that it effectively marked the start of diminishment of the civil rights movements which had made significant gains, helping reduce the overall level of social injustices. His death led to an increase in social injustices such as racism, especially in the United States. The second occurrence was the Tet Offensive in Vietnam which led to many Americans turning against the war. The third critical occurrence was the fact that President Nixon cruised to presidential election victory through the use of the famous “Southern Strategy.”

Despite the many turbulence of the year, there were several positive outcomes that characterized the year. It was the year that Yale University started admitting women to their university.

One of the critical outcomes that came out of the 1968 revolution and which implicated the whole world and effectively made it the definitive and turning point year was the fact that it marked a clear turning point for civil rights movement, especially after the death of Martin Luther King. Jr. in the same year. Another critical life that was taken at the hands of assassins the same year was that of Senator Kennedy. The outcomes of the elections were clear: the people wanted law and order to prevail, war could no longer be justified, and that normalcy had to be restored. The end of a past that nearly led to the collapse of the country was necessary.



The three turning points discussed above have been significant in sustaining civilization, awakening thinking, and scientific development and ensuring that the world learns from some of the mistakes committed by the previous world leaders. The scientific revolution was an important phase that led to the innovations in science, medicine, and botany among other fields that have made the life today bearable. They further laid the foundation for the informational and technological age that came in the 1900s. The World Wars were perhaps some of the most heinous political actions ever to be orchestrated in the history of the modern world, and the occurrences such as the Hiroshima bombing effects that are an eyesore even to date are a testament to that, and to the need for the pursuit of world peace. After the World War, it is clear that 1968 marked a significant turning point for the world, especially the United States.

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