James Camerons 1997 Titanic: Its Overall Effects


Thanks very much. I am not sure of the date but the indication was the 19th for the Edith Russell (Rosenbaum) piece. And I do have the book you mentioned with the reproduced pages. A very fun book!

Yes, I've read Wade: in my opinion his is one of the finest Titanic books. But after he goes into the litany of all the stuff that was "Gone" because of it, he says "the intervention of the war spared the English-speaking world from a complete integration of Titanic," which is rather an easy way of getting out of having to prove your assertions.

As for the rest of the stuff he mentioned: I don't think the women's movement was really set back all that much: in the USA Arizona, Oregon and Kansas gave women the vote in 1912; Montana & Nevada in 1914; New York in 1917; complete nationwide suffrage in 1920. Women's suffrage was attained in Britain in 1918, and expanded in 1928.

I'm sure Wade knows more about early 20th century black culture than I do, but at first blush I would wager that the 1920s resurgence of the KKK, the rise of the black nationalist movement and Marcus Garvey, the race riots of 1919, Scottsboro, jazz, and the literary Harlem Renaissance had more impact on black consciousness and emerging desires for civil rights than Titanic. Radio would be with us Titanic or not; most of the components had already been discovered by 1912.

Like you noted, much of what Wade says gets a nod from me, but I think about the only area where a consensus can be made is that the Titanic can have a profound and powerful importance to individuals. Step away from that little nugget of unanimity, and people start stumbling over each other.
Not to keep nit-picking but you seem to still be confusing an event with a series of events within the larger framework of a specific movement or trend. They're not the same. What Wade has basically described as being the Titanic's real impact was that it dislodged public confidence in technology and the widely held view of man's omnipotence, a kind of portent of the larger destruction the war would inflict. And again I can't stress enough the need to see the Titanic in its own time, that is the Edwardian period of roughly 1900-1914, and to judge it by that rather than what came after 1914 which is really like Dorothy returning from her dream of Oz to the real world.
I'm glad you've recognized the need to view Titanic in the totality of its own time-period, which is what I have been trying to emphasize all along. It is only then that we can properly judge its impact.

"Not to keep nit-picking but you seem to still be confusing an event with a series of events within the larger framework of a specific movement or trend." I have no idea what *specifically* you mean, but (keeping it to Wade) presenting the Titanic as raising black consciousness is not confusing an event with a series of events?

Wade may have described it as being the Titanic's real impact, but he did nothing to prove that Titanic dislodged public confidence in technology or belief in man's omnipotence. Which, if the Titanic had done so, WOULD have been the start of a major trend and/or movement in human history. (In case you haven't realized it, most "major" events in history do begin or kickstart trends or movements: that's why they're major. Just as a few examples across the spectrum, Luther's 95 Theses, Lexington, Waterloo, the invention of the airplane.)

