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Paris and Vienna as Cultural Centers

Between the years 1870 and 1914, Paris and Vienna were two of the greatest cultural centers of Europe. Paris was noted as a center for progressive trends in art and fashion. Vienna was noted as being the seat of power for the Habsburg dynasty. Both cities were influential in the development of modern literature, music and art. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, they were competitors in the quest for dominance over Western culture. However, both cities experienced a decline during the brutal years of the First World War. Following the devastations of that war, neither Paris nor Vienna were able to recover their former dominance in world cultural affairs.

In 1870, France had just undergone a long period of revolutionary change. Starting in the late eighteenth century, the nation had experienced several radical changes in government. These changes culminated in the constitutional Third Republic which was established in 1871. A bit less than eighty years before, in 1792, the French Revolution brought an end to the system of aristocratic rulership which preceded it. Prior to the French Revolution, the country was ruled by monarchs who passed the kingdom on from one generation to the next. In 1792, the king of France was Louis XVI of the House of Bourbon. In that year, the people of the French middle class rebelled against the king's authority. Louis XVI was forced out of power and, in 1793, he was executed by means of the guillotine.

The revolutionary governments that were set up following King Louis XVI's death were very unstable. In fact, the years following the king's death were known as the "Reign of Terror" because many of the revolution's leaders found themselves victims of the guillotine as well. Nevertheless, a democratic style of government was established in 1792 which is now known as the "First Republic." In contrast to rule by monarchy, the First Republic was based on the use of a ...

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Paris and Vienna as Cultural Centers. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 18:44, May 26, 2020, from