The Year 1000 Essay, Research Paper
In the year 2000, advanced scientific knowledge and advanced technological change has had a significant effect on the way we live compared to our ancestors who lived in the year 1000. Today we live in an industrial and technological society versus the primarily agricultural society of the year 1000. We enjoy mass produced consumer products and a standard of living undreamed of in the year 1000. But perhaps most significant, in the year 2000 we live in an information age. With our many forms of communication such as telephones, pagers, cell phones, the internet, radio, television and satellites it is possible for a nomad in the Arabian Desert to be as informed as an investment banker on Wall Street. We live in a wired world or to use a phrase coined by Marshall Mcluhan, we live in a Global Village. In contrast, most people in the year 1000 lived in small villages, or Burhs, usually consisting of a couple of dozen homes surrounding the village green. For these people, their little village, or hamlet, was their whole world.
Undoubtedly, there are many aspects of life from the year 1000 that we would find familiar. Amongst other things, the family unit has remained a staple of modern living. Although the daily lifestyle of each family member has evolved to fit modern society, families still live together with their biological mother and father subject to divorce or adoption. Traditionally passed on through the family units from generation to generation is religion. Religion is a major part of daily life in almost every culture, as it was in the year 1000. However, scientific advancement has replaced much of the unknown that used to be accredited to God s work. Similar to modern economy, free enterprises triumphed and businesses expanded accordingly (p. 88). Similar to today s stock market, entrepreneurs of the year 1000 were investing their money in other businesses with excess capital:
Anglos-Saxon wills show that landowners as far away as Oxfordshire
and Buckinghamshire were making investments in the salt-making plants
of Droitwich, while the records of churches in Westminster, Coventry, and
even Paris show Droitwich saltpans and furnaces included in their investment portfolios. (p.88)
As cities grew and prices went up based on location and a good economy, Real Estate developers began to take shape.
On the assumption that these multiple investments in house property
had rental and resale implications, we can conclude that England already
had its first Real Estate Developers. (p.89)
There are many similarities and comparisons that can be made between life in the year 1000 and modern day.
Today s society also differs from ancestral lifestyle in many ways. In the year 1000, people lived a life of hard manual labor, but modern society can be described an information age. The workplace has gone digital, and with such technological breakthroughs as the Internet, satellites and computers, most work these days is done in the office. Scientific progression has also had a major impact on the way we live today. Less responsibility (primarily medical) is left in one s faith in God than there was in the year 1000:
If a morsel of food fell off your plate, the advice of one contemporary
document was to pick it up, make the sign of the cross over it,
season it well- and then eat it. (p.122)
Death, disease and discomfort were all daily components of living life in the year 1000. Our ancestors lived shorter lives at the turning point of the first millenium because of poor hygiene. Bathing and brushing your teeth only happened regularly in Roman culture, in England people were known only to bathe two to three times per year. The government in the year 1000 was a monarchy, much unlike the democracy run today, and in society and the workplace, people were almost always beheld to a higher power. The political system as become more stable and logical over the years, and the Judicial system is less bias, and is most cases, less severe. For example the price for a women committing adultery to was to cut off her nose and her ears. Life in the year 1000 was a completely different lifestyle.
Life at the turn of the first and second millenium is hardly comparable. People communicate very differently and knowledge is left less to rumors, and more to television news reports and the telephone. The government is completely radical compared to the old government, but much more stable and efficient. Today s economy is driven by technology and service type jobs. The old economy, however, was based on agriculture and manual labor. Simple tasks such as gathering crops, and producing everyday items like coins and chairs have been made much easier due to proficient machinery and mass production. The essential core of modern life has evolved and become a completely different lifestyle than the days of old.
In the year 1000 people faced short life expectancies, primitive living conditions, and had limited knowledge of life beyond their small villages. Although there is evidence of free enterprise and trade, the economy was primarily agricultural. In the year 2000 we are experiencing unheard of prosperity driven by technology. We live in an age where knowledge is power, and because of advanced communications, the average person is becoming more and more empowered.