As we enter the year 2014, we are reminded that many significant anniversaries, that have affected America and the world at large, are being celebrated this year.
In 1689, 325 years ago, we had the Glorious Revolution in England, which ended absolute monarchy and established the rule of Parliament, and the promotion of the English Bill of Rights, all of which would become the model for the American Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution.
In 1789, 225 years ago, we had the French Revolution’s beginning, with its promotion of the concepts of liberty and equality, and it would affect the concept of revolutions in other nations over time, and also advocate the concept of popular sovereignty and democracy.
In 1914, 100 years ago, we saw the beginnings of the First World War, which would kill over 8 million people, bring about America’s first major international engagement, and lead to the rise of Communism in the Soviet Union, Fascism in Italy, and Nazism in Germany, all leading to World War II.
In 1939, 75 years ago, we had the beginnings of a war that caused even greater loss of life and property damage, World War II, and would see the horrors of the Holocaust, and the rise of America to leadership of the free world against the Soviet menace, and the beginnings of the Cold War.
In 1989, 25 years ago, we would see the end of the half century Cold War between the Soviet Union and the Western democracies, led by the United States, with the Berlin Wall symbol, which had been built in 1961, suddenly coming to a dramatic end, and the liberation of the Eastern European nations which had been part of the Soviet Empire, followed by the fall of the Soviet Union itself in 1991.
We will see a lot of attention paid to these anniversaries this year, particularly the First World War, the Second World War, and the Cold War, as they have shaped so much of world history and American history in the past century!