Paris: Cultural Capital of the Twentieth Century
14 December 2008
Paris and New York in the 20th Century
In order to choose between Paris and New York as the capital city of the twentieth century one must first examine which is more important to the world and the development of a nation: culture and society or industry and economy. For the purpose of this particular paper, culture and society win the argument. A strong cultural foundation is important to the development of a nation because it provides a common identity for the people to unify under. Both France and America assert that their countries are built upon the foundations of liberty and freedom. While both nations have many things in common, perhaps the reason why the relationship between them is so tumultuous, their capital cities, Paris and New York are far from similar. Of course Paris has a much deeper history and New York is comparatively young. Both dominated some part of the twentieth century, Paris in the beginning and New York wrapping up the end of it. Paris overall should be considered the capital of the century because while its’ alleged days of glory were earlier, it laid the foundation for the popularity of New York. Without Paris’s supremacy within the world of art, music and literature, New York would not have come to power when it did.
Benjamin Franklin and John Adams are often considered founding fathers of our nation and the earliest representatives of American values. In Stephen Longstreet’s We All Went to Paris Benjamin Franklin is presented somewhat like a Francophile. He goes to France in the late eighteenth century as a diplomat and representative of America. Franklin had a love for all things French and specifically the freedoms he enjoyed there. Many of his peers were Puritan and frowned upon his sexual activities and extravagant lifestyle, but Franklin’s love of Paris is one of the earliest demonstrations of Paris as a...