Hold up: I thought Wade was saying that it was the TITANIC that destroyed the dream of man. If it is only what came after 1914, and not 1912, that represents an entirely different world, doesn't that give a pretty good clue that Titanic's impact on the "ways of men" wasn't as major as Wade, or you, suggest?
And, if you take the time to read through old newspapers, you'll find that there wasn't much confidence in technology at the time for Titanic to shake. I'm am at a disadvantage here, as my reference library is across the country, but for an easy read and a great look at how Victorians and Edwardians REALLY viewed technology (with cynicysm) search out Otto Bettmann's The Good Old Days They Were Terrible. Great read. Think about it- Edwardians lived in a world filled with burning factories, crashing trains and ,yes, sinking ships, and I always found the lines about "shaking the basic faith in technology" to be kind of Pollyanna-ish.
i tend to kind of disagree with that notion, simply because Titanic generated so much attention to the people of its day. i think its more of a case were people wanted to believe in the new technological advances Titanic offered. its worth noting that the world in of itsself was in the midst of an industial revolution.it may be more of a case were people were once again reminded of theyre mortality. for all they could invent, it could not surpass the needed human element. if people did not run the technology properly, then it was meaningless.
just doing a little reading, and found some interesting poiunt to ponder from a book 'Titanic.Destination Disaster:The Legends and the Reality'. just wanted to toss them out there for thought and consumption for the group, for i feel it relates to what we have discussed earlier in the thread.the books authors are John P Eaton and Charles A. Haas.. from page 19.."On sailing day: What if Titanic had actually collided with New York(note: i believe thats a refference to the small sailing vessel) while departing from her pier? What if the pilots and commanders skills had not been sufficient to avoid the accident? A collision, no matter how slight, would have delayed the voyage for how long? hours? days? What of the time Titanics depature was delayed by the near-collision in Southampton? What of the hour or more that was never made up? For almost her entire voyage titanic was advised repeatedly of ice conditions at or near the position her sailing orders required her to occupy.Throughout the day of April 14 as she approached this location, her wireless operators recieved at least 6 messages which described ice field and icebergs on her course and directly ahead. One message (from Athinai via Baltic) was not posted on the bridge until more than five hours after it had been recieved. Another message (at 7:30pm,Californian to Antillian) was not shown to the captain, since to do so would have interrupted his dinner. Yet another message (from Mesaba) was never taken to the bridge as the wireless operator was working alone and could not leave his equipment. The receipt of a final, perhaps crucial message (from Califonian) was interrupted and never completed when Titanics operator imaptiently cut it off so he could continue with his own commercial traffic. " then a few paragraphs later, on page 20: "The impact: would it had been different if the look-out spotted the berg sooner? (Perhaps the ship might have had time to dodge the ice?) Later?(Fewer watertight compartments would have been breached had the ship struck head on. Ignobly down at the head but still afloat she might have been able to reach Halifax, 750 miles due west. Titanics lifespan can be measured in hours, her maiden voyage in minutes. A slight shift of time-several minutes more, or seveal minutes less-would have changed the ships position and put her ahead of or behind the precise spot where the berg was struck. But once the flow of time began, there could be no modification. the inevitable was already set in motion." just thought i would pass along those excerts..god bless everyone
Who wrote the short theory about the ship possibly trying to steam for Halifax, hence her incorrect position?? And also that she grounded on the ice, not only buckling in her sides? I thought that was an excellent theory and seems to coincide with all the information that we know to be true.
One of the crew gave testimony that water was coming through from below the keel, so not only was she taking on water from the side, but also her keel?
Captian Smith thought that he maybe able to make it to Halifax, much close than New York???
Who wrote that theory??? I believe that it is posted somewhere on this website, and is where I read it from.

Any takers on this one?
Steve: People of the Victorian/Edwardian era lived in CONSTANT awareness of their mortality. If you read through the listing of fatality producing shipwrecks/train wrecks/industrial accidents/ fires and NATURAL disasters 1900-1912 at the end of the book Darkest Hours, then compare the listings for 1960-'70, it gives a remarkable insight into how grim the world was for people of the Titanic's era as compared to our own. There was no blind confidence in technology amongst the public-at-large then, at least not to the scale suggested in various Titanic books. Yes, I am aware of the bombastic "Things Are Getting Better Every Day" style of newpaper and magazine article common then, but am also aware that readers took them with a grain of salt, so to speak, because along with the very-real improvements in quality-of-life(particularly in America) there was also a VERY evident dark side which created a certain pessimism, bordering on fatalism, amongst turn-of-the-century people.
I did notice one point only slightly touched upon. If the Titanic isn't that important to history then which wreck is?
My vote goes to the Laconia that sank February 25th, 1917. That was the last straw for Wilson and he officially declared war. And a little side note that is relatively unknown. Two of the first class passengers drowned on the Laconia ( Mary and Elizabeth Hoy ) were close relatives of President Wilson. Not that I am implying that he declared war because he lost two relatives, but it certainly must have driven the point home with him.
Hi Randy:
I learned this through reading a few accounts of the Laconia.
It is debatable whether or not he would have wanted people to know that. After all, it would look like he had more of a personal invective.