1. Del
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    Del Member

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    End of Era's?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Del, Apr 8, 2011.

    The last bit of information I need for my latest work in progress is a bit of info regarding time eras and their endings.

    The first I really need is about the wild west era, around what time was it ending and the new era dawning and was it obvious to people of the era that the time of outlaws and gunslingers was coming to an end?

    And the second I need is during the "mafia era", the time where the mafia was high in numbers and notority, I think it was around or after the second world war, but when was that time coming to a close...

    Any help on research will be appreciated, any info on where I can find out about these time era's would also be helpful, thank you for any help.
     
  2. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    Have you tried Google or Wikipedia?
     
  3. cybrxkhan
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    cybrxkhan Contributing Member

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    Seconded. You should probably read up on some general history to get a good idea of how this stuff works.

    As another, very important note, eras and time periods are arbitrary numbers created by historians and other scholars. There was no actual day, or month, or year, or decade when cowboys suddenly disappeared and the Wild West was officially over. Eras and time periods are only ways for historians and other scholars to easily organize historical events.

    In fact, oftentimes - perhaps even all the time, eras don't really end so neatly. Some people say the Medieval Era ended in 1453 CE, with the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks and the end of the Hundred Years' War. And yet, people were still pretty much the same in 1454, and 1452, and 1455 - wore the same clothes, had the same music, had the same literature. Others say the Medieval Era actually ended in the mid-1300s with the Black Plague and the start of the Renaissance (another era in and of itself!), or around the 1520s with the Protestant Reformation.

    In reality, eras don't 'end', and history is not that neat. Historical trends happen over long periods of time, and I think its more accurate to think of older eras gradually sort of morphing and slowly transforming into new eras, rather than the era just suddenly ending and everybody suddenly changing. People oftentimes don't even realize the subtle changes until years, decades, or even centuries later.

    As a last example, take the Roman Empire, which supposedly fell in 476 CE, marking the beginning of the Dark Ages. Or at least that's what many people have been taught in high school. In reality, things were no different for most people in 477 CE as it had been in 475 CE. Rome had already been overrun by Germanic tribes for centuries, so the Roman Empire coming to a de jure finish wasn't really anything shocking; for that matter, most people, save a few politicians and nobles, probably didn't even care, since all it was was just a regime change. In fact, the Roman Empire still survived in other areas - a Roman general ruled a rump state in northern France for a few years, and an ex-emperor of Rome still held some territories in the modern-day Balkans until 480 CE, and, most importantly, the eastern half of the Roman Empire (or the Byzantine Empire) still survived intact, and would survive more or less intact until 1453 CE. Furthermore, the culture of the Romans and the Germanic tribes had already been mixing anyways, and most of the Germans had already converted to Christianity, so there really wasn't anything new there.

    Ultimately, again, eras don't suddenly shift from one to another - they are simply arbitrary designations created by historians and other scholars to more easily interpret and analyze history. Changes often take years to occur, if not decades and centuries, with people not even realizing that the changes have actually occurred until later.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto all of that!

    should always google first, to save time and trouble...
     
  5. mugen shiyo
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    mugen shiyo Contributing Member

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    has anyone recommended google or wikipedia yet :p

    but yeah, for these kinds of questions, doing your own research builds character. you'll probably have to do it again and it will be more factual than hearsay (not that anybody here is giving hearsay)

    avoid sites like askyahoo. those aren't always facts
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Wikipedia is not terribly reliable either. Use google, and don't take all your information from any one site. Take special note of contradictory data, and dig deeper.

    Wiki is a lazy reference, like the set of dusty encyclopedias on your parents' shelves. Worse, because nothing goes into a print encyclopedia without being reviewed by experts on the topic. Wiki gets reviewed, but after the fact, and a great deal of biased information sits for long periods of time before being revised or removed. But back in the day when encyclopedias were very popular, schools discouraged the use of encyclopedias alone for research, because of the shallow and unilateral treatments of the subject matter.

    The Internet is a powerful research tool, but only when used intelligently and with a healthy dose of skepticism.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto that!
     

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