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La Belle Époque

La Belle Époque 1872 to 1914 (the Beautiful Era)

After the Franco Prussian War of 1871-72, and the emergence of Germany as an Empire with colonies scattered around the world, a wonderful period of peace, beauty, Art and culture enveloped Europe, Russia and America. The industrial revolution brought prosperity and middle class standards to many and great fortunes to some.

It was a time of amazing creativity in the arts, musician, literature, philosophy, the sciences, architecture, industry and culture in general. It was the time or Monet, Van Gogh and the other Impressionist and Expressionist artists: of Sigmund Freud, Max Plank, Marconi, Edison, the Wright brothers. Other renowned talents: Mark Twain, Henry W. Longfellow, Rudyard Kipling, Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Guy DE Maupassant, and Marcel Proust.

Cultural treasures flooded into Europe and America from the far flung colonies of Great Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, and the Netherlands. Africa sculptures, Chinese and Japanese Antiques and artifacts from the Americas appeared in shops, antique stores and homes all over Europe. It was a grand period of optimism and general wellbeing for most of western civilization.

Cities were rebuilt with broad boulevards and city parks as well as such landmarks as the Eifel Tower, the Paris Opera House, the London Subway and the Brooklyn Bridge. Advances in medicine and personal and public hygiene contributed to health and longer lives. Mechanization of agriculture and the importing of once exotic fruits and vegetables offered most everyone richer more health diets.

The Belle Époque in Europe, America and Russia was a dream like period of good cheer, peace and prosperity only cruelly ended by the advent of World War One, later called the Great War. Many of its vast visual and literary treasures survive to this day, but the innocence and gaiety of the time never completely returned.