The Tension Between Individualism And Community

918 WordsFeb 19, 20164 Pages
From multiple authors it has been said that the tension between individualism and community is central to an understanding of modernity. I personally agree with this statement for the fact of; modernity seems to only come about when the community begins to separate themselves into their own individuals. It’s easy to say that the individual is central to all progress that was made in not only the Americas but in other countries as well. Authors like Gordon Woods, Eric Hobsbawm, Howard Zinn, and Mary Beth Norton have all discussed how the modern world came to be about after the American Revolution took place; however each has their own personal ideas on the importance of the community, the individual, and what equality means at this time. When the time comes about to find a balance between creating strong communities without creating unequal hierarchies this is a challenge that arises in the new “modern era”. The problem is that, in a way, you cannot have a difference of individuals without also cancelling out the importance of the community. Several of our authors discuss this issue; specifically Hobsbawm and Woods have very effective opinions on the issue of community. Although Hobsbawm may seem to be talking only about the Romantic period and the Arts he brings about a point that is becoming an issue during the late seventeenth to mid eighteenth century; the point of the “lost harmony of the primitive man” (Hobsbawm, p.265). With much of the focus being put on defining

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