Identifying Themes

I've been asked to identify the unifying theme of a whole set of information. I simply have no idea how to begin! or how to do it!

The URL with the information is here. If you can help start me off, or give me an example (even with another set of information) I'd be really really greatful, thanks.

perspectivearts . livejournal . com/3251 . html

This is the information:

What is the unifying theme of this period of study? How does this theme reflect through history, invention, society and the Arts? Give examples in these areas that are not covered in the material supplied


1780 / 1830/40 - Industrial Revolution – technological, socio-economic and culture change in the late 18th and early 19th century. Economy based on manual labour. Trade expansion – improved roads and railways, steam power and power machinery. Development of metal machine tools. Effects spread throughout western europe and north america, affecting most of the world. Mankind developed agriculture and got rid of nomadic lifestyle.

1776 - The American Revolution - british control of middle north america ended. The formation of The United States of America. Sharp political debates over democracy in government. Began in 1763.

1789 - The French Revolution – replubicanism replaced absolute monarchy in france.

1800 – 1819 society - Buildings of of Dorian, Corinthian and Roman decoration. Restrictive dress such as corsets, wigs etc were abandoned. More natural hair. Less formal mens clothes.

1802 Treaty of Amiens – Treaty of peace between France and United Kingdom. Restoration of prisoners and hostages. British monarch surrendered it’s claim to the throne of France.

1804 Battle of Trafalgar - Led to naval domination of the world’s oceans by the British for over 100 years

1807 – slave trade abolished in Britain.

1808 - Bligh outlawed the use of spirits. He was arrested on Jan 26th. Lachlan Macquarie replaced him.

1811 – The Luddite Riots – The Luddites believed the use of machinery was responsible for the loss of jobs in 19th century england. Textile mills were destroyed. “Machine breaking” became a capital crime. Seventeen rioters were executed. Many transported to Australia.

Napoleon Bonaparte – Supported the French revolution. Responsible for the rise of France in early 19th century. Gained control of most of western europe, defeated in battle of waterloo and exiled from france.


1800 - Electric battery – Assessandro Volta

1801 – Jacquard Loom “hole punchers”

1805 – Fridge – Oliver Evans.

1814 – Steam Locomotive – George Stephenson (steam engines) development of the railway system, experience of cultures. “Nationalism” reflected in music and art.

1819 – Stethoscope. Renee Laennec - The stethoscope is used for listening to the internal sounds of the human body.


1800 - Symphony No.1 – Beethoven.

Beethoven’s music was considered barbarous by many despite his popularity today

"a danger to the musical art... It is believed that a prodigal use of the most barbaric dissonances and a noisy use of all the orchestral instruments will make an effect. Alas, the ear is only stabbed; there is no appeal to the heart."

1806 Fidelio – Beethoven (Op.72)

Beethoven’s only opera. Fidelio was written in a popular theme of the day, reflected also in literature - that of the innocent man imprisoned. The story engaged Beethoven's strong feelings about the struggle for political liberty that was taking place in Europe in his day.

1816 The Barber of Seville – Rossini

Important exponent of Italian opera. Wrote over 30 operas. “composer of sacred music”

Beethoven and Napoleon

Beethovens 3rd symphony in Eb major Op 55 was dedicated originally to Napoleon. Beethoven admired his ideals of the French Revolution. When Napoleon crowned himself Emporer in 1804, Beethoven erased his name from the title page. When it was published he called it Sinfonia Eroica, Composed to Celebrate the Memory of a Great Man”.

Listen to Movements of the Eroica Symphony.

1801 The Head of Medusa – Canova 1757-1822

After the Baroque heavy ornamentation of late 18th Century Europe, and as a result of the French Revolution, art and design turned to Ancient History for inspiration

This was known as the Neo-Classical style and imitated the Empires of Greece and Rome

1814 Leonidas at Thermopylae – Jacques-Louis David

Depiction of the ‘sprit of heroism’ at war. Based on the battle of Thermopylae in 480BC, when the Spartan King Leonidas bested the huge Persian army of Xerxes

1816 The Raft of the Medusa – Theodore Gericault

In 1816 the French frigate Medusa foundered off the African Coast. The Captain abandoned 150 passengers on a raft. Only 15 survived after 13 days adrift.

Gericault depicted this scene in strong Romanticism.

The Coronation of the Emperor Napoleon 1 and the crowning of the Empress Josephine – Jacques-Louis David

During the French Revolution, the Church had become distanced from the State and religion had become illegal. In the painting Napoleon Bonaparte can be seen raising the Imperial Crown above his own head, crowning himself. The Empress kneels and prays before him, while the Pope sits behind them.

The symbolism is obvious, that Napoleon is not only crowning himself, but places himself above the Church, his Empress kneeling at his feet.


1800 Lyrical ballads – Wordsworth
This collection of poems is believed to be the flame that lit the Romantic movement in English Literature
1811 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
Her sheltered life did nothing to diminish her ability to write drama and fiction.She was the first major woman novelist.Austen’s main themes always revolve around the plight of women in a society in which they were the chattels of men.The novels had a wide appeal and were extremely successful Still considered a major writer of the English language.
1818 Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
Married to Percy Bysshe Shelley. Wrote Frankenstein in Geneva, visiting Lord ByronIt is considered the first ‘Science Fiction’ novel Written in Gothic style Inspired a century of similar novels (Dracula, by Bram Stoker, for example)
Society – The Bright Pavillion
Chinoiserie – or the fashion for imitation Chinese styles – had been popular in Europe since the beginning of the 18th century. George IV acceded to the English throne in 1820. From 1811 he served as Prince Regent, owing to the dementia of his father, George III. The Prince Regent was financially extravagant and an important collector of art works during the period of his Regency and later, as King. The Regency style is similar to the Neo-classical, but the differences are stronger in architecture. Buildings typical of this style usually have a white painted stucco façade and a front door that is framed by two columns. It was fashionable for the buildings to be constructed in terraces, with ornate wrought-iron fences
Beau Brummel
George Bryan Brummel was born in England 1778. As a close friend of the Prince Regent, he had admission to the society of his day at the highest level.He was a connoisseur of the Arts, but is mainly remembered for his addiction to clothing style and fashion.
In the late 18th century, it was women who were the leaders of style and fashion. Beau Brummel reversed this trend in Regency England, turning the centre of attention from women to men. His clothing was always immaculate, cut to show off his corseted figure. His style of dressing became widely imitated, not only for English men, but soon copied by fashionable Americans and Europeans. This style became known as Dandyism.

i want to find research about my repppport in English, Identifying themes

Wow!! To choose one unifying theme for this period is a challenge! Nationalism and independence seem to be the major theme for this period, though. The days of royal domination were coming to an end and individuals were enjoying more autonomy. Inventions and the factory system, of course, are also part of the theme of this period.

I think you have one erroneous statement, though.
"Mankind developed agriculture and got rid of nomadic lifestyle."
Most people (certainly in Europe) developed agriculture and abandoned their nomadic ways at least 3,000 years before this time period.

Here's hoping someone who specializes in history can help you with your assignment.

Meantime here are a couple of very good definitions of "theme" as the term applies to literature:
See definition #3 especially.


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