Degree Year


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts




Annemarie Sammartino
Leonard Smith


1900 Paris Exposition Universelle, Exposition, 1900, Modernity, World's Fair, Electricity, Dreyfus Affair


While planning the 1900 Exposition, France outlined ambitious, unprecedented goals in terms of the size and scope of the Exposition. The resulting expectations in the French, British, and American press were high - anticipating that the French would successfully achieve the goals outlined in the planning process. With the resurgence of the Dreyfus Affair in 1898 and the subsequent international backlash, the press' anticipation of the fair began to shift. When the uncompleted Exposition opened on Easter Sunday 1900, critics took advantage of the opportunity to lambast the Exposition, focusing on artistic, architectural, and technological displays and their relationship with notions of modernity, progress, and the future. Critiques of the Exposition highlighted the fact that the Exposition did little to assuage the unease of the turn of the century in Europe and, in fact, due to its poor organization and over-the-top displays, criticisms of the Exposition became synonymous with critiques of modernity in the turn of the century.

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